Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Could You Forgive?

We all have our morning rituals.  I listen to NY1 News (it’s New York City’s 24 hr cable news channel) while I eat my breakfast and get ready for work. I love all the cheesy little gimmicks, the weather every ten minutes and the fact that all of their reporters remind me of distant cousins.  One of the features they do a few times an hour is “Today in NYC History”.

Yesterday morning, as I was zipping up my boots, the lovely folks at NY1 reminded me that it was the one year anniversary of the Eliot Spitzer scandal.  That’s right, exactly one year ago yesterday, Eliot Spitzer (the then governor of New York) was exposed as having had an affair with a prostitute.  Once exposed he immediately resigned.

So this got me to thinking about affairs.  Different people do see them differently.  I know so many women who can’t get over the fact that his wife didn’t leave him, for example.  Whereas I tend to think of infidelity as a big gray area.  I think that in some cases it probably should mean the end of a relationship because it’s a symptom of a bigger problem. But I don’t think that cheating should always mean the end.  That seems harsh and somehow unrealistic to me.

I’d like to know what you think about this?  If your partner strayed, would that mean the end of the relationship?

  • Yes! I could never trust someone who cheated on me. (28 votes)
  • No. I understand that people make mistakes. I would forgive them. (5 votes)
  • It’s complicated. I don’t think this is a black/white issue. Instead, there’s just lots of gray. (55 votes)

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15 to “Could You Forgive?”


  1. starangel82 says:

    I think there is a lot of gray. While I’m not very forgiving when someone breaks my trust, I think there are times when you have to examine the situtation. If we were married or married & had kids, I would have to work to forgive him. Marriage is sacred… and you really don’t want your kids to have to go through a divorce. Of course, there is usually a reason someone cheats so you have to figure out what that is or else the problem will never be fixed.

    After saying I could forgive, I will say this. If I ever forgave a guy for cheating and he did it again, then I’d cut my losses and move on. Even if I was married (with or without kids).

  2. bellaressa says:

    I don’t know. There is a lot of grey area but for me it would be very hard to forgive, trust, and try to move ahead. I would hope that if I was in the situation, I could work through the situation and make the relationship stronger but honestly, I don’t know.

  3. SINgleGIRL says:

    Thank you starangel82 and bellaressa for your thoughtful comments. You’ve confirmed what I always knew to be true about my readers and commenters – that in general, the folks that read and comment on my blog are smarter and more thoughtful than your average websurfer. This isn’t an easy issue (for most people) and you both gave answers that showed its complexity.

    I tend to feel that cheating should almost never mean the end of a relationship and that even when people think it should they sometimes go back on that when it actually comes up. I have seen that happen with friends who say they would never forgive a cheating spouse and advise others to leave their husbands/wives but then forgive and stay when it happens to them- saying it’s different. Every situation is “different” and to believe otherwise I think is just narrowminded.

  4. Veka says:

    I could never. Being cheated on is the worst feeling in the world. Cheaters, IMHO, don’t deserve a second chance. Because in all likelihood, they’re just going to do it again. But that’s just me and I’m sure there’s a lot of people that would disagree. I’ve made a promise to myself–for my own good–to never accept that. Marriage is a different story, you can’t just “break up” with someone. And I know that marriage is intended to be “til death do us part.” But don’t marry someone if you can’t promise to be monogamous! And if there are kids involved, I believe that it would be even more unhealthy to try or pretend to make the marriage work, with both parents unhappy, because the kids will notice that and then everyone would be miserable. I know plenty of single moms and single dads situations where they turn out just fine.
    Disclaimer: I know this post and these comments are controversial but everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I’m not trying to stir the pot :)

  5. SINgleGIRL says:

    -Veka
    Thanks for adding your voice. I don’t think your comments are controversial. I’m guessing a LOT of people agree with you wholeheartedly. A third of the people who’ve responded to the survey say they couldn’t stay with a cheater. And I know many other people (in my “real life”) who feel exactly the sane way.

  6. opalcutter5 says:

    Forgive ? Of course. 5 seconds later, their shit is in my front yard , on fire. There are WAY too many good people out there (I’m one ) who have had the opportunity many times and turned it down flat.
    I’ve seen statistics indicating 40% of both women and men cheat. If you can’t stand the thought of having sex with one person , just have NSA sex. Every sitch is not diff- every sitch is the SAME.
    Either you will steal from a friend or you won’t. Either you will kill , or you won’t. Either you will fuck your friend’s Husband- or you won’t. Case closed . Next case . Kick Cheaters TO THE CURB !

  7. darkheath says:

    IF my partner cheated on me. Heh.. that’s funny.

    Actually… I was willing to work it out with her, and hung on for another 3-4 months… but then realized that there were those much deeper issues you speak of.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I voted that it’s complicated, although I believe in mistakes made and forgiveness. I believe that circumstances are the important factor and not just an across the board yea or nea on the matter.

  9. Ms. Florida Transplant says:

    Within 3 days of discovering my ex’s affair…. bank accounts were cleaned out & his crap was stuffed in garbage bags.

    Forgive? Heck no.

  10. SINgleGIRL says:

    -Like I said Veka, there are plenty of people who agree with you. Opalcutter5 and Ms. Florida Transplant are both with you on this one (and Ms.Florida Transplant has lived through it).
    -Anonymous,
    It’s complicated seems to be the winner today. I’m kinda glad.
    -Darkheath,
    it sounds like you went through the ringer with this personally, and also that “the end” was about so much more than the cheating. I’m sorry. That must have been so hard.

  11. derek7272 says:

    isn’t what’s really upsetting, the dishonesty of it all? i’d rather have some kinda “arrangement” …
    e.g., http://nymag.com/lifestyle/sex/annual/2005/15063/
    http://men.style.com/details/features/landing?id=content_8120

  12. QueenLeilani says:

    There is in fact a lot of gray areas in this question.

    I was in a long distant relationship with my best friend when I was residing in CA and he resided in NY. In between the months we didn’t see each other, there was definitely moments of sexual frustration. Mainly on his side. I understood and I actually told him that if there was a moment that he felt “weak” and he acted out on his weakness with another woman, I told him I would understand. But under one condition, “that he never tells me and that there was no feelings or attachments”.

    My boyfriend and I are still together and I moved to NY to be with him now which he’s been my best friend now of 15 years. Till this day, I’ve never asked him if he was with anyone during our long distance time. And to be honest, I don’t worry about it one bit.

  13. SINgleGIRL says:

    -derek7272
    um, I don’t really consider that cheating. That’s just agreeing to different rules, IMHO. Really, monogamy is just a set of rules that couples can agree to live by if they CHOOSE. It’s certainly not for everyone. But that’s a different topic.
    -QueenLeilani
    Thanks so much for joining the conversation. You know, I was in a very similar situation for a while when I was in my 20s and that’s what worked for us. Except it was don’t ask/don’t tell on both sides. I don’t do celibacy so well.

  14. derek7272 says:

    very true. I mean it seems like cheating is the cause of the end of so many marriages. And i’d rather have a relationship that would maybe bend but not break, sort of thing? You can’t really assume that you or your spouse would never feel attracted to anyone in decades of marriage … that just strikes me as unrealistic.

    Of course, whatever works for you, I’d never suggest that this is for everyone, etc. etc. etc.

  15. 20forty says:

    I think it’s definitely a gray area and I honestly can’t say what I would do. I think you have to be in the situation before really knowing. We might think we know what we would do, but actually being in the situation is very different.