Ask Charles: 'Do I Forgive My Fiancé's One-Time Fling?'

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Engaged & Cheating: Can You Forgive Infidelity?
You're engaged. He cheated. Now what?

Dear Charles:
I'm a 32-year-old woman in a long term relationship with a man I REALLY love. We've been together three years, and I can't see myself with anyone else. And from what he has told me he feels the same. About six months ago, he proposed and our wedding is set for next year. I guess that was all a little too perfect for him. He went out with his friends last week and they ended up talking to a group of women. One of them made a pass at him. It turns out she is a past model for Playboy. I'm sure you can do the math from here; he ended up sleeping with her. He confessed the whole thing and told me he was really sorry. He says that it was a fantasy opportunity, and that ANY guy would have done it. You're a man, Charles, and you're married. Would YOU have done it? And do I forgive him?

-Anonymous
 

 

Dear Anonymous:
Wow... Putting me on the spot, eh? You asked me to be honest, and I will. Truth be told, I completely understand this man's dilemma. That's a crazy dream shot for any man… and a man who says he wouldn't be tempted is lying. But here's the thing: That model isn't the only temptation he has ever faced… and it won't be the last. Temptation is all around us. It's how we respond to temptation that defines us as a partner. By choosing the easy path and sleeping with the model, he is saying two things:  1) My honor and integrity are negotiable, and are subject to my whims/wants/desires at the time; and 2) My love for my fiancé isn't as important as my own wants, needs, and personal gratification. In essence, with this act he showed you that while he might love you on one level, you are merely an option until something better comes along… even in that option is temporary.

My advice to you is two-fold. Firstly, you need to realize that he didn't cheat because of who YOU are; he cheated because of who HE is NOT—lack of honor, lack of integrity, lack of constitution. Secondly, you need to rethink why you would want to forgive this (probably) one-time fling. If he is so-easily swayed by his own personal wants, where will that put you in your coming marriage? My gut reaction: You need to value yourself more than that, and not settle for someone who will sell you out at the first sign of challenge or adversity, or the first opportunity for "something better or unique".

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