If you believe the statistics literally everyone, everywhere deals with infidelity. Cheating has unfortunately become one of the most common problems in relationships. I’ve asked myself time and time again, what makes people cheat? What would make ME cheat? Does every one man or woman have the potential to be unfaithful? Is cheating like a contagious disease that’s infected and spread to all of us? Or is cheating an individual decision, a lifestyle or a way of living? Are we taught to cheat? Is it something we learn?

In my life, I grew up in a home where cheating was “NORMAL” if I can use that word. I don’t know when exactly I knew but for as long as I can remember I’ve known that my Dad kept other women on the side. I’m not sure if he just repeated the brokenness he was raised in…or if he just decided that his libido would make all of his relationship decisions. My Dad was what I call a serial cheater. He owned a West Indian Grocery Store in upstate New York when I was growing up. We lived in Connecticut, so he’d travel daily between the business and home.  And the times when he was too tired to drive, he’d just sleep in a storage area inside the grocery store….he just wouldn’t necessarily sleep there alone.

One time my Mom went to the store unannounced to bring him some needed store supplies. She had my baby brother in her arms as she knocked on the back door of the grocery store. She heard movement inside but when my Dad took way too long to answer, she began walking around to the front of the store. As she made her way to the front—which was glass by the way—my Father was trying to push the other woman out the front door! There’s my Mom with groceries in one arm and my baby brother in the other, staring at the other woman and my Dad who’d just been CAUGHT cheating! It got pretty ugly that time, knives might have been wielded –but that didn’t end the marriage. Feelings were stuffed, behavior didn’t change and life kindof went on. My Mom stayed and stayed and stayed until after 17 years, she left. Maybe 17 years of stuffing feelings, explanations that failed and the sheer exhaustion of being in an unfaithful marriage finally took its toll.

Cheating is a pretty straight forward deal when you think about it. You’re committed to one person and you decide you want someone else too. But why? What’s in us that pushes us to cheat? Is it about sex? Is it about needs? Is it because our spouse isn’t fulfilling our wants? Or is it because our co-worker listens when our husband won’t and late night sexting is more stimulating than our spouse who’s lying in bed beside us.

I’ve talked about this subject over the years hundreds, maybe even thousands of times. I’ve listened counseled, cried and sat with people in pain. And I know that cheating is much more and much deeper than the headlines that we read. The elaborate scheming it takes to cheat is unbelievable…Maria Shriver and Arnold  Schwarzenegger to mind. He not only cheated but his mistress lived with them as the housekeeper and he had a child with her! All the while Maria raised her kids, slept with him every night and they did life together. Infidelity is deep.

Maybe you’re in an affair right now, or you’re thinking about crossing that line. Maybe you’ve had an affair and it’s eating away at you and you don’t know how to tell your spouse. Maybe you’ve been cheated on, betrayed and you’re mad as hell and don’t know if you can ever get over it. Well tonight, this show is for you and for me…to help us talk about cheating in our relationships, why we cheat and most importantly if cheating happens, deciding if you stay or do you go?

It’s time that we push past the headlines and gossip. It’s time that we stop talking about cheating out there and start looking at ourselves and our own capacity to cheat. How are you ensuring you won’t let a casual relationship turn into something more? We live in a social media society these days. And with the advent of texting, Facebook, and email, it’s made it a TON easier to find people, connect with people and have constant conversation off the radar. It’s also added a whole new dimension to the age-old dilemma of cheating. Is it cheating when you message an old girl or boy “friend” and your partner doesn’t know?

Today I want to take the masks off and get real. As your chief empowerment officer for MONTHS on this show I’ve shared my story and challenged you to think, reveal and share your lives with me. I want to start a REAL conversation right now about cheating in our relationships. My goal is simple: look in the mirror and discover why we cheat and what we we can each do if we are faced with infidelity. What do you think constitutes cheating in a relationship? If an affair happens, should the relationship automatically end?

If you’re daring, tell me why YOU cheat. If you’ve been cheated on, did you stay or did you go? Why? Let’s take the lid off this subject and find healing, reasons and empowerment for our relationships!

Interestingly enough, my Dad told me before he died in a very vulnerable moment that he cheated all those years with all those women because my mother “let him.” Does a spouse “allow” cheating to happen or are we as individuals responsible for our own actions? Be sure to leave your comments below!

TWO powerhouse women are on this show : AIYANA MA’AT a certified marriage and relationship educator and TV’s ‘Divorce Court’ JUDGE LYNN TOLER these ladies are bringing it real in this show! LISTEN HERE

I am your chief empowerment officer JENNIFER KEITT and this is THE JENNIFER KEITT SHOW on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B!

 

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