Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
What is actually astounding to me is how cheaters and some pastors/counselors fail to grasp why faithful spouses do not trust cheaters’ words at face value? The wise ones among us require verification.
In a healthy marriage, one ought to give one’s spouse the “benefit of the doubt.” The problem when infidelity has taken place is such charity has been grossly abused. In fact, the abuse has lead to trauma for the faithful spouse, I am convinced.
Some of the most lasting scars from being soul raped is this destruction of trust by the adulterous spouse.
A compassionate person and pastor will recognize this is a natural consequence to having one’s trust and marriage violated by deception and infidelity. The faithful spouse has been fooled once.
It makes it more difficult to trust someone again after such a deep violation of the most sacred trust known between humans. I know as this was something I found tough coming out of my first marriage.
To this day, I will sometimes check on Mrs. DM as she makes dates with old friends even though she is a paragon of virtue. That’s the trauma from my first marriage speaking. Thankfully, these sort of instances are declining, and Mrs. DM is an understanding, gracious partner.
If a cheater or pastor/counselor bemoans how the faithful spouse does not give the adulterous spouse the benefit of the doubt anymore, they clearly do not understand how the adulterous spouse is responsible for this state of affairs. They do not get the basic wisdom of not trusting a known liar without proof. And they are failing to truly extend empathy to the faithful spouse who is feeling vulnerable.
Instead, by condemning the faithful spouse for not giving the adulterous spouse the benefit of the doubt, they are kicking the faithful spouse while he or she is down proverbially. The faithful spouse is being wise. They are refusing to be fooled twice.
A wise pastor/counselor will recognize this and support the faithful spouse in their stance of not giving the adulterous spouse the benefit of the doubt anymore.
After all, the adulterous spouse killed that benefit when they lied and cheated.