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More than 50 percent of marriages can survive infidelity. Although the relationship may break up from other issues in the future, many couples are surprised when they find that they can stay together after an affair.

3. Once a cheater, always a cheater.

While it is true that some individuals have repeated affairs, many affairs are a once and done thing. What happens after the affair can set a marriage on a course for stability or blow it out of the water. After ending the affair, the person who cheated must be completely honest for healing to take place.

4. Affairs happen because something is wrong with the marriage.

Here’s the truth: There’s something wrong with every marriage. Affairs may reflect that couples don’t know how to work together to improve the problems in their marriages. Just because you are having marital issues doesn’t justify infidelity.

5. If there’s no sex, there’s no affair.

Many affairs happen without any sex at all. Is it cheating to stay up half the night, secretly texting an old classmate about your most intimate thoughts? The person doing it may not see it as cheating, but you can be sure that his/her partner sees it this way! When you give an emotional part of yourself to someone who is a potential affair mate, it’s a form of infidelity.

In reality, infidelity is one of the worst kept secrets. Where would movies, television, fiction and non-fiction books, talk shows and music be without it?  But when it comes to our personal lives we hide from it whether we’re the victims or the perpetrators.

Maybe by taking a more honest look at how we end up in unhealthy relationships, we can figure out other options that break the age-old cycle. And if we can’t break it, the least we can do is be prepared when it confronts us. They say the best defense is a good offense and nothing hurts worse than getting blindsided by someone you love and trust.

So here are a few things to consider:

•    What are your mate’s real feelings about cheating and what are they based on?

•    Is he or she from a family where infidelity was prevalent?

•    What is your mate’s definition of cheating? This is a question Hillary may have wished she asked Bill.

•    What is your history when it comes to trust. Did your dad cheat on your mom or vice versa?

•    Were you ever taught that “all men cheat?”

•    Have you ever used cheating as a well to sabotage a good relationship because you didn’t think you were worthy?

•    If you have been cheated on, did you leave or stay and why?

Let me hear from you. Especially if you’re “Mary Jane.”  No judgement!

Black Leading Women Playing the Side-Piece: Coincidence or Not?  was originally published on

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