Can Cheaters Love?

I asked my husband last night if he thought it was possible that men who cheat on their wives also love their wives. He quickly said “Yes.” Inside I recoiled at such a statement. I already wrote about how love and attachment are two different things, but I wanted to explore this idea further. How is it he and I have two completely definitions of love?

If a man can love his wife and simultaneously cheat on her, then I need to define love because the kind of love I believe in doesn’t allow real true human intimacy and betrayal at the same time. Impossible.

you are loved

Scripturally speaking, love is long-suffering. It is gentleness. It is meekness. It is kindness, it is pure knowledge, it is without guile.

I think we would all agree love is gentle, meek and kind, but what about this “pure knowledge” business? What’s that all about? If I love someone what exactly do I have a pure knowledge about?

love is

Pure knowledge of someone is knowing her intimately. You know her deepest joys and her deepest fears. Actually it is even more than just knowing. It is allowing those deepest joys and fears to change you.

Pure knowledge is knowing her and also acting on that knowledge.

Pure knowledge is being known as an individual. It is to be known by ourselves and by others. That  is my definition true love. And i feel pretty good about it seeing as it is rooted in scripture. 🙂

In this article about the difference between affection and love, the author says, “I get very jazzed about the fact that we are the final arbiters of the love we receive. If you say you love me and I don’t feel you know me, are interested in me, hold me in mind or engage with me, I get to decide the issue, get to say whether or not your love is valid. There is no other judge or jury. And if you really love me and I’m just not perceiving it for some reason, then you need to communicate your love to me again. If it’s genuine, then I’ll likely feel it.”

Did you catch all those actions words? Know, engage, hold.

love is not

When I bristled at my husband’s belief that cheaters can love their wives it is for this reason–the cheater did not have a pure knowledge of his wife. He was not engaged with nor did he act on any knowledge he did have. Quite the opposite. He was engaged with his own selfish interests and her psychological well being was about as far from his mind as the moon.

Love is a discipline that requires learning, development, commitment and sacrifice.  When someone has a pure knowledge of me I do not feel alone nor unknown.

When I found out my husband was a cheater I have never felt more alone in my whole life. I felt unloved and unknown and invisible. I realized there was much about him I didn’t know. I tried in vain for years to get this man to open up to me, to let me really know him, but to no avail. He couldn’t. His addiction prevented him from curating real true intimacy.

So can a cheater love? I don’t believe he can. He can financially support, admire, and desire. But no, I don’t believe he can love.

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Posted on March 29, 2016, in addiction, marriage, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I agree with you. I think cheaters believe they can love, but they don’t know how to make the intimate connections that are the foundation for real love. I had a tough time accepting that fact. I had been married to a man that pretended to be in love. I was connected to him, but he could never reciprocate the same type of connections with me. It’s too sad to think about so I focus on the future and how it will be to live with a man in recovery. I am hoping to enjoy the true love that you described with the man I thought I married.

    Like

  2. I’m with you. I don’t think a person who truly loves someone would cheat. They may care in some way for their spouse, but they love themselves more and put their own desires ahead of the one they claim to love.
    Sure, there times when someone puts themselves in a compromising situation, such as getting drunk and something happens that they never intended. That’s why we need to guard ourselves and avoid being in situations that could go wrong. My husband is a pastor and will not even meet with a woman alone.
    But no, I don’t see how someone who truly loves their spouse would consciously cheat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your version of what love is, to me total surrender, of dreams ambitions, fears everything. If you are broken though it is virtually impossible to live up to that love. Love your post, ta

    Like

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