Love is a choice not a feeling. Think about it for just a minute. When you love someone you choose to commit to them. You choose to serve them. You choose to have their safety and best interests at heart. You choose to walk life’s journey with them. Romanitic love is a flash in the pan. It is what get’s the process of love started. After that, love is a thousand steps through life with that person you chose to go through life with. Like President Monson said,
“Choose a companion carefully and prayerfully; and when you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Priceless advice comes from a small framed plaque I once saw in the home of an uncle and aunt. It read, ‘Choose your love; love your choice.’ There is great wisdom in those few words. Commitment in marriage is absolutely essential.”
-President Thomas S. Monson.
You choose to love someone. You choose to be faithful to them, or not. When a man chooses a woman he is taking on a sacred responsibility to care for her, to protect her, to provide for her – to love her. For his entire life. Real men know how to make important choices and how to honor them.
I don’t buy the excuses. “I just fell out of love.” It is a lame excuse and is nothing more than a flimsy paper cup that cannot not hold water when these conmen have to tell it to the all-seeing gaze of the ultimate judge. God will not be mocked. Period. The covenant of marriage is serious business, it deserves serious work and commitment. Real men do not make lame excuses. Real men honor their covenants. Real men don’t cheat.
“I am satisfied that a happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion.”
-President Gordon B. Hinckley
When a man’s focus is on the anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of his spouse he will simply not be of a mind to stray. It is only when he takes his focus off of her and puts it on other things, is when he allows his mind to drift into forbidden paths.
“Being happily and successfully married is generally not so much a matter of marrying the right person as it is being the right person.”
-President Howard W. Hunter
When a man cheats it says so much more about his character, discipline, and focus than it does about his wife’s. When he cheats it says he is not a man of commitment, responsibility or integrity. Real men, above all, have character. They don’t take their focus off their wives and children. They are men of honor who work consistently to be the right person for their wife and children. A real man works hard to insure he is doing his part to lead his family in righteousness.
“Some think of happiness as a glamorous life of ease, luxury, and constant thrills; but true marriage is based on a happiness which is more than that, one which comes from giving, serving, sharing, sacrificing, and selflessness.”
-President Spencer W. Kimball
Real men understand that marriage isn’t easy. But a real man is up for a challenge and isn’t a quitter. He will find ways to improve his relationship when things seem a little bit off or start to go wrong. He will not refuse to do what is necessary to fix a problem. He will work selflessly to find a solution. Real men work on their relationships. Real men go to marriage counseling with the intent to improve, when needed.
All in all, it takes a weak man to cheat. A selfish man cheats. A cowardly man cheats. If the truth is really said out loud, any man has the potential and ability to be a coward under the wrong circumstances. We are all subject to temptation and sin. Anyone can fall. This is the nature of life, especially if we are foolish enough to let our guard down. So if a man cheats does that mean he is past the point of no return?
The epitome of a real man, a real man that deserves our highest praise and honor, is one who has made serious mistakes, but who can own up to it! He admits his weaknesses, confessed to them, willingly, he tells all of it. For him, there is no confession that is too hard or humiliating, because he cares more about reparing the damage than he does about his own weaknesses. If a real man can confess his weaknesses then the Lord will take his weakness and make them become strong! His infidelity will lead him to become absolutely faithful in all things, because he will have learned how!
“Love is a fragile thing, and some elements in life can try to break it. Much damage can be done if we are not in tender hands, caring hands. To give ourselves totally to another person, as we do in marriage, is the most trusting step we take in any human relationship. It is a real act of faith — faith all of us must be willing to exercise. If we do it right, we end up sharing everything — all our hopes, all our fears, all our dreams, all our weaknesses, and all our joys — with another person.”
-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Then he works hard to rebuild his breech of trust. A real man will go to his wife and humbly seek her forgiveness. He will do whatever it takes to repair the damage he has done. He will identify what caused him to cheat. Often finding the cause takes working through a 12-step program and/or counseling. Then he will develop a plan for himself to make the required changes. He will set up clear boundaries for himself so that it will not happen again. He will share these new boudaries with his wife. Then he will check-in with her everyday to let her know he is committed to her and serious about repairing the damage. She will know how he is doing in his repentance because he will tell her! She won’t need to ask him.
“Converse with each other, thereby never letting little things become big things.”
-Elder Robert D. Hales
He will do everything he can to help her feel safe and work hard to rebuild her trust in him. He will ask her often if there is something more he can do for her. Her comfort, well-being, and safety are his primary concerns. If he violates his own boundaries, then he will go to her immedately and confess the breech. Then he will rework his plan to shore up the weak areas. She won’t have to worry about relapses because he is already on top of it! He will make himself accountable to her and to others who can help him. He will seek advice from experts. He will read up on cheating and how to avoid it. He will educte himself and share what he is learning with wife. He will not give her cause to worry any further, because he wants to be responsible to himself and to her.
“Our Heavenly Father wants our hearts to be knit together. That union in love is not simply an ideal. It is a necessity.”
-President Henry B. Eyring
He will lead her in daily prayer and scripture study. He will make sure they do it together. He will show her in everything he does that he has chosen her and is committed to her. Every action will But more than that, he will show he has chosen God and that he is committed in leading himself and his family back to Him. Everything he does will reflect his committment to God. And that commitment to Him, will show more than anything else he does, that he has re-committed to her. This is what real men do.
“Once I married her,” Elder Andersen said, “the standards in my life went way up — being totally consistent in prayer and scripture study, keeping the commandments with precision. She has a pure and disciplined faith.”
-Elder Neil L. Andersen
This what a real man will do if he makes a mistake and cheats.
This is what cheaters do when they want to be real men again. This is how you will know you have a real man worth standing by.
Anything less than this is cowardly.
If you have cheated on your wife, it’s time to man up!
“Both men and women need righteous desires that will lead them to eternal life. Let us remember that desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”
-Elder Dallin H. Oaks