Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Two Steps for Two-Timers


Sometimes I am asked about cheaters—what should you do if you discover your boyfriend/girlfriend is a “two-timer?” I have two simple steps:

1. Forgive Him/Her
2. Dump Him/Her

It may seem that I am contradicting myself. Trust me, I’m not. I’ll explain a little bit later.

Before I go any further, let me define cheating. Cheating is when someone has clearly violated a commitment to his/her “special someone.”

The word “commitment” is very important. Until there is a commitment, there really cannot be cheating. If you two have gone out on just one date, you can’t get upset if you see your date with someone else the next week—the two of you may not yet be at a commitment stage. I realize that dating/courtship is very serious in Filipino culture. Regardless, I still say that until you have verbally expressed a commitment, do not make assumptions.

Clearly violated” is also an important phrase. I am speaking of a situation where a boyfriend/girlfriend is romantically involved with another and you know this to be true.

Overly jealous types may misinterpret certain behaviors as cheating—even with a faithful girlfriend/boyfriend. If you get upset every time your boyfriend/girlfriend says “hello” to the opposite sex, you probably need to relax.

Having explained all of this, let’s go back to a cheating scenario. Let’s pretend that you are 100% sure that your boyfriend/girlfriend has cheated. Just apply my two steps:

1. Forgive Him/Her

Forgiveness is essential to following Jesus (Matthew 18:21-22). When you forgive someone, it means that you are forgiving them for the hurt they have caused you. It means that you will not try to get revenge. It means that you wish blessings and not curses upon this person.

2. Dump Him/Her

Although you have forgiven this person, continuing the relationship is probably not a good idea. As I have mentioned before, trusting someone is different from forgiving and loving him/her. Trust must be earned and trust can also be lost. Jesus loved everyone, but He did not trust everyone.

If cheating has occurred, trust has been completely destroyed. Realistically speaking, the cheater has revealed his/her true character. Someone who cheats once is very likely to do it again. There may even be other boyfriend/girlfriends out there that you just haven’t found out about.

Can a cheater change? Absolutely. Remember, however, that people must desire to change (see also: Three Stupid Words that Women Say). He/she may never decide to change. Even if a cheater decides to change, it will probably take a long time for him/her to fully correct this character defect and be trustworthy. Don’t waste your time waiting around on this process. Find someone else.

This is one of the many articles that you’ll find in my book: Basta Lovelife: Making Wise Relationship Decisions.

49 Comments

  1. what?? a new entry ^^ I have just finish reading almost all entry from your blog, before I have read your entry I already have plenty of discussions about love with my ego, and I got the same result as what you’ve have discuss in here. but I am a little unconfident because I only discuss everything with-in my self, and I was happy to know that my perceptions towards love was proven by your entries, now I’m realy confident about the path I have chosen.

    we indeed have the same idea, the difference is I’m not that religious. but I believe that doing positive(right)things even if you dont accept god that much, god will accept us because we manage to do what he wants (to do what is right, not to commit a sin) even if we didn’t even try to read the bible.

    it is like we manage to be successfull as our parents want us to be, even if our parent did’nt give us a hand on our studies.

    your blog is really great ^^ hmmmm but I suggest you do some configuration about the layout on the right side links, coz I did’t recognize and feel to click the links its just that I was really interested on you entries and I push the links ^^

    thanks A lot kuya kevs.

  2. Thanks for reading, Keruchan. I disagree with your statement that “even if you dont accept god that much, god will accept us”

    The Bible warns that “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12). Jesus also stated that “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3). He was not referring to the “born again” religion or church. He was referring to a life-changing experience with Jesus Christ.

    I hope you will think about these things. Maybe we can get in touch and talk about this a little more.

    Thanks so much for reading!!

  3. well explained….most people don’t know how to react in times of this. confused what they do next, ask another confused people and decisions are nowhere. the fact that the only thing they don’t realize to do is to forgive and dump.

    I’m enlightened Kuya…God loves us!

  4. I agree with Kuya Kevin. And once you accept God as your lord and savior, you received the gift of salvation. Salvation is a gift, it’s free, it’s not by our doings. It says in Ephesians 2:8 “For by His loving-favor you have been saved from the punishment of sin through faith. It is not by anything you have done. It is a gift of God”. And when we accept Christ, then we have to live like Christ… and that we should be born-again, as Kuya Kevin said… a life changing experience with Christ.

    it’s just meh, rachel…
    http://www.friendster.com/racheline.

  5. kuya kevs,
    help me!
    what will i tell my friend.
    she has a boyfriend, they are both christian. their into commitment for, i think almost 2 years… one day she told his BF that she don’t want to get married and ask him not to call or text her anymore. so the guy was so upset. but his BF told her that he will still remain faithful to her, he will just give time to heal his self and would still come back. after a month his BF was involve with a new relationship, then the guy discover that what my friend told him was not really what he thhink it is. it turned out that my friend has a problem with her family, that her family does not 100% approved their relationship. that’s why she told him that she don’t want to get married… if not him!(that’s what she meant) so when his BF finally know the truth he cut his relationship with the new girl and started to pursue her again. my friend ask me if she would still accept him, though her trust were broken. she said, ” how cud i trust him if someday we get married if i cannot trust him when he is single?”
    what shall i counsel her?

    pls reply… thanks!

  6. She told him that she didn’t want him, so he began to move on. She cannot blame him. It was her decision to use mind games instead of just being 100% honest with him.

  7. yeah i guess it’s better to dump the person.. i’ve been having the same situation too. my girlfriend and i aren’t very close. we dont text or talk in the phone often. and when i do call and ask if she’s mad with me for not calling her, she says its ok! plus my girlfriend is one of the prettiest in her class so i bet lots of boys are courting her. and since im not there for her…. i have my doubts!

  8. Hi Kevin,

    Happy happy birthday!

  9. Hello Kuya Kevs.My qs is that, what will you do if you dont like the person anymore and you felt yuckie when he whisper the words”i love you” in your ear? Kuya Kevs, this is really my problem nowadays. I dont like the man anymore even though we got married already. I dont know what to do? I want to be honest with him, I want to tell him about this but the fact is that i dont want to hurt him and I dont want him to do something bad in himself after telling him my feelings. The fact Kuya Kevs is that we got married so young and now I wan to set free, I want him to let me go. One thing also is that, we keep arguing everyday and we dont get along. I know that what was Bible told us about the marriage but Kuya Kevs I dont want to pretend anymore and I cant handle it anymore. I really keep trying to explain to him everything but I cant do it. Kuya Kevs, kindly tell me what to do pls?

  10. I really think you should try to get some counseling.

  11. Honestly, I became a cheater once…
    But i don’t want to do it again…
    I feel some regrets and I think im just wasting my time whenever I play someone’s heart…I just say sorry to those whom I hurt…And hopefully, they forgve me..
    And now, i don’t want yet to be involve in a relationship…Maybe i just want to wait for the right one…Or im not yet falling for someone…

  12. can you plz give me an advice? if you don’t mind?! well i have this special someone we’ve been going out for almost two years, he’s also offering me to have a commitment but i always refuse, the main reason is, my friends don’t like him and many of the people that knows us tells me that my guy has lots of girls. actually i never caught him but im also doutful coz i hear lots of negative things about him…
    should i acept his proposal?
    thanx a lot…
    God Bless…

    Hi,

    Let’s think about this for a minute and consider the possibilities:

    possibility #1: Your boyfriend is an honest guy and everyone else is lying about him or has misunderstood him.

    possibility #2: Your boyfriend is a cheater and you are the only one who can’t see it.

    Which do you think is more likely?

    I would ask your friends why they believe he is a cheater. If they can give you some kind of solid evidence (I mean if they have actually seen something, etc), then you need to re-think this relationship.

    Here’s my question: why have you been in a relationship this long with someone you don’t trust? Why haven’t you found out the truth one way or another?

    You have committed your heart to this guy with or without an “official” commitment. Better rethink this.

    Kuya Kevin

  13. I don’t agree with this this post, but i respect your view on it 🙂

  14. actually, i agree with this, once a cheater, always a cheater.. i have yet to find someone who really was able to change completely just to disprove this fact… hmmm, i agree with the post also, of course you have to forgive the person, whether you were insanely hurt or not, and then dump him/her (or you can do the dumping first and then forgive..)… and no matter what happens, if he/she decides to get back with you, you’d have to stand your ground and continue with your own healing process. it’s not easy at first, but you’ll get used to it… 🙂
    Kuya kevs, borrow ko itong article mo ha? post ko rin sa blog ko.. thanks… i’ll link back to your original post, promise…

  15. Feel free to use any of my articles. See the “How To Use This Blog” link for details 🙂

  16. hi claine, may i just share my opinion. for me, cheaters are sinners just like the rest of us. i don’t think they have a more “special” and more “unforgivable” sin that makes it more unlikely for them than your average sinner to turn back from their old life, therefore making them unredeemable for the rest of their lives and unworthy of a second chance at life.

    it can be unfair to label them so easily with “once a cheater always a cheater.” because really, shouldn’t Christ be labeling us “once a sinner always a sinner,” as well? and shouldn’t we be denied that second chance at life, too?

    if you have yet to see a cheater turn his life around just to disprove your fact as you say, i suggest you take a look at those who have done so because of God’s grace. zacchaeus would be as popular a cheater as any 🙂

    just my two cents’ 🙂

  17. You are missing the point. Can someone change? Of course. I simply think that in most cases it is best to end the relationship.

    Maybe at some point in the future he/she will change, but getting back together immediately will probably make things worse.

    The Zaccheus example really doesn’t have much to do with what I’m talking about.

  18. I guess I am missing your point 🙂

  19. hello guys… can all of you give me advice, I’m girl whose so in love with one guy, take note the guy in the internet. many of my friends told me that he doesn’t love me anymore and think he’s not serious in our relationship. but i always know and i feel that he love me. our relationship was 2 yrs. but we don’t see other personally, he’s always on my mind i always thinking of him, i feel like crazy, pls give me some advice, coz i don’t know if it’s right to fall in love with the person who i only meet in internet…

  20. Hi, i have a BF and we are almost 2years together., we broke up before because I have a hintch that he is cheating on me, i know its true but he never really admit it. But we still get back together., and then now I am far from him, I found out that he is cheating on me again.. But still., i forgive him.. i Dont know why, but I do understand his situation.. Am I wrong for always forgiving him? I can feel that he’s changing for the good now.. but yet i have uncertainty that somehow.. after a few months or weeks he will be back looking for some company again.. please give me word of wisdom.. thanks

  21. Wizheart,
    You cannot fall in love with someone you’ve never met in person. PERIOD.

    Anonymous,
    Forgiving is fine, continuing the relationship is NOT. It seems you are LYING to yourself. He’s “changing for the good?” You said this right after you said he’s cheating again.

    If he cannot be faithful to you then DUMP HIM! If distance is a factor, then maybe you both need to find a relationship that is not long distance.

    Please also read my “three stupid words that women say” article.

  22. well,
    i got your blog at the true love waits group in friendster…
    And God has been working in my life for how many years now..
    yeah, forgiving. It is the only way to heal the wounds of a past we cannot change and cannot forget…
    God bLess..

  23. is it possible to make friends with someone who fooled you?!!

  24. If you have an ex that has cheated on you, being friends afterwards will be difficult.

  25. kevin said:If you have an ex that has cheated on you, being friends afterwards will be difficult.
    *uhmm..my exes haPpiLy cHeAteD oN me bUt we’Re fRiEnDs.pero i agree with you to forgive and dump your two-timer partner.i’ve caught my bf cheating on me,i had forgiven him but i’ve dumped him.and i dont regret it.i have a peace of mind&heart now after that decision.Thank God for that wisdom 😉

  26. hi..how are you?
    will, i enjoy reading of your blog?
    it was fantastic and nice because you deserve it of what you are…and thnks for visiting in the philippines and hope you enjoy your vacation….ahh will, i just wanna say hi to you and to all your family’s…god bless you all..take care..bye bye…

  27. i found out last week that my husband of 4 yrs is cheating me..he’s having an affair with his co-worker..he blames me because according to him it was I who drove him to do it..my jealousy and selfishness…I am truly devastated..I love him so much.. we have one beatiful baby to think of..i admit i was jealous..of his work..he never spend enough time with us..he only comes home once a week..it never crossed my mind that there was another woman..i feel so sad and betrayed..they’ve broke up..my husband told me…im trying hard to forgive and forget but i still cry a lot…i’m hurting so much..pls. help..what should i do so i can move-on.. i love him so much.

    thanks,
    sad sad wife

  28. First, he should not blame you for his cheating. That was his decision.

    Second, I would advise both of you to go talk to a pastor or counselor and try to work this out.

    Sorry to hear about what has happened to you.

  29. can you suggest a retreat or seminar we can attend? i dont want our marriage to break..i love him so much…i am so affected by what happened..i cannot concentrate on my work..i even failed the exam i took supposed to be for my promotion…i know i’m not the only wife cheated by their husband..i’d like to know what you did to rebuild your trust and your family again..pls..

    thank,
    sad sad wife

  30. Sad Wife,
    Email me and let me know your location. Maybe I can make some suggestions.

  31. kuya kevin i really nid your suggestion i was a cheater before.. but when i met this girl i told my self that “mgpapakatino na ako”(i will change for her and yes i change..) i loved her and i did everything for her but in the end we still broke up! because shes accusing me that im cheating her.just because someone told her and its not true!what am i supposed to do??i love her so much but she didnt trust me.

  32. If she simply did not trust you, there’s not much you can do. You can’t have a relationship without trust.

  33. hi kuya kevin,

    ive read all the articles here and it seems you can help me with my problem.. i’ve been with this guy for 18 months everything in our relationship was going smoothly, except for the fact that im not allowed to have a boyfriend yet. i was 19 back then.. my family finally found out about us when we were dating for 10 months, since then i was monitored badly by my parents..but my boyfriend really wants to meet my family but he cant because they’re not interested..on our 17th month, things are starting to get strange, he seems to be irritable even if i have done nothing wrong and it seems he is hiding something from me..later on, i found out that his classmate is flirting with him and they’re starting to like each other..after that, he broke up with me he said he’s still not ready for oyr serious relationship and he knows that if we end up together in the future he’ll be happy but the time still not right and he wants to explore his options or something like that.. but after we broke up, he still acts as if my bf and we were like “m.u” even if i know he is still seeing that other girl (they had no commitment watsoever..they’re just dating secretly to the public)..my ex-bf still says he loves me and all..i know i was so naive to believe that everything will turn out fine and that soon he’ll come back to me yet, i was wrong! it went on for over a year..after a few months he moved to another city and i heard the news that the other girl was out of the picture..i felt relieved because i thought finally he’ll take me seiously but then after a few a months i found out that he has already a gf and he didnt even mention it to me because he doesnt want to let me go because he still loves me.. when i confronted him about this, he said that there was no courtship that happened between him and his current gf and he’s still unsure if he loves her, he’s alone in that city because all of his friends are here..and says that, that girl helps him forget his lonliness etc.. should i believe him? he still insists that he loves me even his relatives tells me that he always talks about me and tells them how much he loves me.. i dont know what to do..if he loves me, why is he doing this to me?..should i let him go? i still love him deeply and i dont want to let him go either.. help!

  34. Purple,
    Dump him, stop all contact, and move on. If he hasn’t made up his mind after all this time, there’s something wrong.

  35. kuya,is there something wrong with me? i keep blaming myself for what had happened.. its been 2 years since we broke up but i cant seem to let go.. my cousin said im too dependent on him thats why i cant let him go.. i tried to stop all contact with him but it only lasted a month coz i missed him.. how can i move on? :'(

  36. There’s something wrong with the way you are behaving–hanging on for two years!? Move on!!

  37. like what? :(… yeah..i knw.. 🙁

  38. Hi! Kuya Kevin..what will I do? My husband cheated me almost 2 times,I caught him with other girl,and my relatives told me that he has also a girl..he always at videoke bar dating with barkada,he always went home early in the morning…what will I do??

  39. I’m very sorry to hear this. Talk to your husband and see if he is willing to go to some type of counselor with you.

    If he is not willing to change, you will have to consider separation. I would not want you to catch a life-threatening disease because of his foolishness.

  40. kuya kevin…pls.help me!!!
    Im too confused with our relationship…I keep on judging my husband that He keep on cheating me,especially when He go out with his friends..One night I keep on calling him with his cp,and dis trusting that he always lie to me,i found out that hes not..I got to the point that i go to the place were he is,i found out hes not with the other girl..hes with his friends..I feel so shamed what i do that night!!!He got mad at me..he said that i keep on jealous..He cant blamed that i experience he betrayed me 3yrs.ago.I caught him with other woman..and last april my relatives tell me about she has other woman…what will i do?? I feel confused??I dont trust my husband anymore..I know it really affect our relationship…

  41. I’m very sorry to hear about what has happened in your marriage. I would suggest you try to go see a pastor (both of you) and get some counseling.

  42. hi! you may be glad to hear that finally i’m able to give an ultimatum to my cheating husband..when the last time i heard that he’s lying to me again..i told him i’m giving him until this saturday to decide who will he choose..if he cannot be firm on his decision to end their relationship..i told him that he cannot return to our family anymore and that i don’t need him in my life..but i’m truly afraid that he’ll choose his mistress..but if he did that..there’s no other thing for me to do but move on..i have a beautiful baby to think of..and i know God is with me..but i’m hoping and praying he’ll change you know i still love him..just pray for us kuya kevin..my hubby is not a bad man…i’ll tell you what happen next time..thanks pls pray for us…

    sad sad wife

  43. I’m glad you are standing up for yourself and your baby. Feel free to email me personally if you like.

  44. Very nice blog you have here. I found you via entrecard and I really like what you write in your blog. I have friends who go on with similar things you have written here and I will tell them about this blog so that they could have a better insight. Again congratulations!

  45. Hi kuya Kevin! About this article, what if the commitment factor was absent? What if the guy was just expressing his love for this one girl but later that girl found out that he’s been expressing his love to other girls as well. Can you call this two-timing? What should that girl do?

  46. I’m not sure I really understand your question. Do you mean courting two girls at the same time?

  47. yeah, it’s courting two girls at the same time.

  48. I’d stay away from a guy like that.

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