Charity had known for some time that something was wrong, but she had no idea her husband was actually having an affair. When she found out, she was devastated. As a good Christian woman, she tried to forgive him and decided to accept him back, except he did not even want to come back. He decided that he was going to leave her and their children and go to the other woman. Despite everything, she decided to stay.
That story is not really new, especially to a lot of Nigerian wives. So many women know what it’s like to have a cheating husband. Unfortunately, too many women do not have the option of leaving. Where would they leave to? Who would they go to? A woman who leaves her husband “Just because he is cheating” is shunned by society and treated as though she is the one with the problem, after all “is she the only one that is being cheated on?”
Yes, people actually do say that and you usually hear it from women.
When your husband cheats on you or leaves you for another woman, it has a devastating effect on your self-confidence. Before long you begin to see yourself as someone who is not worthy of love. Then a low self-esteem follows. I have seen women who live in a state of perpetual unhappiness because their husbands are unfaithful and they feel powerless to do anything about it.
What is remarkable about Charity Craig is not that she stayed. Although we have the general perception that Americans (particularly the oyinbo ones i.e. Caucasian) do not stay where there is infidelity, it still is not that huge a deal because Nigerian women stay. All the time.
What made this woman’s story so remarkable is how much stronger she became for the experience. She did not stay because she had nowhere to go or because it was the thing to do. She made a DECISION to stay and learned some lessons in the process. From reading her story, here are a few nuggets I picked up:
Your self-worth does not come from any man.
Too often we tie our sense of worth and value to our husbands and then when they let us down, we find it impossible to see the value inside us. Sister, your value does not come from your husband. Your value comes from what God deposited inside of you. Charity had to learn that the hard way when her husband who she had trusted more than anything let her down spectacularly.
You are worthy of love.
It does not matter that your husband cheated or that he (or anyone else) had said or insinuated that you are not worthy of love. You are. God did not create anything that is unlovable. He created you so that he could love you. So you…yes you, just the way you are…You Are Worthy.
You are accountable for your actions (or in-actions)
You will be missing it greatly if you base your actions on what another person does. Marriage is a covenant and Charity chose to keep her side of the covenant regardless. Of course it did not stop her husband from leaving, but it gave her peace and set a right example for her children.
Charity’s husband came back and when he did, he found a different woman. A woman who no longer looked to him for her happiness or her sense of worth. He found a woman who chose to take him back, not because she needed him, but because she had made a covenant. You might decide not to take your husband back, and that is your prerogative. Whatever choice you make, always remember that your happiness, your worth and your value cannot come from a man. You are worthy and you are loved.