Why is my cheating spouse doing great?

March 31st, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet


Why when one is faithful in a marriage and is betrayed it seems like they are punished by the break up of the family and losses. The cheater goes on and looks successful.
How to move forward?

∼ Karen


Dear Karen,

We are so sorry for what sounds like a tremendously difficult time you are going through. You are right that a sad feature of reality is that in this world the wrongdoer often seems to do better than the wronged. In Drivers Ed., they used to tell us that in a car crash caused by a drunken driver, the drunk is often less injured than his victims since his body doesn’t tense up at seeing the accident is imminent.

In a world where God holds the scales of justice, we know that unfairness does not carry over to the long-term vision that takes into account the spiritual world. Even in the material world in which we live, cheaters frequently suffer as time goes on. (Proverbs 12:7)

However, you are asking about coping in the present. We’d like to share two excerpts from a poem introduced to us and our children by our dear friend, an upright and elderly retired WA State Supreme Court judge, the late William C. Goodloe. He had seen much in his life and he lived by these words.

“For it isn’t your Father, or Mother or Wife

Who judgment upon you must pass,

The feller whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest.

For he’s with you clear up to the end,

And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test

if the guy in the glass is your friend.


You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,

and get pats on the back as you pass.

But your final reward will be heartache and tears

If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.”

~ by Dale Wimbrow

How do you move forward? By putting one step in front of the other and surrounding yourself with trustworthy people who will restore your faith in humanity. By sharing your tears with God and asking Him to help. By deciding that you won’t let the rest of your life be ruined by someone who has already damaged too many of your days. By looking forward and not back and by loving yourself.

There are, of course, many more steps to take. We look forward to hearing from you at a happier time,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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