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Tina Campbell Forgave Her Husband for Multiple Infidelities. Should You?
In a June 2013 interview, Tina Campbell disclosed infidelity within her marriage to Ebony Magazine.
She detailed her feelings about “trying to stab her husband” and cutting him with words to make him feel inferior.
In a separate interview with CNikki, the WE TV reality star suddenly had a change of heart and took full responsibility for why her husband cheated on her multiple times.
Tina later said,
“I, Tina, assume full responsibility for the issues that I contributed to the relationship. I was controlling, talked too much. And you can never be heard over me because when I wanna talk I got the floor and ain’t nobody gonna get it from me until I give it up. Real talk. That was the way it was and I have to work on myself. You know what I mean?” Campbell explained. “I was selfish. When we started having children it’s like, I forget that I have a responsibility as a wife. And I’m questioning you like, ‘Really, what you want me to do? I got a baby!’ Even though that’s sometimes what you’re faced with, that ain’t the right spirit to do it in. And what happens is, you’re going on and you’re busy and you’ve got children and you’ve got work. And what happens is your husband is last and you don’t realize that he’s last. And if he has a problem with being last you’re like, ’Well, what am I supposed to do? You know that I’ve got a career? You know that I’ve got these babies, you’re the one that got me pregnant!”
Tina Was Hysterical After Discovering Her Husband's Infidelity
Earlier in the season, Tina's sister, Erica Campbell, also confessed on their TV show that she too dealt with infidelity issues within her marriage.
Erica then urged her sister to do what she did when faced with infidelity (e.g. combat her feelings with faith), which did not change Tina's thought process about her situation at the time.
It is evident that religion is causing most of the duo's dilemmas, in terms of finding a healthy balance between their households and their careers in ministry and music.
The video clip below further illustrates Tina's ambivalence about her faith as it relates to the infidelity in her marriage.
In the clip, Tina becomes very frustrated with the perception of her as a "saint" and simply wants to be "broken" for a while.
However, that's a nearly unacceptable notion to religious Black folks as illustrated by Erica's robotic, Bible-thumping reaction to her sister's serious self-disclosure.
Tina Campbell: "I'm Angry"
Infidelity is a breach of a couple’s assumed or stated contract regarding emotional and/or sexual exclusivity.
This breach of contract strikes so deeply at the heart that it can render the agreement "irreparably broken" and defeat the purpose of making the contract in the first place.
Research shows that between 30 and 60% of married individuals in the U.S will cheat on their partner at some point in their marriage.
However, the breach of contract does not always end a marriage. In fact, more than 50 percent of marriages can survive after cheating is revealed.
Infidelity Is Common
Tina's marriage has survived infidelity due to her faith-based values. As a strong black woman of faith, Tina may unconsciously be doing what is expected of her by Black folks, which is a large portion of the duo's fan base.
She believes in the importance of forgiveness as an inner activity that helps release sorrow but she perhaps hadn't realized that forgiveness is difficult to understand and achieve.
Infidelity Signs (Skip to 2:26)
You can't fast forward through forgiveness when people wrong you, especially when it's your husband and that father of your children.
It is like a photo album, in which, you never see the tears/pain depicted; however, it's the perseverance through the pain that truly gets you from one happy snapshot to the next.
Tina & Teddy's Children
Nevertheless, Tina shared with the world how she held onto her faith, forgave her husband, and moved forward with him. Check out the video clip below of Tina discussing the infidelity.
Tina Talking Infidelity
Despite taking responsibility for her husband's unscrupulous actions, Tina ultimately responded to her husband's infidelity in a healthy way.
She considered restoration, and began to rebuild trust with her husband.
Also, there are some noteworthy strengths that Tina exhibited by forgiving her husband:
- She honored her vows (e.g. for better or worse/till death).
- She was resilient for repairing the relationship instead of replacing it.
- She has a generally loving nature toward her husband (on camera) despite the indiscretions.
- She used problem solving and leadership skills by seeking counseling.
- She is exercising patience by persevering through the pain.
Marriage, according to her Christian values, is a lifelong commitment and Tina's decision to stay seemed to have been influenced primarily by this notion.
On the show, she was very ambivalent and conflicted with regard to her stance on infidelity as a Black woman of faith.
This could be attributed to the fact that the Bible inadvertently teaches that infidelity both does and doesn't give justification for divorce.
In times of crisis, the faithful turn to the Bible for reprieve; however, when it comes to infidelity, the Bible can be more confusing than comforting.
Biblical Contradictions About Approaching Infidelity
When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
Divorce = OK
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Divorce = Sometimes OK
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Divorce = Not Ok
The Bible: Can You Trust It?
The Bible is an archaeological document – and one of the highest caliber. Therefore, it should be treated as trustworthy.
When “contradictions” are studied within their contexts and from a historical perspective, you'll see that most of the apparent contradictions disappear, and in fact, even support the reliability and accuracy of the Bible.
In terms of infidelity, the Bible reflects the ambiguity and complexity of the issue.
Ultimately, it is situational and only you can decide whether to stay or leave.
You are the expert and only you know whether the relationship is worth salvaging.
What Would You Do?
If you discovered infidelity in your relationship, would you...
Stop the Drama & Stay Together
Reasons to Stay
1) Most men are still in love with their wives when they cheat.
Men who cheat haven't fallen out of love; they've become unsatisfied with the current state of it.
To avoid monotony in your marriage, plan nights out together, set aside time for sex, and discuss hopes and dreams—not merely work-related issues and the kids.
2) Men usually cheat with women they know.
Cheaters don't generally pick up random women in bars. The relationships are usually friendships first.
So, try to connect with your spouse more than anyone else and do things together (e.g. sleeping at the same time/cuddling).
4) Men hate themselves after affairs.
Cheaters aren't men with a lack of morals and they tend to despise themselves after their indiscretions.
He's betrayed person he vowed to love forever. That generally takes a toll on the psyche and creates a sense of failure/dishonor.
5) Affairs can sometimes fix a marriage.
Infidelity can rekindle a marriage by putting things into perspective for the cheater. Men often realize the grass is greener at home once they've wandered into someone else's yard.
Infidelity also highlights lack of impulse and self-control, which could be attributed to a one-time screw up.
Reasons to Leave
1) The relationship will never be the same.
Although a relationship can improve after cheating, it usually does not. Once trust is lost, the alliance is usually broken.
2) Set an example for children.
If your children see you leave a cheater, they'll learn cheating is unacceptable, that it will not be tolerated, and that it has severe consequences.
3) Loss of self-respect. After infidelity is discovered, your self-respect is going to take a huge blow.
Especially if the cheating is chronic, how do you respect yourself and still stay with a man who refuses to value your relationship?
4) You're not taking the "easy" way out. It's as difficult, if not more difficult, to leave a relationship, even a bad one, than it is to stay in one.
You're not the one giving up on the relationship. He gave up when he cheated.
5) You deserve better. Believe it or not, there are men and women who do not cheat and will not cheat, and you deserve one of them.
Be Prepared If You Stay
If you decide to stay:
- You need to prep yourself for battle. Instead of wasting energy by catastrophizing about more infidelity, spend time doing mental dress rehearsals.
Take a few minutes first to run through a handful of likely scenarios and envision yourself navigating each one in the best way possible.
The extra prep can ease anxiety and give you confidence to react calmly to whatever situation arises (e.g. running into a mistress in the grocery store).
- Pep Talk. Come up with a mantra to remind yourself that you've got grit and the ability to persevere during tough times.
- Embrace the Pain. Most people slow down near the finish line but others see that as a golden opportunity to surpass their competitor.
Use your circumstance as a stepping stone toward victory in your relationship.
- Take Deep Breaths. Deep breathing helps slow cognitive thought processes and makes intuitive thinking possible.
Practice the 4x4x4 breathing (inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, and then exhale through your nose for a count of four.)
Be Prepared If You Leave
If you decide to leave:
- Seek support from both people who have been through divorce and professionals in the field.
Therapy may be helpful during this process to give you an objective perspective on the situation and your progress on your divorce journey.
- Open your own bank account and credit card.
- Research your financial status by gathering documents; 6 months of bank statements, previous 2-5 years of his and your income tax returns, and assess your assets vs. your existing debts to avoid surprises.
- Prepare your husband for the change and talk with the children.
- Interview and retain a lawyer. Enlisting assistance in sorting out child and spousal support will be the number one priority if you are a stay-at-home mother without an income of your own.
- If you are a stay-at-home mother remain in the matrimonial home but make an action plan for the physical separation (e.g. when will he going to move out?)
This plan is a start in preparing before the actual separation. Realize that this is only the beginning of the ongoing process, which will continue for months or even years.
This is an individual experience as unique as you are. With honesty, research, preparation, and emotional support, you will succeed in extricating yourself from an unhappy marriage.
Seeking as much information as possible and utilizing your own instincts will get you through the initial and most difficult part of divorce.
Whether you decide to stay or you choose to leave, you still need to decide if you will allow the past to dictate your present and future.
You can't fly with a bunch of weight holding you down. So, if you stay in the relationship don't bring up the past and if you leave the relationship don't bring up the past.
Innovate and move on toward the future.
Armed with this information, you can make new choices that support your desires by beginning to believe that your life is what you make it and only you know what is best for you. Choose wisely.