The fourth season of Iyanla: Fix My Life is just 10 days away and, as we shared before, this time around the focus is largely on Black men. Incarceration, sexual abuse, and infidelity are just some of the issues Iyanla Vanzant will tackle with various groups of men throughout the season, and she’ll also speak to some of the women in these men’s lives, helping them heal themselves so they can in turn heal their marriage.
Infidelity is one of the most common issues to creep into a relationship, and as such continues to be one of the most heavily debated topics of discussion. Should you stay? Once a cheater always a cheater? Who’s to blame? These are just some of the questions that arise on the subject, but Vanzant said what’s most important is for partners to understand what the act of cheating says about the person they’re with.
“I have a different concept of cheating than most people,” she explained during a phone interview. “Most people think you cheated on me, you hurt my feelings, it’s something they get crazy about. For me, cheating is a broken agreement; it’s a betrayal of trust; it’s a violation of self-value.
“For me, when a person in a relationship commits infidelity, it’s telling me something about that person. It doesn’t have anything to do with me. My question becomes, is this the kind of person I want to be with — a man who doesn’t honor his word, who doesn’t keep his agreements, who breaks his commitments, and who doesn’t value my trust? Is that the kind of person I want to be with?”
While that question isn’t one that’s always easily answered, what both parties have to realize is that cheating is not just a simple slip-up. “They say everybody makes mistakes. Perhaps the act of intimacy with someone outside of the relationship is a mistake, but the lie you tell to cover it up, that’s not a mistake; that’s conscious,” the author and spiritual healer stated. “The mechanization that you go through to continue in this practice, that’s not a mistake; that’s conscious. Do I want to be with someone who can look in my face, lie to me, violate my trust and consciously demean themselves in order to continue this activity? Do I want to be with somebody like that?”
For Vanzant, that question requires no thought. “In my own personal life, I don’t do cheating. That’s my dealbreaker. Violence, name-calling, and cheating and stealing money are my dealbreakers. You hit me, I’m gone. You can’t call me out my name but one time and I’m going to correct you. You do it again and I’m gone. You cheat, I’m gone.”
Why such a hard and fast rule?
“Talking about your hurt is a very valuable process toward healing; talking publicly about your hurt in a way that damages someone else, that’s a different story,” Vanzant said when asked her thoughts on the matter. “I always say that the only thing that can destroy a relationship is within the relationship. Relationships are never destroyed from the outside in; they’re always destroyed from the inside out. Ex-Mrs. Hart obviously hasn’t healed; she hasn’t done her work.”
While Kevin and Torrei may be the face of this topic this week, Vanzant said her words stand for everybody, including exes who get on social media and spread viciousness about their past partners. “That’s not about the other person, that’s about you,” she said. And while Vanzant was quick to point out she can’t say what people can and can’t do, the question she’d ask Torrei is “What is her intention for sharing this information and is that about him or is that about her?”
Still, Vanzant isn’t letting Kevin, whose legal issues are just getting started, off the hook for his transgressions. “As far as he’s concerned, he said it, you got a target on your back brother, and you need to be a demonstration and a model for who you are as a Black man.”
To get him to do his work, so to speak, Vanzant said she’d ask him a very serious question.