In this undated publicity image released by W&W Public Relations, gospel singer Tye Tribbett is shown in New York. (AP Photo/W&W Public Relations, Christian Lantry)
ATLANTA - Gospel singer Tye Tribbett went against the beliefs he was taught as a kid and his numerous spiritually uplifting songs when he cheated on his wife a year ago.
His misstep resulted in her doing the same thing to him.
Tribbett, a Stellar Award winner, had an affair with a woman from his choir, Greater Anointing — known as G.A. He said it was with a woman he and his wife had counselled, but the relationship became "her and I more than the three of us. It got out of control."
After Tribbett's wife found out about his side relationship, she sought revenge by cheating on him with another man. Both of their infidelities almost ended the couple's marriage of 13 years, but the two found a way to work it out after he took a sabbatical.
Now, Tribbett is looking for a new start with his life and new album, "Fresh," which was released this week. This will be Tribbett's first solo album without his choir, which has released three albums with him.
The 34-year-old singer opened up about his turmoil in a recent interview.
The Associated Press: You and your family have been through a lot of drama. How did you fall into the trap of cheating on your wife?
Tribbett: I thought it was something that'll never happen. I saw infidelity with my mom and dad who was a pastor, which made them split. I told myself that I would never do that. So when it happened in my marriage, it was like "Whoa." God broke down my self-righteousness, my pride.
AP: How did you feel when she did the same to you?
Tribbett: As a husband it is PARAMOUNT to be there for your wife emotionally, and I blew it and I wasn't there for her, which opened her up to fall into the same trap and commit the same sin as I did! I'm just so grateful that it wasn't the end for us!
AP: What led you to cheat?
Tribbett: (Televangelist) Joyce Meyers gave the best explanation of what my situation was about. She said lust has no conscience. It doesn't care if you're married, doesn't care about your responsibility, doesn't care if you're a pastor. It wants what it wants when it wants. It doesn't have to be because of lack for lust to take hold.
AP: How was it for you when you and your wife took a break from each other?
Tribbett: When I was between my house and mom's home, I was contemplating suicide — almost every day.
AP: Like any other gospel artist, you preach against what you and your wife have done to each other. Does your approach change on how people should live their life through your beliefs?
Tribbett: I still have to say the same thing as before because it's a sin. I still say it's wrong. But my approach is more compassionate. It's not as militant. It's easier to preach against something that's not your struggle. Through this situation, this humiliation has made me walk in humility.
AP: How do you expect people to listen to you now?
Tribbett: I don't know. It's been very difficult to face people who look up to you. ... But this situation made people see that leaders are not above what they teach. I'll never choose this again, but I'm grateful that it happened.
AP: How much has your relationship with your wife changed?
Tribbett: Every second, it's like we are texting each other. We've been married for 13 years, but it's kind of like we are dating again. Personally, this is a fresh start for me as a husband and a father.
AP: What type of advice would you give to someone who is toying with the idea of cheating?
Tribbett: Don't trust yourself. You're thinking to yourself, "We'll just text." Your limits are going to keep getting broader and broader. That's how we deceive ourselves. You need to flee. Run!
AP: How about the ones who have followed through with the act?
Tribbett: I will say it's tough, but restoration is possible. ... God is able to restore your marriage and bring it back to life. I'm a witness to that. I thought it was a wrap! I wasn't concerned about my career. It's all about total submission, total surrender. The temptation will come back only to show your deliverance.
AP: How has the breakup between you and G.A. gone so far?
Tribbett: I was so excited about the new, but didn't consider the end. One of the things that had to end was G.A. I stood up before the choir, which was the saddest day of my life, and told them I had to release them. But we're still family and we'll always be family.
AP: What should people expect from your new album?
Tribbett: It's definitely more about the heart than the hype. It's not a sad CD, saying, "I messed up." It's not that at all. Expect to see where I was, where I am and where I'm going to be.