Got Guilt?

I was reading a blog.  I read many blogs if I’m honest.  One theme I’ve noticed is people who feel guilty about the fact that their husbands have cheated. Or people who have not disclosed anything about the affair to people IRL.

Hey, it’s your life and I try very hard not to tell people what to do; however, I feel very bad for those people who have no support in real life.  I don’t know how you manage to get through this without leaning on somebody.  I didn’t tell anywhere close to the same amount of people the first time I caught Cousinfucker cheating.  I did tell three people- two of them lived approximately 1500 miles away.  Then again, I was trying to reconcile.

The thing with reconciliation that makes it so difficult is that you want to protect your spouse but you also need your own support.  Being the good little wife that I was I didn’t want to make things more difficult for Cousinfucker.  Oh, the shame!  The horror if people found out he was a lying cheater!  So, with very few exceptions I kept it to myself and tried to work through it on my own.

Here is a different way of looking at it though.  If a cheater wants to reconcile, part of showing remorse, IMO, is putting on your big boy/girl panties and being accountable to the people closest to you.  Yes, I fucked around on this person you love.  Face the awkwardness!  Cheaters cannot have it both ways- it’s not a big deal, get over it…. but I get to maintain my secrecy about the affair (which is a Minor Thing Really).  That is from Chump Lady.  I think it’s brilliant.  Either cheating is no big deal, or it is.

This is another tidbit that I chewed on (and this one is all mine):  He never cared or appreciated the fact that I walked a tightrope for him.  I think he figured he was owed confidentiality.  Oh, he cried right after I left to go to my stepdad’s funeral and told me he deserved to have everyone know what he had done, but I don’t think he meant it.  He was feeling sorry for himself and playing the victim like he always does.  I don’t necessarily think it would have led to a different outcome if I had been more upfront with everyone.  Perhaps I would have learned sooner that he was full of shit and wanted a reconciliation based simply on his one apology.  Maybe I would have figured out he wasn’t capable of doing anything difficult before I uprooted my kids.

Meanwhile, I’m walking the tightrope, trying to protect him so that no one thinks he’s a “bad” person and he’s busy badmouthing me to everyone he possibly can.

“She’s going to leave me!”

“She hates me!”

“She only stays for the money!”

“She’s left me up here to cry all day; she never checks on me.”

“I mean nothing to her.”

“We haven’t had sex in ten years.”

Yes, I’m trying to figure out how to explain that he thinks I’m going to leave him without going into detail about his previous affair and he’s telling people I hate him.  I’m trying to find someone to stay with him at the hospital should Jezebel come to visit because I don’t want her alone with him so that she can continue to urge him to leave me, and I can’t explain exactly “why” I don’t want her alone with him.  Or if I do say she urged him to leave me then again I can’t explain exactly “why” she would do such a thing.  But he had no problems telling Blockhead I stayed with him solely for the money and I left him upstairs to cry all by himself without ever checking on him.  I think my favorite part of that story was when I confronted him and told him he had thrown me under the bus and he countered with, “No!  You took it out of context.  I was actually trying to protect you!”  With protection like that I don’t think I need enemies!

Fast forward to D-Day #2.  Do you think I kept it to myself this time?  Oh hell no!  I told everyone.  I told my mom who told my brother and my sister-in-law.  I told my former neighbors.  I told my bffs. I told several of my cousins (remember, I don’t sleep with mine).  Hell, I told the lady down at the vet’s office when she complimented my purse!  I even got on Facebook several months later and sent private messages to pretty much everyone I considered a friend, and not just a FB friend.  Several of my kids’ teachers know (from back in our former state).  People I volunteered alongside in PTA know.  Other gym moms know.  I didn’t shut up.  And you know why?  Because I’m not ashamed.  If anyone should be ashamed or feel guilty it is him.  I didn’t fuck my cousin.  I didn’t move my spouse and kids 2000 miles across the country and blow up their lives to hook up with a white trash skank. I’m not a cheater.  Him cheating does not reflect poorly on me at all.  He owns his behavior.

I’ve bought into the whole, “Oh, if only I hadn’t had that Facebook page!” rhetoric.  Seriously, I’ve beaten myself up over it.  If only I hadn’t created the page.  If only I had stuck with the nondescript name or made it private or friends only.  If only I had slapped a happy smile on my face and pretended like everything was perfect.  You know what?  It doesn’t matter!  If it hadn’t been that, it would have been something else.  Even if I take it all the way down to the end and say, “Sam, if you hadn’t had that FB page then he wouldn’t have had a downward spiral.  If he hadn’t had a downward spiral then he wouldn’t have been crying on his mom’s shoulder, his sister’s shoulder, his best friend’s shoulder.  If he hadn’t been crying on their shoulders then they never would have encouraged him to leave you and Tammy Faye never would have encouraged Harley to call him.  You could have gone on happily ever after!” I still don’t buy into the blame game.  If all it took for him to cheat was his mom encouraging that whore to call him then what have I lost?  If all it took was Jezebel urging him to leave me then what did I lose?  He’s a coward, a drama queen, a whining baby- all with bad character and poor morals.  If the only way we could remain happily married was for there to be absolutely no problems ever, and for me to always be in a good mood while cheering him on, then again, what have I lost?  I needed him and he bailed on me.

I hope that if you are reading this and you are one of those that *does* feel ashamed because of a cheating spouse that you’ll be able to slough that off like dead skin on your feet.  It’s not about you.  It’s about the cheater.  Those of us who have been cheated on, betrayed, duped, and taken advantage of have nothing to be ashamed of.  You didn’t do it.  You don’t need to own it.  It’s *their* bad, not yours!

As for me, I think there might be a few people I haven’t already told.  I need to get on that.  Later!

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5 thoughts on “Got Guilt?

  1. You are a hoot! However…I am in agreement with you. I spent the first few weeks in utter shock, devastation and despair; I could not work, I could not get out of bed. I was completely and absolutely blind-sided. And then I did tell…I tried to find safe people and mostly landed on those (had a few misfires). But I quickly (within a few months) was convinced by excellent counsel and sisters-in-betrayal that his cheating was about HIM…not ME…At first I blamed me, and knew if I’d just said something different or acted different or looked different, etc…but that just is not even remotely the truth. I see part of my healing (paramount to me at that point and STILL) not having to hide in shame or go on pretending any longer. HUSBAND? He agreed. He owned his shame, he apologized to people he had betrayed through pretending he was something he wasn’t, and cut off – completely – the people who were complicit in his dalliances. Honestly, if he hadn’t done those things, I wouldn’t have agreed to try to reconcile. Cultural acceptance and norms, in my humble opinion, are a huge reason this double-world exists…and whoever will listen, I want them to know it will never exist for me again. HUGS to you!!!

    Like

    1. Thank you for the hugs; I can always use them.

      I’m glad your husband is stepping up and doing what needs to be done. I’m glad you’re not owning “your part” in his affairs. What bullshit! “Our part”? I own nothing! It’s inspiring to hear that the message is getting out there that it’s not our fault and that nothing justifies cheating.

      I blamed myself a lot in the beginning. I don’t anymore. He chose his behavior. And like I said above, if it hadn’t been this, it would have been something else. It was something I worried about way back in the beginning because all he ever wanted to do was focus on the future. We never examined what made him think turning to someone else was an appropriate reaction to unhappiness. Big mistake on my part.

      I tried to reply on your post about marriage menus but for some reason WordPress kicked me off and now I can’t even find your comment that I was replying to! I’ll try going back later.

      Liked by 1 person

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