I’m lying. There will be no other bullshit. I’m focusing solely on that insane idea that hurt people hurt people so let’s cut them some slack!
That seems to be a popular saying in the infidelity world. You can’t really hold it against the cheater; after all, they’re hurt and you know that hurt people hurt people.
What bullshit! It is yet another excuse to excuse the inexcusable. I cheated on you because I’ve been hurt before.
Stand in line. I’m pretty sure I’ve said that before.
I’m wondering, what kind of hell do I get to heap upon others? I’ve been hurt. I was moved across the country, had my whole life ripped out from under me to start all over in the land we call Virginia. It was supposed to be a better life. This was his dream job. We were going to buy our dream house and be able to give our kids a wonderful future. A year into that new life, a year spent struggling to acclimate, I was hit over the head with the news that my darling husband was cheating on me yet again with his whore cousin.
You all know the story by now. Eventually I was forced to move out of my home, sell off or leave behind pretty much every tangible item I ever owned as an adult, and move in with my mother where I sleep on the couch to this day. I worked two jobs, stocking shelves at one of them. I worked twelve and sixteen hour days, going in at 2 in the morning some days and working until 8 in the evening. Even after finally finding full time employment I worked two jobs, going in at 4 am and working before coming home to pick my daughter up and take her to school, and then coming back home to get ready for a full day at work. I had very little money, even working two jobs. I begged for death for many months. And in the meantime Cousinfucker and Harley lived it up.
New puppies, a new house, going places, doing things. He was living a dream and I was living a nightmare.
So what do I get to do to other people? Because I’ve very clearly been hurt. Do I get to steal from others? Do I get to kill? Do I just get to fuck with other people’s minds, because after all, I’ve been hurt? Do I get to cheat and lie and excuse it all with that ridiculous, “hurt people hurt people” bullshit?
What about my kids? Both of them have essentially been abandoned by their father. Their lives, too, were torn apart- first when we left Utah and the only life they really knew, and second when they found out a mere one year later that their father was cheating on me and we were going to divorce. Let’s not forget the following year when I got to break the news that we were going to have to move yet again!
What kind of sociopathic tendencies can we excuse in them? Can they bully other kids and get away with it? Can they do drugs and abuse alcohol? We’ll excuse all of it because they’ve suffered. They’ve had a hardship. Let’s not expect any civilized behavior out of them. Look at what kind of a father they have for an example!
What about the mobster? He was faced with a lying, cheating, alcoholic wife for a good twelve years. I would imagine he has built up quite a bit of “hurt people hurt people” currency. He ended up pulling up roots (selling his kids’ childhood home, selling his business) and moving from his beloved New England down to Virginia thanks to her behavior. He has endured much humiliation at the hands of his wife, and to this day she continues to spread malicious lies about him. I think he’s entitled to be a dick to pretty much whomever. He’s definitely been hurt. Does that excuse him mistreating me? Cheating on me? Lying to me?
Or what about my cousin? She lost her son three days after he arrived in Afghanistan. What kind of horrible things does she get to do? You want to talk about hurt? I can’t imagine a greater hurt than losing a child.
I have a friend from a previous life that I keep up with through Facebook. In the last several years she has lost her young nephew to a brain tumor, her father to cancer, and she herself was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. I figure she’s good for at least one free gas station robbery, or maybe a pistol whipping of someone. Since we want to stay away from criminal activity what else could she do? Berate bank tellers and food servers? Harass crossing guards and grocery store clerks? Ignore her husband and child?
It’s a cop out. It’s an excuse. People don’t cheat because they’ve been hurt before. They cheat because they feel entitled to cheat. They cheat because the payoff of the affair is worth losing their relationship if they’re discovered. Actually, I take that back. They don’t think they’ll ever be discovered. I think another huge part of it is we’re so used to reading stuff that urges us to forgive, urges us to reconcile. Why, your partner practically owes it to you to forgive you! And not just forgive you but to figure out where their part comes in, how they failed you as a partner. It takes two, we’re frequently told; therefore, they need to figure out where they went wrong that made you cheat on them. Anything less is just giving up. Obviously the relationship wasn’t that important to them so see, you weren’t wrong to cheat; they must not have loved you enough.
Do you want to know an interesting fact? It has long been touted that most people who abuse their children have been victims of abuse themselves. I was curious one day so I looked up the statistics of abused children growing up and abusing their own children. The way it is talked about you would almost think it’s a foregone conclusion that if you were abused as a child you will go on to abuse your own child. Did you know that it is only roughly one third of those abused kids that will continue the cycle of abuse? One third.
That means two thirds of them were abused and vowed to do better. Two thirds of them didn’t settle for the excuse that they were abused and therefore their fate was to abuse their own children. They learned what not to do. They vowed they would never heap that kind of abuse on someone else. Two thirds of them made that choice. One third of them used it as justification.
Yes, studies show that the person abusing his or her child probably was abused himself or herself. The more important statistic, though, is that not even close to everyone who was abused goes on to perpetrate more abuse on others.
Where do you fall? Are you going to wreck havoc upon other people’s lives and justify that by telling everyone you’ve been hurt? Or will that circle of hurt stop with you?
See, the thing about excuses is that it doesn’t change anything. It just tries to explain bad behavior away. As I have long said, since I was 21 years old, “Your past may explain your behavior, but it doesn’t excuse it.” I think that is a far more helpful model to live by.