I think we’ve all heard that before. Usually spoken when someone does something we would not be able to do, or maybe something we wouldn’t ever want to do. As in:
You celebrate all of the holidays with your cheating ex and the AP? Oh, you’re a better person than me!
You invited your cheating ex and the AP over for dinner? You’re a better person than me!
You met up with the AP and had a heart to heart? You’re a better person than me!
You don’t hate the AP and you guys go get mani/pedis together? You’re a better person than me!
You bought baby gifts for the affair baby so your kids could give their new “sibling” something? You’re a better person than me!
Are they though? Aren’t they just better at eating shit sandwiches?
Then, of course, you get the whole, “It’s so great that you are moving on and not letting bitterness and anger rule your life.” Because obviously if you’re not best friends with your ex-husband’s ho then you must be bitter and/or angry. Who wouldn’t want to be besties with the person that fucked your husband behind your back and helped blow up your life? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Do you really have to eat shit sandwiches in order to prove you’re no longer bitter and have a fulfilling life without the fuckwit in it? I say, “No. No, I do not.” I don’t need to be friends with someone in order to prove that I don’t hate them. I don’t need to buy them gifts, have them over for dinner, or have heart to heart conversations with them either. Not being friends does not equal remaining bitter or angry. It could simply equal rock solid boundaries.
Why do we keep perpetuating this idea that the only healthy way to divorce is by cozying up to the people that hurt us? Do we want to encourage people to debase themselves in order to prove something to others? I’m not encouraging people to deliberately be antagonistic. By all means, be civil when you must interact. But this idea that you need to celebrate the holidays together for the sake of the children, or that you must welcome the interloper with open arms as another parent? No fucking way. It is not necessary.
I’m sure that in a lot of cases the divorcing couple and the AP could have an amicable relationship. How difficult is it for the cheating spouse and affair partner to be amicable? They weren’t blindsided. They’re skipping off into the sunset, living their brand new shiny lives. They haven’t lost a damn thing. You wanna act like you’re friends? That would be swell! It’s image management at its finest.
Look! Look! What we did wasn’t that bad? Would my jilted spouse hang around me and my paramour if what we did was so awful? Look at what great friends we are! All is forgiven! I’m still a wonderful person despite the fact that I lied and cheated. My affair partner is still a wonderful person despite the fact that they fuck married people.
I don’t know why this narrative gets so much play. Nor do I understand why so many betrayed people buy into it but I really wish it would stop. You don’t have to befriend the person who gutted you, whether that’s your spouse or the affair partner. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Go live your best life and let the swine roll around in the muck. You don’t owe them a minute more of your time.