Cheating In An Open Relationship, Part 2

I’m on a roll so I may as well keep going.

This is from a Newsweek “article” that explores Reddit threads. This is a new one though. It’s called TrueOffMyChest and not the usual AmITheAsshole.

Unsurprisingly, 52 percent of Ashley Madison members think that society would benefit from normalizing non-monogamy. 60 percent believed the divorce rate would drop, while 50 percent felt there would be less pressure to meet a partner’s sexual needs.

Oh, Ashley Madison members think this? Well, it must be true then! I know I base all of my decisions and thoughts off of people who sign up online to defraud their partners.

I’ll bite. So 52% of you think society as a whole would benefit from normalizing non-monogamy and 60% of you think the divorce rate would drop? Hmmm… why is that? Is it because you once again place the onus of infidelity on the faithful spouse who doesn’t want to “share”? You think that being allowed to have sex with other people suddenly makes all the lies and deceit go away? You wouldn’t have to be slithering around a website, using a username, and meeting up behind your spouse’s back if only you had free reign to hump anything that moved?

Interesting. I think the woman from the previous would disagree.

And then along comes the writer who tells her tale. A year ago her husband told her he was no longer physically attracted to her (definitely a her issue) and he wanted to open their marriage. Not sure if this is important to the story, but it does note the couple hadn’t had sex in almost five years, since their youngest child was born.

The husband assures his wife that he loves her “more than anything in the world” and tells her that the rest of the relationship is perfect but he has to have sex or he’s going to go crazy.

Surprisingly, the wife does not toss him out on his ass. Instead, she asks questions. What is his definition of an open marriage? What are the rules, if any? They discuss it for several weeks and eventually the wife agrees to it. The rules are as follow: 1) They won’t bring new partners to their home, 2) They will always use protection, and 3) They will keep each other up to date with who they are with and where they are.

Pretty simple, right? Nothing outrageous. The wife didn’t even have a list of people who were off limits. No: Don’t fuck my sister. Don’t fuck my boss. Don’t see anybody more than two times.

In this case, they didn’t even have an, “I have to be there and participate, too,” rule. They were what I like to call free range open marriage. Some couples prefer to play together and can’t imagine doing it any other way while others, like this couple, opt to have encounters away from their primary partner.

Within a week the husband was meeting new women, showing his wife their pictures, and being gone most nights. Meanwhile, the wife is at home taking care of their kids and as she put it, “feeling like shit.” To her credit, she decided she needed to give it time instead of pulling the plug on this experiment.

The wife goes on to explain that she needs to feel a connection to her sexual partners. She eventually begins to flirt with a co-worker. The co-worker reciprocates. She tells him about the arrangement she has with her husband. The co-worker, after giving it some thought, decides he’s okay with it and agrees to meet up with her.

Wife goes home, asks her husband (who, remember, is out banging everything in sight) if he is doing anything on Friday. Husband says no, she tells him about the co-worker and shows him a picture. Tells him she’s meeting up with this guy on Friday. Husband was silent.

Interesting development. He loved an open marriage when he was the one showing pictures and meeting up with various women while the little wife stayed home and took care of his progeny. Now he’s a little hushed. Interesting.

To no one’s shock Friday rolls around and the husband texts to let the wife know he’s stuck at work and couldn’t watch the kids. I’m sure it was just a one off. But no! The story continues… This happened for several weeks. Wife’s supposed to meet up with co-worker. Husband is stuck at work. No one to watch the progeny. How does this keep happening?

Finally, after being annoyed that her plans must continually be canceled due to her husband’s sudden heavy workload the wife begins to think outside the box. We shall meet for lunch. She schedules a nooner.

The wife writes that it was amazing and she had missed this so much. She felt desired and lusted after. It was perfect.

You know who wasn’t happy? Her husband. Mr. Let’s Open The Marriage himself. He was livid! He insisted she had broken a rule by not telling him beforehand. The wife replied that she had told him and that he had known for weeks that she was trying to make time to meet up with this guy. I hope she pointed out also that she would have met him far earlier if not for husband’s unfortunate job responsibilities making it impossible for him to be home to watch their children.

He gives her the silent treatment for the rest of the night and then wakes her up in the middle night for sex. Rude! The writer goes on to say they had sex 3 times that night and they have had sex every night since.

Conveniently the husband is now attracted to her again and he believes that they need to close the marriage again.

Again, interesting.

I’m being facetious when I say it’s amazing how often they want an open marriage until they realize that you, too, get to fuck around. Then it’s not so much fun.

The commenters had a lot to say:

Read this story so many times. Husband suggests open marriage to get a free pass to screw around, at the end, wife finds out she liked the arrangement, husband is furious. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.

He wanted to have his cake and eat it, too. He actively did things to avoid having you go out and meet J but he was able to go out and do whoever, whenever.

Your husband didn’t want an open relationship. He wanted to be able to screw around.

Sadly, another commenter notes: I hate to tell you this but I don’t think there’s a lot of options for your relationship long term.

I will say once again, louder for those in the back, these two posts have not been about whether open relationships are good or bad. They have been about the hypocrisy of people advocating for an open relationship when in reality what they want is an open license to fuck around. They say they want an open relationship and that monogamy isn’t natural (neither is shitting indoors and flushing a toilet but I don’t hear anyone complaining about that) but what they really want is the ability to go out and fuck around while the partner remains at home- cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children, maybe even bringing home the paycheck. Yes, I know. Not all couples in an open relationship feel that way. Perfectly aware of that. But there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people out there who use open relationships/polyamory as their get out of jail free card. Honestly, I think those who are polyamorous should be more upset with those people for distorting it than with me for pointing out that polyamory and open relationships isn’t a cure all for infidelity.

I think this final comment from someone on that thread pretty much sums it up:

You see, the problem is that a lot of the posts recently are failed relationships or failing marriages that resort to poly or open relationships to fix their problems. Shockingly, it rarely works.

Cheating In An Open Relationship, Part 1

A little over a year ago I wrote a post about Willow Smith discussing polyamory on her mother’s Red Table talk show. For the record, I am not polyamorous; I would not do well at all in a relationship like that and I know that about myself. I have known people who were in open relationships. Were being the operative word. Through them I have heard other stories of open relationships. Because, you know, if you’re in an open relationship you typically meet up and play with others in open relationships.

I’ve said before and I will say it again, I don’t care if you have an open relationship. As long as you both know you’re in an open relationship and no one has been coerced into it you go right ahead and have as many partners as you’d like. By coerced I mean those who are doing this because they feel the only way to keep their relationship is to agree to it. You hear a lot of cheaters suddenly claim to be poly when they’re caught and then they tell their blindsided spouses that the only way the marriage can be saved is if they agree to an open marriage. Not cool.

I want to be EXTREMELY clear that my whole beef with Willow was her idea that if you are enlightened enough to open your relationship and be with multiple people you will prevent divorce, more specifically, divorce due to infidelity. These are not my words. These are her words. She says at one point, and I’m going to paraphrase this because I’m not looking the interview up again, that she’s done a lot of research and a lot of marriages end because of infidelity. The theory seems to be that if you eliminate monogamy then you eliminate infidelity and you eliminate most divorce.

Just as I’ve been told by those who are poly that they get so tired of hearing that the world presents as though you can only have monogamy or cheating I’m a little tired of hearing people say that polyamorous relationships are a magical elixir that eliminate cheating.

If you were to believe that then you discount the idea that cheating is about entitlement and shitty character. That way of thinking actually once again makes cheating all about sex. It puts the onus of infidelity right back on the person who was betrayed. The cheated on spouse wasn’t meeting the other person’s needs.

I wrote back then that being able to fuck multiple people will not stop a cheater from cheating because cheating is not just about having sex with another person. It’s about lying and deceiving and having a power imbalance.

About a month ago a woman posted on a support forum I’m a part of. She was livid. And hurt. She had just found out her husband had cheated. When I say just found out I’m talking like maybe four days earlier she had discovered this. She goes on to say, and again- her words, that what makes this even worse is that they are in the lifestyle; they have an open relationship. This woman her husband cheated with (let’s call her Tiffany) was a woman who was supposed to come over and play with them later that week. Instead the husband met up with Tiffany on his own and fucked her in the woman’s new house that was being renovated. Tiffany then canceled on them. I don’t recall exactly how the woman found out but to say she was unhappy was an understatement. She went on to say that her husband was allowed to have sex with anyone he wanted but the agreement was she was there, too, and they did it together.

When I say that couples in open relationships still have rules I am not pulling this out of my ass. I may not know what each individual couple’s rules are but I know that almost all of them have them. When you break those rules, you have cheated. Just ask that woman. She was furious with him. She was hurt by him, and she absolutely felt betrayed by him, open relationship or not. She is not agreeing that because she let her husband have sex with other women that he is entitled to do so behind her back. There is a rule there. You can have sex with other women but I get to join in. He broke that rule. She absolutely labeled it as cheating and she was astonished that he would do such a thing, especially when he had unfettered access to any woman he wanted.

So we’re back full circle to: Cheating is not about the shitty relationship and it’s not about what the cheated on spouse did or didn’t do; cheating is about entitlement and shitty character. And polyamory isn’t going to save you from that.

Wife: You can have sex with any woman you want. My only rule is that I want to join in. We do this together as a couple.

Husband: You’re not the boss of me! I’m going to have sex with any woman I want and I’m going to do it on my terms. I’m going to call her up and have her meet me at our new house and I’m going to fuck her on every piece of furniture and every single room in that house and you’re not going to have a clue it happened. When she cancels on us you’re going to think it just didn’t work out. for some reason but I’ll know the truth. I pulled one over on you and fucked her without your knowledge. And the best part is every time you walk into our kitchen or sit on that sofa you’ll have no idea what happened there, but I’ll vividly recall fucking another woman there.

This particular husband was an entitled ass. It was not about his wife not meeting his needs. It was not about monogamy not being natural. Hell, he wasn’t even being expected to be monogamous. He had a gorgeous wife who was willing to let him have sex with any other woman- so long as she got to participate, too. This was not enough for him. He wanted a gorgeous, hot wife, he wanted to enjoy having sex with other women, AND he wanted to do it behind his wife’s back.

She went on to question how many of the other women who canceled on them had actually met up with her husband separately beforehand.

It’s not about monogamy versus non-monogamy. It’s about entitled jackasses. Polyamory is not going to fix that. That woman’s husband is a prime example.

It wasn’t enough that her husband was going to fuck Tiffany on Saturday while engaging in a threesome with his wife. No, he wanted to fuck Tiffany without his wife having a clue. Fucking Tiffany in front of his wife wasn’t nearly as hot as fucking her behind his wife’s back. An open relationship, which this woman apparently readily agreed to, didn’t save her from infidelity. Her husband still broke the rules, and in doing so broke her heart.

Anchor, Rock; Rock, Anchor

A woman had written a letter to Chump Lady. She was five months pregnant. It had been a very rough pregnancy, with morning sickness, bleeding, acid reflux, UTIs, and an infection which could endanger the baby and will require IV antibiotics for the mom during and following labor. She goes on to say that she works full-time as she is the breadwinner. And she’s only missed two days of work despite all the problems she’s experienced during this pregnancy! On top of that she just found out that their landlord is selling the home they currently live in. Meanwhile, her boyfriend is whining about not getting enough blow jobs and he announces he is going to go see a prostitute in order to “get his needs met.” Actually, per the letter, dickhead left the house and upon returning let her know that he had been “seen to” by the prostitute and was now “satisfied” for the time being.

Thankfully the letter writer realized that this was unacceptable and she could no longer be in a relationship with him. The hump she was having a hard time getting over though was how to disentangle herself from this man she considered “her rock” and life partner.

That’s when Chump Lady framed it another way:  He is NOT your rock. He’s an anchor.

Wow! Mic drop. How many people out there can relate to that? We think this person we’re going through life with has our back. This person is our rock, our safety, our savior, our person.

It’s only once we go no contact and get away from that relationship that we can see the truth. They never had our back. They were never a full partner. They were never safe. They were never in our corner. They were not a rock. They were an anchor.

Tethered to them we begin to sink. Many times we don’t even realize we’re being pulled under. Without them we grow wings. We accomplish things we never thought were possible. Don’t let them convince you they’re a rock when they’re really an anchor. Soar; don’t sink.

Two Sides To Every Story Revisited

I was re-reading one of my very first blog posts. It talked about this idea that there are always two sides to everyone’s story and you shouldn’t judge, blah, blah, blah. You know the rest.

My thesis in that post was: No, there are truths and there are lies. If my story is Jerry Lee cheated on me and abandoned his kids then either that’s true or it’s a lie. In order for there to be two sides Jerry Lee would have to say, “No, I didn’t do those things. Sam thinks I did but we were already separated when I started sleeping with Harley. And furthermore, I didn’t abandon my kids. She poisoned them against me.”

Looking back though I realized I missed the real intent behind that bullshit. I’ve come to the conclusion that when people say, “There are always two sides to every story,” what they really mean is… “Maybe he or she had a really good reason for cheating on you.”

Cheating Is NOT Just Sex Between Two Consenting Adults

I read a post the other day about a young mother, not quite 40, who was in the hospital dying. Her cheating husband gave her HPV. The HPV turned to cancer, which turned to a four year battle fighting for her life, and in the end, it eventually killed her. 

She leaves behind a son who is a college freshman and a daughter in sixth grade.

Two kids have lost their mother way too early because of two “consenting adults”. It’s difficult to tell them with a straight face that the affair was between their mother and their father and didn’t concern them when that affair ended up killing their mother and left them without her. Jesus Christ, those kids are 18 or 19 and 11 or 12 and they will spend the rest of their lives without a mother. Because of their dad.

The person who spoke about this said that fortunately they have a good relationship with their dad but I wonder…. Do they know what happened to their mom? Not just that she had cancer and it eventually killed her. Do they know their father transmitted HPV to their mother and is responsible for her death? I can’t imagine ever wanting to have anything to do with my parent if their behavior killed my other parent.

I think about those who say that people who cheat on their spouse can still be good moms or dads. Or the ones who say the affair is between the parents and the children shouldn’t know why their lives are being ripped apart. The ones who say those are adult matters and that when you cheat on your spouse, leave them even, you’re not cheating on your kids or leaving them.

His affair literally led to her death. Good dads don’t kill their children’s mom. It’s a little difficult to try to sell this idea that the affair was between good ol’ Dad, his whore, and their mom. It was simply adult issues, kids; don’t worry your cute little heads about it. Oh, until your mom gets cancer and dies. And then we’ll do what good people do and we’ll lie to you and tell you there was no way to prevent it and that it was just one of those things that happen. Nope, no correlation to Dad going off and fucking strange.

I think about all of those people who say it’s none of their business and not their place to tell a person that their spouse is cheating on them. Maybe if she had known she could have sought earlier testing. Maybe she wouldn’t have continued sleeping with him. Maybe she would still be alive today.

Cheating is not just consensual sex between two adults. It absolutely CAN and DOES affect other people outside of the spouses and the affair accomplice. Sometimes you end up losing the life you used to live; other times you end up losing your life.


Whoopi Disappoints Me

Have you heard about the Reddit thread where people ask if they’re the asshole in the situation they’re in? If not, I assure you it exists.

Right before Thanksgiving a woman wrote in asking if she was the asshole because she didn’t want to invite her cheating neighbor and his side piece to Thanksgiving dinner.

As she states in her post: I am part of a group of friends in my neighborhood. We take turns hosting dinner parties between our households. One of our group recently moved out because her husband was cheating with his secretary. In the last month he moved her in and is acting as if everything is normal.

Turns out the letter writer was due to host Thanksgiving on her month because none of the people in the group could go be with family that year. The cheating neighbor asked the letter writer’s husband about the plans for that month, assuming he and the mistress would be invited. When her husband informed him that no, they weren’t invited and that due to the circumstances none of the wives wanted either of them around, the mistress jumped into action.

She approached me right as I was getting home from work so I’m assuming she was waiting for me. She wants to try to mend fences and build friendships with the wives of her boyfriend’s friends and neighbors as she’s now part of the community.

The letter writer was having none of that. She simply told her she didn’t want to be friends with a woman that screws around with married men and let her know that her “boyfriend” stopped being her friend the minute he destroyed his family and broke her friend’s heart.

Not to leave you hanging but of course, cheating neighbor was furious because the home wrecker was upset.  How dare you upset his side piece? And in a shocking twist the husband stuck up for his wife, told his friend he didn’t approve of what he had done either, and let him know his wife didn’t wish to continue a friendship with him or his whore (although in the thread she was called his girlfriend).

They discussed this on The View. How I managed to see this snippet I’m not sure. I don’t watch The View. Maybe it came up on my Google feed? Anyway, Whoopi brought this up and she was all but sneering at this woman. She said all the typical things you hear in their defense: It’s none of her business. She has no idea what their marriage was like. It was presumptive. Maybe the wife was relieved to find out her husband was cheating because it gave her an out. And then she goes on to say that when she has friends that break up she remains friends with both of them because you just don’t know what goes on in other people’s relationships.

Balderdash! I have this to say in return: No one is entitled to my friendship. I have every right to end a friendship for whatever reason. Hey, you wore purple on a Tuesday. I’m done! You watch The Bachelor. I’m done! You’re a Tom Brady fan. I’m outta here! Your favorite M&Ms are the brown ones. Nope. It can be anything.

Obviously those are some extreme (and stupid) examples but honestly, anything can be a deal breaker. And believe me, if I’m going to kick someone to the street for preferring brown M&Ms I sure as hell am not going to be embracing a husband stealing, married-men-fucking whore that helped destroy my good friend’s marriage. I don’t give a shit if she didn’t “owe” her anything or not. Don’t shit on my friend and think I’m going to welcome you into my life. If I don’t want to be around your lying, cheating piece of shit new beau then I don’t want to be around you either.

Furthermore, no one is entitled to be invited to my dinner parties either. You don’t get to demand an invitation. You certainly don’t get to demand I invite your mistress or play nice with her.

I don’t care if I supposedly don’t know the whole story or that I only know my friend’s side of what happened. Guess what? She’s my friend. Her side is the only one I care about! I don’t care if someone thinks it isn’t any of my business. I can’t un-know what I know and if I know someone is a lying, dirty dog then I know that whether it’s my business or not. And once I know I can decide I don’t want to be around that person.

I’ll say it again for those in the back. NO ONE is entitled to my friendship, my time, or an invitation to my social gathering. You want to be invited to my neighborhood Thanksgiving? Don’t fuck my friend’s husband. You want to continue being invited? Don’t cheat on my friend.

Stupid People’s Comments Regarding Affairs

A brave soul from another site replied to an article written by the mistress on Scary Mommy. I don’t know exactly what the person said, probably something controversial and sensible like, “There is no excuse for cheating. You have options. Communication. Therapy. Leaving before you find a mistress.” She later reported that she was getting eaten alive on the Scary Mommy site. I guess they have a disproportionate number of cheaters and cheater apologists on that site. Good to know.

I thought I’d share with you some of their wisdom.

Stop with the woe is me. Nobody owes you anything. You don’t own someone because you married him or her.

Nobody owes me anything? Oh, they most certainly do! We’re not talking about any random person out there. We’re talking about a person who has asked me to marry them. Not only did they ask me to marry them, they went through with it and exchanged vows with me. They’ve made promises to me. We’ve made plans together. I’ve given up my own dreams to help support theirs. We’ve made agreements and decisions based upon us being partners. Oh hell yes they owe me something. They owe me honesty. They owe me loyalty. They owe me fidelity. If they didn’t want to “owe” me any of those things then they shouldn’t have married me. This isn’t some casual coffee date; this was supposed to be a lifetime commitment.

I moved all over the country for Jerry Lee. I gave up my established life time after time so that he could advance at work. I left friends behind. I left family behind. I held down the fort while he was living and working hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from us. I agreed to uproot my life and the lives of my children from Utah where we were perfectly happy to Virginia based solely upon what he wanted. I cooked for that man. I made him a plate every night. I did his laundry. I took care of his children. I cleaned his house. I bought his groceries. I took care of everything. You bet your ass he owes me. I was not some random woman he passed on the street. I was his wife of 20 years and the mother of his children.

This attitude is why I have the issues I do with truly merging my life with another person. It’s why I am so reluctant to share everything with someone else, to go all in knowing I could lose everything once again. You have all these idiots out there who act like getting married is no different than going to the movies with someone. You get fucked over? Oh well! They don’t owe you anything. You don’t own them just because you got married.

Honestly, if marriage means so little then why on earth would anyone ever get married? Why not just casually date for the rest of your life? That’s about how much importance some of these people put on marriage and the vows you take. Why do anything for the other person? Move across the country or even out of the country for your spouse’s dream job? Give up your job to stay at home and raise the children? Put your career second to your spouse’s? Give up time with your own family in order to spend it with your spouse’s family? Compromise at all on anything? Why? Why would you when they don’t owe you anything at all and all of those things you are willing to do for your partner don’t mean anything?

I see it every day on Chump Lady’s blog and the Chump Nation Facebook page. Women who have been stay at home moms for 5, 10, 20 years. Discarded for the new shiny. Left without a home. Left without any income. In many cases there is no alimony. They’re left trying to rebuild their lives while the ex-husband rides off blissfully into the sunset with the new supply. And society’s answer to that is: They don’t owe you anything. You don’t own them.

Fuck that. They absolutely do owe us something. And needless to say, but I’m going to say it  anyway, expecting fidelity does not equal thinking you own someone. It means you expect them to be faithful.

I would go so far as to say I think all of us realize we don’t own our spouses. We do, however, have expectations. If you’re unhappy and you want out, then do it ethically. Get out before you start fucking around. Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t waste our lives while you begin a new one without ever cluing us in until you’re ready to discard us.

Therapy? No. If you’re unhappy therapy won’t fix anything.

Really? The only thing that will fix being unhappy is having an affair? You sure about that? 

I don’t think the person who suggested therapy believes that it will automatically cure any ills within a relationship, but it does seem to be a much more mature approach to repairing a marriage than having an affair. The person who is unhappy may find that therapy won’t save the marriage after all but it’s certainly better than screwing around behind your spouse’s back, devastating them and blowing up your children’s lives. You may still end up divorced but you’re not a cheater.

Some people don’t seek out the help they need and then wonder why their spouses chose to cheat or leave. Nobody should live a life of misery simply because he/she exchanged vows with you. Cheating is a symptom of a bad marriage/long term relationship.

Wait. So now it’s my fault that my spouse cheated? If only I had been a better little wife he might not have needed to go fuck his cousin?

No, we do not cause people to cheat on us, just like we don’t cause people to rape us, or beat us or kidnap us, or mug us. In all of those instances, people have chosen to do those things to another person. They are responsible for their choice. No one made them do it.

I always find it interesting that those who believe you caused your own abuse never think people abusing them is justified. Your husband (or wife) cheats on you? Pfft… you deserved it; if you hadn’t done A, B, or C or had done X, Y, or Z, they wouldn’t have cheated on you. You run that cheating sonofabitch down with your car? Well that is just wrong! There is no excuse for that.

I also love how there are only two choices- you live a life of misery or you cheat/leave. God forbid you actually work on your relationship. Nope, that would be too hard. It might actually take some effort. Much easier to just cheat, or call it quits. Your kids might end up suicidal or needing therapy or end up dropping out of college, but hey, if you’re happy that’s all that matters.

Cheating is a symptom of a bad marriage/long term relationship. No, it’s not. It’s a sign of shitty character and a poor moral compass. It is a choice. People are in bad relationships all the time and they don’t all cheat. Hell, most of the people who end up cheated on have horror stories about the things they endured because of the cheater. Yet they remained faithful. They continued to fight for their relationships and their families.

Too many people out here acting like they’re helpless. You have a choice. Your spouse doesn’t want you. Leave! You don’t think he or she has thought about the consequences.? It’s a message. Stop being in denial and go find someone who wants to be with you. If postpartum depression is making you intolerable to be around, then yes, your spouse may choose to not stay committed to you. You can’t be a miserable jackass and expect others to tolerate that life.

Oh, there’s so much to this I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s begin at the end: You can’t be a miserable jackass and expect others to tolerate that life. This person specifically references postpartum depression. Basically what they’re saying is if a person has an illness and they’re no longer fun they should expect their spouse to cheat and/or leave. Wow! I hope that if they are ever diagnosed with cancer or some other life threatening illness or disability that they are equally as understanding when their own spouse deserts them because they’re no longer fun.

Again it’s that whole, “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health” thing. You made vows to this person. You made a commitment. But for these people, that means nothing. Remember, being married doesn’t mean they owe you anything. You don’t own them.

Too many people out here acting like they’re helpless. You have a choice. See, that’s where you’re wrong. The choice is taken from us. We’re lied to and deceived so that we don’t have all of the information. It’ s not a level playing field. It’s rigged. That’s what cheating is all about. People are told, “Oh no! I’m not having an affair! How could you even think that?” when the reality is their spouse is in fact having an affair. They’re told they’re crazy and paranoid. The cheater is playing their part beautifully so that we don’t catch on, and if we suspect something, we’re always told we’re imagining things. “Everything’s fine. Nothing’s wrong. It’s work stress. I’m tired.” No, we are not given a choice. We’re given lies.

I also find it interesting how everything falls on the betrayed spouse. Your spouse doesn’t want you. Leave! Why am I the one that has to do anything? If my spouse is so miserable they must cheat on me then shouldn’t they be the one that leaves? It appears to me that I am the one getting shit on and yet the naysayers are looking at me and asking, “Why aren’t you doing anything about this? You need to take care of this.”

You don’t think he or she has thought about the consequences.? It’s a message.

No, I don’t think he or she has thought about the consequences. They either think they’re so damn brilliant they’ll never get caught, or they don’t believe their good chump will ever grow a backbone and start looking out for their own best interests instead of serving them. When consequences do occur they immediately try to turn it around and play the victim. Most cheaters don’t have any intentions of leaving their marriage. They enjoy eating cake. Those that do? They do not enjoy having any consequences levied. Again, they think they’re the victim when that happens.

Stop being in denial and go find someone who wants to be with you. 

Yes, because when you’ve been lied to and deceived, and your whole world implodes around you the first thing you think is, “I need to go out and find a new partner.” You’re not traumatized. You don’t have trust issues. It’s all, “Wow! I’m so lucky I get to find somebody new!” The fact that your whole life has been turned upside down and in many cases you don’t know where you’re going to live or how you’re going to pay your bills is not an issue. No, Jackass, all we’re thinking is, “I’m going to pull on my big girl (or boy) panties and find someone new. Someone who wants me.”

These people are idiots. End of story.

Random Thoughts- Rings On, Vows Kept

One of the most common questions asked after D-Day is, “How soon is too soon to start dating?”

The best answer I’ve ever seen to that question was, “When you’re ready.”

Alas, there are always those who insist you shouldn’t date until you are officially divorced. You are married until you are no longer married. Some proudly talk of wearing their rings until the divorce was finalized. Others insist upon referring to the lying, cheating spouse as their husband or wife instead of soon-to-be-ex because “I’m still married and that person is still my spouse.”

Funnily enough dating seems to be the one line in the sand that many draw when it comes to being separated but not yet divorced. No one ever says, “I would love to have fresh flowers all over my house but my husband always hated that. I’m still married so I need to respect his wishes.” Or, ”I can’t take up belly dancing until I’m divorced. Married is married and he’s always hated my passion for belly dancing. I need to respect that until the ink is dry on the divorce decree.” We don’t wait to get a new job or redecorate the bedroom or even get a new apartment until we’re fully divorced. So why the hard on for dating? I digress.

I’ve given this a lot of thought and I’ve broken it down. I would really like to thank that commenter over on Chump Lady who talked of the two parts of marriage- the legal and the spiritual parts. I truly believe that and that’s how I separate the two parts of a marriage.

First you have the legal part. As long as you have a marriage license, or a “permit” as it may be, you can go into any courtroom and have a judge marry you. It’s a little more complicated than that, but the important point is there is no need for a big, fancy church wedding. There doesn’t need to be a lot of planning. Once you have that license, that legal form, you can get married pretty much whenever. It’s a legal contract which gives you certain rights.

Then you have the spiritual part. It doesn’t have to be a church wedding in order for it to be spiritual. The important thing to note about this part is that the spiritual part concerns your feelings for this person. It’s all about love. You’re not getting married because your parents have arranged this. You’re not trying to combine your families’ fortunes. In other words, it’s not a business deal (see above regarding legal marriage). You’re marrying because you love this person.

Because you love this person you trust them. You make plans for your future with them. You might buy a house with them, have children with them, move all over the country or world with them for their career. You think of one another as a team. You’ve got each other’s backs. You plan on growing old with this person.

When your partner cheats on you they betray you. All of those things you’ve planned- together- they take away without your knowledge or approval. Having sex with someone else is only a tiny part of it. It’s everything else that accompanies that that makes it so hard. You feel like you’re going crazy because of all of the lies and the gas lighting. There may even be health implications if your spouse gets an STI and passes it along to the unsuspecting spouse. Your life as you know it is over. Many times the cheated on spouse is left in a vulnerable financial situation- how will they support their children, where will they live? Will you be able to keep your house? Will your kids have to leave their schools and their friends? Who will hire you, especially if you’ve been out of the workforce for most of your marriage? Bankruptcy and poverty are not unusual events when a spouse who has been the primary breadwinner leaves. And of course, the most obvious, they’ve been planning this new life with the new person while you’ve had no clue. You were still invested in the life the two of you shared while they were busy creating a life with someone else behind your back. All those dreams go up in smoke when your spouse steps outside of your marriage and leaves you for another person.

For those who insist that even if your spouse has moved 1000 miles away and has two children with the side piece you should remain chaste and faithful to him because you’re still married!!!! I say, “You’re delusional.” This isn’t about the fact you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold while a lying cheater does everything in their power to delay a divorce as they skip happily off into the sunset with the whore. It’s about this idea that cheating is not about the sex. It’s about the betrayal and the discard.

That’s where the legal and spiritual parts of marriage come in. Your marriage does not automatically end in the legal sense because the other person was out fucking the neighbor. Or their cousin. Whomever. That’s very true. You are still legally married. You have to have a judge sign off on your divorce. But while you are waiting for that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dating if you are ready for that. 

You haven’t blindsided anyone. Your “spouse” is not happily planning a future with you while you are busy planning one with another person. They’ve already done that. They’ve left. They’re off living their very best life with this new person. You are not Plan B. 

Furthermore, you’re not lying to them and gas lighting them. There is no sneaking around. You’re not telling them that there’s no one else. You’re not letting them invest in you while you take, take, take knowing full well that you are not faithful to them and/or are planning on leaving them.

As long as you don’t sleep with your STBX you have no chance of passing along an STD.

They are not financially invested in you while you’re out dating. You’re not siphoning off marital money to give to your new boyfriend or girlfriend, and you’re not using marital monies to fund your dates. More importantly, you dating someone is not going to lead to your STBX losing their home, having to move, and wondering how on earth they are going to support their children. They don’t have to worry about any of that because they’ve already left. There are no ramifications of you dating someone else. Nothing happens to your STBX or their life because of this.

In other words, if you choose to date while you’re still going through your divorce it’s all above board. No one is being played. It’s not being hidden. You’re not lying to buy yourself time to deplete marital funds. No one is being lied to. You and your STBX aren’t planning a future together when in reality you’re planning on dumping them. Everything is out in the open. 

I know there will be those out who disagree and insist that you are still married so you shouldn’t date, and if you do date, then you are no better than the cheater you are divorcing. To those people I say, “Bless your heart,” as I hand them a cookie as a reward. It’s got to taste better than those shit sandwiches they’re choking down.

It Brought Me To Where I Am

Oh cheaters… gotta love ‘em. Bless their selfish little hearts. I was reading on Facebook about “scandalous” cheating stories that rocked Hollywood. Spoiler alert: They were not that scandalous. Nor did they much rock Hollywood. They were all pretty run of the mill. What I took issue with though was Katharine McPhee and her response after being caught locking lips with her director.

He, of course, was married with children. Good ol’ Kat was simply married. Both marriages imploded. They aren’t together; I’m not sure the “relationship” lasted much beyond discovery. She was later quoting as saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, that she didn’t regret anything because it all led her to where she is today. Where she is today is divorced from her first husband and remarried to a man who is old enough to be her father, if not her grandfather. Her stepdaughters are older than her. But, he’s rich and famous and I’m sure her hope is that he will make her equally rich and famous. He tends to discard wives though so she had better be performing one hell of a pick me dance. I hope she’s able to keep that same attitude when her time as the latest Mrs. Foster comes to an end. Hey, Kat, it’s all leading you to where you are and were meant to be.

I’m pretty sure Claire Danes had the same attitude about her affair with Billy Crudup. He left his 7 months pregnant girlfriend for Claire. Shockingly, the relationship did not work out although they did manage to stay together for 3 years.

Actually, let me amend that. Claire’s position on this was that she was only 24 years old and in love; she felt she needed to “explore” those feelings, pregnant girlfriend be damned. She claims to have had no idea the repercussions that might come with dating a man who left his pregnant girlfriend in her last trimester of pregnancy. 

Really? Because I wasn’t even 24 when I had my first married guy come on to me and I was smart enough to realize that taking him up on that offer would have been the wrong thing to do. 

She said it was a very scary time in her life but she made it through. Whew! We should all give a sigh of relief at that blessing. She went on to say that everything worked out; thank God she and Billy are still friendly to this day.

A scary time in your life, Claire? I imagine it was a pretty scary time in Mary Louise Parker’s life, too. You know, what with being abandoned in her seventh month of pregnancy. After eight years with this guy. And having to see all the headlines and pictures of her longtime boyfriend and his new girlfriend together. Not to mention the amazing time she must have had handing her child over to his father, knowing that his home wrecking whore would have her hands all over her baby. Trying to co-parent with a fuckwit that puts his dick above his own child. Dealing with the public humiliation.

These people go through life acting as though they’re the only ones that matter. Broke up a family? Caused a woman to give birth by herself instead of with the father of her child by her side? Eh, it’s all good. It brought me to this awesome place in life. 

They really don’t give a moment’s pause to what they have done to anyone else. Katharine McPhee could not care less about the kids whose lives she affected. Does not care one bit about the woman she helped devastate. It brought her to where she is now. Claire Danes had no thoughts of pregnant Mary Louise Parker. Probably never considered what kind of a life their baby would have with his parents split up. No, she was in love and owed it to herself to “explore” that. Selfish, selfish people.