The Pursuit Of Happiness Fallacy

What seems like eons ago, when in reality it was back in June, there was an article posted on Huffington Post about two wing nuts that got together through their mutual love of the Oregon Country Fair, or “Fair”, as the “family” knows it. Tracy Schorn UBT’d it over on Chump Lady and Jennifer Ball posted about it on her Happy Hausfrau Facebook page.

The quick recap: “Ruby” and Paul spent 16 years working “Fair” in Oregon. One day, while peeling potatoes the feelz hit ‘em real hard and they realized they were destined to be together. While his wife and kids were away on vacation Paul invited Ruby over for a “picnic”. They spent the week together navel gazing and justifying their behavior. It was a love that could not be denied. When his wife came back into town he told her he was leaving her for another woman and Ruby left her husband as well. Ruby was simply stunned that her ex-husband didn’t chase after her, begging for another chance, and was equally shocked that Paul’s ex-wife didn’t bow out without a fight. I’m pretty sure if I remember correctly they are now married (going on 4 years of blissful happiness) and own a pot farm.

Even more vomit worthy than the article were the comments. These are just a few of the stand out gems:

Love isn’t ownership. I’ve walked and I’ve had others walk. Learn and grow and move on. Stop blaming people for loving someone.

Good on them. No point continuing a BS relationship just to conform to everyone else’s BS relationships/marriages. Life’s too short and too long to live a lie just to please church goers. Obviously they’re against real love anyway.

In response to someone saying that people who cheat on their spouses have a character flaw: We all have character flaws. People who stay in a loveless marriage also have a character flaw. They keep their spouse from meeting someone who will love them.

Yes, it’s a kick in the teeth when your spouse says they’ve fallen in love with someone else, and hard for the kids to deal with two homes, new step-parents, etc. But I can’t think of anything worse than reaching old age, the kids gone with lives of their own, moved to other states even, only to call on holidays and birthdays, and you being stuck immobile or infirm as time ravages your body, depending on someone you don’t love, haven’t loved in a long time, are disappointed with and sad to be around, and knowing you could have been happy, could have actually had a life worth living, years of love, sharing, fulfilling companionship, etc. and missed your chance.

Don’t stay somewhere you are not happy, life is too short! People like to pass judgement based on their own fears and insecurities. Let people live!

…way too many people stay in miserable marriages and hate their lives. Glad they’re happy.

People that are brave enough to admit their faults, their choices, their lives, always get very “righteous” people judging them… you could see that both of them were unhappy in their marriages before they “found each other”.Are people supposed to live a mediocre and unhappy life forever because of what looks good for society rules? No. I don’t think so.

Wow, so much hate because someone fell in love with another person and left a toxic situation.

Life is short, some people will stay miserable to “do the right thing” and never really live a happy life which is ok… but it’s also ok to make the decision to find happiness.

My husband left me for a younger woman. I’m happy for them. My 10 year marriage was unhappy. He wasn’t happy. I let him go be happy. It’s the mature thing to do.

They are both adults who made a questionable decision, but I’m sure all involved are better off, No one deserves to live unhappily ever after because of their “responsibility” to someone else’s feelings.

Let me remind you what Thoreau said:

20200110_183834

To paraphrase Rock Star, “I. cannot. even. with all of those asinine comments.”

I love how everyone believes that if you’re in a toxic relationship you’re entitled to cheat. God forbid you realize you’re in a bad situation and actually get the fuck out without having someone else waiting on you.

Wait a second! Are you telling me I can actually end a relationship before I have another one waiting in the wings? I can leave someone who makes me unhappy and sucks the life right out of me even if I don’t have another person I’m going to immediately be involved with?

Yes! Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying!

Then why in the fuck didn’t they tell me that? I’ve been stuck in this miserable relationship for the last ten years because I didn’t have time to set up a Tinder profile! Or volunteer at Fair.

I don’t know what to tell you, Sparky. You’ve always had the option of leaving. This remains a free country and more importantly, divorce is legal.

Quick question. Who will have sex with me once I kick my spouse/partner to the curb? Who will hold my hand while I go through this divorce? Who will tell me how awesome I am and how horrible my spouse was? And who’s going to pitch in and do all the things my spouse used to do?

Ah, that is the kicker, isn’t it? It’s not that these cheaters don’t realize they can leave a toxic relationship; it’s that they’re lazy. They don’t want to leave until they’ve got the replacement lined up.

Look, I don’t think anyone advocates staying in a miserable marriage. I know I don’t. I’ve always said you’ve got a couple of choices. The two good choices would be you can try to fix it or you can end it. The two bad choices would be you cheat on your spouse under the guise of unhappiness or toxicity, or you suffer through it for years on end.

About that so-called unhappy/toxic relationship. Cheaters lie. Mine lied a lot. It’s amazing to me how many people who have been cheated on talk of their cheaters telling them how much they loved them, how they couldn’t live without them, how these had been the best fill-in-the-blank years of their lives, how they were the love of their life, they were their rock and salvation, and sunshine shot out of their asses.

Hell, even ol’ Jerry Lee claimed that I was his rock. My family was his only real family. He wanted to renew vows. He wanted to have another baby with me so I couldn’t leave him.

A year later I was a mentally abusive spouse who never supported him and hadn’t had sex with him in ten years.

The story has to change when they start doing shitty things. It excuses the shitty things they’re doing.

So many of them focus on “ownership” and not staying if you’re unhappy. I truly don’t think most people think any of this through. We’re not talking about a summer romance here. We’re not talking about a couple who has dated a year or two. We’re talking about, in this case in particular, two people who were married to other people. They made plans with each other. They bought houses. They may have moved across the country. In one case they had two children together. The time to figure out the relationship is not working for you is before you get married and certainly before you bring children into it.

And again, I’m not advocating staying in a loveless or toxic relationship but, Jesus Christ, could maybe someone put a little effort into maintaining their current relationship, the one that did produce those children, before they decide the potato peeler is the new love of their life? I think the innocent children in these situations deserve a little bit more than, “Golly, I just wasn’t happy. Mommy didn’t support me quitting my full-time job and becoming a pot farmer.” Grow the fuck up! It is not just about you anymore.

That seems to be the popular refrain. You’ve got two choices. You either wait out a miserable life being trapped in an unhappy relationship or you cheat on your spouse and get the hell out. Repairing your current relationship never seems to be a solution. What an antiquated idea!

I loved the one that posited, “I’m sure they’re all better off. No one deserves to live unhappily ever after because of their responsibility to someone else’s feelings.”

What kind of bullshit minimizing is that? It’s a marriage. It’s a legally binding relationship. If he’s in the hospital, as his wife I will be the one deciding whether to pull the plug or not. Our lives are entwined. Our money is combined, I’m taking care of his children. I’m keeping his house and doing his laundry. Do not reduce it to some kind of half baked responsibility to my feelings. No, I’ve created a life with this person. We have made plans for our future. When he decides he no longer has a responsibility to my fucking feelings he’s not just hurting my fee fees he’s fucking with my life.

How does this person know that everyone is better off? Maybe the kids have psychological problems stemming from this. Maybe his ex-wife is struggling to keep a roof over her kids’ heads. Maybe she’s working two or three jobs to keep afloat. Maybe his ex-wife was a depressed, suicidal mess for months, if not years, after this happened and his kids were barely being taken care of because their mother was unable to function. This idea that everyone magically pairs up with someone new and has this fantastic life now is magical thinking designed to excuse people like this.

Look at Jennifer Ball. She’s lived just above the poverty line ever since her husband left. She raised four kids on her own. The jackass ex was rarely around. He was far too busy with his ho-worker and their two new spawn. Is she better off? I think she would tell you that she’s happy and counts her blessings, but better off? I don’t think so.

I’m going to have to invoke my John Walsh analogy one more time. He’s got a lucrative career on television because of what happened to his sweet little boy, Adam. Had he never been kidnapped and murdered John never would have done the work he’s done with missing children or going after wanted fugitives. But I think anyone would have a hard time arguing, “Oh, he’s better off.” Quite honestly, I think anyone stupid enough to say that to him deserves a punch to the throat.

I also appreciated the person who declared that, yes, it is a kick in the teeth to get dumped, and golly, it’s probably hard on the kids to deal with a change in their lifestyle, two different homes, and potential step-families, but gee whiz, wouldn’t it suck to get to old age and realize you’re with someone you don’t want to be with.

Yes, it’s slightly disappointing when you find out you’re being cheated on and deceived. It kinda sucks when you have to return to the workforce after being a stay at home mom for 15 years and you don’t get paid enough to actually support your kids and have a home of your own. 

Sure, the kids do sometimes struggle. I mean, I’ve got one who now thinks he shouldn’t have to even complete high school because it’s pointless and another one who calls me up crying because her anxiety is out of control. They both suffer from anxiety but one gets stressed and cries, and the other finds it difficult to reach out for help and fails school. Neither one of the kids dealt with anxiety or depression when their father and I were together but hey, if one of them winds up killing themselves it’s worth it so long as their dad is happy, right? The kids are collateral damage. Don’t get too attached.

Yes, the real travesty isn’t one parent living in poverty or kids having anxiety attacks or lives being upended. The real travesty is finding out after the kids have left home that you are in a loveless relationship and you were too much of a chicken shit to actually do anything to improve your relationship, or to end it the correct way.

I think my favorite comment though was the one who said that people in loveless marriages have a character flaw because they are keeping their spouse from meeting someone who will love them.

What the what? First of all, maybe the spouse in the loveless marriage doesn’t think they’re in a loveless marriage. Maybe they think they’re in a very happy marriage. Second of all, if you’re both in a loveless marriage, but only one person goes off and cheats while the other person remains faithful, why in the fuck is it the faithful partner’s responsibility to get out of the marriage? Oh, I’m sorry. Why is it their responsibility to make sure their spouse finds someone who will love them? I would think it would behoove the person who can’t keep it in their pants to get out of the marriage before it comes to that.

That whole comment is just one big mindfuck.

Oh, your partner cheated on you? That’s not a big deal. Move on and get over it.

Oh, you stayed in a loveless marriage but didn’t cheat? You horrible person! How can you keep your wonderful spouse from finding love? I hope you rot in hell!

I’m going to say it one more time. I’m not against ending an unhappy marriage. Hell, I would advocate for ending unhappy relationships far sooner than most of us do. Most of us who stay, even when things aren’t going great, do so for good intentions. We do it  because we want what’s best for our kids. We believe in commitment and working through the hard times. We think about things other than ourselves and our own happiness. We regularly put others ahead of ourselves. 

I will, however, take issue with someone cheating on their spouse and then excusing it by saying, “I wasn’t happy.” That’s entitlement and crappy character, not a search for happiness. It’s about selfish people putting their own wants and desires ahead of everyone else.

The Exit Affair

We’re all familiar with this term, right? It’s what they call it when your spouse leaves you for someone else. I guess it differs from the “just want to fuck ‘em” affair somehow.

I’ve never liked the term but I couldn’t put my finger on why until recently.

…minimize the cheating and wrong doing, instead focus on the shortcomings of the relationship.

As in: Yeah, I cheated. But I haven’t been happy for a long time/we haven’t been happy for a long time/we’re not right together/our relationship would have ended anyway/we’ll be much happier apart/it’s for the best, etc. etc.

I think this is another form of manipulation. You’re not allowed to react, get angry or upset about them cheating on you, because instead they’ve switched the focus to ending the relationship as if the affair never happened- they’ve sidestepped and minimized the affair and gaslighted you into thinking your relationship was ending anyway.

Yes! That is exactly it. I was always left wondering if perhaps I deserved it. Maybe we weren’t right together. Maybe he would be happier with her. It wasn’t just an affair. It was an exit affair, which means I was to blame because I was lacking, our relationship was lacking. And everyone knows that if you have a shitty relationship the way to end it is to fuck your cousin. Or the person of your choice. Doesn’t have to be a relative.

He wasn’t just a run of the mill cheater, out having sex with new people because he liked a bit of strange on the side. No! He was still an upstanding man with great integrity. He was practically forced to cheat on me because our relationship was so awful.

An exit affair is all about the relationship; the cheater’s character can never be called into question. Because if the relationship had been better he or she would have never cheated. No, sir!

Someone else on Chump Lady chimed in with this:

You’re so right that the “exit affair” narrative is another form of manipulation, defined by a massive amount of side stepping and down playing.

That is precisely what it is. It downplays the shitty character of the cheater. It sidesteps the total destruction of lives caused by the cheating. And it manipulates people into believing that somehow this is an okay thing because who can argue against happiness and true love?

I’ve written about this before. People like to say they didn’t leave for the affair partner; their marriage was already dead, over. In other words, the affair was simply the catalyst that made them realize the marriage was over. I’ve long argued that, no, if you were still with your spouse up until the moment you began fucking your affair partner, you left for that person. You didn’t leave until you had a replacement lined up. Ergo, you left for that person.

You were too much of a chickenshit to leave honestly and ethically. You were content to sleep with your spouse and take advantage of whatever they brought to the marriage (you know, the long dead one), whether that was a paycheck, child care, laundry services, cooking, yard work, etc. You didn’t get out of this horrible, horrible situation until someone else came along and volunteered to do all of those things for you.

Or as another commenter on Chump Lady puts it:

Ah yes, the exit affair. I hate this term because whenever I read about what it means, it seems like the ultimate blameshift. The relationship was so bad that the fuckwit had to leave under the protection of an affair partner.

It focuses all of the blame on the person who’s being fucked over. It’s all about the crappy relationship. Nothing about the cheater’s crappy character. It’s not their fault, y’all! The relationship was bad! Their soul was dying from the weight of this cancerous relationship. Then this new person came along and suddenly they feel alive again! They can hear the birds sing. They can see the sun shining and marvel at how blue the sky really is. You can’t argue against that, right? So let’s dress it up in a pretty package and spin this sob story into something that has the cheater seen as the victim and the betrayed as the perpetrator.

I didn’t have an affair. This was an exit affair. Exit affairs are all about escaping bad relationships and finding well-deserved happiness. They’re not about sex and entitlement and people who lack a moral compass.

My advice? Don’t take the bait. It doesn’t matter how the affair is labeled. Even if the cheater leaves for the other person it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean their “love” is special. It doesn’t mean they’ve found someone with whom they are more compatible. It doesn’t mean it was your fault. It doesn’t mean that your relationship was lacking. It means they have an entitlement issue and shitty character. They are the same person regardless of who they’re with. Personality transplants don’t exist.

Labels and Real Life

I was reading the other day and saw it posited that labels were unhealthy and harmful. We shouldn’t label people, so the theory goes, because it limits them. They are essentially reduced to that label. People especially don’t like the label, “cheater.” Some feel it diminishes that person, as though that’s all they are. More importantly, how can you effectively reconcile if you label your spouse that way?

Yes, because that’s the overall goal. We all want to get back together with that dreamboat.

Aren’t they a cheater, though? It seems to me that if they cheat on you, then they’re a cheater. You can call this acts of exuberant defiance if it makes you happy, but it’s just playing with words. Would it be easier if they were called adulterers? They committed adultery, therefore, they are adulterers. Is that too harsh as well? Do we pussy foot around with other labels?

If someone asked you to describe Michael Phelps you would probably say something along the lines of, “He’s a swimmer,” or, “He’s an Olympic athlete.” Is he more than that? I’m sure he is. But that’s what he’s predominantly known for.

If you saw your co-worker, Larry, beat the crap out of his wife would you call him a wife beater or an abuser, or would you focus instead on his other qualities? Sure, ol’ Larry beats his wife but I wouldn’t call him a wife beater. He is one hell of a dart thrower and he really knows his way around a grill. Let’s not focus on the negative.

Is “cheater” the only label that is detested? Is it okay to label a person who likes to have sex with little kids a pedophile? If someone breaks into your home and robs you can we label that person a thief? How about murderer? Rapist? Drunk driver? Child abuser? Embezzler?

Are all of those labels bad? Should we be looking beyond the rudimentary surface? Or do labels sometimes tell us exactly what we need to know?

I’ve told this story before. Shortly before I got married, way back in 1994, my future mother-in-law was not loving her job. She decided that she was going to pull out her retirement and hand it over to her brother-in-law and they were going to go into business together.

People begged her to reconsider. They pointed out that her brother-in-law had been convicted for embezzlement. They didn’t trust him. They didn’t feel this was a wise move.

Now, maybe others would say, “Hey, give the guy a chance.” It’s not like once an embezzler, always an embezzler, right?

In this situation you would be wrong. She handed him her retirement money. He spent it while talking up their business and telling her how much progress was being made. Once the money was gone he informed her that they didn’t have any clients and he was getting a job; she should do the same. My former in-laws never recovered financially and they lost pretty much everything.

I’m sure some people would say that he wasn’t only an embezzler. I’d agree with that. I’d say he was a damn fine con artist as well. Certainly we are given the message that the cheater is more than just a cheater. How often are we admonished to not judge a relationship on one little, tiny mistake such as infidelity? That person you are harshly labeling a cheater is an onion. There are layers and layers to this person’s personality. He or she is so much more than just a cheater and you are being unduly harsh and unfair to only concentrate on that.

Funny follow up to the in-law story… Onion Boy ended up in jail. Again! If memory serves me correctly it had something to do with cars he was selling. I don’t remember if he was the actual salesman, or if he was a middle man, selling cars to dealerships. He may have been messing with the VIN numbers or something like that. Regardless, what he was doing was illegal and he was shady as fuck. Go right ahead and tell yourself he was much more than a guy who enjoyed fleecing people out of their money. He probably would have taken you to the cleaners with your Pollyanna attitude.

If you want to argue that a person is more than a label, especially if that label is “cheater”, that’s fine. I’m sure if you’re giving a person who betrayed you another chance there has to be something good about that person. I’m not saying they don’t have other delightful qualities. I would also never dream of telling someone that the “cheater” label is the most important thing about their spouse, or that that’s the only thing they should focus on. You can dress it up any way you want. You can ignore the behavior. You can convince yourself it was out of character or born out of toxic shame. You can believe with all your heart and soul that this “one” act is not the sum of who they are. That’s all fine. Not that you need my permission. That doesn’t mean the label isn’t accurate. It may not tell the whole story the way you’d like it told, or the way they’d like it told, but it tells a story. The reality is it did happen. The cheater may not be just a cheater, only a cheater, but they are indeed a cheater. Just like regardless of whatever good qualities he may have had Onion Boy was an embezzler, a thief, and a con artist.

They Cheat Because Their Souls Were Starving (Oh Brother)

I needed the perspective. I needed the REASON why he did it. Much like you his only answer was selfishness. That wasn’t good enough for me. You say there’s no good reason but there is. You were lonely and sad and you felt unloved and unwanted and you were HUMAN; you were human searching for someone to feed your soul after a long time of starving. You say it’s not a reason but it is. Your wife has a responsibility in it just as I did. Leaving someone’s soul to starve and decimate over time no matter how depressed we were is still cruel; it’s still not ok. In its own way we should have let you go instead of handcuffing you to a dead person. Isn’t that the same thing as leaving someone before you cheat? They are both actions that denote consequences for another that is detrimental. If you refuse to accept your wife had some part in this I don’t see any hope for you.

I was bored this morning and wanted to languish in my comfy bed, surrounded by snoring dogs, so I read old posts from others I follow and I clicked on links and came across this. It was a comment on a cheating spouse’s blog.

As you can probably glean from the comment the actual cheater was not making excuses for the behavior. It was a betrayed wife who was making the excuses.

As far as excuses go I think this is the one that gets the most traction and the one I find to be the biggest load of bullshit.

I’m going to take a wild stab at this and guess that almost everyone who reads my blog has had a job at one point in their life.

Let me ask you, those of you who have had jobs, if you begin working for a company and over time start to believe you are underpaid does it ever occur to you to embezzle from that company? Do you ever start to think, “Wow! The pay and benefits here are horrible! They really should pay me more. I might be able to make more money elsewhere but I really don’t want to put forth the time and effort to job hunt. I know! I’ll just embezzle from them. Maybe fudge a few expense reports. If they paid me more I would have never done this.

I’m genuinely curious because I do happen to know three embezzlers. Good grief, I’ve lived a colorful life! Thankfully, none of them were close friends. One was a friend of my mother’s and  happened when I was a child. One was the first wife of Pastor Fake. The third was actually an ex-boyfriend. To be clear, I was not dating him at the time.

All that aside I can honestly say it has never once occurred to me to steal from my place of employment because I didn’t think I was getting paid enough. My thought process has always leaned more towards, “Hmmm…. I should look for another job.”

Yet this seems to be a common refrain in the reconciliation industry. No, you aren’t to blame for your spouse cheating but you must honestly examine your marriage and see where the cracks were that led to the cheating. No matter how many different ways you try to spin it the question at heart becomes: What is it that you were doing wrong to make your spouse cheat? What are your faults? Where were you lacking? What can you do to improve?

I think that’s a very slippery slope you start to go down when you begin to explore that. Why? Because again, what it all leads back to is you are responsible for your spouse’s behavior. Your behavior determines whether your spouse will be faithful or will cheat.

Did your spouse feel abandoned by you? Like nothing more than a handyman and a paycheck? Did they feel like a cook and a maid? Did they feel like they couldn’t depend on you? Did they feel like they couldn’t talk to you about deeply personal issues? Did they feel like they couldn’t be their true selves around you? Were they lonely? Feeling sexually neglected? Did they feel like the two of you were nothing more than roommates? Were you focused solely on the kids? Did you no longer wear makeup or do your hair, or belch and fart in front of them, thus erasing the magic of your romance? Did you shut them out? Did you make them feel less than? Did you have poor communication?

Oh, ok! We can work with that! Just stop doing whatever it is that you did and then your spouse won’t ever cheat on you again.

The problem with that thinking is it doesn’t get to the underlying reason of why the cheating spouse thought that an affair was an acceptable solution to all of that. What happens when something else occurs in your life to take attention away from them? What happens if they begin to feel abandoned or betrayed or unheard or unappreciated again?

We don’t do this with physical abuse. We don’t ask the wife, “What did you do to make him mad?” Then when she goes through the litany of answers:  Oh, I didn’t have dinner on the table… I talked too much… I wouldn’t back down in an argument… My clothes were too sexy and he said I was flirting with other men… I blocked his view on the TV… I argued with him… I put mushrooms in the pasta sauce… He couldn’t find his favorite shirt… We don’t nod wisely and then suggest, “Stop doing that then! If you would stop arguing and be a better wife he wouldn’t beat you.”

We don’t ask a person what they did to cause their spouse to physically abuse them, so why do we continue to ask a person what they did to cause their spouse to cheat on them?

That brings us to the second problem with that kind of thinking. You’ve just told the person who betrayed you that ultimately they’re not responsible for their own behavior. YOU are responsible for their behavior. Your actions are so powerful that they will determine whether or not your spouse cheats.

Let me be very clear. I don’t think there is a problem with looking at a relationship and seeing where things went wrong. Acknowledging that you didn’t communicate well, or you never made time for yourselves as a couple, or you fought dirty is all good and fine. Work on the communication. Make time for yourselves as a couple. Resolve to stop fighting dirty. But don’t ever let anyone use those as excuses and justifications for infidelity. You were both in that relationship.

CF told everyone that he was nothing more than a paycheck and a handyman to me. He told me we were nothing more than roommates. He pointed out that we had barely spoken or had sex in the last 6 months to a year. What he didn’t point out is how his own behavior led to any of this. What he neglected to acknowledge is that we were both in that marriage and yet only one of us began an affair with our cousin.

That was the first time around! That was the time when I was eagerly hopping onboard with this idea that it was a marriage problem and if we resolved all of the issues that made him unhappy and led him to seek out another person then all would be okay.

Does anyone else find it absurd that he cheated and yet I was the one with the checklist of things to fix? I was faithful but I needed to fix this. He cheated but he had reasons and therefore nothing to fix.

The second time around was even more bizarre. I was accused of hating him. He’s a crying, drinking, isolating-himself-in-the-bedroom mess, and I’m running around like that guy who tries to keep all the spinning plates from toppling off the sticks and crashing to the ground. I’m taking him to the psych ward. I’m visiting every day. I’m bringing him goodies. I’m taking care of the house and the kids while he’s having a break down. I’m making his appointments. I’m going with him to those appointments. I’m cheering him on. I’m hoping to God he’ll come out of this slump and we can finally start to do things again as a couple. Meanwhile, he’s telling everyone how horrible I am and fucking around with his whore cousin. If anyone had a reason to cheat it would have been me! So no, I don’t give much credence to this thought that the cheated on spouse has to own their part in their spouse’s infidelity.

You can examine every inch of your relationship backwards and forward. You can see every flaw in your relationship, every crack that existed and even nail down who did what to whom and when. It still comes down to one person unilaterally making the decision to cheat. No one made them do it. It is a choice they freely made. I don’t care if they were lost. I don’t care if they were weak. I don’t care if they were manipulated. I don’t care if they hadn’t felt human touch in twenty years. Ultimately this person decided they were entitled to cheat. They decided that “job hunting” would be too much trouble so they were going to embezzle instead. Sadly, they have a whole army of people lining up to pat them on their little heads and tell them that it’s not their fault; they wouldn’t have done any of this if only their spouse had done things differently.

If you choose to believe this line of thinking I would suggest you ask yourself one more question: What has changed in this person so that the next time a crisis occurs or they aren’t feeling loved and special they don’t opt to go fuck another person?

Maybe because of my own experiences with being betrayed, forgiving, and then being betrayed again I am jaded. Or bitter. Pick whichever one makes you feel better. Nonetheless it is stunningly obvious that despite the fact that I was willing and eager to “own my part” and “look at what led to the breakdown”, despite the fact that I made all of those changes he asked for, while he made none, and despite the fact that I uprooted my children and agreed to move us 2000 miles across the country so that he could be happy, when he was faced with another moment of unhappiness/disappointment/crisis he resorted right back to his first response- cheating. He didn’t talk things out with me. He didn’t try to fix things. He took no responsibility. He simply resumed his relationship with Harley and blamed everything on me.

Hurt

The mobster and I were talking one day about the topic of being hurt by infidelity. I responded that CF didn’t hurt me. He pissed me off. He then went on to ask, “You were never hurt by his behavior?”

I had to think about that and I had to go way back to when all this crap first started, back in 2013.

I was extremely naive in 2013. I still thought I was married to an upstanding, honorable guy. A guy who understood and believed in things like: honor, commitment, marriage, fidelity. I never in a million years thought he would cheat on me. How stupid is that? I know I’ve said before that I figured maybe he would one day leave me, but I never thought he’d cheat. STUPID!

So back to me finding out something hinky was up five years ago….

When I first discovered him there, shriveled up in our bathtub, rocking himself back and forth and giving a performance of a lifetime in his self-written, self-directed, self-starring (naturally) play, “Anxiety, Thy Name Is Cousinfucker” I couldn’t begin to imagine what the problem might be. When he tearfully told me, in a whispered voice, “I’ve been texting other women,” the bottom dropped out of my world. I was absolutely shell shocked. This was simply not something that he would do. He had just told me less than 6 weeks prior that he loved me and he had always loved me.

I was so stupid and so naive that I actually convinced myself that he was probably only confessing because he felt guilty that he had actually talked to other women about our marriage. Yes, that’s how far my head was stuck in the ground. I foolishly thought he felt guilty about merely talking to other women, maybe confiding in them about our marriage. At that moment it never occurred to me that he was sexting or saying, “I love you,” to his whore cousin, or making plans for a future with her.

No, it took another whole week or so and a little bit of mind fucking from the whore before I began to suspect that maybe his texting hadn’t been so innocent after all.

I don’t recall feeling hurt back then though. I was sad. I was sad about my marriage potentially ending. I was sad about disrupting my kids’ lives. I was sad about the implosion of a 17 year relationship. I was sad that I had let things get to that point (and yes, at that point I was willing to shoulder almost all of the blame). I remember crying. I remember wanting things to go back. I remember wanting our marriage to work out and to be restored. I remember wanting him to love me again. But I don’t remember being hurt, or feeling hurt. Sadness was my overwhelming emotion.

Yet I spent the next three months trying to show him what life could be like for us. I spent the next three months “pick me” dancing, trying to cautiously woo him back. I rejoiced when he tenderly fed me a piece of tenderloin he had grilled. I was thrilled with every seeming loving gesture from him. He never said, “I love you,” and I didn’t say it either as I didn’t want to push him and “scare him”.

I wasn’t completely sure the whore was gone at first. She was very good with the mind fuck- posting little inspirational quotes, liking his pictures. And then came the day I believed she was gone for good and we were back on track. Followed shortly by her husband contacting me and letting me know they were still at it.

Hurt? Oh, honey, I was pissed! There was no hurt. There was only fury. “What in the fuck are you doing and why are you doing it? Are you seriously willing to give up your wife and kids for your cousin? She’s a fantasy, not reality.”

I was not nice. I was not calm, although I wasn’t as out of control as one would think I might be. Hey, I had a party to throw; I would not disappoint Rock Star. I yelled. I told him outright that he needed to shit or get off the pot, that I deserved to be happy, too, and I wasn’t going to sit around and wait for him to dump me when Picasso graduated from high school.

I felt certain that divorce was imminent. I didn’t think he would “pick” me. I was pretty certain after I issued my ultimatum (you end it now or we’re done) that he was going to pick her (and he did- it just took him two more years of wasting my life and completely destroying the lives we all had out in Utah before he could do it). But I remember being so happy when I got the text message that he was going to end it, that he didn’t want to lose any of us. Blech! I should have left his sorry ass back then and saved myself a whole lot of trouble.

I had sadness when I thought my marriage was over. I had fury/anger when I realized he had been duping me all summer long. But I can’t say that he ever hurt me. His behavior the first time stunned me but it didn’t hurt me. His behavior the second time pissed me off.

I think what actually hurt me more than anything was realizing what a bunch of complete assholes his family was. They never cut the whore off. I was disposable; she was not. It took me a very long time to wrap my mind around that. Naturally, just as I began to forgive them and gradually allow them back into my life he cheated once again and they, once again, were done with me and fawning all over and supporting his union with Harley.

Fast forward two years and once again I find out he’s cheating. Again I’m in disbelief. Not hurt. Frantic. Juggling twenty million things. Keeping all those plates spinning. Thinking about the situation financially and not with my penis.

Seriously- he had been a mess for more than six months. He had emotionally drained me. I was perpetually in fear that he was going to have a massive breakdown and we would end up bankrupt. He had moved us 2000 miles across the country because this job was supposed to make him happy and he was so miserable out in Utah, and yet here he was less than a year later, crying in bed and supposedly unable to function. I don’t know why but I had this feeling that he was once again involved with the whore. I was probably right.

I wasn’t sad; I was suicidal. I wasn’t suicidal because the great love of my life might be off and running with the whore. I was suicidal because I could not take anymore of his shit- the crying, the drinking, the unhappiness, shutting himself off from the rest of us, breaking down every time we turned around, unable to take him anywhere, never able to make him happy, watching all of our dreams collapse around our feet in this new place with no friends and no support. I was mentally exhausted. I had been sold some magic beans, but unlike those beans that led to the goose that laid the golden eggs, my beans were old and rancid and led to nothing except total destruction.

I had kept trudging on. I would put my head down and keep going. We would fix this. We would be happy once again, like we had been. All those dreams we talked about when we talked about moving would become a reality. I was convinced I could do it by sheer will power alone. Until I could no longer do it.

I remember getting that message from The Saint, and my heart sinking. It didn’t break; it sank. Now I had to figure out what the hell I was going to do. Keep those plates spinning!

He had no worries. He didn’t care about what would happen to the house. He didn’t care about the upheaval the kids would experience. He didn’t think about the pool we had just put in our backyard, or the money we had spent decorating and furnishing this new house. He didn’t think about the new car he had just bought for me, or the two new kittens we had, or the new cell phone company we had just switched to. He was fucking his cousin. The world was his oyster! No, I was left to worry about those things.

So no, once again, I was not hurt. I was in a panic. I had kids to worry about and protect. I was worried about the house. Our mortgage was less than a year old and I had no idea how I would ever be able to afford to maintain this house on my own. I didn’t know if I would get enough in support to pay the mortgage, much less be able to replace a furnace or air conditioning unit if necessary. How would I make repairs to the house and keep the yard and pool up? I worried about how we were going to pay off the pool and our other debts. I worried about whether or not the kids would be attending their current schools or I would have to uproot them once again and move in with my mom. While I was tasked with letting Rock Star and Picasso know that their parents were getting a divorce, he was off having another fuck-fest weekend with Harley the Whore.

I kept the house clean, went grocery shopping, made breakfast and dinner for my kids, chauffeured my daughter, and took care of the dogs and cats. I stayed involved in their schools and activities, and paid the bills and went on field trips with them, while I also worried about finding a job and what I was going to do, how I was going to find insurance once the divorce was final, and learning how to live on a whole lot less than we had been living on. There wasn’t time to be hurt. I was trying to survive.

Sure, there were moments when I wept. There were moments of sadness, like when I realized our house wouldn’t be decorated outside and hers would, because he had always done the outside decorations. He did nothing for us; everything was about her and her kids. Or when I felt sure I was going to be alone forever and he, a complete and total anti-social fuck up had someone new already. Or finding out how deep his betrayal had run- all the lies about the money being sent to his mom, phones being purchased for her, a joint bank account with the whore and the rest of his stock cashed in and given to her.

Him losing his job and forcing us to move was devastating, but I can’t say it was hurtful. It was yet another blow and another shit sundae I was forced to eat while he was off doing whatever the fuck he wanted. You know how that makes me feel? Angry!

Everything that has happened since June 10th, 2016 has enraged me. Forcing us out of our home, leaving me to be the one to tell our kids that we were going to have to move again, a mere two years later, having to sell off all of my belongings, moving in with my mom and sleeping on the couch, having to watch Rock Star cry as she realized she wouldn’t be getting her license on time, watching Rock Star struggle at school, working two jobs and still barely able to afford much of anything, stocking shelves at Target, getting up at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 in the morning to go to work, not being able to support myself, watching my kids suffer, wondering if he was going to get away with everything and not have to pay squat in support, hearing all the lies he and his family have spread about me, losing time with my kids, always being tired and feeling like a failure at this mom gig, learning about all the money those two nitwits spent while my kids and I lived like paupers. It was infuriating, but not hurtful.

The reality is, at least the second time around, I lost every bit of feeling I ever had for him the moment I discovered what he was up to. He didn’t hurt me; he disgusted me.

I have a visceral reaction to this idea that I write the things I do because I’m hurt. Nope. I write the things I do because I’m pissed off when I think about all the hell that asshole put me through. I write the things I do because I hope that someone who has just discovered a cheating spouse will come across my blog and read my story and not make the same stupid mistakes that I did. I hope they will see the futility in it and that they will do the sane thing and get the fuck out. I hope those that choose to stay will read my story and be able to discern the difference between being truly sorry and wanting to avoid any painful consequences. That when their spouse tries to blame them for the affair, or refuses to tell them the truth when asked for it, or when they want to avoid the topic of the affair, that they can say, “This is unacceptable. We’re doing it my way or you’re getting the fuck out because I’m not dealing with your shit.”

Hurt has never been a part of my story. I’ve been sad, I’ve been despondent and suicidal, and I’ve been angry, pissed, enraged… pick your adjective. This past year I’ve been hopeful and very, very happy. Yet I don’t think there will ever come a day when I just shrug at his antics. I don’t think I will ever get to the point where I am not pissed off about everything he put us through and everything he took from us. He changed the course of our lives; he changed our destinies and altered our futures. There is so much that he took, so much that he altered. I have hope for my kids that they will be able to forge a new future, despite what their father has chosen to do to them, and yet I still feel the very real pain of everything they’ve lost. This is not the life I would have chosen for them and I will always regret the things they missed out on, no matter how the future plays out. I do not hurt when I look at the ruins of our lives, but I do mourn.

Do They Lie To Protect Us?

I was reading another blog not long ago and the author was talking about lying and the different types of lying. Apparently, the only bad kind of lying is the kind where you are purposefully trying to harm another person. It’s okay to lie to protect someone’s feelings. It’s okay (although non-productive) to lie to yourself. It’s okay to lie to protect yourself.

I’m not going to quibble about the rightness or wrongness of the different types of lies. What I do take issue with is this idea presented that cheaters lie to protect our feelings.

No, they do not. CF did not lie to me about Harley because he wanted to protect my feelings. He lied to me so that when he sent her money and told me, “Oh, if you see wire transfers I’ve been sending money to my mom for groceries,” I would never question him and say something like, “Really? Are you sure you’re not funneling marital funds to your no good, hooker-whore cousin?” He lied to me so that he could buy his cousin and her kid new iPhones when her own husband tossed them off his plan, and I would be none the wiser. I dutifully got online and paid that bill for the next few months before I realized what was going on. He lied to me so that he could go away for the weekend and not have to explain himself when he got back because I thought he was visiting his mom, or seeing his best friend. He lied to me so that he could get his ducks lined up in order to leave us. He set up a bank account. He interviewed for jobs. His plan was to not say a word and just vanish one day. None of that shit was about protecting my feelings.

Yes, finding out my husband was cheating on me was horrific. It hurt like hell. Finding out I had been duped was much worse. Never once did that man think, “Oh my, if Sam ever found out I was fucking my cousin again it would destroy her. I simply must keep this under wraps and lie to protect her fragile feelings.” No, his thought process was much more along the lines of, “How can I get out of this marriage with the most stuff and the least consequences?”

If he cared so much about my feelings and how hurt I would be a simple solution would have been to NOT have an affair.

This idea that cheaters lie to protect our feelings is absolute bullshit. No, it goes beyond that. It’s infuriating. They don’t lie to protect us. They lie to protect themselves.

The Devil You Know

I came across an article written by someone who purports to rebuild remarriages after affairs. For a tidy sum he can help you keep that delightful lying, cheating love of your life.

I have long said that I’m not here to give advice. If you’ve read much of my blog then you know that I had more than one DDay which means I forgave my lying cheater at least once. Technically speaking I suppose Harley was the gift that resurfaced three times. The first time was when he supposedly spontaneously confessed he had been “texting” other women.

True story? Her husband discovered what they were up to and messaged me on FB. Cousinfucker deleted the message and then blocked him. Why he owned up to texting her is beyond me.

Oh, and he never elaborated on exactly what it was he was texting and then refused to disclose a week or so later. I was so stupid and thought he was so honorable that he might have felt guilty simply because he was talking to other women and spilling secrets about our marriage.

So that was DDay #1. Happy Mother’s Day!

DDay #2 was August 14, 2013, three months later. I got yet another message from her husband.

Yeah, about that blocking thing… when he came back from Jezebel’s wedding Harley the Whore blocked me. I had her profile picture up all over the house when he got home and my lying cheater promptly told his twu luv all about it. Once I realized I was blocked I did some digging and found her husband on my list of blocked contacts, which was really strange because at that point I don’t think I had blocked anyone ever in my life!

DDay #3 was two years later, almost to the day. August 10th, 2015. A day which will live in infamy and is only surpassed by June 10th, 2016 as one of the crappiest days of my life.

I dredge all this up again to point out that I, too, forgave my husband at one point. I don’t condemn those who choose to make a go of it. I don’t look down on them. I’m here telling my story and sharing my thoughts so that hopefully others won’t suffer through the same shit I did.

With that said, what the hell, Mort? You’re selling snake oil!

Some of his wonderful advice? #1- Don’t ask about the affair or go to marriage counseling. #2- Tell them divorce is not an option. #3- Have sex with your partner if you want to. I’m not sure if #4 is from him or some other person promising success for 3 easy installment payments of $299, but I’ve also heard that if your partner is still in the affair then be extra sweet and understanding. Don’t make them feel any “toxic shame”.

O.M.G. This is a cheater’s wet dream! I get to fuck around and you can’t ask me about it!

Of course they don’t want to talk about it! They don’t like consequences. They’d rather engage in all that hysterical bonding. Now that’s where the fun is at!

Let’s concentrate on the sex and forget the talking. When you talk you make me feel something akin to guilt and I don’t like that. I’m so splendiferous that I wouldn’t actually feel guilt but when you use words and say things like, “You really hurt me,” and “I don’t trust you anymore,” or “What were you thinking fucking that low class whore?” then it almost makes me feel bad and it certainly doesn’t get me hot and bothered. Let’s stick to sex and forget all the talking stuff.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but let’s face it divorce is always an option when one person wants out. You can’t prevent it no matter how much you personally may be against it.

Honestly? It’s just another form of pick me dancing. No matter what you do I won’t divorce you. Keep fucking the whore. Tell me everything is my fault. Give me a list of things that I need to work on. 

I think my favorite thing about Mort, though, is his philosophy on forgiving the cheating spouse. https://marriagemax.com/cheater/  What if your spouse has done the work and is truly repentant? Don’t you owe it to him or her to forgive and forget and reap the benefits of all your hard work? Don’t you realize that your chances of dumping the cheater only to end up with someone else who just cheats on you is sky high so you may as well keep the cheater you know? I think Mort says it so much better.

Most victims of infidelity (and other emotional hardships) believe that they’ll be safer in a relationship with someone who never cheated on them or hurt them. I completely understand this FEELING. However, the OPPOSITE might be true.

In the case of the woman above, it appears that her husband really changed. And I’ve seen many people transform themselves after getting the “I want a divorce” wake up call. Unless her husband is a pathological liar or a sociopath, he’s LESS LIKELY to make the same mistake again compared to someone whose track record is clean. In other words, once a spouse learns their lesson, they’re LESS vulnerable to make the same mistake than someone who’s never erred in that way before.

According to a 1998 survey by researchers at the University of Chicago, about 25 percent of married men and 17 percent of married women in the United States ADMIT to having been unfaithful. The noted author Shirley Glass’ research suggests it is probably closer to 25 percent of women and 40 to 50 percent of men! That means that starting from scratch gives the above woman a 50% chance of finding another husband who will be faithful.

Now let me ask you: at this point in this woman’s husband’s life, given all he’s been through and learned, what are the chances that he’ll screw up again? If this woman gave him another chance, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family years before? In my opinion, it’s dramatically less than 50%. In fact, I think it’s slim to none.

Let me clarify that I’m talking in this case about a man who truly transformed himself and succeeded to prove that he’s changed. I’m NOT talking about someone who continually makes empty promises.

If this woman were to leave her husband, I think Las Vegas would give her LOWER odds that this sort of thing would never happen to her again.

Here lies an unfortunate irony. People wait years and years for their spouse to wake up and change their ways. Then when they finally do it, they’re told it’s too late.

I understand why someone would feel, after being cheated on, for example, that “it’s too late.” But the fact of the matter is that they’re about to walk away from a person who is FINALLY prepared to be a wonderful loving spouse.

In my experience, it’s these people, people who have made serious mistakes, people who have had the harshest wake up calls, who become the BEST spouses and are capable, more than anyone else, of forging the MOST fulfilling relationships.

Do you see the irony here?

The mistakes that ruin relationships are those that transform the sinners into people capable of the most outstanding relationships. The unfortunate thing for the victim is that they don’t know how to heal from the hurt that would enable them to reap the benefit of their ordeal.

So the roles become reversed. The person who was ruining the relationship stands ready to transform it; while the person who wanted to work on the relationship all along becomes the cog in the wheel that inhibits true love.

In other words, the woman above has a choice. If she lets her husband go, he’ll most likely fall in love with another woman and treat her like a queen. He’ll be the husband to his new wife that the woman above always wanted him to be to her. I’ve seen it happen too often. Some lucky woman owes a poor victim a lot of gratitude. But this woman has another option. She could forgive her husband and become that lucky woman!

Here’s Sam’s philosophy: Yes, if you don’t fix your picker and figure out why you settled for so little in your relationship there is a good chance you could wind up with the exact same kind of person- a person who is willing to lie and cheat and take you for granted. But if you do fix your picker you have a really good chance of finding someone who won’t cheat on you, someone who will value you. Or put another way, you already know your current partner is a cheater. Those odds are 100%. It’s done. This mythological new person? Hasn’t done a damn thing to you!

But I’ll bite. Let’s take Mort’s theory bit by bit.

Most victims of infidelity (and other emotional hardships) believe that they’ll be safer in a relationship with someone who never cheated on them or hurt them. I completely understand this FEELING. However, the OPPOSITE might be true.

Yes, it might be true. Then it again it might not be. As I said above; however, you know with 100% certainty that your current partner has the ability to cheat on you because they have already, wait for it.. cheated on you!

In the case of the woman above, it appears that her husband really changed. And I’ve seen many people transform themselves after getting the “I want a divorce” wake up call. Unless her husband is a pathological liar or a sociopath, he’s LESS LIKELY to make the same mistake again compared to someone whose track record is clean. In other words, once a spouse learns their lesson, they’re LESS vulnerable to make the same mistake than someone who’s never erred in that way before.

Well, Mort, the devil is in the details, isn’t it? The problem here is that a lot of very remorseless cheaters say they’ve changed.

What they really mean is they don’t want to go through the hassle of a divorce. You are useful to them. They’ll do a better job of keeping the affair hidden.

My own husband swore up and down that he had learned his lesson. Harley was the biggest mistake of his life. He should have bought a motorcycle instead of engaging with her. He talked to her the way he wanted to talk to me. He would never make that mistake again. I was the reason he was alive and why he fought in a war.

Two years later I was going through the exact same hell and with the exact same whore. The man learned nothing. He wanted everything to be perfect and go back to normal and at the first hint that that wasn’t the case he reached out to Harley the Whore.

According to a 1998 survey by researchers at the University of Chicago, about 25 percent of married men and 17 percent of married women in the United States ADMIT to having been unfaithful. The noted author Shirley Glass’ research suggests it is probably closer to 25 percent of women and 40 to 50 percent of men! That means that starting from scratch gives the above woman a 50% chance of finding another husband who will be faithful.

Even if I agreed with your 40-50% statistic for men cheating, I still have a 50% chance that the new guy won’t cheat and I’m still left with the fact that I’m 100% sure that my current partner is a cheater.

Now let me ask you: at this point in this woman’s husband’s life, given all he’s been through and learned, what are the chances that he’ll screw up again? If this woman gave him another chance, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family years before? In my opinion, it’s dramatically less than 50%. In fact, I think it’s slim to none.

I think you are way too optimistic. You are also assuming that every person who does not wish to divorce is invested in the marriage. That is simply not the case. Many times they are simply invested in not suffering consequences. Divorce has many consequences- losing custody time of your kids, splitting retirement funds, moving out of houses, no longer having someone to do your laundry/cook your food/clean your house/take care of your kids, no longer having access to your partner’s paycheck, losing friends and relatives…

Let me clarify that I’m talking in this case about a man who truly transformed himself and succeeded to prove that he’s changed. I’m NOT talking about someone who continually makes empty promises.

That’s the kicker, isn’t it, Mort? How do we really know which one we ended up with? Is the person truly remorseful? Have they truly transformed themselves? Or are they avoiding consequences?

If this woman were to leave her husband, I think Las Vegas would give her LOWER odds that this sort of thing would never happen to her again.

I don’t appreciate your scare tactics. I also don’t believe you should continue a marriage based upon the fact that, “Well, the next person will probably cheat, too, so why bother to find someone who won’t cheat and who will value me?

Maybe this person will find someone who is 100x better than the person left behind. That is another possibility.

Here lies an unfortunate irony. People wait years and years for their spouse to wake up and change their ways. Then when they finally do it, they’re told it’s too late.

I understand why someone would feel, after being cheated on, for example, that “it’s too late.” But the fact of the matter is that they’re about to walk away from a person who is FINALLY prepared to be a wonderful loving spouse.

In my experience, it’s these people, people who have made serious mistakes, people who have had the harshest wake up calls, who become the BEST spouses and are capable, more than anyone else, of forging the MOST fulfilling relationships.

Do you see the irony here?

Ah, the ol’ personality transplant! This person is now going to be everything you’ve ever wanted them to be! Nicely co-mingled with a giant helping of shaming people into forgiving the person who has devastated them.

Here’s the problem with your thinking, Mort. If my spouse has been an ass for 15-20 years and I’ve been begging him to change his ways and to please, please, please, keep his penis in his pants and then I finally wise up and realize his behavior is never going to change so I tell him I’m leaving him, it is NOT my fault that the marriage does not survive when he is finally facing  uncomfortable consequences and promises to change to avoid said uncomfortable consequences. You are putting the responsibility of the relationship succeeding or failing onto the person who has been abused and gaslighted for years. No, the relationship didn’t fail because I finally wised up and accepted my husband was an ass who was never going to change. It failed because my husband was an ass who was never going to change.

The mistakes that ruin relationships are those that transform the sinners into people capable of the most outstanding relationships. The unfortunate thing for the victim is that they don’t know how to heal from the hurt that would enable them to reap the benefit of their ordeal.

So the roles become reversed. The person who was ruining the relationship stands ready to transform it; while the person who wanted to work on the relationship all along becomes the cog in the wheel that inhibits true love.

Again, nice job blaming the victim. This relationship could work if only you would forget what I did! Yes, I may have mistreated you and taken you for granted (not to mention lied to you and cheated on you) for 20 years, but the real reason our marriage ultimately failed was because you refused to forgive me the 21st year.

In other words, the woman above has a choice. If she lets her husband go, he’ll most likely fall in love with another woman and treat her like a queen. He’ll be the husband to his new wife that the woman above always wanted him to be to her. I’ve seen it happen too often. Some lucky woman owes a poor victim a lot of gratitude. But this woman has another option. She could forgive her husband and become that lucky woman!

It so rarely works that way. That’s the fear that keeps people stuck. He/she will be better for the next person!

No, chances are very good that he or she will not be better for the next person. Oh, it may look that way from what is posted on Facebook or Instagram. He or she may even be able to keep that mask on for a few years. It will eventually slip. The shiny will eventually wear off the new relationship and they’ll be looking for something new and exciting once again.

Mort likes to tout his high success rate of couples remaining together. That’s nice, but there’s a difference between staying together because a divorce or splitting up is too inconvenient and your partner is of use to you, versus actually recommitting to your relationship.

Who Had June 25th or Six Months Post Divorce?

Cousinfucker and Harley the Whore got married in Vegas. My mom told me. Isn’t that quaint? The two cheaters made it official. Now the destruction they wrought has purpose.

Can I just say, “Vegas? Really?” On one hand it makes perfect sense. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. It’s all cheap drinks, gambling, and street performers. It’s showmanship and glitz. It’s a mirage. Perfect for cheaters like them. A farce registered at Macy’s and celebrated in Vegas.

On the other hand I can still remember him tearfully telling me that he felt so isolated out west. If he had to stay there much longer he would wind up in the psych ward. Apparently he can get married out there; he just can’t live out there.

As far as I know my kids have no idea their daddy has remarried or that they now have a brand spanking new step mommy and four step-siblings. Rock Star has said nothing so far and if I know her like I think I know her she could only sit on this information for a day or two.

Picasso washed his phone and it no longer works so even if his dad wanted to contact him he couldn’t.

I haven’t said anything because it’s not my news to tell, and frankly, I found this all out just as I was leaving work to go down and surprise the mobster for his birthday. None of us needed a cloud hanging over our heads thanks to CF.

I will also add that while he was all tears and stone faced for his daughter’s graduation, he was smiling in his new wedding pictures. Can’t smile for or with his daughter, but can grin away for a whore.

Honestly, it left me feeling strange for a few hours. As the mobster said, it’s like the final discard. He has completely and totally replaced me with this horrid other person. It was a little weird to think that she was taking over my spot in that family. I suppose I should add legally taking over, because let’s face it, she replaced me a long time ago. That’s really at the heart of it. I was effortlessly replaced and no one said a word. It was as if, despite twenty-one years with him, I had never existed.

Fear not! I don’t want him. I don’t grieve the loss of him. As I said I was on the way to see the mobster and throw him a fabulous surprise 50th birthday party. The mobster is my future. Despite any weird feelings CF’s marriage brought up I know I’m so much better off. I am happier than I’ve ever been.

Them? Well, let’s say I wish them all the happiness they deserve. He’s a man who cheated on his wife. She’s a woman who cheated on her husband. And who cheated on him in the first six months they were engaged in their affair! How much longer can he keep that mask on and convince her he’s a loving family man, a doting daddy to her kids? How much longer can she keep her legs closed to other men? Or refrain from sending naked pictures to other men? How long until she winds up being arrested again for writing bad checks because all that extra money that was so new and exciting is now routine? That’s the crappy thing about pretending to be someone you’re not. Eventually you can’t keep up the charade any longer and the real person comes out. Uh-oh!

Now a new pool will begin. How long will this last? How long until she cheats on him again? Anyone think he will be the cheater once again? Final bet: Will he tell his kids what he’s done, and if so, how long until he does so?

1cgq1l

 

1cgoi0

1cgjqm

The Myth of the Sexless Marriage

I was reading a conversation over on DC Urban Moms and Dads. The original poster asked why on earth anyone would recommend Chump Lady’s site because she was so bitter, angry and negative. Several people patiently pointed out that anger is useful to get you through the initial phase of being discarded and accepting what you married. Others pointed out her tag line is: Leave a cheater, gain a life. She’s not into the reconciliation business. Eventually it meandered over into the fact that men NEED sex and that most people who cheat do so because of sexless marriages.

Well, of course they do! It couldn’t be the fact that the person has bad character. It couldn’t be the fact that the cheater lacks impulse control, or feels entitled to anything he or she desires. It couldn’t be the fact that they act like toddlers, throwing a tantrum anytime things don’t go their way. It can’t be that they are needy and clingy and are bottomless pits of need. No, it must be because their spouses (wives usually) have cut them off from sex, forcing them to cheat. They wouldn’t do this awful thing if the “refusing” spouse would simply hop into bed and participate. This is not their fault! It’s the cheated on spouse’s fault!

Why not divorce? Coz reasons! It’s no fair that if my wife cuts me off from sex and I believe that’s a deal breaker then I have to be a grown up and make hard choices. One person even put it like this:

I’m not comfortable defending the position of a cheater but…

A wife who unilaterally chooses to be sexless gives her husband a Hobson’s choice. Either cheat or divorce, and along with divorce comes a free raping by the divorce court. Losing their kids, their house, half their stuff and the added bonus of continuing to pay the person who caused this for the rest of their life. That’s a ridiculous choice to have to make. So in that case, cheating is not a wholly unreasonable solution.

A wife whose husband has become sexless can make a legitimate choice to divorce with limited negative consequences, so there is no excuse for them to cheat.

Oy. And vey. Dramatic much?

A wife who unilaterally chooses to be sexless gives her husband a Hobson’s choice.

First of all, who are these wives this person speaks of who entirely cut their husbands off? There is a difference between, “I want to have sex six times a week but my spouse will only give it up twice,” vs. “I haven’t had sex in five years.” Not to mention, cheaters lie. It’s what they do.

CF will tell anyone who will listen that we hadn’t had sex in ten years. That is an outright lie. He will also tell people he is an Army Ranger. That is another outright lie. He lies. It’s what he does. I feel like I’m in a fucking Geico commercial!

In addition, the only spouses I’ve ever heard of who cut their spouse off sexually were the cheaters! They did it to maintain control. Meanwhile, they were out there screwing anything that moved.

Either cheat or divorce, and along with divorce comes a free raping by the divorce court. Losing their kids, their house, half their stuff…

Secondly, if you do even the tiniest bit of research you will find that it is generally women who pay the greatest price when it comes to divorce. Hell, I know I got a great deal compared to some people but my standard of living is still far, far below what it was. I will again remind the reading audience that while CF is indeed paying out in excess of 60% of his paycheck to me, he’s doing so because he refuses to leave his sweetie behind to find a better paying job. He was imputed at his previous wages. Even with a ten month gap in employment and being basically fired for drinking on the job, he managed to get a $100,000/year job. I finally got one for $11/hour. He lives in a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom 3000 sq. foot home which looks eerily like our old home in Virginia, with a community pool and a community clubhouse. I live with my mother, have no bedroom to call my own, and sleep on the couch.

Sure, there are stories of women who take their husbands to the cleaners. The ironic part? They’re usually the ones cheating. I know far more women who have been left destitute after a divorce.

…and the added bonus of continuing to pay the person who caused this for the rest of their life.

I’m pretty sure CF must have written this. Yet another person lamenting having to pay “for the rest of their life.” No, it’s not the rest of their life. In many states they pay nothing aside from child support! Child support ends at some point. Spousal support ends at some point. In my case it will end in 16 years. That is hardly “the rest of his life”.

I loved this though: So in that case, cheating is not a wholly unreasonable solution.

A wife whose husband has become sexless can make a legitimate choice to divorce with limited negative consequences, so there is no excuse for them to cheat.

Nice! So men are forced to cheat because otherwise they may have to give up some of their stuff. Women, on the other hand, never have an excuse to cheat.

It’s too bad some of these people never grew up. If they had they would understand that sometimes doing the right thing isn’t easy. They would understand that on occasion you get to choose between two shitty things. These poor babies just assume the fact that divorcing comes with consequences they don’t want to face means they should be excused for cheating.

Could we please stop acting like women (or whoever is withholding) have all the power? It’s not like a stay at home mom who is “refusing” to have sex has nothing to lose if her husband leaves her. Many states start with 50/50 custody so she stands to lose her kids. Even if she has primary custody she still misses out on weekends and holidays with her kids. A woman who divorces may find her children being raised by another woman. After reading a Mom vs. Stepmom debate board for over ten years it seems to me that women are much more territorial when it comes to the children. Many states have no alimony, so even if she does get custody of the kids, she won’t be receiving it any longer than 18 years and it will go down as each child ages out. Her chances of finding a job where she makes as much money as her husband are fairly low unless her degree is in something that will remain current- think nursing. I’ve known women who were teachers, IT professionals, and accountants who struggled going back into the workforce after years of staying home with children. If she was already working then he’s not going to end up paying her alimony anyway, if they live in a state that awards it, unless he makes significantly more than her. And, if their salaries are very similar he might not end up paying her much in child support either- probably none at all if custody is 50/50.

It’s all a narrative to justify cheating. Those trying the hardest to justify it keep referring to the “refuser” in the relationship and how that person is the one who first broke vows. Apparently, one of the vows you make when you get married is to have sex on demand. If that vow isn’t met then the other spouse is justified in cheating, or so their theory goes.

Even when it’s pointed out that if that is indeed happening then both parties know they are not having sex. The person being refused sex is not left in the dark. When the other person decides to go outside of the marriage both parties are not aware of it. When that is pointed out, and divorce is offered up as the responsible response to such a situation (not getting all the sex you deserve) they once again chime in with, “But… consequences! Why should I suffer any consequences for any of my decisions? I have to cheat. I deserve to cheat because they won’t do what I want them, no NEED them, to do.” They are nothing but big ol’ cake eaters.

Here’s another truth. It’s not about the sex. If he’s getting it twelve times a week at home then he’ll complain that she won’t do anal, or oral, or some other thing. Or it’s that she won’t do a threesome or let him watch her have sex with another guy, or participate in a gang bang, or agree to an open marriage, or participate in S&M. Look at the swinger from last week. He and his wife are having sex upwards of five times a week and he wants to be able fuck strange on the side. His complaint about his first wife wasn’t simply that she only wanted sex a few times a month. It was also about the fact that she wasn’t willing to indulge his other fantasies.

If you read Chump Lady you will hear that narrative over and over: I had plenty of sex with my husband, but he went looking for other sources because I wouldn’t… (fill in the blank).

People don’t cheat because they’re in sexless marriages. I would be willing to bet that most of them who make that claim aren’t even in sexless marriages. They cheat because they feel entitled to cheat. They cheat because they want to eat cake, as Chump Lady would say. They cheat because nothing is ever enough for them and no amount of groveling and catering to them will ever make them happy or satisfied. They always demand more. They cheat because they don’t want to have to do the hard work of filing for divorce and going through everything that entails. It’s far easier to keep your spouse and some strange on the side, than it is to be honest and do the hard thing. They cheat because they have convinced themselves that it’s YOUR fault. You’ve made them do this; the poor lambs didn’t have a choice.

Don’t fall for the narrative, folks. People with an ounce of common sense don’t ask what the rape victim could have done to prevent the rapist from raping her/him. People with an ounce of common sense don’t tell the battered spouse, “If only you would do (fill in the blank),” or “If you wouldn’t do (fill in the blank) your spouse wouldn’t be driven to abuse you.” People with an ounce of common sense should also realize no one makes another person cheat. It’s a damn choice. Own it!

#riseup

It Is Time

I’ve been mulling this idea over for a few months now. I know I write an awful lot about my own circumstances, especially since my life took such a drastic turn back in 2016. When I started this blog I really wanted to expand beyond my own situation and offer some sane advice to others who are dealing with this, whether they are in the discovery phase, the reconciliation phase, or in the middle of a divorce. I was reading Chump Lady one day and she said something to the effect of, “I’m only one voice. I can’t do this by myself.” And this gave me hope because I do want to add my voice to hopefully turn the tide on how we look at infidelity. It kills me when I read blogs by people who are going through this, hoping to reconcile, and their spouses are being absolute shits, refusing to give them answers, treating them like crap, blaming them. I want to scream out, “It’s not your fault!” I want to tell them cheating is an entitlement issue, a character issue. I want to point out that if sad little spouse cheated because he/she was unhappy, you were in the same marriage and yet you didn’t cheat. How could that be? I want to tell the cheated on spouse all about the blame shifting mindset of, “It’s not what I did; it’s your reaction to it.” I want to point out all their false equivalencies. Yeah, I cheated. But YOU never put the lid back on the ketchup. You never wanted to play golf. You snored. Or even better, the sneering, “Oh, you’re so perfect. Sorry I’m not perfect like you!”

Really what I would like to see, what I hope eventually happens in all this claptrap of open marriages and polyamory and how humans aren’t meant to be monogamous, is to see people no longer tolerate infidelity. I’d like to believe that the tide will shift, like it shifted for domestic abuse and rape.

I know; I know. Neither of those examples are without fault. There are still travesties of justice. But as a whole we no longer tsk tsk and ask what the wife did to make her husband so mad. We don’t ask her to take responsibility for him shoving her down a flight of stairs or knocking her head into the wall or punching her. It is not perfect yet, and there will always be those who excuse it, but we are less and less likely to put the onus on the abused spouse.

Similarly while examples abound in the news of men getting a slap on the wrist we are making strides in getting the message out there that rape is not about sex. It’s about power. It’s about having control over another person. It’s not because a girl wore a short skirt or had too much to drink. Hell, men get raped as well. We are putting the responsibility back on the person who is actually committing the act, and not asking the person who was violated to take responsibility for that person’s behavior.

There is a woman on another board I frequently read and she does not like the idea of self-defense classes for women at college. She thinks it puts the responsibility on the female to not get raped. And yet this same woman has said about cheating, “It’s a symptom, not the disease. It is an indication of a problem in the marriage.” She would never dream of telling a young college girl that it was her fault she got raped, but she has no problem with distributing the blame in a marriage when one part of that couple cheats.

I have hope that one day instead of blaming the betrayed spouse we put the blame where it belongs- on the person who cheated. I have hope that one day we won’t ask what the spouse did to cause their partner to stray. We won’t look at the woman who has gained weight since the wedding day and cluck disapprovingly, “Well no wonder he cheated; she let herself go!” As I’ve pointed out many times beautiful, thin women get cheated on all the time.

I want to believe as more voices start rising up that we will combat this insane idea that only those who are “perfect” don’t cheat. Or that being unhappy entitles a person to destroy their spouse.

I long to see the day where people recognize that cheating is an entitlement problem. It is a character problem. I was not a perfect spouse but I sure as hell didn’t deserve what CF did to me and our kids. I didn’t deserve to be cheated on. He had a plethora of decisions he could have made instead of cheating. You don’t need to be perfect in order to have a faithful spouse.

I have hope that people will be called out when they toss out such stupid remarks as, “Life is too short to be unhappy,” or “We live in an age where we’re not forced to remain in unhappy relationships.” Yes, by all means, seek out happiness. Don’t remain in a relationship if you are unhappy. But don’t cheat either! I’m sure it will come as a huge surprise to many cheaters out there but you can actually file for divorce without having another person in your bed! It’s crazy; I know!

When people yammer on and on about how monogamy isn’t natural I look forward to people informing those idiots that antibiotics and other medications aren’t natural either. Indoor plumbing and electricity aren’t natural. And if you want to go all, “In nature…” on me. Well… in nature a lot of nasty shit happens, like the weakest of the herd being killed off, or killing the offspring of the former alpha so the females will mate with the new alpha, or starving to death. Cheaters aren’t usually big on consequences. Then again they usually think they are the best in show and above all the rules.

I hope that one day, instead of going back to, “Infidelity is a private matter between two people,” or “Cheating is a symptom and not the disease,” people start to look at what toll infidelity takes on everyone. That is one of the reasons I was upfront about it on Facebook once the divorce was finalized.

Cheating is romanticized and minimized. But it’s not romantic and the impact it has on everyone in its wake can be devastating.

Look at the kids whose lives have been upended. Look at displaced stay at home moms who are suddenly thrust into the workforce making next to nothing. I was lucky; many states don’t have alimony. Look at men who have to paternity test their children, or who lose everything in a divorce to their cheating wife.

My kids and I lost our home thanks to my husband’s cheating. My kids were forced to change schools and move out of state. I worked two jobs to make ends meet and still didn’t have much while CF and Harley lived it up. My kids suffered. I’m no longer around and available for them like I have been in the past.

I also realize I had it easy compared to some of the stories I’ve heard. College funds drained. 401ks liquidated and spent on Schmoopie. Hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on gifts and trips. People losing everything in their divorce- their house, their children, their business. People who have only been with one person in their entire life finding out they have an incurable STD (or even a curable one). Women losing babies or babies being put in the NICU because of STDS. In some instances lives were threatened, poisoned, and even ended. Those stories need to get out there.

I know. It’s not fun and exciting. It makes people uncomfortable. Especially if they truly believe it when we tell them it’s a character and entitlement problem because that means there is nothing they can do to prevent it from happening to them.

I want to believe that at some point we stop acting like we owe nothing to another person. So many people want to minimize cheating, want to minimize what role the affair partner plays. They want to be seen as sophisticated and edgy and nonjudgmental so when they hear of someone having an affair with a married person (or just hear of someone having an affair) they play it off as though it is no big deal. Or, you know, they didn’t owe anything to anyone.

No! You do owe it to others in society to be decent. It is not okay to fuck another person’s spouse. It is not okay to lie and deceive another person. You don’t have to owe them anything in order to not do that to them. It is a bad thing. If you are perfectly willing to fuck another person’s spouse because “you don’t owe the spouse anything; you didn’t make vows!” then you are a shitty human being. Those things need to be said. People who do crap like this need to stop being given a pass. It isn’t edgy or hip. It is destructive. It hurts people. It hurts families.

The good news is more of those so called sophisticated articles romanticizing affairs are being called out. People are pointing out that cheating is not your only option. Commenters are stressing character. They’re not buying the bogus excuses. They’re not allowing the wool to be pulled over their eyes.

Yes, I’m still going to be offering up recipes, ranting about random things, talking about my mobster, and chronicling my “adventures” with CF, but I’m also going to stick around so that I can continue to call bullshit on the people who say it’s no big deal and that it’s a marriage problem. No, it’s a character issue; it’s an entitlement issue. I’ll say it over and over again until it sticks. I’m going to continue to call bullshit on cheaters who offer up lame excuses, defend their atrocious behavior, and try to tell cheated on spouses how to behave. Yes, because if I’m going to take advice on how to improve my marriage I’m definitely going to listen to the lying cheater. What’s that? I should fetch him his slippers and draw him a bath and fuck him wildly several times a day? Tell me more! I’m going to continue to call bullshit on the mistresses who say if they had to choose they’d rather be the mistress than the betrayed wife because they get all the great parts of the relationship and none of the mundane shit, or they’re free to walk away and get on with their life while the wife has to deal with the aftermath. Or the ones who preen around, who tell everyone they’re not doing anything wrong and they don’t have a problem with being the mistress. I don’t give a crap if you didn’t make vows to me, slut-o-rama. Are you married to my husband? No? Then don’t ride his dick! I’ll continue to call bullshit on any of the dumbasses who defend them and the people who tout an open marriage as the best way to combat infidelity. When a person cheats they get off on the fact that they are deceiving their partner. They know something you don’t know! An open marriage would never fly. There’s no fun in that when you’re allowed to do it. They also certainly don’t want the other person off having a little fun of their own. Hey, that’s my spouse appliance. No one else gets to play with it. Hands off! I’ll continue to call bullshit on the reconciliation industry which preaches forgiveness at all costs, and tells a person who has just been knifed in the heart that they need to own their part in this. Fuck that! I keep going back to this: If I couldn’t make him eat a damn turnip then I don’t see how anyone thinks I could have made him be faithful.

Ultimately, I will continue to hope that more and more people join in and spread the word.

 

#ItIsTime #RiseUp