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! 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.

Does Intent Matter?

I’ve seen some people say their partner’s intent behind cheating on them does not matter one bit. As one person put it (and I’ll paraphrase): It doesn’t matter if you shoot me on purpose or if you shoot me accidentally; the end result is still that I’ve been shot.

Others seem to go with the idea that as long as their spouse didn’t intend to hurt them with their actions that somehow makes it better.

Aside from the fact that I have a hard time believing anyone thinks they can cheat on, betray, and lie to another person and it’s NOT going to hurt them, I have to wonder if the intent really matters.

If, when your spouse gets stressed, he drinks a bottle of Jack, gets stupid drunk, and knocks you around, do you excuse the behavior because he was stressed?

What if, when your spouse feels down, she goes out and runs up thousands of dollars on your joint credit cards? Or, maybe, when they’re overwhelmed with work they tend to make cruel jokes at your expense. Maybe, when hard things come up in life, like problems with health, children, or parents, their first reaction is to escape and leave you handling everything. Or to drink, or fuck others, or do drugs, or hit you, or mistreat you in other ways.

Look, your partner/spouse can pick a million different ways to cope with stress/anxiety/depression, etc. Instead of asking, “Did they mean to hurt me with that kind of behavior?” perhaps we should be asking, “Am I prepared to deal with that for the rest of my life?” Because as I said above I have a real hard time believing anyone is so stupid as to believe that they are not hurting the person they claim to love when they fuck around on them. And there will always be stressors. Rarely does life move along smoothy with no bumps. Are you willing to live with the way they cope with whatever for the rest of your life?

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:

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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.

Head Exploding, Part 2

I don’t think my head would have exploded had the author quit at this idea you can do divorce well and have a wonderful life post divorce with you being best buds and new kind of family with the ex.

But no, she has to go on and say this:

I do also understand not all divorces are wrapped up in a nice neat bow. Infidelity and lies do lead to harsh feelings – but even then, if we can take a step back and try to see the other human being as just that – a human being, and take our egos out of the equation then it’s possible to overcome this too. Stop asking, how could they do this to US? Why did he/she do that to ME? And instead understand that infidelity is less about us and more about them and their way of trying to figure out how to fill their own voids. We don’t have to agree with their decisions and we’re allowed to feel hurt but then at some point we need to brush ourselves off and make progress towards a better life and own OUR happiness. Everyone deserves to be happy. And not just happy on the terms that WE’VE given them. They need to find their own way, their own path. If it doesn’t include you then that’s ok. If their decisions bring them down the wrong path, that is their cross to bear. Not yours or your children’s. Your strength will get you through any hardships associated with their bad decisions and that strength will trickle down to your children as well. Your happiness has always been within you anyway.

I. Can’t. Even.  Really? Take a step back and try to see the other human being as just that? How about no? How about instead of seeing them as just human I see him as the manipulative, conning liar and cheater that he is? Why encourage people to open themselves up for more abuse? This is the problem. When we see monsters these days we are told they are not really monsters. Why lie to us like that? Why encourage us to lie to ourselves?

My life was napalmed. This wasn’t some small, innocuous thing. It was the systematic dismantling of my life as I knew it. My children suffered as well. They lost everything they knew and then once they finally began to get their footing he pulled the rug out from underneath them all over again. Harsh feelings doesn’t even begin to cover what I felt towards that bastard.

Sweetie, I assure you, my ego is not the problem. The problem is that I married and bred with a liar. My children’s father is a perpetual victim despite the devastation he has caused- both to me and my children.

By my ego I assume you mean my anger or my outrage. We can’t have any of that, can we? How can we possibly sell cheating and divorce as a good thing when people appear to be so angry over it? We can’t have the cheating spouse feel bad about themselves. If you would just please eat the shit sundae, stuff all of your feelings way down deep, and smile real pretty, this could be a real swell ride for you!

It’s all psycho-babble bullshit meant to ease the guilty conscience of a cheater. She paints it as some existential crisis: Stop asking how could they do this to US? Why did he/she do that to ME? And instead understand that infidelity is less about us and more about them and their way of trying to figure out how to fill their own voids.

Are you kidding me? If the cheater in my life didn’t do this to ME and to US and to OUR KIDS then who exactly did he cheat on and whose lives did he impact with his selfish behavior? I assure you that when he told me not to worry if I saw a wire on our bank records because he was sending his mom money for groceries that he most definitely was lying to ME and affecting ME. When he let me coach him to be able to drive to go meet up with his whore he most definitely was doing something shitty TO ME. When he lied about where he was going and tried to get me to send him naked pictures while he was with her that was something done TO ME. When he siphoned off over half of his paycheck and put it into an account with Harley so that she and her kids could have whatever her evil, shriveled little heart wanted, forcing my kids to have to do without, he did that TO US. Every shitty move he made affected us and was purposefully done to inflict the most damage.

Oh, but ignore that and focus instead on the fact that they were fucking strange because they needed to fill their own voids. Even though your life may have been gutted and irreparably damaged please try to remember this isn’t about you. It’s about the cheater’s journey of self-discovery. God forbid someone suggest yoga, or meditation, or journaling. Hell, maybe try a therapy dog. But don’t cheat on your spouse and then try to excuse it by calling it self-discovery. The only thing being discovered is that you’re a selfish, entitled asshole.

We don’t have to agree with their decisions and we’re allowed to feel hurt but then at some point we need to brush ourselves off and make progress towards a better life and own OUR happiness. 

Bless her Pollyanna-esque heart! I wonder if she has a timeline? Month 1- vomit, be unable to eat or sleep, lose twenty-five pounds, cry every day. Month 2- Resume old life, cry only once or twice a week. Month 3- Decide that this new life, sans life partner is absolutely terrific. Start telling everyone that your spouse’s affair was the best thing that ever happened to you and how you are so fortunate to be given this unique chance to start your life over completely from scratch. Month 4- Can’t even remember you were once married.

Thanks so much for giving all of us cheated on people permission to disagree with our partner’s choice to fuck another person and for allowing us to feel hurt for a moment. We sure do appreciate it.

I even understand, to a certain degree, what this author is trying to say. Yes, divorce sucks but we all have the power to make a new and better life. Well, at least a new life. I suppose better is in the eye of the beholder. And yes, we shouldn’t spend the rest of our lives reliving what happened and wishing it was all some nightmare we could wake from. But that doesn’t mean we need to forgive the person who gutted us, who betrayed us in the most intimate way. Getting on with our lives is not synonymous with forgiving or even getting along with the ex.

Everyone deserves to be happy. And not just happy on the terms that WE’VE given them. They need to find their own way, their own path. If it doesn’t include you then that’s ok.

I’m going to call a big load of bullshit on that one. No one deserves to be happy at another person’s expense. Period. And that is what cheating is. If you were to take a gander at Harley’s Facebook page she talks nonstop about how happy she is. She is happier than a pig in shit that she managed to snag her married man. Yep, she’s the luckiest gal in the world. Her brand new husband left his wife of twenty years and deserted his two children to be with her. What a prize! She is ecstatic! Over the moon! Everyone tells her she deserves it. She deserved another woman’s husband. His children deserved to be deserted so that they could live happily ever after.

That also seemed to be the overriding theme in CF’s life with his mom and sister telling him he deserved to be happy. Hell, his mom encouraged Harley to call him because he seemed so sad and miserable. Now he’s supposed to be happy. He’s turned his kids’ lives upside down. He’s pretty much turned his back on them. He put me through hell. But hey- he had a right to happiness no matter who suffered! Am I right?

Here’s the thing: I believe people do deserve to be happy. I also believe they have every right to decide you don’t make them happy. Furthermore, I believe and accept that they are free to end the relationship. Here’s the other thing: You do that shit before you go looking for another warm body. No one has the right to destroy another human being due to their selfish behavior in search of “happiness”. If you’re unhappy get out. Don’t waste your partner’s life while you search for love.

Sadly, I think the author is woefully misguided when she chimes in with: If their decisions bring them down the wrong path, that is their cross to bear. Not yours or your children’s.

CF’s decisions did end up being my cross to bear. It ended up being my children’s cross to bear. His decisions had far reaching consequences for us. We lost our home. We were forced to move 600 miles away. I lost almost everything I had ever owned in my life. It’s magical thinking to tell betrayed spouses that it’s not their cross to bear. There is almost no way that can be true. Actions have consequences and often those consequences are far reaching.

She ends with more psycho-babble: Your strength will get you through any hardships associated with their bad decisions and that strength will trickle down to your children as well. Your happiness has always been within you anyway.

That’s just another way of saying, “Play nice. Let bygones be bygones. Eat shit and smile pretty. Let’s all forgive and forget and be best friends once again.”

You know what? My strength did get me through the hell I lived in for over two years. I still remember that long period of time where I just wanted to lay down and die; I felt no joy, no happiness. I had no hope. My kids did see me as a kickass role model; I’d like to think my strength has trickled down to them. I’m happier now than I ever was with him, so yes, it has always been within me.

That doesn’t change the fact that none of this should have been done to me, or my kids. So no, there will be no playing nicely with the person who cheated. He might be a human being but he’s a shitty one. I do not forgive and forget. His happiness was not more important than mine or our kids’. Start telling that story instead of trying to package adultery up in a beautiful box with a great big bow.

 

Poor Little OW

I came across the comments section of an OW’s blog. Shocker- she was alone on Valentine’s Day and hoping for a shout out from her married man. Another OW tells her, “I feel for you. I really do… The other woman rarely gets any sympathy and I think that is unfair. It’s impossible to stop loving someone even if you are not ‘meant’ to.”

In reply, the OOW (original other woman) says, “Thanks… it’s great to have someone who relates. Definitely unfair, and so hurtful. Our feelings are not important at all!!!???”

Are you two dipshits for real? Do you really not understand why people might not feel sorry for you when you’re off fucking married men and helping to destroy families?

I’ll bite. What exactly is it that we’re supposed to feel sorry for?

Sorry that your married man is spending holidays with his wife? Hmmmm… that’s what commonly happens when you get involved with a married man. He tends to spend the holidays with his actual wife and family, especially if you are a dirty little secret, hidden from everyone he knows.

Are we supposed to feel sorry for you that you “fell in love” with someone who was already taken? Hmmmm… I personally believe that you can control that shit. You get the crotch tingles from someone and you find out he’s married? You walk away! Period. Take up knitting. Bake some banana bread. Read to orphans. Milk a goat. You don’t engage because chances are excellent that this is not going to end well.

I’m so tired of hearing this tripe. You can’t control who you fall in love with. You can’t stop loving someone even if you’re not meant to love them. Bullshit! You don’t put yourself in situations where this could happen. If you are attracted to a man who is married you avoid that person. If you can’t avoid him for whatever reason (and truthfully, I think that’s going to be a rare situation) you make sure you’re not alone with him. You don’t socialize outside of work with him. You don’t email him. You don’t text him. You don’t friend him on Facebook or follow him on Instagram. You don’t FaceTime. You stay off his Twitter account. You don’t SnapChat. You. Walk. Away.

I’ll take it one step further. Maybe you can’t control who you fall in love with. Maybe you can’t stop loving someone even if you’re not meant to love them. You can, however, choose how to behave going forward. You can choose to stay away. You can choose to not act on those feelings. You can choose to acknowledge that it is wrong and that a relationship between the two of you will hurt people, so you again, opt to walk away.

Sorry, sweetie pie; you are absolutely correct when you say the other woman doesn’t get any sympathy. There is a reason for that. She chose this. She knew what she was doing; she knew she was wrong and she went ahead anyway. Either she believed it was a love fated in the stars, or she believed she was so damn special she was entitled to another woman’s mate. Regardless, she chose her lot in life.

Now she and her other women friends can sit around a fireplace, drowning their sorrows in alcohol as they bemoan the fact that their married lovers have left them alone yet again over holidays, or cry as they realize the love of their life is still having sex with his wife. Maybe they can pour over pictures of the couple on social media and try to figure out if he’s really happy with her or if it’s all a charade, because gosh darn it, it just looks so real and he never takes the OW on vacation or buys her expensive presents!

If you want people to acknowledge your feelings and to sympathize with you when you are hurt stop fucking married men. It’s almost impossible to pity a woman who knowingly takes on that role.

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.

Privileged To Be Able To Choose Monogamy

This other board that I read has been unusually slow but one single thread keeps giving me material.

In the same thread as the one where they were talking about taking care of their cheating terminally ill spouse the same poster who said she would “choose compassion” made a remark to another poster about her being “privileged to be able to choose monogamy.”

You have to understand her husband is a fighter pilot who has been stationed all over the world; they’ve been separated for several years at a time. Apparently there was no leave for him. So they agreed to an open marriage. Shockingly, he broke their agreed upon rules. She then decided an open marriage was no longer a viable option. Shockingly, he outright cheated. Also shockingly, she prefers to call his cheating “a flawed human being who was seeking to get his needs met.” I prefer entitled, cheating asshole but eh, whatever. You say po-ta-to; I say po-tah-to.

I’m shaking my head in disbelief at this entire exchange. People are privileged to be able to choose monogamy? Bullshit!

It’s not privilege; it’s having boundaries. The way I see it she made choices all along the way. She knew what her husband was, what he did for a living. She was in the military at one point as well. She knew getting involved with another service member might mean long periods away from each other. She could have chosen to not get involved with such a person. She could have decided that two competing careers like that, with long periods of separation, wasn’t something she was interested in. But she didn’t. She chose a fighter pilot. No one forced her to do it. She wasn’t trafficked. She didn’t get tricked. She knew what a relationship between two people in the service was going to mean. She even knew what it would mean if one of them got out. You would still be dealing with deployments.

She also chose to open her marriage. I would be willing to bet that there are hundreds of thousands of spouses of military members who fully expect their spouse to be faithful to them even if they are not able to fuck them daily. They do not all say, “Well shucks! Since you’re several thousand miles away from me I may as well let you nail anything that moves. Have fun!” That was the choice she made.

She could have just as easily enforced boundaries. “No, I don’t care that you haven’t had sex in eight months. I expect fidelity in my relationship. If that’s too much to ask from you then we need to end this and you need to find a partner more compatible.” Instead she decided it was way too much to expect him to be faithful to her so she gave him permission to have sex with other women.

Seriously! Is it too much to expect him to use his damn hand? And no matter how much people try to insist that sex is a need no one has ever died from not getting laid. If you absolutely needed to have sex there would be no nuns. I would have died shortly after getting divorced.

No, what happened was she knew he was a cocky, entitled, good looking guy that attracted a lot of women. She figured by opening it up she could head off the cheating at the pass. Only it never works that way with cocky, entitled people. Rules are for other people. They’re too splendid to be bound by rules. She let him run all over whatever boundaries she may have had and then tries to spin that as “she wasn’t privileged to be able to choose monogamy.”

You are always able to choose monogamy. She just didn’t want to insist on it because she was afraid he wouldn’t agree to it. Or, she just figured he was going to cheat anyway so if she gave him permission it wouldn’t be cheating and their relationship could remain wonderful.

Having a monogamous relationship is not a privilege. For most people it is an expectation. I’m not saying that just because you expect it your partner won’t lie to you and lead you to believe they, too, want monogamy while they’re nailing anything that moves. But they do that knowing it’s a deal breaker and that their actions could very well lead to the end of their relationship.

I’m not saying that everyone has to choose monogamy. I know there are people out there who don’t. If it works for you, good for you. I do, however, draw the line at anyone who gives their spouse permission to have sex with others and then sadly proclaims that monogamy is a privilege that not everyone enjoys, rather than expressing their needs and enforcing their boundaries.

The Biggest Lie Of All

Between the other board I read and a recent blog post I read on WordPress I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the population is fairly stupid and naive when it comes to infidelity.

I was reading not that long ago a post from a woman who made the edgy, “unpopular” proclamation that infidelity was not a deal breaker in her marriage. Both she and her husband agreed it was no reason to divorce (you have to put that “one mistake” up against the entire relationship, dontchaknow?); furthermore, they both agreed they would never confess if they did cheat because confessing was for the cheater and only burdened the betrayed spouse.

Oh, there was plenty of talk about how she wouldn’t be surprised if he had already cheated because the statistics say everyone does it, or at least the majority of people do it. Plus, they’ve been together for more than thirty years so why would she throw that away for one little indiscretion?

On the other board one of the women who had in fact been cheated on (repeatedly) by her current husband made the comment that she realized her husband was a “flawed human being seeking to have basic physical needs met.” That didn’t mean he didn’t love her. He absolutely did. This same person insists that there is an entire cultural attitude that applauds those who kick out the cheater and berate or shame those that try to work it out.

There were a few women who talked about how much work goes into restoring a relationship after it’s been rocked by infidelity. There were many kudos given for those who do the “hard work” of rebuilding trust and working through it.

I was especially shocked by the stance of one poster that I admire. Her husband had cheated on her, purposely got the AP pregnant, and eventually moved in with her. He also had no intentions of ever filing for divorce. In his world he was perfectly content to remain married while shacking up with his AP and love child.. She said this about her own daughters facing infidelity in their marriage: I would want my daughters to think deeply before they get a divorce. There are worse things than a “moment of indiscretion.” If my daughter was convinced that the husband was truly sorry and truly loved her, I could understand why she would give her husband a second chance.

I shake my head as I read all of this. There are several problems with these lines of thinking.

The biggest lie is that affairs are just about sex. No, affairs are about lies and deception. You don’t make a mistake when you cheat on your partner. You make a series of mistakes, generally dozens, when you cheat on your partner. There is the choice to chat up a co-worker or friend. The choice to continue on with all of that when you know you are playing with fire. There are the lies to cover your tracks. There are the lies to explain your absences. Then there is the sexual act itself. That’s followed by all the lies and deception used to cover up what you just did. Followed by more lies so you can do it again.

I would love to ask the writer of the blog who declared infidelity not a deal breaker in her marriage if losing a baby due her spouse’s infidelity might be a deal breaker. How about if you were diagnosed with an incurable STD? There are several readers over on Chump Lady who’ve actually been given HPV which has led to cancer. Would that be a deal breaker or is that another thing you would need to put up against your thirty wonderful years together? How about if you found out your husband and his mistress were slowly poisoning you? Is that a deal breaker or are you still going to try to work things out? What about if you found out your spouse was draining marital accounts to fund the affair? What if they “loaned” money to the affair partner? What if your spouse bought phones for, and then allowed you to get online and pay the cell phone bill for your “in-laws”, only you find out two months later you’ve been paying the cell phone bill for his mistress and her daughter? Are we still overlooking all of this because, you know, it’s just sex? Is the long history together still winning out over all this douche-y behavior?

Unfortunately, many times it’s not a simple matter of some horny person out there fucking whatever moves. Many, many times, if not most of the time, affairs involve financial deception as well. “I’m sending my mom money for groceries! I’ve got a ‘business trip’ next weekend. I’m ‘investing’ in a friend’s company.” They involve gas lighting and mind fucking. “I’m not having an affair. You’re crazy! When you don’t trust me it leads me to want to actually do what you’re accusing me of! I would never cheat on you! You and the kids mean everything to me. I swear on our children’s lives I’m not cheating. Maybe you’re the cheater and you’re projecting on to me.”

Go read the comments sometime on Chump Lady. You will find person after person who has been left financially destitute after being cheated on and left. Accounts drained (hello!). Houses foreclosed on (hello!). Support withheld (hi again!). Businesses devalued. Money given to or spent on the AP. Signatures forged. Credit card debt run up. Money hidden. It’s not just sex. It is a far reaching plan to deceive and destroy another person.

As for this idea that a cheater is simply a “flawed human being seeking to have physical needs met”, well, I sure hope that both the cheater and the affair partner are on the same page in regards to what’s happening here. I’ve heard a few stories where the AP thinks this is the romance of the century and when they find out that’s not the case… they turn into a bunny boiler. Seems such a shame to ruin this beautiful “physical needs being taken care of” romance with stalking and hysteria and threatening phone calls to the spouse.

I also hope a pregnancy does not occur because these physical needs were taken care of outside of the marriage. That would be a little awkward, huh? According to ID TV that’s usually when the cheater kills the AP. Of course, if the cheater is a woman and she’s the one who gets pregnant… again, might be a little awkward, but totally not out of the realm of possibility that she might try to pass it off as her husband’s child. Nothing like a paternity test to spice up a marriage! But hey, it’s just sex, right?

I hope that poster is right and she doesn’t find her husband leaving her for someone else a few years down the road. It’s not that unusual for men to trade in their spouse when she gets into her 40s or 50s. Gray divorce is a huge topic these days. Why keep the middle aged wife with her stretch marks and muffin top when he’s got a hot, toned, child free twenty something offering him blow jobs and fun times? My jaded philosophy is something along these lines: Even if it’s not a hot, younger woman, if your husband fucks around on you often enough eventually he’s going to find a replacement for you.

As for this idea that there is a cultural trend to shame those that remain with their husbands I have to say, “Oh please!” Aside from Chump Lady’s blog I can’t think of another blog that encourages leaving the cheater. There is, in fact, an entire industry devoted to helping you “affair-proof” your marriage, teaching you all about the 180, promising you that the affair will be “the best thing to ever happen to your marriage”, and otherwise encouraging you to work through the infidelity and to reconcile. They sell programs and constantly promise to tell you how to win back a wandering spouse. And as always, they promise that your marriage will be “better and stronger than before!”

Look at all the kudos for the people who choose to stay and work through the infidelity. They are “applauded”. They are lifted up in praise because they did the “hard work” it took to work through all of that. People are cautioned to “think carefully” before divorcing a cheating spouse because surely there are worse things than a “momentary lapse in judgement”.

Meanwhile, those who do divorce are judged as being unforgiving. They lack compassion and think they are superior. We foolishly base our decision on one small, insignificant mistake instead of thinking rationally and taking into account the entire relationship.

If we’re not judged as being unforgiving and lacking compassion then we’re judged as being moral failures. Hell, there was a blogger that thought there should be a divorce tax and who advocated shunning those who divorce! Obviously we didn’t value marriage; we’re tossing aside our solemn vows because we’re not “happy.”

We’re accused of taking the “easy way out”. <Snort> Please. Like working entry level jobs, moving in with your mom, losing your home and everything in it, being forced to move out of the state, and sleeping on the couch is so much easier than remaining a stay at a home mom who lives on over $200,000 a year, lives in a nice big house she calls her own, complete with a pool and a hot tub, and has all the time in the world to visit friends and go on vacation. Oh hell yes. Getting up at 3:30 in the morning and working at Target before dropping off my kid at school and then going to my regular full-time job was so much easier than getting up at 7:00, making my kids breakfast, dropping them off at school, and then spending the rest of the day doing whatever I wanted.

Not to mention that some of us didn’t get the “opportunity” to do the so-called hard work of rebuilding our marriage. Some of us got dumped. Some of us were blindsided. For some of us our husbands or wives had our replacements lined up long before we knew we were headed for divorce.

It didn’t take a genius to see the writing on the wall. I did give some thought to approaching CF with “an arrangement.” He could have his cousin on the side, but we would stay together until both kids had graduated from high school. He would not be allowed to financially support her; the kids and I would be the beneficiaries of his paycheck and bonus. However, it became quickly apparent that such an arrangement had less than a snowball’s chance in hell of working. He was lying. He was giving her huge sums of money already. They had a bank account together. He was interviewing for jobs out of state. I was certain he was not planning on taking me and the kids with him. It was going to be a solo move. So I bit the bullet. I lawyered up. I protected myself. I filed for divorce.

Here is another very important part to consider. Most of the people over on Chump Lady have tried reconciliation. I don’t have statistics but my guess, from what I’ve read over the years and through various sources, is that the majority of people who find out their spouse is cheating on them, try to reconcile. I truly believe very few people follow through with kicking the cheater to the curb without a second thought. I think most of us at least try. There may be some who try and decide they can’t get over this, but they do at least try to make it work. This is where that important part comes in.

I’ve read way too many stories over there about people who opted to forgive and rebuild trust, who chose reconciliation, who decided it was worth it to do the hard work and not let one little mistake define their entire relationship, who forgave the cheater and welcomed them back home, only to have the cheater do it all over again years later. In some cases it was years between affairs, and in other cases the cheater took it deeper underground and lived a double life for ten to twenty years before cruelly discarding their spouse. I can’t think of a single one of them who says, “I have no regrets; I cherish every single extra year I got with my cheating spouse. Though the marriage may be dead I will comfort myself with the many wonderful memories we created.” No, what they all say, almost without fail, is that they wish they had left the first time and that they regret wasting all of those years with that person. There are a few who say they are glad they tried marriage counseling, they’re glad they tried to fix it, because they know they did everything they possibly could to make it work so they leave with a clean conscience. But I can’t think of anyone who says they are glad for the extra years with their cheater. There is only regret for wasting a single minute more on that person who chose to turn around and betray them again.

 

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

This Is What They Look Like, Part 1

I’ve had a bit of writer’s block lately. Nothing to report. No infidelity articles to snark about. Until today.

I came across someone writing a glowing report about an article that was posted in the New York Times Modern Love. Written by Karin Jones it is all about what she learned about infidelity  by sleeping with married men.

I’ll save you the hassle of reading the article itself. It pretty much boils down to: Ladies, you suck! Or, don’t suck enough, as the case may be. It’s always about the sex. They’re just not getting enough and if only you puritanical types could let your husbands go off and fuck any random woman to get that “intimacy” met then everyone would be happy. You could keep your marriage and your upper middle class lifestyle, and he would never leave because he was getting all the sex he could ever want. From everyone. Sometimes maybe even you! Aren’t you lucky?

We all know they only stray because of the lack of sex, don’t we? And they are all poster children for the perfect husband aside from their proclivity to fuck random strange. It’s never because they’re unable to be satisfied, or entitled, or just have piss poor judgment and life skills. It’s never because they enjoy secretly getting one over on their partner. There is no thrill in knowing something she doesn’t know. Oh no! It always comes down to the wife not putting out enough.

Men, I apologize for being so general. I try to keep it gender neutral. My own love was cheated on more than once by his wife, so I know it’s not a men only thing. However, this article was written by a woman about unfaithful men with whom she was sleeping. I’m speaking only in terms of her article.

Back to the blog on WordPress. That writer praised Karin for being so brave. Yes, it’s so brave to admit you sleep with married men. Something tells me Karin is not one bit ashamed of that. I would bet money Karin feels rather hip and liberated, no longer chained to those old fashioned ideas that say adultery is wrong.

The writer admits he had two long term affairs (18 months) in his own marriage that ended in divorce, and he thinks Karin pretty much nails it! Surprise, surprise! It was all about the sex. If his wife had only put out more he wouldn’t have needed to cheat on her!

According to him he was an amazing husband. He helped out around the house, he was an active, involved father, he made good money, he never yelled at her, he complimented her, and most importantly, he worked out like a fiend so he could be in great shape for her. Plus, he’s pretty sure that he’s awesome in bed so it wasn’t that he just didn’t do it for her.

I’m being unkind. His second wife seems to be very happy with his performance sexually. Coincidentally, she loves having sex and they have tons of it, so it really must have been the ex-wife’s fault that he cheated.

He’s also created charts that show exactly how much sex he was having with his ex-wife and now, his new wife, so he knows he was only having sex with his ex about twice a month and now has sex 4-5 times a week. He’s even older now than he was when he was with his ex but just look at him go! It’s probably all that working out he did.

Hey, I wonder if his wife got fat and that was another reason he had to cheat.

Karin does ask the question: Why not just ask your wife for permission to have the occasional fling or casual affair?

My answer is: Silly Karin. They don’t ask permission because that would spoil the fun of knowing something your partner doesn’t know. They don’t ask permission because that might put a crimp in their lifestyle. They might find themselves splitting their 401k and paying child support. Even worse, if they’re allowed to go off and have the occasional fling then maybe their partner can go off and have the occasional fling as well, and that’s just not acceptable! Cheater gets all the cake! And the ice cream, too.

His response was predictable. He didn’t want to “hurt” people. Ending the marriage would be a “disaster” and would end up hurting everyone- his kids, his wife, his in-laws. He also recognized he would become a part-time dad. More on that in a minute.

In the end he decided that having an affair was the honorable thing to do. It was the only solution. He could keep his family together and get his sexual needs taken care of. What a swell guy! I’m sure his wife appreciated him cheating on her instead of manning up and divorcing her. Throw in an STD for an added bonus!

It is obvious that he and his wife were not sexually compatible. We could argue about whether or not that is a reason to divorce your spouse. Some people have a high sex drive; others have a much lower one. The two of them, of course, lament the fact that the lower libido spouse is always the one that controls how much sex is being had. Naturally they think that either the high libido spouse should rule, or that they should come up with a compromise. I don’t know what the correct answer is. I know what it isn’t. You don’t go off and have affairs and think that will solve things. You don’t go off and have affairs and then try to dress that up as you doing something honorable or helpful. You don’t blame the fact that you chose to have an affair on your spouse and their unwillingness to have sex.

This is where it gets interesting. In an earlier post he talks about how he was afraid that he would never be satisfied by just one woman and he brought that up to his new, future wife fairly early on in their relationship. He concludes, four years later, that he is entirely satisfied by this new wife. Yet, he and his new wife are swingers, or monogam-ish. He is so satisfied with his new wife with whom he has amazing sex 4-5 times a week that they both have sex with other people several times a month. I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.

Furthermore, in yet another post, they (they write this blog together) talk about a swinging event they had where she was very hurt by the fact that he got a blow job from a woman without her (the wife’s) consent or knowledge. So I guess being allowed to fuck anything that moves didn’t stop him from going behind her back. Which again brings us back to the oft recited: It’s the thrill of knowing something your partner doesn’t.

Stay tuned for Part 2!