I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a loyal Chump Lady reader. I find her view on infidelity refreshing. She doesn’t make excuses for the cheaters. She doesn’t accept blame for their actions. I’m sure there are those that don’t like her black and white thinking, or the fact that she’s not very optimistic when it comes to reconciliation. I don’t march in total lockstep with her but I do agree with most of her viewpoints. I like reading the comments as well because so many others have endured something very similar to what I’m going through. I have a huge Word document that contains little nuggets of wisdom I’ve gleaned from her pages. So much of what is said there makes so much sense to me; it also tends to closely align with the way I believe. You read there for a while and you forget how the rest of the world views infidelity.
How do they view it? Let me count the ways. Read any online article and its comments or a blog by the affair participants and you’ll read about how it takes two, it (the affair) was a mistake, no one is perfect, she/he wasn’t meeting my needs, the poor dears just have such a high sex drive and the spouse can never keep up, there must have been problems in the marriage, happy people don’t cheat (i.e. it must have been the spouse’s fault), monogamy isn’t natural, people are so judgmental of adulterers, adultery has been around as long as time so it must be natural to cheat, and affairs can make you a better spouse/parent because you’re happier. That’s just for starters. There is also the ever popular: She must have let herself go, she gained weight, she withheld sex, she doesn’t know how to take care of her man…
What a load of shit. The whole “letting herself go” kills me. Yes, because only fat, ugly women get cheated on. Maybe someone should let Jennifer Aniston, Christie Brinkley, Halle Berry, Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria know they need to take better care of themselves. You’ve let yourself go, ladies!
I’m also a big fan of the withholding sex/not enough sex excuse. First of all, over the years I’ve read comments from a lot of women who were absolutely stunned that their husbands had enough time and energy to have an affair because they were getting it at home every day or every other day. I know of a woman whose advice was to give it up whenever he wanted, even if you didn’t feel like it because if you didn’t he would go looking for it elsewhere. Guess what? Her husband still cheated. Fathered a child with his mistress, in fact. I’ve already recounted how my own little cousin fucking sociopath told everyone we hadn’t had sex in ten years. Hey, current and potential mistresses? The thing about cheaters? They lie. So while you may think you’re saving the poor soul from a sexless marriage chances are he’s a lying sack of shit.
Closely related is, “My spouse is not meeting my needs.” Oh well, then by all means go out and fuck someone else! You are entitled to it, my poor sad sausage! You know what else? If your boss isn’t meeting your request for a raise you should just steal from the company! You deserve it. Who is your boss to deny your request? What are they expecting when they won’t give you what you want?
We could extrapolate this to everything! I told her to shut up and not make me angry. What did she think was going to happen? You can’t fault me for slapping her around. Or: Hey, I paid a lot of money for that dinner and concert. She knew I was really into her. What did she think was going to happen at the end of the date, especially when she agreed to come inside my apartment? I deserved sex for everything I did for her. Sure, some judgmental people might call it rape, but I call it rewarding me for all that money I spent. Let’s try this one: The baby was crying. What was I supposed to do? I couldn’t get him to stop so I shook him. You can’t blame me for that; anyone else would have done the same thing! Or my personal favorite: He cheated on me so I ran him down with my car. What did he think was going to happen?
Funny observation here… you know what’s even older than adultery? Murder. And yet I’m pretty sure none of the cheaters out there would find it understandable if their spouse actually did kill them. I certainly don’t see them defending the act with the same vim and vigor that they excuse cheating because “he/she wasn’t meeting my needs.” Another funny observation… Thanks to all my ID TV viewing it seems it’s usually the cheaters who kill their partners and not the other way around. Because they’re entitled fuckwits who don’t care who gets hurt so long as they get what they want. They don’t think they should have to lose anything so it’s easier to just kill off the discarded partner instead of divorcing and taking whatever consequences happen to hit them in the face.
Newsflash! People in happy marriage DO cheat. Some people just like knowing they are getting one over on their spouse. They like a pussy or dick buffet. No matter how happy or satisfied, no matter how well fucked, they will still mess around because they like it. It is fun for them. It is all in the thrill of the deception.
It also does not take two people to destroy a marriage. It takes two people to make a marriage work; it only takes one to destroy it. Well, I suppose if you also count the whore who is willing to sleep with another person’s spouse then yes, it does take two. But we all know when a person says that they are referring to the husband and wife both needing to participate in the destruction. This is also the point in the discussion where I like to point out that if I couldn’t make my cousinfucker eat a turnip then I couldn’t be expected to make him be faithful.
No marriage is perfect; therefore, every marriage is going to have problems. Cheating does not solve them. It adds to them. Furthermore, there are many things you can do if you are experiencing problems in your marriage. Counseling, talking, and divorcing are a few of those. Having an affair is not a great solution. It is a selfish move and it is no excuse. I know there will be those who say, “But we’ve tried counseling! I’ve tried telling him/her what the problem is/what I need but my spouse never listens. Nothing ever changes.” This is your chance to be a big boy or girl and actually file for that divorce. If you’re so miserable you are looking to fuck another person then I would think you were miserable enough to actually file for a divorce and attempt to start a new life. Grow up and act like a damn adult instead of a toddler throwing a tantrum! Get out when you realize you’re unhappy and nothing is going to change instead of waiting until you have a new warm bed to fall into. I don’t care how horrible your spouse was; when you wait until you have someone new lined up you will always be the the one in the wrong. Nothing they did or didn’t do will compare to what you’ve now done.
I think my quartet of favorites, though, might be the “it was a mistake,” “it just happened,” “no one is perfect” and “people are so judgmental” justifications. No one is perfect? Really? Here I thought if I was the perfect wife, married to the perfect man, raising the perfect children in the perfect house then I would have the perfect life! Can you see my eyes rolling so far back in my head that I can actually see the dinosaurs? Do you honestly think you need to be perfect in order to not cheat on your spouse? Seriously? That’s the bar we’ve set now, is it? In order to keep your dick in your pants or to keep dicks from falling into your vagina, you must be perfect. Everyone else fucks indiscriminately! Ridiculous! You know who thinks you need to be perfect in order to not cheat on your spouse? Entitled, cake eating fuckwits, that’s who!
Furthermore, no the affair did not “just happen” and it was not “a mistake”. You weren’t walking along and happened to trip onto someone’s nether regions. There were conscious decisions and well thought out deceptions that occurred all along. I wrote something similar about that here.
I’m going to paraphrase Chump Lady: A mistake is forgetting to pick up milk on your way home, or buying Charmin Extra Strong instead of Charmin Extra Soft; it’s not fucking another person. That is a deliberate choice!
When you find yourself getting a little too close and a little too attracted to someone who is not your spouse, that’s your moment to sever ties and get your head out of your ass. If you decide to keep this “friendship” going then you have made a choice and you can no longer say the affair “just happened” or that it “was a mistake”. No, you nurtured it. You chose it. If it was “a mistake” like you wish to claim then it was “a mistake” you willingly made.
Every lie you tell your spouse in order to carry on your relationship with this new person is a deliberate deception. It is not something that “just happened.” You don’t mistakenly tell lies in order to carry on a relationship that you know would be painful to your spouse.
There are many choices leading up to an actual affair and you chose each and every one of them, so please, now that you’ve been caught do not insult my intelligence with your “it just happened” and “it was a mistake” nonsense. “A” mistake would be a single mistake. A single time you mixed up the Charmin Extra Strong with the Charmin Extra Soft. An affair is multiple “mistakes”- each and every lie, each and every choice to do the wrong thing, each and every act. It is deliberating gas lighting your spouse, manipulating them, deceiving them. And it didn’t “just happen.” It was well thought out and meticulously planned.
Again, I really doubt anyone would believe me if I was in court explaining, “I don’t know why I ran him over with my car. Repeatedly. It just happened! I had no control over it. One minute I’m on the sidewalk, talking to him and the next, BOOM, I’m behind the wheel of the car running his pathetic ass over. It was a huge mistake; I’m so sorry! Hey, no one’s perfect!”
I would take on the “people are so judgmental” blame shifting but unfortunately, every time I try all I can hear is, “Whaaaaa! Whaaaaa!” Poor little babies. Out there fucking other people and no one is willing to understand their pain and sympathize.
I know this doesn’t describe every cheater but it does describe mine and many others. He cheats on me, abandons his kids, quits his job, plays victim, tries to get out of paying a generous child and spousal support order, tries to skirt any and all of his financial obligations, and instead of giving me a very generous settlement agreement so that he can begin his new life with the whore he instead tries to fuck me over, and yet I’m the one who needs to work on my social skills! Don’t be so judgmental, Sam! Gosh, it’s not like you’re perfect!
Does it ever occur to these self-absorbed whining babies that maybe they should be judged? That maybe they are doing awful things? That maybe they are not making the best choices? Of course not! That would actually mean taking responsibility for their own shitty behavior instead of shifting it off onto the spouse they shit all over.
Hearing that having an affair makes you a better spouse (or parent) is another one of those senseless things that tend to come out of cheaters’ mouths. Yes, and as Chump Lady likes to say, breaking your knee caps improves your tennis game! My home catching on fire tends to help me with my cluttering issues! Abandoning your children makes you a better parent! Totaling your car makes you a better driver! I could do this all day. Ah, but the cheater did say that it makes them a better spouse because they’re happier. I guess that’s one of those: If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy kinda things.
The problem with this is that once again the cheater is only concerned with his or her own happiness. Let’s face it; they don’t really give a shit if the cheated on spouse is happy. Nor do they really care about their children’s happiness. They care about whether or not they are happy. If they bring someone into your life who ends up being a bunny boiling psychopath… hey, that bunny boiler was fantastic in bed and it made them happy… so why complain about the fact you now need a restraining order against her and can’t let your kids out of your sight for fear she’ll abduct or hurt them? If they end up giving you an incurable STD, hey, at least they were happy! If that STD causes you to lose your baby in your 5th month of pregnancy…. come on, can’t you focus on the fact that he was happy, dammit! Have you never made a mistake? Oh no; I’ll bet you’re perfect!
If they end up spending thousands, or hundreds of thousands on the affair partner, or plowing through all of the marital assets, leaving you and your children in poverty, you shouldn’t be upset about that. No, be happy for them because they’re happy. Your marriage is going to be so much better now!
Hmmm… I’ll have to ask my kids if their daddy being happy makes them happy. I’m not quite sure that the tradeoff was worth it. On one hand Dad’s getting his dick sucked regularly; on the other hand my kids have seen their entire lives as they knew it dissolve in an instant. It’s such a tough call.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and declare that all the spouses who have been killed by cheating spouses are not happy. I will further declare that their loved ones are also not happy. They don’t give a rat’s ass about the cheater’s happiness.
Finally, they love to declare that monogamy is not natural; therefore, cheating is natural and to be expected. Do you know what else isn’t natural? Shitting in an indoor toilet that you then flush. Electricity. Heart transplants. Vaccines. Penicillin. Not dying in childbirth when the baby can’t squeeze through the birth canal. Alarm clocks. Birth control. Living in spite of having diabetes. Vacuum cleaners. Microwaves. Keurigs. Surviving cancer. Washing your hands to prevent the spread of germs. Women voting.
Those are all modern inventions. How many cheaters wish to do without them?
As far as how animals work things out in the wild… well, let’s say you go leave to be with your new and improved lover. In the wild when a new alpha male takes over he tends to kill the offspring of the previous alpha. Are you good with your children being killed off? Because that’s what happens naturally. In nature.
Furthermore, it’s not like you don’t know what you’re signing up for. Very few people are actually forced to get married, or to marry someone not of their own choosing. Remaining single and fucking everything that moves is certainly an option. I know; if you choose that option who is going to take care of you? Who is going to help finance your 401k or your savings account? Who will watch the children, walk the dogs, do the laundry, and give you the appearance of wholesome family man or woman? Hey, those spouse appliances are extremely useful! I know it’s a trade-off- someone there to share the burdens of life with you versus living a single life with a variety of sexual partners, but it is a choice you can make if you find monogamy so “unnatural” and difficult to follow.
Or, here’s another crazy idea. I personally would never go for a marriage where my husband was free to fuck around, but some people have those arrangements. If you want a smorgasbord of pussy or dick let’s try something unique. It’s called honesty. Before you ask this person to marry you, and certainly before any vows are said, let the person know you need a variety of private parts to keep you happy.
Sadly, that ruins the thrill for many cheaters. No more lies. No more deception. No more sneaking around behind the betrayed spouse’s back. It’s just not fun if you have permission. Plus, if you agree that you both can screw around, well, that puts you on equal ground and we can’t have that. What happens if the spouse decides he or she likes one of the conquests better? What if screwing someone else makes your spouse realize everything you lack? What if they’re out screwing some random conquest and they’re not around to iron your shirts or make your dinner or work on your car or mow the yard or show up and smile at the company Christmas party?
Besides, even in open marriages there are rules. Cheaters don’t like rules. So if the rule is you can’t see someone more than 3 times, or you must use protection or no kissing or whatever the rule may be, the cheater is going to break it, because they like getting one over on others.
It’s too bad that the same old excuses keep making the rounds and that’s the dominant voice. My hope is that eventually the voice of Chump Lady and Chump Nation will be the dominant voice and we can put these sorry excuses to bed (pardon the pun) once and for all.