A Hex on Hax

I don’t know what your Google newsfeed looks like but mine is filled with news about the royals, some television, Ted Bundy, as of late, sharks, the Kardashians and Duggars, for some strange reason, and advice columns. So many advice columnists. I’ve got Dear Abby, Dear Prudence, and Dear Amy, and Carolyn Hax.

As you might be able to surmise I have a bone to pick with Ms. Hax. One of her latest columns featured a woman who had been married for 33 years. From what the letter writer writes it seems she was a stay at home mom to 3 children who are now all college educated adults. Husband traveled for work quite often. Letter writer held down the fort. She has “a feeling” one day and spies only to find out her husband has been cheating on her; the affairs go back at least 20 years. The entire time he’s been cheating he’s also been having sex with his wife. Wife quietly gathers proof- she’s downloading emails and texts and dating profiles. She’s got a GPS tracker. She is prepared. And then little by little she methodically divulges this information to the husbands, boyfriends, and families of the people involved.

I don’t want to speak for Carolyn but I think what upset her so much was the very matter-of-fact way the wife went about this and the fact she seemed to have no remorse. As she stated at the end of her letter: Shouldn’t all the players’ lives be altered as the wife’s life has been? Shouldn’t these people, without concern for wife and children- whom some met- be exposed for what they are?

Please don’t advise karma, therapy, divorce, the price of revenge. Whatever wife decides to do about the marriage isn’t relevant, this is about leveling the playing field.

It was probably the whole, “Shouldn’t all the players lives be altered as the wife’s life has been?” 
That sounds way too much like vengeance and as we all know, vengeance is bad. We must accept being cheated on and humiliated with a smile on our face and a song in our heart. We owe it to all the other parties to keep our lips closed and to let them wander about with no consequences.

This was Carolyn’s response:

You suffered a devastating pain, which no one deserves. I’m sorry that happened to you.

You responded, though, by inflicting pain just for the sake of inflicting pain, which nothing justifies. You leveled the playing field with firebombs and calculated fury.

And without apology or apparent remorse.

Even though such payback never affects only the guilty, but also the people who love them. Innocents all.

He did this to you, with them, yes- but you ensured that everyone affected got the most information in the worst way possible.

Yet I can’t talk about karma, therapy or the price of revenge?

Does that mean you’ve written only to invite applause?

I have none. I have only dismay at reading of a person who apparently worked hard for an entire lifetime to build good things, and then, under the influence of incendiary rage, turned destructive as if these were movie people and feelings, not real ones.

I know you don’t want help.

But I hope you cool down enough to see the wisdom of getting it, professionally and soon.

Huh. I guess we are once again back to the old adage, “It’s not what I did that is the problem; it’s your reaction to it that is the problem.”

I find it interesting that Ms. Hax seems appalled at the idea that the wife’s response was more severe than the injury inflicted upon her. I guess if there was a way to measure how devastated this wife of 33 years was by the information she uncovered then her response/revenge could only be equal to that. But how do we measure that? And what is an equal response? If you find out someone you know is fucking your husband are you entitled to call her a big ol’ poopyhead but telling her husband she’s a whore is out of bounds? I’m not sure of the rules here. Perhaps Ms. Hax thinks it’s better if we just go about our lives as though nothing is remiss. Smile and wave, ladies. Smile and wave.

I have this philosophy. It’s pretty simple. Probably too simple. It goes like this: If you don’t want your spouse or significant other to be told you’re sleeping with other people’s spouses, then don’t sleep with other people’s spouses. Crazy simple, right?

I also find it interesting that Ms. Hax seems so bewildered by the fact the wife is not remorseful or apologetic about blowing the lid off of these secret affairs.

If I’ve made the choice to tell someone’s husband that his wife has been fucking my husband I’m not going to apologize for it nor will I feel remorseful. I obviously feel like I’m in the right in doing so. I may feel terrible for that duped husband or boyfriend, but that’s not my shame to bear. Me telling him his wife/girlfriend has been sleeping with my husband isn’t what hurt him; her actually fucking my husband is what has hurt him. Period.

I will also take issue with her statement that the wife inflicted pain just to inflict pain. I think the letter writer can easily argue that she wanted to let these clueless men know what they were dealing with so they weren’t blindsided like she was. She’s offering up information. What they choose to do with that information is their business. At least they are fully informed.

I did love this gem: Even though such payback never affects only the guilty, but also the people who love them. Innocents all.

Are we including the betrayed wife’s children in the tally of innocents? Or just the families of the women who cheated with her husband?

Carolyn, I know you didn’t ask me but here’s my take on this bullshit. I really don’t think any of the guilty parties’ loved ones are suddenly going to turn against them. Their mommies and daddies will still love them. Their siblings will still invite them over for Christmas. Their children will more than likely still think the sun rises and sets by them. What we’re really talking about in this situation is the fact that the person who was sleeping with the wife’s husband may suffer a moment of embarrassment. Oh, the horrors!

It’s possible you might have an irate husband or boyfriend, but even then I’d lay 50/50 odds that he won’t leave her. I’m not sure if all of these people who were contacted were the significant other when the affair took place (they did go back 20 years) but in the case of a boyfriend who didn’t even know the hussy when she was doing the wife’s husband, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he didn’t care about her previous affairs. She didn’t cheat on him…

Plus, I’m still going to offer up the idea that if you don’t want the people in your life to find out you’re a husband fucking whore then don’t fuck other people’s husbands. If you continue to do so then that’s the price you may pay.

He did this to you, with them, yes- but you ensured that everyone affected got the most information in the worst way possible.

Information is bad. It’s horrible. Let’s keep everyone in the dark.

Again, Ms. Hax insists that the problem is not what the cheaters did; it’s the fact that the betrayed wife lets the other spouses/significant others know what they did. Fucking around on your partner isn’t bad. Telling someone their partner is fucking around is downright evil. You need professional help immediately!

I think my favorite part though was when Carolyn admonishes the betrayed wife for turning destructive because these people were real people, dammit! Not fake movie people. And their feelings were real. Their families’ feelings were real, too. Unlike the betrayed wife. She was just a movie prop. She had no feelings. No one needed to consider her. Or her family.

All those women who met her and her then minor children and then went off and gleefully fucked her husband certainly weren’t treating any of them like they were real people Nope. They were simply props in their affair-y tale world.

Quite honestly her final remarks were condescending and arrogant: I know you don’t want help but I hope you cool down enough to see the wisdom of getting it, professionally and soon.

Really? Why does this woman need professional help? Because she isn’t taking crap from the cheaters who felt entitled to cheat behind her back? Because she didn’t shut up and sit down and remain silent when she found out what was going on? Because she decided if some woman wanted to ride her husband badly enough then her family could damn well hear about what their lovely wife/girlfriend/daughter/mom/sister was doing? Because she dared to speak up? Because instead of remaining passive and having things done to her and her life she took charge and started being proactive? Because she dared to push back against entitled cheaters?

Hell, I wish I had half her moxie when I found out what my dear cheating husband was doing. The only thing I did was file for divorce and take all the money. I had no one to tell because I was the one that was contacted. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again for the record. I am enormously thankful that The Saint contacted me. If he hadn’t I probably would have gone on to pay off the pool and the kids and I would have been living in utter poverty from day one.

To hell with you and your worthless advice, Carolyn Hax.

 

Two Consenting Adults & No One Else’s Business

I saw this a week or so ago. It was in response to advice given in an advice column. The question was whether or not you should tell the spouse about the cheating partner’s affair. Amy said yes. This reader had a different take on it.

You advised “Cheated Upon” to notify the wife of a cheating husband about the affair. I completely disagree. What two other consenting adults do is no one else’s business. – Disappointed

Ah yes, the ol’ “two consenting adults” theory. Sorry, Disappointed, but you are oh so wrong. This is not a situation with two consenting adults. Two consenting adults doing something that is no one else’s business would be a couple who decides they like things a little rough in the bedroom. You want to tie your partner to a bedpost and spank his or her ass? Fine. No one else’s business. A couple who decides to open their relationship up to include a third person or other couples would be a situation with two consenting adults. It would be no one else’s business. Other examples of two consenting adults doing things that are no one else’s business? Cross dressing. Furries. Adults pretending to be babies while they wear diapers and drink out of bottles. Meeting your partner at a local bar and pretending you don’t know each other. Having a relationship that doesn’t include sex. Wanting to watch your partner have sex with someone else. All of those situations include two consenting adults doing whatever they choose to do in their relationship. It may not be something you would choose to indulge in but you aren’t a part of their relationship and as such, it’s none of your business.

What we have here, Disappointed, is an affair. An affair involves two deceitful, consenting adults who are fully apprised of the situation, and at least one non-consenting adult who has no clue what is going on. It may include non-consenting children whose lives could possibly also be uprooted and destroyed, thanks to these “consenting” adults. In addition it usually involves financial abuse, gas lighting, lying, and rewriting history. The cherry on top is the devaluing and degrading of the non-consenting, clueless partner.

That’s the fun thing about affairs. It doesn’t stop with those two people. There are other people who are deeply affected. Even if one or both of them don’t leave their spouses it still takes away from the relationship. I have heard of very few situations in which one person was cheating and the relationship did not suffer. Most of the time that is when the devaluing begins. The cheater has to have a plausible reason to do this heinous thing so the betrayed partner becomes the enemy.

She makes me eat a turnip! He is controlling and emotionally abusive! She is a horrible housekeeper! He said he wishes I would die! She let me wear the same dirty pair of underwear for five days! He made me wear certain kinds of clothing; I couldn’t even dress myself without his approval! She doesn’t want to have sex! He won’t work! She nags, nags, nags! He hates me!

That’s the propaganda spread to justify their behavior. Granted, my “research” has come by way of reading blogs and comments from those who have been cheated on but again, it is very common that once one person in the relationship begins to cheat they also begin to treat their partner with disdain. The person who is being cheated on is left to wonder what on earth is going on and will generally dance harder and harder to try to appease the cheating partner in order to get everything back in order.

Stories abound of cheating partners spending thousands on the affair partner, draining 401ks, and wiping out bank accounts. If an affair is something between two consenting adults and is no one else’s business then why is my financial security now in doubt?

That doesn’t even take into consideration the extreme cases. The ones like Chris Watts who decided he’d rather be with his ho-worker and, I guess felt divorce would be a real hassle, so he murdered his 15 week pregnant wife and their two young daughters. He buried his pregnant wife in a shallow grave and then dumped his daughters’ bodies in an oil tanker. Or Chris Coleman who murdered his wife and two young sons so he could be with his mistress and still be a bodyguard to Joyce Meyer. I’ve written about other cases involving the cheating spouse murdering the wife in order to be with the mistress here and here.

If it was simply a relationship between two consenting adults then no one else would pay the price for their behavior. Obviously my situation didn’t rise to the level of murder but those two “consenting” adults wrecked a whole lot of havoc nevertheless. I lost my home. My children lost their home. We ended up being forced to move 600 miles away. I went from being a stay at home mom with a very stable income to being a mom who at one point was working upwards of sixty hours a week, rarely seeing her kids, and still financially unstable. I went from having a home of my own with my own dishes and furniture and decorations, to moving in with my mom. I didn’t ask for that. I didn’t get a choice in that. Neither did my kids. My kids lost their pool and their game room and their large bedrooms and separate bathrooms. All superficial things, sure. But it was all taken away from us by two “consenting” adults that didn’t give a single solitary fuck about us and what their “consenting” ended up doing to us.

No, Disappointed, this is not about two consenting adults doing whatever two consenting adults decide to do. This particular situation is about a man cheating on his wife. It’s about someone who knows at least one of them and who was cheated on as well, so they know the heartache and humiliation that can come with that. That person wants to do the right thing and let the cheated on spouse know what’s going on so she can make a fully informed choice. It’s not up to the person telling to convince the wife to stay or go; all they’re doing is providing information. What the wife chooses to do with it is up to her.

As for this, “It’s no one else’s business!” nonsense I will say what I always say in situations like these: If you don’t want your partner finding out you’re fucking around, then don’t fuck around! That’s the easiest way to prevent that. No one is obliged to protect your secrets and dirty deeds, especially not someone who was cheated on and betrayed themselves. “It’s no one else’s business!” is just cheater-speak for, “You’re not the boss of me! I can do whatever I want and there should never be any consequences!”