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.

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.

The Myth of the Sexless Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oy. And vey. Dramatic much?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#riseup

It Is Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

#ItIsTime #RiseUp

An Open Letter to Cousinfucker, Part 1

January 2016

I wrote this shortly after I received the famous text from CF.  I never sent it.  It got to be way too long; I essentially vomited up twenty plus years of rage and frustration and I figure if I was lucky he might read two or three sentences.  Nonetheless, I’m quite proud of it and I thought I would share.  Most of this is undoubtedly a repeat of things I’ve already shared.  There’s only so much that happened in the beginning and since I don’t speak to him if I can help it I don’t get a lot of new material.  Anyway, here it is.  Enjoy!

Sam, let’s try to figure out a way to make this less stressful for all involved. I am saddened that you felt compelled to toss out all of my memories and my clothing.  There are so few of them in this house.  In spite of all that has happened we have a history and that cannot be erased no matter how badly you want it to go away.  So you have a choice.  You can be bitter and hateful toward me, or respect the fact that I am setting you free of the burden of being my wife.  I know you will take a hit financially but you will be well provided for, we both know that.  My attorney has you covered for the rest of your life.

So stop all of this foolishness.  Let our children know I love them and let’s act like adults and come to a healthy relationship apart from all of this.  I respect you as a mother and you have followed me around the country and I am grateful to you for that.  Let’s build a future relationship that we can both be happy for each other and our children and show them that happiness and being whole are vital to a person’s future.  I read everything you wrote on your fake Facebook page.  I know you have been very unhappy.  It’s evident in what you wrote and your depression has heightened in the past two years.  I know you will be whole without me, we aren’t good together.  So all that said I want you and I to work on this.  To be grown up about it for the sake of our children.

I am not even sure where to begin with your long rambling text so I suppose I’ll begin with the obvious.  I’m not sure who you wrote that for but it wasn’t for my benefit.  Quite frankly, I’m not even sure you wrote it yourself. Secondly, you are not a victim so it would be refreshing if you could stop acting like one.  You are also not a hero so please stop acting like you’ve somehow done me a favor by cheating on me.  Again.

Do not patronize me with your “Let’s stop this foolishness and figure out a way to make this less stressful.”  Do you know how you could have made this less stressful?  You could have refrained from having sex with your cousin while you were married to me.  You could have refrained from having sex with your cousin while your children and I were on what was supposed to be a family vacation, a vacation (and family) you blew off so you could have sex with your cousin.  You could have refrained from moving me and your children 2000 miles across the country, uprooting our lives for *your* happiness, only to turn around and start up yet another affair with your cousin.  You could have been an adult and talked to me instead of turning to people who have never been there for you during your many crises.  You could have refrained from siphoning off thousands of dollars to your mistress while you lied about it and fed me a line of bullshit about it being for your mom.  You could have stood up and tried to act like a man instead of trying to convince yourself and everyone around you that you’re some hapless victim.  And as far as making this less stressful for everyone… what on earth about this is stressing you out?  You do whatever you want!  You live here during the week not caring whether there is enough in the bank account to pay bills or not, and then you take off every weekend to be with your mistress and her kids, spending money like it’s growing on trees and having yourself a fine time.

I have spent the last 2 years walking a tightrope for you, protecting you and being respectful of all your “issues”. I hid your affair from everyone in my family.  I let you get away with directing how I was allowed to heal.  I was even at the point where I was accepting the fact that your mom was going to continue to have a relationship with your mistress.  And what have you done?  You’ve thrown me under the bus time after time.  Not only that but you’ve actually had the audacity to act like you were somehow protecting me while throwing me under the bus! Half the time (if not more than half) you’ve told outright lies about me. Let’s not forget the biggie- you started screwing your cousin!  I don’t know why I continue to be amazed at how you can cheat on me, not once but twice (and with the same “woman” no less!) and yet still manage to act like you are the injured party.

To be continued…

 

More of Poor Pitiful Zack

January 2015

Zack has been very sick (like, hospitalized sick) and has also been dealing with extreme anxiety. Lots of war issues. I noticed though that he would ask, “How can you ever forgive me? How can I make it up to you?” And I started thinking, why would I need to forgive him for what he did in war? Why would be need to make it up to me? So now I’m wondering if he was actually talking about his EA. He was in such rough shape I didn’t ask if we were still talking about the war. In my mind, though, that’s what he was asking about.

Present Day Sam Says: If I’m being honest I would like to believe that he really was struggling with believing I didn’t love him. Because that would mean he did actually love me. But in a twist of fate if that really was what happened then it’s too easy to try to take responsibility for what he ultimately chose to do.

If I believe he was psychotically depressed over the thought of losing me, that he was suicidal at the thought, then it’s too easy to me to say, “See? It’s your fault. If only you had reassured him he wouldn’t have left. If you didn’t have that alternate Facebook page then you’d still be married. YOU caused all of this! You have no one to blame except yourself!”

Here’s the thing: Regardless of whether or not he thought I would never forgive him (Newsflash: I had! I moved across the damn country for him!) the way he chose to solve this dilemma was entirely, completely and utterly wrong. He had many options and yet the one he chose was to cheat on me. He chose to confide in others who were only too eager to urge him to move on and leave me. When the cuntface cum dumpster called him he could have refused the call. He could have told me she called him. He could have been honest. That would have required some courage on his part, though, and he is sorely lacking in courage.

Likewise, if he was truly so unhappy and felt unloved and like we could never repair our relationship he could have left before he found himself a new true love. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about all these pansy ass cheaters who are “so miserable” and yet never find the “courage” to leave until they’ve got somebody else to fuck.

Yes, nothing shows conviction like tossing aside your wife or husband once you’ve encountered someone you want to nail.

The Wacky Things Cheating Women Say

I was perusing WordPress, trying to catch up on sites I follow when a title caught my eye. I only saw, “I Gave Myself to My Children Completely” and clicked on the link, thinking, “Wow- we might have something in common.” I thought perhaps I might learn something. I, however, didn’t catch the remaining part of the title which was, “… But I Never Thought They Would Hate Me.”

Anyway… I click on the link, head on over to the site and begin reading. I’m feeling all sympathetic because the story she’s telling is one of divorce and her son turning against her. I’m thinking I know where this is heading: Husband cheats, leaves wife, and turns son against her. Poor woman! I’m pretty sure it was the line: I was a good wife right until the very end that made me think this was a story of her being her husband’s victim.

But no! In fact, she was having an affair. She wanted a divorce. The day came for her to sign the papers and she changes her mind. Oh no! I can’t leave my family. I’m not ready to do that! Only guess what? By this time, her husband who had been willing to reconcile with his lying, cheating wife had had enough and he said, “No thank you,” to her reconciliation plan.

This is where it gets so so fun! “Sylvie” gives us such gems as:

My ex wanted to work on our marriage. At the time, I didn’t. I’d been seeing Brad for a couple of months and things were going well. When everything blew up, I felt- weirdly- special. I was getting a lot of attention. I felt wanted, worth fighting for. But I didn’t have the strength to fight anymore. I wanted out of the marriage. I was excited by how new and good things were with Brad.

Oh, you were “seeing” Brad for a couple of months? Hmmm…. I’m not sure about where you live, dear Sylvie, but where I live “seeing” someone else when you are, you know, married, is called having an affair. You can stick a bouquet of flowers up your ass but it’s still not a vase.

And yes, Sylvie, things with a new lover generally are exciting and new. You don’t know about any of his bad habits. You haven’t yet begun to be irritated by all those little traits of his that once were endearing. Oh, and because you don’t actually live with him or do anything for him aside from fuck him, you get all the fun times and none of the responsibilities. Affairs are the epitome of thrilling, titillating and scandalous.

But let’s concentrate on lines 4, 5, and 6: When everything blew up, I felt- weirdly- special. I was getting a lot of attention. I felt wanted, worth fighting for.

Oh, you delightful little sociopath, you! You felt special having an affair? You’re not special because you’re fucking some strange guy named Brad in the backseat of your minivan. You’re not special because you’re lying to your husband, ripping your kids lives apart, and rutting around like a pig in mud.

You were getting a lot of attention and you felt wanted and worth fighting for? How very nice for you. You sure do like making your husband jump through hoops for you, don’t you? All that dancing. All that begging and pleading and praying you’ll pick him. That must have been so wonderful. So intoxicating, Sylvie.  All so that you can say, “No, I don’t want you anymore. I want Brad. He’s shiny and new. You’re old and boring and I have to do your laundry.”

I know I made a mistake, a really big one. I shouldn’t have had an affair. I should have ended our marriage decently, with a civil conversation or a nice handshake. But that wasn’t my reality. I’m not perfect. And while I may not have always been a great wife, I was always a great mom.

Po-ta-to, po-tah-to. It was just a mistake. She’ll cop to the fact that it was a really big one, but hey, let’s not get carried away! It’s not like she’s pretending to be perfect.

Oh Sylvie, once again you try to lure us into this false dichotomy. You are either perfect or you’re a lying, cheating whore. No, no, Sylvie, there are other options. You can be imperfect and still not cheat! For example, I have a lot of road rage and I have a potty mouth. I still don’t cheat. I forgot to write a note for my son’s absences for, like, three weeks. I wasn’t able to go my daughter’s first track meet. That is not perfect. Yet, it’s still not riding some other guy’s dick.

We can even go back to the original line that threw me in the beginning:

I was a good wife right until the very end.

Sylvie, do you understand what being a good wife even is? I’m not sure I can quantify it but I sure as hell know you can’t cheat on your husband and then claim to be a good wife right until the very end.

That’s like someone saying, “Yes, I killed those girls, but I was a good person right up until the very end.” Um…. no. Just no.

Or a drunk driver who has slammed into another car saying, “Hey, I was in control of my vehicle right until the very end.” Again, I’m going to have to go with no.

Good wives and husbands do not cheat. Period.

This one is my favorite:

I thought that Alex would get better- that maybe, with time, he would come to see that people in happy marriages don’t cheat on each other. He would understand that my actions stemmed from a very deep unhappiness- and that I could not keep punishing myself for wanting to be happy again.

I’m sure you were hoping that good ol’ Alex would just get over his mom being a lying, scheming, cheating, selfish bitch. Just get over it, son! Can’t you see Mommy is happy? Don’t you know that Mommy being happy is the most important thing in the world? Aren’t you happy now that I’m happily screwing some guy who isn’t your dad? I realize I’ve torn your life apart but I’m happy now! Geez, Alex, can’t you just get over it and think of someone besides yourself for once in your life? I can’t imagine why Alex isn’t getting over it and isn’t thrilled that his mom has found love and happiness with her affair partner. After all, it is all about the cheaters and their happiness.

I’m going to have to call bullshit on this though, Sylvie: … maybe, with time, he would come to see that people in happy marriages don’t cheat on each other.

Yes they do, Sylvie. All the time. People cheat for the thrill of it. They cheat because they can. They cheat because they have no empathy and no idea how to interact socially with others. They cheat because they believe they are entitled to cheat. They cheat because they have crappy character. They cheat because they are selfish.

As for your unhappiness argument, grow the fuck up, Sylvie! If you were unhappy you had many choices. It wasn’t a matter of being unhappy or having an affair. Stop with your damn false dichotomies.

And am I the only person who doesn’t think Sylvie would ever be willing to punish herself? That sad little drivel about not continuing to punish herself for wanting to be happy is absolute rubbish. Sylvie comes across as a total narcissistic sociopath who only thinks of herself and her happiness.

She reminds me of Jezebel whining to her mom: Will I ever be happy? She’s asking this as she’s fucking her pastor, a man married twenty plus years and twenty years her senior. She asks this as she and her pastor are pulling the wool over the congregation’s eyes, leading them to believe that nothing is going on between them and that it’s all nasty rumors even while they share a joint checking account and make plans to run off to another state. Hmmm… that sounds familiar. Like brother, like sister.

These people are disordered fuckwits. They take and take and take, and then when they’re caught they whine about their unhappiness and bravely declare that they will no longer punish themselves for wishing to be happy. No matter who pays the price for their happiness!

This was brilliant:

I didn’t take a thing from that house. I left behind my career to take care of Anna and Alex. I gave myself to them completely. And even after things ended between their father and me, I thought only about them. I let my ex keep the house, and the kids stayed with him so that the disruption to their routine was minimal. They were surrounded by their things, their dog, and their friends. Maybe it was a mistake, losing myself in them. But I just never thought that my own child would hate me.

First of all, as a very astute reader over on Chump Lady observed once upon a time: Good parents don’t napalm their children’s lives. Second of all, if you decide to leave behind your career to take care of your kids you might not want to fuck around on your husband seeing as how he supports you. Now that those two points are out of the way we can move on.

She makes it sound like she was being so selfless and so brave. She just walked away with nothing. She surrendered her children so as to not disrupt them. What a brave, loving mom.

No, if you read a little further I think it’s safe to come to the conclusion that Sylvie simply walked away from her old life. She shed it all like a snake sheds its skin and started over completely with no remnants from her old life. Oh, also familiar! Hey, Cousinfucker, is that you, telling your story under an assumed name and as the opposite sex? Clever!

Kids and pets take time out of your day, time that could be spent fucking Brad. They represent real life and responsibilities and Sylvie doesn’t seem to do much of that. She needed a change. She didn’t have time to be a mom. She had a new life with Brad! Kids were a buzzkill. And if she couldn’t be bothered with her kids then she sure as hell wasn’t going to be bothered by a damn dog! Her kids and pets and all the responsibilities that come along with them being with you full-time were holding her back and taking valuable time away from her fantasy life with Brad. How can you pretend they don’t exist if they’re right there in front of you, reminding you of what you’ve done and all that you’ve taken away from them? Hey- she will not punish herself for wanting to be happy anymore, people! Stop trying to make her unhappy.

It’s been five years since the divorce and so much has changed in my life. I’ve gone back to school. I’ve started my own successful business. And I just got married- to Brad. My ex recently got engaged, too.

Oh, I see. You getting married to the douche that you tossed aside your family for is equal to your cheated on husband finally finding someone worthy of him. Yes, you marrying your fuck buddy is absolutely the same thing as your husband getting engaged five years after your betrayal. And hey, that just makes it all better, right? It was for the best. Now your ex-husband has finally found happiness, too. Gee, that sure is a pretty package all wrapped up with a shiny bow. Happy endings for everyone!

My son is in college now, and my daughter is in high school. Parts of us have moved on, but parts of us still live with the sadness accumulated during those years.

I have a feeling Sylvie doesn’t live with any sadness. She got exactly what she wanted.

I try to see Anna as much as possible. She’s become a beautiful young lady.

Yes, she sees her daughter as much as possible, which isn’t much because she’s so busy running her new successful business and fucking her new husband, Brad. Don’t try to guilt her, Anna! Your mom will no longer apologize for wanting to be happy. If she needs to step on your neck to reach that elusive happiness then you stick it out there for her with no complaints. Maybe one day you can grow up to be as selfish as her.

I sent Alex a text a little while ago. It said: I love you, I will continue to love you, no matter what you say or how you feel.

His response: I’m sure you will; I’m familiar with that sentiment. Now for the final time you need to Leave. Me. Alone. That is the best thing you can do for me.

Unfortunately for you, Sylvie, I think your son has got your number and knows exactly who you are. He’s a smart boy. I’m pretty sure he knows to steer clear of any women who remind him of his mom.

I Didn’t Leave You For the Other Person

That’s one of those phrases I despise. “I didn’t leave for my affair partner. He/she just gave me the motivation I needed to leave.” It’s right up there with, “There were already problems in the marriage,” and “I haven’t been happy,” to justify bad behavior.

Jezebel was fond of using that excuse. Cousinfucker used it as well. To be fair, I don’t think he actually said he didn’t leave me for the whore. He just made sure to let our son know that we had many problems and weren’t happy and so that justified him having a girlfriend. And a wife!

You know why this pisses me off so much? One, because it’s a lie. If you’re fucking someone else and you’re married you’re having an affair. It doesn’t matter one little tiny bit how unhappy you are/were, whether or not you had talked about getting a divorce/therapy/support dog, or if the marriage itself had multiple problems stemming back to the Civil War. If you didn’t leave until you were fucking someone else then you left for that person. Despite whatever issues there may have been and despite whatever ill feelings you may have had you didn’t get your ass in gear and file for a divorce until this new fuck buddy showed up. In other words, you didn’t get a divorce because you were unhappy, sweetie pie; you got a divorce because you finally found a suitable immediate replacement.

Two, it goes back to what I wrote about in Just Go! Just Go!  These people are wasting other people’s time. They are cowards. They sit around whining about how unhappy they are, how the spouse makes shit pies for them and slyly serves them up to them, and lists every misdeed and utter failure of their spouse but they just can’t seem to cut the cord until, oh golly gee, lookie there- a fresh piece of ass! Getting a divorce with no one around is haaaaarrrd. But now they’ve got someone new to warm their bed. Now they’ve got someone new telling them how wonderful they are, how pretty or handsome or sexy they are. Most importantly, they have someone who assures them that the big bad spouse has treated them horribly and they, the shiny new affair partner, will never treat them like that. Life will be blissful with your new soul mate. Now they can take that next step. Divorcing because you’re unhappy is difficult, time consuming, financially devastating, and basically not something that needs to be rushed. But divorcing because you’ve got yourself a new fuck buddy… well, now that’s something we can do! Of course, we’ll have to stress to everyone that we didn’t leave for the new fuck buddy. Oh gosh no! There were problems galore in the marriage. Divorce was inevitable (it was just a matter of finding a replacement, right?). The cheated on spouse had it coming!

Also a point of contention for me is the fact that cheaters lie. I’m sure there are a few people out there who are quite honest about their cheating, and by honest I mean they lay it all out there.

Oh, my spouse is wonderful. Couldn’t ask for a better partner. I love my husband/wife and have no intentions of leaving ever. Does he/she do terrible things? No, not at all. Are they bitter/mean/hateful/angry? Again, no, not at all. No horrible personality traits. He/she doesn’t rage at me, throw shit at my head, threaten to leave me, or refuse to talk to me. In fact, my spouse is delightful in every way. I would go so far as to describe him/her as my soul mate, my very best friend. We have tons of fun together, have many similar interest and hobbies. I’m telling you, my spouse is great. Have they withdrawn sex? Oh God no! We have sex all the time. She/he is fantastic in bed. I just like to fuck a lot of people and my spouse can’t be multiple people. This is just casual sex for me. No, I don’t love you. No, you’re not special. No, we’re not soul mates. No, I’m not going to leave for you. I just want to fuck you.

I’m not sure that would get a lot of play. It certainly wouldn’t get the play that the poor sad sap story with the horrible husband or wife who doesn’t understand them and refuses to meet their needs gets. Other people eat that shit up! Oh, this person would never lie to me! Only to their spouse that they promised to love and honor for the rest of their life. The person they made a commitment to. Because they’re so horrible and they deserve it if you really think about it. If they were a better person then my true love wouldn’t have to cheat on them and make me into the other woman/other man.

That brings me to yet another point. If you love someone why would you want to drag them down like that? No one is going to believe that story about not leaving for them. If you’ve got kids, especially older kids, they’re probably not going to care about the fact that you weren’t too terribly happy with their other parent. They’re going to care about the fact that their lives are being upended. Thanks to your true love. They’re probably going to be much more affected by their other parent crying and rapidly losing weight due to the stress of finding out their partner is cheating on them than by the parent who is giddy with excitement because of their good fortune to be able to discard one person and start all over with another. So now your kids dislike your true love, perhaps partly out of loyalty to the other parent, perhaps due to the fact that you have screwed up their damn lives for your own selfish endeavors. They refuse to have anything to do with him/her, or worse, they’re flat out disrespectful to him/her. In some cases, that is exactly what happens. The kids are willing to have a relationship with the parent but they make it clear the soul mate is to stay the hell away from them. So now, the cheater is in a position of needing to choose between the soul mate and their children. Not an enviable position. Well, not one for most people. I think for cheaters it’s quite easy. They’ll toss those kids aside the minute they interfere with them getting laid.

But assuming you are one of the “good” cheaters, one who wants to remain in the kids’ lives, how do you feel about relegating your soul mate to the fringes of your life when your kids are around? Do you think he or she is really going to appreciate having to stay home every time little Aidan or Emily has a school performance? Do you think Schmoopie will have no problem with not being invited to the graduations, graduation parties, weddings, birthday parties for grandchildren, funerals, etc.? And do you really want to do all of that by yourself? Wasn’t part of the reason you couldn’t get divorced until you found a replacement because you’re so afraid of doing anything on your own? Now you’re going to go through all of these big life events for your kids all by yourself? It should be doubly fun if the ex-spouse’s new spouse is allowed to attend. Hey, that person didn’t break up a marriage!

There’s a good chance other people will already know what has happened, or they will find out. Bosses, co-workers, friends of the former couple, family, teachers. Once that happens there is a good chance your true love is going to be treated like an outcast, a home wrecker, like the whore (male or female) they are. You’ll probably fare okay with the in-laws. Blood is thicker than water and most of them seem only too happy to forget or ignore what their precious offspring has done. Occasionally you run into a set of in-laws who has been very close with the spouse and who doesn’t forgive adultery simply because it’s their own child who is committing it. In those cases, the soul mate might not be welcome at family functions. Now you have to kick your entire family to the curb. Wow- I hope the sex is worth it.

But again, I ask, why would you put a person you purport to love in that position where people look upon him or her with scorn and derision? Why would you turn that person into a home wrecker? Why would you put him or her into a position where people talk about them or ostracize them? Doesn’t seem very loving to me. Then again, I think most people play the odds and figure most people excuse adultery and it won’t be a big deal. If you’re young enough you can make a few replacement kids to take the place of those big brats that won’t celebrate your unique love with Schmoopie.

Ultimately, it comes down to this:

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I hate divorce. I hate it with a passion and I never would have left CF no matter how bad it got. I made a commitment and I intended to follow through with it. I also want to point out that while the final 6-8 months of the marriage were bad thanks to him we had actually been doing quite well before that, so it’s not like I was resigned to living in misery. I was never resigned to living in misery; I always felt like I had a choice to either be happy with him or to find other outlets to make me happy. Nonetheless, I don’t believe the point of divorce is to switch one partner out for another.

If there are problems in your relationship and despite talking it out, going to counseling, and trying everything you still can’t make it work, then by all means divorce. But do so honestly. Don’t wait until you have someone new before you take the plunge. That’s not fair at all to your spouse. It’s especially not fair when they have no idea the extent of your unhappiness. Basically, you end up keeping all these feelings inside of you until finally your supposed soul mate ventures into your sights, and then you’re seeking divorce while planning a new life with someone new. Meanwhile, your spouse is being blindsided with a one-two punch- first the news of te divorce and then the news that there is someone else.

I have to admit I find it more than a little curious that there are all these unhappy spouses out there with a laundry list of faults and infractions committed by the spouse. Yet, they stay. The marriage is so awful they need to fuck someone else, but it’s not so awful that they might consider divorce up until that point that they have their spouse’s replacement.

It also goes back to that saying: Wherever you go, there you are. You’re still you. You haven’t changed anything in regards to the way you deal with the problems in your relationship. You’ve changed partners but you haven’t changed anything else. Sure, life with Schmoopie will be great. At first. Every relationship has its problems. Every person has their faults. Love and sex (especially sex) can cover up those faults and problems for a while (look at Tracie Andrews’ poor dead fiancé) but they all come out in the wash eventually. Sometimes I think it’s even harder for those who have been in affairs because this is the person you left your spouse for; in some case it’s the person you left your kids for. When those faults and problems come out it’s like a double whammy. I gave up everything for this? Since you never learned how to resolve problems in a relationship because your solution was to go outside of the relationship, when problems come up with Schmoopie, well, there you are. You didn’t learn anything. You probably won’t talk it out. You’ll wait for your next true love to walk by and fall on or into your nether regions. Naturally, it will only be because you weren’t happy and the soul mate wasn’t meeting your needs. No one can say you left for the new soul mate. There were already problems in the relationship so this new soul mate just helped to put things into motion. Hmmm…. that sounds familiar.

 

Just Go!

As I said a while ago I have been expanding my horizons and reading other blogs, including cheater blogs. Why? I don’t know because they tend to infuriate me. All the same stupid excuses. All the same thinking.

I find myself constantly perplexed by their dilemma of whether or not to leave the spouse. It seems to me it would be a no-brainer. I mean, they talk about how the spouse (usually the wife, but sometimes the husband) doesn’t meet their needs, they’re not sexually compatible or never have sex period, they live like roommates, the spouse doesn’t understand them, blah blah blah. Of course, the mistress (or lover occasionally) always gets them. She’s always so hot, so wonderful, so sexy, so terrific in bed. He thinks about her constantly and she’s the love of his life, his soul mate, blah blah blah.

Yet these people continue to deliberate over whether or not to leave the spouse. What is the big decision here? They talk about their spouse like she is a burden while the whore they’re fucking is a goddess. The wife can do no right and the whore can do no wrong. So how is there even a decision left to make? Why not leave and go be with the perfect one?

Let me guess! You have kids. You have entangled finances. You have shared real estate holdings. You own a business together. He makes very good money, allowing you a very nice lifestyle you don’t want to give up. Divorce is just so hard!

Let me tell you something. I had been a stay at home mom for fifteen years, hadn’t had a full time job since April of ’98, had followed CF around the country for 19 years, putting my own career on the back burner, and was completely dependent on my husband. I was 46 years old, had no one lined up to take the husband’s place and honestly believed (and still believe) that divorcing him meant I was going to be alone for the rest of my life. I had been living in a new state for only a year, had just bought a new house, new car, new furniture, and had just put a brand new $57,000 pool in our backyard. I had just switched phone companies and entered a new two year contract and had just renewed my license plates for three years. I still had no family close by and all of my friends were 2000 miles away because again, CF had just moved us across the country. I was looking at financial ruin, no support system and a life spent raising two kids on my own, so if I could file for divorce in spite of all of that you can certainly leave and go be with your soul mate.

You act like you are doing us some favor, deliberating over whether or not to stay or go. You are not. You are wasting our time; you are stealing years of our lives. You are taking free choice away from us and forcing us to live lies. We think we’re building a life with you and you’re busy trying to decide if you’re going to keep fucking Schmoopie/Studly Do Right on the side, or if you’re just going to leave us for the whore. We think we have a partner for life, someone with whom we will grow old, and you’re fantasizing about your perfect affair partner who never makes a wrong move while you catalog all of our faults.

One of the things that pisses me off the most about my situation is all the wasted years. I spent over twenty years with that waste of skin. Had he left ten years ago I might have had a chance to make something of my life. Hell, had he left when he was first confronted I might have had a chance! Now, I’m utterly and thoroughly fucked. I have no shot at a career. I have no shot at making any kind of a decent living. I will never come close to having what I had all those years. I wasted my youth on him. I wasted the best years of my life on him.

You want to write down a list of pros and cons for keeping your spouse versus leaving and going with the soul mate? Why bother? Your spouse will never be able to compete with the mirage that is the other person. That person doesn’t live with you. That person doesn’t see you when you’re sick. You’re never harping on her because she didn’t pick up your laundry from the dry cleaner’s, or on him because he didn’t mow the grass. Their only task is to fuck you. The whole relationship is secretive and sexy and the thrill of knowing you’re doing wrong adds to the excitement. You’re in a little cocoon where you don’t have to deal with any real life situations. No one is ever going to have to stop what they’re doing because a kid is calling for them. No, you’ve arranged it so that your cuckolded spouse (or daycare) is taking care of the kids while you run off and fuck your soul mate. Life is perfect with the soul mate. You never fight. You’re never in a bad mood. No one has to figure out the logistics of how to pay the mortgage or what to do about grandparents who won’t listen or who’s going to pick the kids up because you’re relationship is all about the two of you- no one else. You have no distractions because your getaways are secret; you’re having an affair so no one else is going to be involved.

I think this is where Chump Lady’s unified theory of cake comes into play. You like the “kibbles” and you don’t leave because the spouse is doing something for you; you’re getting something out of the marital arrangement. Maybe it’s as basic as taking care of the house and the kids. Or as basic as supporting you or enabling you to live a lifestyle you couldn’t live on your own. Maybe you don’t want to deal with the financial hit you would possibly take, or you don’t want to have to pay child support. Hey, as long as the spouse has no idea there is another person you are free to spend as much of the marital money pot on the soul mate as you want! Once that divorce comes through though you might easily see your income cut in half, if not more. Maybe it’s as simple as the thrill of having multiple people wanting you. I believe Chump Lady would say it boils down to entitlement and the thrill of getting one over on your unknowing spouse.

Seriously, just leave. Go! Get out! Stop wasting your spouse’s life. They deserve to find someone who will love them the way you claim to love your affair partner. They deserve to be first in someone’s life because they sure as hell will never come first in yours. They will always be unfairly compared to the affair partner. They deserve to be with someone who won’t lie to them, cheat on them, betray them, and humiliate them.

You deserve to live your life with your soul mate. It will be fun! I’m sure it will be exactly like you imagined it- sex all the time, no fighting, constant understanding. There will be no bills to pay, no children to take care of, no explanations needed when co-workers and friends notice the change in spouse. Your real life with your soul mate will be all kinds of awesome! Never a bad or dull moment. Your kids will be fine! After all, if you’re happy then they’re happy. Besides, kids are resilient, don’t ya know?

Hey, I’m sure that anyone who would throw all their morals aside (assuming they had any to begin with) to sleep with someone else’s spouse is a perfectly delightful person- a real catch, if you will. In some cases they’ve cheated on their own spouse and told their own set of lies. But don’t worry. They would never do that to you. You are special. You are their soul mate. You understand them. They only lie to less deserving people. That would never be you!

His Side, Her Side and the Truth

I want to say something about this inane idea that there are two sides to every story.  Or, as the saying sometimes goes:  There are three sides to every story- his, hers, and the truth.

You know what?  I don’t believe that shit and I’m sick and tired of hearing it.  He cheated on me.  He’s fucking his cousin. He lives here in the house with his wife and kids during the work week and then he takes off and spends the weekends and holidays with his whore and her kids.  There is no other side!  Those are all facts.  Period.  He doesn’t even deny it!  I don’t care if I was the worst wife in the world (I wasn’t).  I don’t care if I beat him regularly, shit in his food, insulted his mother, made fun of his baldness, spent all of our money on shoes and handbags, told him he was horrible in bed, never had sex with him, berated him constantly, or ignored him completely.  None of that gives him a license to cheat (and none of that happened, in case anyone had any doubts).  If things are so damn bad then GET OUT!  You can get a divorce without fucking someone else.  I mean I get that in his family that’s pretty much a prerequisite but seriously, you don’t have to have an affair to end a marriage.

Will he have a different version as to why our marriage didn’t work (aka Why he was justified in cheating on me)?  Oh, I’m sure he will.  I’m equally sure that he’s the victim in his version.  He’s just the long suffering fool and I was unbearable; he could never please me or make me happy. We were nothing more than roommates.  We hadn’t had sex in ten years!  He was a handyman and a wallet. I only stayed for the money. For the record, I’m not projecting this; I’ve actually seen texts and had conversations with people where they have told me he has said such things, and I have text messages where he has said these things to me.  For my part when it comes to any problems in the marriage I like to keep it pretty fact based without seeing one of us as a victim and the other as the oppressor.  There are many facts I could give but there is only one that really matters.  Fact:  I didn’t give up!  I was determined to hang in there and make it work.  Oh wait!  There is a second fact.  Fact 2:  I didn’t cheat.

So, sure, when it comes to why our marriage broke apart and he was “driven” to cheat on me I’m sure a person would hear two very different versions.  But when it comes to him cheating on me?  There is only one side.  There is not my side where he cheated on me with his cousin and then his side where he didn’t cheat on me.  Frankly that is the only other side there could be.

Me:  He cheated!

Him:  No, I didn’t!

We’ve already established that he has cheated.  He has never denied it.  His whore is practically shouting it from the rooftops.  She’s wearing a fucking diamond ring for crying out loud. Therefore, folks, we have one side- he cheated.  He’s not disputing it; why are you?

Oh, but people don’t want to judge!  Why not?  Is it that difficult to say that’s some fucked up shit?  Hey, how about the Catholic priests molesting all those young boys?  Do you want to judge that or will you be reserving judgement because there are two sides to every story?  Maybe we should also hold back on judging Jerry Sandusky and Adolph Hitler and Ted Bundy and Ariel Castro and ISIS and people who abuse and kill children and/or animals.  I’ve got an idea!  Let’s do away with our whole justice system because it totally entails judging people! There are two sides to every story.  We have no idea what that victim did to make the perpetrator do such a thing!

Are you seriously saying that you can’t say someone cheating on their spouse is wrong?  Do you need to get all the facts about the problems in the marriage before you can make a determination as to whether or not someone was ENTITLED to cheat on their spouse?  Maybe that is what people really mean when they say there are two sides to the cheating story.  They are saying that they are willing to reserve judgement until they find out WHY he cheated.  If the reason is good enough then there are two sides to the story and we must look at both of them.  If the reason is not good enough then, yes, he cheated.

That’s where we differ.  I don’t need to hear the cheater’s justification.  Cheating is wrong.  Period.  If you’re that unhappy either go to marital counseling and try to fix the problems, or get out of your shitty marriage.  But what you shouldn’t do is stick around until some whore calls you up and tells you she’s still eager to get down on her knees and suck your dick and she’s never stopped loving you.  You have now entered “You Are In the Wrong” territory.  I’m so tired of hearing people justify their affair by saying, “I didn’t leave my wife ‘for’ Whore Tits; our marriage was already rocky.”  No, no, no.  If you didn’t leave until you had someone else lined up then you left FOR that person.  No matter how awful your relationship may have been, no matter how awful the betrayed spouse may have been, you didn’t take any steps to end it until you had someone else waiting in the wings.

That’s where I am, people, and the next time someone tells me they want to reserve judgement because there are always two sides that’s what I’m going to tell them.  No, there aren’t two sides.  He cheated on me.  The end.  The only other side would be that I am a liar, that he didn’t cheat on me and he’s not leaving every weekend to go fuck his cousin. Those are your two sides.  So which “story” do you believe?  Is he cheating on me like I claim, or am I a delusional liar who is smearing his good name?