Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If life is an amusement park, this must be the roller coaster

If my husband ever cheats on me, that’s it. It’s over.

If mine cheats, I’ll kick him to the curb.

Mine wouldn’t cheat. He knows I’d kill him!


Most of us (celebrities aside) head into marriage with delusions…er…illusions of “happily ever after”. We never really think about cheating because isn’t the whole reason we’re getting married because we’re DONE having sex with other people?

We step into this fantasy world and all is sunshine and butterflies.

Until the day we discover a hidden cell phone. Or graphic e-mails to someone else. Or, like Vicky, we’re contacted by someone claiming to be in love with our husbands...and telling us we’re nagging bitches.

Suddenly, our lives are upside down. Nothing seems safe. Nothing seems right.

The day I found out, I walked the house like Lady Macbeth, wringing my hands and repeatedly moaning “what am I supposed to do?”

Angie vomited over and over, barely able to breathe.

Debbie remained emotionless and stunned for days when her husband offered up the “we’ve grown apart” speech and announced he’d met someone else.

There is no right or wrong way to react (though it’s wise to avoid reaching for sharp objects). As one wise BWC member says, “whatever you’re feeling right now is the right feeling.” Acknowledge that this is traumatic to you, and your body and mind are responding as such.

“How could he do this to me?”

In the days following discovery of a partner’s infidelity, we often read from the same script. We weep, we beg, we scream. “How could you do this to me?” we wail. “I’ve been a good wife,” we protest. “What does she have that I don’t have?” we demand. Etcetera, etcetera.

We contemplate our options, but rarely with a clear head. (On the advice of my lawyer, I’m leaving out the part where I contemplated running my husband over with my car…but homicide, too, is a common thought! For now, though, let’s keep revenge fantasies just that – fantasies. I don’t want to have to post bail for any of you.)

Suicide can also be a far-too-common consideration. If you’re in such pain that you can’t possibly see a way out, please call a crisis line, family member or good friend. You will find your way into the sunlight again. I promise.

Our emotions tend to center on feeling like this horrible miscarriage was done to us. But the bizarre thing about infidelity is that it likely – honestly – had nothing to do with us. We’re just collateral damage. And if you start from that point – accepting that the affair was HIS choice (regardless of how good or bad your marriage was) and that HE needs to take responsibility for his choice, you’ll save yourself a lot of agonizing and self-flagellation.

Cheaters have cheated because…well…because they clearly have boundary issues and, sadly, because the’re missing something that they think they can get from an affair partner…or at least distract themselves from its lack by the ego-stroking that an affair provides. But, while you can sympathize that they’re missing something – a good job? Good health? A red sportscar? – the problem is theirs.

And – guess what? -- if they’re unhappy with the marriage, it’s up to them to tell you so. And for the two of you, if you so choose, to fix it. Or separate. If affairs were a reasonable solution, they wouldn’t have to be secret.

1 comment:

  1. Amen! to that. if you want out get out. Don't cheat! And certainly not before you've exhausted all other avenues such as , talking about the problems and accepting that maybe it's not all your partner. maybe even that some of the things they do to "bother" you are a result of soemthing YOU have done. AS in maybe you're wife doesn't want to have sex but maybe that's a result of the fact that you are emotionally absent and she needs to feel connected to feel sexually inclined towards you. Maybe she is tired from having to do EVERYTHING so maybe she is grumpy. Maybe she "nags" becasue no matter how many times she tries to connect with you- you won't engage and so she is resentful becasue she feels like she has tried and you refuse to respond so she has given up! All of these scenarios were from my own or friends' experience. the cheating husband said "oh you did or didn't _________" and the wife said "Yeah, but that's cause you didn't do whatever first so I quit trying" I have heard that alot. but instead of trying to meet the wife's needs too- they expect to have everything their own way and never have to give and then blame the wife for her behavior that came from his initial behavior. And rather than tryign to meet half way- they find a little tramp ego stroker to make thenm feel validated and so it makes things worse and then they demonize and rewrite history and all the glorious things they do when they are cheating. Then in their minds- they were practically driven to it and had no alternative!!!

    They make me sick!



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