People Magazine that she's doesn't "regret" cheating on her husband and that it's only because she fell in love. She's not a cheater, she insists, even though she cheated. It's just not who she is. And if we can't understand what the hell she's talking about, it's only because we don't understand the circular logic (and I use the term "logic" generously) that cheaters use to justify...well...cheating. In a cheater's world, you can cheat...without being a cheater. Seriously.
All of which makes it abundantly clear that LiAnn has learned absolutely nothing from her experience. Sure, we all make mistakes (a point she stresses in her interview). But not all of us learn from them. And that's the difference between a cheater who's likely to cheat again...and one who isn't.
What's the difference?
A cheater who's likely to cheat again will often refer to their behaviour as if it was something that "happened" to him/her. "We couldn't help ourselves," they'll wail. "We just fell in love." As if falling in love is the same as falling down a flight of stairs, a product of gravity and high heels rather than choice and deception.
Another popular defence is the "soul-mates" version. Soul-mates, a cheater's logic purports, can't be held responsible for any pain caused to former soul-mates, spouses, friends, children, etc. etc. because soul-mates recognize each other and within minutes must be naked and coupling because, after all, that's what soul-mates do. The whole notion of wedding vows, commitment and "til death do us part" is alien when a soul-mate comes along. The thing is, soul-mates seem to come along frequently for many cheaters. They're kinda like spiritual buses that run on schedule.
Conversely, though many cheaters will initially offer up the "I couldn't help myself" and "It just happened" (that was the excuse provided by my husband's OW, as if the clothes just took themselves off) defences, those who ultimately recognize the devastation they've wrought and truly regret it will eventually come to recognize their cheating as a choice, a very poor one. Especially if, in the cold, hard light of reality, the affair seems cheap and tawdry, and the marriage looks maybe not so bad after all.
But even if their affair led them to exit a lousy marriage. Even if they are in love with their affair partner, those who really get what they've done will likely regret the cheating, if not the relationship. They recognize that, for gawd's sake, it wouldn't kill them to just file for divorce THEN jump into bed with the great love of their life. And it would likely leave them and their ex-spouse with dignity, generally good feelings towards each other and the respect of their friends, family and children. In other words, they wouldn't be branded a cheater.
And so that brings us back to LiAnn, our textbook cheater, voted most likely to reoffend. Rather than trouble herself with some soul-searching to determine why it was she looked outside her marriage rather than honor her "in good times and in bad" commitment (or perhaps, she struck that one from her vows). Rather than take responsibility for the pain and embarrassment she's caused her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Rather than consider that, just maybe, delayed gratification is the grown-up's way to live a life of dignity, she simply dismisses her cheating as "just not me." The thing is, LiAnn, it clearly is.
- Join the Club...and Share Your Story
- Share Your Story: Finding Out (This section is full.)
- Share Your Story: Feeling Stuck? (This section is full.)
- Share Your Story: Multiple Affairs?
- Share Your Story: Feeling Stuck: Part Two (This section is full.)
- Share Your Story: Finding Out Part Two (FULL. Please post elsewhere.)
- Share Your Story: Finding Out (Part 3)
- Share Your Story: Feeling Stuck Part Three