Dear Chump Lady,
Clearly you’re bitter. And divorced. And probably live alone with cats, but ballyhoo how great it is “on the other side.” I don’t get why you’d tell people — especially people who have children — to chuck their marriages.
What do you have against reconciliation? When my husband cheated, yes, it was horrific. I wanted to beat the crap out of the other woman with a threaded pipe. But my husband was deeply sorry, and did the hard work on himself in counseling. It’s three years later and although I wish it never happened, the affair brought us closer. We addressed a lot of the things that were wrong in the marriage, and I owned my part in that. I didn’t break up my children’s home. My financial security is intact. And I still have my husband and my marriage.
If I had listened to you, I’d be alone, spending my nights filling out my match.com profile and dating losers — guys not any better than my husband. They probably cheated too.
But I stayed and now my husband and I have a stronger marriage than we ever had before.
I’ll Stay on My Side, Thanks
Thank you for your concern over my marital status. It may relieve you to know that Chump Lady is happily remarried to a good guy, a Texas trial lawyer, whom she did not meet on match.com, and has no cats, but one very spazzy puppy.
To begin with, there are men better than your husband. Actually, you could walk into any bar in the land, swing a cat, and hit a man that is better than your husband, simply by virtue of the fact that that man has not cheated on you.
I don’t believe you that your marriage is stronger than before. If you lost a leg, you would not argue that now your body is stronger than before. You lost your trust in your husband. Your security. Your ability to ever love him unreservedly again. He can’t unring that bell or unfuck that woman. And while you may be one of the rare unicorns that reconciles successfully, you’re over selling it when you tell me your marriage is BETTER. It endures. Affairs don’t make marriages better, no more than spousal abuse and hurling your spouse down the stairs once, makes a marriage better.
For every day of your life you have to live with the knowledge that this man cheated on you and gutted you emotionally. If it didn’t gut you emotionally, you weren’t that connected to him in the first place and your marriage has never been “great.” He’s capable of betrayal. And while you may be able to do the mental gymnastics to live with that, I can tell you from experience, that it IS better on the other side. Either being independent and alone not living with the drama (BTDT) or happily partnered up with a person who loves you right and doesn’t need therapy and 12-step to be faithful. Cheaters often cheat again. Who wants to live waiting for that shoe to drop?