A huge shout out to my friend Marcia for sending me this video. Check it out, it’s brilliant. And kind of sums up my day today.
First time published on HuffPo, gotta say, it was a love fest. I just posted practical how to’s on what not to do if you’re cheated on. You know, my standard, don’t be a chump.
Next article, I said — hey, general public, don’t assume betrayed spouses KNOW they are being cheated on (i.e., “Surely you must’ve known.”) Apparently, not a popular message. Seems that betrayed folks have Unresolved Issues that make people cheat on us. One woman said that marriage doesn’t mean that you own the other person’s genitals. (Really? Crap. I thought I got the owner’s manual with those.) The predictable — we did not evolve to be monogamous Darwinian Theory of Douchebaggery — was presented. And of course the proponents of open marriage, swinging, and polyamory weighed in.
Finally, rounding out the haters was a man who told me my aura was “gray and brown,” that my ex cheated on me because I did not “fulfill his needs,” that I was angry and bitter, and — touche! — my hair is “overgrown.”
Okay, I will cop to the overgrown hair.
But the color of my AURA? Really?
So if you feel like commenting on HuffPo, go have at the haters. I think I’m going to go draw a bath later, have a soak, and watch this video over and over again.
What the haters seem to always fail to understand is that the betrayed spouse is not blocking the cheater from having his/her needs met, or standing in the way of Darwin’s theory. My XW was more than welcome to go get her rocks off as frequently and with as many men as she liked-just not on my dime and not while i was forgoing similar opportunities in reliance on her word.
WTF, don’t these folks understand the simple concept of being honest and informing the betrayed of the new terms of the contract.
I hated my XW by the end(largely because of her abusive behavior during her cheating. But, also, because she is just an a-hole, in general). I could care less if she wanted out and wanted her new douchebag partner. Just let me know and you are free.
One consequence of Chump Lady finding a wider audience (as it richly deserves to find) is that there will be some wing-nuts and a-holes in that audience. A price you pay for your message gaining traction, I think. Hang in there, Chump Lady–a lot of folks out there need to here what you have to say!
Telling truth to Power isn’t always the hard part. Sometimes it’s telling truth to Stupid.
This was my first thought when I read you’d be a regular on HuffPost, CL. My second thought was that you can take it. 🙂 I quietly tee-heed about what those commenters would be served soon.
I don’t know why I scroll down that far after reading an article in that section. I know exactly what type of messages I’ll find–your list above, ChumpLady. Thanks for bringing some wise, no-bs info to the HP.
Keep spreading your message, ChumpLady! I don’t get why people treat infidelity so lightly. They just shrug and act as though it’s no big deal, or they blame the BS for being too fat/ugly/difficult/sexually lame-o/whatever.
What it boils down to is this– don’t take a vow, don’t make a promise, unless you mean to keep it. If you no longer wish to keep it, then do the right thing. Sit down with your partner, and tell him/her the truth. Either you want counseling to make the relationship work, or you want to end the relationship. Once the relationship has ended, you have permission to boink as many SINGLE people as you like.
I don’t get why that’s so hard to understand. Break up FIRST. Get DIVORCED.
Reaching a wider audience is important, but sadly… those insecure folks who might read your stuff and question their own choices (whether its the BS or the Cheater) are going to see what you have to say at a threat. And they are going to push back. Because what you are saying makes them VERY uncomfortable. Before, you had a site that people followed and read because, for them most part, they were like-minded. Now you are exposing yourself to the masses. But don’t let them get to you. For every person who is threatened by what you have to say, there are probably two others who see the wisdom in what you preach. And they probably won’t comment. It’s too hard… too personal… too overwhelming at first. I know it was for me.
But you are important. The words you type are important. They bring comfort, understanding and eventually hope to those of us who are feeling completely at a loss in how to make sense of what has happened…
Precisely what Dani said is what I was thinking.
If people are not living authentically (whatever that means to them) they will take offense to something that goes against the fiction they are trying to turn into reality. So for instance, someone who is really authentically living into polyamory will not find a posting about the BS not always being aware offensive or incredible, because they will be confident in their own choice and won’t feel compelled to defend that choice. I don’t easily see the correlation there anyway, so whomever that was had to be knee deep in denial about what is going on in his or her life.
The other thing I want to say is: whenever you post something that bumps up against people’s assumptions about themselves you are going to get pushback; if you are validating their assumptions you will get an echochamber of love. And I think that’s pretty clear in the two postings you reference.
So, as we know, many people say: “If I’m ever cheated on, I’m gone. Right away. No second chances.” Which, essentially, is what you advocate in the first posting about how to deal with cheating. No one says: “well, if I’m cheated on, I will forgive my spouse and stay in the marriage and have hysterical bonding and jump through all sorts of hoops and try to fix my wayward and read lots of books and spend thousands on marriage counseling; and when he or she cheats again, I’ll do it again, and forgive him or her again. And again. And again.” Of course we know the reality of what actually happens.
Likewise, your posting about the BS not knowing, everyone seems to say: “Oh, I would know if something fishy was happening. I sure would. No one could fool me.” Even lots of BSs say: “Oh, I knew… I was ignoring the signs, but deep down, my gut was screaming at me.” And that is the thing, right? No one likes to be duped or surprised, so they assume that the would know or be able to tell. So for you to say: “No, you don’t always realize…” Well, that crashes against what they assume they know to be true about themselves. And it scares them.
People are motived so often by fear of chaos and losing control. Of course control is an illusion. The sooner people figure that out, the happier they would be.
Thanks you guys. I appreciate the perspective and encouraging words.
I guess I have residual Pollyanna-ishness about cheating. We cannot work from the basic assumption that cheating is bad? Really? Do we need a public service announcement or something? (Hmm. I may write one.)
Kristina — I completely agree with you about the illusion of control. Vulnerability scares the shit out of a lot of people.
A lot of dumbasses in the world!! Everybody has an opinion until it happens to them and then it changes. Most of these haters are either cheaters trying to justify their bullshit, or they have never been cheated on and are pie-n-the-sky naive.
I love the ones that tell me what they would do or wouldn’t do if they caught their spouses cheating!! Admittedly, I was one of those who said I’d run her ass off quick as lightning, but when it happened I was “super chump”!
Over that shit now, thank goodness!!!
Oh Cajun, you’re just a good person. I think a lot of good people try in the face of terrible pain. Which says good things about you and your character. Eventually, after so many chances, we wise up. But you shouldn’t regret trying, IMO.
Well, maybe the singer is a cheater and this was from a betrayed.
The singer is a comedian and the hater is a random stranger posting hate on her youtube comedy clip. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar Arnold.
Tell that to Monica Lewinski, CL.
CL, keep writing. All chumps and cheaters out there need you! Thanks so much for the clarity and “speaking Truth to Stupid” — thanks for that pearl, Nomar!
Something tells me Mr. Gray and Brown Aura Man isn’t having his needs met and he’s quite bitter about it.