Following up from yesterday… tried and truly lousy advice on infidelity continued…
4. Explore what the marriage was lacking that led your spouse to cheat. Because only when that absence is filled, can the marriage be sound! Chumps love this because it gives us a false sense of control. Ah! The problem was ME. Our marriage! I can FIX this! Send me scurrying over to the self-help aisle so I can figure out what I did wrong and how I can shore things up to make the cheater stay!
I’m not saying you don’t suck, maybe you do. Maybe your marriage sucks dreadfully, but that’s not what lead your cheater to cheat. They cheated because they felt ENTITLED to do it. Of all the available options to address their unhappiness and their problems with you, they chose betrayal and risking your health and well-being. They went with cake. And let’s be clear, it’s CAKE. They didn’t ask for an open marriage. They didn’t just get a divorce lawyer and leave honestly. No, they organized their life through a series of many, many choices to cheat on you. To keep whatever it is you’re giving them AND get whatever the fuckbuddy is giving them.
What’s “lacking” in this scenario is the cheater’s character. There’s a hole in their soul, and no amount of filling on your part is going to plug that sucking drain.
If you suck, fix you for you. If your marriage sucked, well, you suffered the same bad marriage and didn’t cheat. And if your’e doing the pick me dance, clearly you were the more invested partner. You’re willing to try harder and self examine. Cheaters? Not so much.
5. It was just a mid-life crisis. There is no magic term for cheating that makes it not cheating. I’ve written about this before, but the MLC is bunk. People’s personalities are pretty formed by adulthood and “crises” can hit at any stage of life. Calling it a mid-life crisis dresses up a set of selfish choices as a syndrome. It’s not so personal, because it’s so common and pervasive. It’s like the Terrible Twos! It’s an ugly little stage of development that they’ll grow out of. Bullshit. Adults are grown ups. They SHOULD be developed by now. If they’re not? You’ve got bigger problems.
6. Don’t tell your family, or friends about the infidelity, because if you reconcile it will be too awkward. If a cheater wants to reconcile, part of showing remorse, IMO, is putting on your big boy/girl panties and being accountable to the people closest to you. Yes, I fucked around on this person you love. Face the awkwardness! Cheaters cannot have it both ways — it’s not a big deal, get over it… but I get to maintain my secrecy about the affair (which is a Minor Thing Really).
It’s personal who you tell, but if a chump is not telling so the cheater can save face? You do that at the risk of not getting the support you deserve. You’re not obliged to keep their secrets. And keeping the chump isolated from support is a common tactic of serial cheaters. It’s not your shame to wear, it’s the cheater’s. And if you’re ashamed of reconciling? Well, that should tell you something. Your reconciliation is closeted. So how authentic is it?
I’m not saying broadcast it to all and sundry (but if you want to, that’s okay too — but the bitter, batshit thing tends to stick more) — but to the people you’re close with? If they love you, they’ll be there for you. Who doesn’t need more of that?