I’ve noticed time and again when chumps in reconciliation explain themselves, they say some version of this:
“Well, I don’t trust Bob. It won’t be the same, but I’m glad we’re still married. Because after this, I’m not going to trust anyone again anyway. So why start over? If I’m going to be twitchy about infidelity, I’d rather work out my issues here in the marriage. It won’t be the same here, but it won’t be different anywhere else.”
Drives me cra-zy.
Let’s say you got food poisoning.
“Well, the oysters at Bob’s restaurant made me puke for days and land in the emergency room. But I’m going to keep eating at Bob’s. Of course, I won’t trust oysters any more, but why try other oysters? Or food at other restaurants? I’m just going to get poisoned again. So I’ll just eat some bland toast and learn to live with queasiness.”
Look, to be in reconciliation — that rare unicorn — you have to trust. That’s the colossal hurdle, trust is what was destroyed that has to be mended. To say you’re going to live in a marriage without trust is not reconciliation — it’s limbo. It’s an arrangement. Heck, it might be Stockholme Syndrome. But it’s not a marriage. You’re saying the bland toast and the nausea are your new normal and you’re okay with that. Why expect more?
Why? Because there is a WORLD out there with WAFFLES and STEAK and BUTTER and BARBECUE and CHERRIES and SUSHI and CHOCOLATE. There is a cornucopia of goodness you are missing out on because you’re settling. You’ve winnowed down your world to “It’s a good day when I don’t wind up in the ER.” Hey, it’s been eight days since I last puked!
Life isn’t the absence of vomiting. It’s being able to eat and enjoy.
Marriage isn’t the absence of cheating. It’s being able to trust and feel safely loved.
If you’re in reconciliation and you think this way? Just admit that you’re settling, okay? Do not damn the rest of us. Do not assume that WE suck — because we don’t. We are not equivalent to your Bob. There are a bazillion loving, full-hearted people who don’t cheat and lie. You could walk right now into a bar and swing a cat and hit someone who is better than your spouse — because that person hasn’t cheated on you.
“YET” you say.
Okay, live with your cheater who you have 100 percent certainty cheated on you, and whom you will never trust again. You will choose that over the odds of a stranger who has not cheated on you? Who has better odds? What’s worse than 100 percent certainty Bob cheated? Can you do the math? “Oh, there is a 150 percent chance this stranger will cheat…”
Just admit you’re sticking with the Devil you know. You know why everyone else looks like a Devil to you? Because you live in Hell.