I mean, gee whiz, we have them on smoking, drugs, drinking and driving — why not finding your spouse has been hooking up with random snatch online?
As chumps, I think we’re a pretty witty, hip bunch. Madison Avenue’s got nothing on us. Our public service announcements wouldn’t have to be lugubrious and heavy-handed; they could be droll and full of snark. As I often point out, there is a deep vein of absurdity to mine with infidelity. Look no further than Stupid Shit Cheaters Say. “I didn’t cheat on you. I cheated on your BELIEF that I wouldn’t cheat on you.” The material writes itself!
As pompous and absurd as cheaters are, the effects of cheating are certainly damaging. I’d take high fructose corn syrup and black lung disease over a marriage to my ex-husband any day. STDs aside, these people are public health hazards.
ChutesAndLadders describes the costs very well in a comment last Friday. She wrote:
I think we as chumps need to continue to do what we can to change the view from “wink wink everyone does it now” to the horrific mindfuck cheating is on the ignorant spouse and any unsuspecting children about to discover their world is blown to bits.
Let’s get the fear of not being able to buy baby formula because the Very Important Cheater stole the grocery money to pay for champagne coolies for his skank out there.
Let’s talk about the shame of talking to the accountant during tax time and inadvertently discovering the retirement accounts have been gouged, and you’re a stay at home mom who trusted and depended on their spouse to provide for her future after insisting she stay home to raise their children.
Let’s explain the humiliation and embarrassment of having a bank representative call to tell you your credit line is maxed out, and then cough when you insist you never “bought” anything from a store named “Ashley Madison.” And then have him explain exactly what “Ashley Madison” is.
Let’s talk about the calls we get from schools about our children getting into fights, or crying jags, or wetting pants all of a sudden. And shouldering the shame of hearing teachers talk about the effects of divorce on academic achievement, knowing they blame you because you are the one who picked up the phone. And how lectures from teachers about character and parenting are so condescending and insulting when you know you had no clue anything was wrong with your marriage. But you have to eat it because naturally, your cheating spouse is at “a business dinner.”
There’s more, right? Bring it.
Seriously, let’s bring it.
What would your “Cheaters Suck” public service announcement look like?