I always enjoy my mindfuckery when it’s wrapped up with Shutterstock photos to look like innocuous relationship advice. Double bonus points if it’s a parenting site. Oh thank you Parent Society for this craptacular piece of blameshifting — 7 Reasons Your Partner’s Affair May Have Been Your Fault.
Have you let yourself go? Do you not listen? Not as horny as you should be?
Well, don’t be surprised then when you find your spouse on Craigslist hook-ups courting all manner of STDs. I think you drove the cheater to it. Yes, you there in the sweatpants — I’m talking to YOU. Put down that pizza slice and look at me — you suck. And it’s your suckitude that creates the billion dollar married dating industry. It’s all driven by lousy people who take their spouses for granted, don’t understand them, and who don’t make pot roast correctly. (CELERY! I told you to add CELERY!)
One wrong step, people and it’s chumpdom for you. You better up your game!
Let’s put 7 Reasons Your Partner’s Affair May Have Been Your Fault through the patented Universal Bullshit Translator.
You’ve just discovered that your partner has been cheating on you. You are shocked. Devastated. Angry. And maybe to blame?
There is no excuse for cheating, of course, but the betrayed spouse may well be part of the reason the marriage went off the rails in the first place. Are you guilty of any of the following?
Do you realize that sentence is completely contradictory? Do you have an editor at Parent Society? You state “there is no excuse for cheating” (of course!) and then immediately follow that with “the betrayed spouse may well be part of the reason the marriage went off the rails.” You can qualify it with “may be” all you want, but you’re clearly stating the chump is part of the reason for the cheating.
And that’s an excuse. HellOOOOooooo.
1. Letting yourself go.
Losing interest in your appearance and general well-being can happen, especially after the chaos and stress of kids enters a marriage. But this can also make your spouse lose interest in you.
As long as we’re blaming people, I’m glad to see you added kids to the mix. Speaking for myself, I know my midsection has never been the same since I pushed 7 pounds of baby back-asswards through my vagina. (Which probably isn’t as taut and lovely as it once was either, if we’re being honest.) Stretchmarks, squidginess. All the pilates in the world doesn’t make that right.
That must be it. I got cheated on 8 years after I had that kid, with some idiot that seemed to like my body enough to marry it. But apparently, I let myself go and that’s probably my kid’s fault. Okay.
My cheater, meanwhile, gained about 60 pounds of beer gut after we married, which didn’t seem to slow down his horn dogging whatsoever. Huh.
2. Taking your spouse for granted.
It’s often said that we treat strangers better than our own spouses. Sadly, this can be true — common courtesy, politeness, and even basics like “please” and “thank you” easily fall by the wayside during the grind of everyday life with a longtime partner.
I’m sure if you polled all 22 million members of Ashley Madison why they’re having affairs, the failure to say please and thank you tops the list, right after “my partner won’t do anal.” This is what happens when you don’t use basic courtesy, chumps — dating profiles. I can’t even imagine the horrors that might ensue if you don’t put your napkin in your lap or talk with your mouth full.
3. Directing your attentions elsewhere.
You may not be carrying on an affair like your partner is — but are you devoting all of your finite time and energy to your children, or your job, or maybe even caring for an ailing parent? In every marriage, there are outside factors competing for our attention all the time; that’s just the nature of life these days. But if either partner is neglected for too long (even if the reasons are valid), he or she may start to look elsewhere.
Yes, it’s all equivalent, really. Raising children, devoting yourself to your job… cheating. Hey, it’s energy directed away from the marriage! Raising children has to be done, because hey, you made them. And working a job is rather necessary to, oh, food and shelter. And carrying on an affair is necessary to… kibbles.
Is your mother dying? You need to tell her this isn’t a good time now. Your marriage needs you. “I’m sorry, mom. One wrong step and Bob’s going to be on Illicit Encounters! You’ll have to go to those chemo appointments alone. I need to keep vigil over my marriage. I knew you’d understand.”
4. No longer investing in the marriage.
“Investing” in your marriage need not mean a ton of time or money, but a healthy relationship requires some of each. When was the last time you had a dinner out together, or sat down for a fun TV-free talk, or locked the bedroom door for some private time while the kids were napping?
No longer investing in the marriage is what an affair is. But you’re saying my lack of investment created THEIR lack of investment? Huh? Then why I am I not having an affair? Oh that’s right… I’m too invested in my kids and my job and I let myself go.
5. Falling into the blame trap.
Does it feel like your partner can do nothing right these days? If you’re playing the martyr, your partner may have decided that he was done being the fall guy.
Yeah, no one likes to fuck mommy. (Well, unless you have a MILF kink.) That whole parentification dynamic is a real turn off. Oh, and you know how that happens to a marriage? One person is a perpetual fuck up and the other person has to pick up the slack and be the grown up. And they get pissy about it. BE A FUCKING GROWN UP!
And then because you’re such a buzz kill, that’s the pretext to have an affair. You’re no fun. You want to do taxes and laundry and shit.
6. Letting sex fall by the wayside.
You’re crazy busy, and tired, and stressed out — so is your partner, probably. But sex is the one thing you and your partner do together that makes that relationship different from all the others in your life. When it disappears, a big part of the marital bond does, too (and for men, especially, no sex = no fun).
The old sexless marriage trope. You know who finds themselves in sexless marriages? Chumps. Because the cheater is getting it elsewhere. Doing that “one thing you and your partner do together that makes that relationship different from all the others.” Except it’s not different or exclusive, it’s shared and then brought home. Wouldn’t you like some sloppy seconds or thirds? Or maybe they’re too tired for that. Poor sausages are exhausted by their fucking around.
7. No longer listening to your partner.
Sometimes in a marriage, we hear what we want to hear — and sometimes we don’t hear much of anything at all. Your partner may have been expressing unhappiness for a while now, either overtly or subtly. If the message just hasn’t been getting through, he may have decided to find a sympathetic listener — and more — somewhere else.
Ah, the subtle sounds of the unhappy cheater! It’s your fault that you weren’t receptive to their subtle expressions of disappointment. (CELERY damn it! Pot roast needs CELERY.) If you’d been better attuned to their unhappiness, this whole affair thing could’ve been avoided. So up your game now and make their happiness your supreme focus. Do the pick me dance and do it pretty. Ignore children, dying parents, and your job. Go to the gym and have more sex with your spouse. And don’t age, or have needs, or get distracted from your marriage. And you too can have an AFFAIR-PROOF marriage! Everyone who failed to do these 7 things is a chump and they deserved it. The cheating is their fault, really. Says so in the headline.
What’s really insidious about articles like this is they distort seemingly common sense relationship advice and turn it into exquisite blameshifting. The fact is, it’s cheaters who don’t invest in marriage, direct their attentions elsewhere, and don’t listen — but hey YOU DID IT FIRST. So it’s your fault and it’s all equivalent.
Your faults, flaws, and inadequacies did not cause your cheater to cheat. Their poor character did that. They had a big decision tree of available options to deal with their unhappiness — therapy, divorce lawyers, an improving hobby — and they didn’t choose those things. They chose cake. You weren’t so awful to divorce. You’re just awful enough to cheat on. Apparently, they’re simply blameless… and that’s why you didn’t cheat. Because they have no flaws or inadequacies. Okay, now that they’ve cheated, it’s STILL about you and your inadequacies.
Isn’t that weird? Even if you go by this logic that your crappiness made them do it — what’s crappier than having an affair? Aren’t they the penultimate distracted, uninvested, sexless spouses now? Where the fuck is THEIR pick-me dance? Where is their 7 point article?
Much easier to blame this shit on chumps. Because you’ll buy it and try harder. Win, win for the cheater. Remember to say please and thank you after your mindfuckery!
This column ran previously. Feel free to comment!