One of the mindfucks that surrounds infidelity, or really disordered behavior in general, is that it is “exceptional.”
Hey, this isn’t the real him. He was provoked and cheating was a bad coping mechanism.
Okay, she cheated, but it was just an emotional affair that never any went further.
Anyone can cheat. Good people cheat.
Once you’ve established that the behavior is an aberration, or something really common that anyone could do, then we can reject the idea that there are patterns between people who behave this way because it’s so individual. That idea then ties into the progressive notion that we shouldn’t paint with a broad brush and generalize. Especially because we don’t know this person individually.
Really this commentary is a subtle form of gaslighting — pay no attention to your observations. Draw no conclusions. Do not judge.
I sometimes follow my track-backs where people link to this site. Here’s one from Reddit recently.
Chump Lady for example, is very strongly in the “end it reconciliation is almost impossible” camp. And given that hers was a case of a serial cheater, that’s perfectly understandable. But it’s also FAR from universal. She doesn’t, IMO, seem to acknowledge that not every cheater is the same as hers was. Many here seem to have the same difficulty. We see lots of “cheaters are x” sorts of statements that are anything but true all or even most of the time.