The excuse is often given for cheaters that they are “compartmentalized.” Cheating on you is nothing personal, it’s just that you were in Spouse Compartment, as distinct from the Schmoopie Compartment, and it’s best if the cake slices don’t touch.
The compartmentalization excuse is trotted out in various ways. There is the sad sausage variant — alas, I suffer from this vague psychological malady! My world is fractured! There is the self-satisfied variant in which compartmentalization is a kind of superpower that your feeble brain cannot fathom. Well chump, you have a very simple life, but I am great and complicated! Multi-faceted! Behold my compartments!
And there is the ham-fisted manipulation of telling a chump they have their very own compartment. Why, you have a compartment ALL TO YOURSELF! I mean really, it’s a kind of respect. It’s only because of the reverence that they have for the Family Compartment that you don’t know about the other (and, I assure you, lesser) compartments.
So what are we to make of compartmentalization?
On the one hand, I’m inclined to believe them. I think the ability to be a serial cheat means you lack empathy and integration. You’re as deep as a Tupperware snack box. I think they truly do not understand that other people connect and bond and feel deeply.
On the other hand, I think compartmentalization is bullshit. It’s a nice word for deceit. I have a box I hide my other lives in. Vacuum sealed for freshness!
What do you think?