Apparently, they are capable of “unconditional love” and we, being irrationally angry, small-minded meanies, are not.
Unconditional love, from what I can tell, seems to be this perpetual state of Grace, where no matter what cheaters do, no matter how deliberate, or idiotic, or devastating, they shall not be held accountable. The cheater cannot be left. The cheater must not suffer consequences (because this pains them too!); and they get as many chances as they deem necessary to straighten up and fly right.
They might never straighten up and fly right, and that’s okay, because you have a love that is bigger than you both, which is God-like, and omnipresent! Your unconditional love will shine through as a beacon in the foggy darkness! Yes it’s Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer! Would you be so cruel as to stop Santa from delivering his presents? Would you put an end to Christmas?
And chumps if they fall for it, are left feeling more inadequate than ever. Wow, my love just isn’t that powerful to get over this. Why can’t I love unconditionally?
Unicorns, of the smug reconciling sort, may tsk-tsk their divorcing brethren. “Well, I guess they do not know what it means to Love Unconditionally.”
Look chumps, before you try to Rise Above and love the broken sad sausage in your life, let’s examine this catch phrase “unconditional love.”
Often it’s discussed in the context of child-rearing. Bobby is very upset because his mother only smiles at him when he gets As on his report card. Otherwise she is indifferent. She does not love Bobby unconditionally. Her love is on the condition of his good grades.
Okay, that’s wrong. You should love your child regardless of his or her GPA.
Now, what if Bobby is sick in the head? He is prone to rages and attacks his mother Martha with carving knives. He hurls abuse at her, and steals money from her wallet. Bobby has put a hit out on his mother to collect his inheritance.
It’s a little harder to love your child unconditionally then. You feel sorry for Bobby’s mother Martha, because she probably still does love her child, but love is beside the point. She needs to GET THE HELL AWAY FROM BOBBY.
A couple points: a) Bobby is Martha’s child. b) If the relationship is toxic, Martha’s love for Bobby is not relevant to her personal safety.
Now, apply this logic to infidelity.
Grown up love comes with conditions. Cheaters are not our children. (Although they may act like it.) Our spouses are not entitled to unconditional love. Adult love comes with conditions (also known as boundaries), conditions like “you may not abuse me,” or “you may not steal from me.” We don’t have to accept any sort of behavior because we love someone.
If someone cheats on you, and repeatedly puts you in harms way, you’ve got a toxic situation. You very well may still love this person, but your love is beside the point. You need to GET THE HELL AWAY and save yourself.
Now then to the superior cheaters who demand unconditional love:
Really? Did YOU love unconditionally? Apparently there are a shitload of conditions to win your love, beginning with performing the Pick Me Dance. Chumps hear these conditions all the time — you grew old, you got fat, you spend too much time with the children, you make stewed tomatoes wrong, your socks aren’t in the hamper, the curtains were too long, you don’t play board games. (All of these can be found on Stupid Shit Cheaters Say.)
Failure to abide by cheater conditions ensures you will be cheated on. (And the conditions always change, so you can pretty much guarantee you are not abiding by them.)
How’s that for fair?
When cheaters want “unconditional love” what they are really saying is that they’d like a lopsided, unreciprocated situation. You invest kibbles in me, (don’t stop!) and I shall do whatever I please. Because you love me. And if you stop giving me kibbles, I’ll make the problem you. You don’t love me enough.
Unconditional love — blameshifting by another name.
This column ran previously.