Yesterday, AllOutOfKibble inadvertently gave us a Friday challenge when she wrote that infidelity is not a singular thing. It’s beyond extracurricular boinking. (I am reminded of Esther Perel tweeting at me that my case was “so much more” than cheating. So, like, King’s X I suppose.)
The first thing I notice is that you speak of infidelity as a singular thing, as if it is not attached to anything else. It’s attached to so many other things. Here are three because I am late for work. I am sure there are more.
Financials. Who pays for the things involved in an affair? The hotel room? Little gifts? Meals? Vacations? The apartment for the mistress? If two people are married n the US then half the money spent on a schmoopie belongs to the chump.
Respect. People frequently confuse cheating with an open marriage. In an open marriage there are rules and guidelines, parameters where everyone knows what is going on. With cheating at least one spouse is kept in the dark and does not know what is going on. The chump is disrespected by the cheater. The chump can’t make an informed decision about their own life and what they want because, many times, what the cheater enjoys about the whole set up, is deceit. They like the whole I know something you don’t know. That’s not equitable or fair. If someone vows in front of others to fore sake all others and they don’t how can you trust them again after they have shown that they are a liar?
Health. Here in the US spouses get to make all sorts of decisions for each other, including when to remove someone from life support. Do you want the your spouse sitting there ready to pull the plug because you are such a drag on his and schmoopie’s relationship? There is also the issue of sexually transmitted infections. I have an aquaintance who found out she was HIV positive while pregnant. She was infected by her cheating husband. I am proud to say they are no longer married.
Anyone want to add to my list?
So what do you say, CN? What are all the gifts that keep on giving?
And don’t be distressed by this list. I think I will follow it up with How Does Your Life Improve When You Leave a Cheater? Tell me, how should we be reframing the infidelity narrative beyond The Great Schmoopie Love That Cannot Be Denied?