While I’m jetting towards Australia, I’m running a guest column today by CN member “Lola Granola.” Enjoy! — Tracy
Too often when we are on the receiving end of cheating, it’s at the end of a long process of devaluation and discard. Sometimes it’s not –- sometimes we are blindsided in what we thought was a happy and functional partnership of equals, with good sex, shared interest, and mutual respect.
So when we see the affair partner, we are a mess of conflicting emotions: What have they got that I haven’t got? Is it her ass/boobs/cooking/blonde hair/ethnicity/brilliance/success? Is it his bigger dick/better technique/cashflow/full head of hair/manly tattoos?
Whether you are a hot mess of abuse, or a blindsided success story, there is one maxim which I would love to see all cheaters take to heart.
I call it the Lola Doctrine: ‘Cheaters never trade up.’
I’ve been hanging round on Chump Lady long enough to learn that no matter how big her boobs are, or his salary is, the cheater’s partner in crime is always LESS THAN the chump.
Even when the karma bus hasn’t come over the hill yet, it’s plain to see that two really awful people have found each other. As chumps often say: water seeks its own level.
When I read chumps beating themselves up for being homely, or distracted, or too tired, or too pregnant, or not ambitious enough, or too boring, it breaks my heart. This is understandable, because it’s what we are told from Day 1 when there’s cheating — that it’s our fault for being not [blank] enough, and that we have to Own Our Part in the Relationship Breakdown.
But this is so wrong on every level.
We were doing our best, and in lots of cases, more than our best. We were working multiple jobs, raising kids, managing finances, trying to stay more or less in shape while also having some sleep every now and then.
We were also –- sometimes under real pressure — staying faithful to our marriage or our partnership. This makes us good people. Yes, that’s right. The good guys.
But the AP wasn’t. The AP was swimming around like a lazy shark that’s broken into the paddling pool full of small children (our relationship).
And the Cheater wasn’t sounding the alarm, or fishing all the kids out of the damn pool. Instead, they was watching from the sidelines, admiring the strength of those jaws, the curve of that fin, and that winning smile.
The AP is not, and never will be, better than you. It doesn’t matter how good they look on Facebook, or how much money they have. An AP is someone with, at best, a shitty character, and at worst a serious personality disorder. They are the bottom-feeders of the relationship food chain.
The hardest part in this process is acknowledging that our Cheater is perhaps not the wonderful person in whom we invested so much time, money and love — the swell party who has naturally moved on to a Better Place because of our hideous muffin-top. They don’t call us Chumps for nothing. But hey – the process of self-forgiveness for being fooled by a predator starts with baby steps.
If you’ve been systematically abused, then get some good therapy to help you regain your life and your sense of self-respect. If you’ve been blindsided, do the same thing. Once you start to repair your self-worth, you will realise that it’s true: Cheaters Never Trade Up.
If you can internalise this, just a little bit, it makes the whole Gaining a Life thing a bit easier. And it will also help get you to Meh faster.
Every time you support Chump Nation on Patreon, those muffin tops… just keep rocking the muffin top.