Dear Chump Lady,
I love the UBT letters.
But, what if a cheater realized their affair was the biggest mistake ever, and they were truly sorry, and that they wanted their spouse back?
What would that look like, exactly? Words, actions, whatever. Use made up characters if you’d like. A physical affair, emotional, or in the case of “Intentions” an options-open affair (or whatever you want to call it). Not sure if there’s a different scenario here based on type.
Yeah, it’s a game of spot the unicorn. And even if it were more like spot the double rainbow, there’s plenty of reasons why the chump should walk away regardless (trust, that relationship is as dead as last week’s roadkill on a Texas highway in August, etc). I know, once a cheater always a cheater. But is that always true? Has there ever been a Fuckwit who was truly remorseful and willing to do whatever it took to get their spouse back?
For grins and giggles, what would true remorse actually look like? What could the cheater say and do for another chance if they truly meant it and were truly remorseful?
Dear Humor Me,
Yeah. I wrote that article. Real Remorse or Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse. It’s not my job to spoon-feed chumps hopium and take them on unicorn safaris. There’s the rest of the interwebs for that. Seriously, that’s 99.99999 percent of the other infidelity resources out there.
Here, the tagline clearly states: LEAVE a cheater, GAIN a life. CN is a sanctuary for sanity, to drop the skein, put down the pipe, and ask yourself (chump-to-chump) if this relationship is acceptable. Cheaters: I don’t write for you.
What?! Whoa?! It’s not all about ME?
No. I’m here dealing with the collateral damage. The little people. The obstacles to happiness. Your children, and other assorted impediments.
What if a cheater realized their affair was the biggest mistake ever, and they were truly sorry, and that they wanted their spouse back?
Then I’d say they weren’t truly sorry. If this person were truly sorry, they wouldn’t feel entitled to getting their spouse back. Fuck what you “want.” That mindset got you into this mess.
I’d further question the use of the word “mistake” to describe intentional, hurtful, damaging behavior.
So, yeah, I’m not feeling the sorry.
And speaking of which — we’re having a real cultural moment of Okay, Have I Sat In the Corner Long Enough? Garrison Keillor, Matt Lauer, Louis C.K. — all apparently staging come backs. They’re all truly sorry and want their careers back.
You know, here’s a radical thought — shove aside and give someone new a shot.
Now, I can’t guarantee that this new person won’t wave their dick around — here’s an even crazier thought — hire a woman! — but I DO know that they haven’t abused their power yet. Or EVER. And isn’t that preferable to you, really? Because there are a lot of crazy talented people out there, and you can be replaced.
So why not recognize you had your moment, you rode that ride, you blew it, and now it’s time to take up macrame. Or obscurity.
Why do you INSIST on coming back?
Same question for cheaters. Why not let your chumps move on without you? What makes you think you’re needed here? Because you WANT it? Not good enough. Humility might be recognizing your chump deserves someone who hasn’t abused their power, someone who can be trusted with intimacy.
I know, once a cheater always a cheater. But is that always true?
For the gazillionth time, I do NOT think Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater. I don’t want to believe that anyone is beyond redemption. With the exception of sociopaths, who are wired wrong and are simply predators. But even the freaks can control it. They know right from wrong, they just choose not to play by those rules. But for other people who are just jerks with lousy life skills — go and sin no more. Learn from it.
I am skeptical that jerks with lousy life skills WILL learn from it — because entitlement feels better than humility. And people prone to escapism (affairs) tend not to be the same people who do the long, hard slog of humility. I also wrote about those odds here. But is it possible? Sure. The guy who wrote Amazing Grace was a slave trader turned abolitionist. However, if he sold me into slavery, I still probably wouldn’t want to sit next to him in a church pew.
Get my point?
What could the cheater say and do for another chance if they truly meant it and were truly remorseful?
Generous divorce settlement.
Okay, I’m being flippant (but really, GENEROUS DIVORCE SETTLEMENT. Don’t fuck up and then make it positively impossible for a chump to divorce you.)
It would be a wily cheater who’d want Chump Lady to write the script to win back a chump.
Can’t do it.
I don’t write for you.