Is being alone worse than being with a cheater, if by alone you mean something like “alone for at least the next 20 years”?
Part of me thinks that despite my (wayward) partner’s flaws, the alternative is not to be with anyone at all. Not all of us are blessed enough to look like magazine material. And even if that’s unrealistic, I know what my past experience with the opposite sex has been — desperate. I had to work my ass off just to get the (wayward) one I have. Like the song says, I took what I could get. Not everyone can get the perfect spouse, just like not everyone can get the perfect job. A lot of people will say that this is just low self-esteem, but that’s bull: if you’re incompetent, employers will not hire you or keep you for long if they do. If you’re unattractive, the opposite sex won’t even notice you.
Whether I try to convince myself that I’m really a catch (ignoring the reactions of others in the past) or not, the reaction of the opposite sex will be the same regardless. The vast majority of people either find you attractive, or they do not. Last I heard Susan Boyle was still a virgin even after all of her fame. And hitting the gym didn’t really have any effect on interest from the opposite sex; I’ve gotten negative comments about my appearance from the opposite sex even when I was in the best shape I’ve ever been in, and the person making the comment was not.
So please don’t throw platitudes my way about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, and just stick with your thoughts about whether people should stay or go when they have no other options (or might have other options, but would have to work full-time just trying to find someone else that would reciprocate their interest — assuming that we rule out trying to date someone that you don’t find attractive yourself, which can only end in disaster).
Does a cheater, like old age, beat the alternative?
I can’t decide that for you. I can tell you I’d rather be alone than be abused and continually rejected, but hey, that’s me with my cornucopia of options over here.
just stick with your thoughts about whether people should stay or go when they have no other options
You ALWAYS have options. You may not LIKE your options (that sounds like your problem), but you have them. You can spend a lot of time bitching about your options, or you can gain a life and develop better options. Yeah, even if you’re ugly. Even if your chin hair has chin hair and your belly sags and you need a small army of barbers to shave your back. Yeah, YOU. HAVE. OPTIONS.
I reject the premise of the question — that “unattractive” partners need to hang on to cheaters because they can’t do better.
1.) Perfection isn’t the standard. 99.9 percent of us are not magazine material. Plenty of ugly people attract. (Newt Gingrich has had three wives. I rest my case.)
2.) Below-average looks are not equivalent to incompetence. People don’t partner up solely on the basis of attractiveness, for starters. (And employers, judging by every single one I’ve ever had, tolerate quite a bit of incompetence. Many even promote it to positions of authority. I once had a job where my boss locked himself in a small office with a cocker spaniel for 9 months. I just Googled. He’s still in that job 20+ years later. I don’t know about the spaniel.)
3.) You deserve respect and good treatment regardless of your looks. Being ugly isn’t carte blanche to be shat upon and you shouldn’t accept it.
Besides, is your “wayward” (I hate that term) perfection himself?
Who made him High Lord and Executioner? Why does he get to decide your attractiveness? Why does anybody?
Do you think Gertrude Stein was wracked with this kind of self-doubt? Think of all the amazing, accomplished people who were less than standardly attractive and all the things they achieved. Do you think Albert Einstein ever stopped and reconsidered physics because of his hair? There are many lives to aspire to. Most of us (see 99.9 percent above) are not going to cause people to stop in their tracks and swoon over our beauty. And I detest the cultural diktat that women must be Conventionally Attractive to matter. (The goal posts are constantly moving. Lose 20 lbs and 20 years. No, now 30.)
I also reject the idea that your current relationship with “wayward” is sustainable. If you’re that ugly, why do you suppose the cheater is with you? You serve some purpose. Paycheck. Housekeeper. Face of respectability. Any of those factors could change according to his whims. Why give him that power? If he’s devalued you with cheating, what makes you think you can’t be replaced? Why be a fuckwit’s Plan B when you can be your own Plan A? Get in front of that shit.
or might have other options, but would have to work full-time just trying to find someone else that would reciprocate their interest — assuming that we rule out trying to date someone that you don’t find attractive yourself, which can only end in disaster
This sentence is like that Seinfeld skit where George (who is bald), won’t date a woman with hair-loss. So, you’re unattractive, but God forbid you date someone who is unattractive?
What the fuck is wrong with your values? I can’t tell if you’re self-loathing or just superficial.
If you’re superficial, then cheating can’t hurt you that bad, because you’re only invested skin-deep. Keep your cheater, front your phony life, and tell yourself this is the best you can do.
If you believe that’s the best you can do, it is.