Although not animal related, this entry could kinda sorta be considered a rant. Do you ever read an article or news story that, while having nothing whatsoever to do with you, annoys you to no end anyway? That’s what happened to me the other day. I just mentally couldn’t let it go. So. Lucky you.
This should sort of go without saying, but my point of view is that someone who’s married really has no way to justify an affair. That may sound like common sense to many of you, but it’s not quite so cut and dry to a lot of others out there. I read this article yesterday about one woman’s dainty traipse through infidelity and couldn’t help but think to myself: “Well, isn’t that just lovely.” That’s a nice way of putting it anyhow. Remember, my New Year’s resolution was to try to be a better person (rein in the road rage and the like) so I’m trying my best to censor my evil thoughts.
In reality, I’ve essentially picked apart most everything this woman spouts off about and have pretty much an opposite view of how this whole marriage, commitment, and faithfulness thing should work.
The one sentence in particular that got to me was when she wrote, “I think that there are times, such as when your marriage is essentially over, and you are just in limbo mentally and emotionally, when a relationship that begins with an affair can end in a happy relationship.” Maybe it can. She might be right. I just personally believe that there should never be any overlap and thus never any way of really proving if that is true or not.
Your vows aren’t just something you say while you wait for the reception to start – they’re something you’re supposed to take seriously. And if your feelings change for whatever reason, no matter who is to “blame,” then you cut ties first before you move on to the next partner. It’s having a little thing called integrity and respect.
In my opinion someone in a troubled marriage should 1) try to fix the marriage somehow be it counseling, time apart, whatever, before 2) officially (a.k.a. legally) separating or divorcing prior to courting new romantic partners. Never should the twain meet.
Another thing that got to me about this piece was the very sly mention of her ex-husband’s substance abuse. “We failed at marriage in just about every way possible, all leading up to me saying “enough is enough” when it came to his substance abuse and… in the end… my falling in love with another man.” I’m sure a few steps were skipped in those literary leaps, but it sounds to me like his addiction was apparently enough rationale for an affair yet not quite bad enough to pack up the kids (who shouldn’t be around drugs) and move to a safer place. So she did what she needed to do to console herself – falling into the arms of another man, but her kids’ needs were secondary? Right. I see how that works.
She brings up many times in the article the age-old dilemma of if you can trust someone when you know they’ve cheated before. Can you trust a cheater? Well, according to her, she and her new man are “different.” They’re the exception to the rule. They’re unique. They’re the ultimate snowflakes. All other cheaters, yeah, you might have to worry about them, but not this woman and her side piece. They’re the real deal. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode “The Deal” where Jerry starts sleeping with Elaine and he’s explaining to George that he and Elaine figured out the whole “friends with benefits” thing.
Jerry: Well, we’ve tried to arrange a situation where we’ll be able to do this once in a while and still remain friends.
George: (maniacal laughing)
George: Where are you living? Are you here? Are you on this planet? It’s impossible. It can’t be done. Thousands of years people have been trying to have their cake and eat it too. So all of a sudden the two of you are going to come along and do it. Where do you get the ego?
So where does this woman get the ego to think she and “40” are the cheaters that have broken the mold? I’d bet dollars to donuts that most couples that began their relationship through infidelity thought to themselves or even went so far as to tell each other the exact same things. “I’ll never cheat again.” “This is the person I was meant to be with.” “I just needed to get that out of my system.”
There’s absolutely nothing unique about how she found herself in the middle of an affair, so why should the aftermath be anything above average either? Maybe they’ll make it, but I’d sure love to see the statistics on how many of these relationships have the partner cheating with someone else in the future and if so, how quickly. And if they do make it, all I have to say is, they deserve each other. Is that harsh? Well, maybe my New Year’s resolution isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but there you go.
Frankly, I find it a little sad that she’s straining so hard to get people on her team. Why do I say this do you ask? Well…today I found yet another article she wrote about the same affair – although this time she took a different tack in her subsequent explanations. In this one, she speaks to her marriage “being over,” how she was the only working on it for too many years and how it drove her into an emotional (and then physical) affair…blah blah blah. Really, for two people who are sooo different, the reasons for their affair have simply been done to death.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging her for having the affair. She’s an adult and can do whatever the heck she wants. I’m judging her for trying to rationalize it. To justify something that has such ramifications to others around you seems amazingly selfish to me. How did her affair affect her kids? Not to mention what is she teaching them? How about her ex (we don’t get much back story on him)? An affair doesn’t just touch two people. It has a massive ripple effect that she seems completely oblivious about.
So my advice, readers, is to cheat if you want to. I’m not your mom. Live your life. I simply ask that you own it. Have the balls to step up and say, yeah I cheated because I just felt like being selfish and putting my needs above those of my family. At least be honest and above-board about it. Oh wait…
My own shortcomings are legion; consequently I am in no position to criticize the next person for his/her personal failures.
That said, your analysis is right on the money.
I suppose on some level we each want think ourselves exceptional – that is, the exception to cardinal rules and values.
Thank you for the reality check.
Thanks for reading and commenting! I would hope that I wouldn’t criticize people for their shortcomings or failures in general because goodness knows I have enough of my own to claim. But good grief, when you make a conscious choice to do something like cheat on your husband (with children in the picture) then rationalize it rather than truly own up to it, that’s a little much. My annoyance meter couldn’t take it. LOL 😀
Human beans have a “wonderful” ability to rationalize ANYTHING. “I had to have the affair, my spouse was a loser.” “I had to cheat on my taxes, everyone else was doing it and I would be at a disadvantage if I didn’t.” “I had to drive home drunk, how else was I going to get home, and I’ve done it a hundred times before.”
You know those angels and devils that the cartoons (and “Animal House”) have sitting on our shoulders? My angel looks a LOT like the nuns I had in my six years at Catholic school – the devil on the other shoulder doesn’t stand a chance. If only I could rent it out some times to people like this self-righteous airhead.
I don’t think ANY devil would stand a chance against nuns like that! 🙂
And you are so right. As a general rule, we have become a society that can rationalize anything — any behavior, any action. You can see it not just on a personal level but in the news on a broader level. It’s sad.
I’ve noticed that to, people have just stopped taking responsibility and no one seems to want to do anything about it. I don’t know when it started to become okay either. I found out that my last ex let his friends say the most horrible things about me, he wouldn’t even walk out of the room when they’d talk about me and I STILL don’t know what I ever did to them. I asked and they’d just ignore me, but tell everybody else.
Sounds like he definitely deserves to be an Ex! Decent guys (and women) wouldn’t idly sit by while their friends trash their significant others. You dodged a bullet girl! 🙂
Yeah he definitely does and I really did! It’s amazing what happens after you break up with someone and what comes out! I I went into shock because I started to find out all that stuff after we broke up and he changed the day after we broke up and we broke up for mutually good reasons, not because (well I thought so) not because we hated each other =S
They don’t apologise either when you call them out on it!
A long while ago I heard a wise older woman council a not so wise younger woman with these words — “Once the act of cheating has been completed, there’s no going back. It can’t be erased from history and there’s no amount of rationalizing that will make the pain and guilt cease.”
Appears that the woman who wrote those articles is attempting to do that very thing…to rationalize away the guilt and pain that she refuses to admit she created. Your post is very well written and contains some wise words for the masses. 🙂
I appreciate the kind words. You’ll make me blush. 😀 The quote you mention is excellent advice and very spot on.
I agree with momdude: People can absolutely rationalize any act they choose to rather than accept responsibility. And often the worse the act, the more they rationalize.
That this individual has decided to rationalize breaking up her family in such a public forum is telling. It looks like a rather lame effort at damage control.
But rest assured, it will come back to bit her in the rump. Years from now, her children will come across these articles (children always find these types of things) and come to the realization that no matter how hard mom worked to portray the divorce as inevitable (fate, dad’s purported substance abuse, etc.) things don’t entirely add up.
No one is blameless when a marriage fails; the inability to accept that fact is a symptom of a narcissistic personality.
I agree wholeheartedly. Couldn’t have said it any better.