Thursday, July 19, 2007

liar, liar pants on fire


In response to a friend's email regarding it's a dirty word but somebody had to say it, I'm writing about cheaters, extra-marital affairs, infidelity, adultery whatever you want to label it, that's what I'm talking about.

Here's what she said,
"Very well put...But I am curious as to your thoughts on infidelity. I ask, because after 40 plus years and numerous escapades my (insert any four letter word here) father has filed for a divorce. My mom is very hurt even though they have been separated for a long time. I think she always felt the same way as you. So for me I am just trying to have other words to say to her.
Something to think about huh? Not a very fun subject although not discussed nearly enough in our society."

I firmly believe that cheating is a form of abuse. See this post to read my opinion regarding abusive relationships.

It isn't a moment of weakness. It isn't a lapse in judgement. It isn't a once only kind of thing. Cheating is a choice. It's a decision and sometimes I think it's a way one person in a relationship says, "I'm over it...But, I don't want to be the one to do the leaving, that would look bad on my resume'. So...she/he's a nice looking distraction."

I've thought about what I would do if my husband cheated on me. I thought of it mostly after a close friend went through a divorce after her husband cheated on her. At first, I thought, well, the christian church in america says adultery is the only reason you can ever get divorced and the bible says to stone an adulterer, that's worse than divorce - at least for the one getting stoned - so yeah, I would totally divorce a cheating husband.

My friend, we'll call her Ms., did not have a husband in the same sense as I do. He wasn't around all time, he supported their family, financially and spiritually, on a very irregular basis. Ms. raised their children, payed their bills and had to ask for help from friends and family so often that it was "taking a village" to raise their children. Cause let's face it, as much as I admire and respect Ms. and as amazing of a job she's doing raising her children, she couldn't do everything on her own and no one blamed her for it. Personally, I blame him.

If my husband treated me (and if we had children, them too) the way Ms.' husband treated her and their children, I don't know if I would have lasted till he had an affair. Frankly, in my opinion, he had been cheating on her and the family way before he hooked up with another woman. He had been cheating on them with himself, for ten years.

Marriage is about being unselfish, I've said it before, and he remains one of the most selfish people I've known. The fact that he took it one step further and fathered another woman's child, for me makes it just that much worse.

That's one thing I think about cheaters. I just wish, if one person in a marriage didn't care to strive to be unselfish, they wouldn't take the easy way out a claim a lapse in judgment, a moment of weakness or whatever. I just wish they would file for divorce. Be a man dammit, be a woman dammit, don't take the easy way out and cheat. Admit that you're selfish and you don't want to change. Leave your spouse and children out of it and admit your faults.

If the man I'm married to cheated on me, I don't think I could leave him. First of all, the man I'm married to sounds nothing like the cheaters I've described. If he did cheat on me, he would've become another person and in that case, I believe, cheating wouldn't be the only problem. But if he came home to me tomorrow and admitted to having an affair, I don't think there would be anything in me that would want to leave him. I would be angry, hurt, shocked and I'd want answers. But if he was truly sorry and didn't want to leave me, I don't think I could leave him.

Which takes me around the circle again. Because, honestly, if he admitted to having an affair, I'd totally divorce him because in my mind he just wouldn't be the man I'm married to. He'd be someone I never knew and I wouldn't want to be with anyone other than the man I'm married to.


sufferingsummer said...

this is such an interesting post...there is too much here for me to respond now but I'm thinking about it and I'm thankful for that. I have witnessed adultery up close and very personal and have some similar views and some very different ones, I'll think further and comment again when I have more time. I'm glad you are bringing this up though as it should be talked about more often especially in the context of 'christianity'.

elixir said...

I started leaving you a comment, but now I'm just posting another blog to keep the conversation going.
I'll look forward to your continued thoughts and the dialog in the comments.

sufferingsummer said...

Elixer has just expressed exactly what I was trying to figure out in my head. Her blog so eloquently covers it I'm not even going to try and repeat the sentiments. She is right on I believe. I'm so glad you two are having this conversation.

Flo Oakes said...

I was just going to comment, when I read Elixer's blog, and commented there..but I think I would have said the same thing for this post too, so you can just refer to the comment I left on her blog...haha.

Beth said...

Hey Meg, so have I told you before that I like you? Cause I do.
Yeah, cheating and divorce are two ofthe most difficult subjects to talk about. I have changed my mind so often about them. Especially since my parents were divorced and there was sooooo much cheating.
Maybe Ill talk to you about it someday. It would be nice to talk about someone about my views onthis. I have talked to erik a bit. There are so many people that are like, ¨divorce isnot an option...end of story¨. But I cant really talk to anyone about it.
Anyways, gotta run.

BellaArtGirl said...

ooooo this is a HOT button topic. i may ramble, please forgive.. I just read your post and elixir's and there is so much I want to say but discretion is necessary. First, I don't think there is anyone who is not touched by divorce/adultery/unfaithfulness. Our society has grown too far away from goodness to keep the purity of love between two people. Although monogamy seems to speak mostly towards the sexual bond between two people, I think that what kills the most is when the emotional/spiritual bond between two people is killed because the act of sexual betrayal communicates the death of onesness. I remember when one of my good friends cheated on her husband. At first it seemed that it was just the death of a marriage we were seeing and yet also as the dust settled, it could be seen that it was the death of a part of our community. The response our little christian community had really puzzled me. The leaders held a private meeting [this was a really messy situation with lots of people involved] and advocated for people to speak and although people did not agree with everyone's opinions they did attempt to try to address some of the mess. To this day the fallout of that situation has been interesting to say the least. Over time I have seen that the response is very typical because again the messyness of our sin is never cut and dry...or is it? I think that if we could see it as a clear black and white issue then it is simpler and yet there is the miracle of forgiveness...where and when does that fit in? hmm...again excuse my ramblings if this doesn't make any sense

Anonymous said...

The problem with this topic is the assumption that an affair is just sex. Cheating covers a lot of things, from feelings, to lies, to full blown relationships and sex. Where does flirting lie in your book? What about internet chat rooms and emails? Infidelity a lot of times isn't a decision to hurt the other person, it starts as a casual conversation, then a friendship, then a relationship, then sex.
Affairs happen when communication between a husband and wife stops or is compromised due to stress (new baby, new job, no job, money issues, etc.) But if your husband told you tomorrow that he had had an affair, you would be devistated, confused, mad as hell, but you would still love him. And if you had children who where happy, would you want to be the one to rip them from that happiness and have them visit Dad every other weekend for the next 10 years? I guess it makes sense why the divorce rates are surprisingly low in the event of an affair. I guess there is no good way of dealing with this one. I guess the only safeguard is open communication and keeping each other close to our hearts.

Andy said...

Wow. I mean wow, have you been blogging your little blog out. Yeesh, wow I don't even know where to start.

Cheaters: Get rid of them. Surgically, legally, chemically, whatever.

Marriage: Good if you're willing to work at it. Torture if not. Possibly torture anyway, just worth it. Hah!

Newlyweds: Good luck!

Newlyparents: Welcome to the club!

Transformers: Kick ass. Wait, you weren't talking about that were you? PS. Thanks ;)