Saturday, May 29, 2010

Top Ten Reasons Why Infidelity Sucks

Of course, there's the obvious reason. But overlooking that briefly, here are my Top Ten Reasons Why Infidelity Sucks (please feel free to weigh in with your own!):

1. Thanks to the Infidelity Diet, I became as skinny as I was in high school. Which would have been great, except that I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. Which I had. Figuratively speaking.
2. I can no longer watch ANY movie or TV show that has infidelity as even a minor part of the storyline without hating it. I've walked out of theatres because my reaction to it is so visceral.
3. I can no longer meet anyone named Sara without immediately casting her as a vile dirtbag. (Sorry, ladies named Sara.)
4. I can no longer wear certain clothes (even faves) from the "betrayal era" without being transported back, even briefly.
5. I can no longer wear my wedding ring, look at wedding pictures or feel proud of my anniversary.
6. I find it hard to hide my incredulity when my husband gets freaky about the kids not washing their hands before eating. "You had unprotected sex with the most visited vagina in the city," I want to scream. Except that my kids are there and then I'd have to explain what Mommy meant.
7. There is a certain model and color of car that will forever be branded in my brain, turning an otherwise lovely day into a lovely day with a stab of pain. And, of course, it's an enormously popular make and color.
8. I can no longer join in the conversation when people talk disparagingly of cheaters and their dumb/pathetic/self-righteous/insert-adjective-here wives. Because I'm married to a cheater. And I'm the insert-adjective-here wife.
9. Every frigging song on the radio is about falling in love. Or being cheated on. Except – thank-you radio gods – Lady GaGa.
10. And finally, because I will never be free to completely trust anyone ever again. Except myself. So maybe that makes it a good thing.

Your thoughts??

17 comments:

  1. Here's another: After you discover your (ex-)spouse's infidelity, it throws the whole rest of your marriage into doubt, in two senses: 1) You wonder what was REALLY going on during those years when you thought everything was fine & good, and 2) You can hardly or not at all remember any good times, even if intellectually you know there were many, over many years...

    And then here's another: That you wonder if you'll EVER get over being angry for the rest of your life, and whether you even SHOULD get over being angry.

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  2. Yes, true on both accounts in my case. Which time were fact...and which fiction?

    But yes, you should get over being angry -- for yourself. Hardening yourself against pain just ends up punishing you. And I do believe you get over the anger -- with work and patience. And life is a whole lot sweeter when you do. It's also a lot clearer. Anger clouds our ability to truly see. We think it's protecting us, but it's an illusion. Boundaries protect us. And when they're in place, anger tends to dissipate because we're taking care of ourselves. Anger, as my wise therapist often reminds me, is a secondary emotion -- fuelled by hurt or fear or both. Address the hurt/fear and the anger will dissolve.

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  3. "Anger, as my wise therapist often reminds me, is a secondary emotion -- fuelled by hurt or fear or both. Address the hurt/fear and the anger will dissolve."
    My therapist has told me that too, but my anger hasn't "dissolved." I'm certainly no longer swamped by it, but when I think about my ex for more than 30 seconds, I'm angry--mainly, I think, because he has sailed off happily into the sunset, with a new wife who feeds his narcissism, and he seems not to have suffered one iota for one second. I, on the other hand, I will have a VERY hard time ever trusting any man again, so I'll probably be alone (in that sense) for the rest of my life. And that imbalance looks HUGELY unjust to me. And THAT makes me angry, and continues to, whenever I think about it. If nothing else, the fact that my grown kids still have an intermittent relationship with him makes me think about him from time to time.
    But yes, I'm finally starting to realize that I actually enjoy being able to do the things I want, when I want, without having to compromise or negotiate with a partner. And that is indeed a nice thing.
    But if you have more responses to this, I'd be glad to read them!

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  4. Yes, I can imagine it's hard to think that he's blissfully happy in his new life and you're left with a pile of broken dreams. I had a similar experience with an ex-boyfriend of mine. We were serious and considering marriage...until he got another woman pregnant (oops -- shoulda used a condom!). We broke up but stayed in touch and he married another woman (not the woman he got pregnant, though he still pays child support). I was sure that he'd gone off to have a pefectly wonderful life without me and I felt very angry and ripped off.
    A few years ago this ex contacted me to meet for a drink. I did and enjoyed catching up (I had been close with his whole family). I was getting ready to say good-bye when he made a pass at me.
    In that instant, I knew that he was exactly who he had always been. Someone who lied. Someone who cheated. Someone who screwed other people's lives.
    And, in that instant, I felt so much better off without him, though it had taken YEARS to even go a day without thinking about him.
    My guess is that your ex is as big an ass as he ever was. And unless he decides to take a good long look at himself, he always will be.
    You, on the other hand, have the chance to create positive change in your life. With a clean slate. With some baggage, sure. But who among us doesn't carry a mis-matched set of baggage?
    Hang in there. I don't mean to sound all Pollyanna on you...but you really are the lucky one. His new wife?? Not so much...

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  5. The other day, I took a little longer than normal to run a couple of errands. I bought something cute for my grandson, so I decided to take a quick detour and drop it off. As I was driving home, I get a call from him asking me where I was, it doesn't take that long to go do that.....I said I dropped off something by my daughter's house that I bought. He says you didn't tell me you were going to do that and got pissy about it.........I got off the phone and said to myself, WTF! You lied and cheated for over a year and you're concerned about me being 20 minutes late from shopping? Yeah, the irony of them being concerned about germs or being a few minutes late when they themselves are guilty of it big time!

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  6. oh yes, the irony is what gets me. having emails telling me, "make sure your career pride doesn't come before our marriage" meanwhile he's sleeping with someone else in our house.

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  7. And I can't even listen to Lady Gaga since the way I found out about his EA was because he took his gf to the concert. Looks like I'm stuck with NPR.

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  8. wow, just came across this post... it was written before my marriage went to hell in a handbasket...they are right on, the whole list...I could have written it! Love your blog, keep it up!

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    Replies
    1. Feel free to add to the list. I'm sure there are more than 10 reasons why infidelity sucks!!

      Elle

      Delete
  9. ok, I have one... everytime I hear the "ding" on his phone I think it's HER...

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  10. i resently found out.trying to keep it between us,we have 2 kids.15yrs together.he drinks ,lime,watch women.never thought he had it in him to cheat.found out accidently over a phone conversation.known her 4yrs he been in contact with her a yr.we talk want it to work.he said no sex.i have no evidence.what do you do when its hurting,does it go away?trust and respect big deal in marriage.when does trust start coming in? ihave been calm,reasonable ,still being positive because its the way i am.i am angry,so emotional an i get really upset for the slightess thing. i need peace of mind .im so suspicious now.looking back now i should of pick up on the cheating.i was so trusting and stupid in love.need advice ,want to move forward ,dont want to go crazy.is there a full an happy after infidelity?

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  11. 11. He could be with me physically, but I never know where his mind and heart are. Is he secretly thinking fondly of her while he is sitting at the dinner table with us, his family.

    12. He's clearly demonstrated that he WILL do what feels good to him without any regard for me....all while appearing to be 'husband' to me. Gee, he appears to be 'husband' now. Is he being genuine or is this just more acting? I cannot tell the difference.

    13. My choice is either to carry the weight of his ugly secrets every day to preserve our 'marriage' image OR to share the secrets and risk judgment, unwanted comments, and disapproving thoughts and/or verbalizations of others. Both suck.

    14. His infidelity has changed e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. I cannot respect a man who is not protective of his wife and children, but instead who risks their emotional well-being and makes conscious choices to actually harm them.

    15. There is NO safety...NO specialness....NO trust after infidelity. There is nothing special about me or our marriage. Cheating made that perfectly clear. Oh, he says otherwise. But, considering he is now an established liar, how do I believe anything he says...even when 'backed up' by actions? Actions can be fake just the way words can be lies.

    ok...I guess I'll stop there....

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  12. Regarding the name thing the OW has the same name as one of my kids. :-S MYR

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  13. I have one that's probably pretty unique to us but here goes:

    My husband likes to say he's always right. This predates even our marriage. Now every time he says it it pisses me off & we have a fight. And he says what do u mean? I AM always right. WTF? I finally said (I thought it was obvious) were u right to have an affair? Then he modified it & said not in my actions. Again WTF? So ur right in ur thoughts but do the wrong thing anyway? Maybe that's not something to brag about.

    -sam

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    Replies
    1. Sam,
      He's not always right. Nobody is always right. And anyone who thinks they are is incredibly insecure (which, incidentally, is often why people have affairs). Tell him that every time he insists he's "always" right when his behaviour was so incredibly hurtful is simply adding insult to injury. If he continues to do it, then he's sending a pretty clear message that his ego matters more than your feelings.

      Elle

      Delete
  14. 16. Feeling afraid to go around in your own city because you might run into her and you can't guarantee you won't do something unsafe.

    17. Which goes along with, scoping out wherever you go to make sure she's not there.

    18. Wasting time and energy monitoring him.

    19. Banning yourself from certain stores, hotels, brands, restaurants, cities because they were there together.

    20. Being unable to accept your husband's gifts because they're the same kinds of gifts he bought her.

    21. Going into a panic if he doesn't answer texts, calls, emails right away or gets home late.

    22. Losing sleep lying in bed thinking about him, her, and why we weren't good enough.

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    Replies
    1. AJ,
      I remember well that horrible sense of foreboding any time I left my home. It does get easier with time. I no longer get a knot in my stomach when I see a certain make of car (in fact, I don't even notice it anymore). I've forgotten many of the details re. restaurants, streets, etc. I sometimes though rarely panic when I can't reach him. But his reassurance generally brings us even closer.
      Hang in there. As long as you're each doing the work to rebuild, this rest will get better with time.

      Elle

      Delete

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