Hi My Loves! Happy almost Spring!!! Four more weeks they say.
So, I’ve been thinking about cheating. Those who cheat and those who are cheated on. And I am not talking about a school exam. Relationships folks! Relationships!
Disclaimer: Don’t automatically assume this is a male-bashing session. It’s not. We all know men are not the only ones who cheat, even though it seems they are the ones who get caught the most often (dumbasses) and so, therefore, it seems they are the ones who cheat the most, but who knows. I’d have to gather some data on that one. At the end of the day, we are all capable of cheating.
I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum- cheater (not my proudest moment) and cheatee (I made this word up and for the purposes of this blog the cheatee is the person being cheated on.) And I guess the person who you cheated with we will just call…. the home wrecker? IDK. Anyway, after a most recent experience coupled with my journaling, self-reflecting, and conversations with others I have really been trying to dissect and process the act of cheating and its effects on those involved. And after much thought, I’ve decided to write a letter to cheaters everywhere in the hopes that they can receive some clarity on the damage that is left behind when the cheating dust settles. Here goes:
I am not sure what you were thinking of the moment you made the conscious decision to cheat. And yes, it was a conscious decision. Most cheaters will in their apology say things like “I’m sorry I made a mistake.” The reality is that cheating is NOT a mistake. It is a conscious decision. There are those 2.5 seconds right before you cross that line when you could have said, “No!!!” Like “Say no to drugs” well “Say no to vagina and penis!” Especially the one that isn’t yours.
I have been trying to understand why you decided to step out on your relationship in this way. I mean I know people cheat for a slew of reasons: stress, boredom, not enough sex, lack of spontaneity, or just a basic disconnect in the relationship because nobody is addressing it. And of course, I also know, Dear Cheater, that you just may be one of those people who like to cheat. And that’s a whole other blog.
An affair feels exciting, stimulating, stirring, breathtaking!!! It boosts people’s self-esteem and strokes the ego. Being with someone new, someone you’re not fighting with, or dealing with the kids with, or paying bills with, or just dealing with plain old life issues with is so much better than the reality of adulting.
I know an affair makes people feel young and beautiful and sexy and in your quest to charm and entice you dress up, wear cologne/perfume, send sexy messages, you court. It’s fucking exhilarating!!! Shit. I know. (BTW, did it ever occur to you to try that with your significant other BEFORE resorting to cheating??! Just a thought)
But Dear Cheater, let me tell you all the other things it can be and usually becomes, and let me give you a little insight into what it does to the cheatee.
When an affair comes to light, the ugly in people emerges. The crazy too! Drama follows. People’s business is put out there. Threats and humiliation. Not so pretty anymore huh? Tears and fights, lengthy texts or calls spewing every hateful word that comes to mind because as humans that’s what we do when we are hurt. We want to hurt other’s back. In the case of an affair, nobody is spared, not you, not the cheatee, and not the home wrecker because as much as I hate to say it, they feel the effects too.
The moment the cheatee suspects or discovers the infidelity, this tiny seed is planted in their gut. This seed of so many emotions. Too many to list. The first is embarrassment and/or shame. Yeah! Can you believe that shit? You cheated but the cheatee feels the shame and just thinks of things like “What am I going to say to people when they ask for him or her? “What did I do wrong?” “Why wasn’t I enough?”
In this initial phase, there is so much anger. Like the cheatee will threaten everything from burning the cheater’s clothes, slashing tires, and/or physically hurting them. (THIS IS JUST A BLOG I WOULD NOT TRY ANY OF THIS AT HOME!)
After anger comes disbelief. Like “WOW!” No way. There has to be a mistake! He or she would NEVER do that! The cheatee will spend days and nights replaying every single exchange in the relationship to figure out when, how, why? Why becomes the single most important question. They try to look for clues or signs to see if they missed something. This will keep them from eating, sleeping, and/or wanting to be around others.
Then comes the obsessive stage or investigative as I’d rather call it. LOL !!! And I don’t care if your male or female all cheatees do this to some extent. The cheatee will NOT stop until they know EVERYTHING. Now quick insert- women are way better at this than men! Just saying. When a woman sets her mind to find some shit out, you’d best believe she will! In this phase, they hurt so bad that you will surely not see any signs – like tears. It’s a weird thing. I am thinking this is where the cheatee starts to process that yes it really did happen and the life they thought they were living or the future they envisioned …. wasn’t going to happen.
Soon after the hurt settles. An ache. More questioning. This is probably around the time that the cheatee will find themselves crying out of nowhere. They may be retelling the story and it evokes such strong emotions they may cry at any instant. They will think about the intertwined friendships and families, the “place” that became yours, and now what? Maybe kids if they were involved too and having to explain to the kids that the “cheater” is no longer a part of the family – delicately of course because it’s not their fault. This is the hardest and longest stage to process and grow through in case you didn’t know.
Eventually, the cheatee will maybe get over it, suppress it all, and get on with their life and you the cheater will become a distant memory. (Once in while and in very rare occasions a cheater and cheatee will work through things and after many, many years of rebuilding and work they may come out stronger. “May” being the key word!!!
So Dear Cheater, the next time you are in a relationship in which you have made a commitment to be truthful, transparent, and loyal and you find yourself at a point of making that 2.5 split decision of cheating or not, remember the damage you are leaving behind lasts for far longer and runs far deeper than those 2.5 seconds.
And in the end, was it really worth it?
Thank you for stopping by and reading. If you’ve been cheated on, it’s not your fault. It was their shit and not yours. And if you have cheated, learn and grow, be better, be truthful, be transparent.
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I am a 50-year old Latina divorcee who has been on a spiritual journey for, yikes, a really long time. Though I am not where I want to be, each day I do get closer to who I am meant to me.
I co-raised two young ladies and am a grandmother of two spunky, smart and funny kids – Max and Esme.
Education has been my niche for the last 20 years and I don’t know why. I wish someone had given me a career survey in high school or college to realize that #1- I am NOT a morning person and #2- I don’t really like kids, not even my own. So, I am searching for my passion. Not sure what that is yet. But there are a few things I am exploring, writing being one of them (that’s why I am here).
I have issues with commitment, not so much relationships but committing to my goals, putting in the work and seeing things through. But I did commit to making my 50’s the best decade ever. So far so good. I love yoga, traveling and writing; but mostly wine. Yes! I love wine.