Thursday, February 03, 2005
A Challenge to the Cheaters
Grappling with confusions in my mind over a somewhat minor indiscretion by my husband was the start of this blog. In time, he joined me and we now co-blog as a means of exorcising the demons of our minds, playfully sharing feelings and communicating on a new level. But there are still so many questions. So much confusion. And I hear from other people all the time who are also confused in their own situations.
One of the things that is fascinating me at the moment is the parallels...I hear other 'hurt' spouses saying exact things that I have said or thought. I hear cheaters saying exact things that EH has said. And I begin to wonder at the dynamics of affairs.
This post goes out to the "cheaters" - and yes, I would still call EH (husband) one, presumably in the past tense. At least it had better be in the past tense!
This post is not directed at any specific person and it's not hostile. It's more...therapeutic. To the people who might interpret this otherwise, I promise you that this is an open call and not specific to anyone.
Dozens and dozens of spouses have cheating blogs...a phenomenon which, frankly, baffles me. BUT...it's those blogs I am now very interested in. A comment in the below post "Focus" from Salvatori inspired me (thank you, Salvatori!) and I'm really, really hoping to learn something here. Maybe this is a step towards understanding all of this. Maybe for you as much as me.
Cheaters...I would ask every blogging cheater to write an open letter to their spouse explaining the situation. Write the letter as if you're spouse just discovered your infidelity and you have to explain it. Obviously this letter isn't really to be given to your spouse - but it's an exercise in understanding.
***I am not suggesting that you're "wrong" and have to write to beg for forgiveness. This is NOT about making you feel guilty. This is to help you, me, others understand the different dynamics of infidelity.***
Here's an explanation...
So many cheating spouses don't know themselves why they are cheating. There are different reasons in every scenario. One letter might be humble and ashamed and asking for forgiveness while another writer might spill out years of frustration and anger. Give yourself a chance to understand WHY you cheat. Give others a chance to understand what drives you to cheat. Is your spouse frigid? Are you in love with someone else? Do you just wish for freedom? Are you unhappy in other areas and relieving the stress through an affair? What?
If you're cheating because you are no longer in love with your spouse - then maybe it's time to confront that reality and contemplate leaving. Maybe you've fallen in love with the 'other' person and it's time to confront that situation and consider the possibility of freedom to pursue a true future together. Maybe it's purely physically driven because your spouse is unwilling or unenthusiastic.
Presumably, you have a 50/50 chance that your spouse will discover your indiscretions at some point in time. If you're blogging, it's at least 55/45%. The #1 thing we (as the 'hurt' spouse) are dying to understand is Why???.
If you choose to write the letter/post on your own blog, I would really love it if you would link back to it from the comment section of this post. If you're uncomfortable posting to your own blog, you are welcome to post it anonymously (or with your name) in the comments here.
It's only a step towards understanding.
In his comment, Salvatori expressed some of his own feelings...and quite honestly, some of them were true eye-openers for me. Some of the things he said were identical to things EH has said. So I'm suddenly really curious and interested in the dynamics of an affair.
Cheaters? Some of the questions on the minds of the 'hurt' spouses are these...
Why do you cheat?
What do you feel towards your spouse?
What do you feel towards the 'other' person?
What outcome do you want from all of this?
What are you looking for?
Why don't you end your marriage - or why do you stay if you are unhappy?
Look, I know this is weird coming from me. But I've been searching for answers and understanding for many months now. I'm not looking to debate the rights/wrongs of the situation. I just think this 'mental exercise' might reveal some of the answers I'm seeking and may just put you in tune with your own thoughts and feelings.
Write the letter. Write it as if you were really going to give it to your spouse (even though you will probably never actually do that!) I'm curious about you. I know it's an odd request, but I'm an odd wife.
If you are a reader of a 'cheating blog', feel free to pass this on to them.
Maybe no one will respond. Maybe everyone will respond. Either way, I think it's interesting.
Posted by Red ::
3:12 PM ::