Thursday, June 07, 2007

Infidelity

Wow.

Infidelity.

What a strong, hurtful word. I don't want to share too much, but very, very, very good friends of ours, like to the both of us, like couple friends, like we both stood up in their wedding (Godparents, vacation together friends), have been having a rough go at their marriage for a while now; it's to the point of sleeping in separate bedrooms.

I have tried to be neutral. Tried to understand both sides of their unhappiness, tried to tell them it's time to look ahead, to make changes to make them both happy, to keep their kids happy. But to me, infidelity is not excusable. No way. I don't care how miserable you are in a marriage, how much you want it to be over, no way can I accept that. You get out of it before you let your "other parts" start talking for you. I'm not even the one scorned here, yet I sit here and wonder what's going on in his mind, how could he do this, how can he look his wife in the eye, how can he kiss his kids good night. I mean, is a person that checked out that it doesn't matter the lives he is screwing up?

But, how do I know what I would do in the same situation? It hasn't happened to me. But, just like when someone gets terminal cancer, or a tragedy strikes, everyone says, "Oh, I can't believe it's happened to them," I feel this way. I really can't believe he's gone and done this without thinking of the repercussions it will have on his whole family.

It makes me wonder, and question everything. And be mad, and angry, and take sides now, and think he is a horrible person, and how can this excuse the fact that he's lonely, or miserable, and unhappy. How can doing something like this be the cure-all?

Ugh. And the pain I feel for her. She's not perfect. He's not perfect. But still. To wake up this morning and have the realization flood back into her mind that her husband has done this. It's like waking up on a day and not realizing your whole life has suddenly flipped inside-out, backward, crashed-down, burned, and then the fog lifts, and it's for real. She has to get through her days knowing, thinking, wondering about it all. How can she do it?

And then, in my own bed last night, I wonder, "I'm not perfect. My husband is not perfect." What's stopping him from getting bored, lonely, angry, mad?

What's stopping anyone?

21 comments:

msbatman said...

What stops some and not others? The choices we make. Loving someone and being faithful is a choice we make, every single day. Love is not some place we fall, it's a choice we make. Faithfulness is also a choice. Some chose to step up. Some chose to walk away.

Monnik said...

I don't think that anyone can understand infidelity unless they're faced with the decisions themselves. I've personally never dealt with it, but can see how it could happen.

My parents split when I was 20 because my mom cheated on my dad. My in-laws did the same thing when my husband was also 20. MIL had a fling there too.

I don't condone the cheating, but in the case of my parents' marriage, I can see what led to it. Not that those circumstances excuse the behavior, I can just see how it got to that point.

I hope your friends are able to get beyond this (separately or together) to become happy.

Jenster said...

My heart breaks for your friend. We have very good, close friends in the same situation. They're working through it and making progress, but it's always there. And I think it always will be.

The worst part about his cheating was that it was with another very good friend of ours. This made ME feel betrayed.

You know, when my kids were little I thought if he cheated - as long as it wasn't chronic - I would try to make the marriage work anyway. But now that my kids are teenagers I don't think I would. How do you get over that hurt?

I agree with msbatman. Faithfulness is a choice. And a smart man or woman knows that a fling isn't worth the pain it will cause.

Colorado Writer said...

What a damn drag.

This happened to my ex-BGF almost 3 years ago. Our families were intertwined. We were pregnant together. Her kids were my kids. We were like sisters. We hung out at each others houses all day every day.

She ruined many lives when she got a wild hair and kicked her DH and 3 kids to the curb, so she could have a long distance affair with an old flame.

I begged her to leave her husband and stop sneaking around. It was against my will, but I was her cover once or twice when the dude came to town.

She divorced her (3rd) husband for this rich dude from NY who bought her everything she wanted. It wasn't enough because she sucked me into going to the bar with her once or twice a week, where she would suck face with 20-somethings.

She made the single life look so fun. Suddenly, I wanted out of my own marriage when my youngest was only a few months old.

I almost had my own fling. I came home at 4 am one morning to my DH sitting on the stairs, worrying and wondering. I stopped going to the bars with her.

Her affair ultimately ended our friendship.

Her 3 children are scarred forever. Her oldest started doing drugs and cutting. She was drinking at home at 15.

The husband was embarrassed and hurt because she flaunted the affair to the neighbors as the NY guy bought her a car and stuff.

About 18 months later, she realized The NY dude was a sex-crazed jealous a-hole.

She had made a huge mistake that took another 6 months to end. She was financially dependent on that NY guy.

She started cosmetology school and couldn't take care of her kids. Went on public assistance, food stamps, etc. She begged her husband to come home.

Her dumb bunny husband took her back and they just remarried.

She doesn't deserve him because I know she will do it again, if she hasn't already. They are moving to Florida this month for a "new start."

She could move to BFE, but she'll still be a serial cheater and a toxic friend.

March to the Sea said...

When ever I talk about cheating (which I haven't) there are always too things that come to mind to make light of it.

1. I am too lazy to cheat. It has to be hard work to hook up and sneak around..i am too lazy

2. I hate to move. I just don't want to have to pack up my stuff.

That "humor" aside its hard I am sure for both involved. My wifes parents were divorced and it was not pretty. She realizes how much she hated it, and the holidays and life being out of order that she works hard to make sure that doesn't happen to our kids. It sounds odd/selfish or what have you but I appreciate her efforts.

being married is "work" and like the vows say "for better or worse" we all want it to be better with tons of money, healhy happy kids that get straight A's a fantasitc personal life a vacation home you name it. Somehow we get buy with a fraction of that because we are a family.

Beth said...

What stops anyone? I think it's trust - one of the cornerstones of a marriage. Trusting and being trusted.
Once you lose that, I don't know how a marriage can go on.

kim said...

I truly believe if you have the ability to be honest with yourself, you would never cheat. It doesn't take a whole lot of critical thinking to realize that cheat will not only NOT lighten the emotional load of a struggling marraige, but that you are in for even bigger strain. Not to mention, you would be entering into a relationship with someone who has obvious charecter flaws.

I'm sorry for your friend -- I can't stand that some people ask so little of themselves and take the "easy" out.

But it's not easy, is it? I think the most frustrating thing is that the people who are unwilling to do the work and take that easy way instead -- then stand there and scratch their head over why everyone around them is so upset.

Just seems like something the human race could rise above already.

olderandwiser said...

I feel so sorry for the family that this has happened to. Don't be too quick to "take sides" and throw stones. Until it happens to you, you have no idea how close it really is. I was the cheater in our marriage after 15 years and my husband left me, rightfully so. Could I have stopped it? Probably. At the time it seemed the ONLY way to work through our issues. Am I a serial cheater. Oh no. I learned my lesson but I have also learned to listen to and be kind to those that are left alone in the world because they made a very bad choice.

g. said...

super long story short - we were notified by him by someone outside the agency we are using. He was born in March at 26 weeks weighing 1 lb 10 oz, and only 13 inches long. He was released into foster care at the beginning of May... he is fine, healthy, growing well. He has a hernia that needs to be fixed (minor surgery) on the 27th and then we will bring him home... he is precious of course, blonde hair blue eyes like Aidan... we named him Owen and can't wait to get him home and into our arms !

gina.

cubmommy said...

I don't know why people do it. My Dad cheated on my Mom their whole marriage which lasted 13 years. I was just a newborn and he was doing it. In their case, I don't think they were meant to be together anyway. He was known for womanizing before they got married and my Mom was looking for a way out of her house. My sister and I got the bad end of the bargain.

Being faithful is something you choose to do. Working through the rough patches is what you do in a marriage. It is too easy to turn to someone else when things get rough.

I hope your friend will get through this stronger and happier.

Manic Mom said...

cubmommy--and I wanted to do a post on how we ran into each other last night at Target, but this all happened after I left you. You look great and good luck with labor and delivery!

Everyone, thanks for sharing your stories and thoughts. We are going on vaca tomorrow and it'll be good to get away from the drama and just focus on our family... oh, and that dreaded big-eared mouse we will be visiting!

Your cheatin' heart said...

I'm confused. He cheated? She took him back and put him in the guest room? Do your neighbor friends read your blog? Yikes! I've seen couples split up - and the strong women move on and say "good riddance" and have ended up very happy. I wish that for your friend, Manic.

The Anti-Wife said...

As a child of a very nasty cheating husband divorce many, many years ago, there are always 2 sides to every story. None of us can ever really know why someone cheats because we aren't in their heads and hearts. Right now, the why doesn't matter.

There are children involved. There is nothing more frightening and confusing for a child than problems with their parents and home. I urge you and your friends to rally round those children and help them through this. It's the best thing you can do for everyone concerned right now.

Patti said...

I have no idea what stops anyone, but husband and i made a pact at the beginning of our marriage that if either of us was goin gto stray we'd tell the other first and get out with dignity.

i have been in your shoes...having the friends/family you love go through this...and it sucks the biggest donkey balls i know.

i took sides, and to this day i am still paying for it. the best you can do is be there in a way that doesn't interfere, because there will always be stuff you don't know...info that might make you slap your head and wonder why you jumped in the mix.

good luck to all...

Trish Ryan said...

I could go on about this forever, but I'm not sure any real conclusions would be reached. I think the world we've created is actually pretty hostile to marriage.

I'm so sorry to hear about your friends.

Manic Mom said...

To cheating heart--separate beds previous to her finding out. I don't know what they are going to do. They (or she) knows about the blog, but I haven't said anything incriminating on here other than I am mad at him.

And I've told her she's got to look at the big picture and her focus needs to be on the kids and making sure they are cared for and happy. They are good parents, just not together it seems.

mcewen said...

How timely. A couple in our circle [the couple with the MOST stable marriage] the couple that all of us most admire and aspire to, have separated.
I know it's not infectious, but you see the circle dissipate and become unstable - if they can divorce then....
Best wishes

Lisa said...

Tell your friend to check out www.marriagebuilders.com, it can be very helpful to both parties.

Tryin to make it.... said...

I really feel for your friend. Recently I found out that my husband had been with a woman he worked with. We weren't having the best marriage and had fell into a roommate situation.

We both were unsatisfied, hurt, angry, and not communicating. It just so happened that the...well we won't call her what I want to...played on his unhappiness and he made the choice, the wrong choice.

I always swore that I would never stay with a man that did that to me. But then I found myself with the choice of staying or leaving.

I stayed. There were many reasons that led me to my chocie. One most important reason was because no matter how much I tried to stop loving him, to stop wanting to be with him I couldn't.

It has been months and it still hurts. I am still angry. But on the other hand our relationship is better now then it has ever been. For him he realized was he could have and could still lose, and he isn't willing to do that. I realized that needed to make changes as well. I needed to work on our marriage and talk about what I needed instead of being angry and pushing him away because he didn't do what I thought he should be doing.

I have made it quite clear that I will NOT stay a second time. I believe that everyone deserves forgiveness and a second chance. Everyone makes mistakes large and small. Some commit what others would consider unforgivable mistakes until they are in the same situation.

Sometimes it takes a really horrible situation to put things in perspective. When it happened to me, I saw a way out...but if I am unhappy just thinking about not living the rest of my life wking up next to my husband even after what he had done...then why not try to make a genuine effort to be happy with him and make our marriage not only a happy one, but a strong one. It is easy to take people for granted, especially when you don't know how it feels to have lost pieces of them.

Just maybe for your friend they can make it work after this. I am not saying I am absolutly sure that my own marriage will survive because we still have to deal with it day to day. But each day it gets a little bit easier, a little less painful. Its an opportunity for change...either way. (sorry for such a long comment...just have a lot to say about this....)

In-Between Panic Attacks said...

My best friend of all time got pregnant at the end of our senior year in high school and married the sorry bastard, who did turn out to be a habitual cheater. Thing is, she took him back once, with reservation, even after women he had been with were coming out of the woodwork. Par for the course, she got pregnant again, and the bastard went back to his old ways. She then divorced him and did her best to make it on her own, finally finding and marrying the kind of man she deserves. I admire her to great lengths because she did not allow herself to be misled or misused, but she also gave an honest effort to repair what was in her control to repair. When it became apparent that the bastard had mental problems that were bred into him by an equally dysfunctional history, she knew it wasn't something worth working on anymore. I believe that if you truly love someone, and you love your kids, you will do everything in your power to build strong roots in your marriage. If weeds crop up, they need to be dealt with- if two people truly do not love each other, the best that they can do is find a way to admit that, to separate and to move on. I have always held my friend in the highest esteem because she tried to make it work. That is noble, and that is the more difficult thing to do, I would imagine, then to jump ship and decide it's all over before you've even figured out what the real problems are.

Anonymous said...

hi