Whatever happened to “till death do us part”?

Day 205 - Stone and Flesh

I had every intention of posting a second installment of my trip to Prague today. Yet sometimes we plan things and fate steps in and leads us in a different direction.

A phone call was responsible for today’s turnaround. A dear friend, distraught and suffering from depression, called to tell me her husband of 15 years had cheated on her.

It’s not the first time I write about divorce, infidelity, or betrayal on this blog. Other posts, while dealing with these subjects, have not been prompted by the sheer outrage I feel today. My friend’s weeping and claim that she is “broken beyond repair,” touched a nerve.

Thinking of her sorrow, I wondered how it was possible she had meant so little to her spouse that he had stepped out on her. To make matters worse, he’d cheated on her with another man. Not that this mattered. After all, betrayal is betrayal and in my opinion, the gender of the other person is irrelevant. Yet my friend did not feel the same way. To her, it mattered immensely.

“Am I so unattractive he had to cheat with a man, Bella?”, she asked sobbing. For the first time in our ten year friendship, I was at a loss for words. Her husband claimed he was straight and that his indiscretion had simply been part of a middle age crisis; the desire to appease a curiosity he’d had for years. I wasn’t buying it and neither was my friend.

It’s important to note that had this man not been married, he would’ve been free to explore any kind of sexual relationship he wanted. However, given this was not the case, his indiscretion was no different from any other tawdry affair.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows how situations like these make me question the “why.”

Why hurt your spouse in this manner?
Why betray her trust?
Why rob her of her self esteem?

Pondering possible answers to these questions lead me to write a letter. A letter to the very person who initiated this pain. I wrote it thinking, not only of my friend, but in all the women who’ve suffered before her and who will sadly follow in her footsteps. As someone who’s gone through a similar experience, I find that its content reflects what the majority of us felt when we made betrayal’s acquaintance.

Dear Cheating Husband,
How dare you betray the woman you promised to love in good times and in bad times? How dare you put yourself first, before the very woman you promised to love and cherish till death do you part?

Were you not aware of the pain your actions would cause? Did your wife’s love mean so little you were willing to sacrifice it for a night of cheap thrills? How could you be so quick to forget the many years she had your back, loved you unconditionally, and took care of you?

How could you stab her in the back when all she ever did was have your children, take care of your home, and help pay the bills? How could you throw away her trust for mere sexual gratification?

How did you expect her to take you back after you lied, cheated, and made her believe she was worthless? Why did you make her believe you were a man of your word, with integrity, and who respected the sanctity of marriage?

How dare you look her in the eye? How dare you tell her to get over it, that it was just one night? How dare you disregard the results of your actions? How dare you expect her to go on like nothing happened?

Shame on you for being so selfish. Shame on you for misleading her into thinking she was your one and only. Shame on you for putting her life at risk when after having sex with a stranger, you came home to have unprotected sex with her.

For now, have your little laugh. Pretend it’s no big deal. Mock her when she cries.

But do not forget karma is unforgiving. She has a way of making her way to those who are callous and inflict pain. Someday you too will experience the hurt and suffering you have caused. Someday you too will feel broken and unable to get on with life. Someday you too will start and end each day asking yourself, why?

Your wife? Hopefully she will no longer be by your side. Hopefully, she will have realized she is worth more than being with a man who didn’t think twice of betraying her. Hopefully, she will be far away, free of your toxicity, living her life in joy, and laughing at the little things.

Only then will you realize the irony–that your betrayal lead to her freedom. The freedom to experience joy the way it was intended.

Attentively,
Just another survivor

Have you ever felt the pain of betrayal?

XOXO,

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Can you forgive someone who’s been unfaithful?


cc licensed flickr photo shared by firemedic58

Yesterday I couldn’t stop the men that share my abode from jumping out of their skin when a loud, “You go, girl!” reverberated through the house and interrupted our oasis of silence. The reason? I had just read that Sandra Bullock has finalized her divorce from What’s-his-name.

Now normally I don’t give a rat’s ass about celebrity gossip but when a sister, famous or not, has chosen to stay true to her values, morals, and beliefs, well, that deserves a shout out.

“Sandra, good for you, girlfriend!”

Finally, someone with enough self-love, self-esteem, and self-respect to refuse to “stand by her man”. Alas, if only this was the case for all women married to, ahem, politicians or otherwise, who decide it’s okay to have a little somethin’ somethin’ on the side.

Though it’s not my place or anyone else’s to judge the women who choose to have their cheater husbands’ backs, I do have something to say on the subject of infidelity.

Merriam Webster informs us that unfaithfulness is defined as “not adhering to vows, allegiance, or duty”. My interpretation: if you’re married, dating exclusively, or in a “committed” relationship, you don’t get to screw around. No if, and, or but.

Sandra Bullock most definitely deserves to be the poster woman for kick ass female who will not tolerate being betrayed, lied to, or humiliated. And while I feel girlfriend’s pain, I have nothing but admiration for a role model like her.

Personally, I can’t even imagine giving my significant other a second chance if he were to be unfaithful. Cheaters and beaters don’t get second chances. My motto. My rule. Though I believe it should be every woman’s rule.

Think about it, ladies. Should we trust a man who’s been unfaithful? Should we give him a second chance? I say, hell no. I believe some women might be able to forgive, but the majority of us can never forget.

I could not sleep next to my man knowing he had done to another woman the same things he does to me. If he was ever late, or had to travel for business, I would wonder if he was with someone else. These doubts would promote all kinds of insecurities to surface and, uh uh, I can’t have that.

Faithfulness: respecting, cherishing, valuing, and staying true to the person you committed to. Unfaithfulness? The exact opposite of that.

I would love to hear what you have to say on the subject. So what say you? Would you stand by your man if he cheated or kick him to the curb?