I am no fan of the cheater, despite what some of my readers think. I’ve been very diligent not only in my opposition to affairs in general, but any attempts by active cheaters to justify themselves and their behavior. If you are cheating, you have no justification, even if you have your ‘reasons’. You are doing something that is a massive betrayal and deceit. Frankly, some of you are pretty much self-indulgent, delusional, narcissistic twits. I see blogs all of the time of current and former cheaters who absolutely don’t seem to have any remorse for having affairs. I know not all of you are like this, even if Betrayed Spouses wish to paint you that way. But some of you are. Let’s face the facts: Cheating is bad. There is no real way to justify it or sugar-coat it.
THAT BEING SAID, I’ve also been a resource, and some have called me a “champion of” the current (and especially) the “former cheater” in terms of challenging unwarranted, mean-spirited or inaccurate criticism of folks like us. The things that people, usually betrayed spouses, often write are so over the top, nasty and self-righteous, let alone completely unhelpful anyone let alone to their own marital recovery, that someone has to stand up and say, “No, that’s completely wrong!!” That would be me.
We are not the monoliths. We are not cartoon characters. We are not the same. Every affair, every recovery, every affair PARTNER — all different. I’ve striven to understand the feelings of both sides in affair, and when I see bullshit by either party, I call “Bullshit”!
And here’s an example. A letter to all “other women”. Some things are true, and some things frankly are just plain mean-spirited, one-sided and incredibly sexist. I get it though. The writer is trying to “dry up the supply” of “Other Women” so that unhappy husbands won’t have anyone to have an affair with. As naive as this sounds as a theory, I think the point overall is beyond dispute: To be the Other Woman (or the Other Man, frankly) is usually a lonely existence, and is more than likely to end up in pain and frustration, and rarely can the OW/OM truly poach the married partner for themselves full-time.
OK. I’m good with that. But there’s so many things wrong with how this message is delivered, it deserves commentary.
This ‘letter’ appeared and was shared on various blogs, with the usual “YOU GO, GIRL!” cheering and encouragement from other women. Despite how unkind the letter is to both genders. I get it. It’s an expression of fear — both by the writer and those who “liked” this piece of garbage. Fear that their spouses will step out on them. So yes, let’s put down all MEN and the Other Woman!! It’s inaccurate, but it’s certainly a diversion of attention from the real fact: Your spouse CHOSE to cheat on you. No “other woman” can do make your spouse cheat. They chose it. Trying to scare off other women isn’t going to keep your man at home if he’s miserable. Nor will these shrill words deter pretty much anyone from taking on an unhappily married, but attractive man. It just won’t.
You are living an illusion. It is a convoluted web of emotional needs and self justifications. You might believe you have good reason for what you are doing. You might even believe you’re in love. Maybe you just hunger for attention. Or perhaps you are one who simply thrills on the conquest. Whatever your reasons for cheating on your husband or cheating with another woman’s husband may be, they are distorted and very likely unsustainable. The odds that you will end up living happily ever after with the man you are cheating with are miniscule. Practically nonexistent. Most cheating men do not leave their spouses and of those who do, most of them will cheat again. And again! It only gets easier over time.
MY NOTE: Largely true, although I certainly have witnessed affairs where love actually does exist. That aren’t based on self-indulgence. And that sometimes DO work out as marriages. But I agree, affairs are at minimum, half an illusion, fueled by massive unmet needs at home, sustained by ego and sometimes absurd self-justifications.
It is unlikely that you are in a place where you are ready to listen to logic. But let’s explore the illusions anyway. If not for your own good, then simply to point out to the rest of the world what a truly foolish choice you are making.
MY NOTE: Again, I can’t disagree. The chance of true happiness for the OW are pretty slim, but this kind of sentence is so patronizing it’s almost laughable. The writer while pretending to care about the OW is actually putting them down. You don’t care about their “own good.” You want to shame them out of your own frustration of your spouse cheating on you. At least be honest about that.
Here’s at least one clue. If you have a happy and content spouse, you won’t have to worry about the “Other Woman” or the “Other Man”. But yeah in general, they are correct. The OW is operating on some level on an illusion.
Your husband no longer romances you. You feel unappreciated. He no longer makes you feel vibrant and alive. You miss flirting. You miss the seduction and anticipation of sex which has been replaced by your husband’s assumption and expectations of sex three times a week. You long for closeness, for spontaneity and passion. You long to be ravished but instead just feel used. Like a tool. You long to be swept off your feet. For butterflies in your stomach. For the slow burn of desire. Your husbands’ idea of romance is Nascar and pizza and 6 minutes of sex on the floor.
I get it. I totally get it. Most women do. Most of us yearn! Most of us miss out on the fantasy. Many women wish our husbands were something different than they are when it comes to sex and romance.
MY NOTE: it’s actually “NASCAR”. It’s an acronym. But I digress.
Unwittingly, the writer is actually acknowledging why people have affairs (married women I guess in this case as the passage would not apply to a single woman) — because their spouse isn’t doing well at meeting their needs. But I know this. It’s rarely as simple as missing “passion.” The reason married people have affairs is far more complex and points usually to long-term, unmet emotional needs. Not the silly expectation that our spouse is going to forever sweep us off our feet with roses and passion. Only a twit would have an affair based on this absurd expectation. So I think this tends to oversimplify the reasons married women have affairs. By a lot.
That’s brutal. I know. But it’s true. Many of our guys have great qualities, such as being wonderful fathers and providers or handy around the house or having a wicked sense of humor that keeps us laughing. But the truth is that few of them know how to sustain romance or understand the sexual needs and frustrations of a woman. Even fewer are those patient enough to want to learn.
MY NOTE: Ridiculously sexist. Anyone who carries such views of men is appalling. The writer, in my view, would be a terrible partner to have such views of men as a gender. Personally, I would never marry someone who viewed men with such low regard and simplistic terms. It would be more than a red flag. This is just simply sexist drivel meant to demean men and therefore make them less attractive to the “Other Woman”, I guess. But, Really? Think this tactic will work? If we are to believe the writer, then we are to assume that all problems in marriage are the fault of men? You won’t get far with that attitude. Maybe it’s the WRITER who doesn’t know how to please a man, but the Other Woman might. Consider that for a moment while you are raging on paper and at keyboard. Again, happy and content spouses RARELY have affairs, unless they are the Tiger Woods/Bill Clinton/Elliott Spitzer sex addict type. Most affairs occur, as wrong as they are, in REACTION to long-term, unmet needs in marriage. Consider that.
Most OW know what they have in their married male affair partner: Almost always someone who has so long been neglected by their spouse that they are absolutely HUNGRY to give the romance, passion and attention to some other woman. THAT is the reality in most cases. I read about it all the time. In my email. In blogs. In conversation. I got a note just last week from a man whose wife told him EIGHT YEARS AGO that she was no longer interested in sex and that he basically needed to “suck it up,” and how torn he’s become in the allure of a woman whom DOES make him feeling desirable and wanted!! I’m sure his spouse would be the kind of woman who would come to a blog and put down her husband for having an affair! Really? Some of you out there really don’t see a connection?
Few men (or women) take the step of having a full-blown affair very lightly. It’s usually preceded by years of unhappiness, and an uncaring wife who treats them like they are nothing more than labor in the house, and treat sex like some sort of “chore” or something to be avoided.
The first step in affair-proofing your marriage is to work and sustain the foundations of the marriage, not to try and demean any potential Other Woman.
Here is a little insight. Your cheating man is neither white night nor sexy rebel. He’s a clod. A simple coward. A self absorbed nit. A person who hasn’t the courage to either improve his relationship with his wife or make a decision to divorce her. Instead he takes the easy way out. He cheats. He avoids reality. He shirks doing any of the hard work to make a relationship work because deep down he doesn’t think it should take any work. He, like many others, simply feels entitled. He looks for his thrills and validation on the side. He feels justified in doing so. He also feels justified in pulling you into the muck of it with him. I wonder how often he has asked himself whether you might get hurt, whether it might affect your life, your reputation, your job, your family? I’d be surprised if he has thought about it much at all. Thinking logically and having affairs do not exactly go hand in hand. He might even think he actually loves you. At least briefly. I assure you if pressed to choose between you and his current life; the odds that he loves you will drop significantly. Because that too is an illusion. One he needs to create for both his benefit and yours. It’s all part of the justification process and makes cheating seem just a little less slimy if you try to believe love might be involved.
MY NOTE: The term is “knight”, but again, I digress. This is, again, a lot of sexist, mean-spirited drivel. Certainly some men are like this. As are some women. But I don’t think this is accurate. The reality is as stated above. MOST marriages experience infidelity. Women cheat at almost the same rate as men — should we then say that cheating women are nothing but self-indulgent clods? That they are all the same?
Ladies: The OW might be getting the “best” out of your good man, because you stopped trying to. He gave it up to someone else because you didn’t want it or drove him off. And if he’s a man with attractive qualities, I assure you another woman will be happy to take your rejected left-overs. Yes, some cheaters are HORRIBLE people. I AGREE!! But to put them all down like this? Some of you don’t realize that all sorts of people have affairs. Good people. Bad people. UGLY people. Attractive people. The young. The Old.
I don’t think you can’t just put down men like this. It’s stupid and transparent on the surface of it. Again, if your husband is as you describe above, why do you want him anyway? You should be glad the OW is taking this “self-indulgent coward and clod” off your hands!
Oh, but he is so good in bed! Making love is no longer a chore. No longer boring. No longer something to avoid. You want it all the time these days. You can’t wait to be in his arms, to feel his deep sensual kisses, to feel the heat of his lips on your skin, the hot needy way he pulls at your body and groans. The way he presses you up against the shower wall. All the things your husband can no longer seem to conjure up.
Yes, well.. sorry sweetheart, that is all an illusion too.
MY NOTE: Well actually probably not. I think anyone — man, woman or otherwise, knows whether they are actually having “good sex” or not. MOSTLY what I hear from former cheaters is the fact that the affair sex was spectacular and better than they ever had with their spouse. Which bonds them even more to the affair partner. Which makes it even harder to break from. Good sex is both the result of preparation and mind-set. If it’s being avoided at home. If it’s being treated like a chore — it’s going to be pretty unsatisfying and may be a factor in the spouse seeking more satisfying sex elsewhere as one ingredient missing in their lives. But I assure you, even in an affair, we know whether we’re having “good sex” or not. It’s not an illusion. Maybe it’s not SUSTAINABLE forever, but it’s quite real. Don’t pretend otherwise. Look in the mirror at yourself and ask yourself if you’re making your spouse happy in bed. If you aren’t, someone else likely will. It’s as simple as that.
There was a time you felt the same way about your husband or partner. When the relationship was new. When the thrill of having someone pursue you was fresh. When life had not yet intervened. Before you became burdened with responsibilities and learning how to co-exist. Back when he didn’t drive you insane with laundry on the floor, open toilets, or the unbelievable ability to cover the entire table in salt at dinner time. Before his interesting, animated conversations gave way to droning on about work quotas, or who annoyed him most that day or his aches and pains. Back before all of that, you thought he was worth being with. You thought his kisses were ok. You didn’t seem to mind that they were a little too wet and sloppy or a little too suffocating. You didn’t seem to notice anything wrong with his love making technique. And guess what? That was because you were caught up in the infatuation of the new relationship. It’s no different now. The man you are cheating with seems like a spectacular Romeo today. The lover of all lovers. I assure you his wife probably tells a different story. I can promise you that one day he too will rush foreplay, he will cum too soon, his kissing technique will not be nearly as stellar. Pushing you up against the wall in the shower will no longer feel as wildly passionate when you realize that he behaves the same way whether you are in the mood or not. That it never had anything to do with you being irresistible and everything to do with his self focused lust and his need for immediate gratification.
MY NOTE: again, I don’t necessarily agree here. The thinly-veiled put-down of men as lovers, I will ignore this. But there are things wrong here. First, affairs are rarely about sex. Second, while some people have affair sex for completely self-indulgent reasons, others do not. Affairs are wrong — but they are relationships like any other. The sex is also an emotional and bonding experience. The OW/OM knows this. To pretend otherwise is frankly stupid.
Good sex is good sex. Not an illusion. Will that level of passion be sustained if the affair turns into a legitimate relationship? Probably not. But it never does in any relationship. That level of intensity is impossible to sustain for anyone. I don’t think too many OW are that delusional to think that it would.
Am I saying that sex never stays good? That there is no man out there that will fulfill your needs the way you need them met? No. What I’m saying is that all of the things you find annoying about your husband or your boyfriend are very, VERY likely to exist in one form or another in your new casa nova as well. They are just facts of life. Differences between men and women, things that happen as we get absorbed in life and take each other for granted, etc. etc.. What I’m saying is that this amazing experience you think you are having now, is really just an illusion. It is fueled by and created by your imagination, your needs and the fantasies in your head. Perception is distorted. And it is not sustainable. It is not based on reality. Argue all you want. One day you will shake your head and wonder to yourself….what the hell? In the best of cases, Romeo will tarnish over time. But much more likely.. Romeo will become about as appealing as the plague when you begin to learn more about him.
MY NOTE: Again, a very mean-spirited, anti-male put-down. If I were to write this, I would point out the intensity of the affair is unlikely to be sustained in real life. That the realities of life get in the way of the fantasy and that’s why few of them survive the “light of day.” But I don’t think such a complete put-down of all men is really the way to do it.
I feel sorry for the person who wrote this. They clearly don’t like men very much. Is it any wonder their spouse stepped out on them and they needed to write this clap-trap in their rage and anger? It’s easier than looking in the mirror I suppose. Again, I reiterate: If I’ve learned ANYTHING on this topic, it’s that happy and content spouses rarely have affairs. Affair-proofing a marriage starts at home. Not by putting down everyone else but yourself.
If he were truly that spectacular do you think he would be cheating on his wife? Does he tell you how his wife just doesn’t want to make love anymore? Doesn’t understand him or appreciate him? How she’s cold and distant and he’s lonely. If he is really that attentive and caring and amazing in bed, do you think his wife would still be passing up opportunities to make love? Hell no she wouldn’t! He’s not as intuitive or attentive at home as he says he is and you will soon find, when your brain clears and the fantasy fog lifts that he’s probably not all that great in your bed/life either.
MY NOTE: The problem is that yeah sometimes good people DO have affairs. That’s the problem with vast, unmet emotional needs in a marriage. It doesn’t speak well to anyone’s character to have an affair, but why assume that “he” (MEN) are lying? Mostly what I hear from cheaters — women and men — is that their marriages truly DO suck. That their spouses have long neglected them. Or abuse them. Or have done a 180 since the wedding day to a point where they no longer recognize them.
Again, such ridiculous put-downs don’t work. The OW/OM knows what they have in your spouse. Maybe even more than the wife does in many cases, because the lover is interested in them. WANTS to know them in every possible way. Listens!! And yes, they realize that being a cheaters doesn’t speak well to the character, but most understand the reasons that many people have that drove them to take such a reckless and self-destructive action. Most aren’t lying about it.
A really good lover, good husband, shouldn’t need to validate himself or fill his thrills on the side. Instead he would put all of his energy on building up what he has, seducing the woman he married each and every day from sun up to sun down, treating her kindly, showing her love, flirting with her, protecting her, sharing her burdens, learning her mind, her heart and her body.
MY NOTE: Again, all blame on the husband. None on the wife. Maybe he HAS tried to do those things, and he’s been given the cold shoulder by his wife? Possible? What has the wife done (or not done) that made an affair an attractive option to the husband? Somehow the writer never acknowledges her role in things or other possibilities. Again, all men in her scenario are cheating twits. Is this possible? Accurate? Hardly. The writer is in utter denial, I think. A dim-witted ego-maniac trying to blame everyone else for her being frankly a very poor spouse.
Supporting her and showing as much attention as he expects her to provide for him! A smart man understands that all of these things are most likely to get him the devotion and the sex that he wants.
MY NOTE: Again, it’s all on the husband. Really? And if he doesn’t just throw all of himself at his wife, even if it’s rejected, then he’s not “smart”? Really?
If he is missing those things, he is not doing the work. And if by some chance he is doing the work, doing 110% of the work, and his wife is still not responding then a truly decent man will have the integrity to get a civil divorce. To be above board and to remove all complications, before he starts seeking the attentions and affections of another woman.
MY NOTE: Or maybe he’s not getting anything back. Is marriage a two-way street to the writer? Seems like she thinks the man his her slave or employee or something. I hate to break it to you, but it’s 50/50!
The grass is always greener……on the side that’s watered and fertilized!
That being said, i do agree. If your marriage sucks that bad, get a divorce instead of having an affair. I can’t disagree with that part. But mostly people find themselves in affairs quite by astonishing accident and the thought of divorce has too many consequences. Things get very murky in the mind of the cheater. They don’t know WHAT they want to do most of the time. Rarely are things black and white. Doing the right thing probably means being honest and getting a divorce. But few people think that rationally at the beginning of an affair. They usually are more complicated and slow-moving. What starts out as harmless flirtation turns into something big and complicated before you even realize it. When you were trading innocent texts, few people stop and say, “BASED ON THIS TEXT MESSAGE, I NEED TO GET DIVORCED!” If only life were that simple….
In short. WAKE UP SISTER! You are sooooo fooling yourself and it is going to bite you. One day, one way, it’s going to blow up. Angry wives, disrespect from your coworkers, embarrassment for your family, women trying to run you over with their SUV’s, children that get hurt, homes that are wrecked and lost in the fallout, STD’s, and a long list of emotional afflictions that will become your scars and your baggage for ever more.
MY NOTE: Again, it’s mean-spirited, but largely accurate. The nicer way to say it would have been: “This is unlikely to end up in anything but pain, frustration and embarrassment to you. Consider that before you start one.” But the writer doesn’t know the meaning of the word “nice”. She has a hate-filled agenda designed to ensure that she herself doesn’t need to look in the mirror. I get it. Its very common, and not just among betrayed wives, but also in betrayed husbands.
If you are married or in a relationship stop pretending that all is fair in the name of love. Learn what real love is. It’s dedication and staying power. It’s integrity. Go to your partner and find a way to fix things.
MY NOTE: Again, few people take the step of having an affair lightly. They are usually at the end of their ropes with their spouse. Their attempts at working on things have not worked.
If you seek validation. Find it somewhere else. God knows that in a world of photo shopped images and surgery enhanced bodies, women feel ever more insecure about themselves. We want to feel sexy. We want to be desirable. Getting it outside of your marriage or from someone else’s husband is an illusion. If the only reason men slept with women was because they find them irresistibly gorgeous and sexy then it’s a sad truth that many women would not be having sex. Only a small percentage of those perfect glam girls would be getting the action.
A man is going to have sex because he can. It’s that simple. He may be obsessed with his fantasy of the perfect woman but he will sleep with damn near anything if the opportunity is there. The fact that he is cheating on his wife with you or that he is taking you up on your offer of sex?….Sorry, there is nothing in that for you to take as validation. Nothing that confirms your desirability or makes you valuable. It’s. Sex. And if by chance you are stunningly beautiful, well then…it only ups the odds that he’s going to stumble all over himself for the chance to say “yeh, I tagged that”. But it still doesn’t make you valuable.
MY NOTE: Wow, one giant put-down both of men and of the other woman!! The writer is saying that you aren’t anything! Sorry, but affairs aren’t about sexual opportunity for most men. Or that it could be just “anybody.” My experience and research tells me that’s not the case.
Again, this is not only inaccurate, but wildly sexist. Most men don’t have sex because “they can.” It’s just not that simple, but it’s a clever way of dodging responsibility for being probably a shitty spouse. Happy and content married men rarely have affairs. It’s that simple.
I didn’t have an affair because someone offered sex. I don’t have sex merely because some woman offers it. My reasoning was far more complex than that. If merely being offered sex was the standard, I would’ve had 50 – 100 affairs in the last 20 years. I didn’t.
It’s sex. IT’s SEX. Are you hearing the truth in all of this yet? IT IS SEX.
MY NOTE: Affairs aren’t usually about sex. You just get THIS “illusion” out of your mind. Until you are ready to accept your part of the responsibility for the crummy marriage you had, you will never be able to heal it and grow. It’s that simple. There is shared responsibility here, even if the cheating spouse committed the worse sin. But is “neglect” much less of a sin? If you neglect your spouse, you’ve broken a vow too. Consider that for your own good.
If you want real validation of your own self worth, make a difference in someone’s life.
MY NOTE: Again, a massive put-down of any woman who isn’t the writer.
Go do something good in the world. Be a decent person.
MY NOTE: As should the writer. Writing like this is neither good nor shows her to be a decent person. Instead it paints her as a petty, overly-emotional, jealous, insecure and sexist being, who refuses to look in the mirror. That’s my take on it. And yes, I don’t pretend to be “nice.” I call them as I see them.
There is more to self worth than feeling attractive and desirable. If you get a thrill over the game of getting a man to choose you over another woman; self worth is probably not a concept you can understand. Get a therapist. You need help.
MY NOTE: I don’t think this is the thinking or motivation of most Other Women. This again is a pretty big put-down and trying to lump all OW into the same group. Sorry, but it doesn’t work. I don’t think most OW do affairs for this reason, although some do.
I sound a little harsh. I realize this. I mean, as a woman, surely I can understand what it feels like to be desired after being ignored by someone, or what it feels like to be swept off my feet after boredom has nearly crippled me, or what it feels like to be intoxicated by desire and to spend time with someone who stimulates my senses and my imagination. Maybe this other man brings out the best in you. Maybe you have longed to escape for so long that he seems like the answer to your prayers. I’m sorry I’ve been so harsh. The truth is, I do understand these things. I do feel them now and then. I have experienced them. But in the end it all comes down to one thing. One truth. When we fail to do the right thing the only thing that can come of it, is wrong. It is an illusion to believe anything else.
Like it or not we have to do the work, we have to make the effort and we have to be strong enough to leave a bad relationship in a compassionate way with integrity and honesty. There is no easy way, there is no quick fix, there is no white knight come riding in to save us. Wake up and do the right thing.
For your partner.
For your children.
For your family.
For the sake of honor.
DO THE RIGHT THING.
MY NOTE: “A little harsh”??? LOL. You did everything but throw a grenade, douse her with a gallon of acid and pee on her living room carpet!
Actually I would agree that if you are a married woman having an affair, you should get out. It’s the wrong thing to do. But it’s funny how the writer spends the entire “letter” running down men, running down the Other Woman, then tries to appeal to her sense of decency? It’s almost laughable. I don’t think this will hit the mark. This is about 20% truth and about 80% assault.
There are better ways to get this message across. This self-righteous, angry, bitter, overly-generalized, mean-spirited, sexist nonsense isn’t the way to do it. I feel pity for the man who would be married to the person that wrote this. Really I do, even if IN GENERAL I agree with the basic principle that affairs are wrong and rarely end up making the Affair Partners happy. All true.
But this isn’t the way to get it across.
IF I was the “other man” and some dude wrote something like this to ME, I’d be thinking “wow, my lover is married to a real douche-bag. No wonder she wanted me.” So I would see something like this as back-firing completely.
In the end, I doubt “letters” like this will do much to “dry up the supply” of Affair Partners. Infidelity is as old as mankind and isn’t going away. In fact, if I am to believe it, it’s on the rise in our society. Some may even say that monogamy is a hopelessly outmoded, unrealistic concept and against basic human nature. I don’t know about that. But I know this: the supply of those willing to do it isn’t going to go down as long as people make very poor marriages with each other. FOCUS on your marriage. Today. From the beginning. EVERY DAY. And you won’t have to worry about infidelity.