About 2 months ago, abruptly, I set this blog to private, and gave nobody access to it.
A blog growing in popularity monthly, and was running at about 5,000 hits a day and that was within 60 days of achieving it’s 1 millionth hit. A blog where I had received literally hundreds of comments and emails thanking me for it. A blog that gave me satisfaction and was part of my personal penance for what I had done.
And when I ended it, I received frantic emails from many asking me to let them back in. Or for help. And hundreds of access requests.
So I needed to explain this. Why did I end it? Why is it back?
It was time to end it for me personally. I could not longer keep up with it. It was time for me to move my focus elsewhere. I no longer wanted to monitor this page, the comments and responded to the increasing numbers of emails imploring me for help that I was getting weekly. It was time for me to move on.
My affair imploded almost 3 years ago. My wife and I had recovered well. In fact, the marriage has been better than it was. Ever. We are communicating. Connecting. Enjoying each other’s company. Planning for the future. The affair, and especially “her”, are now firmly in our rear view mirror. We don’t talk about “it” or “her” any longer (although when anything comes up related to affairs, or god-forbid “her” first name, I go into an instant panic).
But I was tired of thinking about it. Tired of the topic. Tired of being dragged back to a period in my life which still makes me blush and causes great internal shame. And the blog was a reminder of it all. It was time to just leave it.
The idiots did not drive me out, I assure you. Yes,, there was the occasional bullshit from some, but few, readers on this blog and in my email. But that’s not the reason. It was merely an annoyance. There were those out there who found my blog, and me, grotesque and incomprehensible because I dared to have a Point of View that wasn’t all about self-hatred and apologizing to the world. Because I tried to be fair. Because I tried to show people the side of the former cheater, especially a male former cheater. A voice rarely heard. Because I dared to indicate that the vast majority affairs weren’t about men being pigs, or women for that matter, (although some are), or even sex for that matter, but instead were usually a symptom of something really gone wrong in the relationship. That while a poor relationship is not an excuse for an affair (and again, there is no excuse), it was usually the CAUSE.
My message was not about revenge, or self-righteousness. Instead, my blog was about hope. Recovery. Possibility. Mutual understanding. A better and more satisfying present and future after an affair.
And this upset some people. That I couldn’t help.
There are those out there who are invested in being the perpetual victim. Because as long as they keep up a continuous offensive against their former (or current) cheating partner, they never have to look in the mirror and evaluate themselves and whether they contributed in any way to the emotional chasm in the relationship that made an affair an attractive option to their partner.
Some claim to be fixing their marriages, but in reality, their badgering, hectoring and abuse of their spouses will drive them out the door anyway. A self-fulfilled prophecy. But they won’t see it that way. They will forever be the victim, because there is power in it. I hoped to help them to see the situation less emotionally, more clearly, and offered specific, concrete advice on how to not just fix things, but to have the relationship THRIVE after an affair. I tried. But you can’t help people who don’t want to be helped. They will waste their lives being mean, bitter, and self-righteous. Oh well. My blog wasn’t for them.
I got tired of some of the tussling. But it was more than balanced out by the hundreds of emails and comments received by both Betrayed and Wayward spouses thanking me for my blog.
And I felt like I had nothing more to say. I had covered the landscape of topics. Over and over.
But in the end, I did what I could for people who by the thousands seem to be hungry for information, wisdom and help on the topic. I have been stunned how quickly this blog grew from a few hits a day to thousands. This topic is heavily searched and judging by the search engine topics that led people to my blog, it’s clear to me that my voice was needed to some extent — people were hungry for help of any kind. To explain what to them seemed inexplicable and how the usual “Cheaters suck!” type blogs and message boards were getting a lot of people nowhere. They needed a blog like mine. Even if they didn’t always agree with what I said. I think many recognized that I gave insight into the mind of the cheater, especially a male one, and that helped.
And unlike some charlatans out there who use affair recovery blogs cynically to sell their services, I did it without expectation of any kind. I wasn’t doing this to make myself wealthy. At all. I did it because it gave me satisfaction that the blog seemed to resonate so strongly. It was part of my personal penance. I was happy that some people were claiming I helped them avoid affairs, get out of affairs and heal from affairs.
But it’s time. I can’t do it anymore. It’s time.
For those of you betrayed, open your hearts, open your minds to possibilities. Try some honest communication. Try some mutual understanding. Look in the fucking mirror and be honest with YOURSELF. You’ll get further. Beware of most of the Betrayed Spouse blogs. They usually give very poor, self-serving advice. They are a poor guide for actions. If you cannot get past this, and many cant, see a PROFESSIONAL. In person. Yes, you can dump your cheating partner. I’m not saying you have to stay. But don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. If you really stop, get really honest, you might actually get to the root cause and find out its something you can fix. Your marriage/relationship can be made a blank canvas upon which you can paint a more satisfying present and future. If you have the humility, wisdom and mindset of forgiveness and understanding. If you don’t, why bother? Just cut them off now. Living with someone, and not being able to get past their affair years and years later, to me, seems like an utter waste of time.
For those of you who are cheating, stop it. Now. It’s stupid. It’s wrong. It’s corrosive to the soul. You will end up regretting it, I assure you. So get out while you can. Ask yourself why you did it. And address the flaws in yourself and/or in your relationship. While you still can.
For those of you contemplating an affair, don’t go there. Its not the answer. You’ll put some much of your self-respect (and that of others) at risk that it will outweigh the temporary high you feel. Don’t go down that road.
For those of you who stopped and have confessed or were caught, you have so much work to do. Be honest and humble with your partner and yourself. Don’t blame them for your stupid decisions, but you can be honest about why you did it. Don’t forget you devastated someone else. You have much to make up for.
For those of you who are single, but sleeping with someone who is not, stop with the internal justifications. You’re interfering in someone elses’ marriage or relationship, even if they invited you in. And more than likely, there is only pain for you at the end of this. Few married partners leave their spouses for their affair partner. Too few to make it anything more than an anomaly. So forget about it. Find your own partner. Someone who is available. In most cases, you’re just being used.
Despite what’s occurred in my home, and my almost 200 blog entries of advice, I’m sorry, not every marriage/relationship that experiences infidelity can be saved. Some can but many cannot. Largely it is about the circumstances of the marriage/relationship and the affair, as well and most importantly, the attitudes of the two people. Is saving the relationship the primary goal, or it is punishment and justice and the continual airing of grievances? Can you put aside your grievances, your anger and your egos and get down to brass tacks and really look in the mirror and be honest as to why this happened, and take your individual responsibilities for the situation? If you can, you have a good chance. If you cannot, then don’t bother pretending and torturing each other. Just pull the plug.
8-13-14 update: I got so many emails from people asking me to give them access or to reopen it, even if I no longer contribute new articles. And then I got a wonderful “Good riddance!” email from a typical mean-spirited jerk who has a blog here and how she was “betrayed”. That was the tipping point. I realized that I needed to keep this open, even if I no longer accept emails, comments, or write new entries. This blog has a purpose. My personal monument to what I hope is helpful, logical advice, and a message of mutual understanding, forgiveness and future happiness. This blog is needed!
So I HAVE decided to leave the old entries up, but I’m not going to contribute new ones any longer. But so many people wanted access to the old ones that I changed my mind about deleting them entirely. However, I’ve set all the blog entries to “no comments allowed”. Sorry, but I’m not going to come back here to approve comments or to respond to them, so there was no point. I’m not afraid of comments, I just would rather leave the blog as it was the day I ended my active participation in it. Please be respectful of that.
I’ve also decided to reinstate the private email. Link is on the upper right corner. Originally I ended the blog in part because I was getting overwhelmed with emails and I was always a tad uncomfortable counseling people when I’m not a trained counselor. I’m just a guy. But, it was apparent to me that there clearly is still a need out there. People still want me feedback and ideas, and perhaps simply to vent. I try to answer them all even if I can’t do it right away. Fortunately, my email totals fell 80% when I stopped posting new entries. So it’s more feasible again. But be patient. Eventually I get to all of them. Discretion is still guaranteed. Just when you speak to me, please speak nicely. I didn’t seek you out, you sought me out. I do try and help. it’s part of my penance.
Anyway, I say goodbye. And good luck to all of you.
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