Excellent. Let’s chat, shall we?
First, I will admit, I am unusually pissed this morning. I suppose that comes with the territory when you are trying to change an ingrained societal paradigm. To get people to wake up. To get you to wake up. But…..still.
If you hate cheaters, this blog is for you. Though you may be disappointed with the point of it. Disappointed, but a little more enlightened. Disappointed, but possibly, a little more healed. Because you and I know that in order to HATE something so vehemently, you must have been touched by it in some way. In order to hate so deeply, ‘something’ has happened to you and to be stuck in hate and blame, means you are nowhere near healed or whole my friend.
Most people hate cheaters. Yet, ironically, some studies estimate that up to 70% of people have cheated. Men AND women. Depending on the pole you are reading of course. (The entire topic of polling about infidelity is controversial in and of itself. Some studies site as low as 3 to 4% of married couples in any given year. But honesty doesn’t come intrinsically to these surveys. Obviously. Add to that our ever-changing definitions of what exactly constitutes infidelity and well, accuracy is challenging. For purposes of drama, I will stick to the higher figure. Also because I believe it to be more accurate. All one has to do is think of all the people they know in order to find evidence of that) So isn’t it ironic and interesting that most of us hate cheaters? Yet, most of us ARE cheaters.
Allow me to backtrack for a moment and explain why I am pissed. I read a Huffington Post article yesterday. Written by a woman who confessed to having cheated. Nothing uncommon there. However, she went on to explain that she believed it was a good choice for her. Because it kept her from staying in a marriage and having kids with the wrong person. Among other things. She did not regret it. The title of the article was “How Having an affair saved my life.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-clark/ If you know anything about my story, you know we share similarities.
Note, that I didn’t say she lacked feeling or remorse. Just regret. There’s a difference. Some decisions in life are made for our own well being and yes, sometimes those decisions hurt people. That does not necessarily make you a bad person. Sometimes we make mistakes. Like choosing the wrong partner and SOMETIMES…. we don’t actually realize that until it’s too late. Sometimes we are so naive that we don’t even KNOW they are the wrong person until we meet the right one and sometimes, we just plain fuck up. But if people who hurt others are horrible people, then guess what? So the hell are YOU! Because there is not one person on this planet who has not at some time or another, hurt someone they love.
So why am I pissed? Well, the level of hate expressed towards her in the comments was vile. I was not surprised of course. Just disappointed. Knowing my mission to change the conversation about cheating is an uphill battle, does not prevent me from getting discouraged. The hateful comments were obviously expressed by people who have been hurt by infidelity and have never healed from it. As they always are. So I have a level of compassion. Ironically, they are the very people I want so desperately to talk to. To help. Yet, I also wanted to choke some of them. To choke some of YOU. It sobered me. I understand I am trying to tackle one of the least talked about, least understood and most harshly judged “sin” in the world. Something that is rooted in an almost indescribable primal fear. I understand I’ve undertaken the battle of the century to bring light to such a scorned and shamed subject. I know this. But still.
So back to my message to those of you who hate cheaters. I will keep it simple for you. Just a few questions.
- If you hate cheaters, are you willing to dismiss 70 percent of people on the planet out of your potential dating pool?
- If you hate cheaters are you willing to no longer associate with 70 percent of your friends?
- If you hate cheaters are you willing to stop watching your favorite movies, television shows, radio personalities and reporters because 70 percent of them are cheaters?
- If you hate cheaters, are you willing to no longer idolize and instead HATE, some of our most revered thought leaders, artists, sports figures, presidents and people who have literally changed the world? Martin Luther? JFK? Nelson Mandela for God’s sake? The list is endless.
- Lastly, are you willing to potentially hate yourself? Because if you have ever done anything remotely cheat worthy (texting, lying, kissing, flirting with your next bf/gf before you broke up with the current one-even back when you were “young and foolish”) you’re a cheater too. You don’t get a pass if you didn’t sleep with someone. You don’t get a pass if you were back in high school. You don’t get a pass unless you are completely squeaky clean and have never done ANYTHING to any partner that THEY would have considered a betrayal.
If so, more power to you. You are definitely the minority my friend. You do have a pool of comrades. Though a very, very small pool.
If not, and if you can acknowledge that you might not be as squeaky as you would like to believe…..if you are willing to admit that while at the same time wishing that there were less cheating…..more fidelity……more self-awareness and working out of problems within relationships…you may want to reconsider you tactic. Last I checked, no one ever stopped doing ANYTHING because someone hated them for doing it. Quite the opposite. Vilification, blame, and shame has never fixed any problem in the history of this planet. So, maybe you might give love and understanding a try. Note I did not say approval and condoning. You can have boundaries and standards without shaming and vilifying entire segments of the population. Unless of course, you are just cool with being alone.