I am so fed up with adultery

boredBeing stuck but wanting to move on…

Not sure fed up truly sums up how I feel at the moment, but it’s a starting point.  To be honest, I’m finding it difficult to articulate to myself where exactly I am at the moment with regards to the healing of my marriage.  It’s a bit strange and unexpected but I’m struggling to navigate this part of my marital recovery journey.

I feel that I have crossed the most treacherous and turbulent seas (although I still get the occasional squall and I am fully aware that a storm could brew if my husband showed any signs of going off course) but I have a disturbing and developing sense that land is not visible and may not be for a while yet.  Sure, I’m a long way from when my journey started (2years, 8 months) but I have not reached home, of that I’m sure.

It’s like I have entered the doldrums.  This kind of sums up how I feel.  It’s an interesting metaphor. It suggests that I have reached a state or period of stagnation.  Equally it is an equatorial region of the doldrumsAtlantic Ocean with calms, sudden storms, and light unpredictable winds.  It is also noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats for periods of days or weeks.  It is a region that provides the backdrop for Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.  “Day after day, day after day, / We stuck, no breath no motion, / As idle as a painted ship / Upon a painted ocean”.

The intensity of our recovery has subsided.  I guess this is only to be expected.  Life goes on after trauma.  Our lives are going on, very differently from before the adultery, but on a much more even keel than the first couple of years post D-day.  I couldn’t realistically ask for more – I’m aware of this.  Pig Shit was dumped and from what I can see, totally forgotten by my husband.  His relief when I found out was palpable so he must have been keen to lose her.  I am still able to stop us in our tracks and say I want to talk more about the adultery and he always obliges.  These remain unpleasant encounters but rightly or wrongly I don’t feel obliged to keep my thoughts to myself.

We have lovely date nights (but then we always did, even through the adultery). We spend most of our days together and all of our nights.  We get on really well, like two friends (but again, we always did). We seldom argue except for the minor things that living together engenders.  My home is calm and peaceful.  He watches me like a hawk for my moods and can usually tell in an instant if it’s ‘Pig Shit’. We have regular sex (but again, we always did even through the adultery). So what is causing my feelings? Is this just part of the journey.  The rollercoaster taking a break?  Coming to it’s end?

Actually, it’s our sex that sometimes troubles me.  Not that I don’t enjoy it but sex was a major motivator for his adultery.  Just before the betrayal started he had starting watching porn.  I have asked him since, why he didn’t share that information with me.  I am broad minded and we have in the past looked at porn together.  His reply was that the porn he was watching would not have been acceptable to me.  I don’t want to know anymore but that was the beginning of the secrets that started to chip away at our marriage.  I asked if he watched porn with Pig Shit but he didn’t.  Well I don’t think the cheap motels have it on offer do they?  Another answer he gave to me when I asked why he went with Pig Shit was  because she was ‘different’.  No other reason.  Certainly not because he considered her better than me in any way – just different.  This different was obviously in her enthusiasm for sex whenever he called for it (like a porn star) and her bag of sex toys she was happy to have stuck in her (like a porn star).  Not to mention the adoration she must have given him.  Well you see, I can’t and won’t compete with this.

I know our sex has lost its newness.  He is not the only one who experiences this.  I know that to recapture those early exciting, tingling in my stomach feelings would demand someone new.  The difference is, my commitment to him has always included an understanding that long term sex is not the same as short term, new sex.   I believe that we make a deal and in place of the raunchy early stuff that we experienced before we knew each other so well we develop a more mature, more intimate and always respectful sexual relationship.

He now says that what we enjoy is all that he wants.  However, in the back of my mind is this awful nagging sense that he finds our sex boring.  You see, I didn’t have a clue when the adultery was going on so why would I have a clue now?  We still have regular sex and we also have times when we do things differently for each other but I have to be sure that sexual trickery (of the kind that is offered by dirt-bag women) is not something that will lure him again.  This realisation is helpful to me.  In writing this blog I now realise that I need to have a conversation with him specifically about this. I have discussed it amongst other things but have not explicitly made it a point of our growth as a married couple.  Maybe this will get the trade winds moving.

albatrossLike the ancient mariner I am stuck, in the doldrums and my albatross hanging around my neck is my husband’s adultery.  It is one of these contradictory aspects of adultery.  I carry it on my chest, even though the adultery had absolutely nothing to do with me.    Maybe one day the albatross will fall off my neck like it did for the ancient mariner.  I will look into the waters of adultery and all that I have learned from the horrid experience and maybe even find something beautiful, who knows!  Then, finally,  it will drop and I will be freed of the burden.

Worried Man Sitting On White” by Master isolated images; Yacht” by hinnamsaisuy

Monica Lewinsky – The Price of Shame

monica‘We have a shortage of compassion and empathy in the world’

Yes, that’s what Lewinsky said amongst other things in her recent TED talk.  Just watched it.  Had to.  Didn’t want to but foolishly compelled to hear what was said.  Needless to say I found myself spitting feathers whilst she received a standing ovation from the audience.  I saw one woman moved to tears.  WTF?Obviously she hasn’t been on the receiving end of marital betrayal.  All of a sudden, after a decade of welcome silence Lewinsky has reinvented herself as the patron saint of cyber bullying and is stunning proof that adultery can be rewritten for the other woman.  Lost weight, professional make up job and a melodramatised delivery. I doubt that Hilary would have either the motivation or recompense that Lewinski clearly displays.  Lewinsky addresses her own question as to why she is speaking out now.  She says it is because the time is right. I wonder who it is right for.  Hilary is at a major crossroads in her political career and whatever Lewinsky might want to be known for, primarily she will bring back the memory of sucking Bill Clinton’s dick to the majority of the world.  So Hilary and Chelsea, just when you thought matters might be buried the corpse of the adulterous horror story emerges from the stinky dirt.  Like a zombie that feeds from healthy flesh!

So, Lewinsky is now a paragon example of cyber bullying victimhood.  She can speak with experiential authoritywings because of the hell that she went through following her mistake to fall in love with her boss.  Yes, she really said this.  OK, so there wasn’t any social media then, but she had it bad.  Poor Monica.  She relates her experience to the news story of a young student who committed suicide after an illicit film of him engaging in homosexual activity was uploaded into the digital hemisphere.  Unless I’m wrong she seems to consider herself in the same way as someone who experiences racism or homophobia.  The fact that she made a choice, was the agent of her own activity seems to be forgotten or overlooked.  People don’t have a choice as to either the colour of their skin or their sexuality.  People do have a choice as to whether or not to embark on a sexual relationship with a married person.  She may have been young – 22 – but I don’t believe for one minute that she considered what she was doing with Bill Clinton was anything other than WRONG!  That she thought it was the romance of her life is either her retrospective rationalisation or she was as thick as shit!  She says that at 22 she fell in love with her boss but that by 24 she was dealing with the devastating consequences of this.  It’s as if she has become the only subject of this drama.  Bill, Hilary and Chelsea don’t even have walk ons in this dramatization.

The word adultery is noticeable only by its total absence.  She regrets her ‘mistake’ is the best we get but this is wrapped up in her narrative of heartbreak.  Oh please…..

She was branded a tramp, slut, whore, bimbo, that woman!  Yes, so?  She lost her reputation and her dignity.  I’m sorry Lewinsky, this means that you only feel you lost these things because you were found out and because it entered the world stage. Well, let me advise you that your dignity was lost the moment you crossed the boundary with a married man.

At the end she talks about humiliation.  Her humiliation naturally. She notes with reference to academic research that humiliation is a more intense emotion than either happiness or anger.  She felt that the slut shaming humiliated her almost to death.  Well sister, let me tell you, if you haven’t been able to work it out for yourself, humiliation is just one of the intense emotions that we as betrayed women feel.

Lewinsky believes that we have a world shortage of compassion and empathy.  Maybe, but lets start more at home eh?  Monica Lewinsky why don’t you show to Hilary and Chelsea some compassion and empathy and just leave the world stage.  You will always be the slut who sucked the dick of the president of the USA. You were able to speak at TED because you sucked his dick.  There are a million other voices that could talk more eloquently and more authentically about the terror of cyber bullying. You want to be a ‘solution’ to something but quite frankly in your search for a problem you have thought only of yourself, and your narrative.  You may have tried to wrap it up in a pretty little parcel but what’s inside still stinks.

Image credit: Wings by scottchan/freedigitalphotos.net

The Baggage of Adultery

luggageI sometimes feel as if I am needlessly carrying bags and bags of luggage around with me on the road to healing from my husband’s adultery.

Sometimes these bags weigh very heavy.  I’m not sure what’s in them and I don’t think I need to have them all with me.  I actually wonder if I might just throw them all away.  Well, at least get rid of those that don’t serve me anymore.  Learn to travel more lightly.    I also have a sneaking suspicion that some of these bags may not even belong to me.  Maybe I just picked up other people’s baggage on the way or possibly some people threw their luggage at me and I just accepted it?

I didn’t realise I carried so much personal luggage around with me but there’s nothing like facing the reality of adultery and being betrayed to realise what a Pandora’s box can be opened.  My husband’s rank stupidity has led to severely detrimental and far-reaching consequences for me.  I am an holding caseintelligent, well educated, resilient woman who has faced her fair share of tragedy and difficulty in life.  I have also achieved remarkable things in my life.  So why has my husband’s infidelity been able to rock me so badly?  Why is it proving so difficult to overcome and to move on?  I think it’s because it stirs up all the shit that I thought had settled.  Did I really think that I had offloaded all that unwanted baggage?  Yes, I think I did. Ha-ha joke!  I also realise now that this feeling of being weighed down is probably significant and I do need to learn how to travel lighter.  It is not just for my mental well being either.

Dr. Mario Martinez, a clinical neuropsychologist has conducted quite a bit of research into how our thoughts find biological expression.  He suggests that there are only three major archetypal wounds that cause us anguish.  They are shame, abandonment and betrayal.  He says that most people will have one or more of these wounds and they stay with us and influence the way we interpret events that happen to us. As a betrayed spouse I am confronted with a double whammy.  On the one hand, I little girl with casecarry around my own wound(s) as a form of luggage (possibly caused early in my life) but on the other I am faced with all three wounds as fresh cuts because finding out that your husband has been unfaithful inflicts all three wounds at once. Is it any wonder we can’t navigate our way through.  Is it any wonder that the early days post D-day are such a chaotic time.  All three wounds cause fear and pain but shame includes embarrassment; abandonment includes isolation; and betrayal includes anger.  Well, there’s three suitcases named; embarrassment, isolation, and anger.  Heavy loads.

He suggests that there needs to be healing fields created to resolve these wounds.  They are honour for shame, commitment for abandonment, and loyalty for betrayal.  Therefore, in our marital recovery process we need to establish a healing field of all three.  To heal these wounds and to get rid of unwanted baggage requires honour, commitment and loyalty.  I already provided this in our marriage so it is clear that it is my husband who has to work the hardest in creating the healing field.  And he is.

Another useful consideration that I’ve  found in Martinez’s work is his belief in the role of culture and how it shapes our realities.  We don’t develop in a vacuum.  Society bombards us with negative images of betrayed spouses and this undoubtedly has a measurably negative impact on how we view ourselves in this context.  That’s another item of luggage to carry. How others view my decision to remain with someone who cheated.

However, and like Pandora’s box, there is one suitcase that I do want to travel with and am happy tocase and balloons keep it close at hand.  It is called HOPE.  I will get through this. I will commit to my choice to stay in this marriage and between us we will forge a relationship that represents honour, commitment and loyalty. Nothing less will be acceptable to me.

Image credit: ‘Old Suitcases by nuttakit/ freedigitalphotos.net

Staying after Adultery: The Road Less Travelled

clearing in woodsA long time ago I read a book entitled ‘The Road Less Travelled’ written by M.Scott Peck.

I woke up today thinking about the phrase and wondered if this might be an insightful way of describing the process by which I am working to accept my husband’s infidelity.  The title actually comes from a lovely poem by Robert Frost entitled ‘The Road Not Taken’.  The last verse is: “I shall be telling this with a sigh, Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference

Just over two and a half years ago I had a choice of roads to take in my life following the revelation that my husband had been unfaithful to me.  I could take the well worn and highly encouraged road that leads toroads divorce or opt for the road I had no idea about and which no one I knew was able to suggest; the road of marital recovery.  I took the latter and it has made all the difference.  I remain married to my husband and together we are building a different, more honest relationship that I hope will lead to a decent joint future for us both.

Fortunately, through all of my reading and research about the subject of adultery I have managed to create an effective navigational tool box to help me on this difficult road. Equally, thanks to the web and some wonderful bloggers I have discovered many fellow travellers. The road continues ahead of me and I know that there is no turning back.  There would be nothing to return to.

What has struck me as ironic in my thinking about Peck’s book, is the fact that although he may have been deeply insightful he was also an utterly flawed human being. The ideas that he proposed for a good life were interestingly absent in his own life. Amongst his chaotic personal choices, until impotency stopped him, he was a serial adulterer whose wife of longstanding left him and divorced him a couple of years before he died.  The Guardian newspaper’s obituary for him in 2005 described him as a ‘pop psychiatrist who ignored his best selling advice’.

solutionNevertheless, I still find his four rules for the road less travelled a useful tool for understanding not only the camber of the road that I’m on, but also for helping to shape some meaning and purpose out of my actions.  Peck begins the book  with the stand alone observation; ‘Life is difficult’.  There is no escaping this truth.  Therefore in order to deal with these difficulties it is important that we face the pain of solving the problem head on.  It is through these actions that life can become more meaningful.

So, for the road that I am on (along with my husband) there are four principle rules to follow:

Delayed gratification; the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward. Generally, delayed gratification is associated with resisting a smaller but more immediate reward in order to receive a larger or more enduring reward later. This is a rule that my husband did not follow when he made a choice to betray me.  He has learned from his bitter experience that his going for an immediate gratification has threatened the more enduring reward of remaining married to me and sharing our lives together.  For me, I think I felt initially that going for a divorce would be an instant reward.  Perversely, the idea of divorce made me feel righteous and the high ground would have helped me to disassociate with the shame of his behaviour.  In divorcing him I would have divorced myself from the squalid and sordid mess that he got himself embroiled in.  In taking the road less travelled I have resisted that immediate reward (and I’ve since found out that even had I divorced him I would need to take this road because I would still need to make sense of it all in order to heal and to move on) for what I believe will be the reward of an honest and open relationship that treats love as an action rather than an emotion.

Acceptance of Responsibility; the ability to accept responsibility for one’s own decisions.  “The difficulty we have in accepting responsibility for our behaviour lies in the desire to avoid the pain of the consequences of that behaviour. Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behaviour, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give away our power to that entity.” My husband has accepted full responsibility for his behaviour.  He has not blamed me or anything in our marriage for his decision to commit adultery, or the other woman, or his friends that facilitated and encouraged it.  I have accepted responsibility for my choice to stay and work within the marriage in order to recover our relationship.  There has been no gun to my head and even though my husband has had a significant impact on my decision, the decision remains mine and I will accept the outcome whatever shape that might take.

Dedication to truth; basically, a commitment to honesty, both in word and deed.   This includes the ability to modify opinions and views when exposed to new information discordant with the old view. Peck also suggests that this encompasses genuine self-examination, and a willingness to be personally challenged by others, and honesty to oneself as well as to others.  We have both embraced this rule wholeheartedly which has required a lot of soul searching between us.  Uncomfortable and hugely unpleasant at times but it has been cathartic in many ways.  My husband’s  view about adultery has changed in the wake of the awful consequences and I have changed my view that the only solution to adultery is divorce.

Finally: Balancing; this is the ability to reconcile multiple complex, possibly conflicting factors that impact upon important decisions for self and others.  This without doubt has been a huge ask along the road I have been travelling.  Anyone who has experienced betrayal knows  first hand the full spectrum of  devastating thoughts  that threaten to drown them.  Adultery contains so many conflicting factors and also calls into question the notion of any shared reality.  This remains the most difficult component for me personally because  I am the betrayed spouse which means I was taken out of the equation at the very start.  No matter what my husband feels about all the contradictions and mental fog, he made a decision that he was in control of.  I think that that in itself provides a certain balance for him.  My equilibrium was turned inside out and I have had to work very hard to remain upright and dignified on my journey on this road.  I have also needed to redefine my ideas around love and to break from the idealised romantic notions. For Peck, love is not a feeling but an activity; ‘love is as love does’.maze

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

Image Credits: ‘Choice Road’ by Iamnee; ‘Solution Concept’ by David Castillo Dominici; 3’d Man At Maze Shows Challenge Or Confused’ by Stuart Miles; all via freedigitalphotos.net

NOT MY CIRCUS

monkeys“Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys”

A funny thing has happened to my thinking just recently.  I’m a bit scared to discuss it in case either I frighten the early shoots of recovery away or it proves to be a short term thing only for me to return to my old style of thinking. but, I can’t deny it… I have the sense that I am starting to LET GO! Two years and eight months post D-Day.

I have to be honest, I had started to feel really bored in the thinking rut that I was constantly in.  The same old, same old shit just regurgitating itself constantly.  Wearing me down.  Asking the same old questions that I was asking just after D-Day!  Still buying books on the subject of betrayal but finding nothing new on offer and realising that I actually know all there can be to know about my own wretched experience of adultery.   But I just couldn’t turn the page or change the record or find any peace.  I still wanted something bad to happen to Pig Shit; to all the so called friends who facilitated and encouraged it.  I was still trawling through the events of nearly four years ago with my husband, starting with the same questions and then using the opportunity to humiliate him until he squirmed in shame.  And absolutely none of this was getting me anywhere close to what I would consider acceptance.  Forgiveness is something I DID let go of quite some time ago so I’m not bothered by whether this is a possibility or not.  I just want to be able to accept my life as it is now and the choice that I made to stay in my marriage.

I chose to stay.  No gun at my head.  I chose to stay because I thought  that we had had a great relationship before the adultery and believed that if all contact with Pig Shit  was OVER and he was prepared to commit to a new honest relationship with me then we could have every chance of becoming friends again and of building a stronger more protected marriage.  I still think this.  We have not had one night apart since D-Day.  We have created lots of new fresh memories and continue to do so.  We have just booked a few days away in Vienna for my upcoming birthday and have booked our summer holiday in Sorrento.  I am so excited about these trips and for the first time I think I might be leaving Pig Shit out of the equation.  If that happens it will be absolutely FANTASTIC!

Steve Jobs suggested that “your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns.  In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns , just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them”.  This certainly resonates with me; BUT… I have been aware of doing this and I think that over the past few years I have actually been doing a lot of personal stuff with myself which although didn’t seem to be working at the time, on reflection, may have an accumulative effect.  By persevering with trying to make meaning out of adversity and by husband working hard to restore his honour and integrity the result is a slowly healing thought pattern.  This effect has some scientific backing.  I was listening to a TEDx Tacoma talk by Joe Dispenza and he uses the understanding of how the brain works to explore how we might really change.  The bottom line is that we have to change thoughts AND emotions in order to gain true transformation.  It’s an active process that calls on us to DO and act in ways that will support our new beliefs.  Just reading about it is not enough.  Maybe this is what has been going on for me.  I have been reading and thinking about ideas around adultery whilst at the same time acting and doing as much as I could to recover my marriage.  My husband’s actions are those of a loyal and committed partner. Maybe that’s the trick, it’s the finding out as much as possible about what adultery is whilst behaving as if you believe you could have a strong relationship again.  Maybe that’s why it takes so long.

One significant effect that I have been experiencing of late, and it is sooooo liberating, is the understanding that the entire Pig Shit episode had absolutely nothing to do with me.  I know that I have been reading this and saying this but it is only now that I have truly experienced feeling this way.  It is a feeling of separation and of letting go.  I think I needed to feel separate from it all in order to be able to let it go.  I recently found an old Polish proverb that really resonated with me. “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje malpy” – not my circus, not my monkeys.  Basically, it is an idiom for not my problem but for me it just sums up my husband’s adultery.  The whole circus was not mine and the monkeys were behaving as they saw fit at the time.  I could not have fixed it while it was happening and I can’t fix it now retrospectively.

It’s taken a long time to get here and a lot of joint navigation between my husband and I but maybe it is time for me to make another choice to compliment my decision to stay in the marriage.

Charles Swindoll – Attitude:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes”

Understanding why adultery happens

adulteryIt is now just over two and a half years since I joined ranks with all the betrayed wives in the world.  Actually, that’s not quite true.  I had joined it a year earlier but wasn’t fully aware.  D-day changed all that.  Awareness came to me in the form of truth which cut me like a sword into a tiny million pieces.  After the initial tsunami of emotions and behaviours I made a decision to allow my husband to attempt to restore my faith in him and to commit to jointly rebuilding our tattered and torn marriage.  Without doubt, it is his determination that has provided the glue in all this. It’s ironic.  The man that caused me all this pain is the man who is helping me to heal.  However, for me to be receptive to his actions and to accept his remorse for his behaviour I have had to increase my understanding of adultery.  I have devoured knowledge around the topic like it has been honey and from understanding the bigger picture I have been able to come to terms with the previously unthinkable.

booksHowever, I think I may now have come to an impasse. I purchased yet another book this week about healing from betrayal and although an excellent book and full of what I would consider to be accurate and helpful advice, there was absolutely nothing new for me to discover.  Everything now just repeats itself.  So what exactly is my understanding of adultery now and why am I still searching for answers?

I believe that trying to understand adultery is a bit like trying to understand a plate of spaghetti bolognaise!  Let me explain.  Firstly, let’s think about the spaghettispaghetti dish.  It is an absolute jumble of ingredients and the recipe for the dish can vary from region to region and house to house.  What possible sense could one make of a plate of spaghetti bolognaise?  Well, I think we first try to make it simpler so that we can get some measure of it.  Maybe we pull out each string of spaghetti and we wipe the bolognaise sauce off.  We are then left with a whole load of spaghetti all different lengths.  But, we could measure them and then we’d have some data that we could rely on and we could compare this with other dishes of spaghetti bolognaise.  Then we might start on the sauce and see if we can separate the meat from the sauce.  Perhaps we could weigh it.  Perhaps we could name all the spices and seasonings that were used and then again, we could compare to other dishes.  However, no matter how much we examine the different ingredients or how strong the microscope to identify what’s included we will never fully understand that individual plate of spaghetti in any way other than how it tastes when it is all together.  The mess is an intrinsic part of the dish.

I think mess is an intrinsic part of adultery.  I have gained glimpses into the phenomena that is adultery but it would appear that adultery is much bigger than the sum of its parts.  Perhaps I havemess just reached the end of what I can know about it? Perhaps I have to now let go of the search for more understanding and just accept the gaps in knowledge. The knowledge that infidelity is more common than we think, that people in happy marriages are unfaithful, that the reasons for adultery are varied, that my husband’s behaviour had nothing to do with me, that there are individuals out there who don’t object to shagging someone married to someone else, that honest communication is the only way to affair proof your marriage and that healing has to occur whether you stay or leave your marriage has all helped me enormously.  But this understanding is only partial. But perhaps partial is the best it gets?

However, there is some knowledge that is complete and I could only achieve this by reading about the topic and reaching out to others.  This is the knowledge that the pain of marital betrayal is incomprehensible if you have not experienced it first hand for yourself and that we all experience the same devastation. All my feelings, thoughts and responses are perfectly normal and appropriate in the circumstances. a Betrayed spouses draw the short straw that’s for sure and we live in a world that simply disregards the misery that adultery perpetuates. This cultural amnesia around the devastation and pain of adultery may well prove to be the gap in knowledge that prevents a full understanding of adultery. How might this change? Maybe we could apply Nathaniel Hawthorne’s concept of requiring adulterers  to wear a scarlet “A” (“A” is the symbol of adultery ) on their attire to shame them?

Image credits: Infidelity by Simon Howden; Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce by piyato; Student And Books Shows Learning & Dilemmas Problems  by Stuart Miles; all via freedigitalphotos.net

Advice for the Other Woman

dr jeanRecently discovered an interesting article in the online magazine ELLE.  It was written by Dr. E. Jean, an agony aunt responding to a question about the ‘etiquette’ of being the other woman. I was intrigued because the word etiquette seems hugely mismatched to the concept of the other woman.

The question was posed by an OW who was pissed off at the married man’s attitude towards her.  He had accused her of being too needy and told her that his shoulders were not for her problems.  Her response to this was to text his wife to rat on him.  She also chose to text his sister and his mother-in-law! To create more malevolence within this vitriolic act she also said that she was pregnant.  A lie! OW  felt justified in doing this because she was furious about being ignored and hurt because he was emotionally unavailable to her.  But, she now felt terrible about what she’d done because she was ‘not that kind of person’. Her question to Dr. E. Jean was ‘How can I clear my conscience and move on from this?’ She signed off as Wronged Woman!!!

Dr Jean’s advice was as follows:

Woman—Please: The man is a scoundrel. He was unfaithful to his wife. But you? What you did was so cruel, so half-witted, so dirty, so over the top, causing so much pain to so many people—and if any children suffer the slightest anguish because of your lie (if the man has kids and you cause a divorce)—I don’t want you to “clear your conscience.” Actually, I want you to go to a therapist.

The shrink will help you understand that a married man is by definition “unavailable.” (I have the sickening feeling that you’re one of those sparkling Paula Broadwell–esque hotheads for whom “uproar’s your only music,” as Keats said. Hence, I’m not going to yammer all day about therapy. I just want you to give it a whirl and see if you can grok what’s going on and come to a deeper, truer understanding of your life.)

penFor your own honor, you must now write three letters. The man’s wife, his mother-in-law, and his sister should each receive one—handwritten in ink, on serious cream-colored stationery. Apologize for your heinous lies, take full blame for the affair, and say you led him into it. Yes, we know he’s a bastard. Yes, we know you’re not the Dalai Lama. But make this your one great, selfless act. Your remorse and honesty will restore your dignity, help three people deal with a catastrophe, and show what “kind of person” you are, really.

Naturally, you never know if these problems are real or manufactured and I guess that this particular problem may be seen by many as far fetched, but unfortunately for me, having been on the receiving end of betrayal and a skank who texted me with the sordid shitty details I have no doubts that this type of heinous behaviour is common.  It just reeks of the insane thinking processes of women who agree to shag married men in the belief that it will provide them with a loving  and meaningful relationship. Their false beliefs then lead to unrealistic expectations and a false sense of entitlement.

I might have been more scathing than Dr Jean but I think she got the message across. The best advice is for women to understand that by definition a married man is unavailable. How fucking difficult is that to comprehend?

Image Credit: Letter And Letter Pad by digitalart freedigitalphotos.net