Cheating is a gift.
It sounds ridiculous but hear me out. First, I’ll state the obvious just in case my opening leads you to think I’m insane.
I do not condone cheating. It’s cowardly, selfish, makes everything worse and should be avoided at all costs. Ending a marriage (or relationship of any kind) is hard enough on its own. Adding indiscretion to the mix is pouring very coarse salt on a very open wound. Cheating leaves its victims on an endless merry go round of unanswered questions and unwanted assumptions. I beg all about to make the choice to cheat (it is a choice) to stop and back up. Deal with/end your current relationship before enjoying a new entanglement. If you’re mature enough to be in a relationship, be mature enough to get out of it the right way.
Unfortunately, my begging and pleading won’t stop cheating. Cheaters will cheat, cowards will be cowards and people will continue to make poor choices. But, if you are on the receiving end and dealing with the pain of infidelity, I have good news for you. You’ve been given a gift. Now, hear me out.
Unhappy people and those in less than happy relationships cheat. Those experiencing loneliness, disrespect, and incompatibility cheat. Couples struggling with ill-suited priorities, mismatched ethics and goals cheat. Those living in unfulfilled and uninspired marriages cheat. Ideally these marriages and relationships would end before new romantic engagements engage. They don’t. Change is hard, painfully so when related to matters of the heart. Shame and fear keep us planted in a consistent routine of rejection, tension and unhappiness. We remain stuck because the alternative appears insurmountable. Thus, there’s rarely an exit right on time, relationships drag on far past their expiration date.
And then one day you are given the gift of infidelity. This poorly wrapped present is the final broken straw, the kick in the butt that puts your long thought thoughts of separation into action. The dreaded cheatation situation finally gets you walking out the door. You might walk into a therapist’s office and together work as a couple to repair your relationship. Or you might walk out into a new life on your own.
Cheating sucks. I wish people would head decency and do this and then that. Cheating puts that in front of this; a crucial change in order that guarantees unnecessary pain and suffering. But the honest truth is that happy couples don’t get divorced and happy couples don’t cheat on each other.
I hold space and compassion for anyone dealing with the pain of an affair. But I also know that without it, you might still be stuck in loneliness, mired in a life lacking intimacy and love. Infidelity might be the one thing, the only thing, to get you moving out of the dark and into the light. That is a gift.