Cheating Counterparts: Best of the Worst
Is infidelity the worst thing your partner can do to betray your trust?
There have been many times that I felt compelled to help a person, for different reasons. One situation that seems to arise frequently in conversation, is the issue of infidelity. Spreading like wildfire in our minds, the rumors, the blaming, suspicions about everything under the sun, settle in. We start to condemn the other person, blame ourselves, wonder what went wrong and where, and most of us, will talk about it to just about anyone that will listen and of course we all make ourselves shine, being seamless in presenting ourselves as the "victims of great betrayal". I have heard these tales many times. When I say "tales", I don't mean "lies", but as we all know, there's three sides to every story: one side, the opposing side and the truth. Hardest to find, is the truth, since accounts of any event, are tainted with people's perception, in other words, different people may view the exact same situation differently, depending on a multitude of different factors, such as ethnic background, religious and societal beliefs, ethical beliefs and personality traits.
Like most of us, I have met many people from different walks of life. I lend my shoulder to cry on, to more human beings I can count. And when the crying is about relationships, the going gets tough...and all logic goes out the window. I've had my fare share of that, much as anyone else. I'm not married or divorced, and have no children, so obviously, matters such as these, are much more trivial to me. But it is also perhaps of the lack of these aspects in my life, that make me feel that I can insert some logic into an otherwise completely emotional situation. This doesn't go to say that my heart has never felt the pinch of betrayal. But I was able to deal with it better by using logic.
As we all might know, infidelity can occur due to a myriad of reasons. I strongly believe, as far as far as experiences have tought me, that injecting some logic into such a heartbreaking situation is one of the best things one can do for themselves. And to take a small step back, I don't mean concepts like "I was too good for that person anyway", because this isn't a "logic" infused thought, it is more of an effort to try to make ourselves feel better about the situation, or just better than the other person. It is our ego talking. But that's just one out many examples of thoughts we may use, in order to deal with the problem in an easier way.
There are many people I met in my life, who were far from "loyal" to their partners. I also met many couples, married or just together for many years, who were "swindlers in companionship". The latter, surprised me at first, but I quickly got used to it. After all, there are many couples in that practise. These are some of the couples and situations in brief, that landed a divorce or helped them stay together:*
- Bobby & Rose: Married for many decades, they are both educated, well travelled and full of life. Despite their age and the fact that they raised four children, they both enjoy life, sports and spending quality time together. Bobby is very adventurous, and the combination of sports and having sex often keeps him young and sprout. He is always smilling and has a care-free personality. This disarms people, and makes him very charming and pleasant to be around. His wife is a very sweet, well kept lady, with a caring and hospitable personality. Maybe it's because of their age or the many years they've been together, or maybe it's because sometimes Bobby would like to try a different flavor of Kool-Aid, but infidelity is present in this marriage - it has been for multiple years. If some of you are wondering "how is it that Rose doesn't know about it yet?", think again. She's known about it since the first time it happened, not because she found out, but because he told her. Eventually he was telling her about all his "adventures". And at some point she just said she doesn't want to know about them, she only demanded that he use protection. They are both admirable in how they handle his "indiscretions". And they are both still together and happy as can be.
- Richard and Lea: Divorced after having 3 children, 6 pets, a booming business and twenty-five years together. The divorce was bitter, left them both, and their children crippled, both financially and psychologically. Since Lea was the "bread maker" for the household, she couldn't get much out of Richard, except his actual belongings and a lengthy court battle over the youngest child, that lasted for years and drained his funds altogether. All because Richard met another woman, while on a business trip with Lea. He was honest and straight forward about it, but Lea felt betrayed, hurt, and as she was scorned and the person paying the bills on the same hand, the battle started the moment she was told. Their 3 kids, were the ones that paid for all this the most.
- Shawn & Belinda: Married for about 15 years, with one "planned" child. Shawn is from the Middle East, an attractive, well educated, charming and extremely smart man, that always seeks to get answers rather than provide them, so some things about their marriage, are still a mystery to me. Belinda is North European born and doesn't generally give up much information about their marriage, except to her own family. Although Shawn loves his wife and child dearly, he has some complaints (one that seems to be very common among married men) and that is the lack of intimacy in his marriage, among other smaller issues (in my opinion, the smaller issues stem from the one big issue, lack of sex). So he often tries to substitute what he is lacking in his marriage, with bought affection from a professional lady, a female puppy dog or ideally, a "thing on the side" that he knows won't venture to interfere with his marriage. Shawn is miserable in his marriage, because he can never be his true self within the marriage. The person he loves so much, barely knows anything about his sexual needs or just doesn't care, which also makes him feel old and of ill health. Because he is by nature hyper-sexual, while Belinda is not. He must always act according to what society considers "bad" or "good" in a marriage and life in general, he must keep up appearances constantly and he's extremely careful about every move he makes. Because of course he also contemplates all the material things he has created all on his own, the reputation he has build for himself and how he may lose all of that, if he decided to show his real self or even talk about what he feels are problems, he just avoids the subject altogether. He always wants to keep everyone content, so will do anything to keep the other person happy, instead of him, which never results well. In this marriage, obviously his better half either doesn't know that he veers off that way or knows but doesn't care, since she doesn't seem to want the intimacy between them. Because she's well aware of other personality traits her husband has, she knows he'll always go back to her in the end, even if it means him living in misery.
- Steve & Tasha: This couple have been together for almost 20 years. They are one of the happiest couples I've ever seen. They are respectively from Scotland and Brazil, and have two beautiful kids. Being sexually compatible was and still is, to their testament, one of the major factors responsible for being together this long. They are actually swingers. The freedoms that exist between them in their marriage are absolutely mind boggling sometimes. Each has their own personal freedoms, as long as they use protection and tell each other every little detail about their adventures, but they also together find couples or people that share similar tastes when it comes to human intimate interaction.
- Anthony & Alexa: Relationship that lasted 5 years, although all signs pointed to "forever", according to everybody that knew them. There seemed to be nothing that could end that relationship. They were content with each other in every possible way, they never fought and happily lived with each other. It seemed nothing could go wrong here. But one day Alexa found out that Anthony had subscribed for dating sites and was actively trying to meet other women. She asked him what she was doing wrong, what was wrong with the relationship, whether or not he still loved her....she asked him "why?". He said "No reason, it's just sometimes you want a different flavor of beans. Doesn't mean I don't love you or that anything is wrong". In this case Alexa had to let him go, because she knew it would happen again and again, until he found someone new to board with. After all, when she met him, he was with another woman for....5 years at the time he left he went to live with Alexa. Anyone see the pattern here? Anthony wanted to be able to sleep with whomever he saw fit, but wouldn't allow Alexa to do the same. Not quite fair, when people are on "two-way" streets.
- Mark & Cleo: These two met by accident, but at least for Cleo, it was "love at first site". I don't know what to call this relationship, as in my opinion, it wasn't a relationship at all. Cleo had never fallen in love before, despite the fact that she was in her late 30's. She was adventurous with many men, but never wanted to hold on to any of them. Until she met Mark. They talked through text all day long and met up every chance they got. Five weeks into this utter happiness, Cleo found that the man she fell madly in love with, was married with a child. She wanted to run far away as possible that very moment she found out. But couldn't. Did everything she could to never talk to him or see him again, but always gave in. In the end, their short encounters, always left him uplifted and her miserable. She felt like a puppy, constantly left in the woods to stay there as long as it takes, waiting for whenever its master decides to come back to give it some love. And she found the only way she could move on with her life, without her heart aching so badly, would be to stop seeing and talking to him. Cleo was trying to fill the voidof feeling like "the back up filler" for years....last I spoke to her though, she seems happier. I think she finally found the right person to fill the void :)
- Fred & Sophie: Although they've known each other for a couple years, their relationship only really took off the past few months. Fred is an exceptional man in many ways. He is sweet, kind, caring, generous, an amazing listener, a rare gem of a person all around. He is a very private person, caught in a seemingly unfortunate situation with his marriage, although I don't know details. He is too much of a gentleman to say anything, just little feelings I pick up from our short conversations. Fred and Sophie found each other late in life, but they hope that they will rise above the challenges ahead.
- Frank & Mary: Not much to say here, this couple has been together for more than 50 years, and although they might bicker from time to time, it's obvious to see they love each other very much still and to all testaments (and I know this might sound a bit "mythical"), never cheated on each other. Didn't have many questions to ask there, but I can tell you that any couple I've met being together that long, has their very own special "reasoning" or explanation as to what has kept them together for so long.
All above stories are true. Their common element is infidelity. But from research, we can see that reactions and end results can differ a great deal, depending on each person's traits.
Is infidelity the worst thing a person can do to destroy a relationship or a marriage? Seeking intimacy outside the marriage, when it doesn't exist within it, is human. We need it as beings. Many wifes understand this, so they stick by their spouses anyway. And depending on the situation, infidelity can serve to make some aspects of a marriage stronger, but I know it's hard for any woman or man to see that, especially when certain ethical or religious principals are in place. But, being unfaithfull isn't the worst case scenario. People can defraud, steal, abuse you physically and mentally, allienate you from friends and family, bully and manipulate you....what's worse? I'll take a cheating spouse over someone that would beat me up, or potentially hurt my children, any day of the week.