The madness of dealing with a cheater

I just don’t understand the mindset of cheaters.   I’ve been reading stories on reddit’s surviving infidelity forums and I’m convinced that there must be a special place in hell for them.   Wait…I can’t judge too much based off my ‘separation shenanigans’, but I’m not separated because I wanted to be.  I was pushed into this.

Me, the wife, and our kid went to church this weekend and as usual, the Holy Spirit tailored the message for us.   This time, the sermon was about being ‘All in’.    The pastor specifically gave an example about how his parent’s divorce devestated him as a kid and it was due to them not being “All In.”

The day before, we talked about what we wanted moving forward and neither of us know at this point.   She’s been nicer to me, but still hasn’t shown me anything that would indicate that she wants to work on things.   She claims that she’s on the fence.   I don’t go out of my way to contact her and am still headed down the path of emotional disconnection. I usually try to keep it business only.   She wants to laugh and be friendly, but it pisses me off that she’s so aloof about how bad she hurt me.    Occassionally I do talk to her about my emotional state, but for the most part, I just come around to handle business and I don’t really say much to her at all.

The funny thing is that I don’t think that I’d be happy with her either.   The difference is that I never even thought that marriage was about happiness primarily.   To me, it was about growth and providing a stable home for our kids.   Sure we’d try our best to be and make each other happy, but ultimately, it was on us as individuals to find it within the space that our vows allowed.

I really don’t know how she can claim to love our son, but not be interested in making things work.   She called last night and told me that he was upset about me not living there and was hoping that I would move back in after the lease was up over there.  She told him that we have to figure a few things out and left it at that.   I really don’t understand how she could be so selfish and cold.   It’s really shocking that I really don’t know this woman.   Many days, I wish I never married her and brought our son into this. I love him with all of me and even though I’m over her as a spouse for the most part,  I would stay just so he wouldn’t have to experience that emotional pain.

How can cheaters be so freakin selfish?   How is she so ok with breaking up our family and hurting him?

I told her that I was truly blindsided by the whole thing because she never told me she was unhappy before the affair.   She tells me now that she didn’t handle it right.   At the same time, reading the surviving infidelity forums from people who went through this tells me that there is a very good chance that even if we somehow manage to work it out, she’d very likely cheat again.   Given the level she betrayed me for him, the lack of remorse, and tepid commitment to possibly working things out, i’m thinking it might be him again should she reach out.   It doesn’t matter that she tells me that she now ‘realizes’ that he isn’t a good person.

I love my son, I’d consider doing more work to meet her more than halfway, but she isn’t the type that I can trust.   I don’t get how we can agree on so many moral issues.   How she can actively dislike R. Kelly, talk shit about cheaters on the reality TV shows she watches, but still be the way she is.   Man, this chick is crazy.


6 thoughts on “The madness of dealing with a cheater

  1. “I’ve been reading stories on reddit’s surviving infidelity forums and I’m convinced that there must be a special place in hell for them.”

    I generally don’t comment on your posts but that line caught my attention. I’m not sure exactly who you are reading on Reddit. Maybe there is are dozens of writers that betrayed their loves, lives, and selves writing and talking about the experiences and choices. Maybe they are all non-remorsefilledt. IDK.

    What I do know is that if you are largely reading just the experiences of the hurt people you will be left thinking every person that cheats is a abusive, gaslighting, triangulating, pathological narcissist.

    The reality is we are not.

    Reading the stories of the angry and contemptful only provides confirmation bias. If people already stinging from loss and wounded prides read think we must be less than human, non-emotional, non-empathetic, non-caring, predators that’s what people find.

    If people that had their love and life betrayed keep being told they are victims than they will see their pain only through the filter of villainy, evil, and maliciousness.

    You describe it as the madness if dealing with a cheater. As if we are all the same, with the same motivations, the same intentions, and the stories. We aren’t.

    And here is why I have begun to stop reading, interacting, and engaging with so many people orbiting infidelity and all the hurts: too many men and women on all sides of the infidelity blame the other for their choices and pains. They are locked into the problems and never look beyond their pain.

    I get you hurt. I get you are angry. I get you hold your partner in contempt and criticism for her betrayal and weakness.

    As I said, reading your blog I’m never really sure what help you are seeking for yourself. I hope you are looking to Brene Brown, Esther Perel, Tara Brach, Caroline Madden, Stan Tatkin, and other professionals to help find peace and not simply digging into Reddit or other social media. In those places I only find the things I’m looking for and not the things I need.

    If you want her to stay I hope you will tell her that. If you want to leave I hope you will tell her that too. There is so much pain in my life because of all left unsaid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know that haven’t done much to take the side of the cheater. I do, however, understand that there are multiple sides to each story. In fact, I consider myself a ‘cheater’ at this point because I’ve decided to take the ‘low’ ground during my separation.

      Unless you’ve been on the receiving end of being blindsided by an affair and possibly losing everything that meant the most to you, I don’t think you really get that hurt, bitterness, and anger.

      It really makes me wonder if all people process emotions the same way. I still couldn’t imagine hurting someone on that level without extreme remorse. It kept me in check during the good parts of our marriage. On some level i feel that I’d have to know that I’m am crushing someone’s soul, destroying my family, and hurting our kids and I don’t see how i could just keep doing that.

      Until you have really felt that pain, you really can’t describe it, it’s beyond words. I know that you can’t feel anyone else’s pain. If you’ve never experienced it firsthand, the best you can do is sympathize (and that’s not a bad thing, it’s literally the best you can do). But empathy and sympathy are two different things.

      I do appreciate your perspective in that there are times when we can’t see the forest for the trees so to speak. So i won’t dismiss your assessment. I actually do believe that sometimes people can push others to cheat, or sometimes there is a lapse in judgment, and that sometimes people are truly remorseful for what they did. Plus I see how, when you’re freshly hurt, how forums like this can keep you in a state of victimhood.

      The forum allows me to view other people’s stories and how they play out. It is a form of therapy for me.

      It also allows me to see patterns in which reconciliations worked and which didn’t.

      I feel that I can see beyond the pain, but am simply confused about what to do next. It’s really a case of 6 in one hand and half a dozen in the other. I am familiar with Mating in Captivity, but not so much the other books/authors.

      For me, it’s not about feeling like a victim, it’s about helping me decide how to move forward. It also helped me realize that even though sometimes, that the betrayed person really did push them out there, others times it’s really not our faults. It’s about arming myself with information on whether or not I should emotionally invest again based off the experience of others who’ve gone through something similar.


      • I’m not sure the is a side. It’s just people trying to people. And I’m not even sure there’s a low road.

        You’re absolutely devastated, feel rejected by your wife I’m sure, I would guess you question your own manhood, and humiliation and pride is got to be overwhelming. My first wife left me for another man and those are just some of the feelings I experienced.

        And what I read what you chose to do, I also recognized that her people do hurtful things. Things that hurt others and hurt ourselves. So I don’t think there’s a low road… I also don’t think there’s a high road. I’ve come to the conclusion there just roads and we navigate them the best we can with what we know how to do.

        You wrote, “it’s about arming myself with information on whether or not I should emotionally invest based off the experience of others who’ve gone through similar.”

        I’ve no idea what anyone should do in these situations. They all seem to be different and we all look at our pain differently. I don’t think there’s a wrong answer.

        I’ve come to realize I can’t have the love I want my life unless I’m willing to lose it all. Which means I’m responsible for the vulnerability I want my life. I hope you will research some of these other authors and researchers who actively promote learning about ourselves and our perspectives and not simply on the convenient cultural narratives petals on social media.

        I understand why my XP and as a relationship. In our case it was most loving thing she could do for herself, me and us…but that’s not right for everyone.

        As far as the emotions thing, this is a really excellent podcast that help me see things from ©’s perspective:

        If you ever need to talk and have someone listen you’re welcome to give me a call or email me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Perception and perspective is everything. I suppose given enough context that maybe there really is no sin. I’ve read somewhere that pain is simply misunderstanding. I’m learning to love without attachments and that’s a tall order. A higher learning curve when you add the immaturity and inexperience of a child. To be honest, I don’t know if it’s even possible.

        I don’t think I want to fall in love again. At least be so attached that it would be devastating to lose it. For me, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

        I appreciate your thoughtful reply and the link to the podcast. I’ll check it out when I get a chance.

        Liked by 1 person

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