I recently offered my cheated-upon view of things to my acquaintance, who has returned every night for a week to that hotel because he cannot bear to look at his wife. A couple of years ago I offered the other side to a friend when she was considering having an affair.
Start, I suggested to her, by picturing yourself in the therapist’s office with your betrayed husband after you’ve been found out (and you will be found out). You will hear yourself saying you cheated because your needs weren’t being met. The spark was gone. You were bored in your marriage. Your lover understands you better. One or another version of this excuse will cross your lips like some dark, knee-jerk Hallmark-card sentiment.
I’m not saying these feelings aren’t legitimate, just that they don’t legitimize what you’re doing. If you believed they did, your stomach wouldn’t drop on your way out the door to your lover’s. You wouldn’t feel the need to shower before climbing into the marital bed after a liaison. You wouldn’t feel like a train had struck you in the back when your son asked why you forgot his lacrosse game the other day.
I liked this column today. Very honest. No excuses are made for bad behavior.
M-47,W-40,No kids D-filed 5/27/2010 Piecing - 10/21/2010 -=Soon to be banned=-