I have been the "victim" of infidelity in marriage, THREE TIMES with two different wives. I was beginning to take it personally. The first time was the biggest shock and I went into get-sexy and make-more-money mode because I owned her choice to look outside the relationship for fulfillment. I mean, I must be lacking somehow right?
Sooo after getting buffed, redoubling my efforts around the house, initiating date night, making more money…she had another affair with someone twenty years older that looked like Gorge Castanza with a bad tan and Jersey chains (no offense).
She has, over the years, had multiple affairs on George. They are now divorced and she is on to new and more exciting new men. Always a lot of them it seems. I call them “fun boys”, you know, the outdoor adventure guys that never want to commit, just want to hang out and climb stuff. Nice bunch. Until they mess up a marriage and shrug the whole thing off as “her choice”. Beware the fun boys. I’m serious……it starts out innocently enough.
Second wife hooked up with an ex two weeks after we were married while she was attending a new age conference in Marina Del Ray. I didn’t have the BS tolerance that time and I called it quits pretty quick.
After that, the tables took a strange turn. I was unavailable, pissed and aloof by choice for many years afterward. I hated the very concept of marriage, relationships etc. This new, hard attitude began to attract married women. I was appalled. What were they thinking, exactly? I couldn’t stomach the idea of being the other man, since I had just been through infidelity myself and had witnessed the total emotional black hole it creates. I identified heavily with their husbands and even actively befriended a few of them. I lost faith in the institution and I began to realize that “everyone cheats” on one level or another. It’s a miracle that marriage even exists really. No one could be trusted, it seemed.
It was at the bottom of this emotional/ spiritual crisis that I reached an epiphany.
Fidelity can only be absolute and perfect within us. It cannot exist with any degree of security outside of our own, direct sphere of control, outside of our own internal moral processes. No one can cheat on me; they can only cheat on themselves.
With that bolt, peace filled me and I was truly free from the ramifications of ex’s actions. I was able to forgive and to forget. This insight helped me stay faithful to myself as I drove my mid life crisis out as an OTR trucker for the next two years. I watched the horrible human tragedy of sex, drugs and depravity play itself out over and over at truck stops all across America and never felt the need to participate. I was free. I was faithful to me.
That’s all that counts. Really. With this sense of internal fidelity came a pride, a strength that I hadn’t experienced before. It has served me well since then and has provided great, powerful boundaries that define and delineate all subsequent relationships. I am finally whole and strong. I like it that way.
Is your spouse gonna cheat? Maybe. Does that have to destroy your marriage and your family? No, it doesn’t. It’s a choice. Would I allow a cheating spouse to stay in my bed? No. Definitely not. Fidelity is in the marriage contract, and violation brings nullification. Straight up.
You are not responsible for your spouse. Just yourself. (And your kids till they are able to make decisions on their own.) If you stay faithful to YOU, you will always be able to sleep at night and to look your kids in the eye, regardless of the outcome for your family.