Despite being primarily off for the summer, I’ve used more counseling skills this week than I’m being paid for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining because where I come from, you do anything for family and friends. I don’t know maybe that’s just us Italians. Anyhow, I’ve had some time to think, not only of my past experiences, but also about what some of the most important women in my life are going through at the moment. So I’ve decided to approach this subject with slight sensitivity, sharing my personal opinions only but also by doing what I do, keeping it honest.

What makes a cheater? I guess the answer to that is different for everyone. I cheated several times in Dr. House’s 9am  Friday morning history class in college. But who didn’t? In my eyes that was justified since I stumbled there still drunk from hitting the club on a Thursday the night before. So that’s ok. I did the best I could. I also cheated on several diets because it’s fine to starve all day to save calories for alcohol at night. It’s liquid so it doesn’t count as food, right? And I may have cheated on a few high school boyfriends, because let’s face it, Holy Cross guys were irresistible. But I draw the line when it comes to betraying someone I really and truly love. And on the flip side, I am a woman who wasn’t raised to pursue something that belongs to someone else. There’s plenty of other men in the world, even if I can’t find them currently.

When someone makes a conscious choice to be unfaithful, it’s just that, a choice. Yes there may be other factors, but the deeper issue is why they felt compelled to make that choice to begin with. Once you pick up that phone, in an innocent text, or compliment that person on how they look today, you’re opening some sort of door. Whether it’s just “emotional”, which I also like to call waiting for the person to let you hit it, or if it  leads to dirty snapchats and then something physical. Regardless, there’s a motivation  there. For some it then becomes a game of irrational reasoning where they attempt to convince themselves and others that their behavior was justified. For some, it’s as simple as their wife didn’t make three sides with the steak for dinner.So they don’t make them happy or understand their needs. Others get pissed because they can’t go to the gym after work because they had to drive the kids to soccer instead and feel that their partner is unsupportive of their weight issues and need for “me” time. My personal favorite was when my ex told me I was a “slob in sweatpants” (post baby in the dead of winter with like 12 ft of snow of the ground).Whatever the hell the bull shit reason, your spouse felt the need to stray and there’s no excuse for that choice. No one pushes you into someone else’s arms and you don’t just fall in.

And in the reverse case, I still wonder who these people are that want someone who felt the need to cheat on their spouse? It always amazes me why they think they’re getting some sort of prize. Like wow, “I really hit the jackpot in finding someone who will bang me out in my car and only contact me while driving to and from work”. It’s also really desirable to find such a great person that is willing to break a vow they made to someone else and puts themselves before their children. I don’t know about you, but I’m a confident woman who does not need someone else’s shell of a man. If someone like that were to pursue me, I’m smart enough to know that does not mean I’m just so irresistible, special and not a bitch, like her, so they want me instead. And, most importantly, I know I’m just not that amazing that this dude’s never going do that to me eventually. If they’re doing it to them, chances are pretty high that they’re going to do it to you. If your side chick is married, well that’s  even more fucked. What real man wants a woman who is cheating on her husband? What happened to the idea that when a woman cheats it’s on a whole other level than when a man does. Didn’t anyone hear the ever so popular revelation from men that when they cheat it’s just sex, but when women do it’s so much deeper, thus unforgivable?

For the people thinking this attached person is their core shaker, don’t try to convince yourself the universe will forgive you because he/she was meant for you. Karma has no bounds. This is not to say there aren’t special circumstances that are the exception to the rule. Like if they were yours first,  I’ll give that a free pass. Not just because this could be your person who lost their way and made it back, but also because maybe it will just feel damn good to steal something back. Yes I realize this sounds contradictory and does not follow the golden rules I learned in St. John’s CCD class in 1989. But whatever. I’ve also heard of several people that ended up in a blissfully happy life together that began as an affair. However, typically the difference there is that there was an ability to take responsibility for what they did and an admission that they simply found something in someone else and thus left their relationship. No blame, no trying to justify it, no lying, they just bowed out.

So I leave it at this, if you cheated or if the temptation to do so is there, search your soul and seek professional help to address why you are having thoughts of straying. Talk to your partner if something just isn’t right between you. If you claimed to have loved them at some point, you owe them so much more. Try to make it right if you want to stay and if you’re lucky enough to have another chance. Or simply nod out gracefully before you make that move because some decisions cannot be undone. And chances are, once the damage is done and your soon to be ex gets the best revenge ever by stepping up their game, hitting the gym hard and getting their own life once they leave your sorry ass, you’re no longer going to be reaping those benefits. And you will be wishing you can have them back.


Hot In Sweatpants