Earlier this week I started watching The Affair on Showtime.
During my binge watch I couldn’t help but re- contemplate the question asked and analyzed, time and time again: why do people cheat? My partners have cheated on me, my dad cheated on my mom, and I’ve had an affair with a married man, and for all intents and purposes each situation was kinda different, except when closely inspected they really weren’t at all.
After listening and watching people talk about it, the chitchat was the same: They all talked in depth about the pain and suffering, childhood issues, mental/emotional breakdowns, addictions, not getting enough love, enough attention, settling for less than their hearts desire, the unbearable monotony of the status quo and the ‘I just can’t help myself’ attitude; the list is endless and while I understand a therapist’s rationale du jour, my thought train still managed to circle right back to the beginning of when I first heard the news of any cheatation: People cheat because they are Assholes.
Just go with me on this one.
According to Urban Dictionary, one of the definitions of an Asshole is ‘someone being arrogant, rude, obnoxious…. ‘. Similarly another definition to describe the word is ‘an obnoxious, arrogant, self-centred male…’. Now I would argue that this word can be just as readily applied to females, and I do just that, “she’s such an Assshole!” #tryit. After browsing through several pages of Urban Dictionary on what Asshole meant, I couldn’t help but notice that the word ‘selfish’ (and derivatives of), showed up a bunch of times and hence it seemed more fitting than ever that the word ASSHOLE be applied to people who cheat, and rather than saying, “oh, you’re selfish”, there’s just a tad more therapy in yelling “ASSHOLE!” #sosueme
To understand exactly where I’m coming from, since my seemingly judgmental attitude may come across a bit harsh, I do qualify my remarks with experience, and seriously, I have experience. Honey, I got a laundry load! Let me break it down for you: I’ve been the girlfriend who’s been cheated on, I’ve been the wife who’s been cheated on, and indeed I have also been the accomplice in the cheatation aka The Mistress #withacapitalfuckyouverymuch
The Girlfriend: As a girlfriend I experienced being cheated on by pretty much every guy I was exclusive with, long term and short term, other than an exceptional few. Assholes! All narcissists, some with emotional issues, some who just liked to be able to chase tail and some who were much older than me and thought they could get away with it since what did I know? I was a 20-something… These guys had needs and regardless of what they were supposed to be doing, or not doing in our relationship, they wanted to have their cake and to eat it too. They could have broken up with me, or tried to figure it out with me, but no, they went out and did what felt right (and easy) to band-aid their real issues and PS: one of them never wore condoms. Asshole! #thankyouHPV
The Mistress: Karma, they sayth is a bitch, (and trust me when you read my ‘The Wife’ account, you’ll understand why). When I took on the role of Mistress I had in turn accepted the concept of sharing a man because I was lonely and rather than getting my own shit together and figuring it out, I fell, well actually, I leaped into the arms of a guy, who was just as lonely, and gave me some attention. This guy’s wife allegedly emasculated him every chance she got and so he looked to 20-something year old me in an effort to fulfil his 40-something year old self. Of course the idea of manning up and dealing with the issues in his marriage was totally out of the question. He told me loved me, that he was going to leave her, yes I fell for that too, and at the end of the day she got wind of the affair, and he ran (very fast) all the way home, tail between his legs, and blamed everything on me. Me, the ‘temptress’ #bwahahahahaahahahh!!! What an Asshole! and PS: never again #hestillemailsme
The Wife: I noticed the signs of a cheatation but didn’t want to believe it because well, I never thought he would do that #alwaystrustyourgut. My husband was coming home late, not wanting to have sex, which he ALWAYS wanted, and was completely checked-out, but instead of me asking what was going on, I put this phase down to the fact that, well, I had Cervical Cancer and my south of boarder wasn’t exactly winning any awards in sexy. Fast forward a few months to him leaving me and to me finding out he had been (and still was), sexing numerous women #saywhatnow Asshole. PS: this relationship was doomed from the start. #nolovelost
The fact of the matter is, people will always cheat, affairs will happen and there will be a new and improved Ashley Madison-type sites coming soon to a Google search near you. Yes we can do the deep routed therapy about it: his dad cheated on his mom so he had no real male role models, his previous girlfriend cheated on him or he was lonely, it simply doesn’t matter. Two wrongs don’t make a right. How about instead of lying to your partner (and yourself) about being truly unhappy, you speak up and have that ugly conversation; only respect can come of that. Going out and cheating, that’s just being an Asshole. Unfortunately the world is full of assholes, and so, despite the fact I’ve dated most of them, I can’t protect you from the rest of them but I can tell you, next time, rather than try to understand and fix something you have no interest in, you have my blessing to shoot for the bottom of the barrel, and use that one word that will accurately summarize that person, and the demise of your entire relationship: