Cheaters will cheat. They lie and are self serving and selfish people. Spouses who cheat in a marriage are cheating themselves and their spouse of a loving, trusting relationship and the joy of being intimate. Can cheating really just be a symptom of a larger problem in the relationship and you can fix that problem and redeem your relationship? What if cheating is the “cry for help” and is the catalyst to redeem a broken and failed marriage. OR is the propensity to lie and cheat a fundamental personality disorder that regardless of the health of a marriage will always occur with certain individuals. I know there are thousands of self help books written on this subject and the topic is debated, but I just want an answer. I want to google it or shake my magic 8 ball and have a definitive answer that says, “People are good. They don’t mean to cheat and lie, but they do. Yes, they can be healed and never cheat again.” But, if it were that simple, the self help industry would atrophy.
I found that my husband was active on a hookup site and posting for partners on Craig’s list. He offered to “host” meaning he offered to have his hookups at our house or some other location that he could control. He had several profiles on several sites with a couple fake emails. He had been doing this for 11 years. He was not a “oops, it was just that one time and it will never happen again” type of cheater. He was intentional and duplicitous. Our whole marriage was a lie. He was active on Adam 4 Adam, a gay man’s hookup site. My husband was too much of a coward to be honest so he found he could easily lead a double life where he could maintain the façade of a dutiful husband and father and then also enjoy his sexual exploits with male lovers.
After I opened the door to his closet, he came out and owned up to the cheating and lying, he told me that being a husband /father is “ideal” on these sites because you can find someone who will keep your secret. Apparently this is a pretty common occurrence, gay husbands & gay dads protect each other – it is in every ones best interest to maintain the lie. The rules of the game are based on deception, so there is not any pretext of an honest, committed future when people meet on hookup sties.
Now I am faced with a dilemma. I can’t trust that my ability to judge men is any good. My gadar was apparently broken and my bullshit detector was malfunctioning. All I know for sure is that my sex drive is high but has been in park for years. Sex with a closeted gay man is about as adventurous and exciting as driving in the carpool lane. I want to race around a track at full speed – bank around the turns and careen down the straight away. I want to zig and zag and have an unobstructed view in front of me. Who will be my driving partner?
GI Joe is my man of choice. I don’t want to presume I can have a sane, honest and emotional attachment to someone who is physically and emotionally unavailable. But he occupies my mind and I have an emotional connection to him, so would it be cheating on him if I pursue this desire to be connected with someone else? Am I diluting the significance of my emotional connection to him by wanting to have a physical connection with someone? Would he care? Should I care? Also I realize that I am possibly psychotic to wonder if my imaginary boyfriend would care if I considered cheating on him. Since we don’t have an official declaration of monogamy or even so much as a plan to reunite, it does seem a bit silly to think I am cheating on him.
As fate would have it, my relationship with GH was from an affair. I was married and found GH attractive and instead of being honest with myself and admitting to BlandMan that I wasn’t interested in being married to him anymore, I threw him into a tailspin. Don’t think the irony doesn’t escape me now. I am much more empathetic to the pain I caused him. Hearing, “Honey I am pregnant and you are not the dad” was probably just as devastating as it was for me finding out my husband had misled me during our whole marriage.
So I am a cheater too. I’ve read for every role in this play and I want to take my final bow and bow out. I have received and inflicted pain but I have learned that the pain of the truth is less hurtful than the pain of the lies that are told in perpetuity from an affair. Now that I have had every vantage point of an affair, I am inclined to say that wholly understanding the pain is the only way to no longer inflict or receive it. The Karmic cycle is complete, I hope. And from here a new beginning awaits.