It’s time. Time to share a slice of the sordid Teatart pie – details pertaining to a part of my life that I try to keep hidden as best as possible.
In four words: “I am a cheater“. A mask of shame and disgrace I don every day of my life. It’s the ugly twin that I try to disown, yet without it I would not be the person I am today. For that I can be grateful.
Before I actually cheated, I looked down in abject disdain at other people who had seemingly tossed their marriage vows to the wolves and committed adultery. I simply couldn’t understand what would cause a person to act so selfishly. I even went so far as to question their value system and morals.
Then I fell into the trap so many others have fallen into. A lethal combination of low self-esteem and lack of emotional fulfilment in my marriage rendered me weak to the flattery of a younger man. He had a crush on me, and I loved the attention. While my husband of eight years kept putting off my requests to start a family, this young man told me exactly what I needed to hear. He helped to quell the feelings of inadequacy and rejection that I had kept in check under a thin veil of nonchalance and sarcastic humour. But it was a lie – a good one – but a lie non-the-less. I sacrificed my reputation and my marriage; worse, I hurt a good man who had only ever tried to love me.
Hindsight is a wonderful luxury that few of us can afford. If only I had paid heed to the warning signs. If only I had not met him. If only I had been stronger. If only … The crux is that I chose to put my own needs before that of my marriage vows. I broke my promise to be faithful.
I know much has been said and written on the topic of infidelity. I subscribe to many blogs in which the core topic revolves around this very discussion point. Over the years, I have read many a book and article on the topic. Moreover, the point of infidelity has been key in several of my counselling sessions with two different therapists.
The marriage therapist my ex-husband and I sought out at the time described the situation to me in simple terms: we all have a list of needs in a relationship and we attach different priorities to those needs. My need for physical and emotional intimacy began to outweigh the other needs on my list, until finally it overpowered everything else.
Some people endeavour to alleviate their pain through drinking, gambling and pornography, amongst other distractions. An affair was my exit. Now I live with the regret of one really bad decision made in a moment of pure insecurity and weakness.
Nothing can accurately describe the guilt of a cheater. The partner we cheated on is not the only person who gets hurt. We hurt ourselves too! And sometimes that hurt can never truly be healed.
- Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? (scott-williams.ca)
- It’s A Thin Line| Are You A Cheater? (thediaryofanaturalgal.com)
- How do affairs start? (recoveringwayward.wordpress.com)
- Survey results on infidelity – some are surprising (recoveringwayward.wordpress.com)
- Dicks With Huge Egos (eatcaketoo.wordpress.com)
- Once A Cheater — Always A Cheater? (swanyelkims.typepad.com)