I had a conversation with some of my co-workers about relationships and cheating. One of my co-workers stated that she blames the other person (the side piece) for the infidelity because if the person that is seeking pleasure outside of the relationship is rejected by everyone that they approach, they will have no choice but to return to their situation and make a decision. In my mind there is a problem with that because that means that the man who is pursuing sex outside of his marriage is not responsible for the infidelity. I feel that both are responsible for their actions and that not one of them can be blamed. I feel that at some point we will have to live in our truth.
If you are unhappy in your relationship and it is not improving, why continue it?
If he was cheating before you got married and that was a problem for you, why get married?
If he/she was not all that you wanted when you went into the situation, why would you continue?
You continue because you have hope. You keep going because you have a desire for it to be better. You stay because you can’t imagine leaving.
None of that means that you are there for the right reasons. I can recall a conversation that I had with a friend years ago prior to getting married. I told her that if the relationship is bad prior to the marriage and there are no signs of it getting better, do not get married! I know that may sound harsh or easier said than done. Many times we rush our situation. We do not allow the process to happen.
We are so concerned with what everyone else around us is doing that we feel like we have to keep up with them. We allow the lives and opinions of others to drive our decisions. We look out our window and see how green the lawns are in our neighborhood and we start to look at how brown ours is. Instead of working to make our grass as green as the others, we obsess over how green there is. We are amazed at how beautiful it is. We are attracted to its appearance. The one thing we neglect is the struggle from brown to green for those neighbors.
We look past the truth that slaps us in the face to see the glimmer of a possibility of the love that can be. We look at the person and see them for exactly who they are and think that we can change the things that we don’t like or that we don’t want. We will even attempt to alter ourselves so that we can make someone else happy. When we change for other people we lie to ourselves and we ultimately do more harm than good. The only changes that last are the ones that we make for self because of self to improve self.
Then when we are in the situation that shows us our truth once again, we get mad at the other person as if it was their fault. We look at the person that is not who we wanted them to be and we become angry with them. When we listen to them fuss at us and we don’t argue back, we get frustrated because we don’t want to deal with an argumentative person. We are shown the truth about a person within the first few months of being with them. Many times we just ignore the truth and cover it because it is beneficial at the moment. Once the benefits decrease, and the truth resurfaces, we are ready to become explorers.
When it comes to relationships, many of us are so quick to run into what appears to be better (the green) when we are still attached to all things brown. We meet people and we grow closer to them based on our experiences and things that we have in common. We become attached to those experiences and we connect them to the people. We latch on to what is familiar and we build loyalty based on familiarity. When we are shown the truth of a person, we attempt to overlook the things that we previously labeled as a deal breaker because we feel that this person has earned more from us. We deal with a person mistreating us because of that same hope that makes us continue to accept what we know is less than what we deserve. That desire for it to be better is what keeps us going through the issues that we would advise others to walk away from. The fact that we can’t imagine leaving makes us stay when we know things would be better if we leave.
People cheat for their own personal reasons. Cheating is a choice. Most people do not believe that cheating is cheating until there is a legal union of two. If a person decides to cheat on their spouse, that typically has nothing to do with the spouse. It is a choice that is made for their personal benefit. They are more interested in something outside of their current situation for whatever reason. I do not believe that people just roll out of bed one day and decide that they are going to cheat on their spouse or significant other. My co-worker believes that there is blame that should be placed when a person cheats and it should be placed on the person that is outside of the relationship. I told her that I disagree. She made mention to women getting involved with men that they know are married and women that do not know that the man is married and how the women should react. The blame cannot be solely placed on the woman.
There is a wife, a husband, and a woman. (For the sake of argument, we are going to use this scenario but it is relevant to the reciprocal side of the spectrum as well). No one speaks on the wife’s role or the husband’s role. Everyone always wants to point the finger at the woman. No one knows the agreement that the wife made with the husband. No one knows the arrangement between the wife and the woman. No one knows the actual truth of the situation. The point of all this is that we are so quick to jump into a burning building when we do not know if there is anyone inside to save. There is responsibility on all parts; however, I do not feel that one person can be blamed for the unknown actions of 3.
I know men that have cheated on their wife from the time they became boyfriend and girlfriend through the entire engagement and during the entire marriage. I know men that have attempted to pick up women at the reception of their own wedding. I know men that married a woman for what was a good reason and the veil was removed from their mind and they cheated. I know men that love their wives unconditionally and state that they have never cheated and they are not interested in ever cheating on their wife. That is not to say that they have not been approached or approached someone. As I stated, cheating is a choice. We need to be focused on the relationships that we are in or not in and evaluate how we got to be in the situation that we are in before we are so quick to comment and speak on the relationships, marriages, and issues in the lives of others.