Also, what is right doesn’t mean it’s always the right thing to do either. It always comes down to the circumstance and why one chooses what they do, versus the alternative.
Pascale and I are quite compatible in many aspects, but the main reason why we never became more than just flirtatious friends was primarily because when she was available, she had a very naive view of the world. Within that world view, I didn’t fit in it because I didn’t fit with what she considered the most important of her ideas of attractive qualities. Though she had remarked that my confidence and wits were lovely. Alas, at that point in time, she strictly desired men who shared her religious affiliation, that met a specific height, that looked a specific way, and ultimately, would look good together in a public space. She gave me 1.5/10 in attractiveness, when she first met me. That’s what she told our mutual friend at the time. After Pascale got married, she realized that all of the superficial aspects of what made someone initially attractive was quickly lost once she spent more time with that person she thought she loved while living together. For example, all the little nuisances got to a point that started eating away at the foundations of their marriage. Then when cracks started to form, and those nuisances didn’t go away, mold started filling in those cracks, which caused further deterioration of the marriage. Whenever their communication defaulted to bargaining and competition, that love and desire for that person became resentment and disgust. Yes, her husband is still physically attractive, book smart, and he does the bare minimal, but everything else is just quite mediocre.
Mind you, I have always been one to suggest that people shouldn’t stay together on the idea they’re doing it for the kids. Unless their kids are brain dead, they are going to be able to see the relationship dynamics between the parents. The arguments, the idiosyncrasies, the temperament of each parent, etc, will ultimately show the kids just how potentially broken the relationship is. Of course, that is to say that the children are actually emotionally intelligent and not just walking/shitting perspective-challenged social media vegetables who see everything in one particular world view. Eg: “It’s more important that the family stays together even if mom and dad are unhappy, because I want to be happy! Yay us!”
I remarked to Pascale that while infidelity is wrong, it doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing to do coinciding one’s specific circumstances. Cheating isn’t just about infidelity. Cheating is breaking the rules of a relationship. You know those vows you made towards each other on the day you put rings on each others’ fingers? Yeah, they are the foundations of the rules you have with your partner. “To love, and to cherish”. Her husband has broken those vows a long time ago. He cheated on her by breaking the rule “to love, and to cherish, til death do us part”. Indeed, we’re all human and we cannot unconditionally express love with one another all of the time, but even then, we’re speaking about consistency in which those involve actually care about each others’ well being.
So while most people would disagree with me here, I believe that infidelity is needed in certain circumstances. If you’re stuck in a relationship, where you’re not willing to leave or you can’t leave, and you’re still bombarded with stupid and/or abusive shit, then for you to ‘stay in’, sometimes, it’s understandable for you to find relief outside of that relationship. This is the same concept for everything else we do. If work gets you down, you relieve yourself with hobbies and sports. If children gets you down, you take a night off and hang out with your friends. If your partner is getting on your nerves, you take time off for yourself to be alone, or with your besties. If you’re in a relationship you can’t leave, but is shit, then you find someone who would appreciate you, protect your interest, and never bring drama into your life. This is a reality of human relationships.
I once thought like you, the judgmental reader, who strictly believed that if two people are in such a broken relationship, that all they have to do is just leave and start a new life again. However, as I aged, as I observed thousands of articles about different individuals and their situations, as well as going through my own setbacks in my intimate relationships, I realized that there is no one size fits all. All those self-help life coach blogs you read about, are guides to a linear healthy lifestyle, but the reality is that most people don’t live in linear healthy lifestyles. Even those who have healthy workout regimens, who have a good living wage, who live in a comfortable place, often have personal problems that haunt them in and out of sleep. Individuals are not just one thing. They can be more than one thing. As dynamic as we all might be, at the end of the day, the choices we make, the things we believe in, the situations handed to us all come down to one common thing: no one ideology works for everyone for all of the circumstances every individual may have.
The purpose of this blog post is to open up a dialogue of what is possible, rather than what should be condemned. If human beings are simple minded drones with a preset range of standards from the day they’re born all the way to the day they die, sure, it’s possible to condemn their choices in life, but no one is born and go through life the same as the next person. Pascale grew up in a religious household who eventually accepted love and support from her peers. I grew up in a broken traditional household with an emotionally abusive father, who I was bullied throughout high school, who developed depression in my youth. Pascale ended up married to the wrong man. I ended up married to a woman who has major PTSD issues. Everyone go through life with different circumstances, learned behaviour, and triggers.
We’re not all born equal. We all don’t live life equally. We’re not all given the same equal opportunities. So don’t expect your ‘holier than thou’ attitude to be easily applied to every individual. Like I said, I was once like you, the judgmental reader, but now, in my 40’s, I know better.
Coinciding sexual morality, people’s notions of what is considered good and bad, are in my opinion pretentious at best. Of course, if someone cheats on their partner for the sole reason they can do it, even when their relationship has no problems, then obviously they are assholes that don’t deserve their partners. However, as I mentioned above, if someone cheats on their partner because they have convinced themselves they must stay, even through all of the stressful problems they have in that relationship, then surely, it’s understandable why infidelity might be the next best choice to make.
Of course, there are so many possibilities on why a person might make the decisions they do. For example a woman can be in a marriage with a very loving, caring husband, who cherishes her, and fulfills all her familial needs. However, that same husband can be doting to the point it gets on her nerves. That same husband can be suffocating with his love and care, to a point that she feels that he’s always in her face. That same husband has unattractive traits like be a doormat, is easily pushed around, isn’t ambitious, and doesn’t have many hobbies. So just because someone is considered good by society’s standards, it doesn’t mean that person is really that good to those involved with that person.
Society will always reward people’s contribution to a common ideology based on the concept of goodness and wholesomeness. However, in the process of that, society will also punish the individual for the choices they make if society deem those choices unacceptable behaviour, regardless of the reasons why those choices were made in the first place. That is why many retired porn stars will tell their interviewers they felt ashamed of themselves for showing their sexual selves off to the public. That’s because society condemned them for it. A sex positive society would not, and if they had lived in a sex positive society, they would instead have felt liberated and happy. I am not condoning infidelity as the go-to choice for an unhappy relationship. My first suggestion will always be to break up with their partner, work on themselves, then be opened to new and better relationships. Infidelity is a byproduct of a situation where you’re stuck and need to keep yourself relatively happy, or at least, give yourself a break from the stresses of an existing relationship.
Ultimately, my advice is this: before anyone get too deep into their new romantic relationships, during their dating phase, each person involved should communicate clearly what their needs and wants are, on top of what their relationship rules should be, and what their personal boundaries are. If you leave it until you’re married, you’re most likely going to get into a situation where you’re going to regret your marriage, and if not, then slowly resent the person you married, as well as start hating yourself for it.
One last detail. One could argue and ask, “You believe infidelity is needed sometimes. Well, what if your wife cheating on you behind your back with someone else?”
Of course, I would be upset at first. However, that upset would eventually turn into heavy self reflection. I would ask the question, “Why did she cheat on me?” If it’s infidelity, the answer would be simple. Based on our relationship dynamics and our personalities, the most possible reason is because I cheated on her in other non-infidelity related breakage of our relationship rules, such as not loving her enough, or not paying enough attention to her over a long period of time, or I have been cold and hurtful consistently. Etc. While what she did would be considered wrong, I would also accept responsibility on my part for not giving her enough of what was needed for our relationship to thrive. We would ultimately sit down and talk about it. In time, our relationship may evolve, or simply, break apart.