I recently read a post by a fellow South African about how her parents’ marriage didn’t end although her father openly had an affair. She doesn’t write often, but she does it very well. Her post had me thinking about my opinion about cheating.
I’ve been on both sides of the whole cheating scenario – the betrayed wife and the other woman – and neither side is all bad or all good. I hate re-hashing the past but I value past experiences for what I learn from them and this is what I know now: People who don’t know themselves will cheat. This means that the majority of people in this world will cheat if the circumstances are right.
When I was the poor, wronged wife I was betrayed because I betrayed myself. I made myself into some “thing” that I am not. I was angry, unhappy, overweight and unsatisfied. I made myself into what I thought the world wanted from me and turned against who I really am. No wonder my dear husband thought it was OK to do the same. Yes, I could explore all the things that were wrong between the two of us and I could possibly come up with reasons why he has to carry some of the blame. But you know, that’s a cop-out. If I had known what I stand for, if I had followed my heart, if I had listened to the voice inside myself I would not have ever found myself in that situation. To be brutally honest, with all the inner turmoil I was experiencing I had no energy left to still work on creating a happy marriage and there were times I could not care less. So whoever she/they were, they helped me carry the load of having a man in my life.
As for being the other woman; no power, no rational argument nor moral injunction would have held me back from being with the man I was seeing. Nothing. I was called bitter and accused of wanting revenge for the hurt that I went through, but you know, I wasn’t even thinking about my husband or whoever he did whatever with. I was busy having the best romantic experience of my life and I felt then and still feel now that I was following my heart. I know to this day that he (my illicit lover) loves me and I can call him up and he will be only too glad to hear from me. That does not mean that I want to be where we were with each other. He needed the love I could give and I needed the love he gave, but we are done with each other now. Shoot me if I see no problem with that. I was with him because I desperately wanted to have a certain experience. He showed up and played the role perfectly and I really didn’t a give damn who else was in the equation. I clearly and rationally made the decision. I wasn’t tricked, I didn’t lose my mind, I made a choice. I did something that I felt I had never done before and that was following my heart no matter where it led. I still love him and he is the only person I know who looks at me and sees ME.
I’ve been on either side and if shit gets to the point where people are stepping outside the relationship everyone is to blame; the man, the woman, the other man and the other woman, society, the kids, the dog, the canary. Every damn body has to carry the can. Because everyone believes that you can use someone else to fill up the holes inside yourself. Everyone thinks that you must find the right person to make you happy. We teach each other that our joy lies in a relationship, in the right person, in that person doing certain things inside the relationship. Eventually the flaw in that theory starts showing itself, but because everyone keeps reinforcing it we assume that we are wrong and not the theory.
As long as you chase after something with a lacking heart, your life will show that you are indeed lacking. As long as you think the next person, or the next relationship or the next anything will give you what you have always been looking for, you will keep searching and you will be likely to cheat. When you understand that you create whatever you truly desire from the inside out, only then do you really become capable of genuine fidelity. When you commit to yourself whole-heartedly only then can you be trusted to commit to another person.
Relationships are not vehicles to create happiness, they are reflections of everything that is happening inside the people who create them. If you are being cheated on, best believe that there is something inside your inner territory that is being reflected back to you by way of your relationship. Our relationships with those outside ourselves are reflections of the relationship we have with our inner being.
As long as you don’t know about you, and you don’t trust yourself, and you are not faithful to who you are, nobody should be foolish enough to imagine that you will not cheat on them. It’s not a man thing because we women cheat all day, every day in many different ways. It’s a human thing. It’s a spiritual thing.
When you met that guy your gut told you something is off with him. But you didn’t trust yourself, you decided to believe his words over your heart. When that girl said something dodgy, a tiny alarm bell went off in your head, but you didn’t want to act paranoid so you ended up marrying her. When that tiny, little voice kept asking you: “Are you sure about this? Do you really want to go ahead with this relationship?”, you said all relationships are difficult and everything will work out somehow. If not you can always get divorced. Eventually divorce/break-up was the only option left.
Can you now see why you can’t find someone trustworthy and faithful? You turn on yourself over and over again. Right before my marriage a voice kept asking me: “Are you sure you want to do this?” It was very calm, very clear and insistent. It wanted an answer, and I gave it one. I said: “Hey, shut up! Do you see anyone else here trying to marry me? Don’t bother me with stupid questions.” Eventually I got what I signed up for, betrayal.
Instead of finding a faithful man, or a trustworthy woman or creating a strong relationship or marriage, first acknowledge that you have to BE the kind of person for whom that is just desserts. You have to be it in order for it to appear in your life. If you’re not, it’s bound to be a hit and miss affair and you are mostly going to miss.
From my experience I observe that life is ruled by one law: Everything you are creates the experiences of your life. So alas, there is no one but yourself to blame for your being cheated on.
Having said all that I still believe that there is a soulmate for everyone. The human heart would not hunger after a perfect love and an ideal mate in the way it does unless there was a way to fulfil that desire. But you have to be able to give as good as you get and that is where the wheels fall off the wagon for the majority of us.
Love the one you are, be faithful to that one, commit to that one, be a soulmate to that one first. Life then has no option but to reflect your inner experiences in the outer world.
End of sermon…