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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Cheating

Welcome to Pour Your Heart Out- if you need more info on how to participate, check out THIS post. But it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


I love my husband.

I love my kids.

My family is important to me. The most important thing in my life.

And so, I do get a little judge-y sometimes when I hear that someone I know had an affair.

Because how could you do something so selfish? Something that is going to destroy the trust between you and your spouse. Something that could tear apart your family.

And for what?

For sex? Go have sex with your husband. Or hell, go get a toy and take care of that yourself.

For companionship? Go talk to your spouse.  Make a friend of the same sex. Get on twitter.

Wedding vows betrayed, hurt feelings all around, and a family that might not survive it.

It doesn't seem worth it. So, yes, I judge.


Marriage is hard.

You fight over petty things, you fight over big things. You stress because of money, because of your jobs, because of your kids, because of a million different reasons.

You forget why you were so attracted to your spouse in the first place and you don't feel like you are appreciated any more: not your looks or your thoughts.

You snap at each other because your spouse is easy to take it all out on.

And you feel lonely and unhappy.

Then, there's someone who notices you.

And not because you forgot to switch over the laundry or because you're in a bad mood, but because you had an infectious laugh as you were pushing your son on the swing.

Because you look cute in an old dress.

Because you told a funny joke.

You were noticed for a reason that is about YOU and not just you in the role of wife or mother.

And it feels good.

All those stresses you face as a family wouldn't exist in an affair. You could suspend reality and just enjoy the moment.

And I see why someone might take that a step too far: from enjoying the attention for a brief moment to wanting that attention more often, wanting that all of the time.

But, while I get it, I get wanting that attention, wanting to feel special, wanting to feel like a beautiful woman, it's still not something that I have ever done. It's not something I would ever do.

Because I do love my husband. I do love my kids. I want us all to be together. And the problems we face, we face together.  I wouldn't give up my family for anything.

So, I'll admit, I still am going to have on my judge-y pants when it comes to talk about cheating.

If you link up, please visit the linker above you and the one below you. You can always visit more, too!



Blogger Natalie said...

I agree with you 100%. Cheating is very selfish especially when you have a family. I know a guy that has 3 kids and cheated on his wife of 8 years...he started cheating when they had the first one. I'm like why even have more kids if you are unhappy? It's so sad for those kids...

July 6, 2011 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I will never forget the day a close friend (well we were close) asks me what me and my fiance think about cheating. Took me a moment to think and I was like no you didn't and she said that she had been for the previous 4 months prior from when she told me. She ended up divorcing her husband (they had been together for like 10 years) to be with the person she cheated with and they are now living together, planning a wedding and quite honestly, he's not the person you'd envision her with - he's very controlling, etc. But I agree, cheating is very wrong, I say end everything before hurting more people and think about others because its not just about that one person!

July 6, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

Cheating is the one thing I can't forgive.

July 6, 2011 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I know first hand the effects of cheating and it is never innocent! There is so much pain that is caused to everyone involved that it is something that is unforgivable to me. It is also something I would never want to put anyone through.

July 6, 2011 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger angela said...

I judge it, too :( I think you put forward a good argument for your judging, because you acknowledge all of the feelings that might go into the cheating. I do make "exceptions" for relationships that are abusive in any way, because I think those lie outside of the realm of the normal "marriage is hard" philosophy.

July 6, 2011 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

Well said Shell. Cheating on someone really just cheats yourself and your relationship, doesn't it? Having been cheated upon in a previous relationship, I know the pain that it causes, and I know that I would never do that to someone, let alone my love, my hubs. :)

July 6, 2011 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger My New Normal said...

I do too, and a good friend of mine cheats on her hubby all the time. She thinks I don't know,,, but I do.

July 6, 2011 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

I hear ya...but I totally get why people cheat. I think some are worse than others though...some have wonderful romantic lives with their spouses and cheat for the thrill. But then I think there are people who are pretty much broken inside and are looking for something they aren't getting...and while it isn't right to cheat, it isn't wrong for them to want and feel like they deserve more. Does that make sense?

July 6, 2011 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

I get my judge-y pants on about cheating too. If you chose well in marriage and married your soul mate and best friend then the kid stress, money stress, and work stress don't tear you apart. In fact, you get through those things because you have each other and can face them together. Cheating is not only selfish, it's cowardly.

July 6, 2011 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger Style and You! said...

I definitely judge when someone cheats especially now that I am married and expecting a child. How can someone want to cheat to destroy a family - especially if that family is happy. My husband always says you don't know what happens behind closed doors in other relationships but in my opinion IF you know you are going to cheat, then just leave the person first. - that's how i feel about it. . .

July 6, 2011 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Tara R. said...

My parents' marriage was destroyed by infidelity, and I take my wedding vows very seriously. We recently celebrated our 25th anniversary. I have never once even considered cheating. It is selfish, and cowardly, and cruel. It is a complete deal breaker.

If I knew that a friend of mine was cheating on a spouse, it could easily destroy our friendship.

July 6, 2011 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

I have had a few close friendships ruined because of this. Yes, I am that judgmental. Not only am I disturbed by the lack of respect for your wedding vows, I get upset about the lack of respect you have for every family member and every friend that you choose to put through your lies and deceptions.

Cheating would be a deal breaker in my marriage and has ended a few friendships for me. I guess it wasn't the cheating alone, it was the lack of remorse for the actions.

July 6, 2011 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger amygrew said...

You are so right! I never understood how you could disrespect your spouse like that, even if you don't love them anymore. You did at one time. If you want out, get out. Don't ruin your entire marriage for an affair. Don't let your kids find out that thats the reason you aren't together anymore.

Its very sad.

July 6, 2011 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Marriage is hard work. Cheating would make it harder or impossible.

July 6, 2011 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

I totally judge when it comes to cheating to.

Of course it's more fun in an affair...there are no responsibilities, no children, etc. If all that were added into the affair, that would suck too.

July 6, 2011 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Cheating is scary stuff. If only people could see in real time the hurt that could be caused before they act.

July 6, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I get this. I would never ever risk my family.

Though I do have to admit that I used to say if my husband ever cheated on me I would be gone so fast that it would make his head spin, but now (not that he is cheating just one of those what if's that you think about) I again don't know if I could ever risk my family for my own selfish reasons.
I hope that I never have to be in that situation.

July 6, 2011 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I had a friend (YEARS ago), we are no long friends now, who cheated with a married man whose wife was PREGNANT!!! All I could think about was what that woman would feel if she found out what my friend and the husband were doing. I felt horrible for the wife.

NO one wins in a cheating situation, no one. You wrote about it wonderfully here. And yes, those feelings you described definitely add to the allure of it all but it is just NEVER worth it. EVER.

Great post, Shell!

July 6, 2011 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Dawna said...

Marriage IS difficult, especially if we lose ourselves in all the roles that we "play at" for others. But, my understanding is, when the "honeymoon" phase of an affair is over, it becomes like any other relationship...

In the end, they ALL take work...

I, too, love my family too much to do anything of the sort, but I can see how such things could happen.

July 6, 2011 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Eternal Lizdom said...

I have to admit that cheating on a spouse is something that causes me to lose respect for someone.

I hadn't read your post when I posted today- but they kind of go together in a way (mine's about divorce, not cheating).

July 6, 2011 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Minivan Mama said...

Oh I'll judge all right. You don't just cheat on your spouse, but your entire family. I just don't know how you can do that and feel okay with yourself.

July 6, 2011 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

I definitely judge cheaters.

I think many times we get comfortable in our marriages. We know the other person isn't going anywhere so we sometimes don't realize we don't say or do affection things as often as we once did. But that doesn't mean you go and have an affair.

Marriage is hard and it does take work. If the love is real, than the couple will do what it takes to make it last.

July 6, 2011 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Princess Kate said...

My ex-husband cheated on me. Enough said.

July 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Christine @ Quasi Agitato said...

This is tough stuff. I understand what makes cheating attractive. I love my husband but, honestly, it's my kids that will keep me from ever making that mistake. I've been the 'other woman' (in my much younger life.) That is as close to that disaster as I ever want to get.

July 6, 2011 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

100% agree with you. Where cheating is concerned, judgement pants on.

July 6, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

It's interesting the way you wrote this post. It's too bad cheating happens so much! Marriage does take a lot of work, also commitment. There are so many different circumstances for cheating, but I think sometimes people never truly commit.

I think I'll be sweeter to my husband today. :)

July 6, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Halie said...

If there's one thing not to do when it comes to solving a problem in a marriage, it would be cheating.

July 6, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger The Random Blogette said...

I so have my judgey pants on for this one. I too can see why someone would cheat but it is still wrong. Also, if you want to cheat because you are not happy or whatever the circumstances then get a divorce. The hubs and I have talked about this before. We always tell each other, if the idea of cheating was something that we wanted to explore then we need to end our marriage. People need to learn to communicate better as well. Dave and I have issues communicating sometimes but we know that we can tell each other anything and then talk through it.
Cheating is unforgivable in my book.

July 6, 2011 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger LA Botchar said...

I don't think it's judgement at all Shell.....it is a terrible betrayal of trust between 2 people, and no matter how bad things may be in the marriage, to break that solemn vow can only cause it to spriral downward even more. Because what gets me, is the LYING...the awful to my face lying that must occur for an affair to happen. Lie to me, lie to your children...deception round every corner. Far beyond the sex, that is what I cannot abide.
You don't just betray your spouse if children are involved. You betray your children too. You sentence them to a certain kind of life - especially if your caught and divorce results. My husband's job has an 86% divorce rate and most of that is due to affairs. And I don't care the individual reasons....it is always selfish, destructive choice. If your spouse cannot trust you; who can? If you have no integrity in your marriage; what do you have integrity in? If the faces of your children are not enough to stop you at that critical moment (because there is that specific moment where you could stop....but you make the choice); how far would you go?

July 6, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Missy | Literal Mom said...

I judge them too. Even if I understand all of the things you said on the flip side. There is NOTHING worth giving up the life I've built with my husband. Nothing. Excellent post, as usual. And I linked up for the first time EVAH!

July 6, 2011 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

You have a wonderful way of expressing yourself. Love your writing. And it is so true about the reason people have affairs. It makes perfect sense how that thinking pattern starts and what happens in the end.

July 6, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

You always find the right way to express your feelings. I couldn't agree with you more - I get why some do it. I do. The sparks are gone, the romance is dead, etc. Thing is? For me? I'd create more sparks with my husband. More romance. I'm in this for the long haul.

July 6, 2011 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Having cheated and been cheated on, I see both sides. And even though I've done it I am still completely judgmental of people who do. I was lucky, but I could have lost my husband, but more importantly I could have screwed up my kids lives, and that is unforgivable.

July 6, 2011 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger McKenna said...

Completely agree with you, I am very judgemental of the cheaters and I also have a hard time with the people who stay. I just couldn't do it, once a cheater always a cheater in my mind.

July 6, 2011 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

My sister and I aren't close anymore because of this. She was married for less than a year when she started cheating with another married man at her job. She kicked her husband out and moved the other guy in. Her daughter was around 2 at the time. She snapped to her senses a bit later but not soon enough. Her husband forgave her and they now have another child. They moved and she is no longer working where she had been.

July 6, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Di said...

I get judgey too. I think its only right to get judgey though if you are putting the effort into your marriage. Because it is hard. And sometimes - you don't really like your spouse very much.

That is when I try harder and I (gasp!) speak up. I think that is the number one reason cheating happens. is that no one communicates what they need anymore!

July 6, 2011 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Mama Up! said...

I feel EXACTLY the same way. And then on top of that, it seems like an awful lot of work for benefits (sex, companionship, etc.) that you can get elsewhere for less hurt, less work, and less stress. An affair? It just sounds like a big pain in the but... the scheduling, the hiding, the sneaking around, and so on. Marriage IS hard, but I think I'm too lazy for an affair ;)

July 6, 2011 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Jenn [ Crippled Girl ] said...

I really have to agree with you 100% on this.

I often say the worst thing women do to each other is cheat with each other's husbands. Its no wonder there are so many catty, jealous, paranoid women in the world. As a collective whole, women have done it to ourselves because we can't trust our neighbors, friends, etc. to keep their hands off our men.

July 6, 2011 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous MamaRobinJ said...

I can see how it could happen too. I would never do it for exactly the same reasons, but if I were ever tempted the one thing beyond hurting my family that I would remember is that every relationship starts out exciting. It doesn't last though, and soon enough the new person will start to bug you too ;)

I would probably judge, though depending on the situation I'd also wonder what led to it in the first place.

July 6, 2011 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

I agree with everything Mommyologist said. I despise people who cheat for the thrill of it. I pity people who cheat because they're so broken or their relationship has taken them to that point.

July 6, 2011 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger SuperMom Blues said...

I am so with you on this. My sister's husband cheated on her. My husband's ex cheated on him. Of course now my sister is with an amazing man and my husband is, well, with ME, so things worked out in the end, but still . . .

Families were ripped to shreds. Children still harbor resentment.
People are still hurt by the actions.
Cheating is SO not worth it.

Stopped by from SITs!

July 6, 2011 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The thing that I have never understood about cheating is that all the things you had going on BEFORE you cheated are still there! They don't go away! You still have kids and a husband and a house, and you just made it harder, not easier.

The other thing I don't understand is home wreckers. Why would you cheat with a person who has a family? Even if her leaves his wife he still has kids. Two words: Child support. That should scare every home wrecker away!

I have been meaning to write a post about this... maybe I will.

July 6, 2011 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

I totally agree with you. I judge the people who cheat and I also judge the people who stay after it's happened. I couldn't forgive in that situation. Once a cheater, always a cheater in my mind.

July 6, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger NotSoNormalMommy said...

Unfortunately, cheating is something that happens a lot in our country. I myself have been cheated on. My ex husband and I had two children together, been married a year, and he had sex with two of my friends, one who happen to be my best friend! So unfortunately I lost two of my best friends and a friend all in the same year. It was a lot on my children too. I truly believe that if you aren't happy in your marriage, then get the hell out. Don't sabotage the respect that your SO has for you by bringing them down by cheating! It's selfish and it's the easy way out.

July 6, 2011 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Amen! As Americans, we are lucky that for us, marriage is choice, and once you choose someone, you choose them forever. Even if you get bored. Even if you get frustrated. Even if you get angry. Seek a counselor. Make an effort to reconnect with your spouse. TRY. I can't claim to have all the answers. Maybe there are legitimate reasons for people having affairs. But nothing comes to mind...

July 6, 2011 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Kristina P. said...

Scoot on over on the judgey bench and make room for me!

July 6, 2011 at 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Galit Breen said...

Good for you for taking on such a touchy topic! I think that you got to the heart of the matter on both sides- the words that stood out to me were wanting attention and acting selfishly. Great post Shell!

July 6, 2011 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Leigh Ann said...

To do it without thinking of the consequences? Very selfish. My SIL was very unhappy in her marriage to her controlling husband. She had a freelance business with her best friend, who was going through a divorce, and one day he professed his love for her and one thing led to another. Low and behold her husband came home early. The months that followed were some of the most difficult for her, her husband, their daughter, and her work partner. But she filed for a divorce and is now married to her best friend. Life's not always perfect for them now, but she's now with someone who appreciates her instead of stifling her.

So I'm not really saying that cheating is excusable -- this wasn't an affair as much as a realization. Sometimes cheating is extremely selfish. Sometimes it leads to something else! Great post, Shell.

July 6, 2011 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Oh, this post was so on the money. It tugged at my heart, because we all know what it's like to feel undesired and caught up in the ways of the every day. And it would be wonderful to toss all of that aside, wouldn't it? If only we could do that. And do that with our own loves, our family. I wish there were regular vacations to remind us what we should always know. It's worth it, we're in this for a reason and it's LOVE. L-O-V-E. Thanks, Shell. This was super touching.

July 6, 2011 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Pamela Gold said...

Every relationship and situation is different. But I judge. I judge like a crazed lunatic!

July 6, 2011 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

I don't usually admit to judging- but yes, I judge cheaters. I don't care what their circumstances are. Any cheating under any circumstances? Are just plain wrong in my eyes.

Good on you for tackling this topic, Shell!

July 6, 2011 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I admit that I judge too...if you want out get out, don't cheat on your spouse and your family. So wrong!!!

July 6, 2011 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger SharleneT said...

I want to say a million things but I'm going to cut it down to just a few. To me:
Cheating is all in the timing of two people connecting at their lowest moment.
Cheating happens between people who are usually seen always at their best for the public, not the way they are at home.
Cheating occurs because the grass is always greener and fixing problems is too much work for some people.
Bottom line: a cheater has to LIE to everyone from the moment the affair starts. Every second of every day is a lie to the vows taken because there is an unknown third party in the relationship. If the cheater can live a lie, the cheater can lie under other circumstances -- without batting an eye. You can't isolate behavior that well. So, do it, if you want to but, please, don't expect me to listen to your 'special' moments with the new love as though we're still in high school. Don't introduce me to them. Don't bring them into our social group disrepecting our morals and principles -- oh, wait! When you do that, you disrespect the spouse, the group, AND the very person you're cheating with by forcing the issue. Cheating only has a down side. Some people get lucky and manage to save their marriages before it's too late. The majority aren't so lucky. But, see, then there's that trust issue...

July 6, 2011 at 12:18 PM  
Anonymous molly said...

We have to take care in judging too quickly as we rarely ever know the whole story.

Plus, I feel like we are all sinners in our own way. Who is to say that one sin is worse than another, ya know?

July 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Kir said...

I don't judge, mostly because before I got married, I cheated on every single boyfriend I've ever had. I also find myself wondering about cheating when things are hard, when my life is chaotic and I just want an escape, when i want to feel sexy and wanted and not just someone's wife and mom.

I know that in my "other life" I cheated to FEEL SOMETHING, to be important to someone and when I "think about it " now that's what i miss, the excitement, the thought that SOMEONE is Thinking of me.

but then I remember that my husband does THINK of me, just not as a sexual being lately. He wants me to be happy, lets me write and blog and shop and laugh and makes sure my Ipod is full and that the shoes I want are part of our budget for the week. That means something too.

Do I wish he's touch me more often, sure. Do I wish he'd look at me like he used to ....OF COURSE. Yet, there is something about sharing our history and knowing that he's the only man in my life I've NEVER cheated on that reminds me that my life is blessed and magical.

If I need anything more than that, I must find it within my marriage...within myself. But in defense of those women you're judging (cause gosh I feel sorry for them.....) sometimes it's a lot more complicated.

hope you don't get mad at me for this. It's something we should all talk about more.

July 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Hutch said...

You put it perfectly! I've never understood cheating, whether married or not. Well, I understand how it happens just not the why people go there and don't expect consequences.

July 6, 2011 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Cindi said...

Boy, tough one for me today Shell (LoL) ...

I used to think and say I would NEVER forgive a cheating husband but; here I am 20 + years and 4 kids later, dealing with the reprocussions of infidelity. His affair was with my own Sister.

Although we are working on our issues, marriage and forgiveness, this has severely damaged two families.

Betrayal is never easy to get over but, just like anything in life ... all you can do is take it day by day. (Pray and blog too. LoL.)

The only plus at the moment is no man would ever dare let me catch them even thinking about cheating on any of my friends as they now know I'd probably slap the snot out of them. LoL

July 6, 2011 at 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone cheats here. Its crazy. I dont know if its a small town thing or what. Plus there are two large groups of swingers, so they can cheat with permission. Personally I think cheating and swinging is disgusting. This is why I dont go out of my way to make new friends around here. lol

July 6, 2011 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Elena Wollborg said...

Very true what you said - yes, there might be fleeting moments when someone else makes you feel special. But, they should stay that way - fleeting. I get judge-y pants when it comes to stuff like this as well. Especially when kids are involved!

July 6, 2011 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

I'm in the middle of this with a dear friend right now. She's forgiving him, which is working for them, but now I'm left with all this knowledge, not feeling quite so charitable.

Marriages are complicated creatures with long reaching tentacles, no?

July 6, 2011 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

I agree with Kir - it's all about being in someone else's shoes. We're all human and we all mess up. That being said, could I do cheat? No. It's just not worth it on any level. And I'm sure the guilt would eat me alive. I'm not sure I could forgive him if he cheated, either.

July 6, 2011 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Macey said...

Ugh. Such a hard topic. In this day and age of "live and let live" and not judging anyone for anything, I'm proud of you for saying this!! It's true, I agree with you. :)

July 6, 2011 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Kristy @Loveandblasphemy said...

You cannot live your truth if you are cheating. I couldn't imagine how hard that would be - it would take a certain amount of numbing in order to live such a lie. If someone is able to easily do this, they must be master's at manipulating their own thoughts and emotions, I would think!

July 6, 2011 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Aunt Crazy said...

I've always wondered why so many women take cheating men back, but so few men take cheating women back???

July 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Prof KRG said...

You're so right, marriage is difficult, but that's not an excuse. I once heard cheating described as "cheating on your family." I thought this was a great description. That's what it really is. You're not just cheating on your spouse. Instead, you're saying, my family is not important enough for me not to damage. I can't imagine feeling that way. And, of course, let's be honest, it's more about you than them. If a person considers cheating, maybe they should look in the mirror and try to determine what's wrong with them that is making this act worth the risk.

July 6, 2011 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger KSK said...

I agree 1000% !!! NOT worth it! A marriage is a lot of work... and for someone to destroy all of that work? For something so... stupid?

July 6, 2011 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I agree. Some things are just wrong no matter which way you look at them.

July 6, 2011 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

I usually think of men doing the cheating. (talk about judging) but women do it too. And u r so right. Those vows are not be taken lightly.

July 6, 2011 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Kristin @ What She Said said...

I have a friend who had an affair. She was pretty blatant about it too. And I understood - her husband was distant, detached, and emotionally unavailable. (Not that the "other" guy was much better.)

But what I couldn't get over was her child. Her 4-year-old son. How could she repeatedly cheat on his father and still look him in the eye every day? If it were me, I'd feel so ashamed. As a mother, I want my daughter to be as proud of me as I am of her. And cheating? Is not the way to make anyone proud.

I guess having a baby really does change everything.

July 6, 2011 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I do understand that it is easy for some people to cheat. After awhile, you can get bored. When you first meet someone there's that excitement there where you don't want to be away from them. After being married, the stresses of every day life take over and you and your spouse may nit pick at each other and get annoyed with each other. You get too busy to give one another the attention you used to give them. Then someone new comes along and those giddy feelings come back and you have someone giving you all of their attention..etc.. But what happens when it's over? You have nothing, and your family most likely will be destroyed. Once the trust is gone, it's difficult to EVER get it back. People need to learn to think before they jump. Think about the BIG picture out there; your family. Is a few minutes of pleasure worth destroying everything and hurting the people you truly love?? Nope... I judge, too. Cheating is a selfish thing to do.

July 6, 2011 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Cheating is the one thing that is unforgivable to me. I have no respect for someone who would do it. I get what you're saying Shell, about how marriage is hard and it's nice to be noticed. But to anyone who gets to that point -- figure something out, talk to your spouse. Don't just turn your back on your spouse and your family because you 'feel' like it.

July 6, 2011 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Beth Zimmerman said...

Amen, girlie! :)

July 6, 2011 at 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Cam said...

I agree! It's hard not to be judge-y. I've had to deal with someone close to me cheating and it's so hard to not go OFF! I have such respect for marriage and what it represents and creates. I just have to remember that no one is perfect but it's SO hard!

July 6, 2011 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger A Mommy in the City said...

I agree with you! I was cheated on by a boyfriend of 3 years and he cheated with my best friend. It was the most painful thing ever. I think cheating is unforgivable. It's disgusting and inexcusable.

July 6, 2011 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

I feel guilty sometimes even talking with ex-boyfriends on FB- not because of anything my husband does- but I just feel like when you are married there are certain lines and boundaries you should have- so yea I think I get judgmental too

July 6, 2011 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I waited so many years to meet my soul mate and I would never ever put that relationship in jeopardy. I have been cheated on before (an ex boyfriend) and it was the most horrible experience of my life. More pain than anything! So I will stay with the happy and the guy that loves me for who I am! :)

July 6, 2011 at 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Terry said...

I could never judge anyone, because I know the temptation. I know how it so easily slips in, the lies you tell yourself, the stories you put in your head. I watched it happen again this year to a friend of mine...I saw her slipping and I tried to pull her back. So, she stopped telling me her thoughts. It has become quite the scandal. But I loved her through it. And it depends a lot with the hurt you are living with. Most of you are talking about wonderful marriages with the usual problems...but the really suffering marriages, then I think it can be tougher. When that flirting starts...oh and then that first touch. The first touch is the killer! We women are terrible with touch! But....let me end with saying, it is WRONG in my opinion. I never, ever condone....but I find it hard to judge. I try not to judge...not always easy, but even tougher once you walk in the shoes and realize. I say to each and every one of us...be careful, and be alert. I do not think anyone is completely free of this temptation pulling you into its web.

July 6, 2011 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

we must have bought our cheating judgey pants at the same store! I agree completely!

July 6, 2011 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Well written, Shell. I needed to read that. Thanks. Not because I was going to do something stupid. But it's a great reminder that we're all human and we all have to think about what's important, why we are where we are, and how blessed we are.

July 6, 2011 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger Catherine Dabels said...

I judge too. It just doesn't make any sense to me so I judge. People who say they don't judge are either liars or ....... liars.

July 6, 2011 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger The Woven Moments said...

I'm with Kir on this one.

While I don't think there's a "good" or "acceptable" reason to cheat - I *DO* get how someone who is broken sees it as an escape.

It all goes back to that great phrase: hurt people hurt people.

July 6, 2011 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

It can be a very slippery slope--like you said, we all want to be noticed and appreciated. It's sad and it breaks my heart to see what it does to children and a marriage. It's not worth it.

July 6, 2011 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Reading your post and many of the comments it's hard to say I don't judge because, yes I'd be lying, but I shouldn't judge. It's hard not to though. I don't agree with cheating. You're not only breaking the vow to your spouse, but the vows you took before God.
I have a few girl friends whose husbands cheat on them. It's a sad thing to know that these things go on and I have to stand back and not say anything. Marriage is hard and it takes two people to make it work and what good does cheating do? Cheating falls in the category with lying and I can't stand liars.

July 6, 2011 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Cyndy Bush said...

I agree with all of this....I do judge, especially since I have been cheated on. However, marriage is hard and the attention can be so flattering. You just can't cross that line....

July 6, 2011 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I think that cheating seems very black and white to those not involved in it. I think it's more complicated than that. I don't think it's OK, and I think it's rare that even the people actually cheating think it's OK. It's messy and ugly, but so are people. Sometimes people screw up. I don't want to sound like I'm condoning it, but I understand it.

July 6, 2011 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I'm with you on this one! Very well said...and yes, marriage is hard, but I'd never want to do this life thing alone!

July 6, 2011 at 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be a judger. Until I was wearing the other shoe. I became involved in an emotionally intimate relationship with another person.

It started out as a friendship. Another parent I would see at school events, which both of our spouses rarely attended. We would sit and talk. Then my friend began seeking me out, texting me from the parking lot to see where I was sitting. We understood each other and could be sympathetic because our marriages were both in similar situations. Soon, we were spending hours on late night chats online. Just talking, like friends. Then it was text messages during the day, then was getting together for coffee and lunch. I knew that I was on a slippery slope. Talked to my pastor about it. But I couldn't walk away. The relationship meant too much to me.

I thought no one would know and so no one could get hurt. The relationship never became physical, an act of God because when I was weak my friend was strong and vice versa. I think an emotional affair does far more hurt than a one-night stand that doesn't mean anything. The more I became invested in my relationship with my friend, the less I wanted to work on my marriage.

Infidelity is selfish. No doubt. Even more so when children are involved. But if a friend came to me in a situation like this, rather than judge, I would share my feeling that infidelity is wrong, but I would do so from a place of love, not judgement. I was lucky enough to have a friend like that who helped me to step back from my situation. I am still married and working hard to keep it that way.

July 6, 2011 at 11:03 PM  
Blogger NotSoSilentMommy said...

I love the way that you wrote this!!
I think that men and women should read it.
I think that a lot of men would be shocked to know that women feel this way about the extra attention.
I think they would also be shocked when faced to think about how easy it could happen. That a man could fall for THEIR wife's laugh at the park.. in a blink of an eye, everything could change.
I think I love it because I 100% agree with you.
I don't accept it and I don't agree with it. Do I judge people that cheat?? HELL YAH!

July 6, 2011 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Nicolette said...

I agree with you. I just don't get it. I have friend who's husband cheated on her and left her to be with the other woman. To make this situation worse their daughter was only 5 months at the time. We all tried to support her and help as much as we can but she really wanted to work it out with him. They are now back together. I just don't understand how she trusts him now. It's hard not to judge.

July 6, 2011 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I just read a story in the New York Times Magazine about how not everyone is wired for monogamy, and how SOME marriages might survive better if that was acknowledged/communicated/etc.

It is interesting that cheating is the ultimate deal breaker when there are so many other things that also can destroy a marriage (considering half end in divorce anyway).

I don't judge. You never know what's going on in someone else's relationship.

July 6, 2011 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Helene said...

I couldn't agree with you more!!! My first husband cheated on me and that's ultimately what ended our marriage. I don't like to be judgmental but I really think if there's someone else a person wants to be with, they owe it to their spouse to end their marriage legally before moving forward. It still hurts, nevertheless.

July 6, 2011 at 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a really hard topic. I guess it depends on the type of cheating and the people involved. I believe people make mistakes and could have a slip up once. There are also the people that are selfish and continue to only think about there gratification that do it more then once. I've know couples that have gone through this and stayed together. They were miserable in the marriage, but because of this they were forced to look at their problems and work it out. Now they are extremely happy. It's different in every situation.

July 6, 2011 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I'm with you, the cheating isn't worth it. I don't understand it. If you're miserable then talk to your spouse...but apparently, a lot of couples don't communicate, which is sad and baffling to me.

July 7, 2011 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger AiringMyLaundry said...

I agree.

I could never cheat and I don't get why people do it. Wouldn't they feel guilty? I'd feel incredibly guilty. :/

July 7, 2011 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Marriage is hard but it takes work. Spend time on your relationship with your spouse and you won't want attention from anyone else.

July 7, 2011 at 3:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - if you aren't happy and can't work it out, cheating isn't the answer - you should get out first.

July 7, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

You are right. Marriage is hard. Temptations are many. It takes strength and determination to make it work.

July 7, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Jessica @My Simply Complicated said...

I think I agree with you 100% on this. I put my judge-y pants on, too.

But, like you said, I DO get why people do it when I sit and think about it. It's all about temptation. You like what you're feeling, how you feel special because it's exciting to have someone WANT you that way.

At the end of the day though, I hope to goodness that everyone has enough since to know what they'd be losing. I know that temptation has crept up on me MANY times - I'm human - but I always, always, ALWAYS think about what I would lose in the end.

In fact, I had a discussion with Dearest about this last year. My ex-boyfriend had recently tried to become friends with me again, we had lunch together (by everyone's approval) and I admitted to Dearest that I liked his attention. Why? Because HE pretty much ended our relationship and now I knew he regretted it - something I had always wanted. And, while I HATED that I felt that way, I knew I had to be honest with Dearest and I told him that ultimately, I knew that only liked his attention because I didn't like him so much (does that make sense?). I know that I'm 1,000 times (if not more) happier with Dearest than I'd EVER be with anyone else!

July 7, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Not a Perfect Mom said...

I've told the hubs before to just leave before he cheated and embarrassed me like that. I agree, cheating is unforgivable and I judge too. Yes, marriage is hard, and we fight, and we pout, and then we remember why we were married in the first place...work on marriage, and then if you can't, end it...
did you read my post Haunted? about my best friend for 12 years and the secret I told? She was cheating on her hubs, and I couldn't hold it in and lie to anyone anymore...I lost my bff to cheating...I just can't condone it for anyone...

July 7, 2011 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

I am with you! If you are that unhappy then leave before doing that to the family. Not only does it destroy a marriage but the kids can be hurt as well.

July 7, 2011 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Rusti said...

Hubs was cheated on before we were together, and he once told me (when I was being a jealous ninny about something in the early days) "I will never cheat on you, why would I? if I want to have sex, I'll come have it with you. I'd break up with you before I'd cheat on you" and 14 years later, we still feel the same.

My sister was cheated on in two long, serious relationships... she was broken for a long time, and she still has moments of insecurity and doubt, even though she's been married to a wonderful guy for almost 4 years now... he did a LOT to help her heal and trust again.

I don't condone cheating. I don't understand cheating. I do get what you're talking about when you say that marriage is hard, and outside attention is so nice to get - I definitely get this. Hubs has a funky schedule and we see him 7 of every 14 days - it's TOUGH to find time to be a family, let alone a COUPLE, but it's so worth it. Even the arguing and pouting and missing each other... we have LOVE and a beautiful daughter to focus on when things get stressful.

I always said that if I was ever cheated on I'd be gone in a flash, but after having a child, I have to admit it would depend on the circumstances whether it would be something we could attempt to work through or not... hopefully I'll never have to find out though.

July 7, 2011 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Mommy Shorts said...

I have just found out about two instances of cheating amongst my friends. In one instance, it seems like the person really wants to move on and in the other it seems like the person had no intention of destroying their marriage- just that they could get away with it. Both are bad but the second one is way worse.

July 7, 2011 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Tracie Nall said...

I'll admit that my judge-y pants come out when it comes to affairs and cheating too.

July 8, 2011 at 4:43 AM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

I had to crack up at this post above me. Not sure if she was serious or not, but really?! I know people with that mentality and it's hilarious. I'm right there with you. I judge people who cheat too. Because, they eventually become those "woe is me, my life is terrible" people. Even though they bring all their burdens on themselves. great post.

July 13, 2011 at 1:34 PM  

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