First, let me be very clear. I am not writing about my husband Mitchell.
Mitchell is a dream husband in oh, so many ways.
I am writing about my former husband, now dead, Robert.
I did not kill him, I swear! He died of natural causes.
However, had I found out about his cheating I would’ve used his ashes for kitty litter.
My former husband and I were a difficult couple. Growing up in my family, however, I thought all relationships were difficult for many years. I also perceived us as close, working together on a spiritual path, and committed to honesty. I am no prude, but I was especially interested in a monogamous relationship due to sexually transmitted diseases from the get-go. We both agreed on this, and I sat through more than a few lectures he gave his college-age kids on safe sex. After being married, I realized I wanted a monogamous relationship because that commitment worked for me toward intimacy.
I found out after his death, while doing estate taxes. I was instructed to call long-distance numbers which were frequently called to see who they were for business deductions. I could not have a fight, slam a door, or break glass to relieve my anger. I could not leave him and take his money. I was left to work it through on my own.
I did, for the sake of the man I fell in love with, Mitchell.
Here is my takeaway, and for all you cheaters out there, THIS is why you cannot really ever work through it:
- Infidelity undermines trust completely.
- From the moment you find out that your partner is cheating on you, you see the person as a liar.
- Lying undermines intimacy, or in my case, the memory of being intimate.
- Trust is laughable; in therapy I had a few fictitious conversations with him, and whenever he said “trust me” I was at a loss as to why anyone would ever trust a known cheater.
- I found out he cheated a lot on business trips with hookers; from that moment on each time I reached for one of his sweet gifts bought to me from a trip, I realized they were guilt gifts. Out the door they went in a heartbeat. My friends have some nice items.
- Closure is important. I had to take mine by calling a few of his girlfriends and chatting them up. They were resistant. I reminded them they were married too. They talked to me. And it DID bring some closure, as I asked them the questions I wanted to ask him. AND AND AND . . .
- Not everyone is a lying sack of shit.
- Both men and women cheat, so no finger-pointing!
- Both men and women also can value monogamy, commitment, and honesty. How do you know after living with a cheater? You use discretion, communicate, and trust your heart.
This last was most important going forward. I knew two people who were faithful, knew it for sure, my brother and I. We talked at length about all of this. I felt it was important to go forward with eyes wide open and trusting my heart. I am so grateful I did, for I have a wonderful loyal, intimate mate.
I am now agreeing to the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International License, which you can learn more about by visiting the site, or, visit my web page for a more user-friendly summary on my terms. My images/blog posts can be reposted; please link back to zenkatwrites.
Artwork courtesy of D.Katie Powell (me as a painter!)
The image (cropped) is from “My Family” series.
It now lives with his children, probably in a garage in the San Fernando Valley.