Then the responses started trickling in. What I love the most about getting feedback is that it makes me think. Im open to hearing other people's views and there have been times when those people have changed my viewpoint a bit as well. And other times I haven't changed my perspective at all but it gave me information about the other person that helped me understand them better.
The first response was from my cousin, Liesl. She picked up on something pretty obvious that I totally missed. "I have to mention that the author has now publicly, at least twice, told the listeners that her husband is an utter and total loser who cheated when she struggled to protect an unborn child. Does that actually count as leaving it alone?"
Good point. While Wendy Williams said that she didnt bring it up while arguing, she kind of overlooked the fact that every time she mentions her husband's cheating its like scratching a scab off an open wound trying to heal. I wondered what her husband was thinking while he sat in the Green Room listening to the interview. For a moment I felt kind of bad for him. If she said she was going to forgive and move on, she should do just that and let it die.
But then the big mouth, spiteful part of me started screaming (in my head, of course), "Screw him! It's a small price to pay for being a cheating bastard. He should be glad she forgave him and only mentions it when it's brought up in interviews! Sandwich board! Sandwich board!!!!!"
But the facts, her words, are that she was going to leave it alone. Excellent point. (Your parents always said you would've been a great lawyer, Li.)
Later I received a different kind of message from someone who would like to remain anonymous. I thought he had some really good insight and he presented cheating from the another standpoint. It was different from the "Amen, sister!" and "My asshole husband cheated!" responses. Im going to include the entire message because I think it would be unfair to edit it, as the parts I would take out are character defining.
"Wow, that was very deep!! And not at all what I expected when I clicked on the link!!
Heres a different perspective for what its worth... I was on the cheater side of the fence. And yes, to all of you that just said to themselves "I bet its a guy!!", you are correct.
Although I am almost proud to say, almost... I never slept with anyone besides my wife while we were together. Not that its any better but we only kissed. Still wrong I know. I also wished it never happened for everyone involved. I would do anything to take that back.
However I was done with the relationship. I tried to make it work for as long and as hard as I could. I cant say I was driven to it, that would be wrong, a cop out, but I was pushed to my limits.
So what I would say to anyone that finds themselves in this situation is what part are you playing in it?? Unless your partner is just a cheating bastard there must be a reason behind them looking for whatever it is they are looking for with someone else.
I was also the target of the public humiliation revenge. This campaign also included a lot of ficton to say the least. I can honestly say this campaign didn't benefit anyone, kids included. Those who really knew me, knew how much I loved my wife and children and that I would do and did anything for them. Those who didnt really know me can talk all they want. A friend recently told me "What people have to say about you is none of your business". You have to appreciate the wisdom.
As I said, I would do anything to take back having cheated, but not the end of the marriage. As it turns out it was the best decision I ever made. I had a great relationship with the "other" woman. She taught me how to be myself again' how to love and how it felt to be loved, how to feel appreciated, how to feel like you matter. I couldnt be happier that I made the decision to get out of a bad relationship and try again. I didnt make that decision based on a new relationship. However she gave me the self confidence to believe I did deserve better. For that I will always be eternally grateful."
There are a few things that I got out of this:
1- So many of us are afraid to end a relationship when we are miserable, especially when children are involved. I can understand that. Justin and I have many times said, "Can you imagine not being able to spend time with Allie whenever you want? Or to see her drive away for a few days to be with someone else?" It's heartwrenching. So, I get it.
However, as a child of divorce, I can tell you that you arent doing your kids any favors by staying in the marriage. Youre setting the example of what they think a normal marriage is and it's not good. And if you add cheating, you screw yourself the most (pun totally intended!) You will be known as a cheater, regardless of how shitty the other person was. Guaranteed.
2- He's right. If your spouse is looking elsewhere, they arent happy. Dump your ego at the door and check yourself. What you think is perfectly normal behavior may be making them miserable. Why dont you try asking "What am I doing that's making you such an unhappy sonofabeyotch?" No one is ever innocent in divorce because no one is perfect.
3- I completely agree that public humiliation should not be based on lies. To refer to my annoying sandwich board once again, "My husband is a cheating whore and home wrecker" is a statement based on facts. "My husband is a cheating whore who never loved me and abused our children" could be based on perspective....unless he told you he never loved you and then smacked your kids on the way out. Then, fact.
But as he said above, it doesn't help anyone, especially the kids. I dated someone once whose wife repeatedly told his kids that their father didn't really care about them and that's why he didnt see them every Wednesday. She failed to mention that he now worked overtime to pay child support and he did ask if he could stop by on his way home from work to see them, but she had said no....because she was a bitch.
So, in response, I have decided to ammend my Sandwich Board, Big Ass Bell Plan. I can't mail his car back to him part by part because we traded it it. And he has REALLY light eyebrows, so that's not accomplishing much by shaving them off. I will abandon the plan altogether and have faith that I will never need one. After all, I was able to let go of my other plans (The When Aliens Invade Plan and The We've Been Invaded By Another Country Plan) so this will have to go as well.