They get divorced.
I did something to fuck up my marriage and I paid the price. I haven't been open about it because I was ashamed and thought people wouldn't like me. (Not remarkably, these are the same fears I had when I first joined AA and guess what? Everybody who knew me was aware I had a drinking problem.) My guess is that everybody also knew I was a lying, cheating spouse but was too polite to say anything-- except for my friend S who vehemently told me I was an idiot and fucking up, that if I wanted to end my marriage this was no way to do it.
I've been reading this blog and feeling awful because it's written from the view of the cheated on, which in my case would be Ex. (I hope this means I have some a speck of empathy left in my shriveled soul, which is even more shriveled after writing some recruiting ads for a pawn shop company.)
I hate the person (me) who felt entitled to make herself feel better at the expense of Ex who held his vows, even though things were crappy before I cheated. For a long time, I justified my actions and felt entitled to my bad behavior. Here's a news flash:
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR BAD BEHAVIOR
I must have been sick the day they taught that in preschool, although I went to preschool on the Naval base in Mare Island where it's possible that particular life lesson was ignored in the interest of national security.
The only thing good about the whole affair is that I now know that I never want to do something like that again--to me or anybody else. I took a new vow, not unlike my now-broken marriage vow, to be true to and honor myself.
If you're thinking about cheating, stop what you're doing and call a marriage counselor. You are too far gone. The time to think about cheating is way before you begin fantasizing about people who aren't your spouse. In fact, the best time to think about cheating is before you get married. And this won't make any difference because I had the opportunity to counsel a close friend who was married and attracted to another married man. She had watched my entire Lifetime drama unfold and had listened to hours of my bullshit. Did this stop her from stepping out on her marriage? No. Unbelievably. People will do what they are going to do. Her marriage survived by the grace of a few white lies and lots of work.
Staying true to myself is an ongoing struggle because I am an addict and when I feel an emotion (and not just an uncomfortable emotion--even happiness will do) I want to yell Halt! and drown it in alcohol or drugs or new shoes or men. You know where all these roads lead to? Guilt and shame. Fuck. My hair-shirt-wearing self feels guilty about feeling entitled to feel hurt about the divorce. You feel me? Like I deserve all the pain so suck it up, lying sister. And so I'll take this moment to apologize for this entire blog.