This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I hate adultery

I'm not one to use strong language, such as the word "hate." I'm not a fan of it. I like to be middle-of-the-road, not so judgmental. But there are things in life you can't help but judge. For me, adultery is one of them. I absolutely hate it.

I'm sure it's because I was married to a man who committed the act. Perhaps if I hadn't experienced it first-hand, I wouldn't feel so strongly. But I did, and I do.

I think adultery is one of mankind's worst excuses for bad behavior. People like to tell you men will commit it because man is not able to live the monogamous life. They'll point to research that says this. I think that's hogwash. Stupid, really. If man is not able to live the monogamous life here on earth, then man should find somewhere else to live.

I mean, you have to question comments and research such as this. You have to, because it's so one-sided.

If man can't live the monogamous life, then why get married at all? Why have children with the woman you know intends to spend the rest of her life with you--and expects to be honored and cherished, as the vows might go? If you promise to love this woman through the good and the bad, till death do you part, in front of all of your friends and family, your witnesses expect you to keep those vows, as well as your new bride. And if you don't? If you know it right then and there, then say something, for goodness sakes. Don't just stand there with that "deer in the headlights" look. Say something. If you don't intend to keep this vow, why lie to yourself? There's no harm in changing your mind. Or, if you feel coerced, there's no harm in standing up for yourself. You need to live life differently than what you think society expects? Do it. Just don't drag other people with you if they don't know what you're thinking.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with living an uncommitted life. There isn't as long as the women you're living it with understand your position, and they're okay with it. Otherwise, it's only fair to spare the woman in your life you'll hurt. There's just no good reason to purposefully hurt another human being--in any way.

If you think adultery occurs because of something your partner did or did not do, you're lying to yourself. If you think adultery occurs because the two of you grew apart, you're kidding yourself. If you think a man cheats on his wife or his partner because he can't help it, that it just happened, wasn't planned? That's a lie. Adultery occurs for one reason; the person let it happen. Maybe there was no orchestrated plan, no outline drawn on lined paper. But there was a plan. You had to plan it in order not to be caught. So any excuse you come up with is just that--an excuse. It's a reason to be selfish.

If you think otherwise, then you're saying man has no free will. And we know that's not true because free will is exactly what sets the human being apart from the animal in this kingdom we've been given. Man has free will. We get to decide. We get to choose. We get to make up our own minds.

When we cheat, we've decided to do it. Plain and simple. And that's pretty much why I hate it. It can be avoided with a simple decision not to. You can save a person's pain by making a simple decision.

Should you ever come across a person who claims otherwise, that person is trying to trick you into believing a myth. If you fall for it, you just perpetuate the myth.

That's why I hate adultery. It's an excuse for bad behavior, and far too many people buy into it. If I could have anything in the world, anything at all, it would be for man to admit responsbility for this kind of behavior and begin to change it. From my perspective, it would salvage relationships and families. It would stop the hurts that serve no good purpose. It would save kids' lives. It would give meaning to marriage and family again.

When I hear people say they've been married for so many years, more than 10, more than 20, and so on, I'm so jealous of them. And then, at the same time, I wonder how they survived that long. Did either spouse cheat on them? Did either spouse know? I am skeptical about long-term marriages. I question their validity. And I hate that adultery did that to me.

Would it be better not to know, if cheating occurred? I wonder...

I hate adultery because it changed my way of thinking. It made me question the sanctity of marriage. It made me not able to trust in the union of two people. It made me wonder if long-term love is real.

But why can't it be real? Why can't two people fall in love in the beginning, build a family and last. Why can't that happen? I want to believe that it can. I really want to believe that we can choose to love one person and one person only. We can choose to work through the challenges in a marriage--just as we can choose to overcome the challenges in life, in general. We have the ability to commit ourselves to many things: our lives, our careers, our marriages, our families, our health. We have the ability to do that.

And that's why I hate adultery. It threatens all of my beliefs. It's like a boil on our skin about to burst. It threatens to burst. It threatens to break through the skin. It threatens to spread it's poison and create more boils. But there's a cure. There's an ointment you can use. You can do something to stop it. You can make a choice. You can turn the trouble around so that you have to face it.

That's what I hope happens. I want to see people live a more conscious life, a life that matters, a life that depends on decisions rather than on "it just happened" moments.

"It just happened" is an excuse I'd like to see disappear. "It just happened" is a lie. "It just happened" means you didn't think about the consequences. "It just happened" hurts someone. And there's no good reason for that. None.

What do you think?

15 comments:

marthaandme said...

I guess I think that if a person commits adultery, there was something wrong with the marriage. And I don't mean to say the victimized spouse was at fault. Maybe the adulterer was not giving his all to the marriage or maybe he never should have gotten married or maybe he's just a jerk. But like you, I don't believe it "just happens" to a happy, well-adjusted marriage. I think there has to be something wrong somewhere - probably with the adulterer.

BIKE LADY said...

This is what I get for subscribing to Google Alerts on "divorce," Brette. The links generally lead to not-so-pretty stories, and then that takes my mind into not-so-pretty thoughts. I do so dislike adultery, though, and do so wish it didn't exist--regardless why. I've seen too many people hurt by it, which I see as pointless pain.

And I think you're right about the something being "wrong with the marriage" comment. But I don't think it's a good enough reason to stray. Not that I think you're saying that, because I don't think that. But happy marriages, as you know, don't just happen, either.

Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell said...

We do have the ability to reason, the ability to control our actions and the ability not to hurt the people we love by cheating.

BIKE LADY said...

Kerri, I knew a couple once who, after my experience occurred and I told them about it, said to me, "We just made an agreement when we got married. We verbally told each other that if one of us felt like cheating then we'd tell each other about it first and deal with it then. We wouldn't act on it without discussing it first. We agreed not to disrespect each other in that way." I sorta thought that was what marriage vows were all about. But maybe vows don't specify enough for some people. Not sure. But it was interesting discussion that followed. That comment never left me.

kerry dexter said...

Jackie,
you write
>>I am skeptical about long-term marriages. I question their validity. And I hate that adultery did that to me.<<
I'd point out, very gently, that you are making a choice about what to think there, too. I do understand why it's hard to risk trust in anything to do with marriage. still, that is a choice too. does it serve you?

BIKE LADY said...

Kerry, you're most definitely correct. I am making a choice. It's not a very sturdy one, however, as I think it stems from all the recent news about infidelity. It gets to me. It's so sad to see so much of it. All that pain that's out there. I can't help but wonder if it's worth it.

It makes me also wonder how we, as a society, can change this for the better.

I remember my lawyer asking me late in my divorce whether or not I thought I might get married again. At that time, I wasn't against it. I didn't feel that strongly, one way or the other, amazingly enough. Now, I'm less inclined to think of it as an option. I'm enjoying my freedom too much, for one thing. For another, I am dealing with an issue of trust. The good thing is: I'm dealing with it, thinking about it, considering what that means, and wondering what kind of work I might need to do to overcome it...

Thank for being gentle. ;-)

Karen said...

Since I've read your entire blog I have to ask, if trust is such an issue, then why are you currently engaged in a long-term relationship? What does your current partner think about your trust issues? Surely they spill over into your personal life with him? As a therapist, I usually have my patients refrain from such relationships until they can learn to trust again. Since trust is a major part of a relationship's foundation, without it, they will eventually fail.

Also, there isn't much discussion on your blog about your mother, brother and the father of your children (although I've read between the lines). While I understand you have been through many tragedies in life and are learning to overcome them, I would suggest continuing your therapy to move through these issues as well. They too could be contributing to your lack of trust.

Good luck.
Karen

BIKE LADY said...

Karen,

Thanks for your input. I discuss this with my BF if it comes up with him. He's a great guy. This isn't about him. I just noticed trust issues surfaced recently after my brother's death, having more to do with my family of origin than even anything that happened with my ex, who is not the biological father of my children. He adopted them.

Considering circumstances, I don't think it's abnormal to feel some kind of insecurity when a life change occurs. And I'm ready to explore whatever issue might surface, for whatever reason. That's what we should all do, I think, rather than bury them.

And I do maintain a relationship with my therapist. I love her. She was a godsend to me, and when I feel the need, I still visit with her. I think it's absolutely necessary--and healthy.

Sarah E. Ludwig said...

Jackie, I agree wholeheartedly about the trust issues. Yes, it's a choice to have them, but when you've been burned badly, I don't see any way to escape trust issues, unless you are made of stone.

Sure, we can heal and grow and hopefully move past our wounds and issues, but being the victim of adultery definitely changes your entire view of marriage, relationships, trust, etc. People who haven't been through it just can't understand it.

I feel the same way as you described when I hear about or meet a long-term couple: First, I feel jealous that I don't have that. Then I wonder if there has been any cheating, how they've managed to stay together so long, etc. I'm suspicious too, and I don't think I'd feel that way had I not been through what I have.

I, too, don't hate a lot of things, but I definitely hate adultery with every fiber. It is selfish, no matter the reasons behind it, and it destroys far too many families. Infidelity is life-altering, traumatic, painful in the extreme and I would never wish its effects on anyone, even my worst enemy. It's hell for everyone involved, pure and simple.

Babette said...

Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.

BIKE LADY said...

Thanks for all your thoughts. I've even come to the conclusion that trust really isn't an "issue" at all. Maybe no one should fully trust in anything, as there are no guarantees. And that shouldn't be a cause for alarm. That should just be something you're aware of.

It really helps to discuss these things with you all. I like to think about how I respond to life, to consider what works and what doesn't, and hopefully I'm willing and able to take a stand when it matters most. If something challenges your character or your values, that matters.

Sharon Lippincott said...

Wow, this discussion has ranged a long way. I want to go back to long-term marriages. My husband and I have been married for ... 47 years now. I'm here to testify that there are lots and lots of ways to make mistakes in a marriage, and adultery is only one. We've made our share of those mistakes. But we both took our vows with the utmost seriousness.

We have learned from our mistakes, and much of what we learned has been about respect and forgiveness of self and other. Some matters were discussed and worked out together, others were private insights. Whatever the case, we've always had a commitment to "mend it, not end it."

One of my fundamental beliefs is that at any given moment each person makes the best choices s/he knows how to make. If those choices look poor or ignorant, the person (or maybe the one doing the judging) still has something to learn. I know that to be true of myself, and must extend that degree of respect to others.

I'm happy to report that with each passing year our love grows stronger, as does our happiness index. I have to believe that the manure from the past has fertilized our strong roots.

Please never assume that long term marriages have been sunshine and roses all along. I know of no case where that is true. We've just dealt with what came up.

BIKE LADY said...

Sharon,

Congratulations! I really appreciate your perspective and admire your "mend it, not end it," attitude.

Jackie

Ray Carroll said...

Jackie, I'm a little late to this blog post, but I wanted to share with you. You are brave to post your feelings and be transparent. It's not easy sharing yourself with people like this.


You said, "Adultery occurs for one reason; the person let it happen."


You couldn't have said it better. Four years ago, I was a pastor and I cheated on my wife. It cost me my marriage. There were factors that weakened me, but I didn't have to allow them to. It was my ultimate decision to give into it and I take responsibility and have suffered the consequences for it.


Now, I run a ministry through my blog at fallenpastor.com to help people - fallen pastors, churches hurt by them, women hurt by them, and their families. It is always heartbreaking.


You are right on with what you're saying here. The marriage vow is to be kept sacred. It is an awful thing when a spouse cheats. It was horrible when I cheated on my wife. I don't say that for pity, I say it because it's true.


I'm sorry you were hurt and that it happened to you. I could line up a whole list of cliches but I'm sure you've heard them all and they have become meaningless.


One thing I will share is that regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, whether we harmed another or harm someone else, there is grace to be found even for those who have failed but repent. Unfortunately, those who repent seem to be far and few between.


After I repented much later, it turned my life around and have been able to help a lot of men not take that final step to committing adultery.


So, thank you for your heart and words. They ring true and honest.

Jackie Dishner said...

Thanks you for your comments, Ray. It's important to hear the male perspective.