News of pro golfer Tiger Woods' "transgressions" has spread like wildfire, which, as anyone with an internet connection knows, is the case with all celebrity downfalls.
Obviously, the guy's embarrassed that his alleged infidelities have been made public. Of course, it helps if you: a) don't cheat in the first place; or b) don't get caught by your wife who is wielding your favorite golf club at you as you make your escape in the Escalade. If you do the latter, especially, it's kinda your own fault that your private matter turned public. And whining about it doesn't really help; it only adds to the problem.
What might help is if you realize ahead of time infidelity really CAN be avoided. Some psychologists say it's so. Even though I've been cheated on myself, I think that's true. But when it happens, it's a real confidence BUSTER--completely opposite of what we've been discussing this week. Surely when the cheater gets caught, which is inevitable, that can't help his (or her) confidence much, either.
So to turn this "news" that just won't go away into something that is actually useable (Gossip generally isn't), I thought I'd share some of what I learned because of my own experience with infidelity. Let me be clear: I don't take ownership of what my ex did, not at all. He has to own that. I do, however, take ownership of what I didn't do to help prevent it--and most of that has to do with my choice of a mate in the first place.
Here are the three indicators I learned to watch out for--and caution you about, especially if you haven't yet married your sweetheart:
1) Before you even get married, before you even start dating, be clear about who you are and what you want from a life partner. I wasn't clear on any of that (didn't even know I should be) and wound up marrying someone who I suspected early on was not right for me. I even wrote about this in my diary. But I couldn't "see" any clear signs that anything was wrong, and I wanted to believe in the "fairytale." So I married him, anyway. It wasn't till after I decided to divorce him that I realized I hadn't been trusting my gut feelings. They are there to protect you, and I had been ignoring them. Decide what you need from a mate, and make sure the mate you find can provide that for you, within reason, of course.
2) When the man you're dating tells you he cheated on his wife, pay attention to what he's really telling you. In fact, realize that he's giving you an out right from the start. Without even realizing it, he's telling you about who he really is. This is the type of guy you don't want to call again. This is the type of guy I married. He gave me excuses about why he behaved this way, and I fell for his excuses. I didn't hear what he was really saying. Instead, I believed he was wronged by his first wife. I heard his victimhood, his pain, and I wanted to fix it, since she didn't. WARNING: Whenever you feel the need to fix someone else, that means the person who really needs fixing is you. Take care of your broken parts. Leave someone else's broken parts alone. They are not yours to heal.
3) Choose the life partner who is emotionally attached. If your future mate gives you any indication that he or she cannot relate on an emotional level, end the relationship now. This person has issues. And you might have a few of your own, otherwise, why else are you attracted to someone who cannot--or will not--be there for you? If you hear yourself saying, "But his family is the same way. They just don't do feelings," watch out! You'll wind up doing enough feelings for all of you put together! That, my friends, is called co-dependency, and it's the last thing you want to be in a relationship. It's a surefire way to infidelity--and a lot of excuses to get you there.
Agree, disagree, or do you have anything to add?