Cheaters 101

In 2006 I really got into watching the TV show “Cheaters” on Reality TV. Over popcorn and wine I’d follow the presenter with his cheesy comments, cackle over the surveillance and gleefully support the cheated when they confronted the cheater – partner, lover, husband, wife, what did it matter? They were busted and being humiliated. Yeah. Justice!

People these days talk about infidelity with such nonchalance. Like many others before me I was fairly confident about what I would do if I ever found out my man was cheating on me. My back up plan, if my devoted amazing husband ever cheated (and he wasn’t going to but just in case…), was to ensure I got the best lawyer possible who would absolutely get me off on any possible technicalities should I be extreme in my response.

Well the day that wasn’t supposed to come but it did. Not once but twice. And when the dust finally settled at the battlefront these are the top 10 things I’d learnt.

  1. No matter how you find out be completely irrational and do nothing – be still and let the info seep in. No screaming, shouting, throwing, kicking, spitting, scratching… you get my drift. Expecting some sort of typical response your grace in the face of fire will create confusion. Great.
  2. Sleep on it, even if you toss and turn. Any decision you make in the first 48 hours is bound to be dramatic, deadly and just plain bad.
  3. Never confront your cheaters love interest in public. Wrestling and boxing belongs in the ring. Keep it there.
  4. Do not send text messages … it’s too stalker like plus you may end up being locked up. In fact don’t put anything dark and twisted in writing. It will be used against you.
  5. Let the love of your family and friends surround and envelop you – pride has no place when you’re in this much pain
  6. It really isn’t about the other woman. She is strangely collateral damage. If a man wants out he will get out. Simple. Changing your look, getting sex tips, loosing weight, quitting your job…. these things will change nothing. If you are not doing it for yourself then don’t do it all.
  7. If you get out of the marriage you will be dumped. Married happy couples will want nothing to do with you unless they are truly brave. But all is not lost – the singles will swarm around and you will reconnect with old friends and make a lot of new ones.
  8. Your huge bed will be all yours. You can toss, turn, take the whole duvet, and hog the pillows … no consequences. Blissful silence. And yes sometimes it will feel oppressive. Weep not. It will get easier.
    Awesome tip: Get lots of pillows for the truly bleak moments. Properly positioned they can take the edge off and feel like a person. I’ve talked the stuffing out of mine.
  9. Give yourself time before you venture into the dating world. Mercy sex and booty calls are not your style. Take your time. Breathe.
  10. You will be okay. You will cry, celebrate, scream, mope but ultimately you will be okay and soar again.

“Let your enemies be disarmed by the gentleness of your manner, but at the same time let them feel, the steadiness of your resentment.”
Lord Chesterfield – British Statesman, Diplomat and With, 1694 – 1773

….. And all the ladies said Amen.

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Each life is a personal journey no matter how public it may all seem at times! I'm still figuring it out and here I share my journey ...and what I'm discovering along the way.

  • bailey

    This is such an honest account. I’ve never heard the story from the inside of the ‘cheated’s’ mind. I will definitely take these tips as the voice of experience. Thank you for writing this!

  • Africangel

    I know the pain, the heartache, the sorrow, the agony and I also know the power of forgiveness. The setting of boundaries and the knowledge that it will never be the same again. You wake up in the morning and when you think its gone the pain comes back and hits you a body blow right in where it hurts the most and just takes your breath away but because you already forgave you cannot raise the matter again. I know the need to understand why that never really gets answered. These days I also appreciate friends and family much more, because the cheated can only talk with someone else beyond a certain point and not with the cheater. The tears cried in the privacy of your bathroom because that is the only place you can be alone. Its like losing a loved one to death and yet not. Been there, done that… and still doing it two years on.

  • Mia

    Wow, I really appreciate this very honest and open account and I agree with all your tips. I tell people (and try to tell myself) that the other woman – while I’m not agreeing with her actions – owes the married nothing. She didn’t marry you, promise to love you and cherish you and in reality has no obligation to you (although it’d be great if she didn’t go ‘there’). Targeting her is classic escapism because the person who did propose, marry and make promises to you is your stupidly erring husband. I’m proud of you for sharing this. Africangel….what you’re describing is tough. He messed up and you can’t talk about it? Not easy. Good luck girl!

  • Mwesh

    Query for you ladies…I have been there now 9 months down the line,its not easy and trust me I cried for two months consecutive(60 days) not a day went without a tear.Does such a man deserve a second chance at love,a marriage and a wife,despite being forgiven?And yes the other woman does not owe anyone anything.I guess the worst thing i did is shut out the whole world and battle with my inner self.I am now appreciating things more,doing what I love and now all for me and not anyone else?Does this get better with time or do the horrors still continue?

  • cazz

    Ruth … it does get better with time. How long no one can tell. Its such an intimate journey and I’d encourage you to accept every emotion that hits you. Acknowledge it for what it is then move on and take the next step towards healing. I’ve been on this journey for 4 years. I’m amazed by the things that still bubble to the surface and upset me but … and this is a very big but … I would never change the way my life has turned out and I’m looking forward to every step towards the future.

  • Mwesh

    Cazz….gladly appreciate the thought and yes I am actually taking a day at a time and as you said the things that bubble to the surface just…..(words evaporate me).And ofcos will update you on how am still doing.Thanks again

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