This is not going to be a pleasant email for me to write or for you to read. This is a no-holds-barred document of our relationship and my lack of character. I have been living a lie with you. My untruth is not in my feelings for you. I deeply care about you. I find you exciting, fun and full of life. I admire your character, your strength and your spirituality. At this moment I feel spiritually bankrupt. Once you asked me if I was seeing other women. You said, and I'll never forget, "We haven't had that conversation yet." I made light of this talk and immediately changed the subject. The fact of the matter is that I have been dating another woman for three years. I was living a double life. I was living a lie. I can't throw away three years of a steady relationship. I hope you can forgive me one day. I hope one day we can be friends.
This note might be all too familiar for some -- especially for those in the spotlight... If Hollywood is setting trends, hundreds of e-mails like this are being sent daily. Many people still blame former president, Bill Clinton, for this new morality that has shaken so many famous relationships. Infidelity has been around long before Clinton met Monica Lewinsky. Before that incident, the press mostly had a different set of rules for people in high positions. Certain things just were never mentioned. Those days are long gone.In recent years, affairs seem to have dominated the headlines. No person of any notoriety has been exempt, whether a politician, a sports figure or even an Oscar winner like Sandra Bullock. The more famous the person, the more certain they are to be exposed. Women have written best-selling books about the infidelities they have suffered through; we have observed women who chose to leave their husbands, and those who decided to stand by their men.
Is infidelity the biggest trend for the rich, powerful and famous? It might be. Ironically, as I'm writing this blog, I'm watching Tiger Woods' first five-minute, no-restrictions-on-questions interview. It seems to confirm that the world's newly accepted lack of fidelity is its newest trend.
Infidelity is not exclusive to either gender. In fact in many reports it is stated that more women have affairs than men. The question is how should people react when they find out their significant other is having an affair.
I am not a therapist. I am not qualified to give advice on whether one should stay or leave a derailed relationship. I can only suggest that you should use this time to take extra special, tender loving care of yourself and do everything possible to strengthen your self-esteem. The best way to get through this period is by finding a good therapist or support group. Unfortunately, the healing process can take years. Meanwhile, I can suggest with confidence that you "fake it until you make it." I know you have heard this phrase before, but it does speed up the process of healing.
"Looking good is the best revenge" is the other maxim most appropriate for someone going through a separation or divorce. Now is the moment to look your best. This is the perfect time to start to exercise, diet if necessary, make sure your haircut and color are perfect, and that you are never caught without your lipstick. I know this sounds shallow, but it is a bandage to help you protect your emotional wounds while healing. Someone telling you that you look great can be the most potent medicine.
I make no pretense that these simple solutions will make this process easy, only that they might help to make this time more bearable. All parties involved, the guilty and the innocent, are hurt by the act of infidelity. No one escapes. Hopefully this is lesson that will be learned quickly, making this a short-lived trend.
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