Infidelity Is Not Your Fault

05/24/2017 05:13 pm ET Updated May 24, 2017

I’ve taken my criticism. People have called me ugly names. Some people call me “beautiful.” Some will tell you I have a talent for writing. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I don’t always have to agree with every person’s position in the form of politics, sex, and religion. Such things were always taught to me as ill-mannered to discuss. However, we’ve opened the bedroom door and slung our self-righteous beliefs right out the overly politicized window.

Until these last few months, I’ve kept quiet about a personal secret I’ve dealt with in my marriage.

I didn’t know the full extent of his infidelities until this past February. I thought in the beginning, he’d made a mistake. People make mistakes. I’m not immune to making them. I’ve made my mistakes and I’ve tried to atone for the sins I’ve committed, my own wrongdoings, and the hurt I’ve placed on other people. I will never claim to be a perfect person standing on my soap box judging others. His “mistake” kept happening. When his last two so-called “mistakes” happened almost barely six months apart, I stopped hiding. I opened up about my home. Some will call it “airing my dirty laundry.” I am calling it “my life.” Most of my waking days, I wish my life could be different.

Each morning I wake up, I’m forced to repeat in my head, “I married a stranger who never loved me.” Saying these words give me strength. They allow me to shower, get ready for work, be a mom, and do life’s other chores. Apparently, a mass majority side-viewing crowd believe I’m to blame for his infidelities. They have told me their beliefs as to why I either deserved to be cheated on or what I could have done differently to keep him faithful to me.

In my response, I’d like address personally each issue I’ve had to bear personally since opening up about being cheated on. All the reasons and blame I’ve taken over the past few months:

  1. “He cheated on me because I let myself go. Becoming a mom and working, I didn’t take time to look my best for him.” To the people who have this small, narrow mindset, to the people who have actually vocalized these words aloud to my face, I’d like to say, “Thanks for making me feel ugly. I really needed to be bombarded with your judgment on my appearance after my husband cheated on me.” YOU ARE NOT HELPFUL WHATSOEVER. If a man only married me for my ‘looks’ or my ‘appearance’: please pick up your keys, open the front door, and NEVER look back. Because aging is a fact of life, it happens pretty much to EVERYONE. Sorry, I couldn’t stop myself from aging. If you have the fountain of youth nearby, please share your mystical eternal forever young juice. You’re being a greedy fountain of youth hog by not sharing. Otherwise, if you don’t have access to this fountain, just think about your words and don’t speak. Back away from the computer and my face. Go pick yourself apart in the mirror and quit reflecting your insecurities on me.
  2. “He cheated because I wasn’t giving him enough sexy time or being adventurous in the bedroom.” Hi, you’ve never met me. But I’m choosing right now to break my Mama’s rules and talk about sexy time. I can have all day binge sex-sessions with sweat running down my arched back as I mount a man. The truth is: He never could keep up with me. Guess who didn’t cheat? Me. I’m an adaptive people pleaser which means I am able to evolve rather easily to any kind of adventures men seek because I like making people happy. This argument, in my case, is null in void. It’s white noise. I can’t hear your words over my loud, obnoxious, constant love-making, and all the bare-skin going slap… slap…slap… along with me yelling, ”OH MY GOD, HARDER!
  3. “He cheated because all men revert back to a cavemen mentality and aren’t bred to be monogamous creatures.” A man said this to me. Not a woman. The man who said it sincerely implied and found articles to sustain his argument on the Internets. Dear Sir, we can validate any opinion on the internet. I think there are men who want faithfulness and honesty in their relationships. Men who honor and cherish their wedding vows. Men who are supportive of their mate’s dreams and personal goals. Men who love one woman with all their heart and soul. I’m also a die-hard romantic dreamer, so I could be wrong. I don’t think all men are neanderthals. It is my personal belief to have hope in evolution. We, both men and women, are specifically created cells of DNA who should be a few millennia removed from dragging women by the hair into a cave and grunting. By the way, women cheat too. It’s not a one gender issue.
  4. This one is by far my favorite reason for being cheated on: “He cheated because I wasn’t giving him enough attention. I neglected him.” He is a grown-ass man. It’s not my duty as a woman or a wife to be at his beck and call like Old Yeller. I’m certain God didn’t put me on this earth to sit and stare at a man. To pat him on the back at every small deed and say, “Good job.” You know how to say I need more affection and attention, you do this: Walk up to the woman. Hug and kiss her. Say, “I miss you. I’d like to go to bed and lay naked with you for hours”. Or you could invite her out on a date. Or you could simply say, “tonight I’d like some of your time. You’re special to me.” Cheating will not accomplish nearly as much as doing these things. If you can’t vocalize these feelings, send an email, or a text, or a Facebook message, or write with crayons on the wall. Just do whatever you have to do to communicate. Also, you know what a partner might listen to more if said: “You don’t give me enough attention so I probably going to cheat on you.” That’s called H-O-N-E-S-T-Y. I spelled it out for the people who don’t know what it is. Please Google the word if you’re unfamiliar with its meaning.

After all the blame I’ve taken for why I deserved to be cheated on, I have made one concrete conclusion. My husband is a greedy pirate hooker who stole my love. He also made a choice. Not one choice, but A GREAT DEAL OF EXTREMELY HURTFUL choices. I’ve had my bad days just as I have good days. I’m faithful. I’m honest, and I love with all my heart and soul. Perhaps this trait is my fault and downfall. At least I’m not a greedy pirate hooker stealing love from people who care about me.

There is one person to blame when an infidelity happens: The person who chose to pursue a relationship outside of their marriage. The blame rests solely on their shoulders. Anything else is a deflection from truth.

Rachel E. Bledsoe
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