Saturday, November 12, 2005

Chapter 12 - The Revenge Affair

No, I didn't have one. But I thought about it. A lot.

This was very early on. The whole thing made me so sick, I started thinking that the only way to get past it was for her to feel what I felt, for her to see how terrible it is to go through. She deserves it, I told myself. I deserve it, I told myself.

I never took one single step in that direction. But if I had known a woman who would have been a likely affair partner, it would have been too, too easy to slip down that slide.

I think this is pretty common. Not just the abstract desire to get even, but the specific desire to get even by having your own affair after your spouse does. I don't think I was ever really serious about it, it was just a revenge fantasy. A very unhealthy one.

I have a pretty good idea what would have happened if I had cheated. I would have gotten caught, because I'm careless and a terrible liar. And we would have gotten divorced. Not that she's less forgiving than I am, but because we already had enough stress to be going on with.

Eventually I realized how rediculous the idea was. I didn't want to be a cheater. I didn't want to get divorced. And I know it isn't noble, but I didn't want to give up the advantage I had by being the "victim."

Whatever the reason I didn't act on it, thank God I didn't. Now, I could not bear the thought of hurting my wife in that way.

I've redoubled my efforts to be faithful. If a woman is walking in front of me, I look at the ground. When I travel, I do not travel with a woman. I don't talk to women about their relationships or mine.

Nine commandments are fair game for me. I don't make a habit of killing or stealing, but I do not deny that I have enough evil in me that under the right circumstances, I could do it. But cheating? That one's off the table.

So if anyone is out there, and if you're thinking about a revenge affair, for God's sake don't do it. You're better than that. Chances are, your spouse had no idea the hell it would put you through. Now, you know exactly the hell it would put your spouse through, and you could say that would make you more guilty than they were. Don't do it.


At 10:01 PM , Anonymous julian said...

Regarding your post on the thoughts of infidelity - I salute you. You are a man who understands the word 'honor'. It is the only way to live a real life; it is the only way to face death at the end of days.
Walk in honor, and strength, and wisdom.
best wishes- julian
( After a few years of posting, then removing posts, at D-land, as 'katanabright', I am thinking of moving here. )

At 5:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

a revenge affair sounds right to me, but if I did it I would want my spouse to know about it. sometimes I want to hurt him so he'll know what I'm going through.a part of me feels sorry for him because I believe he's a good man and a great father but I don't know where I went wrong? i really don't.

At 11:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally feel that way - even after a year of everything coming out and him being faithful again. The pain is so deep - and I just want justice though I know that's not it. In this all, it sounds right... but it's not and I won't... perhaps because another guy isn't around and I'll stay faithful even though he betrayed me.

At 3:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for morals, dignity, honor or any other lovely moral attachment, I had all of those before d-day. Did those wonderful qualities I posesed stop me from getting my heart trampled on - No. Were they even considered by my husband - No. Why should I hold myself to a higher standard to protect the heart of someone who would willingly shatter mine? None of those qualities protected me from the permanent alteration to the rest of my life - the way I view people and the world, the constant anger, and the reality that the world is not a just place. So as I see it, I can leave my marriage and give my faithfulness to someone who deserves it, or I can stay in my marriage and treat him exactly the same way I was treated. Pretending to be morally superior than someone else to put myself in a one up position will not take away the intense pain they've caused me. Now having an affair won't take that pain away either, but if I'm expected to live with it, then why should my spouse be exempt from living with the same pain? Why should he be allowed to walk around scarless, unblemished? While I drag this heaping pile of scar tissue around, claiming that because I didn't retaliate that somehow makes me a better person. My fidelity was never considered while he engaged in an affair. It didn't provide me a shield of protection from betrayal, it didn't stop him from shattering my world. I think something cheaters don't understand is that fidelity is a commitment you make to yourself to honnor that which you hold dear. I no longer have the desire to honor a person who would repeatedly lie to my face. I will not martyr myself for the sake of being righteous, above, one up, victim, moral superior or any other word you'd like to attach to imply that I should be the bigger person. What has that gotten me thus far? It has served me no purpose. No that I have a clear view of the playing field I am expected to pretend my best offense is to not play defense? I am supposed to stand still while the other team racks up points? The worst part is the person playing dirty was someone I beleaved to be on my team. Now that I've got a clear view of how the game is really being played I stopped fooling myself into beleaving that this person was on my team. I saw the game changer and now I can't pretend that my teammate has my back. I am done expecting the best out of people who are only out for their own glory. So if I happen upon an affair I only need remind myself I am playing this game alone - and the only points earned are the ones I make for myself.

At 5:09 PM , Blogger anonymous said...

In reply to the last comment: I did not mean that you should avoid a revenge affair that so that you could feel superior to the spouse who cheated. I think you should avoid a revenge affair because cheating is wrong, period. If your husband cheated, that does not mean it is OK for you to do so.

I can completely understand someone who cannot live with the fact that their spouse had an affair. The answer to that is divorce, though. Having your own affair will not make anything better.

At 5:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree with any of this.

Ever heard of social contract theory? The basic idea is that I don't steal from my neighbors so that my neighbors don't steal from me. If we all implicitly agree to this we're all better off.

But what happens if your neighbors do start stealing from you? The contract is broken. There is no obligation not to steal from them anymore. Is it the high ground not to steal from them yourself, or is it just being a fool not to return the favor once they've looted your house?

Marriage is a contract, too, one condition of which is "forsaking all others." Once that condition is broken, the contract is void. The betrayed spouse has no more obligation to be faithful than a recording artist has an obligation to continue producing hit records for a record company that refuses to pay him what he's owed.

At 1:00 PM , Blogger Author said...

Anonymous -- You say the betrayed spouse has no obligation to be faithful. I agree with you to a point. Personally, I believe a betrayed spouse should first get a divorce before seeing another person, not because the cheating spouse deserves it, but because it is right.

However, if your goal is to save the marriage, then I believe the thing to do is to go beyond the "obligation." A revenge affair will not help achieve restoration, if that is what a betrayed spouse chooses to work toward.


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