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Dear Unfaithful.....

I understand you felt you didn't have any intimacy or connection in your life. That your emotional and physical needs weren't being met. You felt lost and lonely, uncared for and abandoned, unwanted and unappreciated. You longed for emotional connection and intimacy. You longed to feel wanted and desired. To feel alive again. To feel attractive to someone. To be happy again.

Yes, yes and yes. It's absolutely ok to want to feel all those things. We ALL do and we all should feel those in our lives. We are human beings who thrive on connection and love. On belonging and companionship. This is our one and only shot at life and we deserve to spend it happy and fulfilled. These are all things we search for in relationships and they are all things that in the beginning, come in droves. We are inundated with the feelings of love and emotional connection. They are also things that, very normally, dwindle as relationships move on and have to be worked at more and more. They are things that in long term relationships are the cause of difficult issues between two people.

I agree with you whole heartedly, 100% that you are allowed to be unhappy if they are lacking in your life. I agree with you whole heartedly, 100% that it is the responsibility of BOTH parties in a partnership to maintain these and both are responsible for contributing to the breakdown of a caring, connected and emotionally intimate relationship. It is a normal occurrence in partnerships of many years.

What you need to understand is that there are also many ways to deal with this scenario. Different choices that can be made in order to address the unhappiness. Choices that uphold integrity and respect. Choices that still end up in you receiving what you want whether with or without your current partner. Choices that are available to you, however difficult they may be. I agree whole heartedly, 100% that those choices are hard. Expressing your unhappiness fully and honestly, being true to yourself and saying out loud how unhappy you are and that you actually don't want to be in the relationship anymore is really fucking hard. It's sad, awkward and people get hurt. Relationships end. It's not nice. Really not nice but.....

The minute you decide to deal with your unhappiness by texting someone else and hiding it, that is your choice. The minute you decide to talk to someone of the opposite sex, outside of your marriage about your unhappiness and not to your wife in the same detail, that is on you. The minute you start to enjoy someone else's company a bit too much, that is on you. The minute you know you're enjoying this in way that's inappropriate and crossing the line, yet you choose to continue, to send another text, to delete messages, to hide or lie about your intentions, to meet up, to take another small step again, and again and again, that is on you. Choice after choice, after choice. Those are YOUR decisions. YOUR actions. YOUR choices. Your wife's involvement in the breakdown of your relationship STOPS when these decisions start. YOU are making those choices, NOT her.

You didn't cheat because you were unhappy, you cheated because you were too weak to do the right thing by the person you were committed to because it felt too good and you were only thinking of yourself. You didn't cheat because your wife didn't have sex with you, you cheated because you were too scared to speak up for yourself and have a hard conversation and you succumbed to how it felt to get attention elsewhere. You didn't cheat because you don't have a connection with your wife anymore, you cheated because you were fuelled by your own ego and instigated a connection somewhere else. You didn't cheat because you fell out of love, you cheated because you were too cowardly to be honest about it. You cheated because you felt sorry for yourself and entitled. You cheated because you were selfish and arrogant and not thinking of anyone else except yourself. You cheated because you couldn't take into consideration the life and feelings of someone else. Someone else you should have been considering.

And the picture you painted of this person, your wife, while you were cheating, to yourself and probably to your affair partner as well, well.....these are not truthful justifications or valid reasons for your actions. This is an unfair and unrealistic image you have painted to give yourself a false sense of permission and counteract what you are doing behind your wife's back. This picture you're creating is not who she is and you know it. These are aspects of her personality that exist, but are being exaggerated and villianised to justify what YOU are doing. If she was all those things you are making her out to be, all of the time, you would never have married her. Your wife and her faults are not to blame for your affair. I am going to say that again.

Your wife and her faults are not to blame for your affair.

Yes, she is to blame for her share of the breakdown of your relationship. And yes, the breakdown of your relationship is contributing to your unhappiness. She has a 50% share in that, just as you have. However, it was YOUR CHOICE to deal with that breakdown by stepping outside of a committed partnership, lie to her, cover up, gaslight her and betray her trust. You chose that option out of several other options available to you. You chose. You, no one else. Your wife is not to blame for your affair or your actions while in it. Placing blame on your wife is part of the process of cheating. Blaming your wife is as textbook as the unfaithful losing weight, buying new clothes and declaring that you can have women as friends.

And why is it so textbook? Because blaming your wife is a response to the guilt and shame that is created by betraying and hurting someone you are supposed to be looking after. Blaming your wife is a response to knowing that you're doing something pretty fucking despicable that you have to lie about and cover up. Blaming your wife is a response to justify what you deep down absolutely know is a really shitty, shitty thing to do, that is going to devastate someone you promised not to hurt. Plus you have a complicit partner in crime who needs to hear all those things to justify what they are doing too. She is also doing something really shitty for her own self-gratification too. She's going to agree with everything you're saying as it eases her conscience, along with yours, and creates a delusional sense of approval and entitlement. To further justify this, you both embark on a campaign of character assassination, armed with rifles that you aim and fire at the wife whenever you feel like it. Whenever the guilt creeps up or conscience kicks in, you load your guns with insults and negative traits to suit your narrative, and fire at will. The wife? Well, she's outnumbered by the two of you and an open, defenceless, unarmed, unaware target. If she does react or defend herself in anyway, you load that into your rifle and fire it right back at her.

So, how does it feel to watch those bullets of character assassination strike and fatally wound your wife? How does it feel to join the lowest form of scum on the Earth? How does it feel hurting the closest people to you and knowing you have permanently affected their life in the worst possible way, yes and that includes your children? How does it feel to lose the respect of friends and family? How does it feel experiencing the intense ramifications that you can't control, that just won't stop coming and that you have to keep fending off to keep you from being consumed by the bubbling vat of guilt and shame beneath you?

Hmmmm, the bog of eternal stench. I'm sure you've seen Labyrinth. That's how I picture it in my mind. Bubbling away underneath you, stinking, thick, slimy gunk that will pull you into a very dark place. The more you deflect and place blame elsewhere, the more you keep yourself away from its grasp. The more you continue to villainise and blame your wife, the more you repeat and confirm the false justifications, the more you prevent the thick vines of guilt and shame from wrapping themselves around your ankles and pulling you in. I get it. It's all very text book. Shame is a very poisonous state of mind. It's insidious, harmful and incredibly powerful. I wouldn't want to switch places with you.

I watched my husband run from that stuff. Dive into defiance and arrogance. Come out drenched in denial, trying desperately to fight and fend it off, but eventually he couldn't run from it any longer.

Then, I watched him stand in it and accept his fate. Acknowledge what he'd done and take full responsibility for it. Once the denial was lifted, not an ounce of blame was sent in my direction. Not an ounce of deflection in order to keep running away from accepting responsibility for what he did. I watched him deal with the gossip, the judgement, the opinions and bad treatment from others, all consequences of his own actions. Consequences rippling out through everyone around us whether they knew us or not, whether it was their business or not, whether the information was accurate or not, whether the comments were justified or not. Consequences that were like a tsunami that he couldn't control. Then, watched him accept he had no one else to blame but himself. It wasn't pretty, in fact it was downright fucking awful. It damaged his mental health and sense of self for a long time. But, in truth, when you behave in that way, so it should. You should feel on the verge of a breakdown, you should deeply struggle knowing the pain you've caused others, you should feel terrible for quite some time. You should want to crawl into a hole and not come out and it should take a fucking long time to recover from what you did because what you did was fucking hideous, deeply disrespectful and incredibly damaging, and no amount of running will ever change that. That shit is permanent. Once you make that choice to cheat, it's done forever.

It's time to accept that the reason for your affair is based solely on who YOU are. YOUR personality, YOUR character flaws, YOUR behaviour and not hers. Your affair is 100% because you indulged/are indulging in the worst of yourself, dressed up as the pursuit of happiness. Because you're giving into your ego's desires to feel like a rockstar and feeding off the illicit rush of excitement, so much so, your wife doesn't even come into the picture.

As I'm writing this, I don't even really expect you to take in it. There's very few unfaithful husbands that get to this point of acceptance. Hell, let's be realistic, if you're still blaming your wife and running from your shame, you won't even fucking read it.



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