You know when someone says ‘with all due respect’…and then they follow it up with a comment that leaves you wondering how on earth that could ever be considered ‘respect’? On that note, I know this reader may not have wanted to sound condescending, but I just have to wonder how some of these questions could be taken any other way? Nonetheless, their questions appealed to me as great conversation starters, so here is my response to a recent comment made on one of my posts. Cheers!
What is it exactly that you regret?
I regret thinking that love meant unfettered trust without objective skepticism. I trusted Honey and every word he spoke. I trusted he had grounds for divorce from his cheating wife, and that his claims about her affair were true. It’s only now that I’ve learned he’s a pathological liar that those claims from so many years ago become suspect in my mind.
Was he telling the truth? If true, I still regret that I didn’t wait to date him until after his divorce was final. I was young and naïve, and felt entitled to because he had solid grounds for divorce. I should have waited regardless because it was inappropriate – something that could only be learned with time and maturity in my life and in my walk.
Was he lying? If a lie, I became an unwitting accomplice in his cheating and was the ‘other woman’. Will I ever know the answer to this? It’s unlikely.
I detail more about this in the post entitled HONEY.
Did the previous wife’s infidelity and subsequent divorce make it, in your view at the time, okay for him to leave her for you?
I saw Honey as the VICTIM. I didn’t see it as him leaving her for me at the time at all. Rather, I saw us getting together as a byproduct of what he’d presented as fact: his wife was cheating, admitted to loving this other man, but then minimized Honey’s feelings of betrayal and announced ‘well, we can just stay married I guess’, as though that was some great gift to him. When he walked out on her, I saw it as a pre-emptive strike against what was already coming, and his absolute right. Again, all of this on the presumption that what he said about her affair was true.
Do you still consider Honey yours even though you two have separated because of an infidelity?
No, I do not consider him ‘mine’ in any way. I divorced him and he is remarried. The honorable person I believed him to be was not real, so I mourn a figment of my imagination anyway. Furthermore, I would never tolerate that in a partner, and would divorce any partner if infidelity were confirmed because I believe cheating is about a lack of impulse control, poor character, and is abusive…and I would not knowingly subject myself to abuse in any relationship.
How far does permanence of marriage go for you? Do you believe sex before marriage is morally wrong as well?
I believe it’s permanent in that there’s no such thing as biblical grounds for ‘irreconcilable differences’. However, adultery and abuse are grounds, so I do not hesitate to counsel others that these abuses should not be tolerated under the guise of upholding their end of the marital covenant. Counsel, fix, and reconcile, or divorce…but never tolerate. And yes, I believe sex is designed to be best within marriage. The version of me from 20 years ago who was fine with living with a man is nothing but a memory. I have grown and changed in my lifetime due to my beliefs, and have been humbled by and learned from choices I’ve made in the past. I am abstinent by choice because of my beliefs and if by some miracle I ever felt inclined to get remarried, I would wait until marriage. This may not be for everybody, but it’s my personal decision. Would you also like to know the results of my last MRI or the contents of my private journal? I feel like there should be a 2-way mirror here and a chain-smoking cop with a plate of donuts.
Lastly, have you ever thought that this situation may be happening to you because of the decisions you made in the past concerning Honey? That you are reaping what you had sown? (Galatians 6:7-8) You’ve explained in great detail what Honey has done to you. I just wonder if you think about how you might be responsible for this as well? (In that, you will find the release you seek.)
If you are asking do I feel as though I’m getting what I deserve for trusting someone who turned out to be a pathological liar and sociopath with no empathy or remorse, the answer is no. But did I wonder about how I may have been responsible for this? Oh Lord, yes. I spent months lying in a heap sobbing, wracking my brain trying to figure out what I’d done to ‘cause’ this. So yes I did, but I don’t anymore. Because, you see, I learned that that kind of thinking is exactly the problem here. It’s called victim-blaming. It’s the same as asking ‘What did you do to cause your husband to beat you?’ We don’t compel people to abuse us, as Chump Lady says. No, I don’t believe in that notion at all. There is nothing a spouse could do to ‘cause’ someone to cheat on them, because cheating is about entitlement and selfishness. There are counselors and lawyers by the truckload on this block alone – take me to counseling, or divorce me. Be an adult and open your mouth and speak of your ‘unhappiness’. You do not have permission, no matter what type of spouse you think I am or am not, to abuse me.
But what I do seek to do is learn about where I missed the red flags, give myself grace for those failures, and to use that knowledge to empower me in the future. The goal of this site is to share this kind of story so other people victimized by these sub-humans will not go around blaming themselves for trusting their spouses, either. I also seek to empower similarly victimized people (who were victimized but who are NOT eternal victims) to flip the narrative on those who would shame or blame the victimized. For example, a person such as yourself suggesting that I should consider that I’m ‘reaping what I have sown’ either hasn’t read my story in its entirety, or has, but presumes that nice, innocent people don’t go around getting themselves cheated on and that I must have caused it somehow. Either way, I implore you to read on, or to go to Chump Lady for a rock-solid education about cheaters, or both. In that, I’m certain you will find the release that you seek.
With all due respect,
Well, I do believe it quite unfortunate that you took what I was saying the wrong way…
Yet, no bother. Before I make my way out of your hair, I feel it necessary to respond.
First, if you regret the decision to have initiated the relationship with Honey when your conscience knew at the time that it was not right to do so, wouldn’t it be reasonable to conclude that you acted against your conscience in making such a decision, and that such an action would entail a wrong against yourself? That you still regret it to this day, stands as a testament to such. By the way, ask any ethicist about acting against your own conscience. (Wisdom 17:10; Sirach 13:30; 1 Corinthians 8:7)
Why is that important? It is important because it represents a wrong done. Is not the Lord just? Is not justice the equalization of right against wrong done, even against oneself? All wrongs, even done against oneself, are wrongs done against God. (Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 Corinthians 6:18) It is also possible to see that as a wrong done against the estranged woman as well, seeing as you admit that you do not know the full story. What if Honey was lying, and that she was the one who was actually wronged? (Job 19:4) Is the situation really “victimless?” Wouldn’t it make sense therefore that you actually are reaping what you had sown?
Which, by the way, is not in any way victim blaming at all. It is merely observable that certain actions will most necessarily effect certain consequences. “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction,” says Isaac Newton. Would you accuse him of victim blaming?
Second, let us observe two things.
A) How the first situation ended. According to your account, when you two began to see each other, the divorce was not finalized.
B) How your own situation ended. Honey blindsided you, and this happened during a time when you could say that you two were still together.
(Referred hithertofore as situations A and B, respectively).
(As a preface [not “with all due respect…”], there are some obvious differences between situations A and B. You and Honey had children, Honey and the ex-ex-wife did not, etc.)
Let’s look at the basics. You align yourself with Honey before what your conscience believes to be the appropriate time for such a thing to occur (even referring to him as a “married man”); let’s just say that’s the sowing.
What did you reap? The same exact thing at a basic level, which was that Honey left you and aligned himself with someone else at a point in time that your conscience would consider to be inappropriate. This is in disregard to the obvious differences between situations A and B. Looking at it from what could be inferred as God’s perspective, what you did happened to you. Does planting a corn seed produce a peach tree?
In reference to “cheating,” Matthew 5:27-28 suffices as an example of how cheating is not only physical.
Lastly, you now know that sex without marriage is wrong, and it has been impressed upon your conscience. I understand that you did those actions in ignorance in the past. The difference with this situation is that you didn’t “necessarily” act against your own conscience, but that you ignorantly committed an act you now know to be wrong. The same methodology can now be applied to the situation. There are too many Bible verses to count on the evils of fornication. Action happens, therefore equal and opposite reaction.
Which, by the way, I have no problem stating forthright that fornication is a mortal sin that, committed even once by an unrepentant soul that perishes, will send that soul to hell forever. No “pulling teeth” here. Please, officer, ask me something a bit more difficult. 🙂
I rest my case.
I do want to mention that I don’t normally do this… I never leave comments on any blog that I see (I’m a regular ol’ “lurker”). I chose to do this because I saw someone who was hurt… Do you think I would take the time of day to fully explain this to someone like Honey? I know he wouldn’t listen. Yet, I figured you would.
I am doing this because I feel so sorry for your children. It breaks my heart to have to hear that children have to go through something like this… indeed, they are the true victims of this sad, sad story. No amount of “Cars 3” will ever change that…
I just want to add that I am not defending Honey. Revolution begets revolution begets revolution begets revolution…
Smh at the pomposity and self-righteousness here, all under the guise of “helping.” Blech.
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It is very bizarre to see someone intellectually masturbate to their own self-doubt and insecurity. Hiding the gratification he gets from every pseudo-“helpful” blow behind Bible verses. Proudly.
I recommend that you dive headlong into whatever sort of mental breakdown you’re trying to avoid and just get it over with. Focus on yourself. Examine your faults deeply and allow your basic needs to lay down a framework for rebuilding your life in the purest, most simple ways possible. You don’t have kindness; nice is not enough. There’s something rotting you down to the core and it shows. It REALLY shows.
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Phew! Such a relief to hear you’re not out to shame and blame me using false equivalencies and causation and unrelated scripture and Newton’s third law. My bad.
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This horrible person is projecting his/her fears onto you. It’s so obvious. Why take the time to peruse infidelity/divorce blogs if your objective is to make the victim/survivor feel bad. It’s as if the commenter is advocating initial and permanent mistrust in relationships. As in, “It’s your fault because you didn’t go into it mistrusting everything your husband told you. Shame on you for treating him with respect and accepting what he said as the truth. Don’t you understand how the world works? Protect yourself and live on the edge of mistrust and suspicion all the live long day!”
You have a lot more patience than I have, because I would’ve deleted the comment or said, “Fuck off!” I had a comment that asked me, “How did I allow him to treat me so poorly.” Yes, yes, that’s exactly what I need to hear during my time of surviving this occurrence in my life. It works so well and is so charitably Christian, you know. Because when we are suffering the best medicine is to hear someone tell us how it’s our fault for not knowing.
It goes back to the 80/20 rule. 80% of what someone says to you in these situations is about them, only 20% is actually about you, and in this case, that 20% is simply the springboard for this person to project their insecurities onto you.
This person has fear, anxiety, and/or guilt and making it about you instead of themselves. If they can blame you hard enough then their suspicions of their own marriage can be alleviated. They can tell themselves that they checked off all the box in all the right places and they won’t end up where you ended up. Yet, they are here. That’s their subconscious mind trying to tell themselves something. Knock knock.
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You don’t need to explain yourself. We’ve all done stupid things. It’s not like you were actively becoming the other woman behind the unknowing wife’s back.
Hey, as far as my former state is concerned I am the other woman in my current situation. Granted, his wife walked out on him 2 months before I ever met him. And yes, she promptly moved in with her new beau, the man she still lives with. And my beloved husband has been living with his cousin/mistress for over a year and cheating on me with her for almost 2, but legally I’m still married and therefore, according to your “friend” up there, shouldn’t be dating. Yeah, I’ll just put my life on hold forever while CF blithely lives with another woman and her kids, playing happy family. My conscience is clear.
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People like this are why churches are emptying like the Houston levee’s. A book some dudes wrote nearly 2,000 years ago is pretty much the least relevant thing I can think to my life and how to live it. I just laughed as I read the retort to your post. Why even feed these trolls?
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