CHEATER!! I detest the word!
There I have put it out there! I really try to use any other word than this one when writing about what happened to us. Our story is meant to be a story of hope for those who both, and I emphasise BOTH want to stay together and work, and I emphasise WORK, together to get through the shit that infidelity has brought into their lives and come through it all stronger.
But … our story is also a story for those who find themselves broken, whether it was because they betrayed, or whether they have been betrayed; those who are not staying together; or who have already broken up; or those where one is working so damn hard and the other isn’t; I hope (see that word again) that our story will help those people understand why they are where they are; hope that they can relate to our story, mine, and Rich’s; and understand that we both have a story to tell; and that whilst it is the same story it is coming from a different perspective – or it was for a very long time!
I hope that these people can use what we went through to see that they are not alone, some may see that they are worth more than what they have, it may give some people direction for what they want and where they want to go; and it may help those desparately trying to make amends have the courage to face their fears.
So that is what has made me write this post? Only recently someone who had an affair, lost their partner as a result of it and is heartbroken as a result of the mistake they made, asked why people label people ‘cheaters.’ They asked why irrespective of the work they have done to understand their actions, irrespective of how they have changed as a result of the terrible mistake they made, they were, in the eyes of some ‘A Cheater!’ And it made me want to write this post.
Here are some definitions of cheat and cheater:
To cheat: Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage
A cheater: A person who behaves dishonestly in order to gain an advantage.
A person who behaves in a dishonest way
Someone who does not follow the rules
These are just some of the various definitions from traditional dictionaries. However the word has now become urbanised and the common definition from the urban dictionaries is: someone who cheats on the person that they are in a relationship with. In fact if you ask the internet it will also give you a whole load of negative responses to the definition.
I would ask: Is this where you want to be if you are more than six months in and still referring to your partner as a cheat? I know I would have thought hard by now about whether I was doing the right thing! Or in my case I never called Rich a cheater.
Now I am looking at this from an ‘eleven years on’ perspective; I have had a lot of time to think, and a lot of time for the emotion to die down; so I understand why at the beginning you may label your partner, or ex partner; I understand how you want to hurt them badly, God knows I did for a long time – not least the black eyes I gave Rich. How can you say you don’t know?!!!!
As part of what we went through we have both had to look at ourselves as well as each other, and it took a long long time. But if I had labelled Rich a ‘Cheater’ throughout that time do you think we would be where we are today? Because I know I don’t!
As part of my journey I started to read a lot of Psychology books: ‘Counselling for Toads’ , ‘The Road Less Travelled,’ ‘(and Beyond)’ and I read the Tao Te Ching. One of the first lessons that is offered to you from that is to stop labelling things.
- He was sorry – He couldn’t have been more sorry if he had beat himself with a birch stick!
- He took responsibility for what he had done
- He was, and still is full of remorse
- He has reflected on his past and changed – not because I asked him to but because he wanted to; and he knew that he had to if he wanted to stay with me, because I would have left him behind.
- He listened
- He cried
- He came to counselling
And so much more. So is he still a cheater, eleven years on? Let us not forget the crappy, bitter, stupid fucking saying ‘Once a cheater always a cheater!’
I will be honest if Rich had done it again I would be gone. There would be no discussion, there would be no chance of reconciliation and I would not care what the reasons were; if he did it again I would be out. This is because I have a really strong personaility and it nearly killed me to stay this time; also I have a life and I would not be prepared to continue to live it in fear with a lack of trust. I could not see how someone would go through all the pain that we have, and then do it again, and I would not want to be with that someone. But that’s me!
But Rich, as a lot of people are, was sorry. he was human, he made a mistake and nearly lost everything. So is he still a cheater? Should he still be called that?
There was a hypothesis carried out by Benjamin Wharf into labelling and he came to this conclusion: ‘The words we use to describe what we see determine what we see.’
So this makes me ask:
When you call your partner a Cheater, does that mean that they still are in your eyes, and is that stopping you from seeing anything else that they do, or any changes that they have undergone? Or there fear?
Do you want to move on from them, or stay? If you want to move on call them what you like, fucking arsehole may also be appropriate! But I would advise letting it go as the years go by, you know my feelings on bitterness.Beware Bitterness – It will be your enemy
But if you want to stay will calling them a cheater help?
Just putting it out there; and if you find the word cheater in any of my posts let me know, I will change it! (Apart from this one of course!)
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