On Being Unfaithful 

  

My husband and I were having a discussion about this in the car today. We are usually very open and honest with each other about everything and there is no subject in our marriage that is off limits. We’ve even talked about people we find attractive (and we tease each other about it often). 

But we both agreed that there is no place for cheating in a marriage. When you commit your life to someone, you’re being completely vulnerable. They are yours. You are theirs. You don’t want anyone to for a second think that they can lay claim to what you’ve already conquered. 

I used to tell my mother that if a man ever cheated on me, she could have him. That he obviously wasn’t mine to begin with. But I’m starting to realize that I’ve been lying to myself. If a woman tried to step to my husband, I’d honestly have to rearrange her face. And I would hope that if I ever tried to step to hers, that she would do the same to me. 

In my past life, I befriended a few guys who were married, unbeknownst to me. When I found out, the younger me thought it was cute. I was giving him something she couldn’t. The adult me now realizes that the younger me was stupid, selfish and pitiful. Just because he didn’t respect his marriage vows didn’t mean that I shouldn’t. I wasn’t some magical savior to his miserable marriage. I was just something to do. I was expendable. 

I remember a guy I met when I was working at Walgreens. His name was Dexter McRae. He was from Fayetteville. I thought he was single and we used to just hang out and talk. I found out he was married through one of my co-workers, but I still kept befriending him. My viewpoint was, he married her, not me. I didn’t owe her anything. One night when I was sick with the flu, she called my phone. We talked for hours. About him, their kids, how he was always cheating on her. She was literally one of the nicest people I’ve ever talked to. I felt terrible for not ending things earlier. After that, I left him alone. A few months later, they separated. A few months after that, he was arrested for breaking into her house, raping her and stabbing her to death while their children slept in the next room. He’s in prison for life now. I often wonder what would have happened to me had I not stopped talking to him. 

From this situation I learned that a grown woman should never pursue a married man. And if she finds out he’s married, she should break ties immediately. As a woman, woman to woman, we owe each other that much respect. 

And as far as my outlook on cheating now that I’m married? I believe that it’s one of those things that you can never come back from. I believe that it hurts your spouse on a level that you’ll never quite grasp until it happens to you. I believe it leaves wounds and emotional scars to last a lifetime. 

As we sat in the car, riding, the music on, the A/C pumping and Carter in the backseat chilling, I remembered that this was everything that I asked for. Everything that I wanted. 

Most importantly, it feels so good to know that I’m married to a man that I don’t have to worry about. That I can trust. Not too many women can say that. 

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