I am a cheater. I have given up my cheating ways. But, I have given up so much more in the process. Let me 'xplain...
Prior to being married, I had never sexually cheated on a relationship. I was, however, a rampant, unabashed emotional cheater. I seemed to always be cultivating a near-sexual, highly charged, romantic other relationship outside of my current relationship partner. The lack of sexual attention in my marriage led me to expand my cheating ways to the sexual realm. I'm a lousy lier, however. So, I was easily caught. The emotional entanglements were put up with, the sexual one's were not. Lots of turmoil...
It took awhile, lots of therapy, and deep reflection for me to realize the things that were driving my behavior. Including, not insignificantly, the stress of trying to maintain some semblance of perfection in my life - the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect family... It was killing me. Cheating was a way out, I assumed just temporary escape, but came to realize that it was full on intentional sabotoge of a lifestyle that I couldn't lead.
But, the cheating also became self-reinforcing. Whenever we use something as a poor salve to a significant injury (emotional or physical) we can over rely, become addicted, or otherwise misuse/abuse it. Being a cheating bastard was not only a source of shame but also a source of comfort. I "knew who I was" when I was cheating; I felt lost when I was leading this falsely-perfect life.
To get on the other side of that, I not only had to choose to change and lead a more ethical life, I also had to choose to lead a more authentic one as well. So, I had to give up notions and ideals about what I SHOULD be doing with my life and with whom. And figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it (at this moment). I changed just about everything at that point except my job - although I radically changed my approach to work - and my eye glasses :-) Religion, relationships, friends, attitude toward family, how I approach strangers, what I do outside of work... all got edited or edited out.
Oh, and football, I still love football!
Much better now. Still a work in progress.
Male, Straight, Poly
“Instead of getting better and better at avoiding, learn to accept the present moment as if you had invited it. And work with it instead of against it. And making it your ally rather than your enemy.”
Last edited by MindfulAgony; 04-25-2011 at 11:40 PM.