Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thoughts on Cheating

Tell me how cheating and infidelity can possibly save a marriage?!

The wife of the CEO of cheating website Ashley Madison has a quote from 2013 in an article in today's Seattle Times saying, "I would be devastated if [my husband] did it to me.  But I would not blame a website.  Ashley Madison is not creating cheaters.  It is servicing a need that is there, that exists."  The site and its awful nature have been all over the news lately due to a hacking scandal that has started raking public figures across the coals, most prominently Josh Duggar (who is not liked by anyone I know...).  He certainly won't be the last either, I am sure.  That extent of the situation was all I really knew; then I read this article today and just got mad.

Ok.  I will give her the point that the website is not to blame (mostly).  It is a tool for a decision and action that its users are making and they and their ideas and actions are what are at fault.  However, the question that is left in my mind is HOW can anyone profit from enabling obviously unhealthy relationships to further corrode without any apparent sense of remorse or guilt?  And how hypocritical is it to even be remotely involved in earning from offers of/occurrences of infidelity when that issue would "devastate" your marriage?!

What makes me more livid, though, is this twisted idea that cheating could save a marriage.  Sure, its occurrence and discovery would obviously get some issues out into the air.  But all it really comes down to is that cheating, no matter who does it or how or why, is just a harmful "solution" of avoiding any sort of real work at solving issues that can crop up in (what is supposed to be) a lifelong commitment to another person.  There is so much that can be said and done before reaching that point and even when "that point" is reached, there is no way to justify infidelity as a "right" decision.

(I suppose if both partners felt that they needed to "cheat" and agreed to do it together, that could be, well, ... a thing.... but then it's not actually cheating...)

I am not married.  But I will be someday.  I am lucky to have examples of strong marriages all around me, in my parents, relatives, and friends.  I also know people in my life whose marriages have ended.  If that is what needs to happen for the betterment of all involved, I don't think that is an absolutely terrible thing.  And for the people I know who have experienced this, it has ultimately resulted in a happier life for them.  But it comes out of working towards betterment, before just giving up.  And cheating is in NO way, EVER going to create something better out of a hard situation.  The giving up of marital intimacy, a closeness that has been shared and agreed upon between two people, to another person can only result in broken trust, which maybe can be healed, though, again, with work.

There is not a perfect marriage.  And temptation can rear its ugly head in unanticipated ways that can never be predicted on "the happiest day" of one's life.  But the whole point of the marriage commitment is just that - commitment; committing to choosing that person you have promised yourself to over anything else: choosing them in good times and bad, and in those bad times, the hard times, choosing to work through and fight for them in the midst of all of the things the world throws at you.

Cheating can only ever be breaking that promise.

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