Once a Cheat, Always a Cheat?

Hearing about people cheat brings about an emotionally charged response from me.  Expected, no doubt, but I’ve also no doubt people underestimate how severe my repulsion is towards those that do it.  This past week brings me to my best friend who has entered into “talks” with a man who cheated on his wife.

She was nervous about telling me.  “I’m talking to somebody…..and you’re not going to like it”, she said in one breath.  My smile faltered.  He was somebody high profile who last year had cheated on his wife.  His wife upon finding explicit images exchanged between him and his female married boss, promptly went to the papers where her husband’s name was spared but the boss, not so lucky.  I suppressed, despite my inner self wanting to smack her, and listened.

He was remorseful.  She explained this wasn’t my ex who hadn’t held his hands up to anything but he admitted it all.  Surely people deserve a second chance if they’ve realised the error of their ways, she asked.  She wanted my advice as she valued me.  She wanted me to be straight.  She would cut it off if I didn’t approve because that’s how close we are….

I don’t approve.  In my head, all cheaters should be dumped in a pit and left to their own underground orgies.  To me, cheating is morally corrupt.  It’s not anything to do with the faith or faithless but rather to do with upholding good moral character.  Ir surprised me slightly as to how much internal emotion this conversation caused.

Things are tense between us.  I gave her my thoughts a couple days later and I won’t lie, I was emotional not logical.  We spoke again a week later.  It became clear to me that whilst she was hoping for my approval, ultimately it doesn’t really matter.  “Your situation can’t dictate my life”, she told me.

I’ve tried to understand what upsets me most about it all.  Perhaps I’m shocked that someone so close to me, having seen the repercussions from an affair, would consider entering into a relationship with the very person that caused that type of pain.  Perhaps I once again feel deflated by something I have come to realise; those who cheat carry on with life as normal, there are no real consequences.   But for those of us left in their path of destruction, it is us who continue to struggle with the consequences of their actions.