I just watched Things Never Said, a film about a spoken word artist struggling to find her voice. In it she's married to a man who hits her and barely cares about her poetry. There are more layers to their relationship but I'll only give you that tidbit for now. Over the course of the film, the woman meets another poet and begins an affair with him. Again, there are more layers to this cinematic version of what infidelity looks like, but I won't go into more details because it was a pretty good movie despite the annoying messages (and spoken word poetry featured), and maybe you'll want to see it.
I'm only using it to set up the point I want to make about infidelity, which is this: Things Never Said tried to convince me that the way this woman and the poet she cheated with became involved was complicated and difficult and there were grey areas that contributed to her infidelity. But I'm calling bullshit on all of that, because infidelity is very black and white. You either cheated or you didn't. There's no grey area about that plain fact.
In the face of challenges and obstacles and plain ol' everyday life, we have choices to make. Do we run out of the house without breakfast OR make breakfast and be a little late to work? Go to bed early and finish your paper in the morning OR pull an all-nighter and sleep in the next day? Sneak some extra cookies during snack OR obey your mom when she says you can only have two? And each of these choices have results and consequences: eat poorly at lunch because you skipped breakfast OR hear it from your boss because you were late? Give up those precious extra moments in the morning to finish your work OR deal with the ramifications of skipping class the next day? Get your rewards now OR lose your mom's trust?
When people say things like "I didn't have a choice" what they really mean is "I made the choice that benefited me at the time" or "I made the choice with the easiest path according to my id."
Infidelity is a choice you make to appease whatever basic need you perceive yourself to be lacking, and it's WRONG because you're making this choice at the expense of two other people--the person you've pledged fidelity to and the new person who thinks they're going to get all of you. Cheating is cheating is cheating. I don't care if your partner abuses you, ignores you or just bores you to death. Cheating is cheating is cheating. And if your partner is so awful then LEAVE** already.
By choosing to cheat, you're denying your significant other the full scope of your relationship and not allowing them to make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to be with you. You're being 100% selfish and cowardly.
My stance during my marriage and even after it ended has always been "If you feel the need to cheat, just leave." Clearly you no longer love or respect the person you're with if you think it's OK to break their trust, and I don't know about you but I don't want to be with someone who doesn't love or respect me. Just leave.
Besides, what kind of person starts a new relationship with drama and unpacked baggage? Don't be that way.
Also, movies and TV shows that glorify this shit make me so...GRRRRRR! Yes, even "Scandal." I want to punch Olivia and Fitz in their stupid faces SO DAMN MUCH.
*smooches...trying to make sure y'all get into heaven*
last I checked adultery was still a sin, dawg.
**Please note this post deals with infidelity. Obviously I know some people can't leave a relationship for many reasons. I'm saying if you're in it, you're in it, and cheating is still cheating no matter how you paint it.