Cheaters & Broken Hearts
Support for those affected by infidelity...
Responsibility for Infidelity
Passing the buck seems to be the way people handle every situation in which they find themselves in trouble. No one wants to take responsibility for his own actions. It's always someone else's fault, or it wouldn't have happened if someone else hadn't done something to tempt you, etc.
It's difficult to claim responsibility for things we do, about which we are ashamed and embarrassed. It's much easier to blame someone else or make excuses for our actions. I understand that. But I also understand that if you're capable of having sex outside your marriage, you should be big enough to take responsibility for it.
It's very simple. Men, if you love your wives and/or you want to stay with them, do not get involved with another woman! But if you do, don't blame the woman with whom you cheat! Be strong and mature enough to admit that you made a mistake, and that no one else is to blame! I mean, if you aren't honest enough to say, "Okay, I screwed up. It's no one's fault, but mine. I'm sorry. Please forgive me, and I'll do my best to make it up to you," why should your wife give you another chance?
Sometimes it isn't the guilty party that makes the excuses. When it comes to infidelity, the wife of the cheating man almost always buys into the idea that the other woman is responsible for her husband's infidelity. She takes that ball and runs with it. She tells everyone she knows about how that woman relentlessly threw herself at him until he just couldn't resist her anymore. Nonsense!
Ladies, think about this. What do you think of a man who blames someone else for his own bad decisions? Do you respect weakness and immaturity? What about respect for yourself? Do you think you deserve to be with a man who is unfaithful to you, and doesn't even have the decency to admit he made a mistake? What kind of man can't take responsibility for his own actions, and blames a person that he brought into the situation?
How can you defend a man like that? How can you believe anything he says? How can you trust him? Why would you want to? He put his own sexual gratification above your feelings. He decided that getting off with someone else was more important to him than protecting you from being hurt. By shielding him from taking responsibility for what he did to you, you're defending him. You might as well tell him that what he did was okay. Why would you do that?
First of all, you don't have to be a genius to know that no woman can force a man to have sex with her. If a man has sex, he does it because he wants to, regardless of what he might tell you. This is what most people call "common sense." I don't call it that, because it's logic, and thinking logically is not so common. Logic tells us that men aren't jumping into bed with women other than their wives against their own will. They enjoy it, so they do it. So how is anyone other than the cheater responsible for his choice to cheat?
This is a subject about which people feel very strongly. I understand what it feels like to have a man be unfaithful to you. It hurts like crazy. And I understand that you love him, and you're looking for a way to avoid blaming him. That's the only way you can justify staying with someone who chose being with someone else over preserving his marriage. But should you?
Look at it this way... Say you have two little boys. The older one does something wrong, and the younger one goes along with it. You give the older boy a hug, and tell him to sit down and eat. You send the younger boy to bed without dinner because he took part in the older boy's misbehavior. Does that seem fair? Does it even make any sense? No! But blaming the woman with whom your husband cheated, while holding onto him and holding him blameless, is basically the same thing. She might've gone along with his sin (IF she even knew he was married), but HE is the one who broke HIS vows. HE is responsible for HIS actions, but you aren't holding him accountable. Instead, you're holding someone else accountable for something HE did.
When we do things about which we are ashamed, we sometimes try to justify or minimize them. But strong, mature, responsible people stand up and claim the blame for their own actions. They don't pass the buck on to someone else.
If I didn't love my husband, and I refused to meet his needs, and he found another woman who did meet his needs, I would definitely feel at least partially responsible for his infidelity. Ultimately, it would be his choice, and his actions would be his own responsibility. But I would have to share in the blame for the failure of the marriage, if I didn't take care of him, because my actions (or lack thereof) would have contributed to the demise of our relationship.
My first husband cheated on me regularly, and he abused me physically, emotionally, and sexually. Even so, when I cheated on him, I was wrong. When I was involved with men who were separated or married, regardless of what they told me (or didn't tell me), or why they were cheating, I was wrong in being with them. I take responsibility for my own actions, BUT I WILL NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS, just as I would not have blamed the guys with whom I cheated in my first marriage. It wasn't their fault that I chose to cheat because I was too weak to leave my abuser. They weren't responsible for my actions, and I'm not responsible for anyone else's actions.
Most people quickly jump to accept praise for their accomplishments, and that's fine. However, when it comes to taking responsibility for their mistakes, they aren't so willing to step up. I think that's usually due to fear. But remember--we all make mistakes. None of us is perfect. I'm not suggesting that any of us throw stones. We need to try to be understanding.
I am, however, saying that if you do something wrong, you should accept responsibility for what you've done, and not try to blame what you've done on someone else. Those who claim responsibility for their own mistakes are much more likely to be respected than those who try to pass the buck. If you did it, own it, and try to make amends. That's the only way you'll ever be able to re-establish any trust. There's no guarantee, but it's worth a try.
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