I don’t know why I preface my blogs with caveats, because I can never hit all of the, “but what if…” scenarios. In this case, I’m speaking specifically of one event, with one person, and the situation she’s in, and the irony.
I say this because while I’m speaking of one person, I know this CAN BE a phenomenon. And it’s maddening.
That said, let’s do this!
I have a friend who somewhat recently found out her boyfriend was cheating on her. With multiple girls, across multiple occurrences. His excuse? She was being a bitch during that time and he needed someone who wasn’t. So he stuck his dobber in a bunch of randos.
Can we pause to say how disgusting this is, people? I mean, really. One in three people has some type of STD/STI. And many cheaters (and closeted gay men) don’t use condoms because having/using a condom is often a sign of premeditation. If it’s all “in the moment” then it’s not as guilt-causing. And if it’s all in the moment, then who has a condom? This is spontaneity, people! But, I digress.
So, he’s a dirty cheating whore (hey, sorry, it’s true). And she’s all feigning pissed, and anxiety-ridden, and depressed, and suicidal, and whatever else happens when someone cheats. I’ve heard it’s similar to death. I think breakups can be similar to death, too. I mean, not as bad. And sometimes you wish the person were dead, but that’s a different story. Death is the end of something. Cheating is often the end of the “perfect period” in a relationship. Whether that perfect relationship is reality or in your mind doesn’t matter. Accepting infidelity ruins that. And it introduces a whole new group of insecurities into a relationship.
I have to say, as an outside observer, moving through cheating is really hard and often times isn’t worth it. I watch people recommit to each other, but the trust is never 100%. Counseling helps a LOT, but often times the person who got cheated on keeps it in the back of his or her mind. My mom used to say not to judge what others do inside of their relationship because you never know what you’ll do when faced with it in yours. Love’s weird like that, I guess. But in these cases, when I’ve asked, it almost seems as if the person who got cheated on feels like he or she deserves it. They take the blame. AND they say, “What if there’s no one better. What if I leave him or her, and he or she really was the best out there.” I could write a whole different post addressing this. And I won’t. Let me bottom line it saying, there is always someone better than the person who cheats on you (or abuses you physically or emotionally, or is an alcoholic or addict who doesn’t get better, etc.).
So, they’ve decided to stay together. I mean, she threatens to leave every few weeks, and enjoys having his balls in a vice. Here’s a point of confusion for me: If a guy cares so little about someone he cheats (and let’s be real, when you cheat on someone, at that point, you do not love them – say what you will, when you truly love someone, you would never, never do anything to hurt them), why does he stick around for the post-abuse? Same with the women cheaters. Why? Why cheat, then stick around to get beat into the ground eternally? It doesn’t make sense. If I were the cheater, I’d say, “We’re moving on or we’re breaking up.” You can’t hold it over the cheater’s head forever.
And she tries to say everything’s great, everything’s good, everything’s perfect. We’re communicating like never before. He’s very understanding, because he knows he has to be. He’s doing whatever it takes. He has to do what I want. You know, amidst all of the near-breakups. I mean, if he HAS to do it, is it really that great? If he knows he owes you this, is it perfect? Don’t you want a relationship of free will? One where if the person could leave he never would? He’s happy just as you are, as the relationship is? Not out of obligation or out of punishment for bad behavior? It doesn’t make sense. But anyway, it’s perfect. They’re great. Mostly.
And a conversation starts about a mutual friend who is starting to look for rings for his girlfriend. Squee! I mean, OK, I’m excited for them. Great people. And he’s mentioned they’ve talked some and he has a general idea of what she wants. So the friend (the cheated) starts going on about how she has very specific standards for an engagement ring. Specifics. They must be met, and her cheater boyfriend knows such. And then she goes on about fairy tale proposals and grand gestures and whatnot. I mean all of that’s great. You want what you want. You’re allegedly wearing this ring the rest of your life, may as well get what you want. I get that. And grand proposals are kind of a thing now, what with Fakebook and YouTube and all that. I get that, too.
But, seriously, all I can think is, “How do you have more specific requirements for your engagement ring than your fiancé?”
And this is a thing. This is a phenomenon. I see women who are more particular about their engagement ring, or their dress, or the flowers at their wedding, or their cake, or their wedding colors, or the fucking napkins at their wedding than they are the guy they’re marrying. Marriage is hard enough without going into it as an underdog!
I’m not saying you should have specifics like hair and eye color. I mean you aren’t Hitler creating his perfect race. But maybe a few standard deal breakers like, “He doesn’t stick his ding dong in another girl’s hoohah.” Or, “He doesn’t punch me in the face. Ever.” Or “We both think it’s not OK to run each other over with a car because we didn’t get our way.”
I mean, just some loose guidelines.
I think sometimes it’s easy to think the perfect ring equals the perfect guy. When I was a young chaplet (female version of chap?), I used to think, “A guy who will wait to have sex with me until marriage really loves me.” You know, until that didn’t quite work out. Some people think their perfect mate is Catholic from a small town. Others think their perfect mate is someone who can fix stuff up around the house. These are all great things, and maybe they’re deal breakers. But excusing his bad behavior because he does one specific thing (fixes the plumbing, goes to church, buys you the exact ring you requested) even though he doesn’t fit the bill of any of the big picture items.
And if she gets engaged, I genuinely WILL be happy for her. And I will hope it works out. On the other hand, if it’s headed for failure, we discovered yesterday, there’s no faster way to get to the breaking point of a relationship than to put a “forever” stamp on it!