It’s happened again.
A person who is cheating on their spouse tried to justify their actions to me.
I empathize up to a point.
I mean, marriage can be hard. And we can end up in situations way more complicated and difficult than we ever imagined when we said, “I do.” Situations that don’t always have an easy answer or even an obvious “right” path.
I don’t think that all people who choose to cheat on their partners are evil or completely callous. I get that they have their own pain that they are trying to alleviate.
But no matter how challenging their situation, and no matter how much I can empathize with their pain, I always come back to the same thought –
The betrayed didn’t have a choice.
Nobody asked us if we thought an affair was a reasonable response to the situation. In fact, so often we were kept in the dark so that we were unaware that there even was a situation that needed addressing. We had no say in the choice of the affair partner or the resources (both time and money) that would be reallocated that direction. We were never consulted about the associated health risks of multiple partners or given a choice about protection. We never agreed to be lied to and we certainly didn’t sign up to be gaslighted.
The one who cheated made all of those decisions. Decisions that had a major impact on our lives.
And they did have a choice.