Handling a Cheating Spouse

Karen’s Question:

I’ve been married three times. The first marriage lasted 18 years, then he cheated on me and I divorced him. I waited five years, then married a guy who was my friend for 10 years. He cheated on me too, so I divorced him. After four years, I dated a guy for one year and got married. He also cheated on me and I divorced him as well. The problem is I work 12 hours a day every day 9-9, so I guess they need more attention from me. What do you think?

Liam’s Response:

Greetings. I thank you for sharing your experiences. I am going to ask you first to understand an important aspect of sexual perception and understanding. The use of the term “cheating” or “cheater” has a moral and ethical connotation that denotes a judgmental tone; a holier-than-thou attitude is embedded in the term. Human sexuality is a beautiful, powerful and dangerous thing, and to relegate sexual expressions to standards of social stigmas and morality is very damaging to your own ability to understand your situation. People don’t “cheat” in relationships. Card players cheat. Nobody owns another person’s sexuality. To label another person’s experiences in such a way is demeaning to them and to yourself.

In your case, I feel very strongly that the cycle you’re experiencing is in fact something that can be mended if you are serious about doing so. First, you have to stop looking at relationships as ownership deals. You married three times, and each time, you were under the impression that this contract cemented your control over another person’s sexuality. You need to give up this need to control, not only in relationships but in life in general. Because in this need to control life, to control your lovers, you are losing everything.

Your attitude is: We meet, we marry, we go to work, and I need do nothing else. The problem is not that you work long hours. Rather, in your need for total control, you’ve sacrificed all of your sensuality. You understand the use of sensuality to establish a relationship, and you conduct a very sensual courtship. But once the marriage goal is attained you shut off and put your energy elsewhere, leaving your partners wondering who they married. You fail to realize that the sensual appetites of your lovers need nourishment, and you need nourishment too. You become detached, and your mates sense it.

My advice is forget about being married again, maybe for quite some time. You need to reevaluate your life, your sensuality, and your own sexual self. Find ways to relinquish control and places to harmonize with nature. Get outside. Take up hiking or bird watching. You have no inner peace and no sense of who you are. Nature teaches us how to give up control, and you need a long break from all that mental stress. Commit to some form of regular exercise such as a very slow, yielding form of yoga. Also, start thinking of cutting your work hours. This may mean less money, but also less stress. Most of all, stop blaming your ex-husbands for what happened in your relationships. Stop blaming everyone and everything for what is happening to you. Somewhere along the way, you lost your sexual and sensual bearings. Go out and play a bit, have some fun, and get yourself back on track. You will find your way.


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