When I think back to my first blog 30SomethingAndBreakingUp, which was the story of my divorce after my wife’s unfaithfulness and journey through recovery from my low self esteem and other mental health issues, I received some reactions that I never expected when discussing my break up. Sure, I got a lot of sympathy from men and from women about what I was going through – and I remain eternally grateful for the bloggers I encountered back then and their invaluable insights.
What shocked me was the extent to which people – and women especially – attempted to justify my ex-wife’s cheating. I’d always heard the mantra that if a man cheats it means he’s a pig and if a woman cheats then it means her partner was such a pig that he deserved it, but I never truly expected to come across women who thought that way in real life. Sadly, the notion that women only cheat for good reason was far more common than I’d hoped. I remember having an argument with several women on the blog of a psychologist who specialised in sexuality. They informed me that yes, in no uncertain terms, my ex-wife could not possibly be responsible for her own actions – that I must have driven her to it through my actions.
Now there are memes like this:
I see this meme and variations on it practically every week. Shared by friends and family from pages of a certain persuasion (overwhelmingly aimed at the female half of the species) imply that you are not responsible for your actions, it’s all somebody else’s fault, especially if they are male. The one that grinds me gears the most is the quote from Marilyn Monroe “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”. Basically, you have to put up with my crap but I have no intention or obligation to put up with yours and when I cheat on you because of it, it’s your fault anyway.
I am not responsible for my ex-wife cheating on me and she never lacked for love, attention, honesty or loyalty – yet still she cheated. I find it incredibly insulting that such women can and do absolve all women everywhere for the responsibility of their actions.
It’s about time we all started taking responsibilities for our actions, it’s about time we started taking ownership of our errors, acknowledging them and moving on. Only then can you truly be free of your past. Blaming others helps nobody.