Last week, I made my first modest request of cheating husbands.
Prompted by Elizabeth Edwards' brother's statement that John Edwards "revealed the details of the affair to his wife slowly and only gradually," I offer my second installment.
Okay, here's the thing. Have you ever removed a band-aid that was really stuck to your skin? You know how if you try to peel it off slowly, it just hurts more, so you have to go ahead and just rip real fast?
It's kind of like that, the "oops-honey-I-broke-our-wedding-vows" thing.
If you confess what there is to confess and get it over with, the ripping is done and the processing of the pain from that ripping may begin.
If, on the other hand, you try denying it for a while when it's clear you've been busted, then you try to reveal as little as possible for as long as possible, then only gradually admit to worse and worse details, that's like ripping off the band-aid an inch a month over many months.
Do you understand yet?
First it's "Oh, no, there's nothing going on - really."
Then it's, "Okay, well, yes, I did have sex with her. But it was just once. I'm not even sure why I went over there. But I felt so guilty about it, I got the hell out of there and never went back."
Then it turns out that it happened more than once, multiple times.
Then it turns out that he had the children around this woman (or perhaps the whole family)***; that he snuck away from a big family reunion to meet this woman; that he was talking to her months before he's previously admitted that it all started; that he was still seeing her months after he's previously claimed he'd stopped; that he told her things about his wife and marriage that are hurtful and horrifying; that although he's been claiming it was "only sex," he did indeed lead this woman on in other ways (Memo: if you're bitching to another woman about your marriage and you're fucking that woman, most likely she doesn't think this is "just sex;" she thinks you may be considering actually leaving your marriage. Why are you shocked to learn she actually thought you might be "available" when you are, after all, out bitching about your wife and fucking someone else? To many women, these things do not signal "committed" - big shocker. Quit pretending to be oh-so fucking shocked when you learn that your girlfriend actually thinks you might divorce your wife, okay? Expect that.). Then maybe it turns out that his claims that he always (I was tempted to write "religiously" or "faithfully" here, then I realized how out of place these words would be) used condoms were lies.
With political scandals, we so often hear media pundits say, "It's not so much the crime as it's the coverup."
This is also the case with adultery. How fucking hard is it to get this through your heads???
So, my modest request, part II is as follows: once you're busted or you have, for whatever reason, decided to confess, confess it all. Period. Anything less is, for your wife, death by a thousand cuts because every time she starts to think maybe she's recovering, she finds out still more horrifying shit she didn't know about. Just confess in full when you confess.
***I have seen this happen in at least half a dozen cases with people I know, where it turns out that a cheating husband allowed his family to end up in the same place with his "girlfriend." Recently, since it's now happened to both of us (my sister just recently, which is why the subject came up), my sister and I were trying to figure out this particular salt-in-the-wound pathology. What the hell is that about? Excitement from the danger of getting caught? An ego stroke from having both women right there, together? My brother-in-law actually claims he was hoping for his wife to catch on so she could somehow stop him, stop the other woman, that he was hoping that when this woman saw him with his wife, she would leave him alone (odd, since he was always the one pursuing her!)...WTF? My cousin reports that she later realized that she had apparently served fried chicken and fresh lemonade, in her home, to her husband's "girlfriend." Okay, then, I guess I need a modest request of cheating husbands, Part III: Please do not, if you can help it, allow your wife and your "girlfriend" to end up in the same room together.
A. First, just don't cheat on your wife
1. Don't babble about how wonderful your wife is once you've gotten caught. It only makes it worse.
2. Don't hold back bits of information so that each new revelation hurts your wife all over again, every time she thinks she's recovering. It only makes it worse.
3. If you can possibly avoid it, do not allow your wife and your "girlfriend" to end up in the same room together. Once your wife finds out that this happened, it will only make her want to murder you in your sleep.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter,
one of you fuckers' wives