Compassion for a cheater

I’m watching one of my favourite shows in the world right now – Married at First Sight (MAFS).

Tonight, a couple who cheated on their spouses are going to the dinner party. Battle lines have been drawn. Sides have been taken. It’s about to go down.

Now, I don’t know how much of this is real because the bottom line is, it’s a TV show.

But what I do know, is that Cheating is a very contentious issue. It’s bound to get a huge response. People are either disdainful of it or are totally cool with it…there doesn’t seem to be much room for a middle ground.

So here are my 2 cents on it…and I’ll be referring to MAFS as I explain. (Lucky you, eh?).

In MAFS, Adam and Claire hooked up. Their “spouses” were both incredibly hurt by it. To see Jesse and Janelle cry…it broke my heart.

Cheating devastates individuals, couples, friends, family, and communities.

This is shown clearly in MAFS as their usually tight friend group is divided over the cheating allegations. Half the group (mostly the girls – I found this interesting) are enraged about the cheating and are in FULL SUPPORT of Jesse and Janelle. So much so, they are deliberately ignoring Adam and Claire. They’re shunning them.

The other half (mostly guys – also interesting) have said similar things in their “one-to-one” with the camera; “Adam and Claire messed up. We all make mistakes. They’ve admitted it, and we’ll just support them the best we can. “

I’m in support of Clare – because she told the truth and is accepting the judgement and criticism with grace. Yes, Clare was wrong to kiss someone else’s husband, but at least she owned it. Clare held herself accountable and I feel warmth and compassion towards her. If I was in that MAFS group, I would want to extend warmth and kindness to her.

On the other hand, I’m absolutely LIVID with Adam. Mostly because he wanted Clare to keep it secret. He lied to everyone about it and enjoyed getting away with it. When Clare was brave enough to bring the secret out into the light, the first thing Adam did was blame his wife. There was no apology or accountability, and I straight up HATE THAT SHIT. Adam, pal – you’re a lying, dirty dog. You disgust me.

As a cheater myself, I took the route of owning my appalling behaviour. I held myself accountable 100%. If I hadn’t said anything to Jon’s parents, no one would have found out to this very day. Jon was embarrassed and hurt. His plan was to cover it up and move quickly forward as if nothing had happened. I don’t know why Jon didn’t want anyone to know. If the situation had been reversed, you can bet I’d be bawling my eyes out to my besties and telling them EVERYTHING. Immediately.

I knew I would be in a world of pain for telling people what I did…but I did it anyway. What led to me “coming out” was my love for Jon. Jon was hurting. I wanted him to get support. I wanted his family and our friends to get around Jon and help him through the pain he was going through…so I rang his Mom and I told her everything.

Within 10 minutes, she rang Jon. He packed a bag and moved out. Within an hour, my phone started blowing up with texts.

It. Was. Out.

The bullets were flying, and I was “naked” in front of an entire Church congregation, so when the bullets hit, they tore right through me.

I think I literally would have died of shame if people in my life at that time hadn’t shown compassion. I knew I didn’t deserve it, but having my bonus parents and best friends back home support me and love me even though I cheated helped keep me together in one of the hardest times of my life.

Families in Church and my beloved Youth Group surprised me by gathering around to shield me from the constant gunfire. They hugged and held me through the days, weeks and months to follow. I wouldn’t be here today without them.

I guess what I’m trying to say is…if someone cheats, think of them as the person you know and love and have compassion for them because I can guarantee they’re beating themselves up about it and could probably use some kindness.

Except for you, Adam. Lol. Shame on you.

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