Cheating in a relationship is as common as it is unpleasant. I am rapidly headed for my 50th birthday and can’t name a single friend or acquaintance who has never experienced this dynamic in a relationship. Personally, I have experienced cheating in different ways: I have cheated, I have been “the other woman” and I have been victimized by a cheater. My cheating happened when I was still in college and created a chain of events so powerfully bad I never cheated again. I felt horrible about what I’d done and truly horrible about who I had become. It was a long hard climb to get out of that hole.
But when I was on the receiving end of infidelity, I was a mom, almost 40 years old, and the notion of commitment had altogether different meanings and importance to me. It wasn’t about just him and me – we had children who became ensnarled in the web of lies and hurt. It was much uglier and much more destructive than the teenage drama I had unwittingly perpetrated decades earlier. (more…)