so someone said to me today that they think when someone is cheating it is because they are unhappy in their current situation. okay, that seems fine. then this person continued, "you should change yourself in order to make the other person happy." do we really have to change ourselves in order to expect another person to be faithful, open and honest in our relationship?
perhaps it is dear abby that made us all believe that there is something intrinsically wrong with ourselves when we find out that our partner is stepping outside the confidence of our relationship. dear abby was nearly 100 years old during her later advice years (probably not, but i am way too lazy to google her age). she was a product of a much earlier generation that believed in women's rights as far as voting and holding down a housekeeping job if necessary. much of her advice was based on historical depictions of women as the caring, nurturing hausfrau and not that of a dynamic intelligent worldly woman. well, she might have used the phrase worldy woman but i doubt it was used in a positive light.
so dear abby be damned. no one should have to change themselves in order to salvage a relatinship unless of course there is something pathologically wrong like abusiveness or some kind of dependency issue. why do we, as the ones being cheated on, have to do something about our behavior in order to prevent the cheating? doesn't this problem rest solely on the cheater and their inability to commit to a solid monogamous relationship? is society really that devualed that we believe that the victim of the infidelity must be doing something wrong?
have you ever tried to break a behavior pattern? something like smoking or chewing your nails? it was pretty hard right? well, imagine trying to isolate a behavior that you think may be driving away the love of your life, then changing it. then imagine what happens when you find out that the cheating continues. so, you start again because surely you as a smart independent person can find that magic solution if you try hard enough. you do everything, change everything only to discover that you are unhappy and a shell of the person that you were before. still what happens? late night meetings or unexplained absenses.
you can turn a blind eye, which is probably the preference of many, or you can get pissed off. here you are, freaking out at your inability to keep another human being satisfied and happy by just being yourself, and they are out screwing the city. who needs to change?
so, never again suggest that the problem lies with the victim of cheating. the problem lies with another person's insecurity and desire to find their self worth in the eyes of many through meaningless sexual contact with the masses. no one should change themselves when they find their partner stepping out. they should simply hit the real estate market and continue with their lives.