*****THIS IS WRITTEN IN A SOMEWHAT SATIRICAL VEIN. THESE ARE THE THINGS I RECOGNIZE FROM MY LIFE AND ARE IN NO WAY INTENDED TO HOLD TO ANYONE ELSE. PLEASE TAKE IT ALL WITH A GRAIN OF SALT AND A DASH OF OREGANO*****
At work the other day, the subject of cheating came up and a cooworker asked"How could you do that if you were in love with your spouse?" And like a cartoon anvil it hit me with such amazing clarity I triggered hard and proceed to make the next night really difficult on my poor sweetie. I know how you can. It's suprisingly easy.(at least in my case)
I wanted to start out paraphrasing Sting with (insert light jazz beat)"Once you have decided on a cheating...you first must make a stone of your heart." That's not true though, that comes later.
First and foremost, you need to hold a piece of yourself away. Forget the fact that you are promising your life and all you are to your spouse. That's nowhere near as important as holding on the you you've grown to love over the years. Your spouse won't miss a tiny bit, and it's that piece you can treasure and feed as need be.
Second, ignore the little things that bother you. Shrug them off with a "Don't worry, it's not important." and just keep going. Why talk about little concerns if you are in love. You might hurt your spouse or make them feel guilty by respectfully telling then when you are hurt, and you don't want to do that. It really is easier to just blow those off. Besides, if you talk about little issues, big ones may crop up, including things you may be doing wrong and that may get uncomfortable for you. Who really wants to get hurt? Better to keep quiet for everyone's benefit. Besides, you are probably blowing things out of proportion. These are just the gnats that buzz around everyones marriage at first. They'll go away in time.
Now if you are actively following these steps, you are well on your way toward making a mess of things. That little piece you are keeping behind will be nicely fed by those little annoyances. And by shielding it from harm by avoiding things that might hurt it like honest communication, soon it will have strong walls to keep it safe, even from the person you love and promised yourself to.
You are almost ready. You have the walls. You have taken the time to build them in the safety of a "stable" relationship and that little piece of self has grown big and strong. So strong it needs it's own life more than the shared life it has. It has the comforts of home and someone to be with, but it just doesn't seem enough. Besides, it's effectively cut off from other life behind it's hedge, why shouldn't it act out by itself.
You aren't over the edge yet, but you are close. Now comes the stone part. Since that little piece is now strong and realized, all of a sudden, it doesn't want to share the space any more. and since serious, respectful talk of any depth is nonexistent, it's easy to start sealing the gaps of those walls. Besides, those conversations always hurt anymore and that's difficult to take. Life should be easy for a growing ego. Keep feeding it on silence and solitude to make it strong. Besides, now all you need is a catalyst.
Now it's different for everyone. For some it's that coworker who smiles too much and doesn't mind your ring. For others it's a drink too many when you are out. For me it was a failed test. Everyone has there own line, once you step over though, it gets easier and easier.
By now you should be firmly enough entrenched in your own selfishness to have hardend your heart against the one you fell in love with the first time. You should be pretty numb to their pain these days since they obviously just don't realize how *difficult" it's been on *pooooor you* Now all you have to do is take things easy. It's so much easier to walk away emotionally from the hard times and satisfy your own needs. The walls are already there, make use of them. Don't necessarily stop loving your spouse, just stop caring. Step away and keep at arm's length from everyone. Obviously no one else knows your pain either and how much you've suffered.
Now comes the most important part., the self talk. This is the place where you convince yourself that you are completely right in your actions. This is where you really pull youself away. Some good examples include:
"Hey, I don't (drink, smoke, do drugs, beat my family). I'm entitled."
"This person knows the real me"(forget the fact you haven't shown you to your spouse in a long time) See also:"My spouse doesn't understand me"
"I can't help myself"
"I'm already damned, might as well keep going"
"We're both consenting adults"
"It doesn't hurt anyone."
"My spouse doesn't love me anymore."
"I need my own life"
"It's only sex"
"Everyone else does it, they just keep it hidden."
Now that you are established in a good solid encampment of selfishness, delusion, detachment, and disrespect for yourself and everyone you are currently attached to, the real easy part comes in. All you have to do now is just give up. Remember those gnats you ignored all those months and years? They're back...with teeth. Except now they can feast on all the raw flesh left in the aftermath of misery and distrust which is inevitable once discovery comes around. Add that to the constant wondering if the whole truth is there every time you talk to your spouse.
Things could be turned around at this point. You could rebuild and do it stronger.. Thing is, there's work involved. . More work than you could imagine to try and go back to what you had and could have kept had you just talked sooner. The talks will get harder, and longer and more painful than any you would have had before. The payoff is worth more than life itself, but it's still work. The only choices left are work ...or quit and move on. There are other fish in the sea, and it would be so easy.
If you do go though, just don't forget to keep that little bit of self if you fnd someone else. Keep your mouth shut, and don't mind the gnats...they'll go away in time. Really.