I often hear the advice that if you catch someone cheating you should run and quickly tell the person who has been cheated on. But honestly, how does that help anyone? All you have done is shared your burden of knowledge and possibly broken up a family. What if that extra on the side was just what was needed in order for guy to get his head on straight and realize what really matters to him? Or what if the couple is in an open relationship that they wanted to keep private? Now the onus is on the cheated on partner to out their relationship agreements, which in many cases could have very damaging effects. Also if you have just found out that you took a 50 percent role in the cheating, you will most likely do no good by finding the spouse and letting him/her know, it is not like you are going to gain a friendship or any brownie points, in fact you could be putting yourself directly in the line of fire so to speak.
But back to the topic at hand, it is always portrayed in mainstream media that the third party is a one dimensional person who has no voice or say in what just happened. It almost seems that the media is angry at them for opening up their mouths and coming forward with an indiscretion, and I believe the reasons are two-fold. The first being people are emotional when they find out a celebrity idol has been unfaithful to their spouse, and secondly, it sheds light on a dirty little secret in our society, that people do in fact cheat. The majority of us do not like being reminded of that, and thus we take away the humanity and three dimensions of this cheating co-conspirator. There is media shame and backlash for coming forward, and they try and suppress the truth or completeness of the situation. All the focus is on what a slut this person is, or what occupation they had in their past. The media sensationalizes the fact that this person was of a lesser moral character and the partnered person was merely caught in the web of deceit. That somehow the cheating was some grand elaborate scheme of an unethical mind, making an almost “criminalization” of the affair.
I was just on a forum whereby a lady was asking how to rebuild her self-confidence and if it was possible to regain trust with her husband after she found out he had been flirting with a much younger woman for a few months. Every single response without fail bashed the husband, told her to leave him, to hate him and move out immediately with her two young children. People were outraged at this affair of the mind and were very judgemental and critical. Not one person tried to deal with her actual question (except for myself and I am being harshly criticized at the moment for it), just sensationalized outcries of ‘how could he cheat’. And this is what the media re-enforces daily. There are no questions for the younger woman, and why she is making advancements towards him. There is no questioning why the husband is flirting with this other woman, all of this is meaningless to the point that this wife is better off alone, raising two children than to work on anything. It takes three people to cheat. Let that sink in, every single one of those three people involved have a role to play in how, why, and what the result will be.
I was trying to book a hotel for a conference through work and had picked a fancy one downtown. When my boss told his wife of the possible venue, she just upturned her nose at the thought of giving them money. Apparently she read that a few years back during Stampede the hotel had advertised a ring service, in which you could safely store away your wedding ring and have a spray tan applied to cover any possible tan lines that might remain. Basically this hotel was perpetuating a very well known fact about the common place cheating practices in Calgary during our 10 days of Stampede. On the surface everyone despises a cheater, but if it was not occurring regularly this particular hotel would not have been able to make a profit off of the practice. Cheating is occurring, and we are only fed a portion of any given story. Full blame goes to the cheating party, and nothing is said of the spouse or the third party. So with only one third of the story getting publicity and attention it is no wonder that this problem is not going away.