I’ve been a really good girl. I could have gone all Carrie Underwood on The Genius when I found out about his four year affair. Keyed his car, rented a billboard to say, I pocket called my wife while I was with my mistress. Yay, me!, and/or worn a t-shirt saying, My husband’s been leading a double life. How’s your day? I did none of those things, Santa.
But I did say I wanted to turn him into chili. I know. Poor choice of words, but you have to admit it was heartfelt.
Other than that, I’ve been slammin’ good. So, I’ve got some big requests. I hope the Elves have been cross-training and pounding protein shakes.
I know you read my blog. (Thank you, love you, owe you.) And you read the comments. But what you don’t see are the emails I receive from people who have just discovered their spouse’s affair. They are often too distraught to comment on HGM, or they just need a little one-on-one.
Their emails make me weep.
The overwhelming stress, anger, and heartbreak bleed through every word they write. I imagine them sitting at desks in dark rooms, their faces lit by computer screens, tears streaming down their cheeks, a minute flash of light as one falls from chin to keyboard. Over and over.
These emails send me straight back to the moment when I discovered The Genius’ affair. I watch a part of me, tethered to a rope, bravely head off down a long hall and through a door to a place where my guts dropped out of my body, my heart shattered and my mind raged. Discovering his affair was the most brutal thing I’ve experienced. The only time I allow myself to go back there is when I know someone else is ripped to pieces by infidelity. I need to feel it again so that I can help.
In return, they help me. It’s important to be able to go back in time and revisit life-altering events. But it’s not fun. Never once have I said, Gosh, I can’t wait to get home tonight, pour a glass of pinot noir, and really dig into that heinous day! If it wasn’t for the emails I receive, some written just a day after discovery, I wouldn’t ever go back there. And that would be a mistake.
I don’t want to forget what it felt like to discover The Genius’ double life. What those two months were like, living in the same house, celebrating Christmas and camping at Limantour on New Year’s Eve. What it felt like to be sitting under the stars when the clock struck midnight, lost. Utterly lost and emotionally hallucinating. Consumed with concern for the dudes.
The idea that someone could cause their spouse that much pain, and makes the choice to do so, saddens me. Deeply.
As do these emails. Especially the one where she didn’t want to live but was forcing herself to for her child. And the one where he was in tears and blaming himself for her affair, and fearful she would turn the children against him. Or the one from a woman that was so consumed by anger and anxiety she couldn’t stop throwing up. For days. She was appalled that her children were seeing her as a broken woman.
I know, Santa, the list. I’m getting to it.
Have you read the papers lately? Probably not. Although I’m certain you have an iPad. I just don’t know about the whole connectivity issue in the North Pole. Anyway, suffice it to say, infidelity is pandemic. If you brought gifts to the men and women, along with the boys and girls, you could mass delete 50% of them from your registry. Just lop ’em off. They’ve been really, super naughty.
With all that spare time, you could turn your attention to those they betrayed. For every naughty one, there’s one with a broken heart. A person who may never recover from the affects of infidelity. Collateral damage in what seems to me to have become a sport more popular than the NFL and soccer combined.
I can’t ever forget what it felt like to be that person.
You know how you don’t like it when kids don’t share? Well, I don’t like it when people say that infidelity will continue to flourish as it always has, because it always has flourished.
I want to stop infidelity.
So here’s my list:
1. A gizmo that remotely vaporizes genitals at the precise moment that marital vows are broken. No button to press, just poof – Ken or Barbie. Cancel those waxing appointments and put those condoms up for sale on eBay.
Meet the new scarlet letter.
Not only would you go down in history as one of the greatest inventors of all time, but you would put an end to so much needless suffering. People would be forced to have conversations instead of affairs. Those conversations may hurt, but the pain would pale in comparison to the devastation of betrayal.
That’s all I want for Christmas.
I know it’s late in the game. Maybe the Elves can’t fabricate such a contraption in time for it to be sitting under my tree. And how would I explain that present to the dudes?
Mommy, what’s a Private Parts Eliminator 3000? It says we need 2000 D-sized batteries.
So, if I can’t get the Private Parts Eliminator 3000, can I please get a teleportation machine and a lifetime supply of tissues so I can hold the hand of every person who is shaking with grief, broken by lies, and fearing the future?
You better make that two lifetimes.
If that won’t fit in my chimney, I’m just going to take matters into my own hands.
I wonder if Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, and Rob Pattison would film a public service announcement. Or Hillary Clinton.
Well, I should let you get back to Mrs. Claus.
As you zoom around the world, spilling loot down chimneys and leaving joy and merriment on beaches and across mountains and valleys, showing the world that anything is possible, my hope is you’ll also stir in us the desire to be kind to each other. To be honest. And to make good choices in life.
Thank you, S. I’m so grateful you are here.
Thanks for making me laugh out loud Cleo xo
Your laughter is music to my ears. Thank you for letting me know! Made me smile…
Cock robin says
Hilarious & Honest !! Great post !!
Thank you, C. Honest hilariousness. I know no other way.
Cleo, what a gift you are and have. I really hadn’t thought about the unseen effects of this blog before. My heart hurts so much for those that are at the beginning of their journey. All you (and all us kittens) can do is shine the light in the right direction for them. We are here at the end of the path waiting for you. Keep walking.
And thanks so much for making me spew my drink when I got to the part about the Private Parts Eliminator 3000! If only.
Thank you, D. I have a really big heart (remember, I save doves!), and a desire to ease the pain of those who are experiencing betrayal. You kittens are my gift. You make me feel so loved and safe and cared for and happy. I love that about you guys. Thank you.
And what I cherish most of all is your willingness to lend a gentle hand, a hug, and the most perfect wisdom to those who are reeling. I remember that feeling so vividly. I will never forget it – the agony of knowing that the one person you expected to be true to you thought nothing of throwing you away. Thought nothing of making a unilateral decision that affects so many lives simply to satisfy their own cowardly desires. We will help to ease that pain.
Ahhh, the new scarlet letter. Maybe the scarlet letter needs to come back. But instead of a red letter ‘A’, I’m thinking permanent face paint. Many hues. And the message? I have no self-respect so I’m trying to bring others down with me. That’s my first pass. We’ll have to refine that one.
In the interim I’m begging Apple to design the Private Parts Eliminator 3000. It would be a near instantaneous fix for infidelity, no?
Thank you for being here, D. You know I adore you.
Thank you, you little jingle bell. Rock your day.
This Post is GREAT!! You are so reassuring to so many!!
Keep thanking God for His many gifts. The beauty of it is that you are putting those gifts to such wonderful use for us all. That pleases everyone – except perhaps the adulterers. Let’s call it what it is. Adultery!!! It may be acceptable to many on this planet but God put it into The Ten Commandments for a reason!! Choice is left up to each one of us on an individual basis. WOW. At the Final Judgement, I pray I didn’t offend our Creator by breaking even one little tiny Commandment. But, we are human and if we love ourselves more than we love Him, then we have probably broken more than a few. BUT NEVER would I commit adultery. That is a BIG ONE!!
Keep up the great, inspirational writings, Cleo.
Thank you for your kind words, R.
In addition to ‘Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife’, God ought to have included, ‘And thou shalt not covet the husband of someone who lives across the nation.’ We humans can find any loophole.
Thank you for being here, R. You rock.
I was one of the women who emailed Cleo early on when I was still really struggling to get through every minute, much less hour or day. I was in so much pain. She sent me the kindest response. It really helped to know someone cared enough to do that.
For all of you out there too shell shocked to post, please know when you’re ready, we’re out here. We may not be with you physically but almost all of us have been through it in some form and know very well what you’re going through. We’re ready to help in whatever way we can. You WILL make it through this. I didn’t believe it at first either, but that knowledge is rock solid now.
Thank you for being here, D. You care enough to be there to support me and all the kittens – for that I am very grateful.
I feel your strength! LOVE it! And, as D says, when you’re ready we are here. I reflect back on those days and while I knew I would make it through, the pain was so intense that I often felt that I would never be the same again.
I’m not. Never will be. And couldn’t be happier about that. One day we’ll all look behind us and see how the dots connect and then it will make sense. For now, be brave, vulnerable and look for magic.