How I Caused My Wife To Cheat
“Why would she do that?”
Sitting at the bar, I stirred the gin and tonic, looking for an elusive answer. A bubble found its way through ice, but it lingered at the top before bursting. I shrugged.
“I don’t know.”
No amount of gin and tonics had helped me come up with the answer. I’d already tried. I could stir through the contents of my brain, and even when I thought I’d found something, the idea would burst, leaving me with nothing more than a headache and regret.
I hated talking about it. I hated thinking about it. It’s why I hated going out.
Divorce interests people. They want to know why. They want to know a reason.
Something to pin everything on.
That one, emotional scapegoat.
I didn’t have any. She decided to seek a physical connection with someone else. And I couldn’t figure out why. At the time she said she didn’t know why either.
A lie to keep from hurting me more? Perhaps. Or she just hadn’t put everything together in her own head yet to offer up a real answer.
But I do now.
Here’s what I did to cause my wife to cheat.
Took Her Away From Family And Friends
We graduated from film school.
A professor told me the best way to get a job in LA was to go to a producer, tell them I’d read scripts for free for six months, and as long as I did a solid job they’d eventually hire me on.
Because living in LA off a non-paying job is a viable option.
My home state of Michigan had just passed the largest film incentive anywhere in the country. Things were happening. We figured if we moved there we’d be in a select collection of educated and experienced professionals, so naturally, we’d land jobs quickly.
We didn’t. And later that year a new governor took over and killed the incentive.
In the process, I took her a thousand miles away from family and friends. Her security blanket. She didn’t have that in Michigan. She had me, but one can not live off of Greyson (me) alone.
I did what I could to connect her with the girlfriends of my buddies. But she needed her friends. People she forged friendships with. Not forced interactions
I felt sorry for taking her away from her people. Yet not sorry enough to do anything about it. Maybe I didn’t know the issue was as bad as it was. Maybe I chose to ignore it.
I Focused On Work
I had grand plans. I’d saved enough for a dream home. We’d skip right over the starter house and, after returning from a five-week honeymoon, we’d move into the kind of house that would make the world jealous.
I just needed a bit more money.
So I dove into work. When she woke in the morning I’d already put in a few hours. When she came home from her own job I remained working.
Because I just needed a bit more.
And even when I earned that bit more I needed more.
With every dollar, I nourished my dreams, all while my malnourished relationship slowly withered on the other side of the couch.
I didn’t see it.
Because I just needed a bit more.
I told myself I did it for the two of us. I told her the same. I think part of me believed that. But I did it for myself. I wanted that mega honeymoon. I wanted that house. I wanted.
I had a relationship.
Along the way, I forgot that I needed to want it as well.
When discussing adulatory it’s the sex that steals headlines. Sex absolutely sells, but it’s really only the tip of the iceberg. The culmination of her cheating, when in reality, she likely wasn’t looking for sex in the first place. In my experience people typically don’t cheat on others simply because they want sex. They want an emotional connection or they have the desire to feel something long ago lost to them in their current relationship.
And yet sex still has to be part of the equation.
Our sex life suffered.
Or, more aptly put, it didn’t exist.
At the core, there were some medical issues at the root of it. Medical issues I didn’t fully understand and she didn’t know how to put into words. So traditional sex proved fleeting.
Without diving down a rabbit hole of details, the time she was on her period and the time she wasn’t were, essentially, flipped.
She went through emotions I could never and will never understand. The desire to feel normal. And even when we were able to be intimate and feel normal the aftermath in the bedding would remind her otherwise.
And all I could do was watch and hug and cry with her. I’d remove sheets before she could see them. I’d roll over onto her side to cover the evidence up when she used the bathroom. Usually, she’d give me a hard time for taking her side, but I knew it best for me to take her annoyed questioning than for her to have her emotions crash to the floor.
It’s all I could do to help.
But the body and mind still have urges. I couldn’t do anything about that. I’d do what I could to suppress certain urges because if I let them out in front of her she’d grow frustrated, as would I. I felt like an ass hole when attempting. Sometimes she’d say she couldn’t. Other times her anger would bubble over. The anger might have been all for me. But some of it could have been because she wanted to as well, but she fully understood the emotional aftermath that would come.
Over time I’d grow more frustrated with the situation, which caused me to be less tactful. It separated me sexually from her. It separated her emotionally from me.
There were things I could do to at least dull the brunt of that sexual separation. The only option she had to dull the brunt of emotional separation was to find that connection somewhere else.
A Million Other Reasons
While my ex-wife was ultimately the one to pull the trigger, I know my own hands are dirty. The expiration of a relationship isn’t typically all the fault of one person.
It took me a long time to realize that.
It took me a long time to accept that.
It’s easier to shrug my shoulders and lay the blame at her feet. People saw what she did. They wouldn’t argue. But it’s not that simple.
Nothing in life is. Especially marriage.
Maybe the reasons I gave have nothing to do with why she decided to cheat. I haven’t asked. It wouldn’t change anything if I did. But I know I gave her reasons. Possibly a million other reasons.
Perhaps this is the ultimate guy thing to do. To try and rationalize something that doesn’t have any rationalization to it. Maybe I’m interjecting myself into a situation that doesn’t have space for me. I’m making it about myself when it shouldn’t be. She just cheated to cheat and end it all. A nice, neat little explanation, adorned with that perfectly crafted bow. It’s possible. But it’s in my experience that few things in life come in boxes and bows.
In many ways, she’s braver than I am. Braver in that she willingly accepted the blame for it all. I’m sure she told her family and closest friends things, but to the rest of the world, she accepted the cross they nailed her to.
I just watched.
I didn’t want responsibility. I didn’t want to be at fault for the failure that was us. I was a coward. Unknown to me. Unknown to the rest of the world.
I didn’t know I had any blame. I hadn’t opened myself up to see it.
I’m often asked why I write about a divorce that happened a decade earlier.
It’s because I wouldn’t have been able to write about it then. I would have been the good guy, she the bad. But the reality of it all is few things in life are black and white. We’re all living in shades of gray.
I don’t know if these were the reasons.
But I know I gave her plenty.
She might have cheated. I put her in position to do so.