I love Facebook for its freedom of speech platform! I truly do. There is often deeper meaning in the posts, comments and videos that people take two minutes of thought to compile. It’s a “mini personal blog” and I often find it to be very thought-provoking, sometimes inspiring and other times downright ridiculous. This morning, the hypothetical question “What would you do if your husband had a child with someone else while you were married?” I found to be very thought-provoking!
I think the overwhelming consensus was leave his ass, it’s too much to handle. While I can agree looking at it from the context of the question only, it does seem to be too much to handle. However, my thought process went right to infidelity and overlooked the baby all together. When we face painful situations in life it is often easy for us to play the victim and paint pictures that make us look helpless and as if we had no control over the situation. The truth is, infidelity is a process and the drama is only the aftermath.
Unfortunately, the child becomes the easy thing to focus on because it can be seen, touched, and viewed by others. The same is true when there isn’t a baby present at all and we’re simply talking about “the other woman”. Whether a baby or a woman, the problems festering behind closed doors have been exposed to the world. That’s a tough pill to swallow for anyone! However, I believe if couples face reality and realize that this baby or this woman was not brought into your life overnight (although it feels that way) then there’s a good chance the marriage has a chance of overcoming the infidelity. This is nothing more than simple cause and effect.
I’ve come to find myself rather irritated with any woman who wants to constantly play the victim in these situations. A victim is a person who is tricked or duped, harmed through actions such as rape, robbery, or accident. In essence, victims could not see it coming and they were helpless. Unless you’re in an arranged marriage, or one you did not willingly invite into your life, how in the world are you a victim? Marriage takes two. Yet, this concept seems to only be convenient when it comes to finances and family photos but not when shit hits the fan? Wrong! Infidelity is a process and there was trouble brewing long before the pregnancy hit the marriage. It also takes a woman who is very confident, strong and resilient to admit to herself that she more than likely ignored signs BEFORE they married, she ignored signs DURING the marriage and she ignored signs AFTER the cheating began (folks always need the hard proof).
The reality IS the hardest part of a failed marriage or one that’s in trouble, is accepting the role they played (whether they did the cheating or not). The drama of the phone call, the pregnancy, the lipstick, the messages found etc. are simply the aftermath! It’s the shot heard around the world but how many guns were silenced, hidden, taken and bullets dodged before it killed the marriage? The two people who are married (if honest with themselves) know for a fact there were too many to count. Infidelity is a process, none of this happens overnight, and you cannot attack a marriage that isn’t open for attack? EVERYONE knows when their marriage has hit that point but what was done about it then? Well, it’s a common approach to ignore reality and “keep up the facade” for friends and family instead of reaching out for help. The problem with this approach is “small cuts” are easy to ignore until “the cut” is now a deep wound (such as a baby). The great news is, your attention is now back on your marriage! The bad news is, your attention is back on your marriage. Yea, that broken one that isn’t gonna fix itself! In addition, for many, it often alerts you to the fact that you still care and have now realized you DO want your marriage! But an added problem is, you want the old one? Before the drama, when it only had small cuts, it doesn’t look so bad now, does it? That “small cut” is now a deep festering infection in danger of killing the limb entirely. The options now are to live without this limb or fight to heal it knowing it may never function or be the same. The latter is much harder to do, and most choose to live without it. However, it doesn’t guarantee life will be better. If you never learn to address “the small cut” before it becomes in infection, this same system will follow you through the rest of your life because you don’t know HOW to affair proof your relationships.
I tend to have much less popular opinion than most, but I am not saying anything I myself haven’t experienced. I don’t call myself a “victim” and I have never pretended to be one. We allow cuts which tend to be completely manageable things like; I want more quality time, I want to go on more dates, I want a better job, I want us to spend less money, I need more sex, the kids are stressing me out etc. to turn into situations that create space and open the door for others to fill the gap. Don’t let a cut be the reason you ignore your marriage. Immediately stop to take care of it, and heal the root issue before it grows into greater problems, greater pain, and greater excuses!
Do not let small cuts act as a deep wound in your marriage! I pray marriages never reach that point but when they do, you certainly know the difference between the two and you suddenly feel silly for letting something that was so small become so big. It’s a process, avoid the aftermath by actively being a part of the process to keep a healthy affair proof marriage.
I read a very interesting article posted on cnn.com a few days back and it’s been on my mind. The article was warning parents about some of the new acronyms on the street and how to stay hip. A few that have been forever burned in my mind include;
GYPO-Get Your Pants Off
PIR-Parent in Room
NIFOC-Naked in Front of Computer
CU46-See you for Sex
The rest of them baffled me too, as my first thought was sheer horror kids aren’t even attempting to spell out their thoughts anymore! How can a parent compete with that? How in the world am I supposed to hover over cnn, msn, Oprah and the likes to give me tidbits of information on ways to communicate with the bots that are now our children? My second thought was, of course, a personal one. Are my kids using this language? We have two children with cell phones and I take a cruise around the phone every once in a while but the truth is with Kick, SnapChat, text messaging and email how in the world are we supposed to keep up?
I believe the answer to that question is relative to two very important things in a relationship between parent and child;
If your child isn’t responsible or trustworthy than they more than likely are not ready for a cell phone. Society is putting on the pressure but don’t cave, it will only cause more problems than it’s worth.
The other strategic move to set in place is the village. By village, I mean other parents. We must have multiple people keeping after our kids and willing to share what they may have seen in their kid’s phone about your kids etc. The village has become more important than ever this day in age, build it up!
I figure if none of this works and I still find myself drowning in the abyss of teen social media, I can remember three things:
(1) Their kids people! My home, my rules, my way.
(2) He/she who pays the bill, controls the phone.
If they really push, kids should become familiar with an acronym they will have no choice but to communicate in person at school.
(3) MCMPO: Mom Cut My Phone Off
Just remember parents, this is a two-way street & we can’t forget that. There was a time we lived without cell phones and our kids can certainly survive it (and we can too parents)! If cell phone etiquette isn’t to your standard than take that phone away and shape that kid up until it is! The real danger in a kid’s phone is the parent who is afraid to poke around, unwilling to take action and feels trapped by the social pressure!
I’m always open to suggestions, cell phones can be tricky business!