Below is my response to a reader who commented on two separate occasions about my Are You a Chump? post. One of her comments were inadvertently deleted by my app, so I can’t share it here, but it’s okay because I had already drafted this response. Rather than a jumbo-packed comments section, I have decided to post this as a two-part post. Ready? Put on your seat belts…Here we go…
Ah Nephila there is no defensiveness on my part, and I won’t do a tit for tat with you so let me be clear and most definitely long-winded….Let me start off by saying that I’m married, so I’m not on some revenge soapbox trying desperately to blast away at my abuser. I’m also not here to defend anything. It’s not as though you were criticizing my blog or me personally. So I have nothing to defend. I’m also not a personal friend, family member, neighbor, colleague, or employee of ChumpLady, so it is not like I’m trying to defend her, her viewpoint, or her honor.
I think that when I used the words “you” and “your” to collectively mean “people” in general and NOT you specifically, you took it as an attack, so I apologize if that is how you viewed my responses because that was not my intent.
I’m just saying that ChumpLady is entitled to her viewpoint and entitled to present a blog for those people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and you have the right to disagree and say you refuse to return to her site. I simply shared my viewpoint on what I and others have gained from her site, and I cleared up the misconception that she doesn’t provide any helpful advice to those who seek or opt for reconciliation with their cheater. No one will ever say that her site is a reconciliation site, because plain and simple, it’s not. But she does provide you her two cents on what she would do if placed back in reconciliation ‘shoes’.
Nephila, the tone of your comments inferred that she outright vilifies those who desire to reconcile with their cheater. In my humble opinion I think she just holds to her position that her site isn’t pro-reconciliation, it’s pro-survival, pro-self preservation, and about reclamation of self (inclusive of self worth and self esteem). She is indeed a spitfire so if you want a softer tone, ChumpLady is the wrong person to turn to.
I simply asked you had you visited her site recently. You never responded.
You twisted my words around when you referenced my use of the terms “weakness” and “strengths“, so let me clarify.
Being cheated on is not a weakness (of the cheated) and it doesn’t mean we’re weak, and I never said it was, nor did I quote ChumpLady as saying it was. I said that in our healing stages (and through resources like her site) we learn to flush out our weaknesses–the entry points that cheaters thrive off of and quickly manipulate, the areas that should be barriers but aren’t–and we learn to focus more on our strengths (like our radar that loudly sounds “Cheater alert, stay clear!”).
Nephila, we all have strengths and weaknesses. Most of us allow ourselves to be overly vulnerable to one or more people. It’s learning how and whom to be vulnerable with, and how even in our vulnerability to not be a doormat or toilet seat. Neither of those are rewarding and pleasant options in my opinion.
While healing, we learn to rewire our thinking while making sure our hearts do not harden and turn cold.
The only weaklings are the cheater and the people who willingly and knowingly cheat with them in betrayal of you, because even in their self-serving narcissism, neither of them have the courage to do the right thing (they only know what benefits them). The cheater does not have the spine to say upfront, “I don’t want to be in a monogamous relationship sexually, emotionally, or any other way–I want to be free to sample and explore all of the men/women of the world without being tied to one single person“. They don’t want us to have an option to be with them and someone else, or just go elsewhere and be with someone else exclusively. Their mistress (or boy toy) doesn’t have a strong enough spine to refuse to play a role in your betrayal. I won’t give either of them a pass for being weak and cowardly, like they couldn’t help themselves. They willingly made that choice.
This inability or should I more accurately say, their unwillingness, to man up or woman up, makes them weak and cowardly.
In our (the cheated) raw and exposed vulnerability, and our perceived inability (notice that I said “perceived”) to free ourselves from the grasp of a cheater, we can feel weak and exposed—especially if we felt we had a close bond with them. That is why it is easier for us to opt for reconciliation, oftentimes against our gut instincts, warnings from loved ones, and all of the red flags that say “this person has not changed for the better“. Oftentimes we jump in, “I can fix this” mode and forget that it takes two to make and break anything and everything, especially relationships. We have to both be willing participants, or it simply won’t work out.
Nephila, a person is strong and brave if they walk away from the cheater, just as they are strong and brave if they are willing to fully invest in a mutually reciprocated (and genuinely monogamous) relationship with the person who violated their trust, without spending the rest of the relationship trying to punish the cheater and those they cheated with.
From the numerous posts and comments that I have read, ChumpLady says that if you’re going to take that person back, make sure that you set rules and boundaries (and that both of you honor them), that you work on strengthening your communication skills with each other, and that you invest equally in the rebuilding of the relationship, and not just expect the cheater to do all the work (or vice versa). She also says that the tit for tat mindset of, “I’m going to cheat too and get my revenge,” also is a chess move for disaster.
A negative for a negative only makes a positive in math, but not love.
Basically, if nothing positive changes in the relationship, then nothing changes in the relationship, and you only set things in motion for another breach in your relationship–which could potentially have greater collateral damage.
Anyone who would say that you (the one cheated on) caused and should take responsibility for someone cheating on you can only be a cheater or out of their cotton picking mind! Those with good sense (and who aren’t brainwashed by their abuser) and who have been cheated on would never utter those words.
It is NOT your responsibility to own the actions and behavior of another person. It is NOT your fault when someone cheats on you. If you read any post from me that says that (from my viewpoint) please show me, because I can guarantee that I never said that–and I think that the spitfire “Rocky Balboa” aka ChumpLady wouldn’t either. That sounds like something that would make her turn violent. Visualize her reaction if someone tried to convince her that she was at fault for her ex’s cheating on her. Haaaaaa talking about a firecracker!
To spare your eyes and my other readers eyes, I will continue my thoughts in a second post. I hope that my position has now been perceived differently and more positive than the other day. I’m neither defending or trying to persuade or recruit, I’m simply clarifying my original post and subsequent dialogue with you. I’m also hopefully connecting with you. Have an awesome day Nephila. Wishing you nothing but the best in every area of your life!