Spewing simplistic hatred on the internet

A few days ago I commented on another blog.  The original post didn’t deal with infidelity, but a blogger commented on it, spouting that all people who have affairs feel entitled to do so, and basically we were all terrible people.  I have no intention of starting some online argument so I’m going to quote this blogger and not attribute it:

No one has an affair because they have no sex or because their marriage is bad or because their spouse is this or that. They only ever have affairs for one reason: they feel entitled to, and rationalise it somehow to themselves. The entitlement is always the reason it is just the excuse that changes. None of the excuses work. There’s no such thing as a good excuse. Because you always had the other option- telling the truth and leaving. The only reason that doesn’t happen is entitlement (on a foundation of poor values and character flaw).

I simply had to reply:

I certainly didn’t feel entitled. It was absolutely about what I was missing, what my ex told me he didn’t care if I did, and how a third-party made me feel. Until you’ve been in the proverbial bedroom of a relationship, you shouldn’t judge what you see on the outside.

I figured that would be it. But nope, the blogger came back directly to me this time, with:

So those are the things that you used in your head to make you feel entitled to cheat. You’ve just proved my point. Thank you.

I did respond again because I was irritated but I know it won’t make one whit of difference.  I should have just let it go.  This being the internet, of course this person has a blog, which I’ve now perused.  It was not a surprise to me that this person has been cheated on.  They are angry – of course.  I followed some of the links in their blog to other blogs…and WHAM…the amount of vitriol and hate and simplistic thinking astonished me.  There are many situations where it is completely terrible and awful and it would be horrible to be in that situation. 

But not all situations are the same.

Life is not all black and white, but of course it’s far easier for us to get by day-to-day if we see it that way.  Certainly, there are some things that generally speaking, we can all agree on.  Physical abuse of children and seniors?  Murder with no motive?  Not okay.  But we aren’t talking about things like that.  We are talking about relationships.  The dance between two people that is largely unseen by anyone else.

It would be easy for me to blame my ex for our sexless marriage.  To paint him as the person that left me dried up and shut down.  Whose issues and words wounded me.  The narrative of me as damaged at his hands, with him to blame for my situation, is simple.  Elegant.  Completely untrue.  Yes, there was a lot that wasn’t great for me.  But I chose to stay.  I shut down after being hurt.  Then he shut down.  Then fast forward through time and we were where we were.  At least for me, it was the combination of the two of us together that ended our marriage.  Not just his actions, or my actions, but our responses to each others actions.

I despise simplistic thinking in these situations.  But the narrative on these blogs (at least the few I read today) is that the men who have had affairs are all bad, the wives who were cheated on play no role at all in the situation they find themselves in, the women involved with their husbands are all unmarried whores (their word – whore), and are too stupid to know that the husband has faults.

One thing I can tell you – I NEVER for a moment fooled myself that the time I spent with my Faraway Lover in any way reflected real life. I NEVER thought that my husband could have made me feel the way that my Lover did.  I ALWAYS knew it was an unfair comparison.

We all know we can find anything online to prove what we believe.  Sure, it’s comforting to know there are people out there feeling what you are feeling, having gone what you’ve been through.  No question.  But real introspection and learning comes from pushing your mental boundaries, understanding other points of view, and not trying to apply the same broad brush to all situations.  Name calling and spreading hatred?  Bad karma.

0 thoughts on “Spewing simplistic hatred on the internet

  1. As a cheater and have been cheated on. I seen both sides.
    Anger does not help.
    Do I agree. with cheating.No. I should have never done so. I should have walked away. but that was MY situation. and mY choice. On the other side it was my mistake.
    Surely there are the players and true cheaters. who do cause they can and want to. and play on it.
    but is it cheating when both parties know? and still stay together. I think not.

    I loved your openness about it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. There sure is more to it than one man or woman can write about. and each opinion is based on personal issues and life. none comparable with others.

    • Thanks for your comments…I completely agree. As you say, of course there are the “true cheaters” and that is a different kind of situation – perhaps more rare than the everyday marital issues that end in these situations.

  2. I think you are right. I cheated many years ago. I have promised i would not do it again. I know the reason why I did it. I dont blame anyone. The only think i do say to myself is i should have sorted my marriage out before i went behind his back. I had no moral high ground, No he was not a bad man, We just grew apart, I was young and did not deal with feeling unloved in the right way. Dont get me wrong the affair was brilliant but its not somethingn i would repeat now! I am older and a tiny bit wiser 🙂 thanks for sharing a great insight 🙂
    liz

    • Thank you, Liz – I just coulnd’t stay silent after reading the incredibly one-sided opinions (and especially the generic application of the word “whore” for any woman involved with a married man.

  3. I know exactly who you are referring to. She makes a habit of posting her bitter hatred on many blogs – so much so there’s a whole bunch of us who have got her permanently set to go to Spam.

    As you correctly say, things are NEVER black and white. There is no ‘one size fits all’ in affairs. You affair will have been very different to mine – what advice might work for you wouldn’t have worked for me and vice versa.

    The sooner some people get used to that fact, the sooner the ‘opposing sides’ might be able to learn something from each other. X

    • Funny you know to whom I’m referring – I really didn’t want to put it out there because I have no interest in what is ultimately a useless debate. I agree about your learning comment…if healing is your goal, then helping to understand – not necessarily agree with – other opinions just might help. Thanks for your comment!

  4. I’ve never cheated in my life and don’t think I ever will. But then the way I have relationships is that I tend to be brutally honest – whether they work or fail.

    I’ve been cheated on however and also been “the other woman” – not intentionally…

    I don’t see the point in harbouring ill will to anyone who decides to cheat – or to spill vitriol on anyone who has.

  5. Yes, yes, yes.

    I used to judge harshly too, but I’ve learned from personal experience that nothing, NOTHING is ever just black and white, especially when it comes to marriage or relationships.

What do you think?