There are things we do to make it seem like we are being benevolent when closer inspection reveals that most intentions are based on selfish motivations. Philosophers have debated the notion of altruism, whether people do things out of selflessness or for selfish reasons, since the days of antiquity. I myself go back and forth on this; most of the time, I am convinced that altruism doesn’t exist for all things which are done are for the sake of the ego. But other days, when I witness giving that bends my mind, I have to rethink this and ponder if there are times people give without expecting back. So I’m stuck on deliberation when it comes to the notion of altruism and unselfish giving.
This deliberation ends the minute that someone tells me that their ex or their current significant other cheated and then confessed their sins to them. Some people think that this is a good thing–to not live a lie and to reveal an act of fidelity. But let me disabuse you of this notion for the act of disclosing when one cheats is the biggest asshole move since Adam tried to blame Eve for eating the apple as if he was a witless victim. I wanted to address this article to the ladies initially–in my mind it’s always women who are victims of perfidy and the betrayal of the heart. Upon second thought though, I realized that women are just as guilty these days of unfaithfulness as men. So this article is written for anyone who has been cheated on and especially aimed at those who have cheated and thinking about divulging their treachery.
Cheating on its own is bad enough. I write this knowing that I too have been guilty of committing this treason on my exes in the past. I don’t know what it is about us that makes us disavow green pastures that are ours in order to stray to other fields and gnaw on meadows of thistles and thorns. There is nothing to be gained by chasing lust and the flesh, yet we do it over and over again as if drinking from barren cups will quench our inner emptiness. It’s brokenness that makes us do this; the space where once love lived vacated when someone left a long time ago or hurtful words that lashed at our spirits makes us find validation in the panties or pants of strangers who will never heal us and instead gnash at our wounds.
But I leave for another day the reasons why we cheat for this article is the actions that some take when an act of unfaithfulness is committed. If those who cheat were truly courageous and mature, they would let their current boyfriend or girlfriend know that they no longer wanted to remain faithful and break up before straying into beds with the objects of their desire. But a mix of cowardice and a fear of losing love makes us choose duplicity over human decency as we lead double lives in order to hook up and get our freak on with someone else. In the age of Tinder, Snapchat and endless social media apps, hooking up with someone is as easy as a swipe of a finger or a press of a like. What took time to attain not too long ago is now found instantly and without sweat.
I used to jokingly call the notion of sex chasing not too long ago “the game of numbers”. The trick is to throw many lures into the sea–using the same lines each time. For every ten lame line that is cast, one fish bites and we get to delve into spaces and places where our flesh get to spew nothingness. This game of numbers necessitated work back in my day–I am now officially old when I just said “back in my day–but I digress let me return to the point. The game of numbers before technology bent cordiality was to go up to different women and investing the time to say the same thing over and over again until one smiled. A smile always leads to good times.
But now, in the age of Facebook and such, the human factor has been eliminated as the game of numbers is nothing more than cutting the same bullshit and then pasting the lines on as many people as possible until one sends a smiley face. A smiley face leads to good times. Let me break some news here, if you get a text that is not related to you on a random holiday or says “sweetheart” instead of your name–you are being gamed by the game of numbers. I think I just lost the 25-35 male demographic with that previous sentence.
On a serious note though, I get whimsical at times. The days of getting phone numbers are long and gone; now when we meet people in lounges, clubs or even libraries, the refrain is “follow me” on such and such. Mystery is gone as people reveal everything about themselves on social media. No need to chase when people are sprinting to reveal themselves to everyone. Creepy behaviors and damn near stalkish demeanor have been normalized as the first thing people do when they meet someone of interest is to dash like Usain Bolt to their social media profile or Google to find out about them. It is in this context and paradigm that cheating seems to be proliferating like Agent Smith on the second Matrix.
Relationships are slowly being bled out as more and more people are turning to hook ups and quickies in order to sooth the heart. For those who are lucky enough to find relationship and a modicum of love, they have to navigate the minefields of being bombarded with endless pictures of titties, boobs, pecs and six packs being advertised by every other person on social media. Lust has replaced love as the currency that is valued in the 21st century; even as many profess wanting love, too many are caught up chasing libido and carnal pleasures to find the treasure of the heart.
Cheating is thus becoming an epidemic. Now don’t let me sound like an old coot making it seem like infidelity is something new and romance was all the rage in the past. Cheating was as common place back then as it was in our age; the only difference is that the means to cheat were limited compared to the endless ways we are tempted to cheat in our time. Even those who remain faithful are continuously tested. I’ve talked to endless people, both men and women, who have told me that the sins of the flesh and the desire to occasionally stray is a human condition that will always remain a part of us. The key is not to get rid of temptation but to replace it with more productive ventures. Perhaps spend less time on social media and avoid going to places like bars and clubs, for drinks and music away from home alone is tempting chance that in time leads to bad luck.
Those who tempt chance enough end up cheating; you can only knock on doors so many times before the door to a misbegotten hole opens up. I’m not here to make it seem like people who cheat are monsters and need to have a Scarlet Letter attached to their chest like modern day Hester Prynnes. Even the most giving and loyal person and the most dedicated wife or husband in time might make a fateful decision and cheat. As I’ve said, I’ve done this myself and pray all the time that I don’t ever make that mistake again.
Thus this article is not meant to shame people who delve away from home and find satisfaction in the arms of strangers apart from their professed love. Neither am I here to advise you to discard people or walk away from a relationship after the relationship has been breached by unfaithfulness. Love survives many tribulations and tests, if the person adds to you more than he/she subtracts, it might be worth giving someone a second chance–but only one second chance.
But I am here to strongly advise you to keep your burden to yourself if you decide to cheat. It’s bad enough to cheat, but to confess this act of infidelity and in the process unload your guilt unto the spirit of someone you supposedly love is to add maliciousness to treachery. If you cheat and feel guilty, good! Deal with it on your own and do not give that burden to the person you profess to love. You deal with your feelings of regret and remorse on your own the same way cheating was a decision you made on your own without consultation. An asshole move is something that is done that is not only mean, it’s when that nastiness is covered up in a blanket of benevolence. There are no bigger pricks in this world than those who pretend to be doing something kind when in their hearts they are being pernicious.
You work through your own sorrow and shame, do not pass on your bullshit to someone else. Why must you transfer your feeling of guilt and shame to someone else. The truth is that those people who confess their acts of infidelity are just using manipulation in order to control the person they are with. When an act of selfishness is presented as an act of contrition, it makes it seem like the person is remorseful when in reality they are just self-indulging gnomes who lack the courage to deal with their own shortcomings.
In order to avoid the guilt and regret that comes with cheating, perhaps it is best to avoid doing the vertical salsa with someone outside of your relationship. But if you take a saunter on the other side and feel the pangs of guilt, deal with it and don’t burden your partner. If the feeling to talk overwhelms you and you feel the need to confess your sins, confess that to God and ask for forgiveness. If you don’t believe in God, then tell your boy or girl but do not put the onus of your excesses on the person you love. You will do nothing but harm that person, either walk away or keep your burden to yourself–keep your mouth shut when it comes to telling your love.
You know, in life the extremes are problematic for there is no fruit to be found on the outer edges. Just as being secretive and keeping things from your significant other is toxic, divulging too much and not keeping certain things to yourself is just as poisonous. The blessing is always in the middle; share as much as possible with your spouse or partners but at times keep things to yourself. When it comes to infidelity, avoid temptation like the plague but if you are plagued by wandering eyes and succumb to lust, for heaven’s sake keep that shit to yourself.
When and if you cheat, process it within and then you have a decision to make. Either work through your issue and commit to being a better person and recommit to the one you love. Failing that, if you can’t find it in your heart to remain faithful, then have the courage and the heart to walk away instead of remaining with someone in the physical as your mind and your private parts keep sauntering to foreign soils. Whatever you do, do not be that guy or gal who tells your significant other that you cheated in order to stay with them. If you choose to divulge your infidelity to your significant other in order to keep her or him, you are hurting that person with an asshole move that is covered as an act of kindness. #NoToAholeishMoves
“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.” ~ Cesare Pavese
If you liked this article and you have once done your part to be assholish to others and know of a few that are still assholelish now, share this article on social media using #NoToAholeishMoves
Check out the video below about the meaning of love, perhaps if we heal within, we can be less assholeish to others and be kind to all::
Originality and Love
We live in an age of instant gratification
Of feelings gained and attained instantaneously
Sans sacrifice and hard work
Technology has nullified love
The matters of the heart
Replaced by quickies and hookups
Affection downloaded by apps
Shopping for soulmates through swipes
How can we find quality relationship
When we are lost in quantity’s chase
The eyes more important than the heart
Superficial conquests masked as romance
What is missing in the process
As we search for love and the such
Is the originality humanity had once
Love that is worked for not given
Love is not about looks and lust
It’s about feeling and mutual trust
Love is hard work and greater rewards
It’s an investment based on interdependence
So what does it benefit you ladies
If a man gives you a big rock
If that same man is burying his stones
In another woman’s treasures
What is the better
Roses bought without a thought
Or a daisy plucked freely inspired by the moment
A ring made out of diamond
That signifies money and status
Or a ring made out of string
That is attached to the heart
Likewise for men what do we gain
By looking at curves and cosmetics
Skin deep always loses eventually to gravity
And the same way we chase looks
Thinking we can trade up
To attain a newer model
Will be the same way we are abandoned
When that model finds another financial pro-driver
It is best to reflect and find love
With originality instead of chasing quantity
Not too long ago
A friend from the past
Asked his girl to marry him
Then married her the same day
This is the originality that matters
Love that is thought out
Instead of love that is sought after
Love imitated is love mitigated
But love dashed with imagination
The type that restores innocence
Love that is patient and kind
Love that refuses to leave
Is the love that loves back
~ Excerpt from Serendipity’s Trace, a book of our common struggles and connective hopes. Click HERE or on the picture below to discover “Serendipity’s Trace” ~
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.