You Let Yourself Go!
Oh yeah? Or what?
Well duh! If you don’t keep yourself in high heels, wear a size 0, and look pretty, he’ll cheat on you of course! And he’d be justified! If you don’t get hair plugs for that male pattern baldness, keep your body fat percentage under 10%, and look like a Ralph Lauren model, she’ll go looking for someone who does! And she’d be justified!
I am not fabricating or exaggerating to illustrate a point when I say that I’ve encountered more than one (ahem, more than a few actually!) male cheater who has verbalized that he married his wife when she looked a certain way and that her appearance changed dramatically enough that he no longer felt the same physical attraction to her, so he was entitled to cheat. I know. I KNOW! I only wish I were making this up. It is still inferred culturally that this kind of nonsense is justified – you don’t have to look too far to find it ‘debated’ (really, what is there to debate here?) or even openly validated and supported.
(I felt a desire to bathe in acid to get rid of the nasty feeling typing that gave me, but decided instead to go with a quote.)
“A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience.”
~ Naomi Wolf
So, gender and control issues aside, if your partner’s physical appearance is so problematic to you that you no longer wish to be faithful to them (and what that says about you isn’t flattering), you are, of course, entitled to leave the relationship but it doesn’t entitle you to cheat. I haven’t yet encountered a marital agreement where if one partner went over an agreed weight limit, it was okay for the other to secretly conduct an affair while their spouse continued to provide, raise the kids, and do their spousely duties. Never once. And I have never once encountered someone who has said that they would (or have) agreed to marry someone on that basis. Ever.
I Cheated Because You’re Fat
So why do some cheaters try to justify their infidelity in this way?
- They have deliberately honed in on the faithful spouse’s own insecurity about their weight to:
- Deflect focus from the cheater’s complete lack of justification for their affair.
- Deliberately cause more pain because they are a cruel and abusive mofo.
- Assault the faithful partner’s self-esteem so heinously that the faithful spouse believes they would never be attractive to another, so that they cling to the cheater despite the infidelity.
- All of the above?
- They are lying through their teeth, and yes, their pants should indeed catch fire.
- They enjoy the power of control over another’s self-esteem.
- They are a self-absorbed, shallow, insincere, Adonis-complexed fuckwad.
- All of the above?
You’re Fat, I Cheated.
Over the years I’ve encountered many faithful spouses asking if their weight was the reason for their cheater’s affair. It’s painful to hear people beating themselves up for an affair because they gained weight. While it’s sad that I should have to say this, it’s worth stressing that cheaters cheat for internally-driven reasons, not because you failed to maintain a weight that was fidelity-worthy. Being overweight does not cause affairs any more than maintaining an ideal weight prevents them.
When faithful spouses engage in debate (either with their cheater or within the infidelity support community) about whether their weight was/is/could be the causation for cheating, it suggests that the pretext actually has some credibility. Unfortunately, this debate and rumination becomes fodder for the popular and salacious mythology about affairs. Infidelity is NOT about failings in the faithful spouse but is instead fairly and squarely about the cheater’s own issues.
Cheating is on the cheater, not on you. The more you embroil yourself in examining whether your cheater had an affair because of your weight, your bald spot, the loss of your job, or your attendance to My Little Pony conventions (yes, your Twilight Sparkle costume is fabulous), the more power you lend to collective claims about this nonsense.
If you have been told that your weight was the causal factor for your cheater’s whoring, please rest assured that you are being sold a line. Cheating is a steam valve on the pressure cooker of the cheater’s internal issues – and it takes more than one ingredient to make that particular stew.
You’re fat and it compelled me to cheat? Asinine … now please remove your head from your ass – it’s not a hat.