Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
– Albert Einstein
Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem.
-I Samuel 16:1a, NLT
An important part of the healing process is getting to a place of acceptance.
And I am not just talking about accepting what awful things happened, happened. I am talking about accepting that the cheater is actually a cheater. It is who they are.
I think a lot of our suffering as faithful spouses comes from assuming or operating from the assumption that the cheater is someone he/she is not.
It is a hard realty to accept. Many of us have invested years into the marriage only to make the discovery regarding our spouse’s infidelity. It is hard to rewire one’s thought processes overnight.
We might try to reason with the cheater. But they are unreasonable. And we suffer.
We might act and assume the cheater will behave like a friend. They married us after all! But they are not our friend. And we suffer.
We might assume our pain matters to them as their pain matters (or mattered) to us. But that did not stop them from gutting us emotionally via committing adultery. And we suffer.
Liars lie. That is what liars do.
Why continue expecting better from someone who as already told you who they are by their deliberate marital treachery?
The person we married has demonstrated that their true self is an ugly self. It is not honorable or godly. Therefore, the wise faithful spouse accepts this information and lowers expectations accordingly based on the information at hand.
Coming back to a cheater expecting them to care when they have demonstrated in the ultimate humiliating fashion to the faithful spouse that they do not is courting insanity. It is repeating an action expecting a different result (see Einstein quote above).
Break the insanity cycle:
Accept they are who their actions say they are. Set expectations accordingly.