“I’ve come to realization that our marriage has always been a lie.”
This sort of statement serves the cheater on multiple fronts:
First, it allows him or her to cast themselves as the noble person who is choosing “authenticity” by ending the marriage. They are the “hero” bravely fighting off “inauthenticity” by exiting the relationship. They are seeking to live in the the “truth.”
Of course, the problem with this sort of image management is that it is based on a lie itself. The truly authentic person of integrity would honor his or her word and not break it.
Second, this sort of statement serves to minimize the reality of what he or she did. The problem is not cheating or breaking the marriage vows. It is a statement suggesting keeping the marriage vows is what is corrupt. All those other things–which God calls sins–are not as bad as the cheater living up to his or her marriage vows!
The truth is that God takes infidelity and adultery seriously. Cheaters are lying to their spouses, but these lies are not “caused” by being married. Rather the lies are caused by the cheater choosing to reject his or her obligation before God to keep said vows.
Third, the statement is subtle blame-shift. The subtext is the faithful spouse is “forcing” the cheater to live a lie by staying in the marriage. The faithful spouse is caste as unreasonable and party to thwarting the cheater’s “authenticity.” In other words, the faithful partner is “trapping” the cheater in a lie of a marriage, allegedly.
In reality, the faithful spouse is the reasonable one and the victim here. He or she is only expecting the cheater to live up to the vows the cheater freely made before God, family, and the faithful spouse. This is not unreasonable.
Ultimately, the cheater is speaking the truth in a backhanded way.
They–the cheaters–are living a lie. Cheating on one’s partner is the behavior of a liar. They are breaking the vow to forsake all others by cheating.
This lie runs in the face of authenticity, and the cheater is fully to blame for living it. Blaming the marriage and the other partner–by subtle extension–for one’s inauthenticity is pathetic. As the saying goes, cheaters are “barking up the wrong tree.”
The lie is not made by the marriage but by the liar–i.e. the cheater. Best to start at the source if the real goal is authenticity and truth.