Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tonight on Jerry Springer

Tonight I found out that my cousins husband had cheated on her, and in response to that, she vindictively went out and cheated on him. They have two young children (ages 6 and 2) and really nothing to lose except for them and each other.

Cheating is unusual in my family. My cousin (above) has had immedate relatives who've cheated, but have then been relegated to marrying the lethario with whom they cheated with, so I guess that makes it okay in that they've been married for 25 years and are still madly in love. Oddly, it upsets me that my cousin wouldn't have learned how much hurt is caused by cheating, how it invalidates the concept of marriage, and if their children should ever find out...may god or whatever have mercy.

I don't believe cheating is the issue in my immediate family, just generalized discontent exacerbated by mutual disrespect and lack of common goals except that of supporting and rehabilitating my brother. Besides that, with the problems we've had, I don't know if either of my folks could have the energy to allow another person into their lives to fuck them up emotionally. I suppose it's safe to assume that neither of my parents have ever cheated, despite how suspicious it is that my mom and dad no longer sleep together, and my father periodically goes through spells of weight loss due to excessive exercise and extended business trips. (I've never thought to question whether those two were adjacent.) My mother refuses to allow another man into her life without question, regardless if she and my father were to ever divorce. Dare I ask my father if he is cheating or has cheated? Sure, I dare, in the circumstances that I want my death wish granted by Daddy Genie.

What's the difference between a cheater and a non-cheater? Is there something genetic? For me, just dating more than one person at a time is almost more than I can tolerate, and sleeping with more than one person is just disgusting. Shall I consider the idea that this could ever happen to me?

My question is: can I really give up the idea of ever falling truly in love because there is a chance of this happening to me? I suppose I could call myself a concientious objector and decide to opt out of ever taking the chance.