Five Infidelity Victims Offer Advice for Sandra Bullock
With news of Jesse James cheating on wife Sandra Bullock with Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, we turned to our ever-growing Pop Chorus for their own tales of infidelity and to seek out advice for the recent Best Actress Oscar winner.
After the jump, five betrayed women share their stories and suggest different lines of action for Sandra Bullock.
It's Never Really About the Cheating by Kori Burnham
I've been both cheater and cheated upon, and each role is gut-wrenching for distinct and separate reasons. The first time a boyfriend cheated on me, I was a freshman in college. I thought my world was ending ... that I would die of some sort of 'Sex and the City' and ice cream-induced coma. Six years later, I'm still alive, kicking and laughing about it. I would be remiss to pretend my experience as an eighteen-year-old is the same as that of a married woman who finds out her husband has been unfaithful, but I do believe there are fundamental truths about cheating that are relevant regardless of age, experience and situation.
Look, Sandy -- my point is, this totally sucks. A lot. (Especially having seen the pictures of your husband's alleged mistress -- you're so much prettier than her.) Honestly, something's wrong in your marriage. It might not be your fault; in fact, it might not even have anything to do with you at all, but it's there, and it just exploded in your face. Either you can choose to work on it, or you can choose to leave your husband. Just know this -- if you can't ever forgive him, don't stay with him. It will break both of your hearts all over again, and you deserve better.
Sometimes a Second Chance is Worth It by TiAta Rogers
My husband and I have been together almost eight years. Several years ago, we had five kids between us and I was pregnant. My husband was working long hours, and I was always home with the kids. As my husband's "hours" got longer and longer, he was leaving before the kids got up for school and coming home long after everyone was in bed.
I never thought it would come down to what it did: My husband walked out on me for another woman, someone he had met through a friend. Did I consider her to be a downgrade? Absolutely. My husband was not the first, nor the last, married man she had an affair with.
I thought seriously about divorce, but I did love him. I know that sounds stupid, but feelings aren't something that can just be turned on and off. I finally began getting my head straight. I was going out with friends and life was carrying on. He wanted to come home, and I took him. I'm not ashamed to admit it -- I loved him and wanted to make it work. Trust is still a struggle; I won't sit here and say that I trust him completely, because I don't. But I'm trying, and it gets better every day. Do I believe that he regrets what happened? Absolutely. Would he take it back if he could? No doubt. He tore out the very foundation of our relationship and the entire structure fell. But we picked up the pieces and put it back together.
If Sandra has no room for reconciling, then good for her. She can move on. She'll find someone else. But if she feels he is her heart and they want to work it out, they should get counseling. My husband and I learned that I had to talk about it, that I had questions that needed answered. I needed reassurance, and communication is key to making it work. Trust is fragile and if Sandra and Jesse decide to work it out, he needs to do whatever it takes to begin to build the trust back. It is a long process. No matter what, Sandra has to remind herself that she is beautiful and intelligent and talented. She's a catch for any man. In my darkest hours, I reminded myself that even if he didn't love and respect me, lots of people did, and I was never alone. No one is ever truly alone.
Being Cheated on Can Turn Out to Be a Big Win... Eventually by Nikki Dowling
We'd been together for three years, and he was, supposedly, madly in love with me. He told me he'd never leave, that he wanted to get married and have kids. He claimed he couldn't even look at other women. One day, stopping by his house, I climbed the stairs to his loft and peeked into his bedroom. He bolted upright in his bed and started yelling at me about knocking before coming in and showing respect.
That's when I saw it. Someone groaned and rolled over. I saw a long, pale arm and a head full of blond hair. I'd always thought that if I caught my boyfriend cheating, I'd make a big, violent scene. But it turns out, my shock worked in my favor. I kept it classy, left without a word and conveyed how hurt I was without hurting anyone else. My reaction -- or lack thereof -- really made him wonder what I was thinking. He tried to explain, but I refused to hear it. I made it clear that we were over.
Despite the fact that he and I have been broken up for years, he still calls. My friends tell me he dates women who look like me. When we do talk, he tells me he loves me before hanging up, despite the fact that he and his current girlfriend just had twins. So despite the fact that I've been cheated on, I really feel like I got the better deal. For him, I'll always be the one that got away -- the girl he was totally in love with but couldn't stay faithful to. I'm glad I caught him cheating because, if I hadn't, I might still be with an unfaithful man. In the end, I won.
Better Luck Next Time, Jesse by Carole Schnell
In college, I went away for a weekend to Myrtle Beach. When I returned, the guy I'd dated for two years had gotten married. Actually married! At his first opportunity, he came to see me and let me know he had made a mistake, would be getting a divorce immediately and had realized how much he was actually in love with me. I was young and stupid and believed him. Now, I was in the position -- at the age of 20 -- to have an affair. I thought I was in love with him; I wanted his story to be true. So I did continue to see him for about two months.
No matter how shocking that was, looking back, I am so glad he did marry that girl and not me. I went on with my life. A year passed ... I was out of school now and living in New York. One morning on my way to work, my phone rang -- he was in New York and wanted to see me. He had left this poor girl and thought he could surprise me with his good news. I was in a relationship with a man who would later become my husband. I thanked the old flame for the call, but told him that frankly it was too late to matter.
He pleaded and said all the things that, years before, I would have loved to hear. But love is funny -- like a piece of exquisite crystal, beautiful and sparkling, but also fragile. If you break it, the glue lines always show. What is now broken can never be the same again. I married a guy who hasn't worried me once about infidelity. He is my best friend. We raised kids, went through hardships and made a great life for ourselves.
I hope Sandra Bullock finds someone that deserves that wonderful speech she gave at the Oscars. I hope Jesse James realizes what he broke, and that the next time he gets a bit of good crystal, he better take care of it.
The Greatest Revenge by Cindy Pierce
My husband of 13 years cheated on me. He dated a co-worker for several years before I discovered the situation. Is this other woman beneath me? Of course she is -- she dates married men.
The greatest advice I can give a person who has been cheated on is to have patience, not toward the cheater, but with yourself. The hurt feelings and anger when discovering the breach will certainly cloud your view at first, so take it easy and understand your emotions will be foggy for a while.
I trusted that my spouse would be true to me, especially since I was filling all the appropriate shoes in the marriage -- wife, equal breadwinner, best friend. Basically, I did the right thing, the honorable thing, the loving thing. My husband did not. Unfortunately, some people never learn the value of loyalty -- and those folks are best not in the role of spouse. Lesson learned: Sometimes you do all the right things and life still doesn't treat you fairly.
Five years after getting out of what I now know was a very unhealthy situation, I have no regrets for leaving that life behind. The fog has lifted and I see clearly now. I have no regrets about my behavior and actions. No regrets for having expected loyalty. And best of all, I didn't allow my spouse's lack of character to become my problem. The greatest revenge is to live a good life.
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