Okay. So you were caught cheating on your wife. We could go either way here. I could spend the next several minutes telling you what a narcissistic tool you are and that you have the morals of an alley cat in heat, but I’m pretty sure your wife has already filled you in on your new Facebook bio that she shared with several hundred of your mutual friends, so I’ll move on to something more helpful. Because right now, if you want to stay married to this woman, the next words out of your mouth need to be selected ex-treme-ly carefully. You’ve lobbed a grenade into the center of your marriage, and the wrong response to her discovery of the actual agenda for all your late-night “business meetings” could result in a marital apocalypse.
Many women have a scorched-earth policy for cheating spouses. There’s no acceptable defense. It’s over. Pack your crap and get out.
If you’re lucky, your wife might be at least willing to listen to what you have to say. But if your defense is stupid, condescending, or blames her in any way, your next task will be sending out Change of Address forms for your new rental. And if Sugar Baby was anybody was she knows (or God forbid, her sister), you’ll spend the next three days fishing all your worldly goods out of the backyard pool while she arranges to have your soggy belongings shipped to a ghetto apartment across town. Using your credit card.
So even though I’m with her on her thoughts on how to dispose of your body without getting caught (and she’s having them, trust me), I’m going to help save your sorry ass by telling you what not to say, ever, when she confronts you for an explanation.
I was drunk. What are you? Like, 19?? This is a childish excuse, cliche at 20 and absurd at 50. If you get so incapacitated when you drink that you can’t slur your way through “No thanks, I’m married,” you need to find a AA meeting. Today. And get a sponsor who likes to babysit, because obviously, you need to be supervised.
It just happened. Let’s break this one down. You’re saying that you were standing there feeding the homeless and she walked by on her way to the animal shelter to adopt her third rescue dog, when a tornado hit, blowing off all your clothes and causing you to faceplant on top of her, both of you buck naked and helpless? Well, geez, we almost feel sorry for you now. And your city seems to have a lot of tornadoes. Apparently three a week for almost a year.
We haven’t had sex in weeks. Maybe because one of you is happily topped up and satisfied. And it isn’t her. This is called “shifting the blame,” and it will backfire on you. Big backfire. What she hears is that every time she doesn’t put out, you’ll just go somewhere else. Be careful. What’s good for the goose…
She came on to me. So, what? You didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so you slept with her? Using that logic, your wife would have slept with enough men to start a baseball team, because men have been coming on to her since you two got married 15 years ago. But she said No. She’s now rethinking that response.
It was just sex. Just sex?? Oh, thank God. She thought it was a violation of everything she cherished about your marriage. She thought it meant you’re a lying jerk who thought a couple of hours romping in the hay with some tramp from your office wouldn’t implode 25 years of marriage and that she’d understand that it was “just sex.” No biggie. She’s also guessing that implies that you won’t mind if she sleeps with Brad, her ex-boyfriend, who was fabulous in the sack, and it’ll be “just sex.” If she’s out late tonight, don’t wait up.
I didn’t mean to hurt you. Since it wasn’t intentional, you’re basically still a nice guy, and since you didn’t intend for her to
find out get hurt, there’s no reason for her not to forgive you and let it go. Seriously?? So while you were sexting, planning secret rendezvous, buying gifts and dinners in out-of-town hotels for another woman (paid for out of the marital checking account), and lying to your wife every single day, you figure that’s okay because you didn’t intend to cause her any pain? This one is likely to make her go ballistic on your loser ass because it’s so insulting. You didn’t forget her birthday here. You had sex with another woman. Only one of those is unintentional.
There’s no spark between us anymore. This is a classic cheater spin that shifts the blame to her. It’s often accompanied by a deep sigh and and a sorrowful expression. “I tried, but you just don’t seem interested in me anymore. I got so lonely.” What she hears is that after 12 years of marriage, the giddy glow has worn off. The relationship doesn’t feel “new” anymore. And affair sex is not only new, it’s forbidden. It’s exciting and secret. And if your wife could reproduce that, you wouldn’t have strayed. But if “new and off-limits” is your barometer for great sex, you’re not marriage material and she’s better off without you. Period.
It was a mistake. A mistake is 2+2 = 6. Sleeping with another woman and lying about it for the duration of the relationship is not a mistake. It’s an affair. Cheating is a decision. You might be able to sell the “mistake” excuse if it truly was a one-night stand. But if you slept with this woman more than once, it was a planned activity. You knew exactly what you were doing, and you chose to do it anyway. She’s more likely to forgive you if you don’t try to minimize her justifiable anger by calling your extracurricular activities a “boo-boo.”
And the #1 “If she snuffs you in your sleep, no jury would convict her” worst possible thing you could say:
It didn’t mean anything. Oh. My. God. Essentially, you’ve just told her that you risked everything – her happiness, your marriage, your life together – for someone who doesn’t mean anything to you. Are you kidding?? It would be kinder (and more forgivable) if you told her that you fell out of bed, hit your head, and thought the other woman was your soul mate, but that you were clearly delusional because the other woman could never be her, and it will never, ever, ever happen again. Then stop talking. She’ll let you know what’s going to happen next. She’s earned the right.
And next time, keep it in your pants until you get home, m’kay?