If I were a phrase and my name was 'poor judgment', I'd be very upset...no, no...fuming mad right now. This has got to be one, if not the most over-used excuse or explanation these days for committing infidelity. 'It's because of my poor judgment that I've brought pain to my wife and family and I am the only one to blame', is what we always hear from these public figures who have been caught cheating on their spouses. I heard it from Jon Gosselin's mouth, now hearing it from Jesse James' as he pseudo-admits to cheating on Sandra Bullock, and I would bet at some point Tiger Woods and all those cheating politicians uttered the same.
I've come to believe that 'poor judgment' has become all but a diplomatic way of saying 'I freely chose to think using something other than my brain and again chose to be selfish and myopic to see only what I wanted at the moment and not see the consequences of my actions and to top it all off, was stupid enough to get caught.' One good thing from the use of this phrase though, is that at least it implies that there was some form of thought process prior to the indiscretion. I hate it when I hear people say "I wasn't thinking" and then throwing into the mix the "It just happened" claim, as if poof!....there it was and some magical, invincible force was involved and an out-of-body experience occurred. Puh-leaaazzzzze........At the very least, 'poor judgment' implies that choices were present, evaluated (somehow), and then chosen. And that's the key to why personally, infidelity is such a non-negotiable for me in my relationship. If my partner cheated on me, he chose someone else over me, for whatever reason. Him choosing to cheat is choosing to hurt me and our family. Him choosing to cheat completely tells me that he chose deception over truth. And what kind of relationship can thrive if not planted in truth? From a fully selfish perspective, what kind of person will I become or do you make me to be if you give me anything less than the truth?...truth about you, me, us, what we have, what we've built, what's ahead. Deceiving me is an insult to my intellect more than anything else and that is an unacceptable injury for me. Deceiving me is dishonoring me, so how can I think lightly of that?
I know some of you are thinking right now that it's just easy for me to say this because it hasn't happened to me and that once it happens, my feelings might change, especially since I have a child to think of. Point taken. In the same breath though I know that I know myself too well to be certain that I am not into 'sharing', I am extremely territorial, and that I don't need any more potential sources of paranoia to push me over the edge of sanity. It's precisely because I have a child to think of and protect, that my sanity and peace of mind are of utmost importance. That and I have too much pride to take being insulted and have my boundaries crossed.
Now don't get me wrong here. I'm not trying to speak from a 'holier-than-thou' place. I know that people cheat and have affairs for various reasons too complicated sometimes for any of us to judge. I am not condoning the choice and the act either...obviously. There is no question in my mind that in my belief, being unfaithful to your partner and breaking your commitment to each other is wrong based on our current moral standards. (I'm clearly not being a post-modernist in this respect but I'm sure post-modernists will respect my personal stance....or so I hope.) It's just that it irks me when some cheaters make it out to be something else. Some sugar-coat it and call it 'recklessness', others call it 'a moment of weakness'. Some call it 'sickness' or 'uncontrollable impulse', while others say it's 'darkness, evil taking over'. This is a free country and you can call it any name you like. Heck, you can call it a 'blessing in disguise' for all I care. Just don't make it out to be anything other than what it truly is.....narcissism and most definitely a solid deal breaker for me.