Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I made a mistake

You know, I was thinking the other day. Yeah, back off. Easy shot if you comment on my thinking ability. I was listening to a couple of people justify past mistakes they made. The actual mistakes are not that important, but it sounded like both women sort of wished they had not made them. But they did not really call them mistakes – they called them “life choices.” It seems to me, again, just reading between the lines, that both women don’t want to admit that they have made mistakes. And I wonder how healthy that is.

I have made mistakes. Big freakin’ mistakes. I have a certain moral code – and part of that moral code was “don’t be unfaithful to hubbie.” Well, I blew that. And for a while, I pretended that circumstances, or actions that hubbie made at the time gave me the right to be unfaithful. Now I don’t want to go into great details – heck, I have done that before. But I can remember even thinking for a while – it is better not to tell hubbie about the infidelities. To just be a better wife. There were even national talk show shrinks who counseled to “keep your trap shut” and just be better. But doing that would not have solved the problem.

It was not that I wanted to unload crap on hubbie. I really did not want to burden him with all the crap I had going on in my mind. But in order to be a better person, to live my moral code, I had to do things that I would have a hard time explaining. Hun, could you go to couples therapy with me. Hun, I am starting to take some additional pills. Psychotropic pills, hun, yes I believe they are. I could not have gotten any better without hubbie helping me. So I had to say, “I made a mistake.” And that statement was so freeing.

I am a practicing Catholic. And so I was not living by the rules of the Church. But more than just rules for a church, they are things I believed in but did not follow. And after admitting to doing wrong, I could become a better person. Sometimes I think organized religion does not do such a good job on this aspect of the human experience. Instead of “I’m okay, you’re okay,” perhaps we should be saying, “I’m a sinner, you’re a sinner.” And then learn from our mistakes.

Now I know some of you will say, “Fidelity is overrated.” Dear reader, you are missing the point. Take an example from your past – we have all done things, at times, we wish we had not done because it is against our believe system. Instead of trying to explain it away with situational ethics, “I had to lie to protect so-and-so’s feelings.” Just admit you lapsed, figure out why and go forward. Perhaps with this approach, instead of spending time and energy explaining and defending, to you or others, you will work on bringing your values in line with your actions.

Not sure how I can weave any whip cream into this post. Unless your moral compass forbids you from putting whip cream on body parts. And that is just good clean fun!


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GirlGoyle said...

Intense and deep...guess it evoked subliminal fallic images to attract all that penis enlargement spam. Even here spam?! Ugh!

As for confessing that we've made that for our own good? Is freedom from inner guilt what we seek by said confession or the sympathy, compassion and forgiveness of others?

mal said...

I think the important part of admitting mistakes is the intellectual honesty required in getting there. The truth does not set you free, but it certainly is a better foundation for making good decisions than BS is.

It sounds like you reached that point with Hubbie and I applaud for the courage to air it out so you could move on. Many people would continue to hide and let it rot. Which is the worse sin? The deed? Hiding it? Coming out with it?

For a long time, there were things hidden in our marriage that just festered and rotted in the dark. After finally exposing them light and airing them out I believe our marriage is better than ever.

GREAT post

Mike said...

Good post Leesa...When my ex (who cheated on me more than once) tried to justify her actions it was my fault for paying more attention to our kids than her.
I've always thought that was a little nuts.

Pittchick said...

I'm Catholic too, and I still hate going to confession. Personally, I don't think it makes me feel better to air certain things. The last time I went to confession was right before my wedding. (I had to- we had a Catholic wedding) I've sinned since then, I've made mistakes since then, nothing major, but mistakes none the less.
I think admitting to yourself that you made a mistake can be more difficult than admitting it to others.

Sheen V said...

Amen! We've been there too, however, it was due her discovering my use of porn. Funny thing is, before she actually caught me, she would always kid me about 'that secret stash of Playboys' so I just figured she either knew or would be accepting of it. She had a very different reaction when she actually found them.

Monica said...

Hmmm Sheen, I've never understood the big deal with one spouse or the other having porn hidden under the basement stairs or whatever...a porn star yeah, but some magazines or movies? I mean...where are you going to take that pent up lust anyway? You know Miss September isn't taking your call.

Anyway, I digress (sorry Leesa)

What was I going to type? (this is why I should never read the comments before I leave my own........)
Hold on....

Miranda said...

Good post. I was the one that lapsed, but I already knew the marriage was over. THats what I figured out. Of course it doesnt make it easier, the domino effect of everything else around me. I have been trying to move on, but it seems its the ones around me that are having difficulty with it.

Monica said...

Oh! I know...
Okay, so we became Catholic at Easter, all of our previous sins washed away in our baptism and everything. So I wonder, what do I do with any residual guilt I may still have? Of course my husband knows everything, and we've both done the "I'm sorry-s" and "I forgive you-s"

But what about the sadness and regret that's left?
One of the guys in our RCIA said it's like having all the rust knocked off of your soul and being left clean....yeah,..that didn't happen for me. So what now?

Prata said...

But...last I checked Leesa, that _is_ what the church teaches, we are all sinners. The good book says that the deity made a flawed creation and ever since that little Eden issue the good book and church has never said that "we're okay", it's always said "man is a sinner".

The problem I have with that of course is, well known..we won't go into that. What I will say though, is that people don't need a religion to tell them what is right or wrong, society dictates much of what is generally right or wrong and people individually are pretty good with what is right or wrong specifically. There is of course the pscyhological impact of being "a product of your environment"...I am not a psychologist so I will not speak on anything but experience to that point.

And I thought all choices were life choices. Has any of us made a choice that was askew from life? Humanity, being (if you're a spiritual deity follower) broken, makes mistakes. If you're not a religious person, we still make mistakes that is what happens when you're learning about yourself and possibly others.

~Deb said...

I think it’s called, ‘being human’. I like the …”I’m a sinner, you’re a sinner.” So true. Mistakes to me, are what make us better people later on. We learn from them and we make changes or…some don’t. Depends on what you want out of life. Mistakes is a ‘learning process’ I believe. I think by admitting to your mistakes, and all of us admitting to it—makes us realize what’s most important in life…like that whipped cream scenario.

Ugh, it just never ends with my dirty mind, does it?

Ian Lidster said...

Only if it's 'real' whip cream, none of that Reddi-Whip crap. yes, forgive us our trespasses. In my times of transgression in the past I never quite knew how to approach the matter. In 12-step circles the idea of making an amends is a brilliant one, but the caveat is always that if the amends hurts the person even more, then you have no right to make it -- at least in too many details. So, being human we fuck up, and we make bad choices (that seemed really, really good at the time). So, I haven't always been faithful, and they have been my own loving adventures, and I have not shared them with spouses. Nor would I choose to. Do I feel guilty about my transgressions? A bit, but not a lot. Maybe I should. Maybe you should. But, you know Leesa, we are all the sum of our complexities.

JD said...

as always, i love your blog. i agree and admire you for that honesty. i've faced a similar situation and appreciate your take on things.

one word of caution though. be careful how much whipped cream you use, you could end up with one huge tummy ache. wouldn't want to ruin the rest of the night's fun because of lactose intolerance... ;

(true fact - we've experienced this, LOL)

Anonymous said...

"Bring your values in line with your actions." I like that. Wise very you are, Leesa. (that's my Yoda impersonation. Pretty good, no?)

Prata said...

Yeah Deb I was thinkin' the same thing about that whipped cream. This can't be healthy for anyone involved. Major learning point in my life...that whipped cream is. Err..wait..perhaps I've said too much. ^_^ hehe

Georgiapeach said...

Did you tell him the true number or did you still sugar coat it? Is your hubbie older than you?

Grant said...

A lot of people can't admit their mistakes, so kudos to you for having the basic honesty to not lie to yourself. Everybody else could benefit from your example.

Not me, of course, being absolutely perfect in every conceivable way, especially my modesty. But since I have no faults of my own to criticize, I do what I can by pointing out everybody else's. Usually I have no patience to go into detail, so I just have to stick with a simple "Feck off!" When you hear that, know that I care about you and am doing my best to help you evolve as a person.

"I'm a sinner, you're a sinner" would go well with the old "I'm a Pepper" song. I'm a sinner? Fuckin' A! Please join me in sinning. Especially if you're Asian.

Feck off!

Heather said...

MISTAKES..yeah, I've made alot of them.. I try every day not to repeat them.. that's what makes making a mistake ok.. not repeating it. We are only human.

Joe said...

Interesting perspective. Regardless of what one calls them, be it 'mistakes' or 'life choices' the important thing is that we learn from them.

I've made a million of them, but there's no going back to change. Like you said, you admit them, learn from them, and try not to repeat them.

Leigh said...

What happen to the good old days of learning from your mistakes!

Grant said...

FYI - your blog feed isn't working. Random google blogs seem to be affected.

Leesa said...

girlgoyle: yeah, I attract these types of commenters.

mallory: I like the term "intellectual honesty."

mike: your ex's words and you can both be nuts. No mutual exclusion rules here.

dna: I know what you mean. Ready for the big day and you have to talk sins with a priest.

sheen: I know what you mean.

monica: porn, to some, represents a horible addiction.

miranda: thanks

prata: yeah, that's what the good book says, but it seems like a lot of churches don't help with the situation.

~deb: I would like to see whipped cream on you!

ian: good thoughts.

jd: thanks

jenny: that was my favorite line in the post. thanks.

gapeach: are you a split personality.

grant: I never said you were not perfect, grant.

heather: thanks for your perspective

joe: completely agree

leigh: I don't know.

grant: I didn't know I had a blog feed. I have said that that was okay in the set up, but I don't know how to fix it. I republished the blog to see if that would help.

"N" Search of Ecstasy said...

Good post!

I agree with what another person said and that we are all only human and that we are ALL sinners. Everyone makes mistakes.

Take care!

Leesa said...

n-search: thanks!

Goddess said...

Sometimes I think when someone who cheated tells the other person, they are only doing it to make themselves feel better. To get it off their chest, so they can stop living the lie. The ones who do that are the ones who cant salvage their marriages or relationships, in my opinion. The people who come clean to actually FIX the problems that lead to the infidelity, are the ones that I admire.
I mean, I guess it just depends on WHY you are admitting the mistake to someone else in the first place. Is it to make yourself feel better, or is it to fix the underlying problems that are occuring?
Mistakes only let you grow as a person if you learn from them. I mean, I seem to make ONE mistake over and over and over again. I know I shouldnt do it, but I just cant seem to stop it! So have I learned anything from it? Yeah, I know that I will probably always have a car payment, and that I dont have to, but because I just cant seem to live with the same vehicle for more than 3 years, I am setting myself up for a larger car payment every 3 freaking years. Because I also cant go from this car to a "lower" car. It always has to be better. I am a freaking moron!

Sheen V said...

monica, I like your way of thinking. The porn was only part of it.

Georgiapeach said...

Don't try to dodge the :)

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