One of the things that changed with the affair is my language. In college, I swore like a sailor. It was a rebellious, free-spirited time of my life when I stayed up late, drank too much alcohol, said what I wanted, and didn’t have much responsibilities other than passing classes. It was pretty common among college kids in general and my particular field of study is well known for having salty language. Hell, even my professors were known to cuss in class.
After graduation, I had to tone it down. A lot. Once I got my first real job, I pretty much swore off swearing except in exceptional cases. It was a habit that didn’t fit with that time in my life. It wasn’t too many years before we had kids and that cut it down even further.
Then the affair happened. In a lot of ways, I hit rock bottom. I had a lot of shitty things to talk about, a lot of shitty things to go through, and a lot of fucking awful things I had done to feel shitty about. And what happened is I started describing them that way.
After what I had done, dropping the occasional f-bomb didn’t really mean a whole hell of a lot in the big scheme of things. I mean honestly who gives a fuck if I say a dirty word when I have had sex with another woman and betrayed my wife? I’m sure there are some who care, but they’re the type who would probably write me off after the big sin anyway.
I know I should cut back on it and I have, but I’m not going back to the way things were before. After the revelation, I was tired of self-censoring everything to the point where I wasn’t really saying anything of value. Maybe I don’t need to use bad words to make my point, but sometimes I do. I’m not going to pretend I really mean “I screwed up” when what I’m actually thinking is “I fucked up.” The two don’t mean the same thing in my mind so I’m going to use the correct word. Sometimes I need those bad words to convey how I feel about the things I’ve done.
I hope my language doesn’t offend. I really do. But I’m not going to stop. I hope if you’re reading this and you’ve either been the victim of betrayal or you’ve betrayed someone yourself, you have the perspective to realize that in the grand scheme of things, cussing doesn’t matter nearly as much as how we treat each other.
I’ve exaggerated my language in this post to make a fucking point, but by now you should see I rarely need to cuss. However, this is one of the subtle changes that occurred in the last 18 months and I felt like discussing my cussing. Make of it what you will.