Nephila posted several responses to my post yesterday. Now, I’m not going to turn this blog over to Nephila or waste my breathe (keystrokes?) on her every rant. However, I think the comment below is a good conversation starter. Hopefully she will be gratified to see I not only posted it, but gave it a position of prominence on my blog, if only to rebut it. Here it is (edited here only for length) followed by my response to you, the reader, in post form.
I think many of your statements have been harmful to BS because they include blameshifting, victim shaming and reframing to minimise the harm done. Sympathising with cheaters is simply inappropriate. Even my husband says so. I have no expectation you’ll print this but if you commented on my blog I would probably not approve them because, like others who have cheated you cannot help defending your position and attacking others. A lot of it is tone as you’ve accepted before.
The fact you find my truths offensive is a good test. What if I was your sister? You judge just as much as you are judged but the difference is you try to put another name on it.
If your sister found it unacceptable that her husband didn’t blame his OW and still thought well of her, if she saw that as evil and a character flaw, what would you do? Yes, she would be judging *you* but you would also be judging her.
And as I’ve said before, judging is fine. We must judge or else have no distinction between right and wrong. But judging fairly is something else, and in my view a cheater judging a victim is never appropriate.
So I ask you: Have my comments and posts included blameshifting, victim shaming and reframing? I can kind of see her point on “reframing” if one takes that to mean “providing context and allowing for nuance.” However, the other two are groundless unless I’ve seriously deluded myself as to the content of my own blog.
I think her statement here about “my truths” is telling. It’s not “the truth,” but “Nephila’s truth” that I find offensive. More than offensive, I find it sad and pitiable, the output of a broken and diseased mind.
And it’s not about judging, which I agree is fine in a limited sense. We all make judgments about right and wrong, as we should, but the warning of “Judge Not…” is to judge rightly so as not to bring judgement on yourself. This should cause us to be humble, cautious, and merciful in our judgments just as we would like to be judged ourselves when we inevitably screw up. By all means, the scriptures tell us, speak the truth (which requires judgment to discern), but speak it in love.
That a cheater can never judge a victim of cheating is just another of Nephila’s “truths” to which I reply “bullshit.” I have been forgiven by my wife and by my Creator. If I judge wrongly, I am just as wrong as Nephila when she judges me and others wrongly. However, when I do judge, I try to do so with humility, remembering what I have done and been forgiven, and with gentleness, knowing that I don’t have the complete picture.
If I judge a betrayed spouse, I do so with an extra measure of gentleness knowing what they are going through and knowing my position as a reformed adulterer will make certain things hard to hear from me. Most of the time I withhold judgement or keep it to myself. That does not mean, however, that I will or must refrain from sometimes speaking the truth in love to a betrayed spouse.
As for not blaming Scarlet, Nephila’s lack of reading comprehension is showing again. Try reading my post on Temptation and Responsibility again, and then tell me I don’t think Scarlet is 100% responsible for betraying her husband and stealing me from my wife. I am nonetheless 100% responsible for betraying my wife and for stealing Scarlet from her husband.
I have sympathy for Scarlet because she is a broken person in a shitty marriage. I have sympathy for her because I further damaged that marriage, and her as well. If having sympathy for someone is thinking well of them, then I guess I do think well of her (and so does my wife, BTW), but I hope I never am so far gone that I stop having sympathy for other broken people. Yes, that includes Nephila and her husband, too.