This post opens up with a well-known photograph (understatement) of a distracted boyfriend that anyone with an internet connection has probably seen, in some fashion, as a meme. That was intentional. Trust me, that image was hand-selected to prove a point with a story I’m going to tell that may anger some of you.
You see… there are two things people who don’t know me may not guess.
First: I like to make up fun scenarios with unfamiliar pieces. I can look at two random strangers on the street and make up entire backstories for them, their relationship(s), and the feuding royal bloodlines they may or may not be from. Like… on the spot.
Second: I have a Shutterstock subscription for this site. That means I get to see way more stock images than a lot of people in a given day. And that also means that I’ve seen the ENTIRE photoset for the “Disloyal Man” series, and let me tell you — there’s a story there.
I want to tell you a messy story with lots of photos in a gallery, and then I’d like for you to help me think through some philosophical issues. I’ll qualify this with the following statement: “This story is completely fictional, and not based on anyone that I know – but at the same time, it’s based on a lot of people that we all know.”
That is all you get. Story time.
The Story No One Knows
(READ THE CAPTIONS & REFRESH SCREEN if the slideshow is rendering weirdly)
So… Tell me… Who was “wrong” in that story? At what point should Emma have left Chris? At what point should Chris have been honest with Emma about how he was feeling? Should they have gone to couple’s therapy? Should Emma have stayed with Apple? Was Chris wrong before or after he “went out” with Nicki? Did Emma do anything wrong? Did Chris feel pressured by Emma? How many chances would you have given YOUR FIANCE Chris? What if the peeling was reeeeealllly good? Would it matter if the genders were flipped? Does it change anything if Chris knew Nicki first? Does it change anything if Chris and the old guy (Apply) were friends? Should Emma have trusted her heart, or her gut, or her brain?
Do you see where I’m going with all of this?
8 Out of 10 Times (made up stat) We Work Off of Incomplete Info
A lot of us, myself included, get caught up in one moment of a story and make snap judgments without knowing all of the details. Sometimes we are given incomplete information or fall in with popular perspectives because it’s just the easier thing to do.
How do you think Chris described the situation to his friends? Do you think he said anything? Do you think Emma mentions to her friends that she had her suspicions, but always looked the other way? Is it MORE OK to move on the way that Emma did from Apple-to-Orange (Chris), or were they both wrong for looking outside of their relationships before ending things with their significant other? Was this Karma for Emma? Was Nicki just Chris’s new “orange”?
Sometimes we don’t like to know the whole story because it may leave us with more questions we’re uncomfortable with answering, than answers that we like to hear.
That isn’t a fortune cookie — that’s just facts.
This Story is Both Familiar and Unfamiliar at the Same Time
Again, I didn’t write this story about anyone in particular – and I’ve NEVER had an experience like this that I knew about (which means I’m probably Apple – LOL… Crap… or Emma!!?). But, we hear about it all the time.
The current U.S. President has stepped out on his wife, the First Lady (she stayed). Pastors cheat on their wives (the one in that story — she stayed the first time). Women step-out on their men (and they stay). Everybody has their reasons, and the world outside of their relationship doesn’t always have a 100% clear window into that logic.
No one is perfect, alright? And I feel pretty confident that, like Emma, these people knew the person they were getting into these situations with – whether they admit to it or not. There are signs, there are repeat behaviors, there are flat out moments of admission. But we all know someone who chose to stay (whether they’ve told us the facts or not).
This Is Not an Apology for Cheaters, or Even Distracted Boyfriends
To be clear, this post is not in support of cheaters nor is this a sympathy letter to those who choose to stay in relationships with people who cheated on them. In fact, this isn’t even ABOUT relationships – I just used a fictional story about one as an illustrative example.
One of the worst things you can do to “someone you care about”, in my eyes, is step-out on them. I do not condone cheating, nor do I fully respect people who do so. Ultimately I have a policy of…
…when it comes to other people’s relationships, but please know that cheating isn’t something I praise people for. I tend to try to NOT hang around people that I know engage in the activity.
What this Post was Really About
WHAT I WANT THIS TO BE is a reminder to either get to know all sides of an issue (at least “more than one” if it exists) or reserve judgment – even if you’re involved with the issue in some way – when it comes to certain matters. I say that because there may be details in the story that dramatically shift opinions should they come to light.
I mean, I bet a lot of people didn’t even know there were other photos in that series – hahaha! And, kind of “more sadly”, many people won’t even feel like it matters that there were more pictures outside of that moment.
Ok. Cool. It’s just pictures — but maybe don’t go through life like that?
We have to get to know our world through more than tweets, TikTok videos, and headlines. I say that AS A PERSON who will sometimes stop at only reading article headlines and email subject lines! In an effort to not be a hypocrite, I strive to actually read the content.
Everything in Life (with a big “L”) isn’t bite-size.
That is all that I’ve got. What do you think of this story and the moral I tried to tie to it?