Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Drowning in Virtual Betrayal One Click at a Time

One-third of divorce litigation is caused by online affairs
-"This Is An Internet E-Mergency", The Fortino Group


Pain is a part of life. But so is death. Neither of them pleasant of course but for some pain feels like death. For some pain is so intense that it craves to be quenched by the blackness of death. No one should have to live like that.

Betrayal, the murder of the spirit is all too common. Some people say that basically all people are good people. But they have not met everyone.

Some people live for drama. They hate themselves and don’t want to think about it. So they want others to suffer too, especially if others seem to be doing better than they are. Misery loves company. And the company we keep, if miserable, will drown us along with them.

Sometimes we are so bored that we will do anything for entertainment. Even if that anything means hurting someone else.

We find love. And then we kill it. Like animals seeking out prey, sometimes people pretend to be harmless flowers, but they are dangerous nightshade. Sometimes we hurt the ones that love us for a reason we don’t even know. You can get over the hurt but you cannot get over that time stolen.

They walk among us. People hurting so bad drowning from inside out. Surrounded by the dry land of people but soaked to the bone in misery’s murky grasp. Being pushed under the water by hands that are supposed to rescue them. By hands that are supposed to love them. Hands attached to a body, with murder in its heart.

We think we aren’t getting enough “attention” from our spouse. So we go out into the “safe” world of the internet to feel better. Like the narcissists we are. Craving stimulation so much that we abandon our wedding vows. Our little thrills kill our families and ruin life for our little ones.

The same way an alcoholic becomes an addict. One sip at a time. Then he wakes up one day face down in a gutter. But here it is logging on for some safe internet thrills. Then pictures are exchanged. Then phone numbers are exchanged. Then meetings are arranged. Just for dinner though. Then lives are exchanged for some fool who does not care about the family he or she is destroying. Only about what is in your pants. All that, one click at a time.

When we are caught we cry and grieve. We ask for forgiveness. But we have put in more time trying to drown our relationships than we do trying to save it. We don’t want to work at anything except pleasing ourselves. When we wrong someone else, we want to blame God, blame the person who lead us astray, even blame the spouse who must not have paid enough attention to us. We say that the spouse did not have an emotional connection to us. But we sought out someone in virtual land who only wants to connect with our lusts. We lie to ourselves.

It is cheaper to get a divorce than it is to get marriage counseling. We spend hours on chat rooms and minutes on our families. Hundreds of dollars on internet providers.
We are not addicted to the internet. We are addicted to our selfishness. And lust for justification to wreck our marriages.

While our spouses reach up from the waters of pain and betrayal we reach down and push their heads under.

Even then, it is about us. It is about how we “feel” so guilty. It is about how we didn’t realize what pain it would cause. We just didn’t “think.” Oh we did think alright. But only about ourselves.

We are murderers. But the bodies we leave behind are still breathing. And that is worse than death. We don’t have to guts to finish the job.

We get married and when things go wrong blame it on doing it too young. Or doing it because everyone else did. How convenient. We blame it on God “not blessing our marriage”. That it must have not been His will. People who fly airplanes into buildings do the same thing. We have free will. But that does not mean you should take the freedom of your life and take someone else’s freedom away.

Our kids kill each other. Our kids join gangs. Our kids are too often the product of selfish marriages and weak people too self absorbed to keep loving someone else, besides themselves. So yeah, we drown our kids too. Remember that the next time you log on.

We want our spouses to be gentle like sheep. Yet we run with friends who are nothing more than a pack of wolves. We spend time with friends who have hell for marriages. And instead of brining them up, we climb into the pit with them.

We log on. Then we log off of life.

Cheating is cheating. If you wouldn’t do it in front of your spouse, you shouldn’t do it at all. You can drown in an ocean but you can also drown in the bathtub. Betrayal doesn’t have to take place in some seedy motel. It can take place in your living room in front of the monitor.

We think it is harmless. But why do it in secret?

What is left after a little harmless fun? A harmful broken life. A shattered family with pain that cannot be measured in Megabytes. We leave behind victims who must find some way to go on with life. Victims that believe their spouses saw more in a virtual sex act than in them. That is worse than catching someone cheating in real life. To catch a spouse cheating with an electronic image booster.

Betrayal in real time or in virtual time kills. The victims are left to go on with life pretending that they are fine. Too embarrassed to say they lost a loved one to a chat room. Pretending that life is fine. Wanting to stop hurting. Drowning in the blinding glow of a lap top. We want someone to care for us more than the need for attention. A need that isn’t based in reality any more than the affair. A need that is based in selfish foolishness.

Victims that are dying to live. And living to die. And that is the deep, dark, murky, virtual reality of it all. Betrayal is betrayal. It doesn’t matter if it comes to our door or to our inbox. Destroying a family for attention gets us attention alright. Kids who will one day find out that mom or dad took their security, love, and life away for a cheap thrill.

One click at a time.