Once A Cheat, Always A Cheat: Why We Should Cut A-Rod From Our Lives

by Macie Berlin

As a woman who has faced the infidelity of male suitors in serious relationships and ended up under the covers, crying, shaking and basking in insecurity, I understand what it's like to go through the many emotions of being scorned by a loved one.

I am angry, then hopeful, then forgiving, then brash, slightly crazy, rambunctious, so on and so forth.

I am not, however, stupid.

Unfortunately, the Alex Rodriguez fans seem to exude the aforementioned stupidity to the nines. You want to talk about a cheating boyfriend? Take a look at fence-clearing Yankees shortstop, A-Rod.

Nothing bleeds scummy like denying the initial act over and over again before finally coming clean. That's not honesty; that's exhaustion from lying.

Oh, you were out with your mother? That lipstick stain is ketchup? You were hanging on to those condoms for someone else? Is that not the same song and dance that A-Rod gave us for two years when under suspicion for steroids and other drug use?

Whether you're cheating the game or cheating on your significant other, you're still cheating.

The A-Rods and other like-minded heartbreakers of the world embody so many of the qualities that fool us into chronic hope; they string us along because of the great moments.

Sound familiar? Flowers on the doorstep, romantic nights out, smooth talking or perhaps, an honest display to Katie Couric, a public apology and the uncanny ability to hit homeruns.

We swell over the idea of not being intermittently let down by these men, so we hang on. We follow the short string as if they go on forever, even if they lead us through tainted times and low self-esteem.

Although I am in agreement with the MLB for suspending A-Rod for his illegal drug usage, I am put off by the wavering terms that actually ensued.

Not only did Rodriguez admit to his crime, but he also gave specific times of use. Allowing him to continue to play baseball while appealing the suspension was ludicrous to begin with.

That's like having your boyfriend admit that he cheated and continue to sleep with him while he comes up with as many excuses as possible for the next few months. What type of standard does that set for future boyfriends, husbands and professional athletes?

I am sure that Alex Rodriguez spent some time regretting his decisions over the past season, similar to the time he spent regretting his decisions in 2009.

A-Rod's apologies are warranted; they may even be heart-felt. Clearly, they seem to be enough for fans to line up with an array of apparel and souvenirs for this man — who has perpetuated the idea that brawn and athleticism count more than being honest and a positive role model — to sign.

We give passes to the men who cheat on us because they have great moments. We cheer for A-Rod to come back because he can still hit six balls over the left-field fence with no visible effort.

We excuse behaviors that harm our hearts and don't line up with our ideals of success because it has become more normal to do this rather than stand up and punish someone with consequences that hold any longevity.

This isn't about what type of person Alex Rodriguez is. I don't know him; maybe we watch the same television shows and pick out the same frozen yogurt flavors.

It's about accountability for actions, respecting our pastimes, like baseball, and respecting ourselves.

I don't doubt that A-Rod will continue to be an exceptional athlete, a media headliner and a thorn in the side of the Yankees franchise, but I wish he didn't have that opportunity.

I wish he had to face his mistakes and poor decisions so he would learn that things change drastically when you cheat.

I wish he spent his time building up his self-esteem so as to not make the same mistakes and poor decisions in his non-professional career. But, that seems daunting when the MLB's arms are open to him.

I want our professional sports leagues to take a page out of my broken heart's book and face the music.

We will continue to be let down if we still hand out the goods for free. Suspensions and fines are simply temporary cold shoulders and abstinence before allowing the cycle to start all over again.

Forgive Alex Rodriguez and the cheaters who leave us questioning ourselves.

Learn from the relationship, the heartbreak and the disappointment. Move forward, mend and be grateful for the experience that leaves us wiser in the long run.

But, don't expect different results time and time again if the nature of the relationship doesn't change.

Whether you continue to sleep with the cheating scumbag or continually admit the steroid-slinging shortstop back into the game, results are not likely to vary.

I'm not buying it, A-Rod. Once a cheater, always a cheater.