Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Random Thoughts on Infidelity

The discussion at Michele’s yesterday got me thinking.

Why would someone choose to betray their partner and have an affair with someone else?

Why would someone choose to date a married person?

I cannot tell from my own experience. Never happened to me. Fortunately, I have an over-active imagination. So I tried to picture a hypothetical situation that is in no way connected with any real people I know. And this is what I came up with.

Suppose you’re a married woman. Lately, things have been bad between you and your husband. You used to be madly in love with each other, but somehow, between poverty, exhaustion and your undiagnosed PPDs, things have changed. He hardly ever talks to you anymore. And when he does, he calls you names. He says that you’re ugly and stupid.

How does that make you feel? You chose this man. You fell in love with him. You trusted him.

You’re thinking he’s probably right. You probably really are this ugly, brainless, hideous creature that he says you are. And how does it make you feel?

The lowest of the low.

First, you miss his love. His signs of affection. You want your old relationship back. But, as time goes by, you adjust. You don’t want his love anymore. You just want him out of your life forever. You want him gone and you never want to see him again. You don’t want him around, poisoning your children with his harebrained ideas about their mother and about women in general.

But he refuses to go. He wants to stay together for the kids. He says he doesn’t love you and doesn’t want you, but he’s prepared to make this kind of sacrifice.

How does this make you feel?

Bad. Trapped.

And that’s when he comes along.

Your knight in shining armor.

He tells you how special you are. He speaks of your beauty. He marvels at your mind. He takes you out to lunches and he pays. He says he wants to be friends.

He tells you things are bad between him and his wife. They haven’t had sex in years.

It’s the usual line.

But you don’t know it.

Before you know it, you’re dating. You still want to be friends. But he says he wants more. You don’t want to be more. But you cannot afford to lose your closest friend. You need someone to be on your side. To listen to you. To cover your back. Your husband cannot be that person for you. Because he cannot stand you.

You come home late and go out on weekends. Your parents watch your kids while you’re gone. Or sometimes you bring the kids along. Your friend doesn’t mind. Your husband doesn’t care, as long as you and the kids are all out of his sight.

Your friend’s wife doesn’t mind. She has her own personal life. Her own friends. You get to meet her. She’s nice. She is a strong, independent woman. You two get along fairly well, given the situation.

And so it goes on for several years. Until, suddenly, things get better with your husband. A lot better. He’s a changed man now.

By then, you’re tired to death of your so-called friendship with your so-called friend. So, you end it.

And everybody lives happily ever after.

Except, some time later, his wife dies.

How does it make you feel?

The lowest of the low.

Guilty. Miserable.

You actually liked the woman.

She had a short life. And you did nothing to make it better while it lasted.

You vow never to do it again as long as you live.

But, when you hear of someone having an affair, you find that you cannot cast a stone.

Because you’ve been there.

You’ll never go there again, but you’ve been there.

There are exceptions, of course.

Those bitches that walk out on their husband, even though he loved them and treated them well?

They make your blood boil.

So this is how it might go, according to my imagination.

Is it close enough?

The Goldie has spoken at 10:13 AM

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