Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No. You Shouldn't. You're Married.

Marriage has become such a convenience in our society. No wonder the divorce rate is so high. We marry at the height of emotion, leave at the first sign of trouble. Rinse repeat.

We also look the other way when cheating occurs. I've heard it too many times.

"It's none of my business"
"She can do what he wants, she's not my wife"

"Why do you care? He's not your husband."
I care, because he's married. I may not be his wife, but someone is. He is breaking the covenant he made with her. If someone is willing to break what may possibly be the most serious, life-changing promise they will ever make to someone else, why would I ever trust them with... anything?

Regardless of what our society will tell you, if you cheat, or if you are "the other"... it speaks to your character.

I am so sick not only of men & women speaking of their illicit relationships openly, I'm tired of the responses from others being so tolerant of this behavior.

I'm tired of the young married gals on message boards asking questions like:

"My husband has been such a jerk the past few months. There's this other guy that's giving me lots of attention. Do you think I should see what he has to offer?"
Um, no.

Yet, surprisingly (to me anyway), are the responses.

"Why not? As long as you don't DO anything."
"Maybe you should tell your husband about the other guy. Make him jealous. Maybe then he'll start paying attention to you."
"I'm sorry you're so unhappy. If you can find happiness elsewhere, you should go for it"
And on, and on, and on.

By the time I saw the post, it had roughly 20 responses. Most supportive of her idea to check out the other guy. A few indifferent. Not one person who told her to stick it out, try to talk to her husband, seek counseling, etc. Not one. I could have been more eloquent, but my response was simply:

"No, you shouldn't. You're married."
It really is as simple as that.

I'm tired of my friend telling me how she is involved in a "platonic" relationship with a guy friend who happens to be married... except she gets butterflies every time she sees him, he calls & texts her repeatedly, sends her pictures of him (but only when he's traveling on business), and they both have admitted to each other that they have feelings for each other.

I'm tired of her (and others) thinking this is fine because they're not "doing anything".

Yes, they are. They are having an affair. An affair does not require sex.

You are sneaking around behind his wife's back, scheduling your participation in volunteer activities to correspond with each other's schedules, deleting text messaages & emails  & call logs to get rid of the evidence. He has said that if he weren't afraid of losing custody of his son, he would divorce her for you (the oldest line in the book, by the way). You have admitted feelings for one another, and are progressing to deepen the bond between you.

You are having an affair. This has been going on for months. You are one slip, one misjudgement away from it becoming physical.

You are the other woman. He is cheating on his wife.

It does not matter that his wife is a "b****".

He is still married to her. If he's so unhappy, he should divorce her. He's a good dad, he will not lose custody. That's a BS line he's feeding you so he can have his cake and eat it too. If he had any character at all, he would either end it with you, or divorce her.

I am so tired of people looking the other way. Meeting their married friends boyfriends or girlfriends and pretending like everything's okay, like they belong. They do not belong. They are the outsiders.

And when you sit there and treat them as if they are the spouse, and you continue to treat your friend as if they are a fine upstanding person despite knowing their actions, you are as complicit as they are. You are, by your actions, telling them it is okay.

When your friend excuses himself from your event to go screw his girlfriend, and you joke with him about it when he gets back, you are sending him a message that what he's doing is okay.

It's not.

When you go with your married friend to his girlfriend's house, and give her the same salutation you would give his wife, and make no mention of what he is doing, you are sending a message that what they are doing is okay.

It's not.

When you wait until your "friend's" wife leaves to begin flirting with him, and engaging his son, you are telling him that you would be okay with him cheating with you.

It's not okay.

If you're telling your friend that it's okay if she screws a married man because his wife is so evil anyway, you are sending a message that cheating is okay.

It's not.

If we want our marriages to succeed, we have to start treating all marriages seriously. We can no longer tolerate our society treating marriage as a joke. We cannot look the other way while our friends risk losing their wives, custody of their children, and half of their material possessions for a joyride. The fact that so many are willing to do so are troubling.

But more troubling to me is how many are willing to talk about it openly, let it be known, without fear of judgement. Because nobody tells them it's wrong. It's "understandable".

No. No, it's not.

It's stupid.

We cannot treat mistresses and gigolos as if they belong in the family. They don't. They are tearing a family apart, in the name of pleasure.

It's ridiculous.

We have to start taking these things more seriously. We have to begin treating all marriages, not just our own, as the sacred covenant that they are.

This can no longer be the norm. It can't.