Everyone I know has been touched by infidelity. From fresh relationships with lingering connections to the past to decades long marriages, escaping the effects of unfaithfulness seems a near impossible mission.
Some years ago I had a conversation with a couple older women who had both been married for over twenty years. At the time I was in my twenties and was in the midst of my forth long term relationship. I was saddened by what I was witnessing and their advice did little to ease my despair. I questioned them extensively as to what I should do about the cheating mates I had encountered. They did not want to state it in these words but the gist of what they were saying was: deal with it.
I was floored. I often go back to the conversation when speaking on this subject. I couldn’t believe that these women, who I admired for their wherewithal in surviving their marriages, only had this advice to offer.
I started to notice people’s ways in relationships more. There were women and men around me who had no respect for the vows they had taken. They were as bad as the people around me who were legally single but supposedly in committed relationships. The examples of fidelity are beyond few and far between, I have none. It breaks my heart but I have no idea how to change it.
Every mate relationship I have experienced has had some level of dishonesty pertaining to a person outside of us two involved. Monogamy is a theoretical concept to me. I have never seen it in real life. We would like to believe we are the one and only but that is rarely, if ever the case.
We live in a quasi-polygamist society. We will not admit to it being so but it is what it is. Men and women have children with multiple partners in their lives. I have seen people in the same neighborhoods share their mate. People move forward knowing their partner has attachments to another and many people feel no guilt or shame about it.
I cannot pretend I have not ever been on that side of the equation in a relationship; I have been a side piece. The problem is that it never fills the want for something real. It never lives up to what it ‘could’ be if we found a way for it to be just the two of us. Not to mention that when you start something in deceit trusting that person becomes ten times more difficult. It’s hard enough to trust without those layers.
On Monday I was talking about being in the mood for love. Now on Friday, I wonder how to define it. I also wonder if the women and men who have learned to just deal with it will be good council on how to make a change.
On some level, I respect those sub-cultures who share their mates indiscreetly. At least there is some level of honesty among the participants in the relationship. Nothing feels worse than pulling the wool over your own eyes. Wool is itchy and scratchy.