Adultery and Its Discontents

A friend of mine sent this quotation to me. She thought it sounded like something the devil would say. I thought it sounded like something my old boyfriend might say: “Adultery is a ton of fun, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I highly recommend adultery. You won’t regret it!”

It got me thinking about true stories of infidelity that I have heard over the years.

My mother and father were childhood sweethearts. That didn’t stop my father from having a wandering eye. It was in the days of secretaries in pointy bras and cardigan sweaters. (Think Mad Men.) The secretary of my father’s best friend thought she could become the next Mrs. and called our house one night, and told my mother to remind my father of their rendezvous.

My mother promptly called her sister, then the airlines and booked flights to New York via Florida. Then called my father to come home and take care of his children. (I was six months old at the time and my older brothers were quite the terrors.)

After spending the all the monthly household allowances, my mother call my father to wire money to get her home. When the money arrived (via Western Union) she promptly booked a cruise to the Bahamas. After arriving in the Bahamas, she had a glorious time in the lap of luxury. After that money was spent, she called my father again to wire more money. He wired it and she spent it – preferably poolside with a cocktail in hand. When Mother arrived home, my father was groveling at her feet and the secretary was transferred elsewhere.

The life of one of my favorite boyfriends was completely changed by infidelity. He took up with a married woman. When the husband found out that about the affair, he committed suicide. My ex stayed and supported the adulterous wife through the aftermath, and, as they planned a life together, he quit school, packed up his belongings, and went to join the now-widow, only to find her in the arms of another. This affair left a stain on his heart that never quite left him.

One of my least favorite boyfriends was a serial womanizer. He ended up helping to destroy a longstanding marriage with many children. He married the adulterous wife, and her settlement has helped to finance their rather extravagant lifestyle. She buys him expensive gifts and posts photos of the family on Facebook—for all his girlfriends to see. They pretend, and it seems to works for them. Neither of them seemingly regret their infidelities; they have told their lies for so long now that they have become numb to their true feelings.

Life is never sung with lies nor is life truly lived the way it was meant to be.

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