So I’m sure that unless you’ve been living under a rock – a really BIG rock – you’ve no doubt heard about the latest infidelity debacle Sandra Bullock is currently enduring. I’ve read a slew of crap pieces (I know, my bad) ranging from the typical, venemous ‘how could he do this to HER???’ to an idiotic, correlation between winning an Oscar for best actress to being hit with spousal infidelity…with the not-so-subtle message stating ‘be careful not to get TOO successful Ladies…otherwise your man’s gonna use his pecker to excavate his lost man pride’.
On a more personal note, I now know seven couples…yes, SEVEN couples….in various stages of deep marital strife or divorce. Two of those due to serial infidelity. My side of the family is also no stranger to this ‘phenomenon’ – and due to this, I’ve delineated what I think are the basic two reasons why people cheat while in seemingly content marriages:
(1) Duh, they’re actually not so happy after all, and are looking for a endorfin-drip-laden escape or
(2) Because they thought they could.
I want to discuss the latter, admittedly over-simplified reason above.
I have absolutely no doubt that Tiger and Jesse and others I’ve known are deeply in love with their spouses. I also believe they thought they were special or clever enough to get away with it. There’s an old expression: “To cheat is French, to get caught is American.” Apparently true.
And while I cannot condone infidelity, I think it’s safe to say I understand the urge. That’s human. I am also deeply in love with my husband and treasure the life we’ve built with our two kids. But that hasn’t stopped me from fantasizing about the allure of tasting something different. Jesus, even Jimmy Carter admitted to being adulterous in his thoughts back in the 70s – and THAT was considered a big scandal at the time. Let’s now LOL over THAT one, people.
Because there is always going to be someone you didn’t get to have….or something your spouse won’t do that maybe the tattoo-laden hussy is more than happy to give you. You’ve been there. I’ve been there. I’m sure Mr. Mix rides that wave as well (although I must admit I can’t think of something I wouldn’t do with him, but whatev). In fact, thanks to the latest hookup bar otherwise known as Facebook, Mr. Mix has been hounded by an ex of his – wanting to ‘get together’ a little too often. Sigh.
And the truth is, maybe if I had frequent absences from my spouse – coupled with living in a world full of celebrity self-entitlement, maybe I or Mr. Mix would find ourselves entangled in a similar mess. Does that reflect bad character? Probably…but I think Chris Rock has a point when he says we are only as faithful as our options.
So, what’s the answer? Well, after thirteen years of marriage, I’ve delineated once again the options down to three:
(1) You and your spouse are gonna ride your own ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ and have one of those open, 70s-disco-coke-inspired marriages where almost everything goes. Good luck with that.
(2) You’re gonna sneak around and get caught. No really, you will. And uh no, you’re not that smart.
(3) You decide that you’re not really into seeing your spouse ride someone else in front of you, and you’re not quite alternative enough for one of those polyamorous arrangements, so you choose monogamy. And if you do choose this option, you surround yourself with others who have made the same choice – for better or for worse – in order to curb your out-of-marital-bond enthusiasm. So to speak.
In other words, you follow Chris Rock’s advice and YOU limit your options. Figure out what your own triggers are – and then don’t go there. Sex can be the same thing as drugs and alcohol…they become a problem when the consequences start to seriously mess with your life. And I don’t say this as some Buddha-on-the-mountain…in the past, I have come dangerously close to blowing it with Mr. Mix over my ego-driven flirtations. Why? Not because I’m a celebrity or some testoserone-infected lothario.
Because I thought I could.
Does that make me an asshole? Yep. Does that make me human? Right again.
I guess what I’m saying is, I unfortunately get what Tiger and Jesse and other like them were thinking. I guess the difference is, I didn’t actually do it. The question is, did I not do it because of my character or my options? I don’t have an answer for that, and the whole point of this piece is to say I’m not going to test myself trying to find that out either. It’s not worth it.