It’s a subject I’ve been thinking about for the past few weeks (if I’m not writing, I’m reading and thinking).
A few weeks ago, a man said to me that he would never cheat on his (future) wife, because he knew that when he got married, that would be “it.”
Then, I went to Goddess Intellect’s Battle of the Sexes, which explored the question “Is Monogamy a Myth?” From my corner in the crowd I asked, “do happy people cheat?”
I remembered asking Him if he was happy in his marriage.
He said he was happy.
We were happy. I think.
They say there are three sides to every story. With this tale, I knew my side, and his side. We had discussed it every time we saw each other. But I never knew her side. I think by calling her by her name, I made her the “other” and not his wife. He never made me feel like a mistress…so why think of myself as one?
I left the post(s) half-finished and then, my friend Mansa Trotman, remembered she was a poet and published a book of her works called “The Space that Connects Us”.
At the launch, she read “The Unholy Trinity”.*
“you’re with me it’s that kind of deal
it is a silent deal you make with both of us separately
this secret, down-low affair…”
“and this week she sits a home knowing that even though she
played by all the rules
she has been moved to another degree of the triangle
and now I sit to the right
in this unholy trinity…”
There was the unspoken part of the story.
An affair is never between two people. It’s between three. By going to one, you do not exclude the other.
I asked that guy who was so sure he’d remain faithful how he knew. He explained that he knew that for him, love mean fidelity. That was it. He couldn’t have three people in a relationship.
I thought to myself, well He loved his wife. His son. His life. I wonder what love had meant to him?
Did he love me? I couldn’t tell you. I never asked. I’m sure the answer was no.
He spent a lot of time dealing with his guilt. I joked that it would’ve been good if he was a Catholic; that way he could’ve gone to confession. He joked that he was taught there was no hell, so it wasn’t exactly a sin he was committing.
He’d confess to me instead…how he felt about the situation, he’d ask how I felt. We talked a lot. He never made me feel guilty though.
He never promised to leave his wife. No false promises. No bullshit. We were here. It was wrong.
We made a silly pact that if this…thing, got to a certain point we’d end it. We drew a line in the sand and let emotional tides wash it away every time…
That’s why we fought.
“I don’t want to leave my wife.”
“I’ve never asked for what wasn’t mine.”
“What do we do?”
“Draw a new line in the sand…?”
When it comes to infidelity, there are those who come back from it…those who get over it…those who never forgive it.
If you’re going to cheat, I would say don’t. But if you are…
Decide if she’s a woman who’ll come back to you…get over “her”…or who’ll never forgive it.
I do know this: no woman “traps”, “seduces” or “tempts” a man…those are excuses.
Sidebar: there is nothing a woman can do to “keep” a man.
You’ve drawn your line. Pick the side. Don’t use the lines to form a triangle.
*”The Unholy Trinity” (c) 2012 Mansa Trotman
Used with permission from the author.
(Go buy the book!)