I was listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger this week when a caller called for advice on a dilemma he was having. It seems he’s been having an affair with a woman for three years. His wife had been battling breast cancer and now that things had stabilized it was time for him to make decisions about his future.
Dr. Laura asked him what the pros and cons were as he said he’d thought them through. He said that the pros would be he has more in common with the woman he was having an affair with. The cons would be that he had six kids with his wife, two were married and probably going to have kids soon, and he’d end up being the visiting grandpa. He went on to say that his wife had been kind to him, and a good wife. His other con was that how could he really trust this woman who had so willingly had an affair with a married man? How could the woman really trust him either even though he’d been faithful for many years before an affair knowing he was willing to have an affair with her?
That is the crux of the problem isn’t it? Trust for all three of them will never the same. Because no matter what you tell yourself, as this man did, that he been faithful for many years before he cheated, he did cheat, he broke a promise, to himself, to his wife, and to his children. How do you stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eye when you know you’ve not been a person of character? You’ve not been a person who can keep your word? And then how do the people involved trust you either? Yes, no one is perfect and we’ve all done incredibly stupid things, it’s true, but slippery slopes which rob you of your character, are pitfalls to be avoided at all costs.
Dr. Laura ended the call with a some very good advice. She said that of course he felt closer to the woman he was having an affair with. Marriage was different than dating and shacking up. It is. I’ve talked to so many people who got married to long term shack ups and ended up divorced because it is different. She also said that if he would put the effort into treating his wife the way he did his mistress he might discover his marriage was good. She also told him he would risk more than being the visiting grandpa. He’d risk the total relationship with his children. She said they would always side with their mother and they may not want the mistress at weddings and such. It also meant that he would put immense pressure on the mistress to fulfill all that he had lost and that it wasn’t possible for her to do so. She in turn would put pressure on him to choose her when the family didn’t want her around.
There was a lot said in this call. One worth sharing. Maybe someone reading this post today saves themselves a lot of heartache by honoring their vows and staying true to themselves and their family.