March 9, 2009

Is a wife who cheats on an unfaithful husband worse than him? Does it make them both now equal? Or is it ‘payback’ and the final breakdown of a once loving relationship.

Recently asked this question, I don’t think there is a simple answer.

Why did he cheat in the first place? Is it because he’s a public figure, in a position of power and ‘opportunities’ presented themselves. Some how in his mind this made it okay. Should society feel sorry from him, now he is the victim and humiliated. Did society know of her heartbreaking pain.

 I suggest it’s a private issue between a husband and wife.

What good would it do for the husband to seek revenge against the ‘other’ man – poisoning his career prospects with a company, by revealing the affair to a senior manager. A bit childish.

I doubt she would have cheated – or ‘looked’ at the ‘other’ man had she not been a victim.

Hillary Clinton suffered the greatest public humiliation – when confronted by Bill’s unfaithfulness. I’ll never forget that walk across the White House lawn to an awaiting helicopter. Chelsey in the middle holding hands with Mum while Bill held the dog Buddy’s leach. They got on with life, well publicly anyway. Hillary showed great strength and if their marriage is ‘true’ – it shows unfaithfulness can be overcome. What was her ‘payback’ .. a US Senate seat, US Presidential candidacy and now the US Secretary of State? Once again, it’s a matter between the husband and wife.

A close friend once told me she had a pact with her boyfriend not to tell the other if either had an affair. They’re no longer together.

I subscribe to the Robert Redford character’s approach to love in the movie ‘Out Of Africa’. Romantically involved with the married Merryl Streep character, Redford describes two lions as having it right when it comes to love – ‘the male lion says to the female lion – I like you, you like me .. simple uncomplicated’. Unfortunately, what works in the wild doesn’t work in the City.

Redford’s character was floored too. He would disappear in his plane, making up an excuse to escape the chains of commitment for a few days. Maybe this is why every man should have a shed in his backyard!

No one is perfect – neither the one who cheats or the other man or woman. We’re human and humans make mistakes. But, I did come up with one answer – stop and consider if the ‘payback’ is worth the price, next time you’re thinking about pulling on a rain coat and doing the ‘wild thing’.