I almost posted this yesterday, but thought it was not a good post for Valentine's day. I suppose it's cool for the day after though.
I was talking with a friend a few days ago and the subject of infidelity came up. I have very definite opinions on infidelity; after all, that was what finally forced me to pull the plug on my first marriage. I find it interesting that of all things that I found so intolerable about that entire marriage, and there were many, infidelity was apparently where I drew the line and it was the only thing that I would not tolerate.
It would be understandable if I said that I find infidelity unacceptable because most people aren't exactly for cheating. . .but that's not exactly what I said to my friend. I told her that I thought one indiscretion or even a brief fling wasn't enough of a reason to scrap an otherwise good marriage. A boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, sure, but not a marriage.
I could hardly believe the hypocrisy of what I had said, considering infidelity is what ultimately made me sink the doomed ship that was my first marriage. I've been mulling over what I said and wondering why I said it, but I do believe it to be true. We are all human and there are times that we totally and completely screw up. Yes, sometimes we can even screw up so badly that we screw people other than our own spouse.
Would I be happy with the knowledge that my husband gave all of his love to another? Of course not! I divorced one husband over it (among other things) and I would not be pleased if this husband did the same, but this is a completely different marriage and I'm in a different place in my life. That's not to say that hubs is getting a free pass to knock one out with some chippy, I'm just saying that a good marriage shouldn't be destroyed by one colossal mistake. . .understand that I'm not saying that I find repeated indiscretions to be acceptable.
The problem (just one problem, mind you) with infidelity is that, once it has been discovered, it is nearly impossible for the betrayed spouse to remove it from their mind. You may forgive your spouse and want to move forward, but you will never completely forget what they have done. The pain and doubt will linger, causing you to do and think things that you hate; I've been there and done that.
Even innocent things seem suspicious at that point; arriving home a little late from work, getting a phone call at an odd hour, any changes from the normal routine. You ultimately find yourself pawing through their things for further evidence because trust has been violated. Indeed, my rifling through my ex-husband's stuff yielded far more dirt than I ever could have imagined. . .and I have a pretty wild imagination!
What's the most important quality in a relationship? I think it's love and forgiveness naturally flows from love. After all, forgiveness is one of the greatest expressions of love. None of us has the right to get on our high horse and lord anything over our spouse and, if you truly love, you can truly forgive.
What are your thoughts? Am I growing altogether too libertine in my age or does this actually make sense to anyone else?