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Jun 21

How not to have an affair

Posted on Sunday, June 21, 2009 in Family, Philosophy, Something to think about

Whoever said that the Leaving Cert is the most difficult exam of your life – they’re lying.  I did alright(ish) in that test, but have had no need for it since, in fact its details were soon forgotten. The biggest test of your life is monogamy.  It is, by far, too cruel a rule.  I speak in terms of Darwinism and biology, the fact that a person’s hormones are destined to rage when in some people’s presence, and remain flaccid in other’s.  This of course fluctuates from month to month, all in the name of stupid pro-creation.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with your husband, wife, or otherwise intended.  Isn’t that cruel?  It’s a simple mathematic equation… two random people equals one healthy baby.  Who wants a baby?  Nature, that’s who.

I hold my hand up.  I’m guilty of the roving eye, and use the elastic band wrist trick.  A vicious snap is often good enough to keep me grounded, but I can’t help wondering about my betrothed.  Although he’s the most loyal man there ever was, he can only be human… a fact that stays with me whenever he leaves me for a night of taxi driving.  You should see some of the slappers in Bray.  They have no shame, they have no morals, they will wear nothing, they will screw anything, and will make this fact known.  For a man to deny this takes serious armour.

I found a receipt once in his pocket for flowers and chocolates but I had none to show for it.  That fuelled my curiosity for weeks.

I find long blonde hairs on my husband’s coat and I analyse his behaviour quietly because of them.

But why?  Why the constant suspicion?  Am I looking for clues?  Why do we as fully comprehensible humans spring traps and accusations from thin air?  If we browse the menus of our opposite sex, why shouldn’t our beloveds do so to?

A drunken moment on honeymoon soon found out.  We had sweated out a Black Moon party and were back at the ranch in high spirits, so I asked.  Hell, why not?  That’s what being married is all about… asking dangerous questions.  After all, there’s no point in hiding stuff now, is there?

‘Surely there’s been somebody you’ve been tempted by?’

He was surprised by the question, and evaded it.  He changed the subject many times until I oozed it out.  His reply left me reeling.  He admitted that yes, there had been one or two times when temptation was more than torture itself, but that he had a fail-safe way to deal with it.  What works for him, may not work for me, but that’s for me to deal with, however difficult that may be.

So what’s the moral?

I suppose that’s the secret to marriage.  Even if I’m glibly stating this after a week or so of the dirty deed, eight full years of partnership have taught me that admittance is most definitely a way through.  Stating your inner thoughts and worries opens doors.  Marriage is about being faulty, about being impure, about being human.

People ask me what it’s like to be married.  I tell them that I can feel nothing different, but that’s not true.  Now I know that it’s more than a piece of paper.  It’s about suffering the same things together, about holding hands through crowded concerts… it’s like holding a rope.  We’re holding our partners over the edge of a cliff and it’s up to them to trust us.  With marriage though, it’s like everybody can see us… everybody can see us dangling from that cliff and they’re waiting for us to fall.  All we have to do is talk it through.

‘Are you still holding on?’

‘Yes.  You’re heavy, but yes I’m holding on.’

The real torture is that we’re always dangling, never to be pulled up to safety.  The only thing denying us all from safety is temptation, a frayed rope.  The temptation of an affair is to plummet into the unknown, and that, dude, is too far to reckon with.

I desperately want to ask others about the state of their ropes, but it’s too personal a question, they need to be fully inebriated before a satisfactory answer is given.  Here though, here is different.  Here people have time to think.

How do you not have an affair?

Bring on the comments

  1. Kirk M says:

    K8, I know this isn’t going to help one bit but it’s the only answer that could possibly fit your question. Others can pontificate on the subject all they like but it all boils down to this:

    You just don’t.

    I told you it wouldn’t help but that’s the gist of it. There’s simply no other answer.

    BTW, our rope here at home is very strong indeed and we’re hardly an atypical couple. We’re a bit strange otherwise, yes but not atypical.

    BTW II, a roving eye is perfectly natural. So is having someone ruffle the feathers of your libido. And for that matter so is worrying yourself about it…that’s just being human. But it’s not where you get your appetite that counts, love…(I’m sure you can figure the rest out yourself).

  2. K8 says:

    Dude you should see what Bray slappers wear of a night out. Seriously. If it was anywhere else you’d have to pay to see them.

    When all ‘normal’ men have a field day with this… what do ‘involved’ men do? And who’s to know?

  3. Great post!

    I don’t know how you don’t have an affair. You just don’t, I guess. I guess you’re always OK if you remember why you’re holding onto that rope. Once you can’t remember who’s on the end of it or why you’re still holding on, that’s when the advantages of running off with someone who’s passing by outweigh the advantages of holding onto the rope. Otherwise, there’s no harm done by looking at them.

    Hmmm… did I take the rope metaphor too far?!

  4. For me it’s as simple as respect.

  5. Kate says:

    It was always easy for me – I just didn’t want to (guess it was true love on my part) – sadly he couldn’t abstain and left me for a leggy blonde……

    What has happened to Bray? the last time I was home it was a quiet place – not a slapper in sight!!!!

  6. I have to say i do have a bit of a roving eye but i know at the end of the day if i cheated on someone what i was with i would never forgive myself and i would just blurt it out during a silly agrument. I also hate the slappers of bray and thats just the men i think that the women have no respect for themselves. I think as humans we do tend to check out whats out there but at the end of the day your going to be the strong one who goes home to the man that you love and adore. But i think that there is no harm in having a look and not ticuhing. Kind of like shopping really.

  7. K8 says:

    Jenny; Haha! I would’ve used the menu metaphor, but that would’ve made me hungry.

    Xbox4nappyrash; Respect is a conscious decision though, how do you know that Primal instinct isn’t more powerful? Nature can be a stubborn thing.

    Kate; Slappers in Bray aren’t so obvious… they’re sort of like trying to find magic mushrooms on the side of the Sugar Loaf. You need to know where to find them, but you can be pretty sure their hangout is where all the sh1t is.

    Vicky; Thanks for commenting, you’re right, guilt is a powerful deciding point. I’ve seen so many people take exception to the ‘looking’ part though… I don’t see why more people don’t see the funny side of it and talk about it. The divorce rate would surely plummet.

  8. I don’t think it is a conscious decision, I don’t ‘choose’ to respect my wife, I just do, instinctively.

    I just wouldn’t be able to do that to someone if I loved them.

  9. Kirk M says:

    I agree, “instinctively” sums it up nicely. It’s a lot of things though just as everyone else has already pointed out.

    Guess it’s different for everybody?

  10. K8 says:

    Thought as much :)

  11. Hmm… Let me see if I can tip toe around this subject, as I’m not a married man thus don’t have the right to ramble about the ropey dope.

    I have friends that cheat on their wives. I don’t know why the women stay with them. Any man that cheats on his wife doesn’t deserve her and vice versa.

    When I was a lad, I knew things about my own father that I have as of yet to tell my mother. It’s all water under the bridge now, but it still bothers me that I never told her. I don’t know if she would have left him anyway. Blind love has a way of concealing that which we dread the most.

    Me? I don’t reckon I’d ever do it, but again, I’ve never been in such a situation.

    1. You women scare me! I can’t figure you chicks out, but that just adds to the romance of it all. :)

    2. I’m not Mr. Universe! This is a well known fact. :)

  12. unstranger says:

    K8, your writing is without exception; exceptional!

    Your analogy which places the heroes at the cliff edge, one supporting the other is deep. Profound even, given the length of time that that cliff-edge is wont to survive.

    To accede to the call of the wild, where nature demands the surrender of the individual so that procreation can take place, is in the marriage set up; a disastrous option.

    To take your analogy one step further, should the rope fail and the hero fall, the fall is really not so far. It’s actually a comfortable little drop well within the drop-zone allowed to heroes; normally.

    There is however a slight reckoning which some heroes deal with but; others can’t.

    That is the gooey sticky tar-like slime that the hero lands in once the rope has failed.

    It stains and it roils and no excuses are ever enough.

    Marriage K8, as you so succinctly point out; is about being faulty; wisdom beyond your years me thinks!

    No worries you.

    As for the slappers, perhaps I should do a weekend in Bray!
    After all, it’s where my parents went for their feckin’ honeymoon!

    I kid you not.

  13. unstranger says:

    p.s. The term ‘Affair’: mere spin, a real cosy cover-up.

  14. Baino says:

    What they said . . just don’t. It’s about commitment (which is why you got married in the first place), respect, communication, understanding and above all love . . if you’re not in love . .you won’t hold it together. It’s hard and the rope freys sometimes but over the long haul it’s all worth it. Marriage, like friendship is hard work sometimes but then a ‘cat can look at a king’ so there’s no harm in the odd perve!

  15. Brighid says:

    forty years of working hard at the one marriage, and I’m thinking it’s time to retire.

  16. Granny says:

    As usual you have left me thinking! So my conclusion is pretty much akin to xbox. It is all down to respect. After almost 35 years on our some times very rocky,we have reached that peaceful stage of marriage where we can read one anothers mind. It was well worth the ride!

  17. Holemaster says:

    I’m not and have not been married so I have no useful advice. But I would imagine that after many happy years of faithful marriage, it must be a great feeling to know that you have both only been with each other all that time. I don’t think I’d the balls for affair.

  18. K8 says:

    Jefferson; You personally don’t need to be married for anyone to know that you’re a true faithful, a bloke of concrete morals. Unfortunately there aren’t many of yiz knocking around, especially not around these parts. Then again… even those with concrete morals could potentially fall for the wrong person. Is this what’s happening?

    Unstranger; I’m not worthy!!! This post is curiosity borne of sordid tales from the taxi rank, a baby toe dipped in the water searching for anonymous confessions. You people are too wise by far :) As for Bray, I believe it was a beautiful place, once.

    Baino; And what would the world be like without perves? Some secretly adore them, I know that. Love rusts though, I’m wondering if pheromones are a powerful solvent? I don’t know, that’s got to be a good sign I guess!

    Brighid; That’s a different story I guess… to consciously decide that the best is over. That takes a lot of thinking and a hell of a lot of guts. Your sort of honesty is much appreciated.

    Granny; Through thick and thin. And fryingpans. That’s what it’s all about.

    Holemaster; I think it’s that ‘true love’ fairytale that screws things up, and the fact that the grass could potentially be greener. It’s all a big mindfuck. Die, Cinderella, die.

  19. Holemaster says:

    Maybe it’s like this. The gate was open but you never went outside. Now that the gate is closed, you wonder.

  20. K8 says:

    That pretty much hits the nail on the head!! Documentaries about smelly armpit desire don’t help much though.

  21. Jo says:

    Hmm. no one ever asked me. But I’m pretty sure if they did, the horror of showing someone new my child-ravaged body for the first time since I was 17 would no doubt keep me on the straight and narrow.

    Plus, my father had a real, long term affair and it was shit for everyone, so I don’t feel like it’s a good thing to do.

    One night stands though, I don’t know. I might think it was ok for himself to have an exeem boosting night of passion, and learn some new moves?

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