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Note – for an alternative viewpoint, see our other related Article here called,
Advantages of Cheating?
Since my friend’s divorce started, he told me that he is relieved that the whole divorce thing is moving forward. He said that the relationship with his wife slowly evolved into more of a friendship … and that is why he was always out on the town looking for love in the wrong places. My take on his situation is – cheating worked for my friend because it slowly (very slowly, mind you) pushed him away from where he really didn’t want to be (with his wife). I’m not saying that “cheating is right” – but I am saying that in his case, it helped him achieve a goal he was afraid to admit to himself. One thing I’m not sure of – what kind of collateral damage did my friend do? I mean – what do his children think? I don’t know if they knew their dad was cheating on their mother. And what about the respect of the people who worked underneath my friend? He is a high-level manager where he works – and I’m not sure how his behavior may have affected what his people thought of him … or even if that matters. But I think there is always some form of collateral damage in situations like this.
Let’s look at a different example of cheating – Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of the city of Los Angeles. Mayor Villaraigosa has had a tremendous political career – but in June 2007, he announced his was divorcing from his wife, Corina, and then several days later he announced that he had been having a relationship with a local hot Latina news reporter named Mirthala Salinas. Most of the local Latino community here in the Los Angeles area was in an uproar over the behavior of their beloved mayor. On one hand, you have this guy who stands as a symbol of Latino success and power in one of the most important parts of the country … a man who always stressed the importance of family and values … a man who Latinos everywhere could look up to. And then quite suddenly – the mayor winds up losing not only his wife, but more importantly the respect of some significant part of his community who thought that he was above that sort of machismo behavior. The local LA news stations were hounding the mayor with questions at every opportunity. Those same news stations interviewed many local Latino residents and asked them what they thought of the mayor’s behavior – and most people who spoke up said they would never vote for Mayor Villaraigosa again – that he was a hypocrite and a liar. I was watching the local news some days later, and it was reported that politicians who go through this simply suffer significant criticism for a few months – and as long as it is not election time, that the public forgets about it after a few months. I guess we’ll know for sure about his political collateral damage in 2009 when the mayor will be up for re-election.
Anyway – the original question was “is cheating on your wife or girlfriend really a worthwhile endeavor? The answer, I believe is – maybe so or maybe not … it all depends on who you are. But if you are thinking about cheating, then make sure you consider not only the hurt you will inflict on your wife or girlfriend – but also consider how this will affect your life in other ways … what your family, your friends, your co-workers, your constituents, your conscience will say. Nothing stays a secret in this society anymore. How would you like to be cheated on? Be sure to think about that, too. It is so much better and easier to simply do things in an honest and honorable way, right? I believe all of this is true no matter how old you are.
[If you are interested in how cheating or extramarital affairs are sometimes a component of a Midlife Crisis – be sure to read the section on this site entitled Enjoy Your Midlife Crisis]