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Spousal Fidelity - The Second Millennium Mindset
By Larry Cox
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Infidelity may know no rival when it comes to the dissolution of a marriage. Consequently, unfaithfulness continues to spread at an alarming rate. It is not an issue whose time has come, but a time whose issue has come to manifests itself deep within the roots of something once held sacred between a man and a woman — now merely a springboard into the illicit waters of extramarital self-indulgence.

As I sat watching CNN tonight, I couldn’t help but think that it must have been a slow news night. After a commercial break, Nancy Grace, the mother of all losers and aspiring losers, leads in with, “Should you tell your spouse that you want to have an affair? Today’s panel will look at this sometimes puzzling dilemma.” Amazing, I’m more than half on my way to being dead, and I never realized that telling your spouse that you want to have an affair was a puzzling dilemma. Here I’ve been thinking all this time that the real dilemma for folks that have affairs was keeping your spouse from finding out altogether. Apparently horny married folks that can’t control their urges have been doing it all wrong. Not only that, but CNN has actually assembled a panel to look into this burning question. They just care for their viewers so much.

The panel of talking-heads had some interesting outlooks on the benefits of being upfront with your spouse about your extramarital ambitions. One ex-bricklayer turned relationship-bliss expert stated, “The shock and anger of extramarital affairs is more about the deceit than the act of physical intimacy. By eliminating the deception, couples could better work through dealing with desires that fall outside of the marital boundaries.”  Uhmmmm, yeah . . . is anyone else having the slightest problem with that theory? I don’t know about you folks, but I’m having a bit of difficulty envisioning myself coming home from a business trip sooner than expected, opening my bedroom door, and saying, in a wow-I-could-have-had-a-V8 tonality, “Sweetheart, if you would have just told me you wanted to take part in sweaty grunting doggy-style with my brother.”

So, back to the question of the hour — should you tell your spouse that you want to have an affair? Hmmmm . . . well yes, why not? I mean, there’s nothing I would appreciate more from the woman that I love, than for her to be honest and open enough with me to be able to say, “Honey, let’s take the family to Legoland this weekend. Oh, and there’s this hot UPS guy who delivers at the office that I want to bang on a semi-frequent basis — would you mind watching the kids?” Wouldn’t that be so much better than the embarrassment of being the last one to find out that your spouse has actually been having frequent sex with a stripper from Shaved Darlings or the Culligan Man? Not hardly. Either way, the kick-in-the-gut, breathless feeling of such duplicity is a psychologically dismantling and life-altering event for anyone.

However, to put things in perspective, in the after-the-fact discovery scenario, reactions would still vary. The guy wouldn’t really get hurt, because he’s basically a shallow specimen who gets aroused by a pair of loose-fitting sweatpants in the wind. Unlike the woman, who would be emotionally devastated and blaming herself for months, even years — agonizing over how she failed him in some way. She would struggle with a laundry list of what ifs, lose the ability to achieve orgasm, develop an eating disorder, join a man-haters support group, and turn her own children against her by verbally bashing dad every time he comes up in conversation.

Not the guy. He would only be obsessed and tormented over the duration of a bottle of tequila, as he pondered whether her lover’s member was bigger than his. It’s an ego thing for him, not emotional. After the initial shock wears off, he finally reassures himself that he’s actually pretty big, the divorce becomes final, he finds a skanky cocktail waitress that’s great at faking orgasms, and he accepts coughing up twenty-five percent in child support. A new wind will blow, and he will be happy once again. That’s about all the deeper it goes for him — much to his ex-wife’s dismay. No pun intended. Regardless, it all seems to just be an accepted casualty of hanky-panky playtime, and then folks simply gather up their toys and move on.

All humor and sarcasm aside, it seems ludicrous to me that this subject is even a topic for discussion. It is a sad commentary on what we hold, or no longer hold, dear to our hearts. We have taken something once precious and revered, and turned it into mere lip service to a convention we no longer endear. It is not the fact that it goes on, but the casual complacency with which society seems to embrace it.

Spousal fidelity has been numbed by the Novocaine of a morally digressing society — Novoinfidelity if you will. We are inundated with casually promiscuous betrayal everywhere we turn. What you don’t know, won’t hurt you has become what you do know is your problem, but it feels good to me. Marital vows have simply become a prelude to the after-party, and a precursor to the thrill-of-the-hunt for extramarital gratification — and why? Because we have become overrun by a growing mindset that promotes the social acceptability of this new wave of wanton expression and emotional liberation, as not only an accepted, but preferred way of life.
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