This morning started perfectly. DD and I woke up, he showered and got ready for work while I made myself a bowl of cereal and settled on the couch to catch some morning news. Perfectly routine, perfectly fabulous. It’s what I hope my life to be someday…whether it’s with DD or someone else.
But then, reality set in. GMA featured a story on infidelity, thanks to recent revelations by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, the new NY Gov., David Paterson, and our fine mayor, Mr. Kwame M. Kilpatrick. The story included an alarming statistic: 60% of husbands and 40% of wives have an affair. Of those marriages where an affair has occurred, 65% end in divorce. Boom. Marriage is no longer this lofty, romantic idea of happy mornings — it’s work that even when done with the upmost care, can still land you in couple’s therapy and/or divorce. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a vague understanding of the work that’s involved in marriage for the past couple years as relationships have failed and my parents have been increasingly candid with me…but still. I can’t believe that only 40% of husbands work at their marriages, and therefore don’t cheat…I have to believe that at least part of that 60% worked hard at their marriages and still faltered.
And that scares the shit out of me. That you can work and work and still, it can end.
I can’t fathom a scenario in which I would cheat. But who knows. You can’t know what marriage and “til death do us part” really means until you make that leap.
Of greater concern to me is the possibility that my husband cheats on me. Because that’s something I ultimately can’t control. And the things that I can’t control keep me up at night.
To pile more on, I chose to re-rent “The Last Kiss“. I thoroughly enjoy this movie because it portrays all sides of a relationship in an honest way. And it deals with infidelity at different levels — 30 years of marriage and a 3 year relationship — in a real way.
Seeing the very real issues that come up in this movie, and reading those statistics make me stop and think. It makes me physically ill to think that I could be one of the 60% of married women that deal with infidelity. How do women handle it? How do they handle looking at him again? Kissing him and touching him? Making love to him again?
Maybe it’s just me. I’m very protective of the man in my life. I’m one of those girls that wouldn’t be happy if she found out her guy was casually grinding on another girl at the club or getting an innocent lap dance during a bachelor party. So the idea of more-than-innocent contact? Ugh.
I get why people do it. Boredom, loss of interest, temptation. Heck, after only 9 months with DD, there’s times when I’m bored. When the routine gets a little, well, routine. But what keeps me in it is the fact that I love having him to count on. To tell him everything. To come home to at the end of the day. To take care of. But I don’t know. Maybe after 5 or 10 years, even that idyllic view of life wears off. And then what?
How do you know if you’re going to be able to get through the boredom? And more importantly, how do you know the person you choose is going to be able to get through it? I wish they made some sort of future serum that told you if the person you were about to marry would pass the test. That told you if you could pass the test.
I guess you trust your gut, close your eyes, and cross your fingers. Because I have a feeling it takes an endless supply of work, and a healthy dose of luck.