The Rules of Fidelity and...byLandrious1©
The Rules of Fidelity and the Price of Honor
An author on this site recently posted a story in which the wife had an affair. The resolution to the story was that she fell in love with the man she had the affair with but gave him up in favor of her husband. The affair was never discovered and it haunted her that she had to choose between her loves. Many of the comments on the story focused on the fact that she did not get discovered. The husband didn't get revenge. She wasn't outcast and destroyed.
The point of this story, however, it seems to me, to be about the personal consequences not the public ones.
The lady chose to begin an affair that divided her loyalties to her husband. She in the end was forced to choose and give up what became a great love for the sake of her commitment to her husband. Any affair has the potential to become a loving relationship (unless the participants are psychopath/ sociopaths).
We as a society have "embraced" (for lack of a better word) the idea that you can only love one person at a time. This is tripe. The HEART wants WHO the HEART wants WHENEVER the HEART wants it. It does not care much about what the intellect has to say about it. We are by nature a social species and as such we crave attention and affection from others. Some people narrow their focus to a single person forever. Hurrah! Great for them! I hope they are happy.
Others find this more difficult. That is why we have so many failed marriages today. I do not advocate having extramarital affairs. To me a marriage is a covenant, a contract, a sacred oath that is given to BIND A COUPLE TOGHETHER AS ONE. That oath is a personal one and is NOT to be broken. If you are not ready to give that kind of commitment then you are not ready for marriage. I'm told that I was born in the wrong century as I feel that when you give your word you keep it. End of discussion! It's that simple. It is a matter of personal honor. Honor in the old sense that you do what you promised to do no matter how distasteful you may find it. No matter that it costs you something you truly desire. NO ONE can take our honor but we can surrender it. Once it is gone it is hard, if not impossible, to get it back.
We as a people seem to have forgotten that what sets us aside from the beasts is that we have the ability to reason and therefore to choose. We also, due primarily to that fact, are in a race of passions for control of our bodies. Lust, anger, joy, despair, and a myriad of others all seek dominion of our being. A man or woman can look at another man or woman and appreciate his or her beauty without the need to drag them off and have sex with that person.
The trend today, however, is that if it feels good at the moment do it. If nobody knows about it then "No harm, No Foul". This is an incorrect assumption for most of us because with the ability to reason comes the birth of the conscience. The certain knowledge that what we do can hurt others in terrible and tragic ways. Once you are in a monogamous committed relationship (YES marriage IS a committed relationship!) Then you have agreed to give up all other loves, lusts, etc. in favor of your partner. Are you allowed to feel the pull of these things? Yes of course. Are you allowed to act on these things? NO! No exceptions. Any action taken on these feelings is a betrayal of oneself. It is a violation of your promise, your oath, the surrendering of your honor.
Outside of a marriage, in other relationships other lifestyles are quite prevalent as well.
Those engaged in the swinging and swapping lifestyle have a different commitment. They have agreed to allow others into their lives and relationships but not their hearts. They have agreed to share their bodies with others outside their partnership. This is also acceptable. But all too often people forget the rules in favor of the joys of the moment. Again tragedy strikes and people are hurt. The relationship is damaged beyond repair or destroyed outright.
Most marriages fail because people stop talking TO one another and talk AT one another. They stop caring if what is being said and felt is being heard and felt by their partner. That is the beginning of the death of a marriage or relationship. If at anytime it becomes a one sided effort then the chances of surviving as a couple, as a marriage are nil; a marriage as well as a relationship takes two to make it work. When only one is trying then they tend to give up and look for that type of caring elsewhere.
How often have we heard it said "It was only once?" "It didn't mean anything!" "They meant nothing to me!" And yet it or they must have meant something to you to throw away a precious thing like a marriage or a committed relationship in order to have them in your bed. And for those who didn't get caught and feel guilty the cost is even higher because until you have told your partner about it then you have no commitment, no true relationship. All you have is the lie that stands between you and your loved one. With every passing hour the lie lives it becomes more unlikely to that the couple or marriage will survive as such.
The most common excuse for not telling a partner is "They'll leave me!" Well DUH! You knew that going in that an affair it might cost you the person you loved. And yet the loss of their love is not even the greatest of losses. The loss of that person's respect for you, the loss of their esteem, and the loss of their regard for you, the loss of trust is the greatest loss. For without these things love dies. It cannot flourish in a barren environment and these are the food that love needs to grow and thrive. Without them there is no chance for love to survive.
So if you know the rules to personal honor, and the rules to a relationship, why do we so often fail? I don't have that answer. I have never violated the rules of a relationship. I have never been married. But I keep hoping one day to find the special person for me who also knows these rules and is willing to abide by them.