When the media condones adultery

Over the past few years I have become increasingly aware of the widespread devastation caused by adultery, especially the impact that it has on the betrayed spouse.  The creeping suspicion that eats away like a creeping cancer whilst the affair is going on, day by day slowly consuming self-confidence, self-esteem and sanity as you are constantly lied to and betrayed.  The life shattering disclosure that confirms your worst suspicions and then turns the world you know completely upside down.  Then the isolation and sense of failure and shame.  I consider adultery as a serious form of abuse.  So I was shocked and appalled when the NY confetti2Times chose to CELEBRATE a man’s choice to cheat and divorce his wife in an article entitled Vows | An Imperfect Beginning.  Be warned, this is not for the fainthearted.

It introduces us to the  ‘love story’ between Vince Taylor and Rebekah Gordon.  Here we have them sharing their personal stories of love and life and how they overcame the obstacle they faced.  That Vince was married with kids when they met.

Rebekah has given some thought to this relationship of hers.  She notes, philosophically that people have baggage (quaint term) and that Vince was ‘complicated’ because of past relationships andluggage children.  However this fact just makes them ‘real’. Not ‘picture-perfect’ – but ‘real’!!!  They worked together for TWO LONG DAYS.  Yup!  two days!  She thought he was handsome but noticed his wedding band so confined herself to just work. (What reserve this woman showed!).  Following these two long days they corresponded regularly by e-mail and messaging.  (Who amongst us hasn’t experienced this from our spouses?).  The change from friendship to lovers (so we are told)happened when he gave her a birthday present, something that he made her, which he hoped would acknowledge his feelings for her.  He found it difficult though!  Because he was married he felt an ‘invisible boundary’ (nicely put don’t you think?).  She says it was tough but it was the ‘right way forward’.  Of course.  FOR HER!

Poor Vince found going through the divorce really difficult.  At times he says he would not have been able to get out of bed without Rebekah’s help and support.  Tell me, who was supporting his WIFE?  How was she handling this turn of events?  Where is she now I wonder?  I do so hope that she is healing from this nightmare.  Having them on television must be awful.

Apparently, Rebekah says that they recognise a ‘third’ person in their relationship.  This third person is his kids and his marriage!  Note, she never mentions his wife.  The wife has seemingly disappeared completely.  She has no name and no position within this scenario.  Instead she has just become part of the ‘baggage’ of his previous marriage.  But Rebekah is confident that what they have is worth fighting for because they are moving forward as a family unit now. Whilst talking from their couch, you hear children calling and they both call back and Rebekah decides to go see what they’re up to.  I’m presuming that these are the children from his previous marriage.

brushSo, the betrayed spouse has in one clean sweep been brushed out of the picture completely. And we wonder why we feel such isolation when dealing with a betraying husband.  We are being erased from our own lives and no one seems to give a damn!  It’s like we are being silenced.  We are the inconvenient truth of selfish and immediate sexual gratification and society’s endorsement of behaving as you want rather than behaving in a way that is right.

Of course it’s TV.  Of course it’s the media.  Of course I don’t know all the details.  What I do know is that a family unit was torn apart because of a two-day work assignment.  Why can’t temptation be handled in a less selfish way?  How can this couple’s attitude be acceptable? I am saddened and dismayed by this.

Image Credits:  Confetti” by Salvatore Vuono; Travelling Bag by Salvatore Vuono; Wood Brush by Keerati; all courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

6 thoughts on “When the media condones adultery

  1. Sunni

    This hits so close to home. Going through my husband’s infidelity has brought all of these feelings of “nothingness” on myself. I can only imagine how the “nameless” wife feels in all of this. I would huck myself in front of a mac truck! This is incredibly painful to read about. I see these things, watch movies about these things, read books about it and think “I am her – the redundant. The one who doesn’t matter.” In today’s world, infidelity is exactly what you’ve described here. Merely a means to a “better life.” What a lie! All of it! It’s awful!

    Reply
    1. marriagerecovery Post author

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, it really is AWFUL! I never signed up to be an ‘option’ in my husband’s life. If life in a marriage is so bad then leave it – DON’T CHEAT! We seem to live in a world that’s gone crazy. The cheaters gain more respect than those that are cheated upon – as this NY piece clearly demonstrates.

      Reply
  2. SadLady

    I saw this a while ago. Would love to see the followup video in 2 years.

    On the other hand, Sarah Polley made a great movie about an affair “Take This Waltz.” The first half of the movie was how glamorous and idealized the affair was. Then she takes us to the beginning of the aftermath. You don’t see the full trainwreck but you know that the affair relationship is destined to be a failure too. This is definitely not a movie for those freshly betrayed. One year out, and a strong stomach, is required.

    I think it is so important to draw out the real story of affairs. The real story, the devastation, the lies (especially the lies that affair partners tell themselves). It can save everyone a ton of pain- spouses and affair partners.
    In the immediate aftermath of my husband’s affair, 2 women who had left their families for “the one,” contacted him to warn him that the affair is not what he thought it was. In short time, their APs were no longer in the picture. I thank these ladies for helping to pull him out of the cloud. But if it wasn’t for them, he would still be in fantasy land fed by TV and movie romance.

    Reply
    1. marriagerecovery Post author

      I’d like to see this film, thank you for the reference. I can only think of Fatal Attraction as a film which takes the romance out of the picture and raises questions about responsibility. Although you never get a picture of the betrayed spouse’s real feelings. I saw it on stage here in London a few months back and it did try to depict the heartbreak of the betrayed spouse although the OW killed herself and framed the betraying spouse as her murderer. So he gets off worse than in the film. But is still falls far short of the car crash of, as you so rightly say, the REAL STORY! I’ve just read Paul Coelho’s new book Adultery and was very disappointed with it. We need to shift the stories of adultery from having the betraying spouse as the protagonist to the betrayed spouse. We are the heroes in these stories but are portrayed as silent victims. I hate this label.

      Reply
  3. SadLady

    I warn you about Take this Waltz. It is from the point of view of the affair. So the first part of it shows how romantic and idealized, the relationship is. The spouse is somewhat silent. And it doesn’t get heavy handed about the morality of the affair. It just alludes to the fantasy that affairs are and that marraige cannot compete. But eventually the bubble will burst and you will be right back where you started. This film is very nuanced so don’t watch it if you want to to see cheaters get their comeuppance.
    Here is the review:

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2012/aug/09/sarah-polley-take-this-waltz

    Reply
    1. marriagerecovery Post author

      Many thanks for your warning and for the link to the Guardian review. Much appreciated. I’m not so sure I need to see a cheater get their comeuppance (although I wouldn’t object to the idea) but do feel that I’d like an exploration of the experiences of the betrayed spouse. (which looks absent in this film also) I had no idea, until it actually happened to me, what the devastation to my sense of self would be. I have experienced a number of life challenges and had thought that if my husband ever chose to be unfaithful I would handle it. Of course, I AM handling it but the root of my pain goes very, very deep and I’m trying to figure out why it has crippled me as much as it has.

      Reply

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