We've had a big crop of famous unfaithful guys -- Tiger Woods, John Edwards, Sandra Bullock's Jesse, Mel Gibson, maybe Al Gore, and others ...
I don't think Erin Woods should have divorced Tiger; I wish Elizabeth hadn't needed to write her book. I think John Edwards still has good things to contribute to society. Though they're divorced I wouldn't be surprised if Sandra B. got back together with Jesse. Al Gore's troubles seem media invented. Mel Gibson's a talented man who is deliberately destroying himself. (And I have much more to say about each of them, but right now I am talking to you about YOU.)
Our hunger to know more and more ... Well, gossip is fun, an absorbing distraction, and also it's a way of sorting out your own fears, unpleasant thoughts, and insecurities.
While being fascinated with the story behind the gossip headlines, remember that you're being entertained, diverted from important things that may have more to do with you -- it's got nothing to do with you.
Beware of what's said about infidelity -- the words are potholes in the road. There's lots of advice on the subject -- psychiatrists, family therapists, ministers, friends, books, and a rash of articles right now -- commentators, doctors, people with statistics, and probabilities about marriage, divorce, and playing around that are based on your age, gender, career, education, where you live, what you earn, your family history... and your actual sex life.
If infidelity becomes a suspicion, a shock in YOUR life, my advice is: DON'T DO ANYTHING. If you have to do something because you're crying, because you can't get through the day, sure -- talk about it, spill it to whomever is there. But avoid opinions and conclusions about what to do.
Mull it over -- over and over and over -- asking any of the questions, all of the questions that are flooding your mind. It's a shock, intolerable, impossible to live with. But live with it.
If you're suicidal, write a note. Put the note away and look at it in a week, a month, six months or so. Or never.
Marriage, love, even passionate love can be reignited. The pain takes time to diminish and can become something you can deal with. If you've been together for a year, it can take a year to diminish -- five years, it can take five years to fade. The pain equation is, I think, however long you've been together, that much time it will take until the infidelity is part of you, but not painful.
Do talk, or don't talk with your unfaithful mate. Talk about sex very specifically if you can. And ask the nagging killer questions about the lover, the love affair -- get answers or perhaps you won't get answers, and you'll ask again.
I am saying don't break up because of infidelity. You owe it to yourself, the self who fell in love. Instead of destroying what the two of you made, live with it, weave it into your understanding of who you are and who your mate is. It's possible to make it part of the love that you share, the love you and your mate created.
Hey, if you don't agree with me, just take what I say with a grain of salt. But salt is a seasoning that improves the flavor. I'm putting the thought out for you to taste -- infidelity is not a life and death disaster. It doesn't end love.