Saturday, October 23, 2010

Infidelity Hurts More People Than the Spouse

"Undecided" wrote in to Dear Margo:
My father cheated on my mother and acted as if he'd done nothing wrong.

Well, he did. However, have you considered the possibility that your mother broke her vows first, and you just don't know about it? Having sex with someone else is just ONE of many ways to break marital vows. It wouldn't excuse what you father did, but it might make you a bit more sympathetic.
Two decades later, he still hasn’t admitted any wrongdoing, which is typical of him.

This is ANOTHER problem, one that might be more significant than sexual fidelity.
Mom is happily remarried, and I’m basically over it. My relationship with Dad is now one of intermittent e-mail exchanges and the occasional phone call. What do you think about leaving it at that?

There's nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't expect him to admit to wrongdoing.

Dear Margo responded:
I'm not sure I see the problem here.

Right. She says she is fine with it, but is writing for advice, which indicates she might not be fine with it.
I'm for people doing what is comfortable.

Wow, nobody would ever exercise hard then or do hard classwork. I think she didn't mean it in that way, though. I'm for people doing what is comfortable as long as obligations and duties are being met.
As for his "admitting wrongdoing," it would be to your mother, not to you, that the apology is owed.

THIS is the reason I blogged this. I disagree. While a child is not entitled to know everything about their parents' marriage, when a parent with minor children violates their marital vows, they are not only doing wrong by their spouse. They are also doing wrong by their children and often many other people. People need to think about that more. They may be angry or resentful at their spouse, and tempted to go elsewhere and not think about the hurt to the spouse, but the kids are usually hurt, too.

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