For some that's not enough. Confronted with the fact
that they are getting older, an illicit affair makes them
feel like they've recaptured their youth. I've been a
detective for a lot of years and I have seen it dozens
of times. It's an insanity that carries with it considerable
pain as it passes, but in some cases, the illicit affair
goes to their head and they abandon life, love and family
for the promise of something exciting and new.
When the novelty wears off, and hoochie momma starts
looking around for someone her age, the balding fat bad
boy with the pitiful combover may want to come home.
The fact is, the kind of people who play "home wrecker"
generally make lousy partners in life and, unless they
are "dumb as a box of rocks," they don't trust
the person who left their home and children for them.
The cheating spouse "relationship" almost always
falls apart. That isn't the sort of foundation you can
There are other problems that go with it. When you abandon
your family, you lose your friends too. Sure - there are
always those who support and encourage this sort of thing,
but they're not the people who matter. Real people have
real values - sooner or later, dreams and infatuation
can evaporate and somebody may want to come home.
So it's over, you won - now you, they and everyone knows
that, "You da man - or woman." The
question is, "Do you go ahead and take them back?"
If you're asking me, it's a question I can answer with
an unqualified "NO."
It's wonderful to be so smart, and know everything!
Brothers and Sisters, the truth is that I don't need
to be all that smart to know that if you're asking a total
stranger on the Internet whether to marry someone, and
make them a part of your life and your family, the answer
has got to be, "no." The answer has got to be
"no" because, if you loved them, they loved
you, and life made it possible for you to put your life
and your family back together again, you wouldn't be asking
I do think you'd have to ask yourself some questions
first, but I'm not sure that I know what those questions
are, let alone the answers.
Do you know what went wrong in your relationship? Did
your ex betray the perfect spouse? If not, is the problem,
or problems, fixed?
Why do they want to come back? Did they set out on a
cruise and find the winds and waves a little rough - are
you just, "any port in the storm" that
they are going to leave when the sun comes out?
Why are you considering it? Did they set out and leave
you to deal with winds and waves that are a bit too rough
for you - are they just, "any port in the storm"
that looks like your best option?
Do you love them, do they love you - did either of you
ever? How exactly do you define "love" anyway?
I don't profess to know for sure, and I don't think I'd
propose to proffer my personal definition if I did. I
will share with you a definition that I believe to be
as good as any - and probably as good as it gets. It has
endured for a couple of thousand years.
Let's look at that first sentence - particularly the
part about pride. Is this about your wounded pride and
battered ego? Lord knows that nothing in life hurts worse
than having to accept that someone you love, and have
loved, cares only for someone else - words on paper cannot
begin to conjure up that pain. Do you need to prove to
yourself, them, and whomever else that you, "won?"
Do you keep records of wrongs?. Have you got a little
book in your head where every evil, hurtful, miserable
thing that has gone on between you has been dutifully
recorded? Could you pitch it - really pitch it, erase
it from your heart and mind. Can you expunge history,
set out with a clean slate and go forward without looking
back - ever?
How do you feel? In your heart of hearts can you be honest
with yourself? Are you gloating that things didn't work
out for them, delighting in their failures and rejoicing
in their pain - or did you hurt with them, and for them?
Do you trust them? I'd pause long and look hard at that
question if I were you.
Realistically, can you hope to join with this person,
cherish all that they are, pick up the pieces and see
life through with them?
I don't know, I don't have a way to to know - only you
can assess that. All I can do is offer you a clue.
Whether he was divinely inspired, blessed with personal
experience, or gifted with uncommonly intuitive perception,
I personally believe that Paul had a real clear understanding
of what love really is, and a wonderful way with words.
I think his definition carries with it the clue that you
" . . . Love forever perseveres."
Real people make real mistakes, and loving a person with
all your heart and soul doesn't guarantee that you can't
hurt them - or they you. My question to you is, did the
gloves come off? Did they ever really try to destroy you
- or you them? Hostility and discord aside, can you say
that in spite of everything and thru it all, there has
never been hate between you - for even a moment?
Throughout it all, have you missed them - every day?
When wonderful things happened between you and your children,
did you feel satisfaction that whatever they were doing,
and with whomever they were doing it, at least they were
missing out on the good stuff - or did every wonderful
moment bring with it a sadness that they missed it?
When good things happened for you, when life was good
and success was yours, did you feel vindicated? Did you
feel like a winner that you had something they did not,
or did you feel a profound sense of loss that you couldn't
share it with them?
When life fell their way did you resent it, or have you
always wished them well?
When bad things happened, when life wasn't so good, when
things around you looked bad, did you hope they would
never know because the thought of them gloating at your
misfortune was worse than you could bear - or did you
miss the source of strength and support that previously
carried you thru?
Have you despised them for the wicked things they've
done, and gloried in the loss of their self respect, or
have your contributions to this fiasco kept you awake
nights worrying that they may be unable to forgive themselves
for their failures in the wake of whatever has happened
Have you ever seen that perfect sunset without feeling
completely empty inside?
No matter what your answers are, you really need to know
theirs. All the love in the world can be like playing
the air guitar if it's only one way. No matter how you
feel, this life is all the life you're going to get -
it can come time to move on.
Sometimes, the young soldier who cuts and runs the first
time he feels fear finds that there are worse things than
dying. Sometimes, the coward who comes back is the one
guy you can count on never to run again.
Maybe you completely "lost it" together; maybe
there's plenty of guilt and shame to go around.
Are you two people more concerned with the other's pain
than your own, each so disgusted with your own failures
that you have no issue with theirs, both disbelieving
that you somehow managed to wreck the best thing that
ever happened to you, and desperate to turn back a clock
that only moves one way?
If so, "Just turn around, life is that
way, you're looking on the wrong direction."
If not - and probably not, or you wouldn't care what
anyone in the whole damn world thinks - the answer for
you is , "NO"