“The only time I get flowers is either when my husband is having an affair or when I’m having an affair” My friend giggled to me in a mock secret tone. She went on to explain that guilt over his own wandering affections usually made her husband more attentive, hence the flowers. Conversely, when she was ‘seeing’ somebody new, the ‘new’ person was more attentive, hence more flowers, chocolates, phone calls etc.
While I admired her ability to state this over coffee and not over alcohol (so that she could deny it the next day!), the next thought in my skewed brain was of the other friend who never let her husband out of sight and what a breath of fresh air this woman would be to him!
He never looks at another woman, out of fear or disinterest I don’t know. He is polite, courteous but never personal. Never works late, takes his wife along whenever he travels out of town and has no hobbies that do not involve his family. Yet, she goes along with him everywhere. Regularly subjects him to interrogations and strictly adheres to the rule ‘guilty until proven innocent’. This is during and after fifteen years of marriage and two children. I have no questions about his fidelity, only about his state of mind. And certainly about hers.
Her best friend’s husband takes ski holidays and goes on charity expeditions across the globe while the best friend stays home and takes care of the children. Not only is she not allowed to go with him, she is also not allowed to question him. And yet she feels the need to hide from him that often she is chatting online with complete strangers.
Another friend, a fairly serious corporate type of person regularly gets drunk and lavishes wet, sloppy french kisses on all around. Her husband, a musician, steers clear of any drunken women, certainly drunken men and calls her every fifteen minutes after her fourth drink. Except when his phone is switched off.
Debating fidelity at a party once, I remember someone asking ” Is it a physical state or a mental state? Because to do it both, all the time, I would have to be superhuman!”