December 21, 2010

"He bounds into a room... He doesn’t walk in, he explodes in."/"She’s such a force... She rocks back and forth on her feet as if she can’t contain her energy as she’s talking to you."

The story of their marrying is told in the NYT "Vows" column, but both of them already had spouses when they fell in love. So why did the NYT present their story as if it were something to be celebrated? Or is the "Vows" column more complex than that." Okay. First, let's look at some of the details of the story:
The connection was immediate, but platonic. In fact, as they became friends so did their spouses. There were dinners, Christmas parties and even family vacations together.

So [Carol Anne] Riddell was surprised to find herself eagerly looking for [John] Partilla at school events — and missing him when he wasn’t there. “I didn’t admit to anyone how I felt,” she said. “To even think about it was disruptive and disloyal.”

Ms. Riddell said she remembered crying in the shower, asking: “Why am I being punished? Why did someone throw him in my path when I can’t have him?”

In May 2008, Mr. Partilla invited her for a drink at O’Connell’s, a neighborhood bar. She said she knew something was up, because they had never met on their own before.

“I’ve fallen in love with you,” he recalled saying to her. She jumped up, knocking a glass of beer into his lap, and rushed out of the bar. Five minutes later, he said, she returned and told him, “I feel exactly the same way.”
Before sleeping together, they told their spouses, and Partilla considered himself to be doing the "terrible thing as honorably as I could." Partilla then, as the NYT phrased it  "moved out of his home, reluctantly leaving his three children." Then he came back, then left, back and forth, feeling lots of "pain."
The pain he had predicted pervaded both of their lives as they faced distraught children and devastated spouses, while the grapevine buzzed and neighbors ostracized them.

“He said, ‘Remind me every day that the kids will be O.K.,’ ” Ms. Riddell recalled. “I would say the kids are going to be great, and we’ll spend the rest of our lives making it so.”
Riddell "came to realize" that her predicament "wasn’t a punishment, it was a gift." And in this framing of the tale, the heroine needed to "earn" the gift. How? By being "brave enough to hold hands and jump."

There are 139 comments over at the NYT, many of them very critical of the Times:
Why does the Times glorify home-wrecking? Is it a sign of our times that personal responsibility to one's spouse and children takes a back seat to selfish, self-centered love....

The notions of "Vows" has a deliciously ironic depth of meaning here - the ones they made, but the ones they felt less compelled to honor. I doubt very much there's not more than what is related here - What a rationalization as to why it's OK to "befriend" another family then break up two in one shot. "It was just love!" Methinks it's the selfishness that's big and noisy!
They not only broke up their own families. They broke up the big friendship that had interwoven the 2 families. The left-behind spouses not only trusted their own partner, they also believed that, together with that partner, they enjoyed a great friendship with a wonderful couple and their kids. All those memories of social times spent together are now to be understood in a new way.

Forbes has a story about the controversy:
In addition to strong condemnation from numerous bloggers and many of the paper’s own commenters, the article, as a first of sorts for the Times, invited a number of questions. Why were the ex-spouses of the newlyweds not mentioned by name in the story? Did the reporter call them for comment, as basic journalistic practice would dictate? Why did the Times open up the comment board when most Vows stories are off-limits? And above all, what were the couple thinking in telling their story in a space normally reserved for feel-good, soft-focus meet-cute tales?

“We did this because we just wanted one honest account of how this happened for our sakes and for our kids’ sakes,” Riddell told me. “We are really proud of our family and proud of the way we’ve handled this situation over the past year. There was nothing in the story we were ashamed of.”

Riddell says the backlash is “sort of surprising to me. I think people are focusing a lot on the negative, but there was a lot of positive.” But, she notes, “we’ve had a lot of people say to us how brave we are to do this, how commendable it was that we were as honest as we were.” 
The things people will say... to your face.
So did the story’s author, Devan Sipher, seek comment from the exes?... [A] Times spokeswoman says, “We do not comment on the process of editing and reporting including who was and was not contacted for interviews related to a specific story. The Vows/Wedding column adheres to the standards of the Times.” The paper’s Weddings/Celebrations editor, Robert Woletz, did not return a message; nor did the exes, who, like their former spouses, both have high-level jobs in the media industry. (In both cases, the first marriage was also written up in the Times.)
That's all very complex. But I'm happy with the notion that the Times writes up marriage stories because they raise interesting issues. Happy families are all alike. Who wants to read about them?

291 comments:

1 – 200 of 291   Newer›   Newest»
Skyler said...

And yet you still read the New York Times.

Pogo said...

It all started with A Summer Place.

Marshal said...

“we’ve had a lot of people say to us how brave we are to do this,"

This is why they ran the story. The NYT celebrates the narcissist culture.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

This is a story that only the Baby Boomer generation would defend and celebrate.

The NY Times is just the place to commemorate it.

Trooper York said...

Next up....Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson.

CJinPA said...

The original marriages were covered by the paper. The cheating was covered by the paper. The reaction was relayed by the paper (in comments.)

These are tough times for the newspaper industry. So: Reality TV-as-Journalism.

Obvious question: Where do they go from here to keep it enticing?

Tertium Quid said...

Liberty without order is chaos.

Trooper York said...

Why would anyone expect the New York Times to interview the spouses and get the other side of the story.

The Times specializies in only giving one side of the story. That's what they do.

The only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer.

EDH said...

These two love themselves more than each other.

Pogo said...

If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right.

ken in sc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ken in sc said...

The Jerry Springer Times. Fixed it for you.

Pogo said...

Me and Mrs.Jones
We got a thing goin'on
We both know that it's wrong
But it's much too strong
To let it go now

ken in sc said...

I have discovered one of the things that causes double posts. It is hitting 'enter' at the end of your password.

Scott M said...

Selfishness embodied, it seems to me. At the very least, it's awful for the children. Short of an abusive marriage (no, having each and every "I want" left unsatisfied does not constitute abuse) you have a responsibility to knuckle down and make it work. You also have a responsibility to not put yourself in situations where your illogical passions will end up getting the better of you. Cleave to your spouse, and all that schtuff.

Are these two Boomers? Fits the MO doesn't it?

junyo said...

I'd have strong feelings on this, if my in-laws didn't have a very similar story. Two married people who met at work, families became friends, that discovered that they were much closer matches for each other than their then spouses. So after a decade of fighting it, they broke up the existing families/friendships and started fresh. I'm never quite sure how to feel about it. they're very nice people, that are obviously devoted to one another, and horribly unsuited to their former spouses. But they absolutely crushed their former families, and spent a long time trying to make things right, to no real avail. So how much is your personal happiness worth? How many people are you allowed to fuck over to get it?

Youngblood said...

One thing I noticed reading through the comments on the Times piece was that most of the "pro" comments were pretty damn new agey...

One chided those criticizing the couple by informing them that there is "karma", several spoke approvingly of the spouses finding their "soulmates", another said spending life with your "beloved" is why we were "sent here".

Power up the Crack Signal!

The Crack Emcee said...

Youngblood,

Stop it - haven't you heard:

I'm crazy.

MadisonMan said...

The picture of the woman standing in her shower crying about being punished?

Of course, it's all about her. Her needs and her view are paramount. Maybe she should have been standing in the shower crying Why am I thinking of punishing my kids and their kids?

Richard Dolan said...

TYork: "Why would anyone expect the New York Times to interview the spouses and get the other side of the story."

That seems to be a common complaint, but it seems clear from all the references to "pain" what that "other side" was. Does it really have to be spelled out? Would it make any difference if, despite the supposed choice between "pain and more pain," the "other side" involved one spouse who was glad to be rid of the bum? Or preferred a partner of the same sex or no partner at all?

We live in a culture where the value of marriage is questioned on all fronts -- fewer people marry at all; it is not regarded as important to marry if you want children; divorce is available for the asking; and the very definition of marriage is up for grabs. Most of the distintegration of marriage is happening lower down on the social scale than the niche occupied by this high-powered, Upper West Side "media couple". They have sufficient command of today's metaphors and narratives to turn their tale of betrayal into a fractured fairy tale. All that's missing is a deconstruction of the tale of Lancelot and Guinevere. Perhaps that's coming in the inevitable tell-all confessional (or, worse, a reality TV take-off).

The whole thing is a perfect fit for the NYT.

Deb said...

I believe these two were in their 40's - not Boomers, I think.

What an example to set for your kids. What a lesson they are teaching them. No matter what they do to make things "okay" for the children, the truth is that the kids will be the ones to experience loss, not the parents. They will lose one or the other parent over and over as they are shuttled between households while the parents enjoy stability and familiarity. This is the cruelest truth about divorce.

traditionalguy said...

They did this story in Butterfield 8. LIz Tailor made it seem so real.

Suburbanbanshee said...

What kills me is that nobody ever thinks something bad will happen right away. I mean, in an opera, one of the kids would have grabbed a knife and stabbed the bride and groom and the wedding photographer, before doing in himself.

And these things do happen in real life as well as opera, yet nobody ever seems to expect it in these elite circles. Look at that photo. Unhappy everybody, but the bride and groom are smugly sure that no Hamlet-level body counts will eventuate.

Titus said...

I love the NY Times and love this story.

It is so romantic.

Trooper York said...

"That seems to be a common complaint, but it seems clear from all the references to "pain" what that "other side" was. Does it really have to be spelled out?"

Wow. Just wow.

Sure lets not let the other side of this story have their say. I mean we only have to celebrate these foul yuppie scum. Maybe one of the other spouses is very religious and would be devestated and feel that their life was over and they could not get married again. Maybe the other parties to this marriage would say that it is wrong and destructive to romanitize this despicable behavior.

Or maybe we should be into the one sided pap that this filthy rag spews. I mean it works for the political coverage after all. Maybe they can dig up Walter Duranty's son to work the marriage beat.

The New York Times and it's reporters are worthless scum.

The only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer.

Titus said...

Carole has great arms.

Nice to see.

Youngblood said...

Sorry, Crack. I didn't get the memo!

I still find it funny how all of the "pro" comments (and I've read them all because I'm a masochist) have a new age vibe to them. (The best is on Page 6, from someone who identifies herself as 'pandora'.)

k*thy said...

Spice and drama = more links and more hits.

Trooper York said...

I appologize for being so vehement about this.

I shouldn't get so excited.

The New York Times will be going bankrupt in the very near future and unless Barry sets up a bailout we won't have to worry about this bullshit rag very much longer.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Your Pal
Trooper.

The Crack Emcee said...

I don't know if I'll be able to put this here (Ann's already removed me from her blogroll) but y'all should read this.

Trooper York said...

Hey Crack don't feel so bad. I have you on my blogroll.

Skyler said...

The thing is that this is not in the least bit novel. There have been affairs and broken families forever. What makes this worth telling?

Nothing except a desire to degrade our society by making reprehensible behavior appear to be good.

sonicfrog said...

Meh... Who cares! People screw up. This happens. It's not that unique. I've seen at least three marriages go kablewey in similar fashion (not mine of course... I can't get married to my mate). Why is this even a story?


I can almost guarantee they'll be broken up in two years anyway.

Trooper York said...

Oh and Crack...Congratulations on your parents anniversary!

Many Happy Returns!

Youngblood said...

So, Trooper, what do you really think about the New York Times?

To be fair, though, it's interesting that of all of the "Vows" entries they could have opened up for comments, they chose this one. Whoever did that must have known that people would really critical about the whole thing.

Was the choice a kind of passive-aggressive way of criticizing the relationship? "Well, it would be unprofessional of us to take this couple down, but if we open it up to comments, the unwashed pseudonymous masses on the internet will do our dirty work for us."

CJinPA said...

"The whole thing is a perfect fit for the NYT."

Indeed. And they clearly gave it a lot of thought.

That's why my previous question was not rhetorical: Where do they go from here?

Maybe, coverage of adulterous relationships in progress? To fit the Times worldview, we'll need an item on how the children are, really, OK with it. Maybe the mother of one of the cheaters will break free, too, for another article. Ideas, ideas...

One thing we know, once you push the envelope you don't stop. You can't.

Pogo said...

Weird how, no matter how meaningless marriage is supposed to be, people still think of it as 'cheating' and 'betrayal'.

Those goddamned booboisie and their goddamned 'morals'.

Some serious MFing reeducation is needed.

Pogo said...

"The story of their marrying is told in the NYT "Vows" column"

Hey NYT; change it to "Disavowals" already, willya?

Trooper York said...

Well you see if they can piss on marraige enough then their liberal college professor pals can marry their daughters.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Right?

Trooper York said...

As far the Times goes, I wouldn't use it to pick up dog shit off the curb.

I have too much respect for dog shit.

Scott M said...

You can avoid reading the whole thing and sum it up with one sentence.

"Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others."

peter hoh said...

The convenient remarriage of affair partners is the real threat to marriage.

Used to be illegal in many states, but then marriage was redefined.

Richard Dolan said...

TYork: "The only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer."

Given the source, a high compliment indeed. Best of the Christmas Season to you too.

Scott M said...

"Any man who marries his mistress leaves a vacancy in that position."

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ms. Riddell said she remembered crying in the shower, asking: “Why am I being punished? Why did someone throw him in my path when I can’t have him?”

And here I thought I wouldn't have a good laugh all day.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know, sometimes you have to trade in that old Taurus for a Couger.

Greg said...

And I quote:

"A quarter of a century ago historian John Lukacs perceptively warned that sexual immorality was not merely a marginal development but, instead, was at the center of the moral crisis of our time (see John Lukacs, The Passing of the Modern Age, New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1970, p. 169). Some thought Lukacs was overstating it, but consider the subsequent and sobering tragedy of children having children, of unwed mothers, of children without parents, of hundreds of thousands of fatherless children, and of rampant spousal infidelity. These and related consequences threaten to abort society’s future even before the future arrives! Yet carnalists are unwilling to deny themselves, even though all of society suffers from an awful avalanche of consequences!

"Consider this sobering forecast: “About 40 percent of U.S. children will go to sleep in homes in which their fathers do not live” (David Blankenhorn, “Life without Father,” USA Weekend, 26 Feb. 1995, pp. 6–7)."

Twenty-two years ago, my wife left me for another man, a doctor--who happened to be our doctor's partner. That "other man," speaking of my children, said, "they'll adapt."

Twenty-two years later they are still "adapting."

Oh, by the way, the soul mates divorced last year.

To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, we forgive in the unfaithful what we would never forgive in the embezzler, the thief, the crook, or the burglar. Why is that?

And one final thought. Tolstoy had it wrong. All happy families are not alike. In fact, every happy family is at sometimes an unhappy family, so his opening line in Anna Karenina contradicts itself. In any case, happy families are happy largely because the component parts of that family don't give up on one another. Husbands commit to wives, wives to husbands. Parents never give up on kids, and the kids return the favor as they grow older and their parents grow old.

Sorry, but I'm not buying the soul mate balderdash. Give me a committed spouse any day over someone whose mind would buy into that myth.

Ankur said...

In a circumstance when you 'fall in love' outside your marriage, I see three possible outcomes

1) Ignore it, deny it and be miserable

2) Openly embrace it - and make everyone else around you miserable

3) Be dishonest and try to have it both ways, and if successful, then potentially save everyone else from misery(yeah, right)but feel dirty/furtive the whole while.

So, I have a question for y'all. Which option would YOU choose? ..or for those of you who have already been in this situation - which option DID you choose?

Pogo said...

"Ms. Riddell said she remembered crying in the shower, asking: “...Why did someone throw him in my path when I can’t have him?”"

One of the many uses of the prayer:
"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil".

I know, I know, that's just flying spaghetti monster stuff these days.

Strange how useful, though.

Pogo said...

"three possible outcomes"

There are more.

Class factotum said...

Ankur, you forgot Option 4, which is, "Don't put yourself in a position where you might fall in love with someone other than your spouse," aka avoiding near occasions of sin.

Anthony said...

This American Life did a story on this stuff a while back:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/393/infidelity

Titus said...

Love Won Out.

It is such a beautiful and touching story.

Scott M said...

@Ankur

It's a bit more complex than that. Are there kids involved? It changes everything. Even staying within the confines of your three choices, the best, most responsible, choice is the first one. Believe me, I know how hard emotions can run roughshod over you, but I also know that everything mutes as time passes.

I'll go back to my original assertion. Don't put yourself in the position of allowing your emotions to run roughshod over you in the first place.

Greg said...

And yes, I understand people can screw up. For that reason, I'm all about forgiveness. However, I refuse to revel in the destruction of a family no matter how soulful the new mate supposedly is.

Kirk Parker said...

"The Vows/Wedding column adheres to the standards of the Times."

Wow, talk about damning with huge damn!

The Crack Emcee said...

Greg,

Sorry, but I'm not buying the soul mate balderdash. Give me a committed spouse any day over someone whose mind would buy into that myth.

Would you settle for the "your Love of Your Life" myth?

Old Dad said...

How many of the seven deadlies can you find in this pathetic tale? I've got a solid five, but I tend libertarian.

It's an old sad story. Too damn bad for the kids, but the old gray lady has gone a whoring--eff the kids.

Christopher said...

Well, Trooper got to it before I could. But you ask, CJ, where do they go from here?

Oh, perhaps not these two, but no doubt we shall see some tender story about a married couple who had to separate once the husband or wife realized (after much crying of "why did you put them in my path?" in the shower) that their brother or sister was their true soulmate.

After all, you've grown up in the same family. You share the same stories. The same blood. The same life journey. Why should Christianist taboo be allowed to block the path of true love?

When you don't believe in God, you'll believe in anything. We've watched the NYT force-feed sodomy as something to be celebrated (as Mark Shea puts it, "tolerance is not enough. You. MUST. Approve."), so why not incest?

Whee! Isn't that handbasket to hell a great ride?

Sigivald said...

There was nothing in the story we were ashamed of.

Maybe that's the problem?

I mean, there's always some small chance that the Really Were Meant For Each Other And The Previous Marriages Were Both Bad Matches, ala Junyo's experience.

But statistically speaking, it seems a lot more likely that it wasn't one of the comparatively few cases where it's a general improvement all around.

MayBee said...

“He said, ‘Remind me every day that the kids will be O.K.,’ ” Ms. Riddell recalled. “I would say the kids are going to be great, and we’ll spend the rest of our lives making it so.”

That's what would irk me as the left-out parent.
These two see themselves as creating a better family. The deserted spouses can only dream of measuring up!

Daniel Fielding said...

Both these two losers need to be shot.

Ankur said...

Class Factotum - No I didn't forget option 4. Your version of Option 4 is invalid because I set up the question after the fact of falling in love. In that context, your option isn't valid and doesn't help answer my question. It is simply a trite little retort. So I will repeat - which option would you choose IF you were in the situation these two found themselves in?

Pogo - I am certain there are more options, but I was focusing on the three that I could think of in a situation where two married people DID fall in love. Feel free to add more options and then choose which one you would pick.

Scott - thank you for your honest response.Yes, emotions can run roughshod over you - and yes, I do agree that time mutes everything.

Kirk Parker said...

"horribly unsuited to their former spouses."

That's the part I have a little trouble buying. "If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now and with spouse #2 already in view, I'd of course do it differently"? Sure, no problem. But "horribly unsuited"? That just seems a bit too convenient for my suspension-of-disbelief.

MayBee said...

So, I have a question for y'all. Which option would YOU choose? ..or for those of you who have already been in this situation - which option DID you choose?

People who are married meet other attractive people all the time. People who, had circumstances been different, they may have married.

The thing you do is keep yourself from falling into this situation. You don't keep throwing temptation after temptation into your own path.
Don't make couple friends.
Don't go on vacations together.
Don't think "Oh, I shouldn't be doing this". Don't do it.

MayBee said...

I didn't mean to say "they may have married". I meant "they may have dated"

Kirk Parker said...

"But from their perspective, the drama was as unlikely as it was unstoppable [emphasis added]."

See what I mean about NYT standards? Utterly shameless.

fivewheels said...

As far as why this story was opened for comments (temporarily), I think people have the wrong idea about newspapers. The Times is a big place. I would say the facts suggest something like:

Some dim-witted editor thinks this is a good story (that kind of judgment is what gets you assigned to "Vows" and not, say, the foreign news desk). It gets written. It goes in the paper, and the online department picks it up. An online editor reads it and thinks, "My god, this is awful. Why don't I cheekily allow comments here for once." The comments come and get messy. Then an editor above the Vows person and the online person steps in and closes the comments.

Rare is the institution that has the perfect control to carry out the wishes of a single central authority. Not nations, political parties, newspapers or, apparently, families.

That's the problem with most conspiracy theories: too simple.

Ankur said...

Guys, I get the part about "don't fall in love when you are already married". That is SPECIFICALLY NOT what my question is about.

In an ideal world, that is how things would work. But this is not an ideal world. People fall for other people outside their marriages all the time. I am willing to bet that some of you have too.

So my question is about what one does if one does happen to fall in love outside of marriage. And if you have been in that situation - what did you do?

For me - if I was ever in that situation, I would try to choose option 1 as Scott M above did, and I'd pray that I was strong enough to stick to it. But that is what I say now.

Scott M said...

But "horribly unsuited"? That just seems a bit too convenient for my suspension-of-disbelief.

This is the 22-year-old me talking. I divorced my then wife of 1.5 years about 8 months after our child was born. I did it for horribly selfish reasons and the ensuing damage to my son was inevitable, but again...horribly selfish. I would never make that mistake again nor would I council someone to do so. Further, if these people are older and still making horribly selfish decisions, they should indeed be shot.

...out of a cannon...

...into the sun...

ricpic said...

That great philosopher Woody Allen said, "The heart wants what the heart wants."

Ankur said...

..and..wow.

"Don't make couple friends.
Don't go on vacations together."

Really? That sounds like Saudi Arabia to me.

Joan said...

While we often can't control our feelings, there's no excuse for an adult not controlling his behavior.

Loving someone else takes an investment of time and will. It's a decision you make, whether you realize it or not. Sure, the initial attraction is what kicks it off, and that's not something you can control or foresee. But it's up to you what you do with that attraction. You don't "fall" in love so much as you put yourself there.

Ankur said...

okay - sorry about the hyperbole in the previous post. I was just taken aback by the "don'ts" in that response.

Scott M said...

and I'd pray that I was strong enough to stick to it. But that is what I say now.

If you were sincere in your prayers for the strength to deal with it, you would be. He never puts more on your plate than you can deal with, regardless of how unlikely it looks at the moment.

k*thy said...

Ankur, do you not think the best way to handle it is with honesty? Honesty doesn't mean that it's "embraced", but the dishonesty you bring up in 1 and 3 serves no one. In the end, it's best to come from a place of truth instead of living a lie.

Scott M said...

Ankur, do you not think the best way to handle it is with honesty?

LOL...no. I agree with Joan. Infatuation and attraction are spontaneous, but it takes work and/or exposure over time to fall in "love".

The worst-case scenario is having someone like that you feel that way about at work, whether they know about it or not. Horror.

William said...

They were insufficiently cynical. I'm sure that there is going to be further thunder in their lives, and they have set a bad precedent in how to handle it. If they had discharged the energy with a few quickies, they would have soon realized that their current beloved is just as flickering in their appeal as their past one, and, indeed, as they themselves are. Superficial people should be promiscuous whenever possible and not try for the high notes. Lady Gaga is not meant for Verdi.

Hoosier Daddy said...

..and..wow.

"Don't make couple friends.
Don't go on vacations together."

Really? That sounds like Saudi Arabia to me.


Hyperbole much?

MayBee said...

..and..wow.

"Don't make couple friends.
Don't go on vacations together."

Really? That sounds like Saudi Arabia to me.


What?
No, that follows meeting someone who you are attracted to. You don't make couple friends with them. You don't go on vacations with them.
As she did.

What a crazy reading you gave my statement.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I guess I can't get all worked up over this. I mean we have a 50% divorce rate in this country and kids are always caught in the middle so why do these two chucklheads rate an expose in the NYT?

I bet money they're liberals too.

Ankur said...

Kathy - honesty is an interesting word. Is it more honest to a) Tell your spouse you have fallen in love with someone else, and then work to save your marriage? or b)Not tell him/her anything and still work to save your marriage?

I guess what I am asking is - is honesty the necessary revelation of all that is in your mind? or is honesty being true to your vows/partner?

This is not a rhetorical question, by the way.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And dumping one's spouse to marry your lover takes all the fun and excitement out of the illicit affair.

Just sayin.

edutcher said...

Of course the Gray Lady loves this. The Lefties want to destroy marriage and the family.

But I can't agree with Jeff 1 f this is a Boomer-only thing. I'll bet plenty of Xers and Yers are doing it.

PS Isn't the definition of love at first sight 2 extremely horny, but not extremely choosy, people diving into bed together?

Kirk Parker said...

Ankur,

I agree with Pogo that there are more options than you've given (and mostly disagree with C.F. about the "don't put yourself in the position": if the statement went on to talk about actual misbehavior, fine, but it doesn't take all that much contact to be attracted to someone.)

Rather than add another option, though, I'd like to critique your #1. I'm certainly not the only guy who was ever attracted to a woman, only to (sooner or later--in my case, all the way to proposing once) only to be told No. How is this worse than her situation? Lots of us experience the unattainable.

But, far from being miserable, I moved on, am married to a wonderful woman, and even maintain cordial relations with several of the ex-GF's. It's only miserable if you choose to nurse it and brood over it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I guess what I am asking is - is honesty the necessary revelation of all that is in your mind? or is honesty being true to your vows/partner?

Honesty is always the best policy.

Especially when everything else you tried has failed.

Scott M said...

But I can't agree with Jeff 1 f this is a Boomer-only thing. I'll bet plenty of Xers and Yers are doing it.

I'd still blame the Boomers given your statement though...they had to get it from somewhere.

As far as the love-at-first-sight thing...it's only happened once to me...and her Venetian blinds ended our relationship.

Old Dad said...

Ankur,

Your question makes the very notion of "falling in love" ridiculous. In the predicament that you sketch, we presume that the cheating spouse, at some point, fell in love with the human being he is now not in love with.

Besides, how does "love" authorize the destruction of families and the ensuing emotional and financial wreckage?

Love is a choice that must be affirmed everyday, or we'd all be banging the neighbors.

Marshal said...

"Would it make any difference if, despite the supposed choice between "pain and more pain," the "other side" involved one spouse who was glad to be rid of the bum? Or preferred a partner of the same sex or no partner at all?"

I think this is what people are complaining about. The NYT ignored the pain in order to move us past "the unfortunate reality of life" theme to "celebrate the moments you can enjoy by eliminating committment".

Given its advocacy of governmental nannyism to replace the familty support structure I can't help but wonder whether the two are related.

Scott M said...

Love is a choice

I was with you until this. Love is not a choice. A successful marriage built on love is. Love is not. Love happens and wells up from places we didn't even know existed within ourselves.

Ankur said...

Good critique, and great response Kirk Parker. Yes - the misery of not having someone you want surely can't be everlasting.

Although - by saying that, we are implicitly denying the soulmate theory. And that is a theory that is hard for me to just dump, since I believe I am married to mine.

Scott M said...

And that is a theory that is hard for me to just dump, since I believe I am married to mine.

Having said that, of course, you're going to wake up tomorrow with SWAT teams and INTERPOL surrounding your house, demanding that the international jewel thief you married surrender or they will open fire.

MayBee said...

by saying that, we are implicitly denying the soulmate theory.

Your soul mate theory sounds like an excuse to dump the person you're with, on the grounds they weren't the soul mate you thought they were.

fivewheels said...

18-Year-Old Miraculously Finds Soulmate In Hometown

PESHTIGO, WI—In a miracle that defies statistical probability, Corey Muntner, 18, reported Monday that he found his soulmate, Tammy Gaska, right in his very own hometown of Peshtigo.

MarkW said...

Short of an abusive marriage (no, having each and every "I want" left unsatisfied does not constitute abuse) you have a responsibility to knuckle down and make it work.

But if your wife fell in love with somebody else, would you want her to keep it secret, knuckle down and stay with you? If that happened when my kids were little, maybe. But now? I don't think so. I'd feel I deserved more than a wife who was in love with somebody else but stoically staying with me out of a sense of duty.

Ankur said...

"Your soul mate theory sounds like an excuse to dump the person you're with, on the grounds they weren't the soul mate you thought they were."

Not at all. I strongly believe in marrying only when you are completely sure that THIS is the person you want to be with for the rest of my life. And that is what I did.

However, not everyone marries for the same reason. Is everyone married to their soulmates? I'd hope so, for their sakes but I'd venture to guess no. If my guess is correct, then does that mean there is a soulmate out there? Again, I am willing to admit that the soulmate concept might be, statistically speaking, baloney. But my own life makes it hard for me to deny that soulmates exist. But...one data point doesn't a hypothesis make.

Pogo said...

I don't believe in soulmates, though I am glad people feel that away about someone else. But a long term marriage does demand some effort; it's not a magical fountain.

1) Practice gratitude for your spouse, every day.
2) Forgive, frequently.
3) Avoid the cutting response, however funny or perfect.
4) Don't denigrate your spouse in front of others. Defend them, to the death.
5) Kiss often.
6) Don't let that little frankfurter tell you what to do.

Ankur said...

Excellent point/post, MarkW - as usual, the devil is in the details.

Scott M said...

@Pogo

I've heard many people tell me that a successful marriage is when both people are 50/50 on the effort. I disagree. It requires both people to do 60/40 or better.

Ankur said...

Pogo,

beautiful post and fantastic list.

I would argue, however, that the person you are able to do all those things for..IS your soulmate.

Can you see yourself doing all those things for ANYBODY else? Can you see yourself doing those things for, say, an ex girlfriend from before you were married?

Old Dad said...

Scott M said:

"I was with you until this. Love is not a choice. A successful marriage built on love is. Love is not. Love happens and wells up from places we didn't even know existed within ourselves."

Fair enough, but I'd never trade free will for love unchosen.

Pogo said...

"..does that mean there is a soulmate out there? "

Maybe. So what?

Is there some soulmate machine, where I can find the girl in the Ukraine that, were we but a few thousand miles closer, we would have met, the sky would brighten, the oceans would stop rising, and we would go sailing into a keen city which nobody's ever visited, where always it's Spring and everyone's in love and flowers pick themselves?

Pogo said...

"I would argue, however, that the person you are able to do all those things for..IS your soulmate."

That makes sense to me.
"Soulmates, under construction" is our motto.

Kirk Parker said...

Ankur,

Part of the reason you can't get the rest of us to stick with your hypothetical is: you are conflating "being attracted to" and "falling in love". These two are NOT the same.

I'll grant you the "don't make couple friends" advice is loony (or perhaps just misunderstood, based on Maybee's clarification), but part of what makes that safe is the determination that "attraction is not destiny".

MayBee said...

Again, I am willing to admit that the soulmate concept might be, statistically speaking, baloney.

How can the soul mate concept be *statistically* baloney?
It seems to me its either baloney or it isn't.
Regardless, if it has to do with souls it seems there is little way for the people involved to know if it is truly their soul mate to whom they are married.

Let's imagine someone thinks she married her soul mate, but then walks in that pre-K room and sees a man with boundless energy.
And this not being Saudi Arabia, the woman married to her faux soulmate make couples friends with her actual soulmate and his faux soulmate. They start to go on vacations together.

Disaster! Or Dreamy?

Pogo said...

"attraction is not destiny"

True!
See the frankfurter rule above.

murgatroyd666 said...

Oh, perhaps not these two, but no doubt we shall see some tender story about a married couple who had to separate once the husband or wife realized (after much crying of "why did you put them in my path?" in the shower) that their brother or sister was their true soulmate.

Some years ago I read a short story (I think by John T. Sladek, but I can't find it) that cast Oedipus and Jocasta as modern, sophisticated New Yorkers. True to the original, Oedipus realizes that he has inadvertently killed his father and married his own mother.

At the end of the story Oedipus and Jocasta are sipping coffee and reading the Sunday Times, calmly discussing how they'll tell their kids.

LordSomber said...

"I believe these two were in their 40's - not Boomers, I think."

Probably raised by Boomers, perhaps. Just as bad.
We've watched Boomers as bad parents before. Now their kids are adults and parents, and we wonder where the grown-ups are.

WV: subpasta

MayBee said...

I'll grant you the "don't make couple friends" advice is loony (or perhaps just misunderstood, based on Maybee's clarification),

Please! It was based specifically on what these two did, even as she found herself crying in the shower. It was in the news story.

Did you really think I was saying nobody should make couple friends?

Ralph L said...

Ignore it, deny it and be miserable
Considering how quickly the bloom fell off their first marriages (met at pre-kindergarten class), they're not likely to be miserable too long before somebody new comes along.

To me, their happy talk makes their crime more outrageous, so I wouldn't say the NYT tried to make them look good.

Ankur said...

Maybee, I am ashamed to admit that that is what I did think, seeing as the 'don'ts' were laid out so starkly, without any extenuating context. Hence my hyperbolic response.

Apologies for misunderstanding your intent.

Pogo said...

You were right, MayBee.

"Don't make couple friends" with someone else's spouse who makes you all giggly is brilliant advice, really.

traditionalguy said...

Does anyone remember the often shown old footage of attempts to fly that all crashed until one day Orville and Wilbur discovered theie soul mate in a shaped wing. Mutual emotional satisfaction is great, and then the rest of an airplane needs designing as well. But a safe spouse is one who is not into test piloting new models.

Ankur said...

To me, the article seemed to suggest that the 'friends' came first and the 'giggly' came later.

Whether that is revisionist history or not, on their part, I cannot say.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ny first impression of Mrs. Riddell when I saw her picture were two words:

High Maintenance.

MayBee said...

To me, the article seemed to suggest that the 'friends' came first and the 'giggly' came later.

When the giggly comes, the couples friendship and vacations together should end. Whether that's from the "immediate but platonic" first connection, or a little bit later.

k*thy said...

Ankur - I think individuals will decide that differently. I’m really talking about being honest with yourself. What do you have? What do you want? What’s the harm if you do a? or b? You’re at that proverbial fork in the road – what are you willing to give up? to keep? What is the price others will pay? What is the price you’ll pay?

Freeman Hunt said...

The NYT is gross.

Fred4Pres said...

The Times just wanted a story that they could get a lot of attention from.

Maybe they are soul mates. Or maybe they will be divorced/seperated in a few years. This is like Bridges of Madison County or that Japanese song from the sixties about the two lovers who can never be together except for one brief encounter. Except instead of self denial they went for doing what made them feel better.

Kirk Parker said...

MayBee,

Indeed, my first response was the same as Ankur's, that you were making a blanket proscription. I did only quickly scan the article (give me a break here, how much of the NYT social stuff can you stand to scrutinize closely) and perhaps missed the immediate-attraction part that is hinted at in the opening. Mea culpa.

Blue@9 said...

As an unmarried 20-year-old, I would have called it a triumph of love and proof that sometimes there is a soulmate out there for you.

As a married 35-year-old, I call it selfish and a total douchebag move. You're in love? Congrats, get a divorce and do it right.

Kirk Parker said...

Old Dad,

"...or we'd all be banging the neighbors."

Welllll.... maybe you should meet my neighbors first.


Ankur,

There's an immense world of difference between a soulmate (I certainly have that in my spouse) and the soulmate--i.e. with the implication that there's only one such person in the universe for you.

Our very own Synova once wrote a very perceptive comment here that I wish I could reproduce in full--something about the destructive myth of love giving a person complete tunnel vision, so that if after a few years of marriage you notice that the next-door neighbor's husband is kinda cute, then it maybe means your current husband isn't The One™ after all.

MayBee,

Indeed, my first response was the same as Ankur's, that you were making a blanket proscription. I did only quickly scan the article (give me a break here, how much of the NYT social stuff can you stand to scrutinize closely) and perhaps missed the immediate-attraction part that is hinted at in the opening. Mea culpa.

Ankur said...

Ultimately, what is amazing to me is the the willingness of people to judge and label. In a country with a such high divorce rates.

and before anyone is tempted to use the "liberals don't care about marriage" canard, I'd like to share divorce rate by state statistics.

http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/documents/st_DIVORCE_20100813.html

The top 10 are:
Nevada
Arkansas
Wyoming
West Virginia
Idaho
Oklahoma
Kentucky
Alaska
Maine
Florida

Freeman Hunt said...

Ankur, option one, obviously. You'll get over it. And you had to make a whole lot of bad choices prior to being left with the choices you've provided.

Kirk Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Class factotum said...

Of course we're going to judge and label. These two said screw our vows and who cares about who gets hurt as long as we get what we want?

What's not to judge about that?

Ankur said...

Oh. the link didn't work.
Here

Kirk Parker said...

wv: unryp - not ready to be consummated.

"At first the relationship was platonic--unryp, if you will."

Trooper York said...

Ankur, buddy Merry Christmas to you my friend.

Trooper York said...

One question dude. When you set up your Nativity scene do you put the cow in the manger?

I always wondered abouth that.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You're in love? Congrats, get a divorce and do it right.

Lou Peckinpaugh: Being a private eye may not be much, but we do have a code of honor. It's all right to fool around with your partner's wife, but once he's dead it makes it all so dirty. That's the way it is, angel. You marry yourself a nice guy, have a couple of swell kids. Once you're all set up and happy, maybe we can fool around again.

The Cheap Detective, 1978

MayBee said...

Kirk Parker said...

Thanks. I don't mind being wrong. I don't even mind being unclear. But looney hurt!

Patrick said...

Titus: "Love won out."
Respectfully, I disagree. Or, maybe we disagree about what love is. I believe love is more than a nice feeling about a particular person. When that euphoric feeling fades,a person needs to decide if they are willing to work at maintaining a happy, fulfilling (and adult) relationship. These two failed at that, and, I would argue, at love. They have succeeded only in broadcasting their overwhelming self indulgence to the readership of the NYT.

hombre said...

The National Enquirer is a cutting edge newspaper. The NYT is just beginning to realize that.

Ankur said...

Merry Christmas, Trooper. And yes we do - SOMETHING has to breastfeed the baby jesus, wouldn't you agree?

especially since its so hard for moms to breastfeed their babies in public without people frowning at them. So yeah - that's what the cow does. Cows milk keeps the baby full for longer too.

Freeman Hunt said...

The kids are not going to grow up and think the cheating parents were brave. These people are delusional if they think their kids won't be always secretly judging them harshly.

Pogo said...

Lust won out.
Love got its ass kicked to the sidelines.

It may come again for the pair of NYT lustbirds, but that is years away.

edutcher said...

One question of it is how much was really "love" and how much "in lust". From the article, it sounds a lot like door #2. That doesn't even mention the difference between love and being in love. Love seems to take some maturity - which doesn't seem very evident here.

We all fall in love in all kinds of ways seeing people in the movies, TV, billboards, walking down the street every day. Throwing over someone who depends on you without a better reason than momentary (and I give it a couple of years, max) infatuation is pretty lame.

But then, as someone observed, the marriage vows are "Words, just words".

Trooper York said...

Now that's way cool Ankur. I love to learn about other cultures. I have been busy all day passing out Christmas gifts to all the illegal immigrants who help me all year long.

I needed you the other day when I was sticking up for all the unwashed masses yearning to breathe free. Don't stay away so long buddy.

Pogo said...

The side of the story the NYT didn't tell:

Good morning heartache, sit down.

Ralph L said...

Looks like we didn't make it

MayBee said...

Freeman Hunt said...

The kids are not going to grow up and think the cheating parents were brave. These people are delusional if they think their kids won't be always secretly judging them harshly.


That's the irksome thing for me w/r/t the NYT printing it up in the vows section.
The former spouses really don't deserve to have to read their ideas about their children eventually finding the dissolution of the family "brave", or about how they are creating a life with "more love".

Freeman Hunt said...

Good lord. This is a comment "highlighted" by the Times:

"Nothing is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so" Shakspeare. I don't have the answers, so I could not judge these two. I know that monogomy is simply not forever for most. Human history is full of gene pool optimizers from primitive man forward. So many species share this. Marriages used to be arranged, with women more like a bargaining chip for property maximization. Children were necessary as heirs, but beyond that, there was nothing precious about their presence. They were comodities too. A good marriage typically outlasts the children's time at home, but sometimes it is not the best thing for children to endure a marriage that doesn't showcase what is possible between two people. It might be better for them to see two people who are a united front and exuberantly enthusiastic about one another then the deadening and diminishing of each partner stuck in an unhappy relationship. On the other hand, how hard and tragic it is for the children to be denied the company of their beloved father or mother even if temporarily. It is hard to justify a break up when there was no neglect nor abuse. But the stiltifying effect of a forced march could be just as destructive to the children, because one way or another, the kids will know what is going on. This is where the honesty comes in and plays a role in the ultimate development of everyone involved. But the caution here is because people change and nothing seems to last forever, will this couple be just as delighted with themselves in twenty years? There's probably a good chance they will be, but if not, they are only human. What promotes the growth of the parents, is ultimately best for the children. Children will typcially springboard from the achievements of their parents.

Like I wrote before, the NYT is gross.

Penny said...

Why is it that we get all whipped up about a couple of couples we don't even know, while blithely watching the institution of marriage disintegrate decade after decade after decade?

Ankur said...

So, so far we have had the following responses

2 people said I was positing a false choice.

1 person said I was positing a false choice, and explained why, and introduced a 4th valid choice - which was close to option 1

4 people chose option 1

1 person leaned towards option 2.

Pogo said...

Penny, the first answers the second.

Freeman Hunt said...

The former spouses really don't deserve to have to read their ideas about their children eventually finding the dissolution of the family "brave", or about how they are creating a life with "more love".

I agree. Disgusting.

Freeman Hunt said...

And the kids don't deserve it either. They'll read that in a few years, and they're not going to be impressed.

So many parents treat kids like garbage, like they don't matter and are just along for the ride. Until they're grown up, it's the kids' ride you're on, not the other way round, so don't muck it up.

fivewheels said...

The young kids have learned something simple and irrefutable about their parents, a message no parent should risk sending. "Mom said she'd love Dad forever. she was lying. She says she loves me. ... ?"

Trooper York said...

What you are failing to see is that these douchenozzles are worthless yuppie scum. You know the typical New York Times reader.

It is like being suprised that Road and Track will report a story about NASCAR.

rsb said...

Kids lose big time in this -
adults can bounce back.

Pogo said...

The divorces in my family make me feel like I do at work, where my nameplate on the door is fastened with Velcro.

d-day said...

Who do they think they're kidding with the "love won out" business? Love for their spouses didn't. Love for their kids didn't.

I am looking forward to what the NYT chooses to do when these self-involved losers divorce. Wanna bet that it takes less than five years?

I hope the scorned spouses fall in love, take all the kids and love them equally, and leave these two buttholes to stew. It can happen.

dairy queen said...

Kids lose big time in this -
adults can bounce back.


For now, perhaps. We don't know that this arrangement isn't better than what they had before. We don't know that it's worse.

There are plenty of parents out there stumblin' and bumblin' through...and some kids will even come to forgive them.

BEK477 said...

Why do I long for the House of Atreus solution?

If these behaviors suffered the [divine] consequences of an angry deity I do believe that I would be greatly comforted. As things stand now there is only chaos let free to rage upon the world.
It is time to spill some blood.
Forget socially acceptable violence performed upon America's newest minority group: ZOMBIES. Lets turn our attention to weeding out the morally fallen.

Robin said...

I found the whole thing a nauseating example of the trend toward a never ending adolescence in our culture.

JohnMcG said...

"If you're right eye causes you to sin, tear it out."

Once in that position, the correct answer is number 1.

If that sounds harsh, consider all sorts of reasons you may not be able to end up with someone you're attracted to, or are "in love" with.

* They move away.
* They don't feel the same way about you.
* You never work up the courage to tell them how you feel.
* They fall in love with someone else.

Given that, I think the fact that you are already married to someone else (and they are already married to someone else) is a sufficiently good reason to not act on one's feelings.

And, even if one accepts the broad definition of @MayBee's advice, I'm not sure it's all that unreasonable, if one finds such situations tempting and is committed to one's family.

---

The other thing that sticks out to me about this story is that maybe I am horrible unattractive, but I cannot imagine, even in a Penthouse forum fantasy way, a mother of one of my daughter's coming up to me confessing her love for me. I tend to think it's because I do not present myself as someone who would be remotely hospitable to such an advance.

The story would have us believe that their feelings for each other blindsided them. I suspect they were looking for trouble, at least at some level.

JohnMcG said...

Apologies for the egregious you're/your error above.

CJinPA said...

"and before anyone is tempted to use the "liberals don't care about marriage" canard, I'd like to share divorce rate by state statistics."

Yeah....but see, the problem here wasn't the "divorce" part. Ya know?

Blue@9 said...

See everyone, it's not the gays ruining marriage, it's douchenozzles like these two.


That being said, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's not love. Love is powerful and blind. It's too bad these two couldn't have found a more responsible way to make their love work.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The left-behind spouses not only trusted their own partner, they also believed that, together with that partner, they enjoyed a great friendship with a wonderful couple and their kids. All those memories of social times spent together are now to be understood in a new way

Been there....done that.

As the left behind spoutse, I can attest that you want to keep going over the past and trying to figure out just when was it that I was such and idiot, trusting fool, dupe, moron????

Don't do it. You will drive yourself crazy. Just do what I did. Throw all of the bastard's stuff out onto the lawn, change the locks, empty the bank accounts, file for divorce.

Move on and make a better life for yourself.

Without reading the entire article, I am going to go out on a limb and bet that in a very few short years the two cheating spouses, will either cheat again on each other or regret their abandonment of their marriages and want to return to their husband/wife and children.

Tough shit.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

This is an Anita Shreve novel in the making.

Alex said...

They will lose one or the other parent over and over as they are shuttled between households while the parents enjoy stability and familiarity. This is the cruelest truth about divorce.

To keep a faux marriage together for the sake of the kids is much worse. The kids will adjust to the newer, more honest reality. They're far more resilient then you would ever imagine.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh... and never ever be in a social situation with the 'other woman' or 'other man'.

I wouldn't piss on her if she was on fire.

BTW: they have long since broken up. I have remarried, extremely happily, for 17 years plus 2 years of dating my spouse before marriage.

Alex said...

Without reading the entire article, I am going to go out on a limb and bet that in a very few short years the two cheating spouses, will either cheat again on each other or regret their abandonment of their marriages and want to return to their husband/wife and children.

yes because figuring out your original spouse didn't work out is exactly the same as cheating...

Scott M said...

Without reading the entire article, I am going to go out on a limb and bet that in a very few short years the two cheating spouses, will either cheat again on each other or regret their abandonment of their marriages and want to return to their husband/wife and children.

We really should start a pool. Month and year would win. If nobody wins the cash goes to buy Meade some shorts.

Alex said...

You people make me sick. I want to wretch! Why not wish the happy new couple the best of luck and happiness?

Scott M said...

BTW: they have long since broken up. I have remarried, extremely happily, for 17 years plus 2 years of dating my spouse before marriage.

Everyone always bemoans or trumpets the divorce rates in this country, but I have never seen any serious studies of second marriages in the same light. Anecdotally, second marriages seem to last much longer and be more successful.

Pogo said...

First marriage, in our 26th year. I still feel like a newlywed.

A newlywed with bad eyes and grey hair, who falls asleep at nine, and groans when sitting down.

David said...

"Which option would YOU choose? ..or for those of you who have already been in this situation - which option DID you choose?"

At first I tried to choose "all of the above."

That did not work out well, to say the least.

So I married my mistress, "leaving a vacancy in the position."

(The "position" never was filled again, by the way.)

When the lightening bolt hits, there is great temptation to believe that your own situation is different, and that you are allowed an exception to the rules. You are not allowed an exception, it turns out, but you can still break the rules. Breaking them involves various penalties, some of which apply to persons other than the rule breaker. Those persons can choose to forgive you at some point, or not. In my case, I was lucky that most forgave, though of course my ex did not, and could not.

The other forgivenesses would have been considerably more difficult had I consented to (engineered?) a story in a newspaper of national circulation (with photos.)

David said...

"Anecdotally, second marriages seem to last much longer and be more successful."

Statistically, the opposite is true.

But sometimes you can learn from your mistakes, and do better.

peter hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

Hoosier Daddy I bet money they're liberals too.

We all know that conservatives would never divorce their wife and marry their affair partner, right?


(Typing under the influence of children is never a good thing.)

Scott M said...

Why not wish the happy new couple the best of luck and happiness?

Because the older I get the less patience I have to suffer fools and their selfishness.

In blatant honesty, a statement I've never really mentioned to anyone outside my own head, this is in large part due to my own ire at the necessities requiring that I clamp down on my own foibles than any moral superiority. I find this is more true the more time goes by.

MayBee said...

She was a Parenting and Education reporter. She had a feature called "Families First". Spectacular.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I guess what I am asking is - is honesty the necessary revelation of all that is in your mind? or is honesty being true to your vows/partner?

OK... Lets assume I fell in love or infatuation (more likely) with someone other than my husband. Assuming that I and the other person have only gone as far as the infatuation/love stage and have not fatally killed our own marriages by cheating.

Would I tell my husband? No way. I would look upon it as "what good will come of telling". Once you say it, you can't take it back. You can't unring that bell, so why do it in the first place??

I would take option one and work to strengthen my marriage and live up to my vows.

I would also take Maybee's advice and avoid the other person, sever the friendship with the couple and never ever be in the same room or social setting with the other person.

Ankur said...

We've seen some remarkable examples of honesty and self reflection in this thread.

Current count:

Option 1 = 6

Option 2 = 1 leaning

Option 3 = 1, temporarily.

Other = 2

Ankur said...

also DBQ - according to the article, whether you choose to believe their version or not - they did NOT sexually cheat. But they did admit their love for each other before telling their respective families (which I suppose is a form of cheating).

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

At least Forbes took the time to query the ex-spouses; Ridell's former husband is steamed.

http://blogs.forbes.com/jeffbercovici/2010/12/21/jilted-ex-blasts-ny-times-over-vows-story-revisionist-history/

Titus said...

The woman has a nice set of tits on her.

I bet he has a big cock as well.

That's hot.

Freeman Hunt said...

"We had no idea ya'll would be so offended!"

Pogo said...

She had a feature called "Families First".

Seriously??

I am awed.
Now that's chutzpah.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

also DBQ - according to the article, whether you choose to believe their version or not - they did NOT sexually cheat.


Yes, I know that. That is why I phrased my answer to include the hypothetical of not having physically cheated.

HOWEVER, being disloyal and indulging yourself in a fantasy of infatuation with someone other than your spouse is bordering on cheating if not outright cheating.

The fact that they indulged themselves and continued to meet after realizing the attraction shows them to be people of extremely low moral character, little self control, selfish and.....no I have no kind words for them.

Titus said...

If you are hot you are eligible to always keep you options open because something better may be just around the corner.

If your not than you don't have any options. Because you are not hot. Be thankful if you have anything...because you are not hot.

Hot is hot.

Freeman Hunt said...

Having "I love you, soul mate!" conversations with someone other than your spouse is clearly cheating.

Titus said...

I just realized that I have not seen one hot man since I have been to Wisconsin.

How depressing.

One time I was driving on some back road in New Hampshire and walking on the road, hitching a ride was this ripped hottie. I was with my husband so I couldn't give him a lift but man he was hot.

He was totally ripped, shirt off, abs for days. He looked a little dirty.

God he was fucking hot.

Pogo said...

I'm going to save that "doing a terrible thing honorably" schtick for later.

Man, that's some Grade A bullshit.

Titus said...

It wasn't totally a backwoods though.

It was by Lake Sunapee.

He looked like he just finished his "shift" somewhere, definitely non-exempt, and disheveled.

Now I am horny.

Freeman Hunt said...

What was the theme of her "Family Matters" segments?

"Family? F#$% 'em!"

"Family: Those people who stand between you and your bliss."

"I like to say that 'family' is another word for 'too many gosh darned obligations!'"

Whatta peach.

Pogo said...

I think she meant Family Antimatter.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Tell me the kids will be okay."

And she told him how awesome everything would be.

Bet she was usually getting down on her knees while she said that. You know, trying to be more convincing.

Penny said...

Some of you are so angry at this couple, that it's hard to imagine why you even participate at Althouse.

Both she and Meade are divorcees, yet you've either found forgiveness for their human "weaknesses", or you've decided not to think too long or hard about it because you like them...or maybe it serves your own personal circumstances, because you like coming here and participating?

Were you just pretending to be happy when they remarried, because I honestly don't recall any of you speaking out against this union at the time it was announced.

Freeman Hunt said...

Penny, we don't know anything about the details of their divorces. Do you think any of us has anything bad to say about the spouses who were left behind in the NYT story?

Trooper York said...

"Both she and Meade are divorcees, yet you've either found forgiveness for their human "weaknesses", or you've decided not to think too long or hard about it because you like them"

That's not fair!

Who said we like them.

Well I mean everybody likes Meade but seriously Penny, sharpen up.

Freeman Hunt said...

You know, that's a total slur on Meade and Althouse. Why would you compare them to a couple who got together while married to other people and then abandoned their families to marry each other?

Nothing alike. Not at all.

The Crack Emcee said...

Penny,

Were you just pretending to be happy when they remarried, because I honestly don't recall any of you speaking out against this union at the time it was announced.

I did - loudly - and still do (check my blog) including wondering how Meade's spouse feels seeing and reading about their current circumstances, if that's the case. They, too, don't seem too pleased being reminded of the others in their (past) life. Or that their vows weren't worth much when they made them the first time.

And - I want to make this clear - I haven't done it to antagonize them, but because the issues we're discussing now have always been obvious, making their calling it a "marriage" a charade of sorts.

Like this woman's husband said, they seem to have something to prove, but - whatever it is - it's only a cover for the reality of the situation. I mean, was Zsa Zsa Gabor's second marriage real? How about her 8th? Would you send gifts for her 9th?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Were you just pretending to be happy when they remarried, because I honestly don't recall any of you speaking out against this union at the time it was announced.



Without knowing the details of our Hostess and Host's personal divorces....and not really caring much either.... I don't think you can make a comparison to the people in the article who were cheating on their respective spouses WHILE still married.

We are not discussing divorce. The discussion is about cheating while married, breaking up each other's families. I believe that Althouse was a single divorcee for quite some time before getting married again. No comparison at all.

You can unwad your panties now.

MayBee said...

Didn't Althouse bring this up? Seems perfectly reasonable to talk about it here, Penny.

Jennifer said...

I don't know. This couple clearly left a lot of destruction in their wake. The fact that they chose to spotlight their story like this - former spouses e damned - says more about them then anything the Times could write. But, how much do children really benefit from an intact but unhappy home?

My only memory of emotion at the announcement of my parents' divorce was a sense of relief. But, I remember my much younger brother being devastated. And I know I was reenacting some of the unhealthy behavior patterns of my parents in the early years of my marriage. Thank god my husband helped me get past that. So in the end, who benefited more? Me, with more time in an intact family but bad relationship role modeling? Or my brother with emotional tough times but less formative years witnessing destructive relationship behavior? How do you even gauge that?

I certainly don't applaud this couple the way they seem to think they deserve. But I'm not inclined to assume that divorce is the very worst option for the kids.

Trooper York said...

I think this is way too personal and mean to bring the blogger lady and Meade into this discussion. If you want to slamn them pick on her hair color or his mustache. Or his hair color and her mustache.

But lets not get so personal.

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