Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Paddling in the Shallow End

Those of you who pop by from time to time will be aware of my distaste for those adultery blogs where the author takes the opportunity to publicly put the boot into their spouse.

I have grown used to reading lengthy justifications as to why certain bloggers are driven to spend occasional afternoons bouncing around on a hotel mattress with someone they met off the internet. Given that some spouses out there are sexless, joyless, control freaks, focused mainly on their work or the children, and with very different needs (they want to unwind with a cup of tea in front of Gardener's World, their partner wants to bounce around on a hotel mattress with someone they met off the internet and then post pictures of it on their blog) it is only to be expected that their hard-done-by partner should slope off for a bit of fun elsewhere.

(See, here I am taking the piss, but these "they made me do it, look, here's my tale of nobbing Nigel from Accounts" blogs are phenomenally popular. What's that all about? Is it the cyber equivalent of a soap opera, only with more flap shots?)

Desensitised as I am to these "I hate my spouse but I'll still spend their money/eat their cooking/wear the shirts they laundered/leave them with the kids while I'm out nobbing/give them an occasional shag" blog posts I was still stunned by the latest effort over at the Philosophy of Infidelity.

A light hearted jolly romp of a post about wishing your spouse would die.

I am somewhat comforted by the comments, which indicate that no, not everyone does think that bereavement would be the "easier" option for the family, actually, but it still ranks as a new low in adultery blogging. And that's saying something.


Anonymous said...

Will someone please tell me why they fucktards get married in the 1st place--I'm afraid I don't understand the lunacy of these idiots--but hey! if you wanna be a fuckwit far be it from me to deny you your right to bonk whom you please. But do you have to justify it under the aegis of philosophy? I mean like get fucking real fool! lol

love and hugs ;-)


Lynsey said...

I don't know about your reasons, but I share your disdain for those who choose infidelity. In my mind, a cheater is a cheater is a cheater. Someone who is willing to be dishonest and duplicitous in the arena of their (allegedly) most important relationship is likely to choose dishonesty in other situations. And I believe a very special circle of hell is reserved for those who finance their indiscretions with their spouse's money.

Jeez. What brought that on?

Helga Hansen said...

The interesting thing about that post is the voting. You're pissed off with T for "voicing" what many may think? Look at the results... at the last count 21 people admitted to having those thoughts - and only 9 said it was something they NEVER thought about.

Agreed it's a shitty thought, but for some, they may feel this would be their only way out. It's always easy to pass judgement until you find yourself in the same circumstance!!

Luka said...

Beau - don't get me wrong, I am no saint and have made my fair share of blunders and caused hurt to those I love in my time. That's how I know the value of respect and how much a careless word can wound.

Lynsey - You can always come here to express yourself. I have experienced infidelity from both sides of the fence, which is why I feel qualified to sit in such steely judgement :)

Helga - the voting just proves that there are at least 21 people out there who do not have enough brain cells to rub together to provide the necessary imagination to detect the flaws in the "things would be easier if my spouse died" concept.

I can accept that a badly beaten victim of spousal abuse might feel that the only option for escape from such a hellish situation might be the death of their abuser - but for the bored housewives and would-be lotharios that populate blogland? A little extreme and ill thought out, I feel.

Morpheus said...

Oh, this is a hard one.

I can fully understand and appreciate the absolutist "anyone who cheats is a shit" line taken by Lindsey above. Pragmatically, however, it's not always as simple as that. People marry, have children, make lives together and find after twenty years that something's missing, that they've changed from the people who said "I do". By then, however, it's not always possible or even ideal to seperate, even if it's desired.

The bottom line, for me, is respect, in all relationships. I am not interested in putting the cause of my cheating at the feet of my wife - everything I've done has been my decision, my responsibility. Fundamentally, we love each other, but there are some aspects of life that we have very different views of. It's a very selfish thing I do, I know, but the alternatives look bleak.

I once had lunch with a man who started out by telling me that he loved his wife, and then proceeded to regale me with tales of all his sexual adventures (which were legion). It was clear that he took great delight in the fact that his wife didn't really know what he was really like, and that he was probably only concerned with the effect discovery would have on him. Looking back, it was clear that anyone who showed so little respect for someone - the mother of his children, remember - who deserved so much would probably show just as much to anyone else he encountered, and this was subsequently shown to be the case. And, ultimately and paradoxically, such people are probably to be avoided in the context of an affair, when trust, honesty, loyalty and respect are just as important as in a marriage.

At the end of the day, if you really can't stand living with someone enough to start imagining them dead, isn't that a cue to start thinking it's time to set both them and yourself free?

A.B. said...

I believe respect and privacy are under appreciated at times. While I've often fantasized about taking a frying pan to my Mister's head, I can assure you it had nothing to do with an affair and more about the fact that he's a man.

Big difference.


Walker said...

Like i said over there, you have to be one cold hearted piece of work to want that and do you really want someone like that in your life after.

Luka said...

Morpheus - I have always considered you to be one of the more respectful adultery bloggers with regard to the way you approach the subject of your spouse online.

I agree, if you have got to the "it would be easier if they just died" stage of a relationship it may be better to walk away. Then again, it strikes me that those who express themselves in this particular way may not have the emotional maturity necessary to do so. After all "I wish you were dead" is most commonly heard from children, yelling it at their parents when they can't have their own way (and with just as little ability to think through the miserable consequences if this really were to happen.)Some people are apparently stuck at this stage of development.

Luka said...

A.B. - heh, well there is that aspect, true. We all have our "I could strangle you" moments, but, as you say, they are a different thing altogether!

Walker - I suppose the post in question bothers me so much as it is so unthinkingly callous.

As I have said before, I always work on the assumption that sooner or later "secret" blogs will be discovered. Bad enough to learn your partner has been posting your intimate details online, worse still to read of their sexual exploits while you thought they were away on a paperclip conference, but worst of all would be reading that they had thoughts of wishing you dead.


Biscuit said...

I tend to not believe every account I read. I think many are embellished. I think many are for attention. Detailed, erotic adventures get people's attention. They get turned on and they come back. Yes, it IS like a soap opera, but there's only so much of it I can take. If every blog post is an account of a sexual escapade, it gets old.

Baby said...

Oh So True!!! "Some people are apparently stuck at this stage of development."

"I wish he'd drop dead" thoughts always meant to me it was time to go to the attorney's for a good ole fashioned, ball busting, dissolution of marriage!

Helga Hansen said...

Yes, we all have "I could strangle you" moments... and then you wake up one morning, with your husband locked up in the nick because he did try to strangle you, and you foolishly decide not to press charges because you think he'll finally realise that it's over. He does nothing of the sort, and you're left having that momentary thoughts...

Freddy said...

I'm hesitant to question the consensus view here, particularly since it encompasses both Luka and Morpheus, but I'm going to anyway!

I'm pretty sure that this is not so rare as to be limited purely to those who read or write sex blogs.
Morbid feelings are all around us and were I so inclined I'm sure that freud or jung had something to say about them.

Many of us have wondered how our life would be if some other individual connected to us were no longer there. Some of us may even have had thoughts about how such a change might be brought about.

Similarly many married/attached people think about having an affair.

In reality, whilst most people dismiss the idea, some people act.

Happily, the ratio of thinkers to doers is lower in the case of murderous thoughts than it is in adulterous ones.

Freddy - not thinking about killing anyone, nor wishing them dead.

Luka said...

Biscuit - oh yes, I think a lot of dramatic licence is taken in many blogs. Which is fine, as long as it keeps things entertaining.

Baby - that's the healthy option, I am sure!

Helga - that's understandable and, as stated in a few previous comments, a sign to run, not walk, away from such a harmful relationship.

Freddy - always question the consensus, say I. You're quite right, we all imagine those "what if" scenarios. I don't think there is anyone who hasn't grown cold thinking about how they'd feel if they lost a loved one. Morbid thoughts are not uncommon or wrong, what I found so unpleasant was the concept of a spouse dying in the context of making an affair easier.

Morpheus said...

Freddy, I've never noticed that your reluctant to question my views in the past, but we'll let that pass.

The point is, if you don't want someone in your life, then there are alternatives to wanting them dead. And, as Luka says, if you choose not to take advantage of the various legal means - separate, divorce, etc - it's possibly unseemly to then maintain a blog that lays before the world all the failings of a spouse (without any right to reply, remember), while simultaneously taking advantage of all the benefits that spouse brings to the family. Especially so if those benefits actually facilitate the blogger's extra-curricular activites.

But I'll admit that I'm biased. I don't like seeing anyone being treated without the respect and loyalty that should be their due. However, I admit that others are quite entitled to point their moral compass in a different direction. I just think we should all bear in mind Luka's warning about how such situations are so often are uncovered by those so badly treated.

the Lazy Philosopher said...

Hello Luka. I don’t normally stop by here (cynicism not normally being to my taste) but we may have more in common than you think: a penchant for provocation. Knowing this, a friend suggested I may enjoy your post.

Sadly, I was disappointed. Your post is nothing short of a straw man.

The purpose was not to take delight in thoughts of a spouse coming to a sticky end, nor to suggest that any spouse, let alone my own, might deserve such a fate. Rather, it was to point out that many of us, usually only for a few weak moments, may occasionally imagine tragic ways of simplifying our complex and compromised lives.

I wanted to point this out and, just for a moment, make some of us recognise and consider those darks thoughts.

But then, I think you knew that didn’t you?

Is it a bad thing to think about and face up to our human weaknesses once in a while?

I must say that when I put up the post I did find myself thinking that anyone who chooses to throw rocks from the moral high ground might not be being entirely honest with themselves. I still take that view.

For the record I am certainly not trying to justify or glorify adultery on my blog. However, I do try to understand human weakness. The first step on the road to being a better person is to be honest with yourself.


Hosea said...

I think it is worth repeating that there is a difference between an idea crossing your mind, and that idea gratifying you. There is also a difference between momentarily imaging your spouse dead and needing a divorce.

The late comedian George Burns -- who was famous for his devoted long marriage to Gracie Allen -- was once asked by a reporter whether the two of them, in all those years, had ever considered divorce. His reply was immediate:

"Divorce? Never.
Murder? Frequently."

It was probably true, too, and yet they were well known for having a marriage that was abbout as good as it ever gets. As Titus says, it's about understanding weakness ... and about understanding that ALL situations are imperfect, so running away from one imperfect situation to try to find perfection elsewhere may be just foolish.

Luka said...

the Lazy Philosopher - hello! (Was the link to explain the straw man reference for the benefit of my readers or yours?)

I am heartened to read that the purpose was "not to take delight in thoughts of a spouse coming to a sticky end" and can therefore only apologise for entirely missing the sombre subtext in such comedy poll options as:

"I've imagined the police coming to tell me he/she died in a car accident but I felt guilty and cast the thought aside. If it happens I've made a mental note not to jump for joy until after they go."

My bad.

Luka said...

Hosea - hello! You are right. There is also a difference between momentarily imagining your spouse dead and momentarily imagining your spouse dead, blogging it and posting an accompanying hilarious comedy spouse death poll.

Just to clarify. It is the public nature of spousal disrespect on adultery blogs that has always bugged me. We are all imperfect, we all have dark thoughts, and the only moral highground I hold is that I do not make mine public in a manner that would be hurtful to my loved ones if and when they stumble across them.