The more I have witnessed and become acquainted with the stories of couples, both married and unmarried, the more I am convinced that cheating is both an art and a science. Let me explain. Popular culture has done a great job at magnifying the notions of a great passion and the pursuit of the forbidden. As a matter of fact, many of the familiar stories of great passion tend to be intricately dove-tailed with some aspect of the forbidden. From the old tale of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, to Cinderella, to the very real story of King Edward VII who abdicated the British throne for love, the common thread seems to be that great love and passion are just outside the reach of the common man. In other words, if we want to experience that great passion that seduces us, then we’ve got to be willing to surmount any bridge or barrier to get there.
If we just listen to any number of the love songs of today’s popular culture, then we could easily become convinced that our very reason for being, is love, passion and don’t forget sex. These things represent the honey which we humans follow like bees. The barriers to our romantic and sexual happiness however, if we follow the trend of thought of Shakespeare, Hollywood and company, could be anything from a long-standing family feud, to class differences, to even a wedding ring. Which brings me to the subject of cheating as an art.
I am sure that if I were to carry out a poll, all of us would admit that the idea of us being cheated on in a marriage or romantic relationship, rubs us the wrong way. We just don’t like the idea of being taken for a ride. No matter what the casual sex proponents say, those of us in serious relationships want to believe in the promise of sexual exclusivity. Yes, the idea that my man only gets it on with me, as in ONLY gets it on with me. However, there is a whole other view which is being espoused today. It holds that passion must be pursued at all costs. The chase and capture theme of love-stories (boy running after girl, girl swooning and capitulating even against her better judgement) is a common enough theme for us to get the idea that it’s quite alright to go after what you want; regardless. Affairs in popular culture have therefore become artsy, romantic, melancholic, wistful and bittersweet. These are qualities that many a woman who is hooked on the romance novel or romantic comedy, is unable to resist.
So being armed with such a philosophy, why should anyone think that something as simple as a wedding ring, or marriage vows, or a serious commitment, or a promise, or pledge or just plain decency, would keep individuals out of each other’s hearts or underpants for that matter? The romanticized ideal about passion and hot, forbidden sex, has somehow grabbed hold of the psyche of many people out there searching for relationship utopia. Remember that song “Me and Mrs. Jones”, (we’ve got a thing going on)” or better yet Whitney Houston’s “I’m Saving All My love For You”?
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