Who's Responsible for a Love Triangle?
Adultery, unfortunately, touches a lot of our lives. My dad had a girlfriend while married to my mom when I was 8 and it destroyed our family for a while. To my parents' credit, they were able to get through it and eventually got back together — which is a rare ocurrence.
At a family wedding recently, I was shocked to find out why my older sister was in tears. Apparently, one of our Aunts, with a little help from the liquor, revealed that our grandmother (who helped raise us and lived with us when we were little) had an extra-marital affair while our grandfather was away fighting in World War II. So, my family is kind of dysfunctional, but everyone has their issues. This is evident by the amount of adultery in the news.
The other weekend when I was talking to my mom, I was surprised to hear her say that she thought the young lady who killed former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was responsible because she should have known better than to "run around with a married man." Granted my mom, given her history, is somewhat biased over who is at fault.
I disagreed. McNair was also responsible. He was nearly twice his mistress' age and he was married. When you get married, you make a promise to one person, and you're responsible to that person through thick and thin. While no one deserves to die for adultery, the married person is equally respobnsible or even more responsible for the situation.
What about Governor Mark Sanford who traveled to Argentina to be with his lover over Father's Day weekend? And the latest: Louiseville basketball coach Rick Pitino recently admitted to an extra marital affair. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, there were children involved in both incidents.
So, who is most responsible in a love triangle that involves a married couple. One can make an argument for all three:
The Other Man/Woman - Shouldn't the person who is "home-wrecking" have respect for someone's marriage beyond their own selfish needs and walk away from the situation before they do something that will cause pain?
The Married Person Involved In The Affair - Even though it's natural to be attracted to others while you're married, you've made a commitment and a promise to your spouse. You need to know yourself well before making getting married. Are you ready? Are you going to be a good spouse?
The Spouse Who Was Cheated On - Maybe it's the person who works too late, lets the spark die, or doesn't put enough energy into the marriage. If someone is not working on keeping something alive, they may drive their spouse away from them, and into an affair.
Looking at the three parties, my ranking of who is most responsible to least responsible is:
The Married Person In The Affair
- They must go to their spouse and let them know they are feeling distant/looking around
- They must say "no" to temptation while married
- They must initiate separation/divorce discussion if they see that the marriage is not working before they start having affairs
The Other Man/Woman
- Respect marriage, and family
- Do not tempt a married person
The Spouse Who Was Cheated On
- Work hard to make sure they do everything they can to keep the partnership lively and strong.
In the end, there responsibility falls to all three in a love triangle, and it's weighted differently in different situations. Usually, one person in the marriage is weak, and has not learned about themselves before getting married. There is a certain level of responsibility necessary before marriage as well. I wonder why rock stars, athletes, and powerful people get married thinking they can have the gift of married life with family while maintaining their wild life at the same time. They should get everything out of their systems before settling down. This feeling of inviniciblity makes them think they can get away with adultery even though they are very much in the public eye.
Who do you think has the most responsibility in a love triangle, and what are your thoughts on avoiding adultery in marriage? Do you agree that a lot of responsibility is placed on people before they actually make the decision to get married, in addition to the actual marriage?
How to Cope in a Love Triangle: The Smart Woman's Guide
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