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Single +1

Have you ever cheated? Ever thought about it? And what constitutes “cheating” anyway? What does it mean when you flirt with your co worker, check out the person in front of you in line at the grocery store or hug a member of the opposite sex a half second longer than necessary? With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce, I’m betting more often than not that there are more people in involved in the crumbling marriage than just the two that said “I do”. Which makes me wonder…At what point does innocent flirting cross the line and turn into a full blown affair?

I made the terrible mistake of going to Wal-Mart this past Sunday afternoon, the day before Valentines’s Day. The place was packed. Balloons were strung from what seemed like every possible post, offensively large teddy bears were overflowing from numerous bins and you could forget about even trying to maneuver your cart down the card aisle. I grabbed my emergency supply of cookie dough and quickly made my way to the check out line. So there I was, pretending to mind my own business while making a mental note to never discuss my personal matters on a cell phone in a crowded area,  when I noticed him. Standing a few feet in front of me was a man. He was your typical run of the mill guy whom I doubt often gets a second look. He was average height, average weight and beginning to show slight signs of male pattern baldness; just an ordinary guy with a ring on his finger. (I can spot the married ones a mile away. It’s a gift.) But in his hands were two sets of everything: two bouquets of flowers, two balloons, two boxes of chocolate and, upon closer inspection, two of the exact same card declaring his profound and undying devotion to the love (loves?) of his life. Huh. Well lookey there. I’m sure they were for his wife and his mother. Right? Insert your own conclusion here.

With modern technology it’s easier than ever to have an affair. From Facebook to ashleymadison.com, a website that caters specifically to married people wanting to cheat, all it takes is a click of a mouse to start the downward spiral. Say you find an old high school sweetheart on Facebook. You start to catch up with your long lost love and before you know it, you’ve got the butterflies in your stomach that you had when you were 16. The butterflies your spouse hasn’t made you feel in months, and sometimes, years. How do you handle it? Do you continue to not so innocently flirt or do you turn it into something more? End it immediately or follow your heart (or your libido) and see where it leads? I guess it depends on how much you’re willing to risk. One of my dearest friends is dealing with a husband who had an affair. Not only did he choose to cheat, he had a month’s long affair with their neighbor and supposedly, one of her closest friends. And all it took to start the situation was a text message with a picture attached. One dirty little message from a conniving woman and the conscience decision of both parties set the path for my friend’s marriage.

I would love to be able to say that I am completely innocent. That the sparkle of my halo is blinding and I have never been involved in a situation where there was a third party involved. But I can’t say that. I fell for a married man. Married for ten years, he and his wife had legally separated. And while it was never physical between us, mentally and emotionally I connected to this man in ways that I never thought possible. And I would like to think he felt the same. Yet in the end that wasn’t enough. He went back to his wife and they are seemingly well one their way to being one big happy family. Isn’t that how it always works? We all know that woman who has had an affair with a “happily” married man. And we all also know that married men never leave their wives for the mistress. It just doesn’t happen. Tiger Woods, anyone?

I am obviously not a relationship expert and by no stretch of the imagination am I a marriage expert. But there are a few things that I know to be true. I know marriage is hard. And I know that while you can present a strong front to the outside world, there can be cracks in a marriage that are just big enough for another person to slip through. In the hustle and bustle of the hectic every day (work, kids, bills, etc) people forget to really see and appreciate the person down there in the trenches with them. And when you’re not looking, your partner can become your roommate instead of your lover. When the right man comes along I can only hope that we take that extra time to truly appreciate each other. Because for me, the idea of spending an hour in some seedy hotel room with a stranger isn’t anywhere near as appealing as spending the night in my own bed with someone who truly loves me. And just for safe measures, we’ll have a joint Facebook account.

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10 comments

  1. Brandy

    Ever think that it is YOU and not the “average Joe”? Good luck with that joint Facebook account.

    • The "Other Woman"

      It actually was 5 months, not one. Can you edit your column now that its already printed? Hmmmmm….

  2. Jim

    Somebody loves that “run of the mill guy” with a ring on his finger. You sure were checking him out and giving him a second look!

  3. Tired of the trash...

    How tacky of you to publish an article like this. We live in Columbus, MS where everyone knows everyone else or at least someone they are related too. Did you ever stop to think that even though you dont call names that people are going to think maybe you are talking about them? Or someone they know? And If I were this “friend” of yours I sure as hell wouldn’t want you airing my husbands dirty laundry in your pitiful little column. I usually dont read your crap but someone brought it to my attention this week. Hopefully The Packet will put an end to your ridiculousness before to long, I really hate I wasted 2 minutes of my life reading this article and leaving this message!

  4. Choices

    I would just like to say that perhaps some people take everything said out of context….. who said that everything was meant to be 100% true? It’s a column people, an opinion column……I personally read it because I find it entertaining. I don’t sit around and wonder who the ‘people’ are, because in all actuality it may be absolutely no one and if it is……. who cares.

    So, if you find yourself wondering ‘who’ is being talked about, or if you do not like the column then it’s as simple as this……. #1) Find yourself a hobby, because apparently you have nothing better to do then to go through a checklist of people to try to assume you know who is supposedly being talked about, and #2) DO NOT READ IT……. Honestly, there really is not point to posting your ignorant comments on the website, because the truth of the matter is you don’t have to read it. So congrats on having your very own personal opinion…… find someone to hire you and you can write your own column too……

  5. Erin

    I read this column once by chance, and every other time by choice. It cracks me up and I love it. And I think anyone that takes offense to it or seems mildly concerned should get over it. Keep writing like you do. It certainly keeps me entertained.

  6. Living in the 21st Century

    Love Love love this column,,,, entertaining!! and true!! and,, other woman,,, you oughta be ashamed!!!

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