Infidelity is inexcusable

Brittany Bradley

I understand in this age of whizzing deadlines, 24-hour businesses and instantaneous satisfaction, commitment itself has developed into a different animal.

Go ahead, call me antiquated, old-fashioned or a prude; I’ll support a person’s right to make terrible decisions under the flag of lust and sexual glory, but marriage is where I draw my line.

It isn’t a wild fantasy to expect others to respect a marital commitment. It’s a matter of ethics, decency and character.

We’ve long past the days of believing the picture window scenario painted by the Cleaver’s and the Brady’s or the misconception of “Boy Meets World” and the Matthews’. That ship sailed long ago.

We all know marriage isn’t a perfect institution, it’s rough and messy. It isn’t all roses and “Hi, honey. How was your day?”

The bottom line is work, effort, sweat and tears means something. And it should.

If you’re single and a married individual wants to start a relationship, have enough self-respect and self-worth to wait for the other relationship to end. If the prospect of being with that person is so appealing you’re willing to cause pain and disrupt a life, you can’t tell me they aren’t worth the wait for a few papers to be filed.

Relationships are difficult enough to maintain in even the best of circumstances. But trying to start a relationship on top of an already unstable platform is setting yourself up for failure. Even if the prospective interaction is purely sexual.

Unless the marriage is over and legally sealed, it’s disrespectful and reckless to impose.

My grandfather always told me “If someone is willing to cheat on their spouse with you, they’re just as willing to cheat on you with someone else.” You have to believe you’re worth more than half of someone’s attention and affection.

If the married party really cared about you, they wouldn’t drag their feet in getting closure for you both, and they wouldn’t ask you to settle for less than everything they can offer you.

I understand the excitement and taboo attached to being involved with someone off-limits. It may feel like sneaking around adds to the adventure and what may seem like romance, but the reality isn’t romantic – far from it. The reality of infidelity in a marriage is it’s painful, damaging and cruel.

If you’re the married party and you’re unhappy, have enough courage and respect to end the relationship before looking elsewhere. Even if the individual you’re married to doesn’t have the decency to show you the same courtesy.

I don’t care if your significant other is a terrible human being; you made the commitment, keep your word.

Maybe it’s because I like to believe at some point in life I expect to give myself over to the idea of commitment in its entirety. That I’ll find someone with enough courage and character to forsake a life of selfish pleasure and philandering and devote themselves to building something more substantial.

Then there is also the realization if I am going to take the leap into martial misery, I will only squeeze into a size 2 dress and swear loyalty once.

People who are married should be off-limits sexually to the single masses. The root of the idea being if you’ve made the commitment, even if the ship is sinking the captain and co-captain stay on board. But avoiding infidelity has more to do with self-respect than honor.

It’s only fair to respect the connection and commitment of a relationship, if you expect others to respect the relationship you have devoted your own efforts to.

Brittany Bradley can be reached at [email protected]