I can never remember the obviously boring conversation leading up to thought provoking dialogue that sticks in my mind or conjures up a myriad of emotions usually ranging somewhere between fascination and annoyance.
Close to a year ago I had a conversation with a loved one that proved to be no different from that of what I just described. For the life of me I can’t seem to recall what we were babbling about – English literature, world poverty, going green? But I can remember the month, the faded red Urban Outfitters blazer I had on (super cute by the way), and where we were when she nonchalantly said that if a mate can leave a relationship after one instance of infidelity then the love shared between the two must not be “true love.” That statement left me wondering if the love between my husband and I is a sham or if I’m just a mean, immature, prideful person because I can’t see myself writing off his indiscretion as a free pass.
Not to say that she would easily forgive and forget his infidelity, but her level of forgiveness supersedes that of mines. I am a true lioness and although I should probably feel ashamed to admit it, I am prideful and don’t care for the taste of betrayal and choke on the bitterness of disrespect.
After almost a year of mulling her theory on infidelity and forgiveness, I found myself in a laugh out loud conversation with another friend – this one a male – discussing ??? (Blank stare, sound of grass hoppers.) We somehow landed on the topic of marriage and infidelity and how we presume we would react if in the face of such a tragedy. Of course I shared with him my loved ones’ theory and requested his opinion.
His opinion: “I don’t think that love has anything to do with it.” Well then. That single sentence response in and of itself shed new life on the theory and took my mind further from the mind monotony of “say what now?” I found myself in after the theory first reared its head. Oh, but he wasn’t done. He elaborated on his feelings by saying – quite matter-of-factly- that the act of infidelity is less about love and more about the unfaithful partner seeking out what he or she is missing, be it sex, intimacy, or conversation. (But I’ll save that for another day.) He feels like to forgive betrayal is not because you truly love, because according to him, love isn’t a factor in the process of forgiving. Instead it is because the one betrayed simply surveys his/her options: divorce, separation, can of whoop a**, jail time, forgiveness, and makes a choice. Well then?
To the left with both the theory and the response to the theory. Let’s suffice it to say that both of them may be right if that’s how they believe they’d react to the infidelity of a partner. Let’s also suffice it to say that infidelity and how one may react is a boxed surprise that can only be unwrapped for the special occasion.
For those of you who may have been faced with what I consider the difficult task of forgiving an unfaithful partner, what does love have to do with it?