January 10, 2006

She Lost Faith

A friend confided to me that she's having an affair. She's been married for 25 years, has three kids and presently having an affair with a divorced guy. She didn't tell me so I can advise her. She told me just to get it out of her chest.

I was dumbstruck. Not by the confession, but by the fact that she told me - THE ADMISSION. With a confession, you state the facts. With an admission, you admit doing the facts.

Everyone knows at work. It was gossiped about many times.

The thing is, I feel sorry for her. Here's a woman who, when you see her, is an unlikely person to have an affair, yet she is. Out of loneliness? Growing apart from her husband?

She wants her kids with her. She's looking up divorce, wants to know what her options are. But her husband won't let her. So now they're all living under one roof in misery. She wants to leave. She knows she's done something socially unacceptable, but her husband won't let her. If one knows the error of one's ways and wants to rectify the error, what sort of corrections are allowed? To stay in the marriage? To divorce? To separate unofficially?

A part of me applauds her for going after what she wants. In a society that frowns upon every single thing it doesn't approve, knowing she openly defied it makes me want to cheer for her. Yet, at the same time, it wouldn't help her to know that there's this part of me that feels proud of her. Of course she admitted the initial hesitation, how they didn't plan to fall in love. I was inclined to say, "There are always moments to decide. You just decided differently."

I imagine the loneliness she must've felt in a loveless marriage that made her seek solace in the arms of another man. How and under what circumstances did it get to that point? When did they stop talking? Why didn't she tell him when it started? Why did she give up?

I know I won't ask her those questions. I only know she really needs to talk about it.

How can she not fall in love with the divorced guy? He e-mails her everyday, sends flowers and calls her. Anybody who hasn't had any speck of attention from their husband would surely fall for that. She wants to do the right thing, but what's the right thing?

It's easy to be judgmental. What sort of a woman is she? What kind of a role model for her daughter? Tell her to stop the relationship pronto. Tell her she'll burn in hell for being an adulteress.

But that doesn't answer or solve anything.