Doing the right thing is honorable, but we just don’t. Sometimes, but not sometimes.
February 23, 2021 Journal Entry
What strikes me about an affair, not the person you’re having the affair with so much, but the actual affair, is that it becomes the center of your existence. It’s everything you think of, it’s everything you exalt above everything else in your life.
You may very well not be I love with the person, in fact, it is unusual if you are. That’s not what affairs are about. Affairs are about desperation, and a willingness to do anything to alleviate the pain inside. They’re about the deliberate subjugation of everything that is good and right and important and meaningful in life.
You may not think about the affair all the time, but you think about the affair more often than you think about anything else. You may ruminate on just the fantastical elements, the things you’ve manufactured in your mind that aren’t real at all. And deep down, you know the magical things are not real, but it’s an affair, so you never have to look at your lover too closely. And you never have to look at yourself at all. You can put all that out of your mind and just live in the Bliss.
You give yourself permission to live in the Bliss, because you know, deep down, affairs always end. Always. The Bliss is perishable, like spoiling rotting fruit. The deep down knowing of that always impending imminent end is the foundation upon which all your other emotions rest.
So, you do everything you can to build the intensity, to grasp and clasp those feelings so tight they wrap into you. Your emotions grow so big, they may consume you. They may eat you up. They may destroy you.
An affair is a house built on sand. It may be swept away in a moment, in the very next moment. Or maybe next week. Or maybe next month. But inevitably, it will all be swept away. Eliminated. Obliterated. Affairs always end. Most often badly. And even when you're in it, deep deep in it, you always know the end is coming.
But while you’re immersed, the affair is always front and center in your mind.
You grasp at justifications just beyond reach, desperate for an understanding that eludes, because it doesn't exist. You may feel regret. You may feel guilt. You may feel small. You may feel unloved, worthless, ugly, rejected, abandoned.
You vacillate between hating yourself and feeling justified. That’s the easiest way to make it all OK. To think you deserve to be doing this awful destructive thing you’re doing. The reason why doesn’t really matter. It’s how you fool yourself into somehow thinking you have a right.
Affairs are easy to justify. Because relationships are really really hard. Hell, I’ve never had a successful one. Affairs are just as easy for me, even easier for me, and I can justify them because I’m not the one that’s cheating. But actually, I’m cheating myself. I’m robbing myself of the opportunity for something good and right and enduring and fulfilling with someone worthy of my love and commitment.
I choose not to see it when I’m in it. I pretend I deserve to be doing this awful destructive thing I’m doing. I don’t want to be alone, so I talk myself into believing I have no other option. It’s easy to live in that lie.
Feelings are real, but they can’t be trusted. Doing the right thing is honorable, but we just don’t. Sometimes, but not sometimes.
Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash