I met someone a few months ago, John (because everyone’s name is John). He told me that he regularly has affairs, but he had no plans to leave his wife and no plans to tell her about his incessant need to sleep with other women. He explained that “the main goal is sex. The emotional stuff I share with the person I love, my wife.” He also told me that he has rules. He only has affairs with married women who aren’t interested in ending their marriages, and he ends all of his affairs within a few months, and doesn’t get attached.
I asked if he thought she would leave him if she ever found out. He said “I don’t know… and I don’t plan on finding out.”
John has had several affairs over the years, but he claims the number of affairs he has had is irrelevant, because they don’t mean anything substantive. His “one” is his wife. He’s married to her, for better or for worse. He told me that the affairs mean nothing, so there is no reason to hurt his wife by telling her about them. After all… what she doesn’t know, can’t hurt her… and he doesn’t want her to leave him.
I’ll be honest… his type? It’s high on my list of nightmares. I believe in singular marriage. Monogamous. One person only. Of course, I am not married so I definitely do not understand the complexities of marriage, children, sharing life, and all that stuff… but I can only hope that I never get married to someone like John. There is something so awful about lying to someone so they won’t leave you. It is almost like trapping someone by deceit. I would want the option of making the decision to leave or stay if my spouse felt the need to cheat and sleep around… I wouldn’t want to feel like my husband lied to me to trick me into staying with him. It’s just…. psychologically messed up.
What do you think? What is your idea of monogamy?