February 16, 2023 - While celebrating Valentine’s Month this year, I was reminded by a friend who is always in love “that love is the most powerful energy in the universe.”
I agreed with his observation and said I believe its power is more keenly felt by romantics who have an acute susceptibility to amoritis and a vulnerability to pain because of a willingness to believe, feel, and get involved.
I mentioned my article about love for CFNet’s February 2020 Valentine edition where I concluded that we love with our brains and not with our hearts. To which my friend added: “a brain without heart is boredom, and a heart without brain is stupidity; brain and heart must go together in harmony for a good relationship to prosper.”
Thus with this conversation in mind, a fast-breaking news last Friday evening about a city mayor quitting because of his affair with a 31-year old staff got my full attention. The mayor is 68 and has been married for 45 years to a supportive and accomplished woman he loves. They have four wonderful children and apparently a happy marriage to stay together that long.
Sadly, the mayor apologized on public television for his “serious error of judgment” in starting an affair with the young woman. He said the two-year affair had ended and he had resigned in order to devote time to regain his wife and the family’s trust. Indeed a poignant and puzzling story of love in the time of COVID-19.
The news reports gave no personal details so I asked my friend who is always in love and “love experts” like him who shall all be nameless in this article for obvious reasons: Why do seemingly intelligent men, happily married to women they love, have extramarital affairs -- that inflict "the unkindest cut of all" on their wives -- if they have no intention of leaving their marriages in order to start a new life with another partner? As the King of Siam says: it's a puzzlement!
Their answers varied from boredom to excitement. They justified their beastly behaviour with excuses such as human frailty, passing fancy, weakness, male vanity, “the glorious experience of conquest,” hard-to-resist temptation, opportunity offered on a silver platter that was “hard to refuse without appearing less manly or impotent,” psychological and physical needs, romantic influence of Hollywood movies and romance novels, test of masculinity, and finally the duality in the nature of man ---angel and beast, flesh and spirit. Strangely, none of them mentioned commitment and affection, least of all love.
If the nature of a married man’s extramarital fancy is simply a temporary indulgence of self--- if all he needs is some excitement in his day-to-day drip of ordinary life--- wouldn’t it be easier to just go for a kraken roller coaster ride or watch a thrilling movie where the excitement would lasts longer than a fleeting climax and avoid inflicting pain on wives whose only fault was to marry a beast and believe in his vows of love and honour until death?
So on this year’s Valentine’s month, my wish is for married men with gleam in their eyes to first consider the pain their passing affair would cause the women they love, before indulging the selfish urges of their beastly side. Because such a pain is the bitterest and hardest to heal. Remember Bill and Hilary Clinton? Happy Valentine’s Month, lovers!