by Sherry Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org
In December, one Pinings column was about a woman who found out about an affair going on between a friend of hers and a neighbor. The writer didnít know what to do, but felt as if she was stuck between a rock and hard place, avoiding the wife who was being cheated on and angry with the cheating husband. She also said the couple had a difficult marriage and she wasnít sure they should even be together.
This letter came to me from a reader regarding that column:
Itís been a long time since I was in the laundry room & someone thought I was Dear Abby and confided in me some deep dark secret such as an affair!! But Iíll give it a try. How About MYOB!! This must be a classy lady who confides in a neighbor thatís sheís shedding her underwear with a married man ó classy enough so I question her motives and veracity. Why is it that you women think God appointed you to go around spreading the ďtruthĒ about who is playing pattycake with whomever, be it true or false?
The writer goes on to say: Why is it that women get some perverted pleasure in causing emotional pain to someone else ó especially to other women? Hereís my advice ó Get a Life. Unless Classy is bunking in with your main squeeze itís not your problem. Itís not your business. What she needs to tell Classy is to find another ear to bend about her affair ó and by the way, tell her sheís a big-mouth slut.
The letter is signed Sixty & Wiser
For those who didnít read my response, here it is:
ďIf it were up to me, Iíd tell the husband what I know and tell him to fish or cut bait. In other words, tell him to end the affair, end the marriage or ífess up Öbut you arenít going to keep this to yourself forever. If you tell the wife, she may cop a resentment against you rather than him. Iím not sure why things work this way, but they do, and I know because Iíve done it.Ē
Hereís why I wrote what I wrote: If Iím dating you and you withhold information Öabout being unemployed, being ill, having children, being in debt, that you used to be a different gender, etc., you arenít giving me the information I need to make an informed decision about whether I want to continue to date you. That, of course, is all information that comes out through the dating process, over a period of time. In a long-term relationship, in this case marriage, being honest is crucial to the health of the relationship. Honesty isnít suspended at the altar. If Iím married to you and you neglect to tell me about something important, oh, like an affair, you compromise me in many ways: my health, my future, my well-being, etc. I know you all get that. And I know that when people have affairs, they arenít thinking about all of those things that are compromised.
I disagree that women, in general, receive pleasure in causing emotional pain to others. I know some people make decisions that they later regret. But I also think that people are reluctant to tell the truth for fear of sounding judgmental. I hear this all the time, ďItís not for me to judge.Ē I think itís okay ó and perhaps our role as friends ó to speak up sometimes when we see something happening that may lead to catastrophe, crisis or harm. Who could possibly get pleasure from that? For me, I feel horrible when my friends suffer. And my close friends know that Iíd rather know the truth, even if it hurts, than have someone blowing smoke up my skirt..
Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers at email@example.com