Filling out the online premarital questionnaire a few months ago I came to the true-or-false question: “If I learned my spouse was cheating on me that would be automatic grounds for ending the marriage.” I checked “false.” That was an intellectual response. I knew that at some point I would be sitting in front of a priest and that the “correct” answer to that question is that I would work with my spouse to try to heal the marriage. And emotionally I probably even wanted to believe that that’s what I would do in the midst of such a clusterfuck.
But watching Silda Wall Spitzer yesterday following the path to the penance podium trod by Hillary Clinton, Wendy Vitter, Dina McGreevey, and Suzanne Craig, I thought, “Not a chance.” Maybe I’d be willing to work on the relationship, but on Day 1 of the news cycle? That dude would be standing before the microphones alone. All you, pal. In addition to the sheer agony of having your marriage fall apart publicly, by standing there, you’re opened to cruel “why did he do it?” scrutiny. Your husband bangs a hooker/intern/dude and suddenly you’ve got bloggers debating your relative hotness v. homliness and the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan analyzing the color of your suit.
Last night, I informed my fiance what I would do if he ever put me in that position. He shared his estimation of what he would do if the situation were reversed. Our violence-based reciprocity agreement signed off on verbally, we sat and had some dinner.