1. I believe in traditional values and in the sanctity of marriage.  I don’t condone screwing around in any way, shape, or form.

2. Cheating was not the reason my marriage broke up. I know, speaking of and for myself,  I never even looked at another man until my marriage was over, before I told Oren it was over, and until I had asked him about 50 times  to leave the house.

Do you remember this scene from when Harry met Sally:

Harry Burns: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally Albright: Why not?
Harry Burns: What I’m saying is – and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form – is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Sally Albright: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
Harry Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: You only think you do.
Sally Albright: You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?
Harry Burns: No, what I’m saying is they all WANT to have sex with you.
Sally Albright: They do not.
Harry Burns: Do too.
Sally Albright: They do not.
Harry Burns: Do too.
Sally Albright: How do you know?
Harry Burns: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally Albright: So, you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry Burns: No. You pretty much want to nail ’em too.
Sally Albright: What if THEY don’t want to have sex with YOU?
Harry Burns: Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.

I have a good friend I’ve known him for 20 years, we worked together in another life that didn’t involve packets.  I’ve known him since before he was married.  I have to say, I always consider him a good, and  completely and utterly plutonic, friend.   On my side there was never any kind of attraction, he was my buddy,  the accountant.

About 10 years ago, we lost touch. Then about 3 years ago he found me on FB and we reconnected virtually.  We met for coffee once when he had business in Atidim, but besides that we’d touch base every now and again to check in.

About a year ago the accountant really opened up about how things were going or weren’t going at home. He had problems, like all of us.  You know the spiel, the wife doesn’t understand him, he’s a different person, he feels like a cash machine, blah blah. I told him to go see somebody, together or alone, but get some help. Figure it out.

Now, I am a big believer in the belief that unless somebody is a pathological cheater,  people cheat because there’s something wrong in the marriage. Cheating is not going to fix what’s wrong, it’s just going to magnify the problems.

Fix the problem, if the problem can’t be fixed, cut your losses.  And if you still want to cheat, you have to be prepared for the fallout.

I also don’t think that when a partner cheats it is the worse thing that can happen in a marriage.  I think whatever caused the problems, and not fixing the real issue is far worse.  But everybody works within the framework they live in, so what do I know.

About 4 months ago during a check in session to see how he was,  the accountant suggested that he stop by some night when the ninjas were at their dad’s.  I was pretty speechless.  My immediate thought was that he had mixed up his chat sessions. I mean, really, really?

I kind of let the comment go and didn’t address it.  I said I had a meeting and had to go. We didn’t speak to him for about 2 weeks, I couldn’t, I just really felt sick to my stomach.

The next time we spoke, he suggested it again.  I couldn’t rack it up to a mistake.  I decided to address the issue. I said in no uncertain terms, I was not going to have any part in his marital problems.  He has problems, he needs to fix those problems or get out. But he is my friend, I try to support him in any way I can, but not like that. His wife (who I know) deserves better. I deserve better.

Then he said, “well you must have know that I always wanted to be with you. I mean you’re the kind of woman every man wants to be with at least once”.   I wanted to puke. I had been demoted from old friend to sexual play thing, with apparently no morals/standards in one  5 minute conversation. Disgusted does not even begin to describe how I felt.

Nothing is cut and dry, I know people who said they would never cheat, and did. I know people who couldn’t keep their pants up before being marriage, and have toed the line devoted to their spouse.

People make mistakes and regret them. Some people fall out of love with their partners and into love with somebody else.  Some people cheat cause that’s how they’re programmed.  I don’t know,  I am not going to judge anybody for anything. That’s for G-d to do.  But the accountant made me sad, cause I lost a friend.

I would like to think the world is different from the way Harry described it, but I fear it’s not.  Too bad, cause I know great guys I consider friends.