A Fair Affair?

“Let’s have a fair affair, je t’aime my love, oh yeah” ~ Misty Oldland

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Affair (n): an intense amorous relationship, usually of short duration

 

Ok, before I get going let’s make it clear that within this post I am using the word ‘affair’ to define an amorous relationship between two people when at least one of them is involved with somebody else. Yes, there are other definitions. But I’m not writing about them today.

I will also hold my hand up to not having always been whiter than white in some of my relationships. Therefore this post is not meant to be judgemental, mainly observational with a strong nudge towards thought and questioning at the end. If anyone does think I’m having a go then please leave a comment or drop me an email.

So, “a fair affair”. It’s an oxymoron. It isn’t possible to have a ‘fair’ affair. The very nature of an affair involves lying, deceit, actions that fly in the face of fairness.

Affairs did not start happening because of the internet. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, back in the Stone Age, one caveman probably snuck off from the hunt to visit someone else’s cave (possibly a euphemism). Through the ages, the importance of sexual fidelity has waxed and waned. Produce a legitimate heir, maybe a back-up one just in case then, so long as you’re discreet, off you go!

However it’s 2012. I don’t know how many of us are on the internet. Figures published today say that there are 10 million active users of Twitter in the UK, out of 140 million users worldwide (other social media sites are available) but it’s pretty clear that the escalation of the internet usage and social media have hugely increased the potential to have an illicit liaison or three.

Recently I thought two people I follow on Twitter were having an affair. One is single, the other married with children. I have subsequently found out I was wrong in part. The married one is having an affair, just not with who I thought, and is sending at times vile tweets about their domestic situation coupled with the cryptic, wistful “I wish you were here” style of tweets. Of course, it is none of my business but it makes me sad; sad they are so scathing about their partner and also sad that they are using Twitter as a means to fuel their flirtation.

I see a lot of those kind of tweets. I’m sure you do too. The half-veiled comments, the little in-jokes, the banter. Anyone who has ever worked in an office where two people are getting involved will have seen this time and time again. Now a bit of banter is fine. Healthy, probably. But there is a line. And when it slips over to emotionally engaging with a person when you are already attached I think that line is crossed. And as for the physical? However you dress it up, you are cheating on the person you profess to love. If you’re married then you’re likely cheating on the person you promised to “love, honour and obey”. That “with my body I thee worship” line? Yeah, think about it. Along with “forsaking all others”. It means no having it off with anyone else. Obviously other and alternative vows are used too but I’ve never been to any kind of marriage service that didn’t have fidelity as one of the central themes.

Now I have good cause to know affairs, emotional and physical, happen for all sorts of reasons; loneliness, emotional cruelty, neglect. Also because people are greedy, selfish, promiscuous, the list goes on. It’s another of my firmly held beliefs that ultimately they happen because people are either trying to fill a void or ignore a problem. Either way these actions hurt people. They hurt friends, they hurt family, they hurt loved ones, they hurt children. I also believe that acting in a lying and deceitful manner, especially if you think it’s justified, is incredibly damaging to the self.

I’ve linked to this before but it’s appropriate and well-written so here is a great post by @nosweetnothings. If you think you’re drifting into unsafe waters then have a read. If you think what you are doing is just a bit of fun then think how you would feel if you found your other half was engaging in such behaviour behind your back. And if you are deep into something then please have a look at your reasons. Chances are everyone in the situation deserves better.

I really am interested in your thoughts on this so please drop me a line or two in a comment box-shaped postcard. Thank you.

 

Princess

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Truth

“I only speak the truth. I only speak the truth. I only speak the truth.” ~ Moulin Rouge

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Truth (n): the quality of being true, genuine, or factual

 

I don’t only speak the truth. Does anyone? What on earth would the world be like if we all did?! It would either be some very extreme version of ‘If you haven’t anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all’ with no-one speaking or we’d all probably be feeling insulted by each other and falling out like the Vesuvius of all domestic rows.

Truth is subjective. The American Declaration of Independence includes the words “We hold these truths to be self evident.” Well yes, nice idea, but it doesn’t always work in practise. If you are a witness at court you swear or affirm to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”  I like that. Is supposed to mean no lies by omission and that you tell all you know on something. But just because it is truth, that doesn’t mean it’s fact. Just because I believe something to be true doesn’t mean that it is. Yet it is still true to me. Equally, someone else could believe the exact opposite. It would be as true to them as it is to me. And, on top of all that, when it came to fact, we could both be wrong.

For example, I know someone who thought they were about to get a gun pulled on them. He got out of the situation unscathed, thankfully. When the guy was nicked an hour or so later he was found in possession of a sunglasses case. My mate says gun. He says sunglasses case. Both believe what they are saying true. Subsequent search of a house reveals a gun. What was the guy carrying then? As fact it will never be proved.

Personally, I have an interesting relationship with the truth. I am mostly honest and mostly open. However if I don’t want someone to know something I will split the truth on the finest of hairs. My personal area of obfuscation is generally my finances. I am a feckless spendthrift who is, unsurprisingly, in debt. My inability at times to manage my finances embarrasses me, hence I keep it well hidden. This has been on the forefront of the mind recently due to the fact I have been talking money with a good friend. The temptation to fudge it was strong but ultimately, what would be the point? This friend was offering to help. The least I could do was honour their kindness by being truthful.

Of course, sometimes not being truthful is good and done for justifiable reasons. Father Christmas, anyone? The Tooth Fairy? Children get lied to a lot. It’s to amuse them and to protect them. I’m not saying it’s always right to do but it is understandable. Sadly, children get lied to over other adult stuff. “Yes, I was injured at work/I fell over” as opposed to the truth “Your father/mother hit me”. Understandable to lie but a horrible atmosphere to be in. And lying begets more lying. I’m friends with people who grew up in such atmospheres and they are truly damaged by it. They don’t mean to lie but their notion of telling the truth is tainted by what they learnt at a very young age. Knowing this, let’s just say with some of my friends, I don’t believe what they say about some situations until it is verified by a third party.

I don’t know what the answer is in those and many other situations. I do believe, and have for years, that honesty is the best policy. After the last 6 months I believe it more than ever. Yet I’m hypocritical enough to lie or deceive myself when it suits me. And I doubt that will ever change.

So what about you guys? Truth-sayers, deceivers, obfuscators? Answer, truthful or otherwise, in a comment box-shaped postcard, please.

 

Princess