The other night over beers my closest friend revealed a secret to me. He has been cheeating on his wife for the last few months.
I know it was especially tough for him to tell me because of how we have defined our relationship. We hold eachother accountable. We both have the same libertarian-ish attitudes toward life. When I mess up he lets me know it, when he does something dumb I return the favor.
Constantly we talk about being men of integrity, men who would set a good example for society, and men who would try our best to be pillars for our family and the community – especially since we didn’t have that type of example for ourselves growing up. We have discussed, specifically, the value of being faithful to our family and wives – all the while he agreed whole-heartedly. Yet I find out he was being a hypocrite.
Obviously the situation is much more complicated than that. Their marriage was far from perfect, but there is no excuse for his behavior. There were other options. Worse still – he has two children.
He asked me for advice and I told him to quit the whole thing “cold turkey”. I was disappointed, but haven’t ridiculed him for his actions. There is no need to – he knows exactly where I stand. We had a long talk about ways to improve his relationship – which he has implemented over the last few weeks. It seems like things between them are on the right path.
The worst thing, for me, about this whole situation isn’t what he did. It’s that his folly really brings to the forefront the flawed nature of men. If he can mistep – my closest companion – then there is no question that anyone can. We hold eachother to the highest standard, period. So now it doesn’t surprise me when I hear of a President, a celebrity, or any other man in a position of power who does the same thing.
People make mistakes – should that define them? No. If people make the same mistake over and over again – that’s insanity by definition. I still hold my friend to the highest standard possible, but honestly it will be a while before I can learn to trust and count on him as much as I did before. I’m not perfect, not even close, but the whole situation is an interesting insight into people in general.
Humans are such comlex and flawed creatures.