by thea marie
What's on my mind....
|Recently, I've been loosely following the trial of former Atlanta Mayor, Bill Campbell who's up on charges of corruption. In the course of the trial so far, two mistresses have been unearthed by the prosecution. It seems that the former mayor took numerous lavish trips to romantic spots, some to foreign countries, with these women despite the fact that he was married.
The prosecution is trying to show that the mayor's propensity to use cash to pay for these expensive trysts helps to uphold their contention that he was accepting bribes from contractors and such. How else, they say, was he able to finance these romances and maintain his household. I wonder if he romanced his wife in like manner?
The former mayor has protested that bringing up his private life is wrong and unethical. He says that one didn't have anything to do with the other, that in his capacity as mayor, he did nothing wrong.
Personally, I could care less about the corruption. I am of the opinion that politics couldn't exist without a fair amount of that sort of thing. I think they're all in bed with each other. The plethora of political misdeeds, Enron scandals, and the like have completed eroded any thought I might have had that big business is honest business. What bothers me more is a question I've had for years: why get married if you're going to cheat on the person to whom you made the vows? How can former mayor Campbell not see that his personal integrity speaks strongly of his ethics in his professional life?
Being cheated upon is embarrassing, hurtful, and humiliating. I cannot imagine what the wives and husbands of famous people must go through when their cheating spouses get outed. I cannot fathom how Mrs. Campbell must feel to have her husband's, (and her own) business played out in the media for all the public. Although she accompanied him to court in the beginning days of the trial, she was not in court with him on the days that the two women testified. And those were only the two the prosecution trotted out. Who knows how many others there were?
I cannot imagine how Coretta Scott King must have felt to have it revealed to the public that her civil rights icon husband, Martin, was stepping out on her while he was on the road and she was at home with the kids. She probably already knew about it, the signs were probably there, but to have it broadcasted in the news, on the internet, and to have books written about it....
I think of Laci Peterson who allegedly lost her life to her philandering liar of a husband. I think of Rose, Jackie, and Ethel Kennedy. I feel for the people, men and women who are blindsided by that kind of thing every day.
Why do people make vows they don't keep? Why bother to get married? Why not stay single and play the field? Why not leave the relationship if it isn't working out? Why risk hurting the person you loved enough at one time to ask them to marry you? Is it greed? Is it narcissism? Does it bring a sense of power? What is it?
I'm rambling, I know, but infidelity is one of those things I just don't understand. Marriage is hard work. It's tiring, and a lot of times, it's just plain boring, but I'd get out of it before I hurt my husband by betraying his trust in me. I really would. I've been tempted, I've had offers, but I got married because I believed that I wanted to be with this one person, and despite difficulties and rough waters at times, I have remained true to that commitment. If I had it to do again, I probably would opt to stay single, knowing what I know now, but I didn't at the time and I did what I said I was going to do. If I ever feel that I want to be with someone else, I will leave the marriage first.
Maybe it isn't supposed to be that easy or that clear cut. Maybe I'm just being naive and idealistic, but I believe that a vow is not just some words you say. A vow is a promise, and to me, promises are meant to be kept.