1.22.2013

Fidelity Investments

http://golinkme.e-infopages.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/holding_hands.jpgMy bedside clock radio gets staticky every time I put my smart phone next to it.  I am guessing it is picking up wifi frequencies, but I like to joke that it's cranky towards my smart phone because I now use my phone - newer and sleeker - rather than my clock radio to wake me up in the morning.  So now I imagine that when I hear it making noises as I lay my phone down next to it. what it's really doing is sniffing and snarling with the jealous rage of am older, former partner.

It's a trivial example, but it speaks to a deeper, more insidious reality within most (all?) of us men: the temptation to desire someone newer and sleeker than our current partner.  I am always surprised when people express surprise at infidelity, as if it is unimaginable that so-and-so could possibly cheat on their spouse.  To be sure, infidelity is awful, destructive, and shameful.  But being surprised when it happens?  That hurts and doesn't help in the effort to avoid it.

Let me explain.  Thinking that I could never cheat, or that someone I know could never cheat, is simply false.  It's like moving into a high-crime neighborhood and so dismissing the possibility of break-in that you leave your front door wide open and your valuables out in plain sight.

If we are really honest with ourselves, and if we really think infidelity is destructive, then let's take the temptation as seriously as it warrants.  Rather than think we are not in peril, let's take extra measure to protect ourselves against sliding in that direction.  Let's invest in "security systems" - a regular time of accountability with another person you trust, an explicit commitment to avoid situations that could unravel into temptation, regular cultivation of our marriage relationships - commensurate with the nearness and the magnitude of the threat.

To not do so is to either consider myself more impenetrable than I really am, or to treat as insignificant the downside of giving in, or both.  That's a bad call.  I value my marriage, my children, and my soul more seriously than that.


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