Irreverent Mama

Friday, August 27, 2010

Reading "The Bride Stripped Bare", in which it seems that the protagonist is about to embark on an affair, in retaliation for the affair she believes her husband to have been having with her best friend.

While it was clear that the marriage was flawed before this crisis, she seemed blithely unaware. It is his infidelity (assumed or actual, we're not sure) which triggers her affair (and, according to the dust jacket, her ensuing sensual/sexual awakening; I haven't gotten that far yet).

A retaliation affair? Though not the most laudable of human impulses, "He did it first" serves to make her infidelity, if not entirely justifiable, at least comprehensible, even sympathetic.

But what of those who have affairs simply because... they want to? There is no great flaw in their marriage, there is no lack of love, there is no betrayal, nor even particular boredom. But, lovely, loved, and appreciated as a spouse may be, a new body, a new person, a new set of responses is passionately intriguing, fascinating. Unfair though it undeniably is, a new person is simply more exciting, at least in the short term, than the person you've been lovingfuckingbedding for ten, fifteen, twenty or more years.

A book which purported to reveal the deepest secrets of the role of wife turns out to be no more than a tale of a bog-standard retaliation affair.


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