The Question of an Affair

For about a month, I was paralyzed when I tried to write. I wasn’t sure if I should write fiction or personal essay or what.  
I always seem to write about women and things women deal with. I think this is because I’m a woman dealing with things.
But I could be wrong.
So I’m writing about women dealing with life based on some real life experiences. It’s a huge miss-mash and mostly dialogue, but I’m writing. And that’s the point.
But I don’t understand the motivations for one character and I don’t know what to do about it
One of my characters had an affair. I am not happy about this. I don’t know if I’m mad she had an affair because she was married and the guy she had an affair with was married and that’s just wrong or if I’m mad because I don’t like her as a character. Is there something wrong with her innately? Or am I upset at her actions? If I were friends with her when she had the affair, would I be more understanding? Or am I more upset because I’m friends with the character who was married to the guy she chose to hook up with? Or is it all 3? Or was that 4?
I have no idea.
But I do know that the words are coming and I look forward to writing. I am going to have to edit out quite a few “I wanted to punch her in the face” sentence fragments, but that’s not for a while.  

(Before you think I’m overly violent, I am borrowing that phrase from a friend who will punch you in the face if you tell her you are eating clean. I don’t think she likes the phrase “eating clean.” But maybe she just likes punching people in the face. Hard to know.)
In fact, there is going to be so much editing, I’m not thinking about it. Half of what I’m writing will end up on the cutting room floor. The subject of the piece has already changed from the affair being the central theme to being a stay at home mom being more the central theme… And how vulnerable stay at home moms are.
And because that’s becoming a central theme, I think the affair upsets me even more.
What do you think about affairs? Do you think it would matter if you were friends with someone who had one? Would you be more understanding? Would you end the friendship? Would you maintain the friendship to try to “help” your friend? Would it matter if your friend was single and the guy was married or if your friend was married and the guy was single? If both were married? Is there ever a reason to make it okay?
It’s all just so confusing. I’m going to watch The Bachelor and see if it enlightens me.

6 responses to “The Question of an Affair

  1. Very interesting. Pointing out how the connection with your character isn’t always positive!

  2. I have so much to say on this subject! My husband had an affair. Then my best friends husband had an affair while she was attending my wedding several years later. Horrible horrible stuff. I thought I would be so angry but I wasn’t, just very sad. Sad for my ex husband who took leave of his senses, who was hiding an addition to pornography for years, lying everyday. So sad for the friends husband who watched me go through such a painful period in my life, having helped me through it only to do the same thing to his wife two years later. I honestly believe affairs only happen after having already been on a dark path for a long time. Feeling like you can’t continue a lie any longer, feeling like you have no self worth, looking elsewhere for comfort because you don’t feel worthy of the love you have at home. I never felt like my husband’s affair had anything to do with me, which I know sounds odd. I knew he loved me and didn’t mean to hurt me, but because of years of lying he really couldn’t see clearly any more. He knew what he was doing was very wrong but he didn’t care anymore. I feel like he drove himself into mental illness, and because of that, he left himself open to having an affair. Soooo, in my opinion, nobody had an affair without plenty of darkness before hand. Anyway, just a few thoughts.

  3. You’re writing. Huzzah!

  4. Years ago I had a best friend who was married to another good friend. But then she started getting all strange and lying about her whereabouts and whatnot. She was obviously having an affair. I cut off ties with her. It wasn’t so much the affair that irked me but the fact that she had become a generally dishonest person.

  5. Have you watched the Ted talk about affairs? Very interesting. It gave me a different perspective on affairs. I have one friend- that I know of- that has had an affair. She was married. Her partner- I don’t know him- was married. I still love her. I moved. Then she moved, so we don’t hang out as often as we used to.

  6. I feel any type of affair happens because he or she makes the concsious decision to do so, it is not any accident. The people who go into this do not know how to cope with their negative emotions properly and maturely and look for a quick fix. In the end, you only compounded your problems and added more to them all the while ruining other people’s life’s with your ill decisions.

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