“You don’t read Gatsby to learn whether adultery is good or bad but to learn how complicated issues such as adultery and fidelity and marriage are.” – Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran
Complicated? Is that so?
I could’t help but feel these facts of life: marriage, fidelity, adultery are quite simple, actually. We get committed for wanting companionship and to structure our lives. For the most part, we are faithful. And then we succumb to the joys of the flesh and adultery happens. But marriages, vain, remain proudly.
Civilization has taught us that, as long as we keep up our fancy image, we can be anything we wish for in secret.
Quite simple, indeed.
For me it was more complicated to grasp how did I, and did I, for that matter, end up in a mid-life crisis… I never even realized to have lived through the identity one. Lived and learned.
But – yes – here I was, almost forty and committed, still wondering what does dear Life have in store for me.
I believe it is the same for everyone.
Life happens… and we come to wish for the same thrills we used to sense long ago, realizing they have vanished without a warning sign, one of the funniest tricks dear Life saves for all of us. It is funny that no one ever taught us we ought to be alert because our lives change regardless our reactions or lack of it. We fight, not the change itself, but our conform to ordinary, only to soon realize how unable we are to grasp the very things we want at any given moment despite they are, in fact, within our reach.
Do we prefer structure? Do we prefer what is known and predictable?
Because, after all, predictability of our lives might be boring at times, but is always able to lull us into the idea of safety.
Isn’t safety what we all need?
But, then again, does safety, the way we imagine it, exist at all?
Real or not, this very illusion of safety might be the reason why we would only on rare occasions dare ourselves step out of the known structure, willing to risk all that we know and have for a fleeting moment of unearthly joy… willing to risk pain and hurt to the ones we truly love, despite being enamored by someone else.
This illusion of safety keeps us torn between two terrors: of things remaining the same, versus things changing.
The freedom of choice is both a blessing and a curse.
Is there a balance?
Can we have the best of both worlds?
I love – and when you love, you have to be ready for anything.
Life never stands still, but is in constant motion, and this motion is what keeps us alive.
I love – not as a statement, but rather an action. I love, passionately, fiercely, unconditionally; not because it makes me a better person, but rather because I do not know otherwise.
My love is joy and sharing… and, regardless how attractive and seductive this might seem, in this day and age, it is merely a curse.
Should I change who I am to conform to norms?
And if I do, will I lose my integrity in the process?
Does all this make me an adulteress?
And how do we define one?
Despite mainstream opinion, there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ things, only things that make us happy, and ones that do not.
But, what is happiness, then?
To all of us who reach happiness through thrill of danger, adultery might be the answer.
Adultery… oh, adultery…
All of a sudden, the most beautiful love messages are deleted. Stolen in uncertainty and born out of yearning, they are as ephemeral as summer dew, gone with first glimpses of sun. Yet, they remain the most precious and most sincere… and probably the most loving of them all.
There is an uncanny force in longing that makes the objects of longing more precious, more wanted, more desired…
With each hour passed the desire increases.
That distant evening in March, with a man I have never seen, I committed adultery.
I was thirty-nine and on the verge of midlife crisis.
As a real sophisticated beast, I did it, well, because I could.
It does not stop there, of course… I did it also for anger, illusionary revenge, for curiosity, fun, thrills, joy, excitement… I did it to feel alive again and, what I later found most peculiar, I did it for Love.
I will not be a hypocrite trying to explain myself or better my act by concealing it with love because reasons do not change facts, and I am not soothing my guilty consciousness by defining my adultery with pure love. It was an act of love, and I never had guilty consciousness, nor will I ever consider this wrong.
It was right.
It was not socially acceptable, but this does not make it less right.
There comes a time in every long term relationship when you become so familiar with one another that you become unable to distinguish yourself from the other person. A romantic ideal indeed, except that you still want to be yourself and not a smudged image of a couple. It starts suffocating you, right there: not only you become predictable, but life does, too, life, with its ups and downs, long weekends, vacations, car payments and mortgages… all the elements of civilized structure break down above you, making you unable to breathe and wanting to escape.
You feel hate and direct it towards your partner, while it is not the person you hate, but the situation you found yourself in… the trade of freedom for security, despite that was your best bet.
From this moment on, one thing leads to another, inevitably.
There you are at crossroads, already knowing your choice.
And there is another person luring you seductively into unknown.
You will take the best of both worlds.
That distant evening in March I committed adultery out of Love, as a result of pure hate.
It felt heavenly diabolical.