Infidelity is a Slippery Slope
Sometimes we make mistakes.
My friend, Katie, found herself in a position that she never imagined herself to be in – The Other Woman. Katie is single. She has a wide social circle and knows a lot of people. In the mix are a few men she’s met – some single, some not. Recently, she was invited to spend time with one who currently has a girlfriend. “It’s just lunch!”, she said. I warned her of The Slippery Slope. Of course, she did not listen.
The Slippery Slope is when you take a step in a direction that is likely to lead to a disastrous outcome. This is exactly what happened to Katie. Lunch led to a walk on the beach. Then a few texts exchanged. Then long conversations about deep and meaningful things. Then another meeting.
They both acknowledge it was wrong. He doesn’t want to be “That Guy” and she certainly doesn’t want to be “That Woman”. Yet, here they are. Those Cheaters.
Now, she is left with nothing but guilt and hurt. He hasn’t contacted her and she’s not surprised. She knows that a man would rather cut off his arm before ending a relationship.
One of the lessons learned for Katie is that for a man to truly be a man, he needs to be brave. Emotionally brave. He needs to be confident in making a choice. Making a choice means closing off other options and going with another. And yes, making a choice can involve hurting someone else. Here, unfortunately, everyone is hurt. He should have broken up with his girlfriend first and she should not have accepted the lunch date. Katie and I can talk for hours about what should have happened. We even talk about what could happen still. And that is just wishful thinking. He will not leave his girlfriend and she is a fool for thinking he will.
The other lesson learned is the danger of The Slippery Slope. Both Katie and the guy involved are extremely ethical people. Both are intelligent and brilliant in their own ways. Both should have known better. They did it anyways.
So how did this happen?
Feelings can’t be helped. Although Katie and the guy felt an attraction towards each other, and likely have for some time, The Slippery Slope starts with an action. Actions can be controlled. Something as simple as a cup of coffee or sharing an article or book can lead to a closer relationship. And this is most likely where it started. Not with a lunch but with a few other steps taken years ago. Both can say that they didn’t mean for it to happen. And I will call bullshit on that statement. They both knew exactly what they were doing. They justified their initial actions as “Men and Women Can Be Friends” (please see my other blog on this subject).
The only fortunate outcome for Katie is that she wasn’t on the Infidelity Slide for too long. It was a slip. A brief fall but it still hurt. And there are those who have fallen in a much more brutal way by being involved with unavailable people for a long amount of time. Katie has never done something like this before and swears it will never happen again. As I see her emotionally unravel from the fallout of this brief affair, I believe her.
Lesson learned. A cup of coffee is not just a cup of coffee. Keep away from The Slippery Slope.