Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Should you stay or should you go?

The saddest thing I've heard in the whole Mark Sanford mess?

That he considers his Argentinian mistress his soul mate ... and yet he's trying to fall back in love with his wife.

Trying? Bonnie Raitt lyrics immediately spring to mind: "I can't make you love me if you don't/You can't make your heart feel something it won't."

I've been thinking about this for several days now. If you're in a committed relationship and you become more emotionally connected to a person outside that relationship, do you stay in your current situation, or do you leave? Do you sacrifice your personal happiness for the promise you made to your partner?

Thanks to the S.C. governor's verbal diarrhea, we know way more than we should about his personal struggles. ("My guess is that it's an emotional breakdown," said Katon Dawson, immediate past chairman of the state Republican Party. "He's so emotional now he wants to tell everybody everything.") We also know from their e-mails that Mark Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur weren't just having a fling. They made an emotional connection way before they had a physical one. “This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story,” Sanford, said in an interview yesterday. Dude was crying during the interview; he's been crying a lot lately. “A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.”

So here's what I wanna know: if you aren't in love with your partner anymore and you want to be with someone else -- and we're not talking about lust, or simple infatuation here -- why stay in that relationship? Because, really, who benefits in the long run? Also, if you know your partner isn't in love with you anymore, why would you want them to stay? I can understand sticking together for the kids, but do you honestly think they won't know that something isn't right?

On the flip side, there's something to be said for making a promise and keeping it. When people commit to each other, it's an agreement that they will live their lives as a team. Most people who have kids in relationships do so with the understanding that they'll have a partner in parenting. A support system in tough times and someone to enjoy the good times. Such a commitment should be able to withstand factors such as infidelity and emotional malaise, right? You work through them and come out stronger on other side.

... Or not.

Oy. Makes me glad to be single. But what about you, readers? Would you leave if you loved someone else, or would you stay?


Anonymous said...

Humans aren't monogamous by nature. Men should have a harem, just like many of our closest mammalian relatives.

Anonymous said...

I have been in a similar situation (and not going to say which side I have been on) but I honestly believe if you have fallen in love with someone else, and believe you have found the one other person you feel you are meant to be with, do it. I understand how a promise may be hard to break and I can imagine "trying to fall back in love" and "trying to make it work" but it wouldn't surprise me if he tries to make it work again with his wife, but ends up with his mistress once out of the spotlight. Either that or you just end up trying and rehashing problems and end up unhappy, because how often do you fall back in love with someone?

Anonymous said...

People change.

Anonymous said...

What no one seems to realize in the throes of these affairs is that you are attracted to the same person,, I bet that this women is strikingly similar to the woman he married when he married her...Over the years, as the flame dims, you convince yourself that you made a mistake and you start all over again....(BTW, has anyone noticed how much Jenny Sanford and this mistress resemble each other??) unless you have had YEARS of therapy and figured it out that you are always attracted to the one person that you shouldn't be with, you will always be attracted to the "same" person....As far as leaving your marriage because you found your soul mate....what is the divorce rate on second marriages? Not much better than the first marriage, if not slightly worse...Bottom line, marriage isn't "going steady" it is a commitment...As far as Gov Sanford, somebody shut him up!

Anonymous said...

They don't call it
for nothing!!!

Anonymous said...

After a few years the "Soul Mate" will be just a wife with all the problems and baggage that comes with the two of them. Then, he'll be looking over his shoulder for another lover--it's called infatuation or being in heat.

Charlottecollector said...

If I was Jennie Sanford, I would find a man that considered me HIS SOULMATE!!! A guy that has cheated in the past is cheating now will cheat again. Plus, would you really want a guy that pines for someone else but sticks with you for the kids?

Anonymous said...

I know lots of people who reacted and left marriages for either spouse's behaviors or their own behavior's or following their feelings rather than thinking it thru, all of them are in agreement on one thing!
The grass might look greener but it turns out not to be! These are people who were burned or doing the burning.
All were sorry they did it to another or with another or left their marriages for another or because of other doing it they were personalizing on all of it! And if they could to it all again, they wish they would have worked thru it all and worked as hard again with their marriages and stayed. As they all say they basically left the frying pan for the fire! Thus the fantasy man or woman was only better as a fantasy not a reality.
I also know lots who stayed and now have much stronger and happier homes for the children and know once again they can and did fall in love and say they are for sure true soul mates once more.

Anonymous said...

"Thanks to the S.C. governor's verbal diarrhea, we know way more than we should about his personal struggles."

Hilarious!!! I never post on these things, but couldn't resist.

Next this idiot will further humiliate himself, his family, and our state by revealing his favorite sexual positions with this woman.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to judge as I distinctly remember being taught "judge not lest ye be judged." Life is a journey with many trials and tribulations. These define us and force us to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually. At this point I would forget about politics and career ambitions. And both need to stop granting interviews regarding. Life will go on and they all need to live it. These relationship issues happen every day (this one just happens to be very public). For every one that stayed and worked it out there is another that stayed and lived through hell. And the kids don't win when this is the case. Each relationship is different. He can be a great Dad and be divorced. They all just have to work at it. My advice would be to follow their hearts, be respectful, love their kids and do what they need to do. But do it privately without a press conference.

Anonymous said...

'Free to go if you want, or free to stay'...marriage is about freedom and being FREELY married. So if the 'unbelieving' partner is not wanting to be married anymore, they will leave.
Marriage is like a business contract at times though too. Sometimes there is a bit of 'hell' before the 'heaven' or vice versa as life is always full of ups and downs. Children watch this and see where their parents have a committment; or God will restore, and He means what He says! (joel 1 1-4)

Anonymous said...

Not gonna judge anyone's character here. For me, relationships (the intimate and/or romantic kind) have always been, by far, the most confusing thing about being human. God bless and Good Luck to these people and anyone else trying to be in one (or two, or three..etc).

ann said...

LOL @ 1:33!

I would go, I don't think I could forgive that much lying. A one-night stand is one thing, a long affair with lying and excuses is completely different. especially just leaving her to take care of 4 children!

my best friend was in the exact situation (husband had affair for months, lied for months) but they are still together. only the two people involved know what works for them. i just hope mrs. sanford knows she can do better and deserves better, even if she forgives him.

Anonymous said...

I hope there is a totally different blog topic for the 4th of JULY weekend!
How about traveling on road trips in heavy traffic and construction and cluster blankty blank messes everywhere and moving very slow
while the kids watch movies in the
back seat or laptops or iphones!

Anonymous said...

Remember a little while back, a 'bubba' named Clinton, lied, got busted, lied more, finished his term? Any of this sound familiar?

Mary said...

I guess he still cares about his wife, maybe loves her. They're working it out.

Anonymous said...

real love is so different than being in love;
incidents or entanglements with a third party involvement
just a small part!
years and years of committment with marriage partner,
children, family and so much HISTORY together...HUGE part!
The scales tilt or weigh for real love and committment where secure person is involved with it all.