Sunday, October 4, 2009

in which i talk about fidelity and trust and fear and david letterman, but mostly about fear and trust

So yesterday I logged onto my home page, which is, which is how I get my news (such as it is)... and I saw an item about David Letterman and blackmail. It linked to a news clip on the subject. I proceeded to YouTube (where I hoped to find better information, including the clip of the show (above) where Dave talked about the issue in his own words). I watched a few videos, and after marvelling at the over-hyped insanity which is American network news, I moved on to other things.

I don't actually have much to say about Dave and his affairs with coworkers. I like him. He makes me laugh. He's human, and fallible, and apparently not afraid to take responsibility for what he's done. I wish him well, and hope he sticks around for many more years on late night television, entertaining me.

What's really got me disturbed, however, is the reminder that good guys can cheat on their partners. And possibly hide it. And I don't want to be the one that's cheated on. Ever. But I'm not sure how to ensure that outcome, except by possibly never having another committed monogamous relationship.

I don't need to know why men cheat. I accept that some men do. I also accept that it's possible to get past an infidelity and re-establish trust and forge an even stronger relationship if one is cheated on by one's partner. What I'd really like to say to any potential mates, however, is this:

Look. I don't expect or need you to be perfect. I will never ask you to make a vow of fidelity and monogamy. But you need to know that, if you want to have sex with other women (or men) while you are still having sex with me, then you are putting my health at risk. And if you have sex with other women (or men) and hide it from me, I am going to consider that a sign of extreme disrespect. Not because I need you to be faithful, or want to make you into something you're not. But because if you don't care enough about my health to let me make informed decisions about my own sexual behavior with you in the future, you are disrespecting me.

And I won't put up with that.

I can't promise to stay with you if you cheat. I may... or I may not. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. But I guarantee you this: If you have sex with another woman (or man) and hide it from me, we are through. Because I choose to be with people who value my health and my life - and my ability to choose - as much as I do.


Snotty McSnotterson said...

I like it. Not cheating - I've been both the cheater and cheatee - but what you might say to a potential mate. Doesn't mean they have to listen, but I know plenty of men who haven't ever cheated. Grab one of them!

Michelle Lynne Goodfellow said...

Ah, Snotty, but there's the rub: How to figure out which guy is the one who won't cheat. And that is the core of my real fear: That the one who has integrity and values seems like he never would, will.

The convent is looking really good right now. Except not even Jesus is monogamous. I mean, look at all the nuns dude's married to...