Night Owl Mk. II

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Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

(R) You have a very interesting way of looking at things. Particularly this situation.
(MB) Well, most people tend to let emotion or societal dogmas dominate their thinking. I try to deal strictly with reason. Often, that produces views which might well be "interesting" when contrasted with the prevailing views of the masses. But, that's what makes for stimulating debates!

(R) I cannot deny the logic of your sentiments. However, while reading, I did ask myself the question, "what about the children?" After all, most marriages do not fail because one person alone was at fault.
(MB) That may well be true. Often, a failed marriage is a joint effort. It's really pointless to quibble over who is at fault if the situation is beyond reasonable repair. So, what about the children? Divorce is almost never something that is a good thing for children. However, is it better to maintain a family where there is no love and much tension or hatred between the parents? That also has a significant negative impact on the children.

(R) There are so many other choices available to individuals, other than adultery.
(MB) Of course, you're right. Adultery is not the solution to every problem that married couples have to deal with. However, for *some* problems, it may be one solution within a set of alternatives. My main point is that this particular solution is a privte matter of morality and choice between the husband and wife and not a public matter of legality and enforced behavior at a societal level.

(R) Problem is, when you close your eyes and imagine the other choices compared, then compare them to the often overwhelming DESIRE accompanied with the temptation of an affair and it's easy to see why adultery is often the choice selected. Most of us do think we can get away with it, or at least that is what we tell ourselves. Truth be known, we really know we won't. We know that sooner or later, we are going to be found out.
(MB) Certainly, people have legitimate concerns along those lines, but I rather doubt that most instances of adultery are ever discovered and that even fewer instances ever lead to real problems. Of course, the only time we'll ever hear about it is in those cases where those problems arise as a result. The rest of the time, nothing happens or a discovery is dealt with without undue fuss.

(R) Oh, the nausea that comes from facing the moment of discover. The decision that follows. . .do we lie like crazy and attempt to make things all better, thanking our lucky stars that we came to our senses, only to revert back to the behavior some months later? Or do we know better, and just call it quits? You tell me.
(MB) That's all depends on the individual involved and seeks to inject societal morality into the picture. Some folks tremble at the thought of being caught jaywalking. Others do what they please with no fear at all. If the individual doesn't believe that he has done anything wrong by his act of adultery, it is unlikely that he will fear the consequences of discovery. He certainly won't consider himself to be "coming to his senses" or "knowing better" if he no longer does it.

(R) I still ask myself. . what happens to the children?
(MB) As always, the children go along for the ride. An adulterous parent is hardly the worst situation that can befall a child.

(R) Perhaps, rather than look into the options of short-term commitments in marriages, we should investigate the possibilities of training and education.
(MB) This is in accord with my position that marriages should be subject to renewal every five years (see my Love and Relationships essay). I would certainly agree that too many couples enter into marriage without being adequately prepared.

(R) How can we better select a life-time partner? What sort of things should we do and not do during our relationships to avoid the distances that build up between partners? Take less time blaming and more time preventing, perhaps.
(MB) I don't know if there are any perfect solutions to ensure that all marriages will be problem-free. Many which begin very well or last for many years without problems suddenly fall apart due to unforeseen and insurmountable circumstances. Others just gradually deteriorate in a way that might not even be noticeable until it has gone too far. I have suggested that Man is not a species that was meant to mate for life and that the number of unhappy and broken marriages is ample supporting evidence for this view. A five-year renewal period would acknowledge this and help ensure that marriages endure only when both parties want it to be so.

(R) Just some thoughts. I know they are not in line with the point you were making, yet your essay did leave me questioning.
(MB) That's the whole point of this forum. Agreement with me is not a requirement. Heck, there wouldn't be many debates if everybody agreed on everything!

(R) Thanks for your time, your thoughts and your words.
(MB) Thank you for your own thoughts on this topic!

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