I believe in the right to marry, I just don't believe I will ever want to marry, when I do have those rights extended to me.

It's A Cheatin' Situation
A Gay opinion 10/25/00
by R.A. Melos

I love music, all types of music from reggae to rock, from country to metal, and the one theme I can find in every style of music, to which I listen, is the cheating song. Probably the first cheating song I remember hearing back in the 1960's, when I was very young, was Hank Williams Sr. singing "You're Cheatin' Heart."

As I grew older singers like Billy Paul romanticized the illicit affair with the hauntingly beautiful "Me and Mrs. Jones," and Reba McEntire urged "Tell me a lie, say you're not a married man," or questioned the other woman in her duet "Does He Love You?" with Linda Davis.

Two of my all time favorite cheatin' songs are written by the incomparable Jim Steinman, and sung by Meatloaf. "More Than You Deserve" and "Left In The Dark" both tell the stories of cheating, and broken hearts.

Now my question is, if marriage (heterosexual or same-sex) is what we are morally supposed to be striving to achieve, why do we write and sing about the one true love being the one we are not morally supposed to want? Why does a society, which touts monogamy as the be all and end all of a relationship, glorify the joy of cheating?

If society glorifies it, is cheating wrong?

I know for a fact, when I entered into my now defunct relationship with my ex-lover, who was married to his first wife at the time, his marital status never factored into my decision to accept his advances. It never occurred to me to consider his wife, since I had not yet met her, and I wasn't the one doing the cheating. Yes, I was helping her husband cheat on her, but he was the one getting the thrill of cheating. I was an accessory after the fact, and it didn't bother me.

Even after I met her, and got to know her and their children, I didn't feel like I was cheating. I was only extending the enjoyment of my ex-lover, by filling in for what was lacking in his life.

I know, many moralists would think I am perverse for feeling this way, but I have not reached this conclusion without spending a great many hours reviewing, in my mind, the entire relationship. It was while I was going over the cheating angle of it, I discovered societies fascination and glorification of cheating.

This makes me think, in a time when same-sex couples are fighting for the right to exchange vows of "till death do us part," is it really practical for anyone, gay or straight, to pledge a lifelong commitment to another person when our society subconsciously promotes adultery?

If you don't believe me, look at the number of movies Hollywood cranks out in which the adulterous relationship is the one which is truly satisfying, and the so-called "sacred marital relationship" is exactly what has driven the cheaters to cheat.

The Scarlet Letter, at least the most recent Hollywood version, starring Demi Moore, showed how an unhappily married woman could find true happiness in the arms of another man. With the exception of Fatal Attraction, most adulterers are only happy when they are cheating on their spouse, so once again society is subtly telling us no matter how much we may think monogamy is the be all and end all of a relationship, it really is just a weigh station on the route to blissful adultery.

It may have taken me far longer than necessary to realize it, but I now see the dangers of marriage and more importantly, the terrible unhappiness of monogamy. While I'm sure there are people out there who are more than willing to settle for that one person to be with for the rest of their lives, I now consider companionship not to be about monogamy, but to be about enjoying the company of a diverse group of people.

The universe is about change and growth, and it seems to me marriage and monogamy is about stagnation and death. I lost my ex-lover to such a metaphoric death, as he chose a second wife over me and his first wife and family. The greatest joy of paganism is in the knowledge of the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. All things are born, like relationships, and they all die, as our relationship did when he decided to "try" monogamy, and they will all be reborn, with the discovery of new relationships.

Having never been married, I do not have any words for the spouses on whom the cheating is done, other than the old adage, "what's sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander." Life is about growing and changing, so stop wasting your time looking for the be all and end all of your lives, and go out and find the here for now.



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