I had problems coming up with a better title for this post. I’ve also argued with myself about posting this. I don’t want to come across as a moralising bitch. But apparently I do find some things worth that iffy reputation.
Anyway, my sister just returned home from a short overseas holiday trip with a good friend. The good friend is male and married with two young daughters. His wife and daughters did not accompany him on this trip. My sister is single and unattached.
Anyway, the relationship between my sister and her friend is innocent enough. Also, according to my sister, the guy’s wife knew about the trip and had okayed it, apparently happily enough. My sister was all raves about the wife’s positive attitude about the trip.
Still, both my mother and I had concerns on whether it was the right thing for my sister to do.
Is there really any woman in the world who will not mind if her husband takes off for a planned overseas holiday alone with another young, unmarried and reasonably attractive woman, without her? Even if he has been utterly faithful thus far, and shows no sign of straying. Even if she professes to trust him absolutely.
My sister would definitely have minded if the shoe had been on the other foot. No matter how innocent it was.
Knowing that she would feel differently if the situation had been reversed was it then morally correct for her to take the trip with her friend?
My mother was particularly affected by my sister’s decision, because she used to be the victim of such thoughtlessness. My father used to employ a young, married female secretary who happened to live very near us. My dad would often give her rides between her home and the office. My mother was working as an operator in a nearby factory during that time, so my father would also drive her to work and back home daily.
For the rides homeward, my father’s secretary would park herself in the front seat beside my dad, since she gets on the car first at the office. When they get to my mother’s workplace, the lady did not vacate her seat for my mum, nor did my father make any request of her to do so. Neither did she acknowledge my mother when she entered the car. So the trio would drive home, looking for all the world as if the secretary was my father’s wife, while my mother was some friend they picked up on the way!
It happened frequently enough that my mother’s colleagues came to notice it as well and made insinuating remarks about my mother’s marriage. My mother is a cool lady and handled it well, but all the time, she was burning with humiliation inside.
There were many other incidents of disrespect. My mother was proud enough to act as if they didn’t affect her, but inside it was a different story.
Though I believe that the secretary never had that kind interest in my father, the sheer thoughtlessness on her part caused the situation to get bad enough for my mother to finally give my father an ultimatum, cease or divorce.
To this day, I don’t know what my father would have decided. Because just about that time, the secretary left my father’s company.
As a witness to my mother’s misery during the entire episode, I tend to take the stand that my sister should not have made the trip, regardless of how her friend’s wife reacted. The other woman could have genuinely not been affected, but she could also have been like my mother.
By the way, I am not minimizing the responsibility of the man involved in this case. However, we cannot control the man’s sensitivity and sense of responsibility, but we can control our own actions.
There are few justifications for a woman to hurt another woman like this.
A real affair is one thing. One could argue that the other woman has at least something of herself vested in the relationship with the man. Something which may be worth hurting another woman for. Like true love, or something.
But for just a few days of fun with one friend out of many? I’m sorry, but no.