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Date Posted: Saturday, January 14, 11:49:40am
Author: JayBee
Subject: Well, here's the thing (r)
In reply to: Nell 's message, "Again, depends (r)" on Saturday, January 14, 11:30:48am

Were Elena to discover the truth, here is what she would learn: that the man she was married to never actually loved her. Yes, he may have become fond of her in some way, and maybe even developed some level of emotional feeling one might call love, but the crux of the matter is that he never loved her in the way she thought he did.

The discovery of this truth would be almost indescribably shattering, in my opinion. Indeed, I wouldn't be at all surprised if she reacted by feeling that the lying/seduction/manipulation was a kind of rape.

I fail to see how his being able to tell her that he didn't happen to have sex with any other women while he did this to her would be any consolation whatsoever.

*That* is the approach I take when answering your question: not "is cheating bad?" (which I think is true, in most cases), but "in this particular situation, would it have made things feel any better for her if he hadn't?" (for which I think the answer is no). Having answered my question in the negative, I conclude that the issue of infidelity -- in *this* context -- is fairly minor.

Interestingly, I think you're actually approaching the issue more from Michael's perspective -- doing his best to "honor" the vow, or feeling guilty when he didn't, speaks to his desire to make himself feel better about the larger crime he was committing. Being faithful makes *him* feel better, but I don't think she'd be all that impressed by it if she learned everything else.

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