When is it Time to Give Up on Men and Love Forever?

When is it Time to Give Up on Men and Love Forever

The New York Times Modern Love column is consistently good. But since I can’t post it every Thursday, I only share ones that hit me hard. This piece, “What is a Man For?” by Karen Rinaldi, does just that.

In it, she recounts her consistently bad decision making when it comes to men. Her first husband was gay and died of AIDS. Here’s what Rinaldi says about what happened next.

“I married my second husband after only one date. I had been so wrong about my first, I wondered: What would happen if I married someone I didn’t know?

I was testing the universe.

He was handsome, strong, accomplished and funny. But after a few years of dating backward (we married without knowing each other and spent the next three years becoming familiar and intimate), I realized I couldn’t live with him. He was possessive, and my need for freedom didn’t make for a secure marriage. He referred to me as “my wife” even when speaking to my own father.

Besides the two marriages, I cohabitated with two other men and dated others. A serial monogamist, I found that at every turn I was constrained by issues of, well, maleness. There was a kind of inherent dominance that tipped the balance of power away from me, and I often felt I was playing a role.

Money was often a factor in these early relationships, and eventually I came to believe in these unassailable truths:

1. If the man made more money, then you were doing things his way.

2. If he was broke, he resented your ability to support him.

3. If there was economic parity, he made sure you knew who was really the boss.”

Sounds a lot like the kind of experiences (and thinking) that we see so often in the questions and comments here. Women choose selfish alpha males who are inconsiderate of their needs, and insecure beta males who feel impotent and emasculated, and come to the conclusion that this is the way all relationships work.

It’s not.

From her own failed relationships (and her parents uninspiring 60-year-marriage) Rinaldi came to the obvious conclusion that the only answer was to be alone.

Even if you’ve made dozens of bad relationship choices in the past, you always have a new chance to rewrite your future.

“I was already supporting myself. I figured I would manage as well with a child, so the idea of being provided for was moot. Besides, I preferred having my own money and therefore my own agency.”

Rinaldi  decided to get some sperm and become a single mom. As she  wrote,  ““What’s a man for, really? If not to provide, protect or procreate, why do we need them?”

Then she fell in love with a married man…who left his wife and married Rinaldi.

Says the author, “I don’t need him, but I want him in my life. He doesn’t protect me from others, only from my worst instincts. And as far as procreating, well, we did it the old-fashioned way and that will never get old.

He is comfortable in his masculinity and doesn’t need to remind me of who is boss, because in our relationship there isn’t one. Our lives are shared at every level and I realize now what a man is for.

He is a true partner. He is a lover and a friend. He is the father of my children and the only one in the world who cares about the minutiae of their lives like I do.”

And that, my friends, is why you keep dating. Even if you’ve made dozens of bad relationship choices in the past, you always have a new chance to rewrite your future.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

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  1. 1

    “Then she fell in love with a married man…who left his wife and married Rinaldi”.

    Sorry, Evan, this isn’t a happy ending.

    1. 1.1

      It is actually. When a bad marriage ends it’s a good thing. It did crack me up that she referred to her relationship with a married man as “monogamous”. Pretty sure this is not the right word for it. In all seriousness, women who carry out such affairs hoping that he’ll leave his wife are the biggest gamblers out there and they’re gambling with their lives and feelings in a game where odds are so overwhelmingly stacked against them. I don’t know how they do it. But then again, given her prior marriages… here is a woman with worst taste/luck with men compared to me, and i was beginning to think it was impossible. And she still ends up happily ever after, perhaps there’s a glimpse of hope for the rest of us.

      1. 1.1.1

        When a bad marriage ends because the two people in the marriage decide to end it, it can be a good thing. Allowing a third party into that marriage is NEVER a good thing. Deception is NEVER a good thing. Affairs are NEVER a good thing.

        1. Stacy2

          Nobody outside of marriage can make a decision to end it. The guy made that decision, not Rinaldi. It was also he who cheated, not her. And you don’t really need a consensus to end a marriage. Even if just one person is unhappy and gets out, it is still a good thing..

          If you read the article, they’re now going on strong for 25 years with 2 kids on their own. Life is more complicated than some cookie-cutter black and white morale.


        2. KK


          “Nobody outside of marriage can make a decision to end it. The guy made that decision, not Rinaldi”.

          Yep. And???

          ”  It was also he who cheated, not her”.

          Wrong! By definition, they are BOTH adulterers.

          “And you don’t really need a consensus to end a marriage. Even if just one person is unhappy and gets out, it is still a good thing..”

          I already addressed this. There’s a right way and a wrong way to end things. Adultery is ALWAYS wrong. It’s the cowardly way.

          “If you read the article, they’re now going on strong for 25 years with 2 kids on their own”.

          I read the article. 20 years. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any collateral damage from the beginning OR along the way. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any regrets, whether she (or he) would be willing to admit those regrets. Can you imagine the mental gymnastics it must take if one of their kids does something hurtful to someone else or steals or… I don’t know, practically anything a parent would disapprove of… How must that conversation go??? Treat others as you want to be treated ….unless of course you grow up to be a self serving narcissistic bitch like mommy, who is okay with fucking a married man with children for her own “happiness”. Give me a break!

          “Life is more complicated than some cookie-cutter black and white morale”.

          True. And yet, there will always be SOME things in life that really are black and white. Adultery is wrong. It’s just that simple.

        3. Stacy2

          “Adultery is ALWAYS wrong.”

          So, KK let me ask you this: would you rather be “right” or happy? Cause this is what it comes down to. They chose happy.  Shit happens, clean breaks are not always possible. It sounds personal to you and I don’t expect to change your convictions. Personally I think that “everything is fair in love and war”.

        4. KK


          Happiness is a funny thing isn’t it? For me, happiness comes in many forms, but in relationships, my happiness comes from treating my loved ones the way I wish to be treated. It’s about putting their needs and wants above my own. Being able to live my life with integrity and when I put my head down on my pillow at night, knowing I haven’t harmed anyone… and when I do mess up, I have the courage to make things right.

          Yes, Stacy, it is personal to me and I won’t change my convictions. I’m pretty sure it’s personal to you as well, since you shared the story of your parent’s marriage, after they were unfaithful to their previous spouses with each other. I’m sure that affected your thoughts on marriage and relationships and men. It still doesn’t change what’s right and what’s wrong and if you want to be a cheater apologist, good for you. You might change your mind if you’re the one getting cheated on.

        5. Buck25

          @ Stacy,

          Somehow the fine distinction between a cheater, and the one who enables the cheater by cheating with him/her, is lost on me. If someone is unhappy in a marriage, why not just leave, divorce, and then date whoever you want?   At least that’s honest. I guess it all comes down to whether one believes in a strategy of “any means to my desired goal, and the devil take the hindmost”. Obviously some people find happiness that way. I’m not so sure I could do that. Has nothing to do with any religious doctrine, and everything to do with a quaint little quirk of mine; a thing   called honor.

        6. ScottH

          “Adultery is ALWAYS wrong”

          Always is a bit strong.   Marriages can be very complex and rules don’t always apply.

          Adultery is usually wrong.

        7. KK


          What about murder? Always wrong, or usually wrong???

          Let’s skip self defense or war time.

          Are there ever any absolutes in life or just varying shades of gray??? If there are some absolutes in life, who decides what those are? Does the golden rule apply to everyone at all times, or only when it’s convenient to and for you?

        8. Adrian

          Hi Buck25,

          The disagreement is not over leaving a unhappy relationship; the disagreement is over leaving a good relationship for a better one like Rinaldi’s husband did.

        9. Stacy


          I agree with EVERYTHING you said in this thread. Stacy2 asked if you would rather be right or happy. I wasn’t aware that being  right or happy couldn’t coexist. The author did a shitty thing period!

        10. KK

          Thanks, Stacy! I never knew being happy and doing the right thing couldn’t co- exist either. 😉

        11. ScottH

          KK- yes, there are some absolutes in life but there are many where it is a shade of gray.

          Here’s my point:   if your partner is a happy and willing participant in a thriving sexual courtship with you  and you stray, you are clearly an asshole.

          If your partner unilaterally decides to withdraw from sexual courtship with you and refuses to deal with whatever issue drove them to do so and you can’t leave the marriage for whatever reason, they are the asshole and have no right to condemn you to celibacy.   That is an egregious breach of the marital contract.   I’ve argued this before on this site and have gotten blowback but that’s my golden rule and it’s plenty convenient.   You need to wake up every day and be responsible to and for your commitment to your partner.

        12. Stacy2

          Sometimes doing the “right thing” (that is the “right thing” in the eyes of certain part of the society) and being happy in fact can’t co-exist.

          We could discuss it in theoretical examples (i.e. if you’re a woman living in a society where you’re not allowed to drive because it’s not “modest” but you want to have education and be independent to be happy – should you do the “right thing”, cover yourself, get married and pop out 10 kids, OR would you rather pursue happiness elsewhere on your own terms? ) – but really it’s easy enough to focus on the example at hand.

          If two people are in love, real, “can’t live without each other” love, than yes, “right things” go out of the window and they’re absolutely justified to pursue their happiness. Everybody who’s ever been in love should understand how unhappy and in what pain would they be otherwise – and for what? That would leave 3 people unhappy – 2 lovers who are torn apart by doing the “right thing” and the spouse who’s going to live in a loveless and resentful marriage.

          I think most couples who marry their paramours after cheating on their prior spouses fall exactly in this category (the ones who don’t have real feelings and are simply philanders  may get caught and get a divorce but they don’t marry women they used  to cheat on their spouses).  So yes, I don’t think things are that simple in the matters of love and attraction.

        13. KK

          Shucks! I’m so simple minded and unevolved, that never occurred to me. You mean two people might actually be in “true love”? Well, now that I look at through your advanced, worldly ways, I think I’ll start my married men, man hunt this weekend!!!! Surely one will take.

        14. KK

          Scott said, “You need to wake up every day and be responsible to and for your commitment to your partner”.  

          Sounds like you just solved the adultery dilemma with your own words.

        15. ScottH


          The only thing is, BOTH people need to wake up every morning and think that.   It doesn’t work if one person thinks it and the other person says, “fuck you.”

        16. KK

          Yes, Scott, that’s why divorce is always an option. Why take something simple and make it so complicated? An affair isn’t going to fix your problems. Most likely, it will just delay the inevitable. Divorce. So you can make it as complicated as you want, delay it for years, and lose your integrity and self respect in the process, or just get out. Your spouse, even if she’s the most despicable shrew in the world, doesn’t deserve to be lied to, cheated on, exposed to STDs….

          Saying divorce isn’t an option is a cop out for cowardly, weak minded people. Anyone with an ounce of foresight can tell you the likelihood of divorce after infidelity. Not to mention how much messier it makes things. This horrible shrew of a spouse you have might be seen as an angel by a judge. That won’t be good for the new life you have planned with your affair partner.

        17. ScottH

          KK said “Why take something simple and make it so complicated?”

          KK, you sound very young and never married.   Marriage can be complicated.   To think that something as complicated as 2 people living together is simple demonstrates your naivete.   It   should be simple and easy but when it’s not, it can be your worst nightmare.

          Saying that divorce isn’t an option is a copout for the cowardly?    Really?

          Try having young kids with an emotionally disturbed partner who is abusive to your kids, kids who can’t defend themselves against their mother.   And then realize that  divorcing their mother means not being there at least half the time to protect your kids when they might need it.    Think about that.   And then think about who’s being the coward.   And before you make the next anticipated ignorant statement that I shouldn’t have married such a person, well, just keep it to yourself because I have no desire to explain any more to the ignorant.   And your comment about exposing a crazy wife to STDs made me chuckle.   Maybe you forgot the part about being celibate.

          If you’ve had any experience in life, you’d have learned not to judge a person until you’ve walked a bit in their shoes.   Grow the hell up.

        18. KK

          Looks like I struck a nerve there, Scott. I’m not going to defend myself by laying out my life experience. You’ve decided that because I disagree with you, that I must be young, naive, and/   or inexperienced. Oh, and ignorant because I can’t condone two wrongs making it right.

          All you did was make a bad situation worse. If what you’re saying about your ex is true, then don’t your poor kids deserve at least one sane parent that can model integrity? Because of your selfishness, they don’t have a single, good example to follow. And if your ex was truly abusive, how did you manage to have your little affairs, without worrying about your children’s welfare while alone with this abusive mother of theirs?

          You’re no better than your ex. What you did was just as abusive. If she was truly nuts, document it, report the abuse, have her committed if necessary.


        19. ScottH

          KK- You don’t need to share your life experience because your ignorance speaks for it.

          I’m no better than my ex- really?   you’re quite wrong.   My ex is a withering borderline and I am quite spectacular in many ways.    My kids come to me with their very personal issues and for advice.   They come to me when there is a crisis.   They don’t ask their mother because she is worthless when it comes to those things. Thanks for asking.

          Two wrongs making a right?   again, your naivete is shining through.   I did what I needed to do for me.   whether you (or anybody else) think it was right or wrong, I don’t really care.

          Again, don’t judge people until you’ve walked in their shoes.   Grow the hell up.

        20. KK


          I’ve read many of your comments over the months. It appears you really want a good relationship with a healthy, loving partner. There are only two ways to make that happen: 1) Be as deceitful as possible as long as necessary to hook someone. 2) Become a healthy, loving person yourself. I hope you choose option 2. Option 1 doesn’t usually end well.

          The things you’re saying right now will repel a healthy woman and leave you with only being able to choose from women who have much in common with your ex. I don’t think you want to repeat that.

          You can read books about attachment theory until you’re blue in the face. While I’m sure it may have much wisdom to be gleaned from it, one day (sooner or later) you’re going to have to face the most difficult truth: You made bad choices in your marriage too. Instead of trying to justify those bad choices, just own up to it, learn from it, and decide you won’t ever do that again. Believe me, people respect that. People don’t respect, “Yeah, but SHE…”

          I hope you can at least try to see where I’m coming from. Maybe you’ll see I’m not so ignorant after all and that what I’m trying to convey to you actually has quite a bit of merit.

        21. Aimee

          Totally agree.   I have been that wife. So much destruction in letting in a 3rd.

      2. 1.1.2

        Not to mention, how can anyone seriously say this is “happily ever after”? She probably thought that the first two times. And now, she has to live with the fact that her husband is an adulterer (and so is she!), so surely there won’t be any trust issues. Ha!!

        And how will it affect their child knowing how their parents got together? Not to mention the ex- wife who was probably blind sided.  

        But hey, if these two are happy (at the moment), to hell with his wife or anyone else, right? If this is what our world has come to and people think this is okay and justified, God help us all!

        1. ScottH

          unrepentent?    YOU BET I AM

          thanks for offering your sympathy but I’m just fine without it.

        2. KK

          Well I didn’t offer my sympathy, so…..

          A word of advice, though… Any woman you plan on getting seriously involved with deserves to know you’re a cheater.

      3. 1.1.3

        It’s not something I would do. Since children are involved (his and the ones they have together) I think it is a bit selfish to be honest.

        The implications of their affair reach past the two of   to the children. Eventually your kids will be old enough to know the mom/stepmom was the lover of the dad/stepdad while he was still married. Could be awkward. I knew a guy that married his step sister. They didn’t grow up together as young children, but it was still an awkward enough that they didn’t really like to tell people about it. And if they have kids one day, how will they explain the dynamic? How will the kids feel about explaining it to their friends?

        I know a woman that works for her ex-husband’s wife – he’d been having an affair before he became the ex. One day, the woman got in the car to go to work as usual. She put on her name tag that was in the backseat, went in ans started working. People started asking her why she was wearing someone else’s name tag. Sure enough, it was her boss’s name tag. She confronted tem and everyone came clean. How did I find out about it? Other employees. Because you know the people involved aren’t going to talk about it. What is the feeling a 16 year old boy or girl has when they realize that their mother is working for the woman that their father has been fucking on the side?

        She mentioned in the article that she was displeased with the dynamic her parents had and wished to not repeat it. But what kind of dynamic has she created for her family now?

        Hopefully everyone ends up happy and healthy. But personally, I don’t think this is a good start to that at all.

        1. Stacy


          No, adultery is ALWAYS wrong. You have two choices if you are in an unhappy marriage 1. Stay and work it out or 2. Leave.

          Adultery is NEVER   a viable option.   It is selfish, deceptive  and disrespectful period no matter your justifications for it.

        2. ScottH

          Stacy said:   “You have two choices if you are in an unhappy marriage 1. Stay and work it out or 2. Leave.”

          Umm, no.   There is option #3:   you are stuck in a loveless/sexless/contentions   marriage for many reasons.   You can’t leave and your partner won’t come to the table.   Then what??   You cannot deny the existence of this option.   I know MANY people who’ve lived in this option.   Divorce might eventually become an option but that might be a ways off.

        3. KK

          Sounds like you’re an unrepentant cheater, ScottH. No sympathy from me. Stacy2 is the goal for that. Nice how the two of you have finally found some common ground.

        4. ScottH

          KK- I make half of Stacy’s required minimum salary and I don’t produce sperm anymore.   That makes me just a dick….   I don’t think she’ll take me.   i guess I’ll be alone forever and ever….

        5. ScottH

          Additionally, Stacy2 likes eating out at fancy restaurants.   I’d have to take her to Denny’s on her birthday and I don’t think she’d like that.

    2. 1.2

      Hi KK,

      Here is a question for you…

      What is the difference between leaving a “good” spouse because you are not happy and leaving a “good” spouse because you found someone better?

      The results will be the same, and the spouse that was left still treated you good and wanted the relationship to work… Where does your personal happiness come into play? Should you always stay even if this new person makes you laugh more, makes you feel more comfortable, makes you feel lustful again?

      This article reminds me of the one Evan wrote on the Eat Pray Love book, where a woman left her good husband just because she wanted to find someone better, not because of something her husband did wrong.

      Perhaps  Rinaldi’s husband is the male version of that?  

      If you had a job, car, house, pet, or even a friend that was good but you found something better, something that made you happier and you exchanged it for that better thing; no one condemns you.

      Why would it be wrong to leave a “good” husband or wife because you found someone better? Why is marriage treated like a prison sentence?

      …      …      …

      This is all purely playing devil’s advocate for understanding purposes of course.

      Here the term “good” is used for a partner that was left NOT because they did something wrong but because their husband or wife just found someone better.

      1. 1.2.1

        Hi Adrian,

        I know you’re playing devil’s advocate here, so please imagine my response in a soft, sweet, calm tone. Lol

        I think people who view marriage as a prison sentence shouldn’t get married in the first place.

        Comparing marriage to a house, a car, or a job is a fundamental mistake. Why? Because marriage, especially if you’re a Christian, is a life long covenant between each spouse, together and with God.

        I understand people get divorced for all kinds of reasons (although, I only know of two that are acceptable, biblically). But, no matter the reason, it should be done above board without deception or infidelity.

        As for the ‘Trading in or trading up theory’, I find that pretty disturbing. If someone feels they might want someone else later on down the road, why get married?   Trade in or trade up whenever you want. Funny thing is, I know quite a few people who realized they actually traded down, after the dust settled, but it’s too late.


        1. shaukat

          I understand people get divorced for all kinds of reasons (although, I only know of two that are acceptable, biblically).

          KK, that statement indicates that your strict opposition to infidelity, regardless of the circumstances, is perhaps driven by religious conviction, meaning that your viewpoint is informed by dogma and not necessarily a rational thought process.

          The type of black and white thinking you’ve displayed here on this issue is quite simpleminded; it reduces all the complexity and messiness of real life to a formulaic expression of a + or – sign next to any given catalogue of behaviors, regardless of the social context. When you think in such stark and simplistic terms, which involve dividing the world into biblical notions of “good” and “evil,” you not only deprive yourself of the ability to empathize, but in my experience such people usually end up living there own lives as hypocrites (even if they can hide it well) because they come to realize that life rarely allows for such simplistic convictions.

          Yes, infidelity is usually wrong, but there are a number of circumstances where it could actually be justified. Fir example, imagine a battered spouse who only gained the courage to leave her partner after meeting someone who treated her well romantically. You could say she should have divorced first and then gotten involved, but emotionally that may not have been an option for her, the affair is what would have triggered the courage in the first place.

          Yet your biblical worldview would simply place a minus sign next to this example of infidelity, refusing to recognize the nuance and complexity ingrained in most real life situations. It’s a troubling viewpoint, to say the least.

        2. KK


          “When you think in such stark and simplistic terms, which involve dividing the world into biblical notions of “good” and “evil,” you not only deprive yourself of the ability to empathize, but in my experience such people usually end up living there own lives as hypocrites (even if they can hide it well) because they come to realize that life rarely allows for such simplistic convictions”.

          The ability to empathize, eh? What about your ability to empathize??? Do you have any idea the number of spouse’s and children’s lives that have been blown up by infidelity? I empathize with the victims. I can even empathize with someone in the (albeit unlikely and extreme) example you provided or the one Callie provided. It doesn’t make it okay, though. And I think it’s an extremely dangerous precedent to try to set by saying it is okay if we want to live in a civilized society. Even our legal system allows for different degrees of guilt and sets sentences accordingly. If you decide to murder someone, you’re going to prison. If you murder someone who abused you for years and your attorney can prove you were mentally unstable at the time due to years of abuse, you’ll get a lighter sentence, but (most of the time), you’re still serving some time.

          Please save the psycho babble, anti Christian sentiments for someone who can’t see right through your attempts to paint me in a corner. To insult someone’s intelligence because they disagree with you is pretty lame. To say my viewpoint is “troubling”? Just wow. My viewpoint is one of protecting the innocent, of speaking up when others are mistreated. If that’s “troubling”, I’d say you have a backward view of the world. Insult me all you want, but I’m exactly the person anyone would want in their corner to help defend them.

          And by the way, the EXAMPLE you came up with doesn’t allow for consequences. So while I’ll absolutely have empathy for someone who is in an abusive relationship, I would never advise them to have an affair. You know what happens to women who screw around on abusive men??? Hint… turn on the 5 o’clock news tonight.

    3. 1.3

      KK, I agree. It the goal is to feel “happy” at all costs, then a person won’t consider integrity and virtue issues. It’s unfortunate, because there is a type of inner peace and contentment that cannot be attained outside or pursuing a life of goodness and virtue. Life will be flat— bland— without that deep inner peace and contentment that is the fruit of living in goodness and virtue. The natural impulse is to seek drama and emotional experiences  to add excitement and fill the void and meaninglessness delivered by living outside of goodness and  virtue. Every little bit of our consciences that we sell out for emotional experiences and anything we place in the role of “ultimate” in our lives results in desensitization of our consciences, which also affects our ability to experience true joy, true happiness, and the emptiness grows bigger, as we run from one fix to another, our hearts hardening more and more, and more and more being unable to experience true joy, and becoming by consumers dependent of our environments. True power lies in being able to choose the good even under great suffering. I write “choose” as it is choice that becomes lost to us as we harden our consciences more and more when we choose evil over good, justifications, rationalizations, when we don’t honor our commitments, the boundaries of others’ commitments (even if they don’t honor them themselves), when we simply pretend “maybe it’s not so bad”. That is not power at all, to justify, to rationalize, to make choices based on feeling, to evade suffering. That is weakness, to be acted on by want, by desire, by emotion, so that we can’t tell the difference between wrong and right.


      There is nothing wrong with suffering. To be loyal, for example, means to suffer. It means that when our loved one hurts us, as we honor our vows in loyalty to them, we suffer. To be steadfast, to not give up on people. To be willing to walk with someone during a difficult time, even if they abandon you. That is not weakness. That is strength. That is love, true love. Not fickle love. Not conditional love. That is a love worth having. That kind of love— loyal love, love willing to suffer for— that is the only love I want.


      I agree with you completely. The lady in the editorial may have found relationship, it may have lasted many years, but it came at the cost of personal failure.

      1. 1.3.1


        Beautifully stated. 🤗

      2. 1.3.2

        This is beautiful. Thank you so much.

        I completely agree with the both of you, True4Life and KK.

        And I’m a breakup coach, who has pushed hundreds of people past their breakups. I’d like to think that I know more about cheating than the average person, having both solved my cheating (I did cheat in the past) and other people’s constantly.

        Adultery is always wrong. What “saves” you (I apologize, I can’t think of a better word right now) is how much remorse you feel after.

        I deal with people who are aghasted at what they did.. and I tell them this: “Because you realized that there is a problem, and you came to me for help, you’re already not the condemned soul that you think you are. Because the very crucial thing is to realize that there’s a problem in the first place.”

        1. Kanga

          I was forced into celibacy in my marriage when my husband decided to move out of the bedroom.   I didn’t cheat. It was that simple. I was married. I was not going to go and find a man to fuck to relieve myself with, when I had children to look after and was dealing with a awful marriage. It would have made that situation one million times worse. It wasn’t even hard to not have an affair. To have an affair would have stolen time from my family and I was not prepared to do that. If you are so concerned about the children then you should want to be IN the household the WHOLE time to protect them like I was and not be fucking around with someone else. Who was protecting those children when you were having an affair?   You didn’t care about them as much as you purport and you are using protecting your children as a cop out for poor decisions and character. They can’t have been in much danger. I stayed because I knew the minute my spouse got my kids every second weekend their lives would be chaos and I stayed and stayed and stayed in misery until I got head butted and had to leave and YES, he left our children alone a LOT and it was hard and I never cheated or had an affair – not while in the marriage or during the separation.   It really isn’t that hard. It’s called priorities. It’s very, very easy.

  2. 2

    This whole discussion about “wanting” or “needing” a man is silly. We are human beings and men and women are designed to be together. This woman who wrote this article is unbalanced and should not be advising women how to find a guy and fall in love. It is okay for a woman to need a man. A former girlfriend of mine was leaving my apartment one night at 2am and I said I would walk her out after I used the bathroom. She decided to go outside before I joined her. She was approached by two men who were making unsavory advances toward her. I eventually got out were she was and told those two guys to get lost. She was happy to see me to say the least. Sometimes she would just need me to be a shoulder for her to express her emotions. I was happy to do it. Real men love to protect their women. If a guy is too Alpha or too Beta, he will be a brute or a wimp. There is a third type of man. He is a combo of Alpha/Beta. He can kick a guys ass in the street if he must and he can come home and be playful and loving with his wife and kids. I am not saying there are a lot of these guys, but this is the model for men to strive towards. I have had to protect women a few times in my life and it felt great. This idea that a woman will never need physical protection is unrealistic. Men and women have different strengths. They should be respected.

    1. 2.1

      Well said John. I like to think that I’m also that 3rd type of man.

    2. 2.2

      Very well said

  3. 3

    Whether or not her current husband’s prior marriage would have survived, I don’t think there are many women out there who hope to end their romantic disappointments by finding comfort in the arms of a married man.   That’s a form of lowering one’s standards in the worst way.

    1. 3.1

      Thank you Denise…as if being alone would not have been a better option. Sometimes it is.

  4. 4

    By the way, Rinaldi’s husband first wife knew about his affair for some time, and she tried to get him to stay by being nice – cooking for him, having sex with him, aka a “cool girl” and of course he walked all over her and walked out. Which only goes to further show that nobody’s ever kept a man by being nice to him.

    1. 4.1

      How his wife reacted (in her devastation) is inconsequential. The damage had been done. I read a snippet of what you posted below and the wife eventually kicked him out. He was perfectly happy with his cake- eating status quo. Therefore, Rinaldi ended up with him by default. He didn’t CHOOSE her. He didn’t confess his affair and run off with her. He got kicked out. And Rinaldi grabbed up her prize (sarcasm) after he got dumped.

  5. 5

    P.S. this is all chronicled in the first wife’s book:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KE64XUW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1


  6. 6

    Which only goes to further show that nobody’s ever kept a man by being nice to him.

    If what you mean is that being nice in the absence of passion isn’t enough to make a relationship last, then you’re right. But that goes both ways; a guy can’t win a woman’s heart just because he’s ‘nice’ if she doesn’t feel any chemistry.

    However, if what you mean is that the way to keep a man interested is by not being nice, then that’s a rather disturbing viewpoint.

    1. 6.1

      What I mean is, you can’t  (re)ignite  the passion by being nice.

      She mistakenly thought that “nice” was what he wanted; he didn’t.  Of course we will never  know, but perhaps if she kicked his sorry ass out the first time she learned about the affair and took  scissors to his suits and threw  them out of the window on the crap-covered LES street of   1980-ies, he’d actually be shaken enough to want to reignite the relationship. At the very least, he would have had more respect for her.

      1. 6.1.1

        I’m not sure if the first wife was really being “nice” or a “cool girl”.   To me, her behavior sounds more like being a doormat!     I think men (at least good ones) really do love nice girls…but not doormats.




        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Or the guy was just a selfish jerk.   He made the choice to have sex outside of his marriage and maybe whether or not his wife cooked or didn’t cook, ironed his shirts or didn’t iron his shirts, had sex with him or didn’t have sex with him, and on and on, wouldn’t have mattered in the least.

      2. 6.1.2

        Gowiththeflow, that’s a fair point. Who knows, some people just cheat independent of whatever the spouse does. In any case I sure hope the first wife didn’t constantly bend over backwards for him even after his cheating and would find that sad…just for the sake of her own dignity and self-respect. But who knows what the full story is. As a general matter, I think men (or at least good ones) can and do love nice women, who have reasonable boundaries

      3. 6.1.3

        There is a difference between between a walk over and being nice….kind of like us women who want nice men but  with balls.

        The issue was not that the man’s wife was too nice…the issue is that she was a walk over (after all, if you find out your man is having an affair and you’re being the cool, quiet, ‘I will still do anything for you’, noone respects that).

        Trust me, men love nice.   My man is very happy with me being nice but he knows that he can’t cross certain lines else the ‘nice’ will be out the window.

        1. Scooter

          Yes, no one respects a “doormat”, but people are passive to the degree of forfeiting respect, for different reasons.

          One parameter that seems to escape most, is that we  all have a different threshold for what I would call, “emotional fortitude”.   Some people are so passive, nice, and non-confrontational that they just can’t “fight back”, so-to-speak.   Does this make them bad people who deserve to be emotionally raped?   NO!  

          One may retort that people such as that must develop a “spine”, over time, and I would generally agree with  that statement.   Yet, some are just so mentally battered by whatever bad life experiences that they just can’t Furthemore, it doesn’t absolve those who take advantage of such meek individuals; to argue otherwise is to fly down the “slippery slope” of “might makes right”.   If we are civilized people, we must continue to evolve socially, and I’d argue, spiritually.

          It’s wrong to take advantage of such individuals.

        2. KK

          I agree wholeheartedly with you, Scooter. There’s something else going on here that escapes most. When someone is blindsided by infidelity (after the initial feelings of shock, hurt, rage), it’s very common to try to protect what’s “yours” at all costs. It’s also a temporary, but very powerful emotion that can cause someone to do things they wouldn’t normally do. But, eventually, weeks or months later, the reality sets in and they realize what they have isn’t worth fighting for. And that happened with her too. She kicked his sorry behind out.

        3. Scooter

          Thanks, KK.   I appreciate your response, and agree with it.

          In reading the responses from “regulars” of this blog, to various articles, I see a lot of emotionally beaten and in some cases, warped  individuals.

          I want to go off on a tangent, and say that there is something very wrong with the crux of our social foundation, as regards to finding a life-partner.    There are so many lonely, cynical and distraught individuals, who just can’t seem to break out of their shackles, to find who they want.      Too many are indoctrinated into a narrow view of what is desirable, and too few can actually live up to that standard.

          I’ll go off on another ancillary (and I  know I am rambling), but I  guess the OP is “happy”, despite living with the knowledge of what she did.   (Same goes for the husband)   It seems that in our culture, the process of finding a life-partner often involves deeds that are so Machiavellian.    The OP and the husband  seem to fit this mold.

          Maybe the ends do justify the means.   Maybe people like me don’t deserve anything, if we are not willing to be as ruthless. I say this also, because I have seen such tactics work for others, in my life observations.

        4. KK

          Thanks, Scooter.

          “Maybe the ends do justify the means.   Maybe people like me don’t deserve anything, if we are not willing to be as ruthless. I say this also, because I have seen such tactics work for others, in my life observations”.

          I disagree. You deserve more. I doubt their ‘ruthlessness’ results in the kind of legacy you or I would be proud of. There’s something to be said for holding out for what’s right instead of blindly mowing over others to get your fix. It’s quite animalistic.

  7. 7

    Oh, great, what a lovely way to spend my time in determining my hopes and dreams on finding a significant other. Now I can start learning how to sink another woman’s ship (married life) and hope this ship will sail for me. Oh, wait! Being a pirate is much easier. Whew….so glad this article opened my eyes because guess what girls? Piracy is simple. All you need is a gun (phone), an aluminum ladder for scaling other ships, (a car or public transportation and some free time) and a highly evolved narcissistic attitude. You don’t even have to worry about your “targets” (married wife of your man) shooting back. They will never know in this land of ever-improving technology. Once you go through all the machinations of boarding your ship to sail on your course…you can enjoy a life with a delusional sense of peace and trust knowing your ship will never sail off course and your man would never cheat on another woman (you) forever and ever….

  8. 8

    Having an affair with a married man definitely isn’t a step up from her poor relationship choices of the past. I agree with her father’s statement about Rinaldi making her life needlessly complicated, even if she was just trying to figure things out and avoid “patriarchy”. She sounds like she is (or at least was) a drama queen. But at least she and her husband are happy. Hope she doesn’t slip back into this “what is a man good for” bullshit mindset while raising the kids.


  9. 9

    This adultery business seems to have distracted everyone from the main point of the blog here.   Isn’t the point that she thought she didn’t NEED a man and then after finding a good man, she understands that life can be so much better  when happily coupled?

    1. 9.1

      But she thought she didn’t need a man because of all of the bullshit she went through due to HER poor dating choices. I think the general consensus is that if you are looking for a serious relationship, it’s not a good idea to pursue a married man. Generally. So it’s like she made yet another bad choice. But she says they are happy now so good for them I suppose.

    2. 9.2

      This story is not really a good example of perseverance in dating tho. She simply got lucky with this guy (it could’ve easily be another major disaster which could’ve cost her her job too given they worked together). It’s like saying I’ve been doing crappy menial jobs for pennies all my life, but then I won a lottery and now I am rich – see, if you just don’t give up and persist you can do that too! See my point?

      1. 9.2.1

        I think the point of this column is what they say in the Attached book on page 21:   it is erroneous to believe that people should be emotionally self-sufficient.

        I sure hope that finding love is a lot easier than winning the lottery.   And I certainly understand that there are plenty of emotionally unhealthy people out there.   Come to think of it, Levine and Heller do say the following: “If you’re in a good relationship, you’ve really lucked out–not just emotionally, but also health-wise.”     https://web.archive.org/web/20170930124027/http://www.attachedthebook.com:80/qa/

        Don’t we persevere until we get lucky?   And with some guidance, we can get lucky sooner and with less chance of pairing up with a train-wreck.

        1. Emily, the original


          And with some guidance, we can get lucky sooner and with less chance of pairing up with a train-wreck.

          The best way to not attract a train-wreck is (not to be rude) to not be one yourself. Like attracts like on a very subconscious but very real level.


        2. Nissa


          That’s a surprising statement from the book, that it is erroneous to believe that people should be emotionally self-sufficient.   Did they give an explanation of why? I would have thought that emotionally secure people were by nature self sufficient, that it would be a quality that would generate security (they are not dependent on others, they find security within, and therefore can weather emotional storms more effectively).


        3. ScottH

          Nissa-   they call it the dependency paradox.   When you have a secure base (your partner upon whom you can depend), you feel secure to go out into the world and do your business (whatever that may be).   The bottom line is the people do need other people.   Everybody has an innate need to have a secure base (preferably a partner).   I really can’t do the book justice.   Everybody in the dating pool needs to read that book and know about attachment theory.

          I used to wonder why I struggled with relationships when my best friend didn’t.   I knew there was something about him that made it easy and I was dying to know what it was.   Reading that book made me understand what the difference is.   And I say this to my friends with young kids:   there is no greater gift you can give to your child than a secure attachment style.   Read the book to understand how to do that.

        4. Nissa

          Oh, that’s interesting. I’ll put it on my book list.

          BTW, I’d have to come down on your side on this one ScottH. While I’d say that in most cases divorce without cheating is the option of highest integrity, I can hear what you are saying about your decision being based on your children’s well being. It’s hard for people sometimes to realize that an unstable ex can make claims which might result in their sole custody (such as abuse) which would be worse than remaining marriage and trying to give the kids as much as possible.

          And I would agree that refusing sex does constitute a breach of the marital contract. I can see that in your mind, once the contract was breached, the entire contract was therefore invalid. For normal people, when that happens, contracts can be re-written to new circumstances, but if the partner refuses to ‘come to the table at all’ I can understand resorting to unilateral behavior.

  10. 10

    Well…this is an interesting article from the standpoint of being an Evan devotee.   I’m in the camp of adultery is always wrong… and two wrongs don’t make it right.   It’s a selfish decision to cross that line.   The aldulter knows there is risk (exciting!), But Gamble’s.   The affair develops and they continue to gamble, lie pathologically and eventually burn down the marriage.

    I’ve had a lot of experience with cheating men. A long term marriage, a fiance and a couple boyfriends.   My bad picker.   I’m the common denominator.   Hence, my three years of following Evan in my pursuit of changing me.

    I’ve probably been on a hundred dates over the last four years and I’m quite Frank with men.   I often ask them what broke up their marriage and they are quite honest I think.   Cheating is a pretty prevalent them.   Either they or their spouse

    Men I believe, often identify what I call the fact they want to jump to when they are grossly unhappy in their marriage.   Someone they are willing to risk it all for.   The upheaval. Monetary damage. Judgment of friends and family.

    Rarely do they end up with the person who they thought they were raft jumping to.   And most are truly broken by the experience and have regrets. And most of them, I truly can’t imagine exploring a relationship with because they are broken and I’m not into fixing.   And they haven’t done the really hard introspective work.

    I am seeing a man that confessed he did cheat and that triggered the divorce.   But perhaps he’s extremely introspective, had a lot of solo time due to a serious injury and completely condemns his choices and accepts responsibility I am getting to know and trust him.   And that was all 15 years ago.

    One of the prevailing themes I do hear is how sex in their marriages completely fizzled regardless of their efforts.   And being the keeper of many women’s secrets through the years, I will say quite bluntly, that I believe a woman, as well as a man, is responsible for maintaining a degree of attractiveness.   You can’t gain 100 pounds, live in sweats, spend like there’s no tomorrow and neglect your man physically and emotionally without consequences.

    People are flawed. Make mistakes. Are hard wired for self preservation. Some of us are more evolved. Have more self control.   Value ethics beyond pleasure.   This woman was a bad picker.   Really not her fault.   But she was in error in dating a married man.   The fact that she reports success twenty five years later?   I’m sure she crossed some troubled waters through those years.

    Her by-line of the article…why need a man?   So contrary.   She tracked men like a feral she cat in heat until she found one who stayed.   Russian Roulette.

    I don’t need a man.   I’ve gone years alone.   I date to find that one loving partner that compliments my values, that will comfort my mind and body until there is no more time. That places me as their priority of each and every day.   And relishes the comfort of simple things that make life so much nicer.

    Oh.. I need a man alright.   Just the right one.

    Best wishes Evan devotees?






  11. 11

    And that, my friends, is why you keep dating. Even if you’ve made dozens of bad relationship choices in the past, you always have a new chance to rewrite your future.

    I guess that’s the point? But it’s not easy to keep dating. It must be done, but it’s not easy to do and not become bitter.   I’ve learned that and I read the bitterness in comments above all the time.   I’m not bitter, but I fight hard not to be. Luckily, I have some natural cheerfulness that’s rather persistent.   Evan didn’t teach that and I don’t know if he can.   That cheer is just me.   Given time, that cheerfulness is like a weed poking through concrete.   It always comes back but it may take awhile.

    So sure, it may take 300 dates to find the right person.   Or twenty-five years (I’m gleaning from commentary, I have no wish to read all the sides to this woman’s story. And I’m at my limit of my 10 free NYT articles so I can’t read it.)   That’s a lot of dates and a lot of years. And this woman had a lot of baggage to unpack before she found what I hope is a lasting happiness.

    So yay? I’m not sure about yay here.   I’m not bitter, but this is not exactly a ringing endorsement to keep on dating in my opinion. Yes, we should date and remain hopeful.   Yes, women and men need one another. But my opinions on that have nothing to do with the outcome of this woman’s situation.

    I wonder why the article hit Evan so hard that he had to mention it here.   We all know that we just have to keep on dating to find the right person. I’m not being snarky, just genuinely a bit puzzled.

    1. 11.1

      I’m *guessing* that this article hit Evan hard b/c here’s a woman who convinced herself she didn’t need a man (and all the problems of a relationship), THEN met the right guy and developed a great relationship and CHANGED her mind entirely.   Hence, the   “never ever ever give up” theme.

      And I totally agree, “it’s not easy”, especially when one is a single mom and working full-time and seems to only meet extreme versions of “alpha” or “beta” men , not to mention with so much baggage I call it “cargo”.   😉

      1. 11.1.1

        I know whatcha mean. It reminds me of the story about the poor man who had given up on ever being wealthy. I mean who really NEEDS money to survive anyway? But THEN he realized all he had to do was rob the local orphanage. After a life of poverty and failed get rich quick schemes, he suddenly knew this might be the answer. And just like that… Voila! All his problems were over! But just to be clear… The life lesson that he wants to pass on after his decades long struggle and courageous fight on never giving up… He doesn’t NEED the money. He just likes it a lot. And those pesky little snot nosed orphans… Eh, they’re fine. I’m sure of it. Kids are resilient, don’t cha know?

      2. 11.1.2

        I   was able to read the article a bit at the library.   I think I get the point of why to share this story but I think we all know we shouldn’t give up on love.   I’m actually going to read the wife’s book.   Though this woman rewrote her future,   it seems the dishonesty of her new partner seriously hurt someone else.   Ah, well. Just my opinion.   I’d have chosen a different story.

        My point is, it’s not easy out there.   And waiting twenty-five years is quite a long time. (Even if you have other partners during that time.) I see the bitterness of women and men here in their wait.   Not sure what would alleviate that bitterness, but this story didn’t do much for me.   I’d much rather read Evan’s regular posts. 🙂

        And yeah, those non-alpha, non-beta men are very rare.     And there are so many people to sort through.   Breaks are nice.   It’s okay to be with your own company for a while while you wait.   This woman said, ” my attraction to men and my desire for a deeper connection with a partner was as unavoidable as my need to breathe. I loved living life by following my own compass, and yet somehow this had entangled me in a monogamous relationship again, one with major consequences.”

        She had her own cargo, long before she met her third husband.   Maybe we all do and it just takes a while to unload it.

    2. 11.2

      I am actually surprised Evan mentioned this article. She lacks any self respect and integrity. Not a good example of dating success.

      I’ve dated for the last 1.5 years. 28 first dates,   some awful,   some nice,   but no chemistry. I almost settled with a great guy I had no attraction to. Then my 28th first date walked into a bar.. It’s been only two months but I am immensely happy with him and so glad I didn’t give up!   I was very close. Take breaks,   change ways but just keep doing it.   It pays off.

  12. 12

    It’s very important for men to understand that trillions in wealth have been forcefully transferred via the state from men to women through alimony, asset division and child support in the past few decades alone.

    It’s very important for men to realize that trillions more in wealth and power have been forcefully transferred via the state from men to women through Title IX, Affirmative Action, female-first spending on health, education and welfare and a myriad of other female-only/female-first quota programs.

    It’s very important for men to understand that millions upon millions of men’s lives have been sacrificed at the alter of gynocentrism through male-only conscription and a male-only front line combat fighting force – to simply hand women the rights they so viciously take for granted today.

    It’s very important for men to realize that, when they drive down the road, everything they see was built by men, including the road.

    It’s very important for men to realize that, with Affirmative Consent, they lose their right to presumption of innocence and due process – leaving them vulnerable to complete life destruction following the false accusations of a woman scorned.

    It’s critical that men awaken to the illusions and enchantments deployed over the past century to force wealth and power from men to women – or they’ll perish in ever increasing misery and certainty.

    Men – Never give a woman any level of financial or legal power over your life.   Hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of men – in the US alone – awaken to this one simple truth every single year.   Women in general, nor your own mother, will spell this out for you.   In fact, most will actively try to hide all the above truths from you, hoping that you become the next in a long, long line of suckers.

    1. 12.1

      It’s important for men to know if they hate women, we aren’t interested in them in any capacity. So feel free to find another man to shack up with or live alone. No one cares and no one with half a brain would ever take your view of women seriously.

  13. 13

    Unfortunately, the “don’t give up on men and love” message is being delivered by a very, um. . . IMPERFECT messenger in this article.   No single woman’s dream is to be in a triangle with a married man.   Somehow it worked out for her, for now, though there may be ongoing ramifications that Rinaldi is not discussing, like resentful step kids, or how all of this drama played out (and continues to play out) very publicly.   That can’t be good for any of the four kids involved.

    Her husband’s jilted ex published a book about the affair and the dissolution of their marriage that became an international best seller.   Then last spring and indie movie based on Rinaldi’s side of the triangle (with a different ending) came out.   I wonder if this article is more about Rinaldi’s way of getting her side of the story out (and get publicity for the movie) then an honest attempt to examine  the human need to connect with and forge bonds with the opposite sex.

    The comments on the NYT’s article were as equally negative as they are here, and not about whether women and men need each other in an era of increasing self-reliance and autonomy.   Since I would like to see the topic discussed, I guess I will have to wait until Modern Love publishes an essay on it that doesn’t get crushed under the weight of the author’s negative backstory.

    1. 13.1

      Hi GoWithTheFlow,

      You know how magazines have those featured relationship articles that are suppose to be based off of “scientific studies” (that’s my disclaimer for your guess is as good as mine as to how true what it reported in it’s findings actually are).

      In a magazine I once read it had an article that was suppose to be based off published research stating that man and women say one thing but secretly desire the opposite when it comes to the issue of stealing another person’s partner.

      It is suppose to be a huge verification of one’s own sexual market value rating as well as a way of inconspicuously displaying dominance over the man or woman who just got dumped for you.

      It said that those with more of a conscious limit it to only light flirting with a person who professes to have a loving partner at home; it’s almost like an adrenaline rush for them to know that they can get this person to contemplate leaving a long-term partner for them.

      I bring this article up because I think Rinaldi probably got a subconscious ego and self-esteem boost knowing that a man would leave everything to be with her.

      Though as Emily always says, “compliments, someone flirting with you, or thinking you are hot enough to leave their partner for, only matters if this is a person who you reciprocate attraction for.”

      If a very out of shape person with poor hygiene told you that you were the most beautiful person in the world or offered to leave their spouse for you; it would be like water on a ducks back-it’ll just roll right off.

      …    …    …

      As far as your question about men and women needing each other, I have read a few things by more credible sources that would suggest that we do… So what is the problem?

      OUR CULTURE.   We now live in a culture that shames men and women for saying they need (in a romantic way) a partner in their lives; those people are considered  weak or needy (yet saying I need sex is okay).   If you say you don’t need a person, they are just another option to have in your already happy single life;  you are considered strong, independent, and modern

      I read a study a few months back about the dangers of technology. The researchers stated that “in a world of ever increasing technology, people are more connected now than ever in history, yet we are more alone now than ever before. The numbers of people reporting to be suffering from depression because of loneliness is higher now than anytime in recorded history, yet the ability to talk to someone miles away instantly has never been available like today.”

      1. 13.1.1

        Hi Adrian,

        You stated, “I bring this article up because I think Rinaldi probably got a subconscious ego and self-esteem boost knowing that a man would leave everything to be with her”.

        There’s nothing subconscious about it. I’ve known quite a few people who have had affairs with married people. Not only is it NOT subconscious, it’s one of the main things that drives them to pursue the relationship in the first place. It’s the highest form of narcissism and delusion.  

        There’s a sense of excitement and danger that doesn’t exist in a relationship where everything is above board and out in the open. The secretive late night texts after his wife goes to bed (Look! He’s thinking about ME!), the secretive daytime trysts   (See! He’s choosing ME!), and dozens of other examples. Of course, what they refuse to acknowledge, is that they’re nothing more than a dirty secret. And it gets a bit dicey when the holidays come around and he’s off with his wife and family, while she’s alone. Instead of accepting her reality (she’s a side dish in his cake eating world), she amps up the desperation and starts demanding he choose her or his wife. Then, he’ll usually be able to buy a few more months by promising he just needs more time (because of the kids, or his business, or…. insert excuse here). Rarely do these guys come clean and / or leave their wives. Rinaldi’s husband didn’t. He got caught. His wife kicked him out. So, now what? Well, be alone or try with Rinaldi? Make no mistake. These people are cowardly. They will never make a stand for anyone or anything. The path of least resistance is what it’s all about. So, now… Rinaldi says she’s the bread earner and he takes care of the kids. Does anyone think this guy is faithful to her??? Very, very doubtful!

        1. Adrian

          Hi KK… or should I say baby face kk (^_^).

          I just read on this post someone (I won’t say names) calling you really young. So that means that I am no longer the youngest commenter on this site! As your older and wiser big brother kk, you have to do what I say and give me half your candy!

          Now grab your roller skates and Halloween bag, maybe we can still catch some last minute trick or treating before our bed time! We can read bed-time stories and have pillow fights later! (^_^)

          I’m just teasing KK, you once posted your age group so I know where you stand age wise, but it was still funny for you to be called a naive youngster! (^_^)… By the way, I never really got into video games, but if you want to come join me playing with legos let me know, and we can build a pillow fort afterwards!

          Okay I’ll stop, don’t beat me! (^_^)

          …    …    …

          I will admit, it has always been hard for me to understand men or women who say that they fell in love with someone that is married or has a long-term partner.

          I know of many very funny, or kind, and attractive married women, but I admire their beauty like a person would the beauty of a painting. It is nice to look at, but I have no emotional longing for it.

          Though I would hold more empathy for a person who slowly but unwittingly fell in love with a married person, than a person who intentionally sought out a married person.

          Besides ego, why do you think a single woman would dating a knowingly married man?

          Do you think love trumps morality? What I mean is, some women are tricked (he said he was single or said he was getting a divorce), but once they find out, they stay with him; why?


        2. Callie

          You know how you said to Scott above that you must have hit a nerve? I think there’s something about affairs that is deeply personal and hitting a nerve for you too. You have one narrative and one alone, that of deception narcissism and basically pure evil. I think it’s interesting that you say that this is the main driving force behind people having affairs, and also interesting that you send a heck of a lot of anger towards the person outside of the marriage (equating them with a robber etc). You completely insulted Scott calling him an abusive partner. And you refuse to have any empathy at all towards people being human and sometimes fucking up.

          Likely, because this always happens to me here, you’ll assume I have a dog in this fight, that I was a mistress or cheated on my partner or something. Which is why I should clarify that I have not done either. I have had friends however, who have been the other woman and I can tell you that it is far more complicated than you want it to be. You want these women to be utter monsters. Let me tell you, it’s just not like that at all. (okay I’m sure there are some evil man stealing women out there I guess maybe, I don’t like thinking in absolutes)

          So  my experience so far has shown me two women. The first is the one who knows the person is in a relationship. You say she must be a narcissist and longing for excitement. From my observations the my friend that  I have known who did this was  really broken. Missing a piece of herself. Then a man FINALLY showed interest in her, likes her  even more than his  own partner, and it makes her  for once in their life feel loved, feel worthy.  That need to feel like they matter is far greater than her  morals in that moment. But what happens after the moment? Deep depression, regret, shame, self loathing.

          Then there is my friend who had no idea the guy was married. He kept it hidden for MONTHS. It helped that he and his wife were in different countries. But my friend’s not stupid, she started to get suspicious. Eventually she figured it out and of course dumped his ass.

          Neither of these women fit the model you have decided is the only model for mistresses. (this is not to say you are inaccurate in how the people you’ve witnesses handled affairs, I’m just saying that those people are not universal, that there are other kids of people who end up in the situation)

          I say all this because I feel like your anger is taking away your humanity a bit here. I don’t know what you’ve experienced, I don’t know what you’ve witnessed, I assume it must be truly terrible considering the level of anger you have. I would just like it if  maybe you could possibly consider just a little bit that life is complicated, that sure, one ought to strive for moral perfection (I know I try to), but one can falter. One can slip. One can fuck up. One of the greatest strengths, and the thing that takes the most courage is forgiveness. And I think forgiveness comes from empathy. And realising the world isn’t divided into heroes and villains. That in fact it can be really dangerous to look at it that way.

          Obviously I’m just a stranger on the internet, obviously you are free to ignore all this. But  I wanted to say something because your anger here is quite large and I wasn’t sure if you knew how palpable it was.

        3. KK

          Hi Callie,

          I’ll try to hit the high points of your comment…

          “You know how you said to Scott above that you must have hit a nerve? I think there’s something about affairs that is deeply personal and hitting a nerve for you too”.

          You are absolutely correct. I have no reason to deny that. I’ll add to that by saying it makes me angry any time someone is hurt needlessly. A drunk driver kills a family, pedophiles, murderers, you name it. Any time someone hurts another deeply, whether they’re messed up themselves or do it intentionally, the results are the same.

          “You completely insulted Scott calling him an abusive partner. And you refuse to have any empathy at all towards people being human and sometimes fucking up”.

          Adultery IS abuse. I do have empathy for people who mess up, but I reserve that empathy for those who can admit they messed up, do their best to make up for the mess they created, and choose not to do it again. Scott clearly stated he is completely unrepentant. He claims his wife was abusive to their young children and instead of making them his first priority by doing whatever he needed to do to protect them, he chose to put his sexual needs first. I won’t apologize for my sentiments.

          “I have had friends however, who have been the other woman and I can tell you that it is far more complicated than you want it to be”.

          I do as well. One of my friends was in a situation similar to the first friend you mentioned. She fully acknowledges her selfish behavior, even admitting she did get a rush out of “feeling” chosen over his wife, a sense of competition with the wife, and being able to admit how screwed up her thinking was at that time. She’s still one of my best friends. As for what you said about your second friend, she’s 100% blameless. I would never condemn anyone for being lied to. She’s just as much of a victim as his wife.

          “I say all this because I feel like your anger is taking away your humanity a bit here”.

          I couldn’t disagree with you more. Nothing makes one more human than to empathize with others and be angry on their behalf; whether it’s a family torn apart by adultery or a family devastated that their loved one was murdered on the way to the store. I would even go so far as to say that your attempt at trying to shame me for being angry goes against your own humanity and ability to empathize with anyone who was wronged or deeply hurt.

        4. KK

          Oh Adrian…

          You’re so silly! 😂

          I must admit, not much beats making a pillow fort! In keeping with the reputation I’ve (apparently) made for myself on here, you better watch out though! One wrong glance from you and I’ll turn into Godzilla and destroy your fort!!! 😉

          And now we move on to your reputation, Mr. Questions (😘)…

          “Besides ego, why do you think a single woman would dating a knowingly married man”?

          I think Callie touched on that. Insecurity, loneliness, brokenness… Self confident women who know their worth, won’t go there.

          “Do you think love trumps morality? What I mean is, some women are tricked (he said he was single or said he was getting a divorce), but once they find out, they stay with him; why”?

          I’m a big believer in what Evan has said on here before… To paraphrase, Love comes after the lust / chemistry phase. So for most, that’s 2 to 4 years (?) after marriage. So a more accurate question would be if lust trumps morality. For Rinaldi, it certainly did. The women who are truly tricked, also have to face the reality of their situation. For me, the idea of rewarding a man by staying with him after he intentionally lied to me, is a no go! So after someone deals with their own emotions and how they expect to be treated, then they have to look at the wife who has been betrayed and whether they think it’s okay to continue in that betrayal. I think I’ve been clear on how I feel about that. Lol. But for the women who continue, I think it’s the same answer as above and of course, some mixture of excitement and superiority over getting something over on someone else in hopes of ultimately being chosen.

        5. ScottH

          Callie- what a wonderfully insightful, articulate, and eloquent response.   You are very wise and open minded indeed.   Thank you for contributing.

          KK has made many (wrong) assumptions, particularly that I neglected my kids, that I was an abusive partner, that I hurt my ex, and that my family was torn apart by my behavior.   KK, were you here when all this was going down?   No, you weren’t.   You have no idea.   You think I made bad choices in my marriage?   How the hell would you know what I had to deal with but you’re somehow qualified to judge me?   Go ahead and insist that adultery is abuse.   Life is far more complicated than you seem able to comprehend.    Your parochial view is amazing.   Talk about being a good partner?   You’ll need an open mind and the ability to objectively understand to be a good partner.   You have neither.

          Callie- thank you for injecting your viewpoint.   That is the value of these comments and blogs.

        6. KK

          “Unrepentant? YOU BET I AM!” – ScottH

          “Persons with Antisocial Personality Disorder  typically do not experience genuine remorse for the harm they cause others.  However,  they can become quite adept at feigning remorse  when it is in their best interest to do so (such as when standing before a judge).
          They  take little to no responsibility  for their actions. In fact, they will often blame their victims for “causing” their wrong actions, or deserving of their fate. The aggressive features of this personality disorder make it stand out among other personality disorders as individuals with this disorder take a unique toll on society”.

        7. ScottH

          KK-   what harm have I caused?   How would you know if any harm has been done?   Were you there?   Maybe I have nothing to repent for, except for engaging you in this ridiculous exchange, which is way over your head.

          Your insistence that I’ve scorched the earth is simply ridiculous.   YOU HAVE NO IDEA.   Worry about your own business.

          Persons with Stupidity Disorder do exactly what you’re doing; they insist on ridiculous claims that they have no substantiation for;   they continue to argue long after they’ve been proven to be wrong.

        8. Caroline

          Hi Callie, KK and ScottH-

          I’d like to interject something. You’re all correct and incorrect:)

          Callie-you’re absolutely correct. We should show each other a bit if humanity. But one must consider in relationships -personal responsibility also. It takes two to tango. It doesn’t matter if   the other person is mentally unstable. I’d think you’d agree having affair only hurt and muddied the situation?

          Scott-you are always thoughtful and self aware in your answers:) Maybe you should consider the other side. My alcoholic, cheating, emotionally, verbally and physically abusive ex created such turmoil in our family. Yet, I’m able to realize-damn I should have done some things differently. I was only able to let go of my 23 year marriage after I felt I’d had done what I could. He had to heal himself. I had to do what was right for myself and kids. I have guilt about not leaving sooner. But I was no perfect angel. But guess what I have forgiven myself. I’ve been able to move on. Without realizing your part in the demise of your marriage-you may not be able to move on and may even repeat your mistake. Quite frankly, you may need to consider everything you do in life affects others. Especially your kids.   I’m sure if you think about it; it would have been easier to explain to your kids if you hadn’t broken your vows. But the act is forgivable.

          Kk-I get where you’re coming from I think. I’m hoping you just got stuck on the “unrepentant” comment.

        9. Callie

          I absolutely advocate personal responsibility. I believe I even said I personally still thought Scott should have left his partner and become the sole custodian and not have had an affair. What I was responding to was the absolutist “this person is 100% evil” attitude that several people here have been espousing. The personal attacks when people really do not know the situation is wrong, in my opinion. We can have our preferences, but to call someone else abusive without any knowledge of the circumstances is dangerous.

          I personally believe one ought not to have affairs. I believe they do do more harm than good. But I also believe that people make mistakes, and make decisions based in the moment and based on being flawed individuals. We do the best we can and sometimes we make the wrong choice thinking it is the best one. And sometimes the right choice is extremely difficult to do, and sometimes our lives are set up where we have to put off the best possible choice in general and instead make the best possible choice for right now. And sometimes we really can’t see the forest for the trees. Sure those of us on the outside can, but being on the inside is something else.

          I get worried when I see people make such judgments with such anger. And I really get worried when we start to see people as villains. Because if we assume only really bad people do really bad things then we  end up being less vigilant, assuming someone unpleasant  will easily present themselves. And also because it makes us less accountable to ourselves. Because “we’re not like those people”.


        10. KK

          Hi Caroline,

          The unrepentant part is exactly what I’m hung up on. I’m having a really hard time understanding how someone (ScottH) can paint such a nasty picture of his ex wife and then in the same breath say he committed adultery. And by the way… not sorry! I agree that most of his comments are measured, but this has come up before on here and he got blow back (deservingly, so) because he said all his exes were crazy.

          Callie commented about her friend having an affair with a married man and the painful consequences of that. I don’t think she’s a horrible person, just someone who messed up and paid the price for it. However, when Shaukat says I shouldn’t say things are right or wrong, I disagree. On the other side of Callie’s friends story, there very well could’ve been a devastated wife. So, I’ll stick with my ‘Adultery is always wrong’ sentiment. That doesn’t mean I condemn Callie’s friend or my own friend, for that matter.

          I also have known of a lot of adulterers who lie about all kinds of things about their spouse’s in order to justify their affairs. I’m not saying Scott is lying, but I’m not saying I necessarily believe it either. I don’t know. Either way, that’s his stuff to sort out and no one would’ve been able to comment on it if he hadn’t mentioned it in the first place.

          One of the things I pay attention to now (when talking to someone new), is if they portray themselves as a victim or not in the demise of their marriage. So far, it’s been a pretty good indicator of maturity and personal accountability.

        11. KK


          I’m not sure how you think you’ve proven me wrong about anything. Several commenters, including the break up coach, actually agreed with me. Stacy2 and Shaukaut agree with you.

          It’s crystal clear we disagree, so let’s just leave it at that. I hope you’re able to sort out your stuff and move on. Good luck!

        12. KK


          “I get worried when I see people make such judgments with such anger”.

          Gosh Callie, I think that’s just a tad unfair. I already said where my anger comes from on this subject. I’ve already stated that I think in our ability to empathize with others, we should be able to not only have compassion but feel anger for their injustice. You’re making it out like I’m some unhinged mad woman by expressing myself with a measure of passion in my disagreement with infidelity; a behavior that hurts a lot of innocent people, including children!! You never mentioned Scott’s “palpable anger” or name calling in defense of his (let’s be honest, here) shitty behavior. Just thought I should point that out. On the other post, you got pretty pissy over Emily’s definition of lust, for God’s sake. So, while I agree with some of what you said, I also sense a bit of hypocrisy and well… victim blaming???

        13. ScottH

          Caroline-   I enjoy reading your comments as well.     But this time, with KK and Callie, YOU PEOPLE SIMPLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES.   I have never explained them here and therefore, you cannot/shouldn’t pass judgment.   All you say is that adultery is always bad.     What about abandonment?   Is that never bad?   Are we going to slide into discussion about two wrongs not making a right?   Are we still in kindergarten?   You can’t imagine someone who is as evil as I make my ex out to be?   Well, your imagination isn’t very good.   I don’t need imagination.   I had the reality.   Am I playing the victim?   Give it a break.   Try having kids with an emotionally disturbed partner and then we can talk.   Go ahead and tell me that I mirror my partner’s emotional health.   You simply do not understand.

          To say that I should have made a clean break and gotten a divorce is an irresponsible statement.   You have no idea of the circumstances.   What if doing so would have created substantially  more trauma for the kids, should I still have done it?   Do you think that I didn’t weigh all available options?   I did.   And IMO, I made the right decision at the right time.   Everything I did was in the best interests of my kids, EVERYTHING, whether you agree or disagree.   I navigated some pretty nasty shark infested waters the best I could.

          Do I take responsibility for what I did?   YES, I do.   Am I repentant for everything I did?   Hell no.   There was someone who was hurt and I do very much regret that but it sure as hell wasn’t my ex.

          Do not judge someone when you don’t know the circumstances.   Only unreasonable people do this.

          I am done reading this thread.   Continue to yap as you wish.

        14. Callie

          My goodness KK – you do know how to use those kinds of words don’t you. “Victim blaming”? Seriously? You really think that’s what I’m doing. Show me where I’ve said that people who have been cheated on deserve it. Go for it.

          And please, I wasn’t pissy with Emily. You read a lot into my posts don’t you? I didn’t call her names, I appreciated her clarification, and I pointed out that other people have different definitions for lust.

          You on the other hand have admitted to your anger. And quite frankly there’s nothing wrong with being angry. Angry is fine. But I don’t love the judgment that comes with it. You make a lot of assumptions about people, about me too clearly. I actually haven’t made any about you. You just think I have, because I don’t entirely agree and suggested you might expand your empathy to include people who screw up.

          Anyway, I’m leaving this conversation. I don’t want to further upset you, I assume my presence and thoughts have not been helpful, and I don’t like being called “pissy” and a “hypocrite” quite frankly. Not a fun way for me to spend a day.

        15. Caroline

          Callie-thanks for the reply:)

          i must need a very large cup of coffee and reading glasses-I still can’t find what you said about ScottH!   I do think how the cheated on spouse suffers is underestimated. My best friend is going through a just awful divorce. She’ll call me in the middle of the night-her anxiety is palpable. She doubts herself to the inner core now. I remember that so vividly now that it’s happening to her. I’ve actually become depressed and a bit lethargic over her anxiety. Her husband is clinically depressed, self medicated with alcohol and his meds and now has a penchant for prostitutes. She has been advocating for him for the last decade. She even stood by him when she found out about the women. She’s gotten him new psychiatric help but it’s apparent the damage has been done. Very sad. 39 years

        16. KK

          Ok, I’ll re- cap.

          Callie – “I say all this because I feel like your anger is taking away your humanity a bit here”. “But  I wanted to say something because your anger here is quite large and I wasn’t sure if you knew how palpable it was”.

          Come on now, Callie. Don’t play that “aw shucks” bs with me. Lol. You might be an actress, but you’re not that good. I never called Scott a name. He called me ignorant, naive, and stupid to name a few. I said adultery IS abusive. You claim I called Scott abusive. I won’t split hairs here, but can you not see how you are being unfair by saying how angry I am and ignoring Scott’s angry comments completely? My first comment was about the woman in the article and about adultery, in general. Scott chose to keep commenting that it wasn’t always wrong. What did I say that was so repulsive?

          If I misinterpreted your comment to Emily when you called her weird, I apologize. Not fun when someone tells you how YOU really feel is it?

          “You have one narrative and one alone, that of deception narcissism and basically pure evil. I think it’s interesting that you say that this is the main driving force behind people having affairs, and also interesting that you send a heck of a lot of anger towards the person outside of the marriage (equating them with a robber etc)”

          Looks like you’re adept at those buzzwords too, Callie. When you’ve experienced something like an unfaithful, abusive husband and lived to tell about it, come back and we’ll chat. Until then, don’t judge me or my anger when the subject comes up. As to the reason my comments were directed to the person outside the marriage is because that was Rinaldi’s position. So instead of finding it “interesting”, use a little insight or just ask.

          Don’t start shit with me and then pretend you didn’t mean to be insulting. I’m done as well. Good day.

        17. Shaukat

          However, when Shaukat says I shouldn’t say things are right or wrong, I disagree.

          I never said anything like this. I’m not a moral relativist, clearly there are actions and beliefs which can be designated as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘good’ or ‘bad.’

          What I said was that  reducing certain complex  issues or actions  to ‘good’  vs ‘evil’ irrespective of context or circumstance, and negating the multiple factors and variables that often inform such decisions, is simple-minded.

          This is especially the case if your judgment is based solely on the generalization of your own personal experiences or simply on the fact that you read that it was evil in your holy book at some point.

        18. Caroline

          Hi Scott- I’m sorry. I obviously was poor at explaining myself. I feel like I’ve been in your shoes with my kids. Alcoholics/addicts are the most selfish folks on earth. Like you, I did my best at the time. I’m sure many on here could pick me apart for staying too long with my ex. I did the best I could at the time and I can live with that. You sound like a caring parent. I really respect that. It’s probably one of my guy friend’s best qualities. He takes care of his ailing mom too. (My guy is too old to be a “boyfriend”-lol). This divorce stuff is all a process (I’m a rather slow learner)-you’ll do fine. And I meant what I said when I told you that having an affair is forgivable (even if you don’t want forgiveness). I’ve said on here before (and gotten chided) that cheating is a symptom of a bad marriage. Maybe we should agree that having an affair is not the most “effective” way to keep your marriage stable:)

        19. GoWiththeFlow

          Count me in on #TeamScott too.

          It’s easy to sit in front of a computer screen and pass judgment on someone we don’t know, have never met, and don’t have a friendship or relationship with.   It’s also easy to think that life will always hand you clear cut black and white predicaments in life where the path is clear and easy.

          I CAN imagine a situation where a marriage is completely broken yet inescapable.   It’s easy to say “you should make a clean break.” Having a family member who is a clinical narcissist, I can easily see where if the sane spouse had left that marriage, everyone around them would have never believed the emotional and mental abuse the narcissist had engaged in.   The sane spouse would have been seen as crazy or selfish for leaving.   And the kids of  that marriage would have suffered more in the event of a divorce, because the courts, the schools, the church, and society would likely have supported the narcissist in a custody dispute.   Then the sane parent wouldn’t have been around to run interference and be a buffer.

          The breakdown of a marriage is many times  way too complicated for simple judgements and blame assignations.


        20. ScottH

          Caroline- you are absolutely right, having an affair is not an effective way to keep a marriage stable.   But, when there is no functioning marriage and it is clear that there never again will be a functioning marriage, the rules become much different.   I should have mentioned much sooner that about 2 years after the divorce, the ex sent me an unusually heartfelt email telling me that she was sorry for how she treated me, that she didn’t know why she did what she did, and she asked me to try to put things back together.   I declined.   I do feel bad for her and her current situation.   She isn’t a bad person and she is a victim of her distant past but she refuses (still) to deal with her issues.   And my kids to this day, complain about having to shuttle between 2 houses and how they wish their parents weren’t divorced.   This shit really sucks.   anybody who thinks this stuff is simple really has NO clue.   And really, I’m glad they have no clue because that means they haven’t been through this but damn, again, don’t judge someone when you don’t know the situation.   They will learn in time.

        21. KK


          I won’t ever condone cheating. But I will apologize for being an asshole.

          My kids hate getting shuffled back and forth every other weekend too. I hate it for them. My heart still breaks every time because I would have never willingly signed up for this; for them or me.

          It’s true that no one knows your situation and when you think you’re in a happy marriage and accidentally find out your spouse is cheating on you, it really does blindside you. It’s extremely irritating, even when well meaning people say little cliches like: cheating is a symptom of a bad marriage. You want to say, maybe that’s true for your situation, but that’s not how it was for me. My ex was all about the double life. He never wanted me to know. He was happy being a husband and family man and even happier to get some strange on the side. The physical abuse came after the affair. So no one knows the unique hell I’ve been through just like I don’t know yours.

        22. Buck25

          I can appreciate both sides of this. On principle, I don’t like cheating. It’s dishonest, and it’s destructive. It’s far far better to end a marriage, divorce and then date whoever one wants.I’ll stand on that, as the best thing to do. HOWEVER, that’s not always possible.  Sometimes it’s not possible to divorce, and still protect children from a spouse who is dysfunctional, or even seriously mentally ill; I know, because I have been in that situation (first marriage) with a wife who turned out to be a paranoid schizophrenic. She became progressively more violent, even homicidal, yet was able to conceal it outside the home for several years. I had two young children with her; I couldn’t get a divorce, without her getting custody, until I was finally able to prove she was violent and dangerous (the law in my state at the time made it extremely difficult for a man to prove physical abuse on the part of a woman, for the purpose of obtaining a divorce/determining custody). So I’ll side with Scott on the idea that what is ideal, is not always realistically possible in every case; sometimes it’s just not. Sometimes, there are bad laws; sometimes, the system just doesn’t work. Not everybody’s circumstances are the same; so sorry, KK and others, but it’s not an absolute, not very single time. Marriage is NOT meant to be a prison for someone where the fault lies with their spouse’s extreme misconduct, coupled with failure of our system of jurisprudence, nor have any of us any right to compel (or ask the law to compel) others to act according to the teachings of our religion (no matter how right we believe those to be).

          That said, what Rinaldi and her now-husband did makes me cringe. There’s nothing here that even suggests her now-husband couldn’t divorce his former wife because he needed to protect his children; in fact, there’s nothing to suggest misconduct on his former wife’s part at all. This is a guy who cheated on his wife, simply because he could, and because he found someone he could cheat with. There’s no “higher moral purpose”, no “protecting the kids”, not even”she breached the marriage contract”. All there is, from Rinaldi’s part, is “I wanted him, and I didn’t care if he was married to someone else”. All there is from his, is “I wanted her, and I couldn’t wait to get a divorce, so I cheated.” Yes, I do get Emily’s comment about overwhelming lust…and I also get the point that, however hard it is, it’s also possible to walk away from even that; painful, but possible.

          Bottom line: I’m not ready to join the lynch mob to string up Rinaldi and her now-husband. I don’t believe what they did, under the known circumstances, is a capital offense. Whatever remorse either or both may feel (if any) over the destruction they left in their wake, they will have to deal with. Their selfishness (coupled with callous disregard of the feelings of any other parties involved), is not a pretty thing to behold, but it is not a crime. That said, I sure wouldn’t celebrate either of these two, and I certainly wouldn’t hold them up as role models for anyone to emulate. I’m not sure “I found love through cheating;   you might too” is exactly a ringing endorsement for “not giving up on love”.

        23. Caroline

          Hi KK-cheating is Often Times a symptom of a bad marriage. Duly noted:) yet, I gotta think if a spouse is so narcissistic to have his cake and eat it too. Was he/she ever really all in for marriage? That’s truly an awful thing for the other spouse-the marriage was never going to have a positive outcome. I guess its sonething the narcissistic person thought they wanted st the time? Knowing that one entered the marriage contract/promise knowing they’d never be faithful, be devoted in other ways too. But I guess narcissists aren’t aware of their true inner workings? Peace sister:)

        24. ScottH

          KK- I am truly sorry for your situation, really.   It sounds like what your husband did was an egregious violation of the marital contract.    He clearly has issues.   What bothers me most is that the most innocent of all, the kids, suffer the most.   I NEVER wanted my kids to come from a divorced family.   I remember growing up worrying all the time about my parents divorcing and I did not want that for my kids.   I married my wife after seeing her interact with kids and thinking she would be a great mother.   All of my friends loved her.   Yes, she showed some signs of emotional instability here and there but I didn’t know what was going on or could happen.

          My ex also had an affair.   It was an incredibly complicated nasty situation.   There is no hell like a terrible marriage that you can’t leave.   I remember going without touch for a very long time and then I had to go for a physical and the woman doctor   was poking and prodding, doing her doctor thing.   Being touched, even like that, reminded me of what I was missing.   I almost cried.   I still remember that appointment.   I found a woman who was in a situation similar to mine.   Her guy was a borderline but he was also a 6’2″ 240# bodybuilder who was one blow away from killing her.   He just left her laying on the floor with broken ribs instead of delivering the last kick.   She got up and drove away never to return to their house.   She’s a very kind and incredibly nice woman and we shared a lot.   She’s the one I hurt because I was emotionally unfit at the time and i truly regret the hurt I caused her.

          Look, you are highly sensitized to the circumstances of your trauma;   I am highly sensitized to mine.   They just happen to be on different sides of the same coin.   It simply amazes me how much mental/emotional illness is out there.   It is far more than anybody would think and that’s why, I think, so many people hook up with them.   You just give people too much of a benefit of the doubt and they are so good at hiding it.



        25. Callie

          Caroline – you know it’s weird, I can’t find that post anymore either, I’m not sure if it was deleted or if I need the reading glasses as well, lol. I just want to be clear that I never once said that because I could see Scott’s side that that meant that his wife’s pain being cheated on wasn’t something that mattered too. Not once. As someone who’s been cheated on, trust me, that is not a thing I would underestimate. My purpose for posting in Scott’s defence was that I felt like we had established that the person gets cheated on suffers greatly, but many were dismissing Scott’s feelings completely. I wanted to acknowledge what wasn’t being acknowledged, not say that his feelings mattered more, or his wife’s mattered  less. I apologise that that’s how I came across.


          KK – I’m not sure this is salvageable. You have decided I am a sort of person and I feel like I can’t say anything to change your mind. I’ll point out even the quotes you quoted of me were not me calling you names, nor when I said “Weird” to Emily was I calling her that, I was calling the conclusion that because she feels something one way everyone else must conclude similarly odd (btw, we had more to the conversation and she explained further and I understood further and I thought we had reached a very cool understanding, so I’m not sure why you are taking that one single post out of context). Just as you say you never said Scott was abusive, just that adultery is abuse, I never said Emily was weird. I never said you WERE losing your humanity, I said I personally felt like you had been. The word “feel” actually matters in that context. I was acknowledging even then that I could be wrong.

          I understand now much better your own personal hurt. I am so sorry for everything you’ve been through. But I am still surprised you continue to insult me. Calling me now a bad actress. Is any of that necessary?

          But I will say this, I am sorry for accusing you of using buzz words. You used the words you needed to, I was upset because you told me I was victim blaming where I wasn’t. And I am personally sensitive to that. Just as you are to this subject. So I will confess that I was angry when I wrote the bit about using certain words. It was petty of me, and what’s more sometimes buzz words are exactly the right words for a situation, so why comment in the first place on someone’s choice to use them. I should have just responded to the chosen words, not the KIND of chosen words. I’m sorry.

          I am also sorry things got out of control and though you might not believe me, I have not once thought ill of you in this conversation. I wanted to point out that your anger was maybe in this particular conversation making you a bit unempathetic. But I don’t think that that anger is bad. I don’t think that you are a bad person for feeling how you do. I don’t even think you did anything particularly bad to Scott. I was just trying to point out  that there are two sides to stories.

          Anyway, I know the feeling isn’t mutual. I know you think I’m pissy, a hypocrite, and now also a bad actress, and that I was actively trying on purpose to insult you. I don’t know how to change your mind on that. All I can say is I’m sorry I came across like that. I’ll work on my communication. And I  am also extremely sorry for what you went through. No one should ever have to deal with that. Ever.

        26. KK


          I don’t think you’re a pissy hypocrite or a bad actress. I took your comment about a lack of humanity as an insult and shot back. I just “felt” you were holding me to a different standard than Scott and couldn’t understand why. I apologize for being hurtful. I don’t have any hard feelings towards you and appreciate your thoughtful comment. Take care : )

        27. KK

          ScottH & Caroline,

          Thank you both for the thoughtful comments : )

          Caroline, I don’t think I’ll ever have answers that make much sense. The infidelity discovery ended up just being the tip of a very large iceberg of deception. The marriage counselor started out trying to keep us together. But after more and more was uncovered, he came to the conclusion that my ex was not only a pathological liar but very likely a sociopath. He encouraged me to kick him out and get an EPO because he didn’t want to see me on an episode of Dateline. The whole thing is not only highly embarrassing but because it was so hard for me to believe and take this all in, I was very careful of who I shared this with. I knew most people would think it was highly unlikely, so to protect myself from further upset, I just chose to keep most of it to myself. I think I spent the first year or more, in a state of complete shock. It still seems surreal because the person I knew (or thought I knew) and the person I discovered (after 15 years of marriage), were not the same person at all.


      2. 13.1.2
        Emily, the original


        I bring this article up because I think Rinaldi probably got a subconscious ego and self-esteem boost knowing that a man would leave everything to be with her.

        While an ego boost may have fueled Rinaldi, I think you are missing one major reason for affairs: overwhelming, unadulterated lust. Sometimes that’s all there is to it. Have you never meet someone you immediately wanted to go to bed with? [Probably not, because you are too busy asking questions on this site! 🙂 ]   It’s not always about an ego boost or a woman who is broken or unresolved daddy issues. It’s about a feeling that transcends the societal limitations of what is right and wrong. Of course, everyone has free will, and both parties are more than capable of saying no and walking away.

  14. 14

    Reading the link Stacy2 provided about what happened to his ex-wife kind of makes Rinaldi disgusting.

    She brags about how great her husband is when he left an 18 year marriage and two kids because of an affair with her.

    To add to that when the wife tried to save her marriage by showing him more love, affection, and giving him more sex, he took it but still boldly told her that he was also getting the same thing from Rinaldi.

    1. 14.1


      I read your other posts and it’s funny you mention that maybe Rinaldi got an ego boost from having a married man choose her over his wife.   The movie that was made based on Rinaldi’s “experience” has a different ending that real life.   In the movie, the Rinaldi character decides after she’s gotten her man, that it’s boring and not for her, so she decides he should get back with his ex wife!   When I googled the story, I found a movie review from last spring where the critic wonders if this alternate ending is Rinaldi working out the reality of her situation via art.

      The movie will be on Netflix soon.   I wonder if this is why she wound up writing this column at this point.

      1. 14.1.1
        Emily, the original

        In the movie, the Rinaldi character decides after she’s gotten her man, that it’s boring and not for her, so she decides he should get back with his ex wife!

        I watched the movie this weekend. The Rinaldi character gets with the married man because his wife is selfish and not supporting his work as a fiction writer. She wants to take care of him. But once they are together, she realizes he is completely self-involved and actually better off with the ex-wife. During his marriage to his ex-wife, he was less focused on himself because he was focusing on her! Her self-involvement helped balance him out. The Rinaldi character doesn’t become bored; she just realizes they are not well-suited and he’s better off with his ex-wife.

        1. GoWiththeFlow


          Point is, she altered the end to the story to where her representative character  no longer wanted the guy after the drama of the whole affair.

        2. Emily, the original


          Nuance. That’s our word for the day.

      2. 14.1.2
        Emily, the original

        The two women become — HORROR OF HORRORS — friends. Can you imagine? The most weakly drawn character is the man, who meekly bounces between the two women. It’s not made clear why both women wanted him.

      3. 14.1.3

        I’ll skip this movie.

        1. GoWiththeFlow

          Me too.

          There  are  four kids between these three people.   Wonder how they have felt seeing all the family dirty laundry aired out in public for ego and profit.   What a mess!

  15. 15

    I’d like to amend my answer at guessing Why Evan posted this as an example of “keep trying”.

    Me thinks, perhaps, there was an underlying intent to stir the pot with the “does-the-end (so far, great relationship)-justify-the-means(affair) discussion.   Just for fun. I dunno.


  16. 16


    Honestly, I’m confused by this article. I don’t think I’m the only one. As a faithful reader for quite some time now, this seemingly goes against your other articles, in particular, where you answer someone’s question. You’ve told women not to get involved with newly separated guy, newly divorced guy, unavailable guy. What about married guy??? I realize this is a story about a relationship that’s lasted 20+ years (after the infidelity fact), but is it really the best article you could use as an example of persistance in finding love? Doesn’t this send an underlying message of desperation (there aren’t any good men left, I’ll snag a married one)? Isn’t that the opposite of what you try to inspire and manifest in a woman’s love life? If Rinaldi could have written you and told you she was falling for a (married) man at work, what would your advice have been? I assume it would have been to run in the other direction. Am I wrong in that assumption? I think there are a lot of us reading this that are unsure of your thoughts and reasons why this article hit you hard and serves as a reminder to not give up.

    1. 16.1

      Team KK

  17. 17

    The degree of black and white thinking in this thread is really astonishing. People are ganging up on ScottH with this simplistic thinking without any consideration for the practical aspects of how, you know life actually happens. Sometimes getting a divorce is not that simple. Sometimes it just takes forever. Heck, I know a couple who got engaged, ring and all, while the husband was still getting a divorce from his first wife – because she and out “wonderful” legal system make it a multi-year affair (the second wife was not the reason for their divorce). Should a person put their life on hold while their ex is using the court system to harass them? I think not, and sorry as a rational human being i am not really going to consider “biblical” arguments. Sometimes cheating is bad and is done by good people who simply slipped. Sometimes it is bad and done by bad people who are serial philanders (like a soon to be first husband, hehe). Sometimes it is simply a stage of extricating oneself from a dead relationship and moving on with ones life. Messy – yes, bad   or “abusive” – nope. Its not good or bad, it just is. I suppose one needs rational thinking and some perspective to see that.

  18. 18


    Saying I’m simpleminded because I believe in God is very much an insult to all Christians. But I’m pretty sure that was the intention. You appear to think you have some intellectual superiority because you don’t subscribe to any dogma. I think it’s best we agree to disagree. I’m pretty comfortable with my beliefs. It doesn’t matter how complex you may want to think your particular situation is, or how special you want to believe you are, at the end of the day, your choices have an affect on others. You can try to spin it any way you want; you can use all kinds of word salad to make it sound better, but most people with an ounce of integrity and dare I say, a less than average IQ can see through that kind of bullshit with ease.

    As one of my friends likes to say, what’s a cheater’s mating call? It’s complicated.

  19. 19

    Reading some of these stories about staying in a bad marriage for the sake of the children, because the other parent is unstable/mentally ill/ abusive…I feel much sympathy. I can only guess how much time and effort must have been required to get real help, and community resources involved before change could be made.


    But using such a situation to excuse infidelity? If the situation was that volatile, to the point one sometimes felt fear for their kids, why bring another person into such a bad place? Why allow someone else to get emotionally involved in situation that might prove dangerous to THEM?   This is what sounds selfish to me.   The needs of loneliness, support, encouragement, etc. could have been assuaged by reaching out to friends, family, a therapist during such a difficult time.   How does one even have the time to court a new emotional/sexual relationship if things are such a bloody mess at home?

    As for the article and how it relates(??) to the topic of this post…I’m with Buck 25

    “I’m not sure “I found love through cheating;   you might too” is exactly a ringing endorsement for “not giving up on love”.




  20. 20


    Um..just quietly, I think you’ve all missed the point. This article is not about cheating and whether that’s good or bad..This article is about never giving up on love.

    I think the point is supposed to be, that if this lady, who’d made all the mistakes in love you can possibly make, and had all but given up, found love, then we all can. It’s never over. You never give up.

    Cheating aside, that’s a pretty nice message if you ask me:)

    On this election day, let’s stop acting like fighting wanna be presidents over issues that aren’t even the point of the article..and focus on the core message with hope and optimism.

    1. 20.1

      I totally respect what you’re saying, however, sometimes it’s wrong and/or misleading   to isolate the “core message”, as it can be so entrenched in the dynamics of the circumstances.   With a nod to your election day reference above, it’s like taking one sentence that a candidate says and focusing on those 6-8 words, without providing the context of the discussion. Can be very, VERY misleading.

      We all “get” the core message here,   but……but…..sigh…….

      Just saying.


      1. 20.1.1

        Thanks for your message, Sophia. I’m not 100% sure I get what you’re saying, but maybe it’s worth me clarifying further. When I refer to the article, I’m not talking about the Rinaldi article – I have no idea who this woman is and so don’t really care about her opinions – I’m talking about Evan’s article.

        Anyone who’s familiar with his work (as I am) and respects his work (as I do) knows he is a major advocate of healthy, functional relationships and has never endorsed cheating. So, it’s a shame so many of the comments are about cheating. I just think this is a reactive approach to one part of the article, rather than taking it in its entirety and reflecting on the core message he may be trying to convey.

        The cheating thing is a moot point as none of Evan’s work is about that, to my knowledge.

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