My Friend the Adulterer

With When Should Christians Start Pointing Fingers?, I proposed some moral guidelines that pretty much anyone could agree to.

People are stupid; defend the innocent.

Another great bumper sticker!

Anyway, as we all know, life can get pretty fuzzy in the area of applied (much less intrusive) morality. Whenever I think of how difficult it can sometimes be to tell when, or to what extent, you should become involved with trying to influence the moral decisions of another, I recall an incident from my own life.

I had a friend at work: let’s call him Dick. Dick was a definitely an alpha-male: very good-looking, fit, extremely smart, way funny. He and I were true friends; for at least a year we went to lunch together almost every day. At work we spent so much time goofing around together it was all I could do not to feel bad about getting my paycheck.

Dick had been married eight years. He and his wife had a one-year-old son. I’d never met his wife, but had a picture of her on his desk. She was ridiculously pretty.

One day Dick said to me, “Hey, there’s a band coming to town I really want to see. Wanna go? It’s this Saturday night.”

“But we’ve never hung out outside of work,” I said. “I think the shock might prove too much for you. For instance, in regular life I only wear swim trunks, tap shoes, and a bow-tie. Is that going to be a problem for you?”

“You know, I believe you? Freak.”

Anyway, he swung by my house late that Saturday afternoon.

“Well, don’t you two look handsome?” my wife said to us, as Dick and I stood side by side, grinning like Frick and Frack Find Hawaiian Shirts.

But she was right. We did look handsome. Especially me.

So Dick and I go to this little club out by the beach to hear this band.

By about 10:30 the band had been playing in the loud, packed club for maybe forty-five minutes. Dick leans into me, and says/screams at the top of his voice, “Check her out.” He nodded toward the dance floor before the stage. It was clear he meant the beautiful girl with a thin, knee-high dress who was barely pretending to dance with her girlfriend whilst overtly giving Dick the ol’ goo-goo eyes.

“Dang, dude!” I screamed/said. “Bummer about her being myopic.” He didn’t even acknowledge my solid 7.5 on a scale of 10 joke. He was too busy making Porno Movie Lascivious Faces right back at her. They were practically [bad words that rhyme with "fly thumping"] from across the room.

“Excuse me,” I said/screamed. “Your hormonal cloud is blocking my view of the stage. Knock it off.”

“[Bad word] that,” said Dick. He turned away from the stage, blocking himself from view of Dancefloor Minxy. Then he slid his wedding band off his finger. He looked at me.

“Whoa. Are you serious?” said my face.

Dick dropped his ring into his pants pocket. “I want this,” he said. He looked pretty crazed. “I’m going for it.” And with that he took off for the dance floor, heading straight for the girl, who, alone now, was facing and waiting for him, swinging her hips in a way that made it clear she was free of any major back problems.

They immediately started dancing together in a manner that would make Hugh Hefner blush. I didn’t know if I should run out on the dance floor and break them up, or what. Sure, it would take a crowbar. But what was my moral responsibility here?

About one song into their mating dance, Dick returned to me, his arm around the girl’s waist. “I’m taking her out to the beach,” he said. “If I’m not back by the time the club closes, I’ll meet you at the car.”

Before I could say, “But wait! You’re married!” the two of them were off into the night that was crowded right outside, but wouldn’t be on the beach.

Suddenly alone, I looked down into my beer. No answers there.

I considered the situation.

A. They were already gone.

B. Dick was an adult.

C. I liked Dick. He was a friend. I respected him. I was loyal to him.

D. Dick was an adult.

E. They were already gone.

They should make a beer that, when you shake it a little, has one of those things, like the Magic 8 Ball, that floats to the surface with an answer on it.

No. Yes. Maybe. Outlook good. You should stop your married friend from having sex on the beach with a girl he just picked up in a club. Ask again later.

I think a product like that would really sell.

About half a song later, I had a sharp epiphany. A real friend stops his friend from doing something bad. Having an affair is bad. Ergo, my way was clear.

I bolted from the club. Well: I walked with a distinct sense of purpose. But once outside, I actually ran the half-block to the beach.

Have you ever walked around a beach at night looking for a couple having sex? If you haven’t, try to avoid it. It’s … unnatural.

I couldn’t find them. It was too dark. The beach was … well, coast-line size. Plus really wide. And loud, what with all the ocean being right there and all.

Still, it was odd not finding them. I really looked. I was running around out there like Gilligan with an urgent message for the Skipper. At one point, I wondered if they were doing it out in the water. Then I pictured Jacques Cousteau bumping into them, with his scuba gear on. Then I ran around on the beach some more looking for them.

But no go.

You can’t stop what you can’t find.

I went back to the club. I couldn’t enjoy the music, though. (Not that I had been: I could put together a better band with four grandmas and a tuba). So I sat on a cement bench on the sidewalk outside a sandwich place.

The crowd began to thin as the clubs and businesses closed down.

Eventually Dick arrived back at my car.

Well, I hear my wife getting up for the morning, so I’m going to stop writing this, and have a cup of coffee with her before we start our day. During our drive home that night Dick and I talked—but not in any substantive way about what had happened. Within a month we weren’t really friends anymore. I still wanted to be friends with him, but after that night he never wanted to hang out with me too much. I understood.

****

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://twitter.com/daniKelley Dani Kelley

    Wow. I have a really, really hard time wrapping my head around that. Probably partly do to my conservative upbringing and months spent in an ultra-conservative fundamentalist college whose semi-subtle brainwashing techniques still give me nightmares. The rational part of me says, “Well, people do unpredictable things sometimes. But still…ouch.” Another part of me says, “He must have had some closet problem and was looking for an excuse to cheat.” But I’m really not convinced of that last bit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brett-Stroup/100000677076962 Brett Stroup

    Yeah, definitely a stand back and wave as the train rolls by moment. If he hasn’t decided to be the faithful husband nothing you can say once you realize his intentions is going to change that. Saying something to girl, or least mentioning your friend’s wife within range of her hearing might have derailed that evenings encounter but it would have done nothing to address whatever issues Dick has that prevent him from honoring his commitment.

    • Ace

      Have to agree with this.

      The man clearly made a conscious decision to run off with some woman who was not his wife. Nobody twisted his arm. If you had stopped him that night, well, there’s always tomorrow night. Plus, he might have started a fist fight with you, who knows?

      I feel sorry for the man’s wife and son but I don’t think there’s a single damned thing you can do in that situation that’s going to end well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1077075472 Meredith McGrath

    How heartbreaking. And completely relateable, as I can think of similar situations where friendships in my life have broken irreparably. (And, thankfully, I can think of at least one heart to heart that rescued a friendship.) A good friendship is precious. I’m sorry your friend didn’t realize his actions impacted more than his wife.

  • http://mine4thetaking.blogspot.com/ FreeFox

    Not certain I can place that tale. You put it in the context of the question whether or not or to what extend to get involved in another person’s affairs… and, if I understand the story correctly, frankly you did nothing. Yeah, you went after them, belatedly, and searched… but you didn’t find them, you didn’t say anything, and you didn’t do anything that had any effect. You were only the witness of his shame – and probably not even the shame of his infidelity, but of his undignified, helpless greed. I can imagine how humiliated he must have felt every time he saw you after that and remembered that evening. Was it stupid of him to do it? Actually, who knows? Might things have ended differently had you intervened somehow, or even just confronted him afterwards? Again, who knows?
    Maybe I totally misunderstand your point, but as it stands, I can’t quite make out what it has to do with the morals or effectiveness of, well, an actual intervention of any sort.

    • Anonymous

      Hmm. “FreeFox” making a point of not getting someone’s point. Boy. There’s a new one.

      • http://mine4thetaking.blogspot.com/ FreeFox

        ^_^

      • Marcelo

        So what’s your point? :-P

    • DR

      It seems fairly obvious that this piece is more about the complexities of intervention and the futility of intervention when one has simply decided to ruin his life. And the damage that decision does to the relationship.

      Your reply almost suggests that John’s lack of quick action was the reason why this guy cheated. What would be the purpose of even suggesting such a thing (if I’m accurate?).

      • http://mine4thetaking.blogspot.com/ FreeFox

        Good grief, no. I meant nothing of the sort. I was only confused by the lack of intervention in a tale about the effects (or ineffectiveness) of intervention.
        (“Ruin his life” sounds a trifle hyperbolic, though.)

        • Ace

          I think it’s just sort of an open-ended case study in the issue, rather than an example to emulate. Something to think about, such as “What would you do in this situation” rather than “this is what I think you should do”.

          • Anonymous

            “Whenever I think of how difficult it can sometimes be to tell when, or to what extent, you should become involved with trying to influence the moral decisions of another, I recall an incident from my own life.”

        • DR

          With all due respect, I think you’re not being entirely honest. You tend to come juuuuuuuust close enough to attacking John with a really odd, veiled aggression and then when called on it, you back off. It’s hard to understand. That there was or was not an “intervention” or if John failed to actually do one on time has absolutely nothing to do with the story at all. So I don’t get it.

          • http://mine4thetaking.blogspot.com/ FreeFox

            “You tend to come juuuuuuuust close enough to attacking John with a really odd, veiled aggression and then when called on it, you back off. It’s hard to understand.”

            I am really sorry if what I said sounded like that. What I wrote was honestly meant more as literary criticsm than as any sort of attack on Mr. Shore’s conduct in this affair.
            Actually, I probably have less of a problem with Dick’s (assumed – after all, we can’t even be certain of that happening) infidelity than most of you seem to have. It’d have bothered me more if Mr. Shore had gone all judgement-of-God on Dick’s arse.
            But he begins the tale by conecting it to his previous post on the subject of getting involved in other peep’s mistakes. I happen to completely agree with that previous post (I say so here and here.) The point of that previous post had been something like: better not get involved in other peeps’ stupidity, unless someone innocent and too weak to fend for themselves is in danger. This story seems to do nothing to prove or refute that conclusion.

            (And even as lit crit it wasn’t really all that important. I’m just repeating it to clear up that no attack on Mr. Shore’s character was intendet.)

            Peace? ^_^

          • DR

            OK! Thanks for explaining. :D

        • http://www.facebook.com/paulardoin Paul Ardoin

          I’ve gotta say that as hard as it was not to do anything, it was probably the right call. You don’t know (well, you don’t say whether or not you know) if Dick and his wife have some sort of agreement, whether it’s an open marriage, a “I had a baby a year ago and still don’t feel like sex so if you get some on the side, don’t tell me about it” policy, or whatever. An open marriage/DADT policy isn’t something that I want in my marriage, and from John’s previous posts, I conclude it’s not something John wants either, but we as readers don’t know the relationship between Dick and his wife.

          Now, if you know that Dick’s wife expects monogamy and faithfulness, that’s a bit different, because now Dick is hurting someone else, and not just emotionally. Dick may be exposing his wife to an STD; Goo-Goo Eyes may have an unwanted pregnancy that could have disastrous consequences for the family, etc. If Dick were to get behind the wheel drunk, you could take away his keys. But what could you have said or done that would have stopped Dick from having his tryst? You could have made a scene, I suppose; you could have done whatever it was you were going to do if you had found the two of them on the beach.

          I admit it’s a thorny subject. I’m not sure what I would have done either.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, I mean … as you say, it’s just a tricky moment. I only wanted what was best for my friend—but … in that moment, that was a difficult read.

          • Don Whitt

            John – It’s pretty cool that you tried to intervene. I don’t think I would have tried, had I been in your position.

            He showed incredible disrespect for his marriage and that attitude didn’t evolve overnight. What he did was an act set in motion by something bigger than impulsive, one-night stand monkey love. And there’s not a thing you could have done in that situation short of tackling him on the way out of the bar. A swift body check would not have saved his already rocky marriage. And there’s that deal where you can get arrested for assault. That always sucks.

          • Anonymous

            “One Night Stand Monkey Love.” That’s a novel I would love to write. But, you know … under another name. But, yeah, as you say: I didn’t have any sort of real window there to do much at all. I always wonder what WOULD have happened if I’d found them on the beach. I always imagine myself, like, tapping him on the shoulder. Then I stop thinking about it. As I will right now.

          • Kara K

            Hmmm, sounds like inventing John Shore’s porn author pseudonym might be the next contest?

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, I mean … as you say, it’s just a tricky moment. I only wanted what was best for my friend—but … in that moment, that was a difficult read.

  • http://strelitziamusings.blogspot.com/ Birdie

    We have no control over what another person chooses to do. We can certainly try to influence, but control is an illusion. (I speak as a parent as well on that.) Consequently, we are not responsible for the natural consequences that result from another’s actions. That you knew better does not make you guilty of his transgression.

    One natural consequence of his infidelity was the end of your friendship. Every time he saw you he was reminded that you knew what he did. Nothing happened to “balance” the uneven relationship, and so it faded away. I’m sorry that you experienced this, but there is no going back. “What ifs” are of no use, and life goes on. We mourn the passing of friendships and make new ones.

    • Anonymous

      What you say about natural consequences is so right. She has to see me every week. She has to see the children whose family she torpedoed for a…a cheater. Even by the standards of a godless world, she’s cheap and that will eventually eat at her like rust.

      • Don Rappe

        I’m not so sure you really still love her.

  • Kara K

    I’ve played the role of the cheated on wife. John anything you could have done would have only resulted in you needing to hitchhike home. One of the many mantras that got me through that period of my life was “Dick’s gonna do what Dick’s gonna do”. And yes after Dick does what Dick wants to do he makes sure the people he knows and his wife are never in the same room together again. It’s a pretty [expletive]ed up way to live and wreaks havoc on everyone close to Dick. I commend your belated attempt Gilligan, next time keep looking for an answer in the beer. One of them is bound to have it.

  • Writeright

    Typo – About once song into their mating dance — should be ONE…

    Having had a cheating husband (didn’t find out till after) I cannot understand one night stands — in our case it was a co-workers wife and then the two men had to work together for years after and we live in a tiny town of a few hundred people so you couldn’t avoid the other party. I wonder if this was one case of bad judgment or if Dick carried on that way, all the time…. I had to smile at the image of you running around like Gilligan looking for Skipper — could envision that in my mind’s eye. If only we could truly know why people do the things they do….

    • Anonymous

      Citizen proofreaders unite! And work on my site! I love it. Thanks!

  • http://gooseberrybush.wordpress.com Gooseberrybushblog

    I’ve never been confronted with a friend cheating on a spouse while it was happening. Friends have admitted to past infidelities, though. There have been about three times in my life when I knew about friends of mine whose husbands were cheating on them. I chose not to tell them because a) of that shoot the messenger thing and b) because it wasn’t my place; it was their husbands’ place to break that news. Still, it puts you in an uncomfortably awkward position.

    One woman, after she found out about the affair and the fact that I had known but not told her, told me she never wanted to talk to me again. I can’t say as I blame her.

    • orangevalepam

      regarding the friend who never wanted to talk to you again – you were absolutely in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation of which you did not ask to be party to. consider it “collateral damage” for some dillweed’s poor choices.

    • orangevalepam

      regarding the friend who never wanted to talk to you again – you were absolutely in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation of which you did not ask to be party to. consider it “collateral damage” for some dillweed’s poor choices.

    • orangevalepam

      regarding the friend who never wanted to talk to you again – you were absolutely in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation of which you did not ask to be party to. consider it “collateral damage” for some dillweed’s poor choices.

  • Textjunkie

    Painful on all fronts…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1451948592 Stan Nelson

    That’s a stupid train you had no way of being able to stop. Anyone who can act that quickly on sexual impulse had a lot of mental preparation beforehand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1451948592 Stan Nelson

    I’ve been separated from my wife for too long now and all I can feel is this crushing emotional pain in my chest. I am so totally in love with her, but have suffered from stunted growth. The only time I started thinking about “greener grass” was when I would become complacent in our relationship.
    Should I ever get a chance to be with her again I am going to remember this pain and do the housecleaning I am doing now, and pray I never become complacent again.
    I don’t think these are difficulties your “alpha male” friend had.

    • DR

      This is one of the most refreshingly honest replies I’ve seen to just about anything. I hope you get that chance.

      • Stan

        Thank you DR, frankly I am losing hope.

      • http://luwandi.wordpress.com Beth Luwandi

        I really like you DR. Have loved reading your posts. have enjoyed your elegance of word and your compassion toward people. You don’t know anything about this man. At. All.

        • Stan Nelson

          I’m sorry that you hate me now and will not forgive me. I love you more everyday and someday you’ll know it’s true. Probably not this side of heaven though. Sad…

          • Don Rappe

            Lot of unrequited love today.

        • Don Rappe

          I like her too. I especially like it when she gets her sword out and goes after people with bad motives. It gets me to rereading things and spices them up.

      • Stan Nelson

        DR, I am being totally honest and open. My wife venomously accuses me of being poor boundaried and uses very vile language to expound her views to me via text messaging. There is no hope for this marriage, as she states. I was learning to view her through mercy and truth, she views me through labels and hate. I will love her always, but from a distance. She will never know that the love she has thrown away was what we thought we both wanted.

        • Anonymous

          I feel your pain, Stan. My separation went on for over two years. The wife kept getting continuances for the court appearances…12 of them. Talk about slow death. I would’ve thought after nearly three years, I would be over her, but I’m not. She packed up all of her Christian books and her Bible and dropped them off at my house. I picked up her Bible and the silk page marker was smack in the middle of Hosea. Whether intent on her part, or just cruel coincidence, I really do feel like Hosea. I am tethered to an adulteress by custodial rights of our kids, not by any mandate from God. Because I love my children, I pray, as always, for their mother. Because I cannot help but love those I pray for, I still love her. Certainly not the love I had before, obviously. Hurt beyond all imagination, but not destroyed. Yes. We are thrown away. The object of our love rejects us. We have no reason to hope, yet we hope. The world calls that foolish, but that doesn’t bother me. God had hope for me when I called Him all sorts of vile names and didn’t give a crap about Him.

          Your wife, like my ex, may eventually see that the love she has thrown away IS the very thing she wanted in the first place. If it’s God’s will, I believe all relationships can be reconciled no matter how long or far that relationship has strayed.

          Comfort and blessings, Stan

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1451948592 Stan Nelson

          My wife is right about the poor boundaries, I deserved any angry comments directed at me. Still painfully learning!

          • Don Rappe

            This sounds like insight.

    • ms.glove

      Wow! DR said it perfectly! Honest and refreshing! I, too, hope things work out for you!

  • Marcelo

    John, like so many of your posts, this one made me laugh and cry.

    First, beer mugs with Magic 8 balls at the bottom? Sheer genius. You should start a sideline business or at least sell the idea to Wham-O.

    And…his statement, “I want this.” Isn’t that what it’s all about? So many famous or powerful men, when caught with their hand in the cookie jar (or some more colorful metaphor…I dare not go there), when being honest, they invariably say something like: “I wanted it and I could.” Doesn’t get more profound or shallow than that.

    • Ace

      I recall reading at some point that a lot of high-wheeling Alpha Male types who are CEOs and whatnot are actually cases of Antisocial Personality Disorder. It kind of makes sense, given that the major criteria for the disorder is a persistent disregard for the rights of other people.

      • Marcelo

        Yes, I was just thinking about that after I posted this comment! Persistent disregard for the others’ rights as well as all activity being fulfillment of their needs, and no empathy for others. Fascinating stuff. The sort of “positive” contributions of many Antisocial Personality Disordered individuals is that they end up not being serial killers, but CEOs, politicians….

        OK…uh…never mind.

    • Chris

      Hey, that’s pretty profound! You’re right, it is all about “I want this.” But I always thought the key to morality (or goodness, or being grownup, or call-it-what-you-will) was the ability to say “..but I want to be GOOD, more.”

      • Anonymous

        Oh, Chris, you’re no fun. (Joke. This was a joke.)

  • rodneycwilson

    Would not cover for such a friend, for sure. He’s on his own. Want nothing to do with such overt subterfuge.

  • Katgelinas

    Here is the thing that guy was just being a “Name that you named him in your blog”. This wasn’t his first one-night stand and here are some clues to this. (Not that this means this everytime, just in my experience)

    1) You never met his wife (not that you have to meet her)But you would think if you went to lunch almost everyday you would have meet his wife.

    2) He had no problem slipping off that wedding ring (You would think a guy who hadn’t done it would have adleast had some internal struggle) (not being a good husband)

    3) He had no problem just leaving you there with a beer in your hand (not being a good friend)

    I know this is hard one for me to read beacause I have been on both ends of this convo. No I didn’t have one-night stand with some random guy. But I have cheated on someone before. I am not proud of it but I don’t know if someone told me not to do it. I would have listened. And even if you did stop him that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have done it another time when you were not around. I know that people say you should be truthful and tell the other person but that can be worse. Maybe this a realtionship dynamic that is that couples and it’s none of anyone’s business.

    Now I wouldn’t have told the spouse because that is between Dick and his wife. But I would have talked to Dick and told him that it was not cool for leaving me in a bar, esspeically since it was you first time really going out with him outside of work. Sometimes you really think you know someone and then you find out no so much.

  • Anonymous

    If I’d been Dancefloor Minxy I’d have been eternally grateful for some subtle hint that Dick had a Jane and junior.

    And, who knows, the disgusted “you a-hole” look he’d have gotten from me and having a buddy stand up for the victims (Jane and Junior) might’ve made a difference. (Probably not.)

    It’s so hard, though, when you’re completely caught off guard, to know what, if any, action should be taken.

    I’m glad you ran after him.

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t actually have time to say much if anything to her at all. There was only a very short moment when he and she were near me—when he told me they were leaving. I would have had to tell her he was married right in front of him. I wouldn’t have done that.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I totally understand that.

        I wasn’t being critical of you, just sharing a thought!

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, no worries. I got that.

  • Anonymous

    My best friend for 16 years turned out to be an adulterer. I certainly didn’t see it coming. I don’t think anybody but the adulterer and their partner can do anything about stopping their destructive behavior. My best friend abandoned our relationship before I ever knew about the affair. I recently sent a letter telling her that I know about the affair that ended her marriage and family, and that I think her decision to bring the home wrecker boyfriend to share a home with the children whose family that he wrecked, takes a callus and selfish heart.

    I doubt if I will get any response from my ex-wife.

    • Anonymous

      Yikes, man. Tough stuff.

      • Anonymous

        After reading your post, I realized how much I missed my ex-best friend. Sadly though, friendships are often one-sided. Here I thought I was her best friend, but actions speaking louder than words, they told me I was self deceived. Tough stuff, indeed, John. But I thank God for truth, no matter how painful the truth is.

        I wrote that as foolish as it may seem to her, I still love her and pray for her. She’s in His hands and I know He will be far more merciful with her than I could ever be.

        Thanks for being a voice, John. Your words have purpose.

        • Don Rappe

          Your faith in her was self deception. Even tho betrayed, you still love her. What pain. May God heal you.

          • Anonymous

            My thoughts were obviously mistaken, but I was never wrong to trust and love her. I’ve betrayed God more than my ex betrayed me. In fact, I believe she abandoned God before she abandoned me. Her divorcing me was just a symptom of her dying faith in God. My pain reminds me how much God loves me. I hope I never find healing from that sort of pain.

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

    People make stupid, bizarre, horrible decisions all the time. The great part of free will is that we are FREE to make those stupid decision. And suffer the consequences of them. When we don’t allow people to suffer the consequences of their own bad choices, they learn nothing.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think that by warning a fool, we disallow the consequences of their own bad choices. If anything, we get to say, “I told you so!” when they finally reap the consequences of those bad choices. Not that I’ve ever said that, but to withhold a warning just doesn’t seem kind.

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

    People make stupid, bizarre, horrible decisions all the time. The great part of free will is that we are FREE to make those stupid decision. And suffer the consequences of them. When we don’t allow people to suffer the consequences of their own bad choices, they learn nothing.

  • crystal

    Do you think that in some situations it’s not what the outcome of our decisions are but the actual decision itself that is the test?

    • Anonymous

      Always, you must do the right thing. After that, whatever.

      • http://mine4thetaking.blogspot.com/ FreeFox

        You are joking, I assume…? :-/

  • Don Rappe

    It appears to me that John made a choice not to join Dick in the type of activity he had selected at the place he had selected. No doubt if John had selected his own needy person and then compared notes later, he and Dick would still be friends, sharing a common interest. It seems it was not meant to be. Watch the train roll bye.

  • Budcny

    I found out that my best friend had decided to have an affair when his wife called me one afternoon crying because she had just found an email from a female co-worker of his.. He was coming home that day from a work conference that the co-worker was also at.
    I prayed and told her we would support her however she needed. I decided not to call my friend but wait for him to contact me. She told him she knew about everything and she had called me when he had called to tell her of his arrival time.
    The next am he called in tears asking if I could come over to his mom’s where he had stayed that night. I did and he began hugging me tight and sobbing.
    We sat down and he said he wanted to know if I still loved him and if I would hold him accountable. About 10 minutes later his wife’s father arrived and I saw the best example I think of unconditional love.. The man hugged him and said he was there for him. He wanted to be there however he needed him and that he loved him still because he know who he really is not what a poor decision did.
    He asked me to be accountable to him, if your friend doesn’t acknowledge he is doing something wrong than he isn’t aware of wanting to be any different. With that said I think if you are is friend do you owe it to him to speak what is on your mind and let him decide. I would let him know that I will not go out to places where he will be picking up women but glad to go anywhere else.. perhaps a ultimate fighting match..

    • Anonymous

      It weirds me out a little that the wife’s husband made such a big deal of saying how he’d be there for the man who betrayed his daughter. But of course I know I’m not getting .10 of the story. But, just on the surface of it, that so doesn’t work for me.

      • Don Rappe

        10% or less.

  • http://williamely.name William Ely

    I have to say that words encouraging him to stay loyal would be appropriate, but chasing after him crosses into the realm of meddling. Freedom is all about making your own choices and you were right when you told yourself that he is an adult. You should listen to that voice instead of the one that tells you to run after him. Not your place.

    • Anonymous

      Obviously, I disagree. I wish I had found him.

  • Mimicross22

    John, The man you placed faith and friendship in wasn’t the man you thought he was. Sorry to say, you invested a lot of time and emotion into a relationship that wasn’t real. Had you known Dick’s true nature, I seriously doubt you’d have given him more than the time of day. The pseudonym was well chose, btw.

    • Anonymous

      No, our relationship was real. But I see what you’re saying, and appreciate it.

  • http://shadsie.deviantart.com/ Shadsie

    In all of the actual intelligent comments on this, I got nothin’. All I can think about is “Sex, on the beach… doesn’t that run the risk of getting…sand…in places? *Wince.*” I’ve also read something somewhere about how beach sand tends to be full of bacteria.

    I also feel sorry for the random girl as well as the wife. I mean, if he’d kept the band on and the girl knew she was the “other woman” that’s one thing on her end – entirely different if she had any illusions of your friend being a real relationship for her. Maybe she just wants a fling, too, maybe she doesn’t.

    Eh, asexual, non-clubbing me is at a loss for advice on this kind of thing.

    • Don Rappe

      I’m sure glad you mentioned the sand thing. Now my temptation is removed. Well, not quite; I kept trying to figure out if John found them on the beach, what would he do? Help brush off the sand?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1451948592 Stan Nelson

    Thank God that there is no adultery in my current marriage to deal with, what a mess, been there, not good.

    This will be my last entry and following of this blog. I am leaving it out respect to my current wife who is a fan and contributor and wants me totally out of her life. I have enjoyed the blog and comments and will certainly miss it.

    So how did this all come about? It is my fault on a number of levels. Scripture says,”out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. My wife says I do not like her and am disapproving, therefore controlling. She has a valid point. Since I met her 17 years ago I had some info about her life that I didn’t like. Instead of getting it out of my heart, my mouth spoke.

    It was bad. I verbally and emotionally abused her. Our beginning relationship was so bad at times we both resorted to physical abuse. I take full responsibility and wholly declare my actions to be inexcusable and horribly wrong.

    I did not take care of myself as I should have and slid downhill, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. For 19 years I have been clean and sober, but not without the “dry drunk” syndrome. I am again active in AA and have a sponsor to account to. Since August I have been in counseling, meeting with my psychiatrist and found meds that take the edge off my depression. I am seeking counsel from Christians, recieving prayer support and hooking up with a local pastor or two. I am on my 3rd trip through “The Love Dare” book, (excellent) and don’t know what else to do. My wife refuses marital counseling and says there is no hope for our marriage.

    The emotional pain I have endured through our too numerous breakups, has had the effect of purging the bad and wrong opinions I’ve held about my wife. She is beautiful, talented in many creative areas, a great cook, mother, loving, tender and more. We fit and worked physically together like we were made for each other.

    I know, I have been stupid, mean and immature. I feel we could had the marriage both wanted and now to throw away all we have invested in this relationship is wasted. The compounding effect of my misdeeds has over shadowed the fact that there has been growth and improvement. What a waste, what a shame.

    I told my wife repeatedly I would divorce her (abuse) and also that I would not. At this writing I can see no other course of action but to divorce my wife and deal with more heartache, but relieve her of the entanglements of my life of which she is so loathsome of.

    I love her more than anyone I have ever loved before and now she will not realize what working through another level of growth would yield.

    For anyone wanting to comment or stay in touch, my email is: sbedgewater@gmail.com

    So long John Shore, readers and I’ll miss you most of all Mrs. Nelson!

    • Stan Nelson

      My wife is the one who wanted me to read this blog in the first place. I have enjoyed it and been open and honest. For that I have had abuse hurled at me from my wife for being crazy and poor boundaried. I will not repeat the venomous swearing. She demands I stay of this blog. I thought this is an open site. John, if you want me off, I’ll abide by that. I have zero hope in reconciliation, so here I’ll stay, unless John blocks me or wants me off.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1451948592 Stan Nelson

        I want to delete or edit the previous reply. I deserve any negative comments directed at me, I was wrong again and have poor boundaries. Forgive this please.

  • http://annkroeker.com Ann Kroeker

    What a story! While I have no idea if finding and stopping–or interrupting–would have helped “Dick,” I have to say that I love your description of running along the beach looking for them.

  • DR

    Cheaters gonna cheat. No one can stop them. They will excuse it until they are ready to stop doing it. And they are rarely motivated to stop.

  • Anonymous

    To Stan Nelson: If your wife has asked you not to leave comments on this blog, why antagonize her by continuing to comment? If you love her, and want her to know how much you love her, grant her this simple request. She’s been on my blog a long time; this is her place. She doesn’t want you commenting here. What’s it cost you not to? If you really want her back, clearly this is one thing you could do to show her (and us) that you’re sincere about that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1451948592 Stan Nelson

      You are absolutely right. I was attempting to rid the site of my comments before you posted this.

      I checked this site out originally on her recommendation, I’m glad I did, it dispelled prejudices I harbored about the blog.

      I will go to any lengths to be restored to her favor and if all the other things I would need to do would be as easy as leaving this blog, I’d be glad. I do love her more than anyone, anything, anytime in my life.

      I’ve embarrassed myself and her too many times, and I apologize to anyone who may have seen my posts.

      Thanks John, I will not be on here unless there is a miracle and we are healed from the damage I have done in my marriage and we are reconciled. I’d appreciate any prayers for us in that regard.

      Humbly yours,
      Stan Nelson

  • Silvermoonsc

    Hmmm….don’t read this blog often enough to get what’s goin’ on in that last string of comments, but it does bring up an important point — the club guy and his pocketful of gold story is pretty clear — guy’s a playa and it’s a pretty safe bet the incident you witnessed was neither the first nor last time he’s pulled a stunt like this. However…the only actualy incidents of cheating I’ve ever witnessed have all taken place via the ‘net.

    There’s such a thing as emotional cheating and it destroys marriages, destroys families.

    Just sayin’.

    Don’t know what’s going on here, but it would seem that one man’s blog shouldn’t be the emotional outlet for one half of a troubled marriage with the other half looking on but being banned by the other party.

    Not cool. At. All.

  • Silvermoonsc

    Hmmm….don’t read this blog often enough to get what’s goin’ on in that last string of comments, but it does bring up an important point — the club guy and his pocketful of gold story is pretty clear — guy’s a playa and it’s a pretty safe bet the incident you witnessed was neither the first nor last time he’s pulled a stunt like this. However…the only actualy incidents of cheating I’ve ever witnessed have all taken place via the ‘net.

    There’s such a thing as emotional cheating and it destroys marriages, destroys families.

    Just sayin’.

    Don’t know what’s going on here, but it would seem that one man’s blog shouldn’t be the emotional outlet for one half of a troubled marriage with the other half looking on but being banned by the other party.

    Not cool. At. All.

  • Anonymous

    I am friends with a girl who (when single) went home with a guy that we had met out at a bar. I told her over and over again, “Don’t put me in this situation!” because what girl leaves her girlfriend with a strange male after a night of drinks? But what could I do? FORCE her into my car? She was in her late 20s, an adult. Ultimately it was fine but it still sticks with me that it might not have been. It’s hard when friends put you in situations where you just can’t win.

  • Anonymous

    p.s. I like that bumper sticker too. :)

  • http://www.culturesmithconsulting.com/news cherylsmith

    What can I say that hasn’t been said. Wow. Wow! WOW! Great writing. Great story, sad ending. Love how engaging you are here.


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