Fidelity is Merely the Lack of Opportunity

Only you know the truth

Liam Ireland
Oct 29, 2020 · 3 min read
Photograph by kind courtesy of Pixabay

Many years ago an old university teacher of mine said those immortal words to me over a cold beer in a local bar.

That teacher is now the world’s leading expert on certain 19th and 20th-century artists and I’m a writer here on Illumination. But I haven’t changed my way of thinking as I am sure neither, has he.

I am convinced that the teacher in question was utterly faithful to his wife and was just expressing a commonly held belief amongst the upper echelons of university teaching staff. I didn’t believe that then, and nor do I now, that infidelity is simply the lack of opportunity, though I accept it may be true for certain types of people.

Turning down a tempting proposition

A few times in my life I have had the opportunity and I didn’t take it. One memorable time was when I travelled hundreds of miles to a business appointment with some self-employed businessman. The man wasn’t there, though his wife was. She explained he must have forgotten and had gone out for the day. To not have completely wasted my time she invited me into their big sprawling house and offered to listen to the business proposition I’d gone all that way to explain.

Within a short time, she was pouring her heart out to me about how he was cheating on her and probably had gone off to spend a happy, lustful day with his secretary. In no time at all she propositioned me. I turned her down and stood up to leave. I told her I was happily married, which was true, and wouldn’t dream of cheating on my wife, which was also true.

I hastily left the house and headed off to my next appointment without giving it a second thought. However, not too many years later I discovered that my lovely wife of that time was cheating on me.

A fleeting second thought

For a brief moment, I gave that earlier preposition a second thought. Very briefly I thought to myself that maybe I ought to have taken that opportunity all those years ago. However, it was a fleeting thought and to this day I’m glad I did the right thing. As my mother always used to say, two wrongs don’t make a right.

The point is, even if you don’t get found out, you know the truth. And only you know if you can live with yourself. Personally, apart from everything else, I know I couldn’t do something like that and not give myself a very hard time about it.

Suck it up princess

Quite frankly, it is just not worth the bother on any level. And if your partner chooses not to reciprocate, then just suck it up princess and move on to somebody who deserves you more.


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