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Tue, Jun 19, 2012
The New Paper
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Easy to forget how hard it is to stay when one strays
by Jonathan Roberts

As a scandal breaks, it’s easy to forget the other parties involved.

The ones sucked into the scandal will now have to pick up the pieces and decide whether to rebuild the relationship or get out.

What does it take for a couple to stay together after discovering one party has been unfaithful? That Tammy Wynette song comes to mind. After all, Stand By Your Man seems to be the stock answer for women who are willing to forgive errant husbands.

Easy to say, much harder to do.

Is it loyalty, stupidity or just a matter of survival? A case of sticking with a bad situation for fear of not finding someone else afterwards?

Or even, that half-joking assumption that the wife will stay to make the husband suffer.

Maureen Koh speaks to one woman who chose to stay. Hers was a trauma made harder by the affair being exposed publicly.

Maureen’s interview highlights the courage, patience and time it takes to accept a partner’s infidelity – I say partner because after all, it’s not just men who cheat – and try to get past a bad situation.

After such a devastating blow to a marriage’s stability, it must be hard enough to forgive. Forget? Near impossible.

There will be suspicion. Couples can find themselves going to extremes to be certain that their other half is where they say they are.

I’ve been in that awkward situation of vouching that a friend was indeed out with me. At that time, I asked him if being in such a relationship, one with so little trust, was worth it. All I got then was a shrug.

Another question we asked ourselves this week was whether the age gap affects how shocking public indiscretion is viewed.

We asked a 16-year-old student for her view.

It’s pertinent, considering that on Saturday, The New Paper ran the story of two teachers whose sex video was made public and even shared by their students.

Some find it more amusing than shocking. Some, myself included, just can’t fathom why it was allowed to happen.

The shock is not so much that the tape exists, but that the teachers were so technologically blase that they didn’t consider how easy it was to be exposed (pun intended) in this digital age.

I could be flippant and suggest there should be some rules to making a sex video – which is essentially, don’t – unless you see yourself as one of the beautiful people or you’re a minor celebrity looking to create a reality show empire.

There’s been so many high-profile cases over the years, surely there’s some awareness that these things have a habit of being seen by unintended viewers.

If what’s surprising is not the act or who’s involved, but how it was exposed, does that point to some kind of shock fatigue?

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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