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Playing with Fire
I read a news report recently of a crime. Basically, here's the story in a nutshell:

A guy was fooling around on his wife with three different women, none of whom knew any of the others, including the wife, existed. The wife finds out and calls the three women to tell them. Instead of confronting the cheat, they decide to get revenge. One lures him to a hotel room where she manages to get him to agree to being tied up. Then the other two enter and do things with him that include crazy glue.

They're now on trial for assault.

I'm not saying that they shouldn't be; but at the same time, I don't think our society gives enough weight to the devastation involved when someone we trust cheats on us sexually. That is a huge betrayal.

I remember reading the story twenty years ago of the housewife who was married to an upper class guy. She had dropped her career to care for their four children, and nurture his career, and then he had dumped her for a gorgeous secretary or something like that. To top it all off, he arranged for his wife to get very little money, and humiliated her in the divorce proceedings. One night, she sneaks into his bedroom and shoots both him and his new lover.

I forget what sentence she got, but again, I couldn't help feeling a little uneasy. Should she be tried? Yes. She broke the law. But so did he, just in a different way. And when you go about cheating on someone, you should realize that you're putting in place a chain of events in your life that you won't be able to control. You're playing with fire.

The problem I have with all of these things, I think, is that our society denigrates the true feelings of betrayal that people have. The idea is that we should all just "act like adults" and "get over it" is predominant in our legal system, and indeed, our culture. In my extended family, for instance, one woman cheated on her husband, who had been a great provider and who was a great dad, and walked out. But she still gets joint custody, she still gets a huge chunk of his money (and any raises he gets in the future), and she gets half of the retirement savings. It's all part of "no fault divorce". No one can be blamed, so everything's divided up equally.

But imagine that. Your husband cheats, and now you have to go get a job, he gets the kids halftime, and there's nothing you can do about it. The law expects you to grin and bear it, because these things happen.

Maybe they do, but they're not supposed to. I don't think that scorned wife would have been charged in that double homicide a hundred and fifty years ago. I think people would have assumed he had it coming. And in the first case, the one with the three women and the crazy glue, I don't think there would have been charges even 75 years ago. No real harm was done (although I'm sure he lost some skin), and again, he had it coming.

We think that we have progressed because we no longer allow these kinds of "crimes of passion", but I wonder if in the meantime we have begun to excuse major sexual sin. We don't realize the true consequences of sexual betrayal. And to say that all parties should move on, and not assign blame, is treating the human condition in a rather naive manner.

When you are betrayed, I think there is a little part of all of us that flips. And the only way to avoid the revenge is just to take it to Jesus and ask for His grace. And even then, it's going to be hard. At least God acknowledges that this kind of betrayal is very serious, unlike our legal system. Only He can help us forgive and move on. I don't think it's easy to do this on your own. And that's why, whenever I hear stories like this in the news, I find myself perhaps a little too sympathetic to the woman with the Crazy glue, or the gun, or the knife. I can only imagine what that must feel like.

I'm not saying our legal system should excuse these crimes; I'm only saying that I'm uncomfortable with how nonchalantly we treat adultery. Maybe I'd be more comfortable with a legal system that says, "if someone cheats on you, you're entitled to a little crazy glue, but only for one week. Then it's out of bounds." Or something like that. What do you think?

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At 10:32 AM , Blogger Raymie said…

Both actions are equal sins in God's eyes. It doesn't seem fair but that is what happens in a fallen world.


At 11:14 AM , Anonymous Prodigal said…

I've been on both sides of this. Adultery is not playing with fire, it IS fire. It plays with your brain, it makes you feel insane, it takes years to work its way out of your head and heart.

Check out the first the section entitled "The Rescue" at for a detailed description of the effects.


At 12:49 PM , Blogger Weird Unsocialized Mom said…

I personally laughed through the entire news piece about the guy and the women with the crazy glue. I think he got off easy. If my husband were to ever cheat on me, he might be needing the crazy glue to glue things back on. ;-)


At 1:02 AM , Blogger TRS said…

In the same way ... it bothers me the way that many people in the midst of divorce move on to new relationships - sexual relationships.

A friend of mine is doing just that - his wife cheated on him, filed for divorce - and now - before the divorce is even close to final he's boinking an old college flame - who is married with children.

He says his wife cheated on him first and he's just moving on. When I point out that his 'friend' is married - he says, "their marriage was over long ago."

But she's still with him. If she hasn't left him after all this time - what makes you think she's going to do right by you?
"because it's us" he says.
Well, that's a real nice fantasy you've got there - but it's just a fantasy. Stop it before everyone gets hurt.

My point is... everyone thinks they are entitled to everything.
That is very wrong thinking.

(doubly frustrating when I'm single and abstinate -- grrr!! - and all those people end up getting everything I'm working so hard for!!)

(funny - word verification 'crymes' - appropriate no?)


At 6:25 AM , Blogger Iva said…

First Wives by Olivia Goldsmith wrote about three friends, duped by the men in their lives, super gluing a cheating spouse to a mattress - but only a certain part.

I wonder who did it first?

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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