Turn on the radio - there it is. Flip on the tube: another breaking story! Surf the net - there it is again! Pick up the paper: front page item! And, down at the movie theater, it's all over the big screen. Yep: adultery is making a comeback!
Okay, it's not like it hasn't been around since forever, but - let's face it - these days adultery is a hot topic. You've got your Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, your Tiger and Elin Woods, your John and Elizabeth Edwards, your Mark and Jenny Sanford, your Ted and Gayle Haggard and a whole host of other public figures stepping up to the podium to acknowledge their sins and search for redemption -- often with their spouse quietly and uncomfortably at their side.
Adultery is most certainly bad for marriage, but it has been great for the National Enquirer, the Lifetime Channel, TMZ and Gloria Allred. That's 'cause (as they say in showbiz) adultery has "sizzle". It's about betrayal. It's about secrecy and discovery. It's about humiliation and human weakness. Anyone up for an episode of "Cheaters"?
Of course, it's hard for us plain folks to resist the weirdly reassuring evidence that all that money, fame, glamor, power and plastic surgery cannot save celebrity high-flyers from the ravages of unfaithfulness. Maybe, we conclude, they're not so different from the rest of us after all. Instead of protecting people from the human condition, maybe all those perks amplify the weaknesses that are already there. Maybe, no matter who we are, we need to work on sculpting our character at least as hard as we work on sculpting our abs.
Even though today's cavalcade of high-profile adultery is hard to avoid, I am starting to find it tiresome. I really appreciate those couples that either never stray at all or, if a breach has appeared in their marriage, repairs are made quietly and thoroughly thanks to God's healing grace, a ready supply of high-octane forgiveness and the courage to trust again.
So, here is my video tribute, a la Leonard Cohen, to those that find a way to dance one another to the end of love in an era of ever changing partners!