Julie Powell, author of Julie & Julia, writes in today’s Guardian that there is a light at the end of infidelity’s dark tunnel if partners are willing to overcome societal pressures to split. “In the summer of 2004, I got a call from an old college fling who had moved nearby. We met for lunch and I was shocked by how inexorably drawn I was to him, how easily he coaxed me back into his bed. At first it was just the sex, which was new, addictively dark and rough – after 13 years in a committed relationship, I justified it as much-needed and harmless extracurricular. I had known my husband Eric almost half my life. We married young, although we’d already known each other for seven years. At the centre of our relationship was a deep understanding. That we knew each other so well seemed proof of a love superior in all ways to all others. If you had told me that I was capable of doing anything that could erode the faith of this most loyal of men, I’d never have believed you. I was even more surprised, though in retrospect it was totally predictable, when I realised I’d fallen in love with this other man. With D, I was someone different. A co-conspirator. A playmate. Mischievous, sexy, thrillingly amoral. From the beginning, we did most of our flirting and plotting in cyberspace, through emails and text messages that flew fast and furious between us whenever we were apart. Dirty murmurs, teary yearnings, postcoital sighs were all read and tapped out on my BlackBerry’s tiny screen, during any moment I could get to myself. (I started visiting the bathroom so often, Eric must have thought my bladder had shrunk to half its former size.) Who knows if my affair would have survived as long as it did without all those secret communiques, but it certainly would not have been discovered so quickly.”
Who — or what — really controls your mind?