While traveling on Monday, I happened to be flipping through radio stations at the moment of the Congressman Wiener press conference and heard it all (including Breitbart before him). Fascinating listening. And I've been paying close attention to the coverage of the issue for the last two days. But I thought I was just about Wiener'd out until a news show this morning posed a question to the audience: did Congressman Wiener cheat on his wife by doing what he did?
Are you kidding me? Of course he cheated on her. Of course he cheated on her!! How depressing that the question has to be even asked. It's a sign of how messed up our society's view of sex has become -- that sex has been narrowly defined as one part being inserted into another, and anything else is fair game. (A notion most publically articulated by President Clinton during his scandal, although I certainly won't give him credit for starting the problem -- he's as much a victim of the error as everyone else.)
If Wiener sent salacious photos to other women, he cheated. If he "sexted" other women, he cheated. If he just flirted with other women, he cheated. Frankly, I think if he had a conversation with another woman that had no reference whatsoever to anything physical but included emotional intimacy that should only be reserved for romantic relationships . . . then he cheated. The sanctity and purity of a marriage relationship has to do with much more than "the bedroom".
This topic is a hot one for me lately, because as my eldest is launching into the dating world, I desperately want her to do so with an aim toward purity. REAL purity, not the wimpy, pared-down version that the world would offer her. I would love for my daughters to be able to give to their future husbands the gift of their whole hearts -- not battered, weak hearts that have bits and pieces left behind with dozens of boys whom they thought they were in love with, or whom they thought they would just have a good time with, or who thought they could use my daughters' bodies or hearts for their own needs with no thoughts to the consequences for anyone else.
In the homeschooling world, you hear a lot about courting, the "old-fashioned" way of doing it. I have to say, I have a lot of respect for the young people who choose that route. They're taking this stuff seriously. They're preparing themselves for a lifetime of committed, healthy marriage, not for a torrid, heady love affair that will fade as quickly as it came. And in doing so, they usually get the love affair, too. I've always found it fascinating that research shows people who only had sex with their one spouse, and only after marrying them, are significantly more satisfied with their sex lives than the rest of the population.
More than half of all marriages in America now end in divorce. One of these days, we have to start being grown-ups and learn to sacrifice a momentary satisfaction for a lifetime of fulfillment.