So I know this guy.
I’ve known this guy for a very long time. In fact, if my math is right, I’ve known this guy for nearly 30 years by this point.
This guy is a serial adulterer. I know, both from observation and, sadly, from firsthand experience, that this guy simply cannot maintain a monogamous, committed relationship. He just can’t. I have no idea what his deal is or what it is about his emotional makeup that renders him incapable of faithful commitment, but the fact of the matter is that he simply cannot be faithful to a woman. It doesn’t seem to matter that he recognizes that his behavior completely screws up his life (and the lives of the women involved); he’ll acknowledge the pain he causes to himself and to others, but that pain is clearly not enough to inspire him to change his behavior. Nope; he’s blown every relationship he’s ever had, and now seems to be gleefully in the process of wrecking someone else’s marriage.
This person is engaged in an affair with a married woman. It is likely not (yet) a sexual affair, but it is an affair. The effects of this behavior are patently clear to everyone, but the actors in question seem completely undeterred. They insist that “nothing’s happening” and that the time they spend together is not a contributing factor to the decline in her marriage.
I have come to realize that I would like nothing more than to never have to see this person again. I know that his behavior has nothing to do with me – at least, not now (30-some years ago, it did) – but that doesn’t change the fact that his behavior is revolting to me and I’m having a really, really hard time moving past it (again). It occurs to me lately that perhaps I shouldn’t try; this pattern of his is clearly well established and not likely to change, and I’d just as soon not have to witness it any more, never mind having to talk to him about it (or pretend that I don’t know what’s happening or that I don’t have feelings about it).
I’m sad that this person never grew up, and I’m sad that he never developed a conscience. I’m sad to lose the person I thought he could become, but I’m not sad to lose the person he very clearly is.