Mirka, your approach to life strongly reminded me of a quote from the movie Men of Hope. Do you really believe that infidelity is “the key to a happy relationship”?
The key to a happy relationship is freedom. Whoever is not ready for infidelity is not ready for a relationship, that’s my opinion. Living with someone your whole life and not committing infidelity even once is almost impossible.
Why do you think that?
Many things can be considered infidelity. Some people think that infidelity is just sex. Another sexualized activity will come across as infidelity. Then there are those who would fill out divorce papers just for a kiss, and for me it ends with weirdos who punish their partner for an inappropriately placed like on a stranger’s photo. The boundaries are very unclear here and everyone has it built differently. However, everyone in their life meets more people who are nice to them, attract them and it is tempting to at least flirt with them. Is it infidelity? I do not know. I don’t think about it. Instead, I focus on the more important things that connect me and my partner.
Shared hobbies, building something, having fun… If people like to go home with an upset stomach to see if the other person has accidentally come up with something, then it’s on their head. It’s natural to flirt, get close and get to know each other. My partner and I have it set up in such a way that it is our business who and how we let into our lives. We respect your privacy and freedom of choice. We are not each other’s prisoners or captors.
How long have you been together? Do you live together or how does your relationship work?
We don’t live together, but we’ve been together for eight years. When we met, he was married and exactly one of those edgy tie guys you meet on the street. They’re worried about work, they’re worried about their family, their relationship, their future… everything. And at the same time, they are often intelligent, responsible people. Their intense fear is unnecessary. Things are, with exceptions, solvable after all.
Were you single at the time of your acquaintance? And how did you get started together? Was he unfaithful to his wife with you?
I was single and still am. I am an adult, self-righteous person. The relationship that the partner had was doomed regardless of our rapprochement. I sped it up as fast as I could, but the two didn’t belong together.
How do you know that?
Mainly because I know gays first hand. I have a radar for it. That he couldn’t admit it to himself is another matter. He got married and had two kids, lived an unhappy life and didn’t do anything about it anyway until he met me. This has always turned me off – why do people do this?!
Wasn’t it rather a responsibility to the family from him? I suppose the children were small…
Not even a child is a reason to be unhappy and sacrifice yourself.
Do you have children?
I don’t have and I don’t want to. I wouldn’t be a good father. I’m not even a good aquarium owner.
Is your attitude towards infidelity based simply on some general opinion, or on some intense personal experience? It seems to me that it’s more the latter, but maybe I’m wrong…
You’re right, I have personal experience, but not what everyone imagines. As a child, I grew up in a – as they say – “complete family” for a while. And our father was a terrible person. He was always shouting at us, drinking, almost not at home. Mom, on the other hand, stayed at home, and she gradually stopped being embarrassed when she invited “someone” over in the afternoon when my father was at work. How many times have I come home from school and a man has left us. In time, I even called him “uncle” and was forbidden to talk about him in front of my father. Ours ended up getting divorced and the uncle became the stepfather…
Did it hurt you a lot then that you knew about your mother’s infidelity and your father didn’t? Or did you not perceive it that way and thought that mom simply had a friend at home?
At first, I thought of him as a friend, but as I got older, it became clear to me how things were. I also caught a glimpse of something. I was very uncomfortable.
Did you feel guilty about lying to your father?
More like fear of what will happen when he finds out that I didn’t tell him the truth. We never had a good relationship and I was afraid of him. After our divorce, I practically did not see him and I still don’t talk to him. I just know he’s alive. I don’t even need to know more.
When I was little, fear was a common emotion for me. I thought that this is how people normally feel and everyone has it at home.
Did it go well then? When mom got together with this “uncle” who became a stepdad, were you happy?
For a while. I liked “Uncle” but he didn’t stay with us long. Then he started walking less and less. When my mom and I broke up, I was fourteen, and of course I understood everything. Mom never had many female friends, so she cried to me. She told me that uncle had returned to his family. That he was actually married during their relationship, but unlike Mom, he decided to stay with his family in the end. Of course, mom gave it a little worse, but the content is about as I summarized it now.
Did it affect you a lot at the time? How did you live on?
Mom has had several relationships since then. Nothing lasted more than two years. She still hates her father and the man I called “uncle” too. She tells everyone over and over how all the men in her life have failed her. And she ends with the anecdote that she was looking forward to me finding a nice woman and she would finally have allies in her pursuit, but hey, I’m into guys, so I’m next in line from whom she expected more. Does that sound funny? People laugh. I do not really.