Q & A
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO WRITE “Vow”?
I was sitting in a coffee shop with the friend of a friend who had just found out about his wife’s year-long affair. He was a mess – pale, sleep-deprived, miserable, manic. He was 15 years younger than me, he was the opposite gender, he was from a completely different part of the country and a completely different background. And yet he looked exactly as I did when I first found out about my husband’s affair and second family. I realized then that many of us experience the anguish of adultery in the same way, and I felt I had a lot to say about it. The book came out of that motivation.
WHY WERE YOU COMFORTABLE GOING PUBLIC WITH SUCH A PRIVATE STORY?
I have been a reporter for 25 years. I’m used to telling stories, to taking an event and shaping it into a news story. It comes very naturally to me at this point. So when it was time to write my own story, it flowed just as naturally. In addition to that, I have an open personality. You know how some people identify themselves as “private”? Well, that’s not me. Some of us are comfortable coming forward with the messier side of human activity, and there can be value in that for all of us.
WHEN DID THE ACTION OF THE STORY TAKE PLACE?
I first found out about my husband’s second family in January of 2005. We had been married for 18 years. The action extends forward from that January to the fall of 2010.
YOU REPUDIATE MOST OF THE USUAL EXCUSES FOR BETRAYAL – WHY IS THAT?
For me, they were not as relevant. I did not want to give the idea that I cheated because I was miserable in my marriage, or because I was neglected, or because some other man understood me better. That would have whitewashed my betrayals. I think many people give those excuses because they are easy to give. The real reason, for many people and certainly for myself, is simply about Want.
WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF MARRIAGE NOW?
I still think it is the best way to go through life. Humans seem to be almost compelled to couple up, don’t they? The institution is imperfect, but it is still the sweetest way to take the journey – with someone you love and care about, who has your back, whose back you are obliged by affection to have, as well.
WHO SHOULD READ “Vow”?
“Vow” is the story of a marriage and of all the challenges that confront long-term unions – temptation being one of the biggest. We seem to divide into couples almost from the time we’re aware of the other sex, so we all know from an early age the joys and the grief of attaching ourselves to individuals whose commitment and caprice may or may not match our own. The more you reflect on the issues that are likely to arise in the union, the more successfully you will handle them. I have tried to write “Vow” so that its dynamics would be recognizable to anyone who is one half of a couple.
A WORD OF THANKS…
… to those who have stopped by this website. I appreciate your interest and, above all, your willingness to read respectfully about the issue of infidelity. I would welcome any comments or questions you have.