The New Rules for Love, Sex and Marriage

Does flirting lead to an affair? Should you tell your friend you saw her husband out with someone else? And other questions answered.

What exactly counts as an affair today? Cheating wives, husbands and the new rules of marriage.

There was no way around it—this totally crossed the line:

A drunk, married dad-of-two was spied canoodling with a random woman in the middle of a bar, in the middle of town.

Our town.

Where he lives.

Who would be that stupid?

That seemed to be the general consensus as the story made the rounds the following morning at the ball fields. In fact, that was how the news officially got to me. (Not that I didn’t hear about it again, the next day, from one person who saw it firsthand and then, in the days to come, from two other people who’d also gotten wind of it and whispered to me, with hands covering their lips as if there might be surveillance equipment on the playground, “Did you hear about that dad at that bar?”) A friend of mine was at the field, innocently sitting in her bag-chair and watching her child play, when she overheard some Gladys Kravitz-type talking about it, loudly, in great detail, using specific locations. And body parts. And names. She texted me immediately.

Turns out she knew the guy, and she assured me that if she pointed him out at the pool or the annual town luau, I’d recognize him—this married dad who allegedly had his arms wrapped around a woman who wasn’t his wife, talking way too close, her hand rubbing his back. All of this in front of people he knew but was apparently too tanked to realize were there, watching him like he was a car wreck.

As the overheard details at the ball field spilled (there may or may not have been slow-dancing), my friend heard someone else casually shush Gladys, reprimanding her jokingly: “Keep your voice down!” Gladys wasn’t having any of it. “If you’re going to do that in a bar in the middle of town,” she replied, “then you deserve to be talked about in the middle of town!”

Word.

The stickiest part, though, was this—my friend, who knew who this guy was? She also knew his wife. Not well. But well enough.

“Are you going to tell her?” I texted.

“No way!” she texted back.

I mulled this for a second. “Don’t you feel like you should?” I texted.

Five minutes passed, and no return text. Then five more minutes. I began to wonder: Did she think I was overreacting? Because in my opinion, that dude had totally and unequivocally crossed the line. Unless maybe he just crossed my line. Maybe my friend had a different line.

Finally, my phone beeped. A text.

“There is no way I’m getting involved!”

A pause. Another beep: “He’s a pig.”

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