The story is nothing new. Extra-marital affairs exist within the branches of all family trees. My grandmother said that if you shake a family tree a murderer, adulterer, thief and liar will fall out of the branches. She was a wise woman. But the stakes are higher today when married partners embark on a path of extra-marital sex. Technology allow each of us to peek into the lives of others, cyber-stalk at will, save text messages, and last but not least, create false online identities. So while the latest headline is in the "nothing new under the sun" category the details present the frightening new possibilities.
Steve Phillips sexual partner, a 22 year old production assistant young enough to be his daughter developed a fatal attraction within a short amount of time. Even reading the affadavits I am seeing an image of a bunny boiling on the stove.
For his part, Phillips now claims the woman has become delusional. Young women with lack of discretionary income and status who are swept up into a world of sexual intrigue with powerful men might indeed become emotionally out of whack. But what sort of delusion was this man harboring to risk it all for a gratuitous sexual relationship? It seems doubtful there was an intellectual appeal. The aftermath shows a stalked family in crisis.
Mr. Phillips put five poker chips on the table: his wife and four sons. He gambled it all and this time around he lost. This is not the first time he has walked away from his family. Now they seem poised to walk away from him. It may be a necessary first step to ensure their physical safety.
What did Phillips get for this bargain offered up in the parking lot?
*Frightened and stalked wife
*Cyber-stalked and confused teenage son
*Destruction of marital integrity
*Relationship with family irrevocably altered
The minister of our church says that cheating is easy to do and hard to resist. Stolen waters are sweet. He tells us we are free moral agents. We get to choose. But what we don't get to choose are the consequences. Let that little thought sink in.
The consequences are severe for Mr. Phillips. May he seek out personal counseling. My sympathies to his wife and sons. It is a long road ahead for them too.