The following comments were on a Smartmarriages email last week. I know that Letterman has made a public confession and asked his wife to forgive him, and I commend him for that. He has also said he is going to work hard to save his marriage. Yet, I found these comments to be enlightening as to our times:
A reader wrote the following: The public reaction to the latest admission of extramarital affairs - this time by David Letterman - may signify a new level of acceptance (or even approval) of affairs. Up until now, there has been a generally critical reaction from the public to the exposure of an affair. But this time - after Dave used his show to turn this admission into a 'funny story' - the audience laughed throughout and actually applauded several times!
Diane, who oversees the website, responded: This was last night and it's all over the news this morning. Peggy pegs it - it's the changing of the social consciousness (or conscience) -- normalizing this behavior and lowering our expectations of monogamy -- that does the damage. Or as Scott Stanley, commitment researcher, might put it, there goes another External Constraint as the social stigma against infidelity is further undermined -- as infidelity is turned into one big joke, as something so cool. Boys being boys. Employers with power, being employers with power.
Letterman effectively reduces the moral question to, *What's worse blackmail or infidelity?* Turns the blackmailer into the moron while he casts himself as the protector of the reputations of his prey - of the women who worked for him. Amazing. Bet his wife isn't laughing. Wonder if Harry (his son) will get the message. Daddy my hero: the cool, funny guy and the protector of women.___________________Beverly reminds us that research done even by secular marriage "experts" repeatedly confirms that monogamous marriages result in greater happiness, fulfillment, sexual satisfaction and peace. That is not the message of Hollywood or the media. But it is a message that needs to be heard.