‘Don’t Worry … I Was Only Looking.’

“Cheating doesn’t mean you have to kiss, or meet up with someone else … Once you find yourself deleting messages or hiding your internet activity so your partner will not see it, then you are already there.”

I was in bed the other night, surfing the web, and, as is not unusual for me, I ended up looking at yellow labs available on PetFinder.com. I have two dogs. I really don’t need a third. Crazy people have three dogs. Or people who live on farms. Not people in suburbia that live on small parcels of land. Anyway, I clicked on the links and looked at so many beautiful yellow labs looking for friendship, companionship, and love. I read their stories. I looked at their photos. I imagined bringing them home with me. Then, I shut my computer and put it away.

My dog, Cedar, who we thought was a yellow lab (she clearly isn’t … she’s more like dachshund with yellow lab coloring!) when we rescued her as a puppy five years ago was snuggled up next to me the whole time. As soon as I shut my laptop, she climbed right on top of me and starting cuddling and licking my face. I said, “Don’t worry, Cedar, I was ONLY looking … I’m not going to actually follow through with it.”

My husband burst out laughing, saying, “I’m sure those exact words have been uttered all across America this week!” Ah, yes! I’m sure they have too as tens of thousand of husbands and wives have had to explain themselves to their spouses. “Don’t worry honey, I was ONLY looking … I was never actually going to follow through with it.” The hack of the Ashley Madison website for married people looking to have affairs, and the subsequent release of emails of those who perused the site, is going to have ripple effects for years to come.

I don’t buy it. The act of simply looking at a site like Ashley Madison means you are curious and perhaps open to the idea of engaging in an affair. Curiosity, in this case can be dangerous.

I tell myself that I’m not planning to get a third dog. I tell myself that I’m “just looking“ to see what’s out there. I tell myself that there is no harm in taking a look at the photos and reading the bios. But, I KNOW, with all my heart, that when I find that yellow lab who I make that instant connection with (yes, based on a photo over the internet) that I will be scrambling quickly to make arrangements to meet him! There is a certain “look” that I fall for every time. I know that it is just a matter of time before my curiosity and innocent “looking” turns into action.

Temptation is a dangerous thing. We start to make excuses. We go from, “I’m just looking” to “What’s the harm if I just send one text” to “What harm can come from a cup of coffee” to “It was just a kiss” and before you know it, you are in over your head, hurting your loved ones. The ripple effect is tremendous.

Would love to know your thoughts on this one! Innocent “looking” or a dangerous level of “curiosity?”

About the Author:

Author Monique A. Honaman wrote “The High Road Has Less Traffic: honest advice on the path through love and divorce” (2010) in response to a need for a book that provided honest, real, and raw advice about how to survive and thrive through one of life’s toughest journeys, and “The High Road Has Less Traffic … and a better view” (2013) to provide perspectives on love, marriage, divorce and everything in between. The books are available on Amazon.com. Learn more at www.HighRoadLessTraffic.com.

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