A client once asked me this question, "Can a man truly love two women?" My first reaction was "no." It was to me a monogamic reflex. Then, I found out that he was having an extra-marital affair.
He said that he loved both his wife and his mistress in equal measure. His love for both of them was indivisible and immeasurable. In fact, with what seems like uncompromising sincerity, he said he cannot live without them...either of them.
Both enrich, enrapture and enthrall him and their collective contribution to his life was indispensable to his personal happiness and well-being. Obviously, my client’s existential landscape was nourished by day (wife) and night (mistress), and never the two shall ever cross like the two poles.
I recall a wise friend of mine once said that couples either grow closer together or farther apart. There is no middle ground where couple’s passion plateau or remain unchanged. The default position, he said, is to drift apart because a marital union, like a flower, if left to fend for itself, will wither away and die. In fact, it is often said that the opposite of love is not hatred but apathy. And apathy is a long enduring poison that kills with time.
So the irony in my client's case is that a couple can still grow closer just as long as one spouse is at liberty to love his mistress in the same way that he loves his wife and to do so under the covers of the metaphorical day and night.
This reminds me of what a renowned psychotherapist, Carl Jung, once said that “in order for one to love unconditionally, he has to do the unpardonable.” I guess you can call this the primal polygamic reflex.
Again, in my client's case, it seems like his love can be generously shared, and spouses and mistresses alike can altogether swim merrily up the stream of passion in a convivial forward thrust; provided of course, the officially registered partner stays in the state of blissful unawareness or willful blindness, or even delusional contentedness. Cherry pick the appropriate box thyself.
So, as I am trying to comprehend my client's action and how he could live with his confused conscience (fyi: he happens to be a studiously religious man...just a passing trivia), I guess he can find some “conscience’s tiger balm” in the following comments about a young adulteress, Jean Home:-
"She was a subtle philosopher. She said, "I love my husband as a husband, and you as a lover, each in his own sphere. I perform for him all the duties of a good wife. With you I give myself up to delicious pleasures. We keep our secret. Nature has so made me that I shall never bear children. No one suffers because of our loves. My conscience does not reproach me, and I am sure that God cannot be offended by them." Let's hope the she has a god who is more liberal than he is religious.
Well, after all is said, this is my last word on the subject (for now of course) and it is from an unassuming actor, "If you love two people at the same time, choose the second. Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn't have fallen for the second." (Johnny Depp) Cheerz.