"As a former Probation Officer for over twenty five years, I often visited many men in prison doing a long stretch for a variety of offences. Some of their offences were so grave that the offence itself carried a life sentence. Other punishments that invited a long prison sentence included repeat offenders who just refused to mend their ways, however many second chances they received. Such offenders committed offences so numerous that the sentencing judge lost all patience with the recidivist and essentially decided to, 'Lock up the prisoner and throw away the key, because he's never going to change his ways.'
Thirty five years ago, I found myself being a married man, separated from my first wife who no longer wished to remain married and was petitioning for divorce. While having experienced many years of celibacy towards the end of our marriage, I was naturally flattered to suddenly receive the attention of a beautiful looking woman at the office where I worked. I must confess to having been tempted beyond all physical endurance at the time by the fetching dress of pink chiffon that draped her body appealingly and which fell three inches above her knees, giving her that captivating look of prepossession and which indicated she was not the type of woman to take prisoners. The overall appearance, alluring charms and 'availability' of this highly attractive woman in her late twenties bowled me over during the week leading up to the Christmas break.
The occasion in question was a work's Christmas Party where the drink flowed liberally and a merry time was had by all. As a lifelong Catholic, I had always believed that without temptation there is no growth of the soul, but I also knew that temptation rarely ends in victory for those who give in to it! Being the season of good will however, I didn't have the heart to refuse the persistent advances of the fair lady I was chatting to after she made it quite clear that it wasn't my money she was after. I found myself facing that life-long struggle with conscience that is faced by all good men, whose yearning to be in a bad situation only gets stronger the longer they stay within arm's reach of the temptation.
I sensed that this was a 'one time Christmas offer on the table' and if I turned it down, Santa might never come my way again. My only saving grace was that my temptress was of single status and wasn't in a relationship. With no marriages at the risk of being broken as a consequence of an odd fling, I succumbed to my Christmas desire.
The strange thing was that while I greatly enjoyed the experience at the time, the Catholic in me constantly stirred any conscience lurking in the background back into overdrive. This guilty pleasure of mine suddenly lost all of its pleasure; leaving behind the residual guilt to mop up. Guilty thoughts returned to the settled forefront of my mind to disturb me once more. They reminded me, that separated though I was, I was nevertheless, still married to another woman at the time of my marital transgression; even though she couldn't care two figs whether I lived or died and was divorcing me.
The Catholic religion has always possessed the power among its followers to produce guilt immediately after experiencing any 'illicit pleasure,' just like an overweight chocoholic feels when they look in the mirror and see a true reflection of themselves after they've guzzled the full box! As an intelligent and streetwise man, I knew deep down that temptation is that double-edged seesaw of guilt and pleasure. That is why, I suspect, it will always represent the woman's deadliest weapon and the man's weak will.
Many times over the years I have seen and heard of far too many relationships ruined and marriages broken by the infidelity of either partner and their inability not to stray from their marriage vows and commitments or keep their pants on. I have known of adultery leading the aggrieved partner to murder their cheating spouse and I recall too many incidents of revenge: stabbings, the pouring of boiling water over the sleeping spouse's genitals, the cutting up of entire wardrobes of expensive clothes by a deserted wife, and the dismantling of a house owned by the wife's new and younger partner by a bulldozer at nighttime, operated by a cuckold husband when his runaway wife and her new lover were fast asleep in bed.
Of all manner of womanly revenge I have known or heard of, the one that grabbed the world's headlines in 1993 was undoubtedly that of Lorena Bobbitt in Virginia.This betrayed wife was so incensed by her husband's behaviour after suffering years of abuse and marital rape, that she cut off his penis at its base as he slept soundly. Having castrated him, Lorena left their apartment with the severed body part and drove away in her car. After a few miles drive, she opened the car window and threw the offending muscle into a field. After realising the severity of her act, however, she called the police and after a lengthy search, her husband John's penis was eventually found. After a nine-hour operation, it was successfully surgically reattached to its owner.
The most poetically and just revenge I ever heard of however, was by a wife of an unfaithful husband who'd been having affairs throughout their thirteen years of marriage. He met his lover at her flat every Thursday evening when he was supposed to be practising with his football pals. His naive wife never once doubted her husband and trusted him implicitly, even leaving him something hot in the oven when he returned home late. When she did eventually find out, she could not contain her anger. Because her husband couldn't keep his trousers on, he became obliged to leave them off for nearly three months after his wife decided to hit him where it hurt most with a crow bar, breaking his manly muscle in three places and forcing him to have it splinted. I only heard part of the story and never knew if the punishment had been enough to make the adulterer change his wicked ways.
There is within every red-blooded man of romantic inclination and healthy appetite, the temptation to go astray from time to time, and even some of those who manage to initially resist their temptation, sometimes leave a forwarding address where future temptation may reach them.
Thank God for being content with the affections of one woman only, though I must confess that I slip back into the occasional temptation to flirt with their mind. It must be the writer in me............or is it the devil?" William Forde: July 16th, 2016.