Cheating and lying in relationships seems to be ever more present in today’s society, or at least that is what soap operas portray on a daily basis. The recourse of adultry on these shows seems to have a continual pattern of “cheat on me and I’ll cheat on you.”
“The Young and The Restless” is a perfect example of a “soap” that displays acts of perpetual cheating, often glamourizing the affairs. Nick cheats on Sharon with Phylis. Then Phylis sleeps with Jack while in a secret relationship with Nick. Sharon, Nick’s estranged wife wants to seduce Brad who is now married to Victoria (Nick’s sister). Brad decides to finally sleep with Sharon after he said his “I do” to Victoria. The cycle on this show is like a tornado that keeps growing larger and more vicious as it picks up debris.
The bad thing about watching these shows, though, is I caught myself cheering on an adultrous act. “Go Sharon, sleep with Brad. After all, you’re getting Nick back for his cheating on you.” Then I thought, “how many people find themselves condoning this otherwise uncondonable act while wathcing this?,” and suddenly counteracted my statement with, “Hey, wait a minute, Brad is married now to Victoria. That’s not cool.” Afterwards, I patted myself on the back for snapping back to reality and remembering that cheating really isn’t as glamerous as it is with pink lighting.
However, for a brief minute of time I was actually condoning a really despicable act. This is just a tv show, true, but these types of ordeals do happen in real life (maybe not as articulately planned out and choreographed…).
Speaking from an up front and personal eyewitness account, these situations are very painful to everyone involved. The easy thing is not always to say “Cheat on me, and I’ll cheat on you,” then go out and actually practice what you preach. More often than not, children are involved and become the “monkey in the middle,” so to speak, trying to figure out which ball to chase.
After doing some quick internet research, I ran upon a poll conducted on cheating spouses (none of these were linked to soap operas, though, but hey, that would be a good one to start.) In 1998 1,523 adults participated in a CNN Time Poll on How Americans Viewed Adultery. Sixty nine percent knew of married men who had cheated and 60% knew of women who had. There are other interesting polls in addition to this one that discuss what types of acts are in fact considered adulterous, so check them out: http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/08/20/adultery.poll/. What would the numbers be today? Unfortunately, I could not find the answers, but I’m guessing the numbers have not decreased.
A moral compass still lies in the midst of the human spirit, true…but how many people have found theirs to be magnetically disturbed after watching these shows. After all, if Nickie and Victor can keep their marriage together after years of scandalous and adulterous activities, so can you, right?
If only we all had a script to read, some pink lighting to make us glow, and a husband to buy us a personal jet, then maybe we would do as the thespians do…until then…I’ll heed television as just that…television.