History Main / GoodAdulteryBadAdultery

11th Jun '16 11:09:46 AM Morgenthaler
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* This trope makes a surprise appearance in Daphne du Maurier's ''{{Rebecca}}'', in which [[spoiler:we find out that the titular Rebecca was, rather than the lovely and kind-hearted perfect wife her successor assumed her to be, a lying, manipulative, cruel sociopath who cheated on her husband Maxim with a series of lovers- and was not even really in love with them either. Maxim, meanwhile, is shown putting up with this until Rebecca actually ''intentionally provokes him into shooting her'' (because she has cancer and no way of treating it, and is apparently too afraid of committing actual suicide; as well as the fact that this makes him a murderer: her ultimate attack on him). She is, in fact, so awful that the heroine, Maxim's second wife, is ''glad'' he shot Rebecca, and the reader's sympathies are directed toward Maxim in spite of the murder]]. We also find out that [[spoiler:Rebecca seduced Giles, Maxim's brother-in-law. Giles' wife (Maxim's sister) Beatrice either knows or strongly suspects this and avoids further visits with her brother for that reason. She and Giles still seem to get along well though, and the second wife at one point feels inferior because the two have a "good marriage".]]
* Used in the ''IncarnationsOfImmortality'' series. The [[GrimReaper Incarnation of Death]] (who is new to the position) checks his mail and finds a letter that reads: "Dear Death--Last night I caught my old goat cheating again. I want you should take him out right away so that I can get the insurance. Sincerely, Outraged Wife. PS, Make sure it hurts!" Death is repelled by this request for murder, thinking to himself, "No need to answer that one. No wonder the old goat cheated!"

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* This trope makes a surprise appearance in Daphne du Maurier's ''{{Rebecca}}'', ''Literature/{{Rebecca}}'', in which [[spoiler:we find out that the titular Rebecca was, rather than the lovely and kind-hearted perfect wife her successor assumed her to be, a lying, manipulative, cruel sociopath who cheated on her husband Maxim with a series of lovers- and was not even really in love with them either. Maxim, meanwhile, is shown putting up with this until Rebecca actually ''intentionally provokes him into shooting her'' (because she has cancer and no way of treating it, and is apparently too afraid of committing actual suicide; as well as the fact that this makes him a murderer: her ultimate attack on him). She is, in fact, so awful that the heroine, Maxim's second wife, is ''glad'' he shot Rebecca, and the reader's sympathies are directed toward Maxim in spite of the murder]]. We also find out that [[spoiler:Rebecca seduced Giles, Maxim's brother-in-law. Giles' wife (Maxim's sister) Beatrice either knows or strongly suspects this and avoids further visits with her brother for that reason. She and Giles still seem to get along well though, and the second wife at one point feels inferior because the two have a "good marriage".]]
* Used in the ''IncarnationsOfImmortality'' ''Literature/IncarnationsOfImmortality'' series. The [[GrimReaper Incarnation of Death]] (who is new to the position) checks his mail and finds a letter that reads: "Dear Death--Last night I caught my old goat cheating again. I want you should take him out right away so that I can get the insurance. Sincerely, Outraged Wife. PS, Make sure it hurts!" Death is repelled by this request for murder, thinking to himself, "No need to answer that one. No wonder the old goat cheated!"



* Husband and wife Leino and Pekka in Harry Turtledove's ''Darkness'' series. When sent onto separate isolated teams to work on top secret government projects, both of them end up committing adultery. While the text itself doesn't make any moral judgments in Turtledove's signature style, the respective situations definitely make the wife Pekka the more sympathetic of the two. Her affair is with someone who has also been a major character from the beginning of the series, who we have come to like for his quick wit and ability to make it out of some dire situations, plus she agonizes over her growing feelings toward him for months before they finally hook up. Leino, meanwhile, almost immediately jumps in the sack with a shrill harpy who has nothing going for her besides her looks, and they're both killed at the beginning of the final book.

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* Harry Turtledove:
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Husband and wife Leino and Pekka in Harry Turtledove's the ''Darkness'' series. When sent onto separate isolated teams to work on top secret government projects, both of them end up committing adultery. While the text itself doesn't make any moral judgments in Turtledove's signature style, the respective situations definitely make the wife Pekka the more sympathetic of the two. Her affair is with someone who has also been a major character from the beginning of the series, who we have come to like for his quick wit and ability to make it out of some dire situations, plus she agonizes over her growing feelings toward him for months before they finally hook up. Leino, meanwhile, almost immediately jumps in the sack with a shrill harpy who has nothing going for her besides her looks, and they're both killed at the beginning of the final book.



** In Turtledove's ''Worldwar'' series, focus character Sam Yeager ends up having sex with the married Barbara Larsen in a "we're going to die, so why not?" moment. When the moment wears off, both parties are angry and ashamed that they let it happen, but Barbara remains faithful to her husband. This isn't really portrayed as good or bad, just something that happened that wouldn't have under normal circumstances, and the two try to mend their friendship afterwards. But when they find out Barbara's pregnant and are told (wrongly) that her husband is dead, she and Sam get married. When the husband ''does'' return, this is only the latest step in a HumiliationConga that leads to him going [[AxCrazy off the deep end]] and eventually being gunned down by the military. Much later in life, when Yeager tells the whole story to his son Johnathan, he confides that he believed Barbara would never have stayed with him if not for the pregnancy.

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** In Turtledove's ''Worldwar'' ''Literature/WorldWar'' series, focus character Sam Yeager ends up having sex with the married Barbara Larsen in a "we're going to die, so why not?" moment. When the moment wears off, both parties are angry and ashamed that they let it happen, but Barbara remains faithful to her husband. This isn't really portrayed as good or bad, just something that happened that wouldn't have under normal circumstances, and the two try to mend their friendship afterwards. But when they find out Barbara's pregnant and are told (wrongly) that her husband is dead, she and Sam get married. When the husband ''does'' return, this is only the latest step in a HumiliationConga that leads to him going [[AxCrazy off the deep end]] and eventually being gunned down by the military. Much later in life, when Yeager tells the whole story to his son Johnathan, he confides that he believed Barbara would never have stayed with him if not for the pregnancy.



* Used in ''TheGirlWithTheDragonTattoo'' by Stieg Larsson. Features the good cheating as in everybody in the relationship knows about the relationship with a character named Erika Berger. Blomkvist, the protagonist, and Erika were in a relationship when they were younger. When Erika got married to her husband, she tells him after some time has passed that while she ''loves'' him, she ''desires'' Blomkvist. Her husband is pretty much totally okay with her continuing her sexual relationship with Blomkvist, leaving them with an open marriage. On his end, Blomkvist still flirts and has sex with all kinds of women. (Granted, at least part of it might be because he spends a substantial amount of time away from Erika in the first novel. In the third, he starts a relationship while he's working in close quarters with Erika, and she seemingly begins to accept that he might soon have a real partner.)
* In SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/NightWatch'', Anton is prophesied by Geser that he and Svetlana will have a powerful Other child. Both are attracted to each other but are apprehensive about the prophecy. During a Night Watch retreat, Anton catches her after she has a threesome with Ignat (an incubus) and another woman. The next morning, she realizes he knows but is mad that he doesn't seem to care. Anton actually tries to justify her actions, which causes her to blow up into a tirade on the stupid prophecy and the fact that she hasn't had sex in years (presumably, since her husband left her). This, of course, raises the question of why she would choose to have sex with another man and ''another woman'' rather than her boyfriend, for whom she has feelings. This is especially jarring because Ignat previously tries to seduce her (it's his specialty) but fails miserably. This incident is never mentioned again, and they end up getting married and having a powerful Other daughter.
* In ''Cujo'', Donna has an affair out of a desire to escape feeling old and bored. While her husband is obviously less than thrilled, they manage to work past it [[spoiler:mostly because she narrowly avoids being killed by a rabid dog and their son ''is'' killed indirectly]]. Donna's lover, meanwhile, trashes her house when she breaks things off with him and manages to convince himself that he was ''heroic'' in doing so.

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* Used in ''TheGirlWithTheDragonTattoo'' ''Literature/TheGirlWithTheDragonTattoo'' by Stieg Larsson. Features the good cheating as in everybody in the relationship knows about the relationship with a character named Erika Berger. Blomkvist, the protagonist, and Erika were in a relationship when they were younger. When Erika got married to her husband, she tells him after some time has passed that while she ''loves'' him, she ''desires'' Blomkvist. Her husband is pretty much totally okay with her continuing her sexual relationship with Blomkvist, leaving them with an open marriage. On his end, Blomkvist still flirts and has sex with all kinds of women. (Granted, at least part of it might be because he spends a substantial amount of time away from Erika in the first novel. In the third, he starts a relationship while he's working in close quarters with Erika, and she seemingly begins to accept that he might soon have a real partner.)
* In SergeyLukyanenko's Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/NightWatch'', Anton is prophesied by Geser that he and Svetlana will have a powerful Other child. Both are attracted to each other but are apprehensive about the prophecy. During a Night Watch retreat, Anton catches her after she has a threesome with Ignat (an incubus) and another woman. The next morning, she realizes he knows but is mad that he doesn't seem to care. Anton actually tries to justify her actions, which causes her to blow up into a tirade on the stupid prophecy and the fact that she hasn't had sex in years (presumably, since her husband left her). This, of course, raises the question of why she would choose to have sex with another man and ''another woman'' rather than her boyfriend, for whom she has feelings. This is especially jarring because Ignat previously tries to seduce her (it's his specialty) but fails miserably. This incident is never mentioned again, and they end up getting married and having a powerful Other daughter.
* In ''Cujo'', ''Literature/{{Cujo}}'', Donna has an affair out of a desire to escape feeling old and bored. While her husband is obviously less than thrilled, they manage to work past it [[spoiler:mostly because she narrowly avoids being killed by a rabid dog and their son ''is'' killed indirectly]]. Donna's lover, meanwhile, trashes her house when she breaks things off with him and manages to convince himself that he was ''heroic'' in doing so.
28th May '16 2:46:29 AM Morgenthaler
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* In ''ItCantHappenHere'', Doremus and Lorinda have had a ongoing affair behind Emma's back. The affair is depicted as positive, since the two are intellectual equals who are passionately in love, whereas Doremus and Emma are anything but.

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* In ''ItCantHappenHere'', ''Literature/ItCantHappenHere'', Doremus and Lorinda have had a ongoing affair behind Emma's back. The affair is depicted as positive, since the two are intellectual equals who are passionately in love, whereas Doremus and Emma are anything but.
13th May '16 3:58:56 AM Morgenthaler
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* Used in the old Sierra game ''ConquestsOfCamelot'' in which the player has to retrieve a veil from a prostitute on behalf of a husband so that he can prove to his wife that he didn't cheat on her. ''He gets away with it.'' This creates some MoralDissonance considering the storyline is based on Lancelot and Guinevere's illicit love affair cursing the land, causing Arthur to go out in search of the Holy Grail in the first place.

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* Used in the old Sierra game ''ConquestsOfCamelot'' ''VideoGame/ConquestsOfCamelot'' in which the player has to retrieve a veil from a prostitute on behalf of a husband so that he can prove to his wife that he didn't cheat on her. ''He gets away with it.'' This creates some MoralDissonance considering the storyline is based on Lancelot and Guinevere's illicit love affair cursing the land, causing Arthur to go out in search of the Holy Grail in the first place.



* In ''BaldursGate 2'', Keldorn's wife is unfaithful because Keldorn is MarriedToTheJob and the period between each time she sees him is measured in months, if not years. If you confront the man she's seeing he's [[BrutalHonesty remarkably blasé]] about the whole affair, as he knows Keldorn's wife actually loves Keldorn and was only unfaithful because she was lonely and because Keldorn's daughters needed a father figure in Keldorn's absence (he also all but states he's impotent or at least infertile, meaning it's more an emotional thing than anything). If you convince Keldorn to reconcile with his family and retire, the other man immediately backs off and the affair is resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Alternatively, [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential you can bring the matter up to the courts, which will get the man hung, Keldorn's wife imprisoned, and Keldorn's daughters hating him forever]] to keep him in the party.

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* In ''BaldursGate 2'', ''VideoGame/BaldursGate2'', Keldorn's wife is unfaithful because Keldorn is MarriedToTheJob and the period between each time she sees him is measured in months, if not years. If you confront the man she's seeing he's [[BrutalHonesty remarkably blasé]] about the whole affair, as he knows Keldorn's wife actually loves Keldorn and was only unfaithful because she was lonely and because Keldorn's daughters needed a father figure in Keldorn's absence (he also all but states he's impotent or at least infertile, meaning it's more an emotional thing than anything). If you convince Keldorn to reconcile with his family and retire, the other man immediately backs off and the affair is resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Alternatively, [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential you can bring the matter up to the courts, which will get the man hung, Keldorn's wife imprisoned, and Keldorn's daughters hating him forever]] to keep him in the party.
7th May '16 9:42:44 AM FuzzyBoots
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* ''Theatre/MidlifeTheCrisisMusical'' has a few cases of adultery in its songs. It's all men cheating on women and are depicted as unsympathetic, of course, by the women in question in "He Got What He Deserves". The case in "I Quit", as recounted by the man, is slightly more ambiguous depending on the actor's portrayal as it's in the context of realizing that you aren't where you want in life and making a break from a harmful present situation.
25th Apr '16 12:34:46 PM MsChibi
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* The series displays BlackAndWhiteMorality, in a setting where ''any'' deviation from sex within a marriage is considered morally wrong. This usually results in some form of CantGetAwayWithNuthin.
25th Apr '16 12:19:14 PM MsChibi
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* For the sake of the OneTruePairing. Especially obvious if the adulterer and the adulteress are both long-term characters, but the individual being cheated on is only in the show at all because they are married to one of the adulterers.

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* For the sake of the OneTruePairing. Especially obvious if the adulterer and the adulteress are both long-term characters, but the individual being cheated on is [[RomanticFalseLead only in the show at all because they are married to one of the adulterers.adulterers]].




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* In the case of {{Fanfiction}} and the like, if it serves as a means to get the FanPreferredCouple together, and/or [[DieForOurShip the writer likes one half of the couple, but not his (or her) partner]].
29th Mar '16 11:34:45 AM DrOO7
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* Creator/NicholasSparks will pair this with ProtagonistCenteredMorality. In his novel ''Nights in Rodanthe'', the lead character takes a vacation to dwell on the state of her marriage--her husband wants to reconcile following his affair. This is "bad", but when ''she'' begins a relationship with a man she meets while on her trip, it's not just "good", it's the novel's topical love story. Similarly, in ''The Best Of Me'', one of the reunited lovers is cheating on her husband, but this is okay as the marriage is all but dead, and even Allie from ''Film/TheNotebook'' is cheating on her fiance when she reconciles with Noah, even though her fiance is a wonderful man who even ''she'' admits that she loves dearly.

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* Creator/NicholasSparks will pair this with ProtagonistCenteredMorality. In his novel ''Nights in Rodanthe'', the lead character takes a vacation to dwell on the state of her marriage--her husband wants to reconcile following his affair. This is "bad", but when ''she'' begins a relationship with a man she meets while on her trip, it's not just "good", it's the novel's topical love story. Similarly, in ''The Best Of Me'', one of the reunited lovers is cheating on her husband, but this is okay as the marriage is all but dead, and even Allie from ''Film/TheNotebook'' is cheating on her fiance when she reconciles with Noah, even though her fiance is a wonderful man who even ''she'' admits that she loves dearly. Similarly, in ''The Choice'', the heroine cheats on her fiance with the hero even though there's nothing wrong with him or the relationship.
18th Mar '16 2:27:00 AM Morgenthaler
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* The ''Series/JonathanCreek'' episode "Angel Hair" features an adulterous husband who, adultery aside, is depicted as an otherwise decent man who feels genuinely stifled in a marriage that, from his point of view, is lacking in passion. He's still treated as something of a hapless fool, though, especially considering that the wife he's cheating on is a beautiful pop singer who, whilst she's not quite the passionate sex goddess that the media depicts her as, is nonetheless a loving, caring woman who clearly thinks the world of him.

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* ''Series/JonathanCreek'':
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The ''Series/JonathanCreek'' episode "Angel Hair" features an adulterous husband who, adultery aside, is depicted as an otherwise decent man who feels genuinely stifled in a marriage that, from his point of view, is lacking in passion. He's still treated as something of a hapless fool, though, especially considering that the wife he's cheating on is a beautiful pop singer who, whilst she's not quite the passionate sex goddess that the media depicts her as, is nonetheless a loving, caring woman who clearly thinks the world of him.



* ''TheBigBangTheory'' gives this a cruel twist. Leonard starts dating Raj's sister Priya, and they continue a long distance relationship when she returns to India. The distance (physical and emotional) between them starts to erode the relationship, but Leonard is dedicated to making it work. However, at the comic book store he meets a beautiful female comic book artist and she is clearly attracted to him. They get as far as kissing before Leonard realises what he's doing is wrong and breaks it off. He then calls Priya to confess and ask forgiveness, only to find that she had already cheated on him.

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* ''TheBigBangTheory'' ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' gives this a cruel twist. Leonard starts dating Raj's sister Priya, and they continue a long distance relationship when she returns to India. The distance (physical and emotional) between them starts to erode the relationship, but Leonard is dedicated to making it work. However, at the comic book store he meets a beautiful female comic book artist and she is clearly attracted to him. They get as far as kissing before Leonard realises what he's doing is wrong and breaks it off. He then calls Priya to confess and ask forgiveness, only to find that she had already cheated on him.



* The second episode of ''Series/{{Castle}}'' has a particularly good example: [[spoiler: the killer (who murdered her friend after discovering her boyfriend had slept with her) is treated as a victim, and Kate muses on the unfairness of the guy getting away without punishment... Despite her knowing from the outset that he was married, and later on, it turns out that the death was accidental. She didn't ''mean'' to kill her friend and both young woman appear to be just out of high school or college; so the man (who was several years older than them at least) was sleazily taking advantage of them and their naiveté by stringing them along for sex.]]

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* ''Series/{{Castle}}'':
**
The second episode of ''Series/{{Castle}}'' has a particularly good example: [[spoiler: the killer (who murdered her friend after discovering her boyfriend had slept with her) is treated as a victim, and Kate muses on the unfairness of the guy getting away without punishment... Despite her knowing from the outset that he was married, and later on, it turns out that the death was accidental. She didn't ''mean'' to kill her friend and both young woman appear to be just out of high school or college; so the man (who was several years older than them at least) was sleazily taking advantage of them and their naiveté by stringing them along for sex.]]



* Played with in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', Frasier suspects that his father Martin had an affair whilst still married to his (now deceased) mother, and is shaken when Martin admits it. This affects his relationship with his father, Frasier being unable to forgive this betrayal, until he learns that Martin lied; it was actually Frasier's mother who had the affair. Martin blamed himself for it, and encouraged Frasier not to let it affect his feelings towards his mother, something which Frasier had little problem with. It should be noted that his brother Niles, however, had little trouble accepting it even when it seemed that Martin was the guilty party, reasoning that the two obviously managed to overcome it and have a happy marriage from that point on.

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* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'':
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Played with in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', with. Frasier suspects that his father Martin had an affair whilst still married to his (now deceased) mother, and is shaken when Martin admits it. This affects his relationship with his father, Frasier being unable to forgive this betrayal, until he learns that Martin lied; it was actually Frasier's mother who had the affair. Martin blamed himself for it, and encouraged Frasier not to let it affect his feelings towards his mother, something which Frasier had little problem with. It should be noted that his brother Niles, however, had little trouble accepting it even when it seemed that Martin was the guilty party, reasoning that the two obviously managed to overcome it and have a happy marriage from that point on.
5th Mar '16 7:56:30 AM Prfnoff
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* In ''Literature/RallyRoundTheFlagBoys'', HenpeckedHusband Harry Bannerman is a sympathetic adulterer, though he turns out to be not terribly competent at adultery. Angela keeps the affair going only because she wants to break up his marriage and have him for herself.

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* In ''Literature/RallyRoundTheFlagBoys'', HenpeckedHusband Harry Bannerman is a sympathetic adulterer, though he turns out to be not terribly confident or competent at adultery. Angela keeps the affair going only because she wants to break up his marriage and have him for herself.
5th Mar '16 7:55:35 AM Prfnoff
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''Literature/RallyRoundTheFlagBoys'', HenpeckedHusband Harry Bannerman is a sympathetic adulterer, though he turns out to be not terribly competent at adultery. Angela keeps the affair going only because she wants to break up his marriage and have him for herself.
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