This week a 99-year-old man named Antonio discovered his 96-year-old wife Rosa, whom he’s been happily married to for 77 years, had an affair back in the 1940s. He uncovered secret letters she wrote to an old lover and lost it. His reaction? He immediately filed for divorce. A decision so shocking, apparently, that it made news headlines in Italy, where the couple reside. When the news broke, and included details about how his wife “desperately tried to convince him otherwise”, it took merely a day for the story to go viral, and people all over, myself included, began weighing in.
Many sided with Antonio: “He spent most of his life believing she loved only him, and to have that realization hit you that she was lying to you the entire time (in more ways than one) can be pretty devastating,” wrote one commenter. “The fact that she kept the letter would make me think it wasn’t just a fling that meant nothing,” replied another.
Others, well, they felt his reaction was just plain absurd. “Just because he has the ‘right’ doesn’t mean I can’t think his reaction is idiotic,” wrote one woman. “This is something that happened 50-some years ago. Being hurt and angry is understandable. Making it more important than everything else in the 77 year marriage is ridiculous.” She has a point there. Posed another woman: “Honestly, at a certain point, is it really worth it? Good question!
Sadly, many just found it funny, posting jokes like, “It’s that 77 year itch again” and “Maybe they tried to wait till the kids were dead…” None of which I found to be very funny.
Marriage is certainly not a joke (celebs are you listening?) and this situation is way more depressing than amusing. Seriously, what a dilemma? My initial reaction was that perhaps he was putting one mistake over 77 years of progress, but then I thought, how must it feel to realize someone you trusted for nearly seven decades was keeping such a secret? People, this is quite a tough situation – and the solution, as always, will I’m sure, vary from marriage to marriage and couple to couple. When you’re good days far outweigh the bad ones, is there a statute of limitations on cheating? Is a lie still a lie? Hell, I’m really sitting on the fence on this one.
Wives, what was your instinctual reaction after reading this story? Did your opinions change once it settled in? Was he better off never knowing? Should she have just fessed up back then? Had she, do you think they would have stayed together. We could debate so many sides on this one. Where do we start?