Steve Phillips, an ESPN "Baseball Tonight" anchor and former General Manager of the New York Mets, was recently exposed for having an affair with a 22-year old assistant. To grasp of the twists and turns of this story, you should check out this letter written by that assistant, Brooke, to Phillips' wife.
In my analysis of the letter, this girl assumes:
- Phillips will leave his wife and children for her
- Her relationship with Phillips is not just about sex, despite their text messages being "mostly sexual in nature"
- Being a "career woman" is more generally more attractive than being a stay at home mom, even though both are challenging endeavors that require hard work, strong will, and intelligence- and Phillips is more interested in a "career woman"
- The "serious things" she discusses with Phillips are based on a friendship, and not part of his campaign to get in her pants
The only time I tried to "convince" someone to break up for me was in high school when I had no idea what I was doing. People should break up on their own, and "I met someone else" is not necessarily a good reason to break up.
Why do we even go for "taken" people? We never take an empty seat when someone tells us it's "taken" even though it's easier, and more socially acceptable, to steal that seat than it is to go through the process of stealing a person's significant other.
Here are the the questions that I came up with after reading about Brooke and Steve Phillips:
Does Home-wrecking Ever Result In A Successful Relationship?
Usually, relationships involving people motivated by bad or wrong intentions won't work out. A strong relationship has a spark plus a partnership. If a man is getting the spark from one woman, and the partnership from the other woman, it's just two fractured relationships.
In her letter, Brooke seems to be convincing herself that she's more than a sexual outlet, and that a man with teenage children is actually interested in discussing these children with a 22-year old co-worker who should have completely different interests. All the while, this "family talk" may just be part of Phillips' sexual conquest of Brooke.
The letter mentions Phillips' "last affair". Phillips' wife made the mistake of taking him back and look what happened. Some cheaters can change their ways, but I suspect that most can't stop. And someone who cheats on the highest level (cheating while married), has no limitations on how far they'll go. It's one thing to cheat when you're a kid in your first relationship. It's another thing to cheat while you're married with children. Getting into a relationship with a known cheater is never a sure thing. They'll most likely cheat again.
Phillips clearly knows he can take advantage of this girl. The letter is written proof of her naivety. No 22-year old who just entered the working world should be a letter to a man's wife to stake claim to to her husband. Because he is taking advantage of her, he most likely does not intend on taking her seriously, or starting a relationship with her.
What Motivates a Home Wrecker?
In the competitive spirit of stealing someone away from someone else, we lose perspective and we think that we are the solution to the problem. Why would he be looking elsewhere if he was getting what he wanted? But, in reality, his unfaithful behavior is part of a personality flaw within him: a mixture of selfishness, insecurity, and confusion. It does not have much to do with the significant other, or the mistress.
There seems to be a competitive nature to these projects. On a strange level (Brooke points this out in her letter), the home-wrecker convinces themselves that they are actually helping the situation because the marriage is damaged anyway and both people in the marriage will move on to "better" things.
How Much Time Should People Have Between Relationships?
At some point, that lack of time alone for that person you stole may come back to haunt your relationship. You hear people say: "I don't want to get into something serious because I just got out of something serious." Getting into a relationship with someone who ended a relationship to be with you doesn't allow this grace period, and most people need time to exhale after ending a serious relationship. Naturally, a longer relationship requires more time alone after the fact to reflect, recover, and move on. If you get into something too soon, you may hurt your new lover.
What are your thoughts on this letter and love triangle, and what are your answers to the three questions above?
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