Cheating NYT Vows Couple Sorry For Sharing Their Story

A recent New York Times “Vows” story profiled a couple in their 40′s who met while they were both still married, and after two years of knowing one another, divorced their respective spouses to be together — breaking up their marriages and taking their kids along for the ride. In the article, they detail how they met at their kids’ school, and became close friends with each others’ families — even taking vacations together. They go on to describe how, while they never acted on them, their feelings for each other only got deeper, until they finally decided to abandon their marriages to be together.

Unsurprisingly, we weren’t the only ones who would took issue with the story running in the Times, in a column usually devoted to celebrating weddings and joy — commenters on the Times’ website were similarly appalled:

Why does the Times glorify home-wrecking? Is it a sign of our times that personal responsibility to one’s spouse and children takes a back seat to selfish, self-centered love.

I’m not sure this is the sort of thing I’d be proud to have published in the Times

this story is not primarily about finding true love. The underlying story is about broken promises, unfaithfulness, and disloyalty.

I wish the unlucky children of these two show offs a good place to hide and hopefully at least one sane parent and at least one set of loving grandparents who might be able to undo some of the damage over time. Please…no follow up to this egotistical duo.

Now, it looks like the couple, Carol Anne Riddell and John Patilla, are being hit with a little bit of much-needed hindsight. Patilla tells the New York Post that had he known it would cause such outrage, he wouldn’t have participated in the story:

“I think if we had had an indication afterwards of the nerve it would have struck, we obviously would not have shared our life in any way publicly.”
Please note what Patilla is not saying: that if he had more time to think abotu hwo hurtful the story might be to his ex-wife and his kids, he wouldn’t have done it. He’s saying that if he had known in advance that people would think he was a cocksucker instead of a hero for doing what he did, he wouldn’t have done it. This guy just gets better and better — you really got yourself a treasure, Riddell! 
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    • John

      “I think if we had had an indication afterwards of the nerve it would have struck, we obviously would not have shared our life in any way publicly.” Tortured construction aside, he’s obviously so cluelessly self-absorbed, he truly thought people would be happy for them. “It’s sooooooo romantic!!!” Those poor kids!

    • epilonious

      Meh, all’s fair in love and editorials.

      Meanwhile, I hope all the folks judging them shut down their extra-relationship temptations with “No, if I act on them I might have to deal with the negative opinions of newspaper readers and then the internet…” which is an around-the-bush way of saying “Were you married to them? Are they your kids? No? Then shaddup! You don’t know what you’re talking about…”

    • mae

      As much as I’m disgusted with this couple, I’m even more appalled by the number of people who support them. Yes, I believe in living life beside someone I truly love. But that’s exactly why marriage exists. They should never have married if they didn’t consider their now ex-spouses to be their soul mates. I feel sorry for their families. Since the damage can’t be reversed, I’m glad that the article has drawn public ridicule to this couple that has deserved it. Karma’s a bitch.

    • k.

      This is no one’s business. No one has a right to judge. Sure, you can express your disgust, but that says more about you than it does about them. You wouldn’t do such a thing, great! But, you’re not them — you don’t even know the details behind this diluted story. You don’t know their respective personalities — that of their spouses, and Puritan society is over people — have an open mind. As long as they’re happy and taking good care of their kids. Life is too short and unpredictable to abstain from pursuing happiness.