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!