Right Guy, Wrong Time

You’re happily married.  Have several kids.  And you’re falling in love with one of your married friends.  Do you ignore it and make yourself miserable?  Have an affair that makes your spouse miserable?  Or get a divorce and make everyone miserable?

These really aren’t questions we can answer, nor should we pass judgment on the choices Carol Anne Riddell and John Partilla made (the last one, in case you were wondering).  However, the controversy over their star-crossed romance, which led to two divorces and a marriage between them over a year later, is a New York Times article featuring their wedding and the Nora Roberts’ version of how their love began.

After reading the original New York Times’ piece, Riddell and Partilla come across as hopeless victims of their stormy passion – of course, they abstained from actually committing adultery while still married to other people and made the decision to divorce their current spouses in order to mitigate any pain their love might bring to their entire families.  It’s both incredibly sappy and naïve.  Can divorce really be this easy?  Especially in New York before “no fault” divorce was an option?

The Yahoo! news article on the aftermath of Riddell and Partilla’s NYTimes’ article offers some insight into the reality of how Riddell’s ex-husband, Bob Ennis, has taken the whole affair.  The Times article never went outside Riddell or Partilla’s version of their innocent romance that started platonically and blossomed into true love. Understandably, Ennis feels this “whitewashes” what he and his family actually went through after learning that Riddell and Partilla had mutual feelings for each other and intended to get divorces so they could live happily with each other.

What’s hard to believe is the way Partilla regrets the Times’ article, claiming he wouldn’t have agreed to it had he known “the nerve it would have struck” to go public with the story behind him and Riddell.  Now, Partilla and Riddell are no strangers to the finer things; Partilla is the chief operating officer of Dentsu, a Japanese advertising agency, while Riddell, once a news anchor on WNBC, is now currently freelancing.  But can anyone be so out of touch with the real world to not see how turning what must have hurt their families deeply into a romance novella for the world to read might have “struck a nerve”?  Marriage has different connotations for everyone, some more sacred than others, but the way both Riddell and Partilla appeared to have flippantly decided to leave their families in the dust, and let the Times write an expose on it, is a bit appalling.  I think everyone can agree that the happy couple should have kept the matter private, at least for the sake of their families.