Cheating Shmeating

Last night I happened to catch an episode of In Treatment, with Gabriel Byrne playing the self-involved shrink and distant husband to an always entertaining Michelle Forbes.

They were having a strained conversation in his office when she told him she'd been seeing someone.

He jumped up from the couch, losing his shit, and demanded to know who she's seeing and what she does with him.

Now, I'm no fan of infidelity, but his reaction really irks me. It's none of his business who it is and what she does with him. She gave him limited information, but she should have told him to eff-off.

If he's essentially checked out of the marriage and is no longer an active participant in the relationship (or in raising the kids), then he's broken his vows. Perhaps not as severely as if he'd slept with someone else, but it can be just as bad.

If he doesn't really want to be there, why doesn't he move on and let her move on? Why does it seem like neglect is a lesser evil than adultery? I think they're equally destructive.

Later in the show he admits to his shrink that he knew about it, but he did nothing about it - never said a word.

So, he's neglected her for some time, is totally uninvolved with his children, (one of which is having significant socialization issues) knew they were growing further apart, and still acts like her adultery is the worst thing. Please.

I'm not saying what she did was right - if it's at the point where you're about to cheat, it's time to go or time for drastic intervention. But at this point, is cheating really the deal breaker for them?

It doesn't help, but it makes it painfully clear that they're in big trouble. At least she still wants the marriage and family to survive, whereas he doesn't seem to care, or cares only about himself and I think that's worse.