To all the girls whose husbands she has loved before ...

Writer Nuala O'Faolain issues a public apology to the wives whose spouses she has bedded.

Rebecca Traister
March 20, 2006 9:20PM (UTC)

This is pretty weird. Apparently, Nuala O'Faolain, author of the hit 1998 memoir "Are You Somebody?" and the novel "My Dream of You," is issuing a mea culpa to the wives whose husbands have run astray with her over the years.

According to the Irish Independent, in a new television documentary ("Flesh and Blood") about her post-memoir life, O'Faolain, who has written about her numerous affairs with men and women, says, "I'm very sorry for other women I have hurt and particularly because half-way through my life, feminism happened. You do want to behave better as a feminist. I'm very sorry for the women I've hurt. But I do resent being asked about this, as if the men had no choice. They were the married ones -- not me."


What to make of this ... I'm not sure that feminism is the No. 1 reason to feel bad about having affairs with married men. But O'Faolain's point about whether men get asked questions about guilt over affairs is a good one. What you typically hear from chronic male philanderers looking back on their checkered records is that they wish they'd been better fathers or something, not that their hearts go out to their cuckolded brethren. Or to their embarrassed wives.

Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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