"Just remember that secrets are the foundation of a long relationship."-Alex Kinsley (RED)
Possibly the last theme I want to talk about from RED is the factor of cheating. Now, this theme doesn't tie into the others, it's more of a standalone but it's a MAJOR theme in the novel. There's cheating in every possible form all over the place from beginning to end (basically). Everyone has secrets and unacknowledged feelings that they have to deal with; just like real life it begins to affect their relationships with the people around them.
In some cases, cheating may seem like a good idea or the only option in order to be happy with someone (A Tragic Heart has a perfect example of this) but in reality it should never be an option. We think we find the one for us and then suddenly things take an ugly turn and we find ourselves in the arms of another. The worst part is that we tend to try and justify it. To tell you the truth, our justifications make sense a lot of the times but the truth is, cheating is always wrong. You're better off getting out of the relationship completely if you feel the need to go that far. Peyton experiences this a lot in RED.
"Alex is the debris that fills your lungs without you noticing until it's too late; he's the cancer in cigarettes, the side effects to painkillers. Ronan is crystal clear, he's the warmth you feel after coming inside from being in twenty degree weather, he's the answer to every riddle, he's the one...but for some reason I like to mix clarity with confusion. I like to mix my Ronan with a little bit of Alex."-Peyton Hayley Giordano (RED)
The quote above is the perfect example of what we think to ourselves when we know we're making a bad decision with someone while we're committed to another. We start to make charts and Vinn diagrams of pros and cons only to go ahead with our bad idea anyway. When you're stuck in a position like this it's easy to feel like you need both. Both give you something that you want and something that you feel like you need. You sometimes feel like you love both equally which makes you greedy and selfish. We tend to forget that we are hurting someone while we're indulging in another. In fact, we're probably hurting three people: the one your committed to, your lover on the side, and yourself.
Cheating isn't always cheating on someone else, it's cheating on yourself. The characters in RED quickly learn that when they suffer for their actions and pay the consequences. Another thing they learn is that a person doesn't have to be physically there in order to have an affair. Mason has a hard time grasping that concept throughout the novel. Sometimes we aren't in physical relationships with another person but mentally and emotionally we are completely spoken for.
"You can deny it all you want but the truth is the truth and it has an ugly way of coming out."-Alex Kinsley (RED)
When we engage ourselves with someone other than our significant other we tend to place ourselves in somewhere denial lives. What we're doing isn't that bad, the other person doesn't do things the way they used to, I'm not in love with this new person so it doesn't mean that much...the denial is never ending unless we confront it. One thing we can be certain of is that the truth will always come out somehow. It may take a while but it will reveal itself and it's usually in the most unattractive way possible. That's when the old saying, "you made your bed now lie in" comes into play. This is one position you don't want to be in.
Hopefully after reading RED, you all will be able to make decisions with a clearer head. Hopefully cheating is a decision you decide not to make at all. If you're thinking about it, just wait until RED comes out and see how it works out for them...
Cheating isn't as upbeat and enjoyable as this song but you should take a listen anyway...