The X-Factor: The ignored or uncalculated risks cheaters take in love triangles.

Well, here we go again. For those who didn't figure it out from the movie Fatal Attraction, you'd think that perhaps they'd catch a clue from the Amy Fisher saga or countless other everyday reports of jilted lovers seeking revenge on adulterous husbands or their unsuspecting wives. Now, I pick up the newspaper and see the story about Steve McNair, former QB for the Baltimore Ravens, who appears to have been killed in a murder-suicide at the hands of his lover. Although the investigation is still underway, there seems to be more than enough evidence to conclude that McNair, who'd been married for nearly 12 years, had been having an affair with the young 20 year old suspected killer for several months.

So my question is this, why is it that cheaters don't seem to calculate or acknowledge the risks of toying with the emotions of an affair partner with whom they have no intention or plans on making a permanent commitment? I mean, come on, these guys rarely leave their wives yet they continue to cultivate emotional attachments and form intimate, sometimes long term bonds, with their affair partners. The old adage, "Hell knows no fury like a woman scorned" is real, so why do cheaters seem to ignore this "X-factor", (a term used in algebraic equations to indicate an unknown variable), when entering into love triangles? The truth of the matter is you never really know what someone will do or how they will react when in a heightened state of jealousy, anger or feeling of entitlement. That factor alone would make me reluctant to entertain the idea of stringing someone along with whom I had no long term intention on being with. The fact that this sort of thing happens every day, and the knowledge that there is no real way to anticipate the fallout or reaction of the injured lover, makes the love triangle simply a risk I'm not willing to take. But sooo many others are...apparently.

I'm therefore wondering, are cheaters natural risk takers, do they feel they can handle whatever situation arises, or do they just not think that far in advance and simply enjoy the moment presented? I, for one, rarely get into situations where I have not considered or anticipated all possible outcomes, but that's just me. However, since so many others seem to overlook the "X-factor" and plow ahead, I'm just wondering if the potential benefit from the affair truly outweighs the unknown risk.

Your thoughts?

Danine Manette