Paula has been handling her cheating husband Altus in a totally different way to how Priya is dealing with the breakdown of her marriage to Rajesh.
Paula and Priya look to be around the same age. About 36 years old. They are both attractive, know how to get themselves heard, and both had their husbands cheat on them at about the same time. Priya though seems a lot more together, mature and self-assured than Paula.
There is a few things she can teach Paula about what to do in the aftermath of infidelity.
1. Get it out of your system! Go crazy on him if you need to. Priya confronted him about the affair – first calmly and then she lost it. She wanted to know everything: including where he and his girlfriend spent time together and how he felt about the other woman.
Priya did this for a few months. She went near hysterical every time Rajesh came near her or if his name was even mentioned. She threatened the girlfriend and threated to withhold custody of their daughter from Rajesh.
But there came a point where she made the choice to move forward.
In between all this drama she kept busy with work and poured her heart out to her inner circle of friends.
Paula has been doing just the opposite. She went straight for revenge by going onto dating sites, spending her husbands money and trying to sell his car for next to nothing. She made no attempt to confront Altus about the affair itself. At least force him to explain why he had the affair. What about Kristin made her attractive enough for him to risk their marriage? Find out how he felt about the girl…the things women would want to know.
How can she move forward with her marriage or a future marriage if she doesn’t know what went wrong?
2. Make your decision – are you going to stay or are you leaving. Priya thought about staying, but ultimately decided that she would not be able to get past the broken trust. So she’s gone ahead with the divorce without anymore debate. Priya knows herself well enough to know what’s best for her.
Paula on the other hand doesn’t know what she wants. One minute she makes a decision and the next minute she’s wavering. Sometimes in the same sentence! It’s like she’s trying to punish Altus by holding him hostage with her indecision.
If she can’t make up her mind she should say she needs time apart to decide. And then freaking decide.
3. Keep your private life private! Priya has been speaking only to Eddie, Yvette and Frank about her feelings. She hasn’t looked for sympathy – all she wanted was a way to talk about her marriage.
Paula has been telling everyone who will listen about how wronged she was by Altus. Even going so far as to put vlogs out discussing very private matters. And then there was the huge public fight that made it to the front page of the local community newspaper! So it’s no surprise their friends and acquintances have been gossiping about the intimate details of a marriage that is none of their business.
4. Playing the victim! Neither Paula nor Priya are victims of anything. Their husbands didn’t physically or emotionally abuse them at any stage. And Priya never acts as if what Rajesh did was anything other than he ruined their marriage and broke her trust and heart. She has her own friends and a job she is good at so she comes out of her marriage looking like she will be able to take care of herself.
Paula seems to thrive in her role as ‘victim’. She talks in that annoying voice that she gets going on about how much she loves her husband and how he is the only man for her…but she can’t forgive him…over and over and over. To anyone who will listen. She doesn’t show much ambition in her career nor in any other aspect of her life. She doesn’t give the impression that she could take care of herself without the help of a man or her friends.
She should learn from Priya about having some self-esteem, being an adult, to just stop talking and start making plans (quietly or with a councilor) for her future and then act on them.
5. Take some responsibility! Priya took some responsibility for the breakdown of their marriage. She knew her job and the fact that she lied about trying to get pregnant was a factor. Yet she never ever relieved Rajesh of the 100% responsibility he had for having the affair.
Paula on the other hands takes 0% responsibility for the state of her marriage. Yet she brought nothing but clothes, makeup and self-absorption to her marriage.
Yes, Altus cheated and that’s all on him, but Paula should look at no.4 above and ask some tough questions of Altus and of herself about what he got from Kristin that he didn’t get from her.
6. Dating! Priya had one moment of weakness kissing Frank during the early stages of her separation, but since then she hasn’t as much as put herself out there as a single woman. Because she isn’t a single woman yet!
Paula again showed her lack of maturity and pretty much made herself available on the internet the day after she and Altus separated. And then she met a new man, flirted with him and led him to believe she was interested in him and when she found out Altus had noticed, she dropped Eben like a hot potato. All to stroke her own ego.
All in all Priya has been handling herself with class and self-control and her confidence shines through now more than ever, even after having to deal with one of the worst psychopaths in SA soapies.
The same cannot be said of Paula. In the end she may or may not choose to divorce Altus, but while she is making her decision she could at least behave with class, dignity and maturity.