Lesson 137: Only cowards have extra-affairs
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 5/17 ('The Outcast')


Cmdr. Riker has a past relationship history with Counselor Troi. They did not pursue the relationship, however, remained very good, close friends.

While visiting an alien planet, Riker gets emotionally attached to one of the local female inhabitants of the planet.

Recognizing his feelings for the alien female, Riker takes the time to tell Troi of his situation. Riker is not asking for permission from Troi, but does consider her feelings to be important in this matter.

Troi expresses her appreciation for Riker taking the time to tell her about his situation and she says that it, in fact, will impact their relationship, for it is the nature of relationships to change, and in their case, this change only makes her and Riker better friends.


If the one constant of the universe is change, then our emotional relationships are also at the mercy of this mercurial phenomenon. Change in relationships can at times be for the better and can make them grow stronger in the long run.

However, there are times when the change can only serves to diminish.

Long before the heart begins to wane, the eyes are often the first to wander.

To seek comfort in the arms of another while still remaining in a committed relationship with someone else is the act of a true coward. To commit such an effrontery while being married is the act of an evil person.

Why not be up front and terminate one relationship before starting another? It doesn't take much to break off a relationship, just a few words at most, which will no doubt cause hurt and pain. However, this will be nothing compared to the anguish that will felt by the betrayal of trust as the extra-affair is exposed.

For almost all of us, it is quite difficult to understand how the few stolen moments of pleasure sought in the arms of another, can outweigh the inevitable disaster that awaits these perpetrators.

Self-respect and integrity are unknown to these people, as is the implied shame that will be carried by every member of their entire family for their actions.

Despite any good they may perform in their lives, history will not forget such betrayers of trust, from our leaders such as King David, King Henry VIII, New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, North Carolina Senator John Edwards, and California Governor/Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to name but only a few.

These cowards could have learned a very quick lesson in life and dignity from Riker's forthrightness with Troi.

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