by Jonathan Franzen
Betrayal Quotes in Freedom
How we cite our quotes: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)
According to his moral calculus, his having married Connie entitled him to one last grand use of his sexual license, which she'd granted him long ago and never expressly revoked. If he and Jenna happened to click in a big way, he would deal with that later. (3.5.37)
Let's put this another, less flattering, way: a long time ago, Connie told Joey he could sleep with other women. And he did. Then they got married – which, needless to say, entails a more serious commitment than some freshman year long-distance relationship. It would've been pretty weird if, after they got back from the courthouse, Connie turned to Joey and said, "Just so you know, this probably means you shouldn't sleep with other woman anymore." And Joey would've been like, "Dude, obviously! I can't believe you would even say that. We just got married." Yet here he is, not one month later, scheming to get into bed with Jenna.
"You did the worst thing you could possible do to me," he said. "The worst thing, and you knew very well it was the worst thing, and you did it anyway. Which part of that am I going to want to think back on?"
"Oh, I'm so sorry," she said, weeping afresh. "I'm so sorry you can't see it the way I see it. I'm so sorry this happened."
"It didn't 'happen.' You did it. You fucked the kind of evil shit who would leave this on my desk for me to read."
"For God's sake, though, Walter, it was just sex."
"You let him read things about me you never would have let me read."
"Just stupid sex four years ago. What's that compared to our whole life?" (3.6.137)
It's a fair question, that last one. But is it the sex that Walter is most upset about and hurt by? One could make the argument that it's really the things surrounding the sex – the desire she felt for Richard, and her pursuit of that man's affection. But perhaps most of all, like Walter says, it's really upsetting that she would share this revealing document with Richard, and Walter would only read it once Richard had cruelly placed it on his desk. Ouch.