It's Patti (Patricia) Boyd's birthday. Named after the saint whose day she was born on. If you believe the story, Eric Clapton destroyed his life over her. She was married to Clapton's friend George Harrison and Clapton fell in love with her and she rebuffed him. Clapton's life then went to hell and heroin addiction.
You can read that version, with more details, in all sorts of places. It's pure lies. Clapton was going to ruin his life anyway and set about doing it in a very systematic way. It takes hard work to get addicted to heroin—the average addict is using the stuff for 18 months before they get hooked. And it's not like the realities of addiction are some deeply guarded secret. No one drifts into heroin or alcohol addiction unawares.
And the same is true of affairs. Patti Boyd was just another symptom of Clapton's problems and not their cause. There are hundreds of steps on the road to an affair and you have to consciously choose to take each and every one of them. So why does anyone do it? The same reason others do heroin. They think it will make them feel better right now.
The fantasy is that you will feel better about yourself because the affair will prove that you are desirable.
We need to give that thought more credibility than we normally do, especially in women. It might seem self-evident to us men that women, especially some women, are attractive but it's more complicated than that. Jean has beautiful breasts and all the guys check her out. But they also look quickly away any time Jean looks back at them so she doesn't know what they really think. Jean also says things like, "I don't want to be valued just for my breasts," and that is true but she also really wants to know just how powerful they are.
Two interesting examples of perversity
- In my lifetime I've seen more than a few women ruin their lives by allowing the sex in their marriage or other long-term relationship run dry and then had a purely sexual affair with a man just to prove they are sexy.
- And I've seen men let all the affection drain out of their marriage or other long-term relationship and then had sexually unsatisfactory relationships with rather pathetic, damaged women they saw as fixer-uppers because they wanted to feel needed.
All of which sounds fine in theory. The problem is that the person she is having an affair with also has an agenda and that agenda is not to make Jean feel good about herself. Read the "seduction artist" guys all over the web and you'll notice that the move they recommend at just the moment when a woman like Jean makes her potential availability known is to diss her and ignore her. Why? Because her needs will make her try harder. And, yes, it works.
At the very least, the guy after Jean wants to prove to himself that, "I can have this." "This" meaning not Jean in particular but what Jean represents to him. Because Jean means so little to him, he tends to drop her rather hard when they are ready to move on. He may be a nice enough guy to want to let her down gently—meaning, he's actually a total shit but wants to hide it from everyone including himself—but the inescapable fact is that he wants out after he's had enough of this to feel better about himself only, and this is the really perverse thing, he wants the end to hurt her only have it not appear as his fault because her still wanting him after he's gotten what he wants proves something.
Eventually, Patti Boyd left George Harrison and got together with Clapton. His life didn't change even a tiny bit. The substance abuse, mostly alcohol, proceeded unabated and he continued to have lots of affairs with women. This was pretty much exactly what had gone on during her time with Harrison too. She's seventy today.