Soap Opera Morality
How can all this be moral, you ask? It's simple. The characters never, and I mean NEVER, get away with their dirty deeds for any length of time. Sure, they enjoy the affair or the elimination of a rival for a while, but their actions always come back to haunt them and taunt them, usually for years to come. There's the lesson – we are all responsible for our actions and we must pay for our mistakes. Soap opera characters are no exception to this rule.
On the dearly departed ANOTHER WORLD, a psychiatrist wanted her patient's husband and child. She did manage to kill the woman, but in the process the psychiatrist went crazy herself and was carted off to the insane asylum. After all her nasty plotting and planning, she gained nothing in the end. In fact, she actually lost her own mind and her freedom. (In typical soap opera fashion, the "deceased" wife returned from the dead years later to reclaim her family – right about the time her grieving husband had finally moved on with someone else!)
On the fondly remembered SANTA BARBARA, a character was obsessed with money and power, two things of which she had neither. She always concocted wild schemes to steal other people's money and/or power. Her schemes always blew up in her face getting her into some kind of trouble. Once, she actually managed to get her greedy hands on millions of dollars. Since she obtained the money dishonestly, the law of soap opera karma states that she couldn't just keep it and live richly ever after.
The wife of the man with whom she was having an affair burned down the mansion in which she was living. Then she found out her insurance policy had lapsed so our little schemer owned the owner of the mansion all those nice millions she had finally gotten her hands on PLUS a million more. All her schemes only made her more miserable and more broke than when she had started.