This is an age-old question, and people have been known to change their answer after getting married, divorced, engaged, heartbroken…or cheated on. According to an article on living.msn, cheating was cited as the third highest reason people divorce today. The first was lack of communication followed by too much arguing (or too much communication, albeit negative).
No one enters a relationship, let alone a marriage with the intention of sleeping with other people, right? Or do they? The honeymoon phase (which starts just after the proposal) has the ability to put such a lulling, cunning, almost cruel haze on its victims, that they believe that they have found the love of their lives (for now) and there is no way s/he or they/you will stray. Yet, according to living.msn, over 50% of responders stated that they were the victim of infidelity. Not everyone gets divorced post cheating scandal, so the question is posed, is it ever okay to cheat?
What if your spouse won’t make love with you anymore…either by choice or happenstance (say they fall ill)?
What if, while married, you meet a person who turns your world upside down and you have undeniable chemistry?
What about your high school/college love/crush?
What if you meet a famous person on your “list” and they’re game?
What if you let your spouse know what you’re up to? Honesty is the best policy, no?
What if your spouse cheated first? Do you now have a freebie?
What if you’re in the mood and your spouse is commuting, living in a different state/city/country for weeks at a time?
What if you’re the spouse commuting, living in a different state/city/country for weeks at a time and you’re in the mood?
What if you know with certainty that you will get away with it?
In life, things happens. We can control the stirrings of the heart about as much as we can control how quickly our hair grows, but in the case of infidelity, is it really the heart that requires a chaperone? The long and short of it is people have affairs.
Women having affairs is on the rise, and it’s becoming more accepted, Look at the number of shows that highlight it: The Affair, Ray Donavan, How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal (Thanks, Showtime and Shonda!) I can go on, but I love alliteration. According to the National Opinion Research Center’s Social Survey, 21 percent of married men have had an affair, compared to 15 percent of married woman. And while it’s just a 6 percent difference, the number for women has spiked in the last two decades, up nearly 40 percent, however, women are cast as the villain when she strays.
I’ve never heard of a man receiving a scarlet letter of any kind, and haven’t they been the less faithful gender for…ever? Recently, on ‘The Bachelorette’ Andi, the woman seeking her happily ever after, apparently slept with two men at the end. Listening to the discussions about it was sheer entertainment:
“If she loved Josh all along, like she claimed, how could she sleep with Nick?”
“OMG, she slept with both of them! Gross!”
“It’s like she cheated on him before they even got married…”
Hey! She had to cram a few years worth of dating in a short amount of time…if she’d dated them outside of the process, would it make things more palatable? And wait…how many bachelors slept with multiple women during the fantasy suite phase? She was the first to have it publicized, I digress, that’s not the point of this post. Back to the question, is it ever okay to cheat?
I’ll never forget the defining moment for me regarding the double standard surrounding infidelity. I was knee deep in a book club and we were reviewing a book, the title escapes me at the moment. The main character, a male, had several affairs and it really didn’t come up during our discussion and dissection of the book. The next month, however, the protagonist was a woman who’d had an affair. The entire room was up in arms because this woman had had a SINGLE affair. Something about the irony of women condemning a woman who’d had an affair of the heart just pushed me over the edge. I attacked the loudest protesters, peppering them with a number of questions: Where was this fervor last month when we discussed Mr. Can’t Keep it in my Pants? Why is it okay for a man to cheat? But, we agree that she fell in love, right??!!! WTF, Michael Douglas! (best heard in my Katt Williiams impersonation).
While people feel completely free to pass judgment on adulterers, no one is asking the question that begs to be asked: WHY? Why are women daring to seek sexual (or is it emotional?) fulfillment outside of their marriage? I guess now I want to conclude is that it’s okay for women to cheat; I’m kidding, maybe. I don’t judge. Life throws you what you can handle. So handle it. All sides of it.
Andrea Wright is a digital marketing guru with an unwavering vision and determination to help the world thrive, one word at a time, one person at a time through her novels and career/life coaching practice (The Wright Path). Discover Andrea at www.thewrightpath.net. Follow her on Twitter @AWrighter247
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