So here’s some MSN clickbait just begging to be Universal Bullshit Translator-ed this morning. A fluffy little piece of sociopathy by Shannon Boodram, sexologist, entitled “In Defense of Dating a Married Man.”
I often get emails from women involved with a married man or from men who are engaged in an affair that usually center around one question: “Am I a terrible person for doing this?”
And while there are too many variables and not enough jewels in my own crown to effectively answer this, I can answer the underlying inquiry: No, you are not abnormal or evil.
There are not enough rivets in the UBT’s quarter panels to effectively answer the underlying query “Are people who cheat empathy-deficient, self-gratifying, narcissistic nimrods?” There are too many variables. (Cluster B? Sociopath? Or simply generic asshole?)
Translation: Here’s some word salad to say, “Have at it! You’re not evil! You’re a gem!”
Ninety per cent of questions that centre around sex and love are a version of “Am I normal?,” because generally speaking, people do not want what satisfies them and their morals to be in direct conflict.
So, my answer to this popular query is always the same: If it occurs in nature, then yes, it is natural. And since extra-marital affairs have been in existence for just as long as the institution of marriage, I think it is time we stopped looking at affairs as heinous crimes and instead as a natural occurrences.
If it occurs in nature, then yes, it is natural. We should decriminalize Natural Things and stop looking at them as heinous crimes.
Homicide? Hey! Cain slew Abel. Brotherly assassination has existed as long as there have been brothers.
Arsenic? You find it in the ground. Mother Nature made arsenic, not Monsanto! So, yum! Sprinkle some on your breakfast cereal today. It’s natural.
Did you read this paragraph and want to strangle me? Those urges are natural. Stop looking at strangling flaky columnists with concertina wire as some sort of heinous crime. Ninety percent of people read crap every day and want to strangle someone. It’s okay. You’re not evil.
Did I lose you yet? Let’s hope not.
Kinda. The UBT was just so dazzled by your intellect.
The beauty in seeing things as natural vs. deviant is it allows you to exercise understanding. The more we understand and can identify patterns, the better we can cope and even evade the trauma associated with them.
It’s not your partner fucking other people that’s traumatic, it’s your inability to identify patterns. Avoid polka dots. And plaid.
Marriage was invented to legitimize offspring so that parents could pass down any assets acquired over their lifetime to heirs. In the beginning, marriage was essentially a business transaction designed to increase the power, legacy, wealth and reputation of a family name.
Historically, extra-marital affairs were common, permissible and especially in the male’s case, not seen by the courts as substantial grounds for divorce.
Bring back patriarchy!
It is really only within the past couple of generations that love has conquered all and become the primary driving force for tying the knot. And even though we in North America have adopted the Disney model, it doesn’t negate the fact that only 5 per cent of all mammals are monogamous and whether or not humans belong to this minority is still widely debated.
Was Mickey faithful to Minnie? Only 5 percent of all mice are monogamous. If Mickey was a player is still widely debated.
Everyone in North America (Canadians — I’m talking to YOU) models their marriages on Disney. Talking forest creatures. Dwarves. Birds who dress you.
That’s all very fine and good but it doesn’t negate the fact that Bambi’s mother dies. Deal.
Men produce more testosterone and less oxytocin than women. Testosterone is responsible for sex drive and also compels the host to seek out dopamine, a chemical released by risk-taking and new experiences. Oxytocin is the bonding chemical that cements loyalty through intimacy.
Cheating women? Hey, I guess you’re all just too damn butch. Shave your chin hairs and drop some oxy. Maybe you’ll stop cheating.
Thus, many men will not successfully conform to the monogamy model whether they have shared their last name or not. Similarly, a married man is a living example of the qualities women naturally seek out: Some women simply appreciate their attraction while respecting the family unit, others compete to have those qualities for themselves.
Women compete to have men, who are not designed to be faithful. Because… oxytocin. Bitches will just bond with anything.
On the flipside, not all women who date married men are in competition with the wife. Some prefer the mistress-relationship-model, since it provides them with the fun side of companionship minus any of the traditional obligations of partnership.
Duping chumps is fun. Plus it’s companionship without the whole messy introductions-to-people-in your-life thing.
In short, there will continue to be married men who find themselves seeking new intimate experiences and there will continue to be women who are interested in engaging with married men.
By “intimate experiences” I mean no-strings-attached sex.
Now for the happy part: Once you understand that affairs are driven by natural tendencies, you can stop personalizing the act and begin managing the possibilities.
Did you have to paternity test your children? Don’t take it personally.
Were you assuming monogamy and caught a nasty STD? Consider the possibilities!
I strongly believe that keeping an open dialogue with your partner about their temptations, desires and natural drives is very important. Not only can you help your partner effectively manage these natural urges through counsel, but you can also create healthy alternatives in the event that the desire is too strong to curb.
Cheating is natural. Don’t take it personally. However, natural impulses to cheat (caused by testosterone) can be effectively managed with conversations (not neutering!)
Betrayal, not compromise, is the biggest offense in any relationship, but if you don’t create an environment of open communication, you leave your partner to their own devices and vices.
Yes, the person who is not inclined to cheat must communicate clearly, otherwise you leave your partner to their vices. The vice partner cannot possibly be expected to speak up. Remain vigilant chumps! If they fuck around it’s because you failed to manage their urges with conversations!
So, I suggest some new rules that crush the fantasy in order to get to the heart of our human reality:
Women who engage with married men: Don’t be anyone’s dirty secret. If you prefer to date those who are attached to keep your own involvement at arm’s length, then you should have no qualm with the wife being aware of your intentions. If you fall for someone who is taken and they feel the same, demand that they open up their relationship—otherwise, you won’t be a part of it. Do not enter into any situation hoping for change; rather, create the change and then enter. Encourage opacity and know that it is possible to create a healthy arrangement, as opposed to a devious, secretive relationship.
Because every chumped wife is just dying to get your opinion on her marriage. Hey, you’re an equal voting partner here! Don’t be someone’s dirty secret. If she won’t share, blow that marriage up so you can have Mr. Cheaterpants for yourself.
Men who seek affairs: If you are not cut out for the monogamous model, do not deceive anyone into believing you are. Of course, you’re allowed to change, but you must communicate this change with your partner. Desiring new experiences is understandable, while concealing this desire and act from your partner is not. You are an adult. You don’t have to hide your “dirty magazines” under the bed anymore. Come into your own and into the light where everyone can see you and most importantly, where you can stand to look at yourself.
Good advice. Except this ignores the fact that cheaters don’t cheat for sexual novelty (because testosterone), they cheat because they enjoy the deceit. Gaming the system to have an unfair advantage (cake) is what infidelity is about.
Sexual shame doesn’t make people cheat — entitlement does.
Women who are the victims of an affair: First step, realize that it’s not you, it’s not him, it’s nature. He is not evil, he may just lack discipline.
Whack him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. Take away his squeaky toys. Crate him. It’s not you, it’s nature.
You can work through this by working together, but you can’t if you refuse to acknowledge that what your partner needs is understanding… not an exorcism.
You can work through this by hiring a kick ass attorney and running a credit check. Your partner doesn’t need an exorcism, he needs a divorce summons.