Once upon a time I eviscerated an execrable HuffPo article “Is It Time to Change Our Ideas of Adultery and Marriage?” by “Soul Blazer” Lisa Haisha. Thought it was time for a re-run, as this crazy “let’s change our marriage modality” life coach word salad shit is still popular. Blecch! — Tracy
We should all stop being Pollyannas and rethink our ideas about marriage and cheating, says Lisa Haisha, creator of “SoulBlazing” therapy.
…When you consider the historical context of marriage, isn’t being shocked by adultery a bit of an overreaction?
To those of you paternity checking your children, or who put your feet up in the stirrups for an STD test, or found your 401K spent on hookers — hey, put it in a historical context. Henry VIII had six wives (and a few beheadings) and he wasn’t a fan of marriage and monogamy either. This is bigger than us. Please explain to your heartbroken 9-year-old when she asks why she has to spend Christmas in four places that hey, we are all just victims of an outdated modality. I’m sure she’ll understand.
Adultery isn’t shocking, until the day it happens to you and suddenly it ceases to be an interesting theoretical construct. I would argue the only people who are not shocked by infidelity when it happens to them are people who aren’t that deep to begin with. In other words, Lisa Haisha’s clientele — Hollywood “suits.” (Yes, this is on her website.) Superficial people, people who don’t love with their whole hearts because they had their hearts surgically replaced years ago with some botox-ed, gluten-free, heart-like substance. Savvy media creatures who don’t get chumped, they just rebrand.
Yeah, I’m sure those people aren’t hurt by infidelity one bit.
Before you think Lisa heartless herself, she has a disclaimer that, well, cheating and lying are rather a bummer and uncool.
Of course, no one can deny that when you lie and do something behind another person’s back, you are doing something wrong. You’re breaking an agreement, and that lacks integrity. You’re breaking trust with the other person, which is most definitely hurtful. But in the course of a long term relationship, taking into account the practical realities of our human need to experience life on our own, or through experiences with other platonic or romantic relationships, perhaps a new kind of conversation can unfold with your spouse or partner where you jointly communicate your needs and set reasonable and practical parameters of what is and isn’t allowed in your marriage, so the negative and hidden behaviors associated with adultery don’t take place.
In other words, it’s okay to break someone’s trust because …. blather.
I’ve spent over 20 years as an editor and editors have this no no we call “smothering your verbs.” Lisa has positively pickled hers. Consider this epic run on sentence and tell me if you can figure out WTF she means.
But in the course of a long term relationship, taking into account the practical realities of our human need to experience life on our own, or through experiences with other platonic or romantic relationships, perhaps a new kind of conversation can unfold with your spouse or partner where you jointly communicate your needs and set reasonable and practical parameters of what is and isn’t allowed in your marriage, so the negative and hidden behaviors associated with adultery don’t take place.
I think she’s trying to say it’s okay to cheat and lie if you have a “need to experience life.” (Uh, who doesn’t? The alternative to experiencing life is experiencing death). She gets a little vague about these experiences, except to say they might be platonic! or romantic! But hey, be cool and have a conversation first.
Well, Lisa, I agree with you. People should have honest conversations about the kind of open relationships they want. And here’s an interesting trend over a couple millennia — people don’t do that! Nope, they’ve been partnering up for centuries with all sort of rules and shit. Back in Henry VIII’s day you couldn’t get a divorce unless you created your own church, or orchestrated a beheading. It’s those simpler times I’m sure you long for, Lisa. But Henry VIII had a straightforward conversation — give me a male heir or you’re dead — and fat lot of good it did him.
I don’t know what mythical planet you live on where wives once had multiple husbands — is there any known case of this? But I’ll admit, polygamy has worked pretty well for the patriarchy.
But Lisa, you’re a complete fuckwit if you think people cheat because they don’t have conversations.
I always tell my clients to create a vision plan of what they want their marriage to look like and what they’d both be okay with.
Ask Chump Nation how that’s working for us. Lovely theory, Lisa, But we all thought we had that conversation about what we were okay with — those were our marriage vows. Then we discovered — holy shit! we were the only one playing by that set of rules. We had a conversation with a liar. Newsflash. Cheaters lie, Lisa.
Infidelity is about entitlement. The deceit IS the high. It’s gaining advantage over another person. All the kibbles for me! None for you! Cheaters aren’t having a conversation with you because they don’t want a level playing field. Once you realize that cheating isn’t about self actualization or WTFever it is you Californian life coaches are peddling, this shit is pretty easy to understand. They cheat because they want to. Because they have crap life skills. Because they’re entitled.
However, I really appreciate your vision that we should all be more like Japan.
In fact, I once asked several men why they regularly visited hostess clubs (night clubs that employ female staff to act like “rent-a-girlfriends” to men), and they all said similar sentiments: “My wife is cool with it. That’s our culture. She doesn’t love me either. She’s thrilled that I’m gone and I’m not bugging her for sex or company.”
Two people, who don’t love each other, who are thrilled when the other is gone, and who don’t want sex with one another. Yes, that certainly is rethinking this marriage thing, Lisa.
“Rent-a-girlfriend.” Why of course. Why did we not think of this? I guess we weren’t having enlightened conversations. Why stop there? Why don’t we replace every human relationship that requires commitment with a pay-by-the-hour substitute? Abolish the military! Hire mercenaries! Down with parenthood! Hire rent-a-nanny! Or better yet, just herd the all the small kids into giant feed lots and raise ’em like cattle. (Extra premium for the free-range ones.)
Here I have spent years devoted to the care and feeding of a husband. To think I could’ve been “experiencing life on my own” and renting more entertaining company.
Oh hang on… I have experienced “life on my own” — it was called “being single.” I traded it for the love of a good man and a simple, middle-aged, drama-free, monogamous existence.
Works for me, Lisa. You ought to try it sometime.