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Alain de Botton Can Bite Me

Alain de Botton
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia/Fronteiras do Pensamento

Why should Esther Perel have all my wrath? There are so many other cheater apologists. Who curiously scrub their sites after I ridicule them. Or maybe it’s just a coincidence. Anywho, I found this 2014 take down of philosopher and human eraser head Alain de Botton in the archives. Thought it was worth a redo. Links are updated, courtesy of the Wayback Machine, where stupid essays never die.

Without further ado…

****

Every day chumps send me nutty articles extolling the virtues of cheating. Most of them seem to come from the Daily Mail, a tabloid, so consider the source. Or the Huffington Post, who survive on tasty click bait. But every now and then you get the pretentious cheater apologists with their Ph.D.s telling us monogamy isn’t natural and such.

Indulge me in a momentary tangent on how natural polyamory is — did you guys see the article that men’s faces evolved to be punched ? Seriously! There is scientific evidence by researchers at the University of Utah indicating that we’re such an aggressive species, that men’s facial structures evolved to be resilient to attack.

The faces of australopiths, especially the males, evolved to be very different from those of chimpanzees and gorillas – their jaws grew shorter and more robust, their molars got bigger, their cheek bones grew bigger and thicker, and so did the bones protecting their eyes, said Carrier, a biologist.

Anthropologists had previously suggested these changes may have  been adaptations to changes in their diet, such as one that contained more nuts with shells that had to be crushed with hefty jaws and molars. However, Carrier and Morgan, a physician specializing in emergency medicine, used emergency room records as a starting point to explore a different possibility.

The hospital records show that when humans fight hand-to-hand, they usually strike and injure each other’s faces, Carrier said.

“The bones in face that break most frequently are the same bones that underwent the most increase in robusticity in australopiths,” Carrier said in a phone interview with CBC News.

He suggested that australopiths evolved thicker, sturdier bones in those places to protect themselves from blows to the face, which were likely becoming more powerful and dangerous at that point in their evolution.

So, I think the proper reply to Eric Anderson (Chief Science Officer at Ashley Madison) who tells us monogamy is unnatural is to punch him in the face. Because HEY! We EVOLVED to do that!

But back to pretentious cheater apologists — we have to add Alain de Botton to the douche list for giving us these two absurd articles on infidelity on his blog “The Philosopher’s Mail” — “The Pleasures of Adultery” and “The Stupidity and Folly of Adultery.” (Which goes on to say, really, it’s not folly at all. Marriage is folly.)

What is “The Philosopher’s Mail” you ask? It’s an offshoot of “The School of Life.” I know many of you are assuming that a place called “The School of Life” probably teaches essential life skills such as button sewing or small engine repair, but you’d be wrong. Those activities are actually useful. No, it’s a school to teach us “emotional intelligence.”

Why you’d need some snot-nosed Oxbridge prat like Alain de Botton to teach you “emotional intelligence,” I have no idea. Most of us manage quite well, but for those of you who need more bolstering in the EI department, consider the fine articles on his blog such as Cameron Diaz investigates the origins of happiness. (The secret is SPLASHING.)

What? You were expected Kirkegaard?

Hey! This is a FINE ESTABLISHMENT of LEARNING! Sign up now for a course on “How to Spend Time Alone.” It’s only 40 quid! Me? I’m a Jedi master at spending time alone — I go to diners alone, doctor’s appointments, movies. Hell, I’ve spent an entire year’s worth of Saturdays alone with nothing but mounds of laundry to fold as company. But you there, London jet setter — you need some help. Put down your sparkling social diary and go slumming with the proletariat. Try this ALONE thing. It’s an essential life skill.

I was going to get around to the pleasures of adultery. Really, I was. It’s just that there is such a rich vein of things to ridicule on these sites. Beginning with the fact that whoever has written these edgy little articles on infidelity left their name off and included no comment function.

So much for the free exchange of ideas, right? But hey, this stuff is spawned from the head of Zeus. Did you go to Cambridge? No. I didn’t think so. Sit down and shut up.

Infidelity is “wrong” sort of says The Philosopher’s Mail…

Yet no understanding will come from such a hasty refusal to acknowledge adultery’s full power over the human imagination. Before we can begin to call it ‘wrong’, we should concede that it must also, at some level, for a time at least, for some people (who cannot all be merely monsters) be profoundly enticing. What might a case for it go like?

For a start, simply how normal it is to contemplate. It would be deeply unusual to expect people to grow up in hedonistic liberated circles, experience the sweat and excitement of nightclubs and summer parks, be bathed in images of desire and songs of longing and ecstasy, and then one day, at the command of a certificate, renounce all further sexual discoveries in the name of no particular god and no higher commandment, just an unexplored supposition that it must all be very wrong.

But why?

To be provocative: what if there was something wrong in not being tempted, in not realising just how short a time one had been allotted on this earth and therefore with what urgent curiosity one might want to explore the unique fleshly individuality of more than one of one’s contemporaries? To moralise too swiftly against adultery is to deny the seductive powers of a dramatic amount: another person’s laugh or well-timed irony, a first kiss, a new nakedness – each of these a sensory high point in its own way as worthy of reverence as more socially prestigious attractions, like the tiles of the Alhambra or Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Isn’t the blanket rejection of such temptations a little too neat, an infidelity towards the chaotic richness of life itself? Could one trust anyone who would not, under certain circumstances, show any interest in being untrustworthy?

I know, my head hurts too reading this shit. And consider that I spent years as a think tank editor wading through such pompous academic waffle. My dreck muscles are conditioned. Dear God, the run-on sentences! Let’s start with:

at the command of a certificate, renounce all further sexual discoveries in the name of no particular god and no higher commandment, just an unexplored supposition that it must all be very wrong.

Right. You don’t with free will sign a certificate. No, that thing COMMANDS you to “renounce all further sexual discoveries.” (It’s all the certificate’s fault! Waah!)

Actually, you just commit. It’s a really simple concept, de Botton. Like being alone. I’ll pass over no particular god — okay, you’re an atheist, how very hip. (Yawn.) I’ll pounce instead on “an unexplored supposition that [infidelity] must all be very wrong.”

Well, it’s NOT unexplored. Chances are you’ve probably fucked around a bit before you get married, and you decide to commit to this person you love. So, you explored the options, love this person exclusively, and want them to love you exclusively. If you don’t want to love each other exclusively, you don’t sign the certificate. You don’t get married.

And, douchebag infidelity IS wrong. That’s not unexplored. You want to explore it? Go spend some time on my site, or other infidelity boards and read what newly minted chumps are writing — about puking their guts out, and their traumatized kids, and their missing savings accounts, and their PTSD. Someone willfully did this to them for a little strange. It’s not “an unexplored supposition” you trustafarian wanker — it’s an unassailable truth. Infidelity HURTS people. It’s abuse.

I’m sorry. It’s not abuse. It’s a “sensory high point” like a Bach Mass in B Minor.

Why should you deny yourself! You’d be cheating yourself! Or as you put it: “an infidelity towards the chaotic richness of life itself?” (God I love it when you mindfuck all pretentious like that.) Yes! Missing the sensory high points is the REAL CRIME here!

Some people (lesser people), they’re contented with their Bach Masses — but other people like to fuck bareback with people they meet on Craigslist. Who are we to critique the rich multifacetedness of the human condition? Don’t let CERTIFICATES and nameless Gods tell you what to do — grab all the sensory high points you can, people!

The adulterer is meant to feel ashamed; the betrayed party is encouraged to be furious – with every right to an apology. And yet, from another perspective, shouldn’t the latter sometimes be the one to apologise to the former? Adultery may be the lightning conductor of modern indignation, but are there not other, subtler ways of betraying a person than by sleeping with someone outside the couple; by omitting to listen, by forgetting to evolve and enchant, or more generally and blamelessly, by simply being one’s own limited self? Rather than forcing their ‘betrayers’ to say they were so sorry, the ‘betrayed’ might begin by apologising themselves, apologise for forcing their partners to lie by setting the bar of truthfulness so forbiddingly high – out of no higher creed than a jealous insecurity masquerading as a moral standard.

Anger against adultery evades a basic, tragic truth: no one can be everything to another person. It is only a child who can believe this (wrongly) of a parent. Yet rather than accept the ghastly thought with dignified grace and melancholy, betrayed spouses are encouraged to accuse their ‘betrayers’ of sin. However, there may be only one cardinal wrong: the ethos of modern marriage, with its peculiar brittle insistence that one person must embody the complete sexual and emotional solution to another’s every need.

Yes, that’s why you were cheated on, chumps. You “failed to enchant.” And isn’t that a crime equivalent to finding your 401K spent on prostitutes? You didn’t sparkle sufficiently and now you have herpes. Shouldn’t you apologize to the cheater who gave it to you? I think you should.

You set the “bar of truthfulness so forbiddingly high”! And this is coming from a PHILOSOPHER, okay? Dude knows about TRUTH. There’s truth, like keeping your word, and there is truthiness — the sort of truth. Maybe some of you less enlightened individuals call that sort of thing “lies.” That’s so ugly. Say you’re sorry.

We can’t be all things to all people! The real problem is marriage!

So Alain — bro, don’t get married. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Consider it a life skill. That’ll be 40 quid.

You’re welcome.

 

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  • I kept thinking his last name was de Bottom, and for you Shakespeare fans out there, he certainly was making a valiant effort to imitate having a donkey’s head.

    • Snap ! I thought it was ‘Bottom’ as well! Ass. Head.🤣😂

      And to add insult to injury this *Swiss* fucker wrote a letter to the Guardian against the referendum for *Scottish*
      independence. 😡

      • He is a naturalised Brit, but even I, a native Englishwoman, feel that I don’t have a say in a Scottish referendum. Nonetheless, I am far more offended by his pompous style that uses big words to say nothing of importance. I also wonder if his wife feels the same way about monogamy and affairs. They have been married for nigh on 20 years and have two children together. If she does, one can only pity the children…

  • “evolve and enchant”?

    Yeah, that got me…like I didn’t try to enchant all those years when ex wouldn’t go near me without any explanation. The humiliation of all that effort while he was fucking her behind my back!

    I will happily and gratefully remain my own limited self.

    Great post, CL! Your way with words is enviable ❤️

    • I will admit that I was likely short of enchanting during the hard years of childbirth and military deployments when life required all I had to keep the boat afloat.

      In those difficult times, however, I did evolve. While he was dismissing me as limited and admiring those who worked in his field (he told me once that one reason he admired OW was that she was “good at her job” to which I reminded him that so was I).

      Towards the end of his life, he saw the fruit of my evolved self and I had become respected to the point of being the guest speaker at events where his job became making sure the waiter didnt take away my dessert and coffee during my talk. I could see shame on his face but could not understand why because I didnt know the truths of decades-long betrayal that I have some knowledge of now.

      He had taken the bait early on and created a closet full of stinky skeletons he thought nothing of for years but which dogged him at the end. Not long before he died…in wreckonsillyation, I looked at him sitting at his desk and thought “he looks like a person with a terrible secret”. and he was.

    • Rebecca, the humiliation of trying to enchant, exactly! The humiliation of being turned down by your own husband/wife, of parading around in something you think they would especially like when they aren’t thinking about what you’d like at all! And that was when I was young! Then finding out why… damnit, that is trauma even if you never find out about the cheating. Trying to enchant. 🙄 No cheating FW is ever worth the effort. Fuck de Botton and his entitlement and superiority.

      • Rebecca, Uni and DFLD, I am so grateful that you posted these thoughts today. This is such a private, mortifying, alienating, infuriating and hard to express part of being chumped. Only here do people get it — often articulating my epiphanies, experiences and feelings better than I could.

  • To me. the “wrong” is in the deception. The “wrong” is in the consequences to an unsuspecting spouse who wakes up without a 401k or with an std. When one person thinks the need for his own sexual fulfillment is more important that the avowed partner’s need for security and safety.

    Relationships do grow untenable. Sometimes you are not quite ready to officially end things, like when we “get our ducks in a row.” That is why I believe marriage contracts, or significant other contracts, should be written like other business contracts and have special laws to represent the interests of both parties, and make provisions for child care. There should be a form of pre-nup that is more or less standard in any relationship, with key-man clauses which cover the dissolution or death of a partner. There can be built in adjustments for the passing of time, or the changes in circumstance.

    The actual religious or civil ceremony can bring in the celebratory aspect of “the wedding”. I am not saying it is not important. But my future well-being, and any children’s future well-being should be covered, legally. I understand this is NOT romantic. I found out my marriages were not romantic, either. I survived. I would have preferred to be better prepared.

    Infidelity is full of unexpected, undesirable side effects for all parties involved. Even the sidepiece who gets discarded because the lover doesn’t want to lose financial or social standing. Finding out “Twu-Luv” is not what it appears to be with all its sparkly delights is reality. Exuberant defiance is a mental construct to defend selfishness.

    • “That is why I believe marriage contracts, or significant other contracts, should be written like other business contracts and have special laws to represent the interests of both parties, and make provisions for child care”.

      I suspect family law has yet to keep up with a society which requires two income households, doesn’t offer affordable child care and, until recently, linked health insurance to employment. Economic factors make it difficult to leave a marriage even in the face of infidelity or addiction or assholery.

      But there are legal assumptions that seem go along with marriage that should be “re-examined” when vows are broken. The right to alimony, to retirement accounts, to child custody. Maybe some chump lawyers could take a shot at plain English clauses to include … where? On the marriage license?

      • We have prenups and post ups. We have OPTIONAL fault-based grounds for divorce in many states, which give chumps leverage. These are better options than going back to the bad old days when a chump who was too poor to hire a lawyer, or whose FW covered their tracks well, was absolutely stuck in their marriage.

        • Most people don’t think about this or cannot afford it. We have almost no protection under the law. It was not that long ago women were property. The states laws vary too much. CL moved to a no-fault state after she married. I would like to be able to prosecute a wayward spouse for fraud, and misuse of marital funds. Some consider me to be a radical feminist on these issues. Go figure!

      • If it was written into law, there would at least be standard contracts to sign which would offer more protection than we have now.

    • Yes, the “wrong” is when a chump (living fully in the chosen-confines of a marriage) learns their mother is in a neurotrauma ICU on a ventilator and instead of going with spouse to the hospital, the exuberant cheater stays home for hours of unfettered long-distance communicating with their limerence partner.

      One reason we marry is to have Our Person to be with us in crisis of all sorts. Cheaters are quick to expect and utilize our commitments to the marital agreement but when it is their turn to be present, they aren’t.

      • My Ex’s parents died long-Alzheimer’s riddled deaths. While I was raising 3 children and working part-time, we had the added burden of watching and caring for his parents. After his mom died, his dad even stayed with us for a while. 2 years of caretaking for his dad – regular visits to the nursing home; checking on their abandoned houses (yes, plural), him spending all kinds of time (not just his “spare” time, but actual time he should have been working) at their properties 30 minutes from home. After his dad died he said he didn’t want a divorce but was getting their houses ready for sale. 9 months later – he filed. After he set up his new life – with his new friends – inherited over 1M – ran up bills on our joint accounts. When he left he told me ” you are a strong woman, you’ll be fine”… Oh, I forgot to mention, I had breast cancer and a double mastectomy the year before his mom died. I chose not to reconstruct at that time since our kids were still young. So, after he left, I got to go through the reconstruction process without him. His lawyer said he shouldn’t have to help pay for it since it was “cosmetic”. Joyous!

        • OMG overMim…what a suckfest. I am so sorry you went through all that. The entitlement and betrayal was strong with that cheater. You are mighty.

        • It’s a mystery why Perel and de Botton aren’t lining up at chumps’ doors begging to include stories like this in their “liberating adultery” anecdotes. I imagine the parents who created FW were joys to care for on top of everything else you unfairly suffered through– which likely included a compromised immune system from years of gaslighting and emotional abuse.

  • What’s funny is that since most of these cheaters get pissed off at the very idea of their partner fucking others we can reasonably conclude that they do believe in monogamy…..just not for them.

    My piece of shit ex, who’d kept an ex gf around our entire relationship, had the balls to demand to know if I was “cheating” on him.

    I used quotes because the divorce papers had already been signed and were waiting on the judge’s signature. I was spending a lot of time with friends because I didn’t want him harassing me with his phony bullshit until I could move out.

    I’ve noticed that none of these cheater apologist pricks ever suggests that people who want to fuck others just be honest about it up front and don’t get married.

    • My cheating ex was constantly accusing me of cheating on him (we were separated). I wasn’t. But he practically had AP living with him at the time. If I so much as talked to a man, or didn’t answer phone calls/texts immediately, he’d spew the accusations at me. Accusing me of lying about where I was and who I was with (and like an idiot I tried to defend myself, even the point of sending him a time-stamped receipt of the store I was at. He still didn’t believe me and said I just raced there to provide a cover story. WFT?).

      They project, and he was telling on himself. Clearly when he didn’t answer the phone or text messages, he was “busy” with AP. Clearly he was lying about his whereabouts all the time.

      • When I finally asked XAss if he was/had cheated on me. He widened his eyes, eyes darted to the side, squirmed in his seat and then blurted out that I was the one who cheated on him! His story on how he knew: Ten (10!) years earlier I was in [local city] for work and staying at a hotel. He was told by a friend who was outside my hotel room door and overheard me talking to my mother about fooling around on him. That’s it. That’s his ‘proof’.

        I actually laughed in his face. It was all so absolutely ridiculous and pulled out of his ass that I was shocked. But he believes it. Or really wants to. I knew at that point that I was done and nothing I said or did would make one bit of difference in our so-called relationship. I left him 3 months later. He still denies that he was unfaithful and tells everyone I was the cheat.

        • “…shouldn’t the latter sometimes be the one to apologise to the former? … by simply being one’s own limited self?”

          The false narrative reigns supreme in the lives of these liars.
          No matter the cost to the chump.
          Otherwise they would be looked at as the liar, cheater, user, frauds that they are.

          Paid the price for freedom from that.

      • Because of my work, I’ve always had platonic male friends and contacts based on mutual interests. I’d suffered through a lot of harassment in my career and freak out at even the tiniest boundary-breach so these friendships tested out as totally platonic. All the same, FW would get visibly stiff around them even when they so obviously wanted to get to know him and form couple friendships. After D-Day when the news came out, one male friend was distressed and worried aloud that his friendship with me might have triggered FW to cheat out of jealousy and insecurity. I shrugged and assured him guilty minds tend to project their own MOs. FW has never had a strictly platonic relationship with any woman. His creepy mother and sister were always covertly incestuous and even his lesbian “work-wife” greeted him by pole-dancing on his leg and pimped for him. I was relieved to go back to my safer, boundary-respecting world and get away from his icky, sloppy, ghoul-filled circus.

  • Reminds me of the philosophy professor that I had who obviously hated his female students. You can philosophize, politicize, theorize, biologize (is that a word?) but the plain truth of it all is that infidelity hurts. People hurt when their partner gets involved sexually or emotionally with someone else. The monogamous partner doesn’t just say, “oh it’s okay, darling I understand”. Never! Ever! Why? Because it goes against the core values that most people have. And if we don’t have values, what do we have? Chaos. Confusion. Nothing that helps us keep our shit together & on a straight path. It’s always interesting -as well as infuriating- when people try to skirt around values like Esther, this wacky professor, etc etc. On the upside: looks like a cheater can be flushed out by having “philosophical” conversations.

  • Imagine if you were his wife Charlotte or two children reading that. I mean that wouldn’t concern me at all!

    The musings of a self important twat.

    • He must have mixed up his “f” words. Must have meant “forgive.”

      “the betrayed party is encourage to forgive…”

      Oh, and don’t impose consequences or be bitter. Bitterness is so…unattractive. Smile more, too!

    • We are encouraged to be furious on the only rational “planet”- Chump Nation! And thank the heavens above for that.

      My own mother wanted me to “be the better person” and “take the high road” and all that crap. I finally asked her, “if he had beaten me to a pulp and left me in the ER, would you be telling me this?” Of course she said no. I told her that was what happened except you can’t see the scars and no one brought a casserole.

      Chump Lady and Chump Nation literally saved me.

  • Oh Alain please do just f*ck off with your drivel.

    I evolved alright; I evolved into someone who refused to take Now-Ex-Mrs LFTT’s abuse, after years of sucking it up thinking that it was my fault.

    And let’s just say that if anyone was less than enchanting, it was Now-Ex-Mrs LFTT; her AP really is welcome to her.

    LFTT

  • Why is the failure to “evolve and enchant” always put on chumps? My FW’s loud, grunting dumps 4x day, wardrobe of promotional tees and track pants, and refusal to plan date nights didn’t exactly light a fire.

    • Yep. My fw used the bathroom with the door wide open. Up until he got his cell phone from work, then the door was shut more. (late 80s). I suspect that is when the cheating went into overtime.

      But up to then I got to hear every sound he made. When he showered he walked around the house with a towel somehow wrapped so it was also between his legs. Sexy.

      One time he came home from a part time job all sweaty and actually said let’s do it so I can take my shower after. I declined and said how would you like me coming to you all smelly trying to get romantic. He did apologize; but yeah what enchantment he was. And yet, I never thought of straying. And I worked at DoD with all sorts of available men walking around in uniform.

  • I haven’t been great at focusing and reading since DDay (6 years ago). I used to be in a book club and read all the time. Then DDay happened and my focus never quite returned exactly to where it once was. But it’s mostly back… I just don’t do book club anymore. So as I attempted to read through this guy’s BS, I found myself unable to get through it. And I thought I was having real trouble again!

    I laughed out loud when I saw CL’s “ I know, my head hurts too reading this shit.”

    Whew! I thought it was me

  • Thank you! I am so mad I’ve listened to some of his YouTube on school of life (I am taking abnormal psy) I have been led to these several times I DID NOT know he wrote this so I’ll be done with that NOW.
    This is the Alain I was thinking of when you posted the article the other day about beta blockers…
    Thank you for capitalizing God I love what you’re doing here and appreciate the posts!
    I have articles I want to share here.
    Mark manson.net if anyone’s interested. He’s on the same level.
    We need this stuff!
    Big hugs to ALL.

  • I was prepared to angrily address the false equivalencies (not listening = infidelity), but can’t get past the idea that de Botton ever saw “new nakedness” unless he looked at himself through those bug-eye glasses.

  • These sociopathic monsters consistently equate living a multiple sex partner life openly and honestly with deceiving, and risking transmitting harmful and fatal illness to, a nonconsenting human being by sneaking sex with others in secret.

    The two are NOT the same.

    All they would have to do is…

    A. Clearly state that being dishonest about what your commitment is/isn’t in any relationship is immoral

    B. Clearly state that when engaging in a multiple partner sex life, you must be open about it and ensure mutual consent on decisions regarding safe sex practices for each encounter, because not doing so is immoral, and

    C. Instead of championing infidelity and adultery, champion open, honest, respectful communication about sex and polyamory and all other matters you share, with anyone with whom you have sex.

    It’s not difficult to communicate these ideas, or to ensure they are prominent in other conversations on the topic. Therefore, I can only include that they actually DO advocate for deception, and abuse, and that they get off on encouraging others to do the same things. “More harm for everyone but meeeeee!”

    If they want to stop having to change their URLs, all they have to do is stop arguing that deception and harm are good ideas. They can choose to stick to expressing their shared opinion that polyamory may be more natural than monogamy. Are they right about that? I suppose it’s true for some, and I’m ok with that. But if you can’t stop saying that willful deception and harm are good, then I don’t feel sorry for you when you have to clean up the trail of destruction you unwisely spewed out on the web. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes, jerks.

    • this exactly!
      For the sake of argument, we can assume that monogamy IS “unnatural” but that does NOT mean that adultery is the natural response. “Monogamy is unnatural”- ok, proceed to the steps amiisfree listed and be a decent human.
      The cheaters don’t want both partners to be free to choose, they love the duper’s delight.

  • He evolved ok….went from rational to a dickless weasel . First off . ..I’m no Clark Gable but from the looks of this cat he couldn’t get laid in a wore house with a fist full of 50s. I love how these pssudo scientists proclaim that humans were not intended to be monogamous , perhaps other species fall into that category but humans are supposed to be of a high order….fuck this ass clown

  • These “intellectuals” would not be so cavalier about cheating and infidelity if it was applied to academic cheating, and students were taking their papers and research.

  • And therein lies the issue; marriage isn’t about having someone meet your every emotional and sexual ‘need’ (aka desire). Some lowly podcaster sans PHD said once: if you were happy all the time (if someone met your every need) you wouldn’t need love. The love comes in when you don’t feel like it. That’s when you need love. That’s true.

    This man’s view reveals the thinking that leads to cheating – entitlement. If someone feels entitled to having everything all the time, they might just be so arrogant as to write and article insisting they receive an apology from other people for not being everything to them all the time. Of course there is no thought given to the fact that if the cheater was not demanding monogamy from the person being cheated on, it wouldn’t be cheating, so the cheating always comes from someone who expects monogamy from others (always a double standard). It also stands to reason from the way this article is presented thag this man assumes anyone monogamous is monogamous because they are enchanted and don’t have a single thing sexually or emotionally that isn’t being met by their cheating partner. This man obviously, truly, has no concept of sacrifice or love. He can’t fathom a world where people aren’t permanently enchanted by someone and not looking for thrills elsewhere. It doesn’t occur to him – this is how poor his character is. I actually read that psychiatrist / psychologist is one of the most popular careers for psychopaths. So, perhaps this is exhibit A.

  • “Adultery may be the lightning conductor of modern indignation, but are there not other, subtler ways of betraying a person than by sleeping outside the couple; by omitting to listen, by forgetting to evolve and enchant, or more generally and blamelessly, by simply being one’s own limited self? Rather than forcing their “betrayers” to say they were so sorry, the “betrayed” might begin by apologising themselves, apologise by forcing their partners to lie by setting the bar of truthfulness so forbiddingly high – out of no higher creed than a jealous insecurity masquerading as a moral standard”.

    Sorry, Alain de Botton, but society has ‘evolved” over thousands of years largely because we, as citizens, have chosen to adopt ‘moral standards’ to grow out of our ‘limited’ selves. The ‘bar of truthfulness’ has distinguished human from the animal species throughout evolution. Recognizing a liar and enchanter is not jealous insecurity; instead, it is a protection to self from predators.

    Cheaters are welcome to remain stunted in forgetfulness, lack of evolution, enchantment, lies by omission and commission, apologetics and ignorance of the ‘bar of moral standards’ in society. One by one, humans of greater evolution and development will pass them up and dismiss them to the sidelines of life. Cheaters are a scourge on society. They add no redeeming value to civilization as agents of strength to relationships or raising young within a tribe.

    • “Sorry, Alain de Botton, but society has ‘evolved” over thousands of years largely because we, as citizens, have chosen to adopt ‘moral standards’ to grow out of our ‘limited’ selves.”

      So true. All we have to do is look around and see the repercussions of the lowering of standards in society.

  • I’ve read these first ten comments, and agree w/pretty much everything said. I especially liked ISawTheLight’s comment about cheaters, saying, “They project.” Also the comments that came after.

    Yes, they sure as hell do project. My FW XW is trying to do it to me now w/less than a year left before our only remaining minor (our son) turns eighteen, stupid and entitled as she is. She did it a few years before she exit-affaired me, before I left pharmacy and couldn’t figure out my next move, and she had less reason to be unhappy w/me.

    She accused me of writing a personal in our state’s main and free newspaper, looking for strange. This was after I came home from a long, hard 12.5 hour work day in the pharmacy.

    My immediate reaction was to laugh, it was so absurd to me. That got me into deeper trouble w/her. So I had to backpedal and apologize. No, I never considered doing that shit. But I’m now sure, she could see herself doing it, so she projected that stupidity on me.

    What I wish CL or someone else would say today is, these cheaters are fundamentally immature in this particular part of life. That is why they’re looking for excuses. And who better to blame than the person they’re abusing w/their actions?!

    To them, it seems like a master stroke. To anybody w/an engaged brain, a heart, and at least a bit of a moral compass, it appears immature and cowardly. A shitty, horrible fucking dodge of responsibility.

    None of us are totally mature. We’re meant to (hopefully) be continually evolving in maturity throughout our lives. But us chumps are at least mature in not trying to abuse our partners w/infidelity. Our characters have developed sufficiently here to recognize, like CL said, that if you don’t like monogamy, don’t fucking commit to it. Or at least exit out of the relationship in a responsible, respectful manner towards your partner before getting on the non-monogamous highway.

    These asshole cheaters or enablers of them can’t do that. Their immaturity and wrongful sense of personal entitlement propels them to abuse us w/infidelity or to support it. That this moron should try to suggest it’s all on the chumps for not being perfect shows what a stupid, immature little asshole he is. Grow up, Alain. You pathetic putz.

    And you’re right, walkbymyself. On what planet is this idiot on that he thinks the betrayed party is encouraged to be furious? Certainly not most mainstream media, as CL frequently proves (and douchebag, you’re your own fucking proof of this! What a cretin!)

    Oh, maybe he means those ordinary, normal people whose strength of character tells them adultery is an abusive, shitty thing to do to a partner or spouse. Well, Alain, you asshole, maybe they know something you just can’t seem to grasp. You know. Because you’re a fucking baby when it comes to this shit.

    • I can say with certainty that my cheater ex never emotionally matured past around age 13 or 14. And, having been raised by two self centered self serving assholes…that’s where he settled. Is it trauma that keeps people from growing in certain ways? DNA? A permissive society full of entitlement for certain groups? Dunno. And maybe don’t care anymore. Once you cut these types out of your life, everything gets better.

      • My ex was perpetually 19. He still dressed like it (he was in his 40s when we split), had all the same hobbies and interests, listened to the same music, etc. and clearly had all the associated immaturity. It’s cool to be nostalgic about your youth, but he never matured out of it.

    • “To them it seems like a masterstroke” – excellent insight into their thickheaded beef brained sociopathy! Thankyou for nailing it. They believe they are so very smart.

  • Really, the simple solution to douche-bags like him is DON’T GET MARRIED. And that is doing a disservice to an actual douche-bag, which at least has some use.

  • I used to be a big SoL fan of their YouTube and books. That was early on when I was grasping for anything to keep me afloat after FW traitor scum cheated on our 20 partnership. But the more I dug into their entire ethos, particularly the atheistic element, I shed my appreciation and soon found myself really disgusted with many of their claims.

    Decent, kind, and ethical people do not justify betrayal. Only garbage people do that. Yes, cheating is abuse. It is wrong. It is cruel. Period

  • Revolting….it’s too early for someone so ugly inside and out. This is nothing more than blameshifting and self justification cloaked as philosophical arguments. He’s a sociopath. These types should be tattooed on their foreheads at puberty. The warning would serve the public good. Speaking of sociopaths, I had interactions with a number of them this week and I still feel shaken by the experience. Now that I know about this personality type I try to steer clear of them.

  • This muttonhead’s overly complex tone enrages me. No one gives a dew-kissed fart that you feel meta-morality about the sensual peaks of slapping parts with some gap-toothed BJ purveyor you spotted while pretending to read Descartes, just that you’re pretending you’re not. All while expecting your unevolved chump to carry on with the assumption of fidelity. What an asshat.

    • Yep, and here is the crux of the matter: “All while expecting your unevolved chump to carry on with the assumption of fidelity.”

      Live your life however you want but don’t steal someone else’s life to support your lifestyle unwittingly.

    • “No one gives a dew-kissed fart that you feel meta-morality about the sensual peaks of slapping parts with some gap-toothed BJ purveyor you spotted while pretending to read Descartes, just that you’re pretending you’re not.”

      That was a thing of beauty.

  • If I acted on all of my impulses, I’d be writing to you all from a prison cell.

    I think lots of things.

    I feel lots of things.

    Emotional maturity means I pause and consider if and how I respond, if I delete and ignore.

    As a human, it’s normal to feel attracted to others. As I was taught by my therapist.

    As someone in therapy who took it seriously and followed the suggestions of the very wise therapist whose wisdom and expertise I was paying for, I was taught that an emotionally mature person with a working moral compass in a committed relationship does not act on those feelings and stays away from the person. Over the course of a 27 year relationship, that is what I did. To be fair, there wasn’t really an opportunity to act on the crushes I had on Jamie Fraser or Angel Pagan.

    She also taught me that the “in love” feelings are not permanent, but in a healthy long term relationship you will get hits of that feeling. (Emphasis on the adjective “healthy”). I can’t say now that I had a healthy relationship, but I did experience those hits of “in love” feelings for Traitor Ex.

    Mature love is not a sustained perpetual state of that “in love” feeling. Not what Chris Watts said about not feeling that “spark” for Shanann. But the emotionally immature think it is.

    At the end of the day, long term truly healthy intimate relationships require skills, emotional maturity, and a working moral compass, things cheaters do not have.

    It takes no skills to remain together. Having sex with someone and being in a relationship with them does not mean it is intimate or healthy. No one knows that better than us.

    For him, sex is acting out porn in real life. Essentially, he uses the bodies of women to masturbate. And he has no idea what love is, IMHO, as evidenced by abandoning his own daughter as well as me. He doesn’t have the skills for a truly intimate healthy long term committed relationship, so he and the blow up doll he found on Craigslist Casual Encounters, if she’s still around, should be getting on very well.

    • ” I can’t say now that I had a healthy relationship, but I did experience those hits of “in love” feelings for Traitor Ex.”

      I think this is how it is in a long term relationship. I didn’t get tingles every time FW walked in the door, but I did in certain circumstances. Likely a big part of that reason is I didn’t get romance from another source so, fw still did it for me. Had he abstained, I am sure he would have continued to feel the same tingle for me on occasion.

      I kind of think that is why the 6th commandment is in place. It keeps those embers going. Just common sense.

      Once they stray, no spouse can match those tingles.

        • Considering that Im one of the people with a deceased cheater, it is all the more ironic that I never wished to hurt him in any way; never even tempted to slap his face.
          I wanted to give OW one good punch in the face but that stayed in the realm of fantasy.

  • “…at the command of a certificate.”

    I just can’t get past that. DON’T SIGN the damn marriage certificate if you “want to explore the unique fleshly individuality of more than one of one’s contemporaries.” It’s not that hard.

    Also, trying to argue that cheating is exploring unique fleshly individuality is lipstick on a pig, Alain. We know it’s just cheating.

    It’s like a bank robber telling the judge that he just wanted to explore the excitement of watching the tellers cower and to experience the actual feel of someone else’s money in his fleshy hands while holding a cold, hard gun.

    Dressing up wrongdoing with fancy words is wrong and a crime against concision.

  • And…the Word-Salad Award for Double-Negative Gobbledegook goes to Alain for this line: “Could one trust anyone who would not, under certain circumstances, show any interest in being untrustworthy?”

  • “ Rather than forcing their ‘betrayers’ to say they were so sorry, the ‘betrayed’ might begin by apologising themselves, apologise for forcing their partners to lie by setting the bar of truthfulness so forbiddingly high – out of no higher creed than a jealous insecurity masquerading as a moral standard.”

    Wondering what THAT apology might look like!
    Limited,
    I humbly apologize for refusing to sign for a mortgage on the multi family home you desired a week before you announced you’d found someone and wanted a divorce. And despite stashing thousands of dollars that year and giving me a STD I should have honored your request to manage my paycheck.

    Otherwise you wouldn’t have been forced to put up with losing your independence or live in poverty. My Bad.

  • What about putting Estel Perel, this clown, and David Brooks in a ring together and let them duke it out for of crown of the most sanctimonious b.s. artist, narc apologist ever?

  • This reads like a freshman philosophy class essay written by that dude who hasn’t grown out of saying “well ACTUALLY” and who is pissed that his girlfriend dumped him for hitting on her best friend.

    (Also, that study about punching faces is complete nonsense. Use your elbow! Don’t risk your fingers!)

  • Wow, wow, wow and wow!!!
    I don’t know what shocks me more with this character. The fact that he walks the same earth as everyone else, or he expects people to swallow this total horse shit he’s trying to sell.
    It’s a good thing you didn’t put it through the UBT, Chump Lady, we would have lost our priceless machine for good. (He is not worth that sort of risk!)
    I forgot to “evolve and enchant” and I stayed, quite simply “in my own limited self” you say?
    Why, of course I was cheated on!! Thank the gods above I’m able to see that with such clarity now!
    It just makes perfect damn sense! How could we all be so blind to this truth of truthiness before us?!
    It’s so wonderful that good ole Mr. ‘Bottom’( inhabiting the very bottom
    of humanity) was able to evolve so masterfully in his human form and set us all straight with his Oxford level wisdom.
    Such incredibly profound insight, oh pompous ass extraordinaire!
    As I wistfully envision all the gods, their cousins and every single chump that roams this earth, pummeling him in his perfectly evolved face. ( Bach’s Mass in B minor enchantingly lofting in the mist)

  • “but are there not other, subtler ways of betraying a person than by sleeping outside the couple;

    by omitting to listen,
    by forgetting to evolve and enchant,
    or more generally and blamelessly, by simply being one’s own limited self?”

    Check, check and check. Only thing is, cheater x was guilty of these and I stayed loyal.

    I do firmly believe that one person cannot be your be-all and end-all for everyone of your needs. That’s what family relationships and friends (and book clubs!) are for. These relationships don’t require deceit and deception. They don’t carry the risk of harming your partner’s sense of self, destroying families and finances, and damaging your partner’s health with STIS.

    But when it comes to infidelity, all of the risks are accepted by the cheating partner on behalf of their loyal partner and any children. While they accept only the “rewards” for themselves.

  • I keep re-reading this. It’s just a master class in asshattery. What I find interesting (in a terrible way) about these cheating apologists is that they ALWAYS claim that being able to secretly bang non-spouses is the more “evolved” viewpoint.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here: “Evolving” morally goes beyond accepting that your selfish needs transcend the mere commitments the “unevolved” make. “Evolving” can also mean coming to a place in which you understand that the depth of relationship made possible by true commitment over time is of a higher order than merely having a variety of “fleshly uniqueness.”

    You’d think a freaking philosopher would place a little more value on the mind. But hey, he saw somebody nekkid, so…

    • Using academic and literary argument to stomp all over pretentious moral relativism can be fun. Regarding de Botton’s certs, take Joseph Conrad. The narrators of both the Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now (“Willard” in the film or “Marlow” in the novel) could be said to represent blind indoctrination struggling to retain a civilized facade. This is exposed when Willard/Marlow initially can’t believe that a man of such learned credentials as Kurtz could become so “savage.”

      But Conrad’s overall message is that the very idea that level of savagery of any individual or group has anything to do with level of education is an artifact of the western cult of progress which mistakes status, social training and its own advanced technological juju for morality. Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel expressed a similar struggle with his former illusion that education necessarily conferred morality in his foreword to Annas’ and Grodin’s “The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code”:

      “It is not only medicine and human experimentation which is called into question: The areas of scholarship, learning, education and culture must also be reexamined in the light of what happened. That doctors participated in the planning, execution and justification of the concentration camp massacres is bad enough, but it went beyond medicine. Like a cancer of immorality, it spread into every area of spiritual, cultural, intellectual endeavor. Thus, the meaning of what happened transcended its own immediate limits…I couldn’t understand these men who had, after all, studied for 8,10,12 or 14 years in German universities, which then were the best on the Continent, if not in the world. Why did their education not shield them from evil? This question haunted me…”

      Conrad appears to argue that, rather than being implanted from outside, any developing savagery in the well-bred metastasizes from already established flaws in thinking and character that are then nurtured to psychopathic extremes in the darkness of self deception.

      That’s the long version. The shorter one is that de Botton’s wife Charlotte should probably get an STI check.

      • “That’s the long version. The shorter one is that de Botton’s wife Charlotte should probably get an STI check.”

        👏👏👏🤣😂🤣

        Though I probably shouldn’t laugh, poor woman. Unless of course she goes along with his pretentious malarkey.

        • She’s produced a few documentary films. One was on British naval history and another featuring Alain de Botton’s thinly veiled promotion of gentrification titled “The Perfect Home” based on his book, “The Architecture of Happiness.” In the latter, de Botton comments on run-down, traditional homes while a dark soundtrack plays underneath. Then he presents mod homes over a cheery soundtrack. Er der, wonder which side he leans to?? Betting the film was sponsored by the real estate development industry.

          If it’s any reflection of whether Alain ever forgets to mention his marital status, Charlotte gets no credit on the film’s Wiki page.

  • I like how this guy and Esther Perel always use the “no one can be everything to one person” line of logic like it’s some genius lynchpin in their victim-blaming worldview, when even by that logic, cheating is still a wildly unnecessary and outlandish action. “Your spouse can’t be your lover, and your best friend, and your life coach. It’s just too much to expect of one person! UwU”

    Okay, fair enough. So if that’s the case then why don’t you……….. go outside and make some more (platonic) friends and personal mentors? Funny how it’s only the “lover” role they focus on justifying the outsourcing of when it’s literally the *only one* out of all these roles that people have a problem with outsourcing; you never agreed to or were expected to have only one friend or mentor, you’re free to have as many of those as you want. Oh, but it just had to be the one exclusive role, that’s the one you just *had* to have more of, the friends and mentors weren’t good enough for you? Hell, you’re technically not even really expected to have only one lover so long as you’re upfront about your intentions. But I guess “make some friends and hobbies” or “it’s okay to stay single and just fool around” isn’t sexy, forbidden-sounding enough advice to drive those book sales and clickbait headlines.

    Chump Lady is correct when she points out that monogamy is something that cheaters willingly agreed to, and as I pointed out, something they were socially free to opt out of as well. As I’m sure many chumps know well, I find that the problem with cheaters is not that they hate monogamy as they so love to claim, it’s that they want monogamy from their partner but don’t want to be held to it themselves. That’s a trend I see all the time on the forums: Cheaters who become furious when they find out they were cheated on back. The spouse who pressures/forces an “open relationship” but then becomes angry and wants to close it when their spouse starts finding extra lovers of their own. These stories are how “mutual cheating” typically works out in real life, not the “Piña Colada Song” nonsense fantasy Perelites would try to sell you.

    There’s also a fucked up aspect of enjoying the thrill of the deception, as evidenced by stories of cheaters who become angry/upset when their chump finds out and either turns out to not really mind or that they didn’t act upset enough for the cheater’s taste. Yes, really! I saw one where the cheater became furious when his wife find out, said she didn’t mind, and then *gave him permission* to continue with the cheating… he demanded, “Don’t you care?! Don’t you care about our MARRIAGE?! What about all we’ve been through?!” People were hella confused about it, but I wasn’t: He was pissed because the idea of what he was doing being ~forbidden~ is what made his cheating fun, his wife had killed “the magic” by giving him permission, and she had also deflated his ego by making it clear that she didn’t see him as “worth fighting for” (centrality and the Pick-Me-Dance.)

    I’m not an anti-intellectual who insists that “common sense” is end-all-be-all of valuable human knowledge, it’s not. But I’m just saying, that if your ideas can’t be translated to a more common sense formula and quickly fade away once they leave your word salad echo chamber and get held to actual applicable scrutiny, they probably weren’t very good ideas in the first place.

  • Just don’t sign the contract, or end it by divorce. Or unmarried? End it by a break-up. End. It. First.

    I get that there are hormones at play and attraction can be unintended. I don’t fault that — we are animals. But actions after those hormones kick in are NOT unintended. Grow up and have integrity. If monogamy isn’t right for you, that’s fine – that is FINE. But that can’t be a unilateral choice after commitment to monogamy by two people. That’s called betrayal, and that word has meaning. Treachery. It is evil, and I am tired of hearing anything about the betrayed’s involvement in betrayal. Terrible spouse? There are some, I know some, they suck, they do. So leave them. Divorce them. I am sick of this BS. The evil lies on one side. There are not two sides to everything.

    I am aware I am preaching to the choir.

    • “There are not two sides to a story when one side is a lie. Journalists – and the rest of us – must stop giving equal time to things that don’t have an opposing side.”

      Daniel Levitin

    • Of course, I agree. #chumpchoir

      What fries my ass is that cheaters often will say some version of this:
      “I shouldn’t have cheated. I should have done the courageous thing and divorced you first, BUT……(fill in BS excuse here).”

      That poor “but” is always forced to handle a cheater’s justifications. It’s an unfair burden on a little conjunction.

      Also, the sentence itself is NOT COURAGEOUS. Can’t even apologize correctly. The cheating is cowardly AND the apology is cowardly. FFS!!

      • ” I should have done the courageous thing and divorced you first, BUT……(fill in BS excuse here).”

        Or its first cousin “I didn’t handle it right”. To which my answer is “to be fair there is no right way to handle adultery”

        • That was my pseudo apology text something to the tune “of not handling some things well”.
          Which things was that? the cheating, the lying, or stealing?
          That text also came with the you should move on, I am…

    • “Just don’t sign the contract, or end it by divorce. Or unmarried? End it by a break-up. End. It. First.”

      👍Yep. Same as a job. If you don’t make enough money to make you happy, leave the current job for one that suits you better. Don’t embezzle because your job does not make you happy and provide all your needs.

      Or, in polyamorist fashion, you can work a part time job if your job allows that.

  • There are so many things in this article that are not only offensive or counter to my belief, they are preposterously dramatic and make NO logical sense whatsoever. Jesus H. What were his editors thinking?

    I’m way too busy to address the sheer volume of comments that come to mind, so will content myself with the thought of transferring my copy of “The Architecture of Happiness” to the bin when I get home. It was pretentious, opinionated drivel anyway and I’ll be happy to no longer have it in my office.

  • Do these self-important cheater apologists ever consider interviewing chumps? Alain, of King’s College and Harvard, should do some frickin’ research. I, and I suspect many here, would be happy to provide first-hand accounts. #primarysources

  • De Botton looks like a hotdog in a tweed bun.

    I’ll just repost a comment from a few days ago in response to “evolutionary poly” arguments. There’s evidence that war, violence and rape are carry-overs from our poly ape roots but that social organization, progress, peace and apple pie arose from human evolution towards monogamy:

    Harvard primatologist Richard Wrangham has a few theories of how humans evolved to be basically monogamous or at least to prefer and expect that partners be monogamous. First he deduced that, because the gut and brain vie for metabolic fuel to sustain the systems and because cooking sterilizes food and makes nutrients easier to absorb, the discovery of fire and cooking meant we could shed our tough former ape digestive tracks and “spend” metabolism on supporting larger brains. Based on evidence that, in every culture in the world, women do most of the day-to-day cooking, as the logic goes, males began transitioning to monogamy to get females to cook for them and having a rich source of food enabled high risk, energy-expensive hunting expeditions (early man ate about ten times more meat than ape ancestors). Females went along with it because having a protector prevented theft of food (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/1999/apr/22/onlinesupplement7). Wrangham expresses distaste for the misuse of the above theory to argue unfair divisions of modern domestic labor but stresses that it proves how evolutionary social progress always depended on women’s participation in economic life and social organization.

    In other words, if we hadn’t transitioned to monogamy, we would have remained dumb apes with smaller brains. Wrangham theorizes that the nearly continuous fertility of modern human females– rather than the seasonal fertility of ape females– happened around the same time humans learned to char grill food. The development also theoretically led to increased mate-guarding. Then Wrangham theorizes that the leap to human language probably formed as a way to keep tabs on mates through gossip which suggests the practice of monogamy was already established at that point.

    Wrangham also points out that we didn’t evolve from the groovy, egalitarian, orgy-loving bonobo but branched off five million years earlier from the direct ancestors of the rapey, warring chimp for whom sexuality– though “exuberant” and varied– wasn’t always consensual and was typically drenched in violence. So much for the bonobo defense of non-monogamy. True, our ancestors were sexed up but didn’t make it look as groovy or pretty as bonobos and the promiscuity came with things like infanticide and cannibalism which you won’t hear the poly mavens promoting. Not everything ancestral is defensible.

    Within the understanding that humans evolved from a common ancestor with regular chimps, not from bonobos, Wrangham describes in his book, “Demonic Males: Apes and the Evolution of Human Violence,” a particular behavior among chimps that might have sown a few evolutionary seeds for modern monogamy. Occasionally a chimp male might take a female away from the troupe for a few days for the sake of “consortment” so he can mate without batting off rivals in the middle of the act. I gathered this isn’t a common practice among chimps, more an outlier thing. Maybe because female chimps are every bit as promiscuous as males and there’s an evolutionary advantage to mating with whichever male can beat off rivals, female chimps apparently aren’t that enthusiastic about “honeymooning” and it’s a bit more akin to hostage-taking than modern dating. But females are less likely to be injured or killed during consortment than during the typical gang-bang chaos of troupe mating so consortment might have won out as a mating strategy.

    Though Wrangham argues that even beyond basic carbon dating, proof that humans didn’t evolve from bonobos is obvious from one glance at the human history of constant war, violence and xenophobia, he does hold out hope that, as thinking beings, we might consciously decide to emulate aspects of bonobo social structure, specifically female equality. He says nothing about orgies and ditching monogamy leading to fewer wars but makes an elaborate case that female equality across all social structures probably would.

    • Yeah, the thing about trying to use evolution to justify modern day behavior is that it can be used for basically anything, never mind how it ignores that evolution is defined by flexibility and adaptation to particular situations, not a set-in-stone tablet of dogma encoded in our genes.

      • It doesn’t help that we’re in an age of science for hire. Read David Price’s “Weaponizing Anthropology”– social theory isn’t immune and neither are genetics or evolutionary science. Frans de Waal has made himself very popular by making the easily-contradicted argument that humans evolved from Bonobos and Wrangham has made himself borderline unpopular by pointing out that we couldn’t have.

        To make it more bamboozling, even some prominent scientific “debunking” hubs are on the payroll. Several of the more prominent ones have used the typical strategy of grubbing credence by exposing heaps of obviously bogus claims (did anyone *really* think that Jesus imprinted himself on an IHOP waffle?) or healer woo (does anyone *really* believe sticky strips from China will “pull” heavy metals out of the soles of the feet?) and then cash that credence in by attacking legitimate independent studies on the dangers of, say, pesticide exposure or fracking leaks on behalf of sponsors like Bayer Crop Science or Exxon. Not knowing what sources to trust has led to the public being more easily swayed than ever by absurd claims– as long as the claims are voiced in sciency-sounding language and the sources have swanky certs.

  • “To be provocative: what if there was something wrong in not being tempted, in not realising just how short a time one had been allotted on this earth and therefore with what urgent curiosity one might want to explore the unique fleshly individuality of more than one of one’s contemporaries?”

    Ooh, how provocative. This guy writes like he’s a wide-eyed lad straight off the farm, in his first year of university, so that every self-serving, done to death idea is new and exciting to him.
    To translate this from Posturing Pseud to Cheaterspeak; YOLO.

    That was FW and his whore’s adolescent outlook, too.
    Funny how this “philosophy” (I hesitate to use that word for it) always seems to involve seizing the crotch rather than seizing the day.

    If one really believes that since life is short, one should take the opportunity to have experiences that benefit one’s growth as a human being, something as shallow and transitory as genital pleasure would certainly not be at the top of the list. Isn’t it interesting how it is not just at the top, but the only item on the list with these people who claim to be “evolved.”
    So grow up, shit for brains. I bet his dad told him that at some point.

    • Yes OHFFS, exactly. Luckily for us as a species alot are more evolved. If not we would not have culture and society, none of our offspring would make it. We have evolved to bond and raise our young, explore and invent. Thank god alot of humans are altruistic. Thank god there are intelligent, character driven people. Sure some narc shit heads are heading up major companies, think Elon Musk, but as a whole we are collaborative, or we wouldnt have lights, cars, medicine, rockets. You cant live in the gutter literally or figuratively and live a life worth living. Sad sausages indeed.

  • Wow, just wow. The interesting fact here is that my ex was so fucking un-enchanting but I still did the hard work to love him and be faithful. He was unavailable, mean to me, boring, spent time on computer games, Magic cards. He didn’t help around the house, he farted a lot, he slept in, he was always late, he was fake, he never cooked, he did no parenting. But yet- I was suppose to be a hot, porn star with S&M style sex on tap. But I wasn’t, so he had to cheat. I guess de Botton is suggesting that in spite of being with the most un-enchanting person alive I was suppose to be one myself. I was trying to be connected and loving but you can’t do that with a narcissist. I think de Botton needs to spend more time hanging around cheaters and meditate on what they’re really like and less time wanking.

  • enchant. i don’t think so.

    i will never again perform for a man. i am so sick of the performative expectations–smile, dress classy, dress provocatively; be friendly to everyone i want you to impress, don’t speak your mind if it’s against the grain, but do speak your mind because you need to evolve. you’re boring in bed, be more uninhibited, but don’t make too much noise during sex. that’s embarrassing. why are you so supportive of your friends? you should be more supportive of me. you think you’re invisible in your 50s? try being a 50 + year old man; you don’t even register. try harder, i think you’ve given up; you’re trying to hard, it smacks of desperation.

    WTF?

    i need to go do some yoga and get grounded. #breathing

  • I hope his column had the title “Thoughts from a certified cheater. Why we are the ones suffering.” OMG this is puke-worthy pukiness. I should apologize to him? For trusting him? for loving him? for being affectionate? for being passionate? for raising kids? for being interested in his work/day? all without ever once cheating. This guy is an absolute idiot.

  • This is hilarious! I emasculated the FW because I could manage 2 infants, 2 young children, a cross-country move and …. heaven forbid….wash the freaking floors. I failed to enchant. I was busy solo-adulting.

    These assholes can bite me too.

  • I was raised atheist, and I’m so depressingly honest I’ve been chosen all my life as a referee, arbitrator, and election monitor. Principles are inside you, or they’re not.

    Many years ago a co-worker tried to sell me a similar argument about taking drugs. My response at the time was that there are many things I don’t have to try to know I want no part of them, like anything likely to result in serious injury or prison time to anyone involved. I’m not doing that for anything less than a matter of life and death or Justice with a capital “C.” Not simply for the experience.

    Bored? There’s a multi-billion-dollar entertainment industry for that.

  • I caught a glimpse of new nakedness in the bathroom mirror. I screamed and ran from the sight.

    Then I came to read a bit at Chump Lady’s site, and was reminded that I need to get busy with my evolving and enchanting.

    So, laterz.

  • I did this to one of FW’s emails for my own (and my lawyer’s) amusement– swapped out every reference to cheating, adultery, passion, etc., with “muh dick.” It works even better for de Botton’s rhapsody:

    “Yet no understanding will come from such a hasty refusal to acknowledge muh dick’s full power over the human imagination. Before we can begin to call 𝐦𝐮𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐤 ‘wrong’, we should concede that 𝐦𝐮𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐤 must also, at some level, for a time at least, for some people (who cannot all be merely monsters) be profoundly enticing. What might a case for 𝐦𝐮𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐤 go like?

    For a start, simply how normal it is to contemplate (𝐦𝐮𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐤). It would be deeply unusual to expect people to grow up in hedonistic liberated circles, experience the sweat and excitement of 𝐦𝐮𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐤, be bathed in images of 𝐦𝐮𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐤 and songs of longing and ecstasy, and then one day, at the command of a certificate, renounce 𝐦𝐮𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐤 in the name of no particular god and no higher commandment, just an unexplored supposition that 𝐦𝐮𝐡 𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐤 must be very wrong…”

  • As someone who ‘featured’ in the Daily Mail and The Sun, without knowledge or permission, as a result of Chuckles & Slaggy-Annes affair and him stealing/committing fraud – they sensationalised the whole thing. Hardly any truth involved. They just want click bait. As did all the magazines offering me £5k for ‘my story’. Cheaters and their Ho’s make great click bait.

  • More people need to know Alain de Botton’s father left him 200 million pounds in a trust fund. He has no idea how ordinary people live.

  • Many of the replies here focus on male cheaters. Women can cheat too. My son was only married about 5 months when his wife came back from doing an acting gig and said she’d met someone else (in the show) and thought she didn’t love him anymore. Alain talks about romantic love being somewhat ridiculous in another of his videos. THAT I agree with. The better marriage counselors out there speak of Good communication being the hallmark of any relationship that works. Romantic love (in my opinion) is all about me or I. I deserve love, I am lovable, I am desirable, etc. In essence it is a selfish perspective. Those who are still learning to form good relationships often are lodged in this perspective and later grow out of it, but some never get out of it and choose to cheat when they have doubts about their older, less exciting, relationships. They also often choose to avoid the hardships that come with relationship building, and don’t communicate where they are at with their partner until it’s too late – as in the case of my son, or even worse – not at all – as in the case of another poster here who spoke of her spouses “terrible secrets.” I’m not a fan of polygamous love, but the counselors I read explained that if spouses agree to it as an option and set ground rules for it, it can work. Hence: communicate, compromise, communicate some more, empathize. If monogamy in marriage is important to you, then do this BEFORE you marry. KNOW as much of the good and the bad about your future spouse as you can before you fully commit. Even to the point of living with them without a sexual focus.

    I’ve been with my hub for 38 years. I know that continuing our communication is super important, and I do my best to work through what I don’t understand with him. I would never say I am absolutely sure he would never cheat on me – but I can’t do anything about HIS choices, only my own. So I chose to communicate, try to understand his perspective, and be empathetic without compromising to the point of losing my own identity.

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