Posts Tagged ‘cheating’
Nothing sparks one’s imagination, evokes one’s emotions, or speaks to one’s soul like a good book. For both the reader and the writer, the words inspire thought, create passion, and expose vulnerability.
As a reader, I find Eleanor Herman’s Sex With the Queen (a collection of sordid extramarital affairs carried on by some of history’s most highly respected and, as it turns out, sexually starved queens) to be a refreshing reminder of our perfectly imperfect humanity. With each forbidden frolic recounted by Herman, I was able to brush up on hundreds of years of risque royal romping outside the marital bedroom. Not only was I captivated by the author’s nefarious tales of wedded betrayal proving the lengths we, as sexual beings, will go to in order to sate our insatiable appetite for physical intimacy (even when met with certain death as standard archaic punishment)…but I was, once again, blown away by the sheer power of love itself…an engulfing emotion, a trance-inducing spell, a heart hijacking…prompting us to break rules, breach trust, and bring down marital houses.
As a writer, I was captured by her candidly prefaced description of what it’s like, as an author, to put herself out there (heart and soul) with written words and await the merciless criticism that will likely be hurled in her soul-baring direction…most of which she is willing to withstand if only to reach one reader who – like herself – finds liberating understanding and literary growth from her writing. Herman’s sentiments ring true with any writer who has ever written from the heart, unbridled and uncensored.
“Putting a first book out there for the world to read is like standing on a podium naked and asking people to judge you, body and soul. This is because each book is a clear reflection of its author, her personality, her thoughts and experience, her way of looking at the world. Judgement, therefore, will not only be about her writing, but about…her soul! It is extremely frightening to take that step up to the podium, utterly exposed; the least bit of jiggle, cellulite, or sagging clearly visible to potentially cruel judges. It is also an exhilarating experience when the judges agree the results are pretty good, and any minor jiggle can be forgiven.” ~ Eleanor Herman
To reveal oneself through words is to brave, dwelling within us, the inner inhibiting troll.
To break down walls and relinquish control.
To write from the heart, to bare one’s soul.
To break free from the repressed literary whole.
Feel, write, feel, repeat.
~ Chick Hughes
Here a chick, there a chick. Everywhere a cheat, cheat? Ok, so maybe not everywhere. But tweet this! Women’s marital plates are now rivaling men’s when it comes to a little somethin’ somethin’ on the side. A daringly sweet dessert to offset the mundanely sour entree, perhaps? “Bone” appetit! Her sweet tooth is her best kept secret…or worst wept regret, once she’s caught. But much like her fidelity-challenged husband, the looming risk of getting caught is not a sufficient deterrence. Nope ~ the bootylicious boost in self esteem, the awakening shudder of the thunder down under, the thrilling drug-like high from being naughty ~ is worth it all. Her “good girl” persona is Gone With the Wind. She’s trading Scarlett O’Hara for the Scarlet letter. “A” for Adventure. And what does an attention-deprived, taken-for-granted, bored-with-herself chirpy chick have to say to her former doormat self?
Despite its long-time, tight-lipped, deliriously denied existence, affairs of the female kind aren’t exactly news. Though lacking the racy reputation of condescendingly conservative male politicians and their holier than thou erections, chick cheaters are and always have been flying just under the radar. They are, however, on the rise and soaring high. Inflation, in political terms. Studies show they become more prevalent with the onset of her mid-life (what life?) crisis. It’s during this mind-bending milestone that she begins to reevaluate herself, her career, and her relationship. And realizes that somehow, she’s not as happy as she’d planned she would be. She’s now had enough and is gutsy enough to stop settling for unhappiness. To test fate. She’s ready to take the bull by the horn…so to speak.
And he’s shocked by her sudden unhappiness and assertive affair. Why? Because rumor has it that women just don’t have affairs. That infidelity is a no-wo-man’s land. That women just aren’t that into sex. However, rumors are notorious for being false. Are they not? And what else is a long-time sex-starved married guy to believe? After all – in his house – a sexual advance ranks right up there with wiping boogers under the table in the “NO! DON’T DO THAT!” hand-spatting transgressions. No sex for you! Rejection has become his reflection. So, naturally, he assumes that if she doesn’t want sex with him, the last thing he has to worry about is her insatiable sexual appetite going elsewhere.
Contrary to popular male folklore, experts say she’s just as interested in sex as he is. Sex with him? Another question entirely. But women ARE interested in sex. We’re sensual beings and need to feel sexy to be sexy. If she’s not happy in her own skin, the last thing she wants is to flaunt the assets she’s so insecure with to someone she fears will criticize them. Whether she knows it or not, she wants sex too. But she needs to FEEL hot to act HOT. So, light a fire under her!
Or she’ll find someone who will.
An affair is risky. Dangerous. It risks her security, her family, her reputation, her life as she knows it. But she craves being craved. So she rolls the dice with the knowledge that this bet could break her. She’s operating on emotion, on a new love high, on her self-esteem’s desperate plea for pleasure – on anything but logic. For a she-devil, scarlet letter wearing cheater, risk rationale is about as relevant as the dangers of a ceiling fan to this guy. It’s fun to reach for the sky. But if the shit hits the fan, it’ll rip her roots to shreds. No pain, no gain…right? The stakes are high, but her spark-starved ego is a gamblin’ girl.
Why do women risk it all and stray?
~ She feels unappreciated, neglected, and lonely ~ She’s taken for granted. This may be the most common reason women stray. The drain of caring for the entire family with little to no return wears her down. She needs to feel special, loved, appreciated, adored, and pampered too. If all she’s getting is “What did you do for me?” and spends her days and nights playing maid – while HER wants and needs become distant strangers in the night – she’ll eventually long to join them. She can only give so much before she wants to break free and live. So when she finds herself on a dead end track to nowhere and someone comes along who makes her feel appreciated, adored, doted on, and alive again…she’ll buy herself a one-way ticket on a Runaway Train.
~ She feels something is missing, is bored with herself, and is looking to her inner bad girl to stir things up ~ She may have the perfect life. Perfect husband, perfect kids, and so on and so on. But she’s still missing something. Someone she used to be…or wants to be. So, she may look for someone who puts her in touch with her missing self. Someone who makes her feel good on a new and forbidden level allowing her to escape the confines of the perfect wife and mother prison cell she’s created. Someone who allows her to explore a world she’s not openly or socially allowed to be a part of.
~ She has low self-esteem ~ Child birth is not the baby-rattling picnic Hollywood has cast it to be. She no longer feels like the firecracker he married. She feels like an out of shape, out of time, out of patience mother. That in no way, shape, or form translates into sex goddess. Her motherly body is plaguing her with insecurities. So when a new hottie makes her feel less like a frumpy mom and more like a still-got-it MILF, she goes back for more. And more. And you guessed it…more.
~ She’s seeking an emotional connection that’s missing with her hubby ~ She needs an emotional connection! Always! She needs him to listen, care, and empathize…not criticize. She wants to be connected on all levels. And if he won’t connect with her, another he will.
~ She wants an insurance policy ~ Scientists say evolution may be to blame. That long ago, she would sleep with another man to ensure a back-up provider for her family in the unlikely event of her sweetie’s deathly demise. A back up key to start her engine, in case the master key goes missing. Also, modern day woman may sense when her husband has checked out emotionally and be lining up an alternate provider before he checks out physically. The eternal planner.
~ She’s looking for an out ~ If she’s miserable in the marriage, she may decide an affair is an easier way to end the relationship. Rather than initiating the split herself and dealing with his attempts to fix the problem. If he leaves her, she’s free to move on …She is woman! Watch her be passive aggressive!
Like men, women want to be adored and appreciated. Affairs are simply an attempt to discreetly fill a void without breaking up the household, crushing her kids, and ditching a spouse. An attempt to meet unmet needs while maintaining the needs of the family. She’s a multi-tasker to the end.
“One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again.” ~Judith Viorst
If he has a pulse and a penis, he does it. He looks. He lingers. He lusts. While alone, his eyes are free to roam and take in the sights of all approaching T & A mountainous hillsides. And he will…guilt-free. However, while accompanied by his lady love, the hills have eyes. And those eyes will burn him like the fires of hell if he’s caught checking out the view. We’ve all felt said heat from time to time. Let’s say…we’re out enjoying a nice night as a couple, when a sultry sexpot sashays by…seemingly, with the intention of owning every set of male eyes within a 5 mile radius. He struggles to maintain control of his strong-willed peepers. She awaits the inevitable turn of his head, as if an invisible string connects his nose to that sashay. He tries, and fails, to cover his distraction. Too late. Not only did she notice, but she counted the seconds as his “distraction” sashayed by. Upon regaining control of his eyes, he’s now aware of his mistake and awaits his fate. Suddenly on the defense, he must dodge the onslaught of questions… “Were you looking at her?” “Do you think she’s pretty?” “Have you no respect for me?” He freezes…wondering at what turn his words will betray him. And they will.
Though dramatic, this is a situation none of us is unfamiliar with. And, yes, ALL men check out other women while in our charming company. Some are more tactful about it, and wisely hover just under the radar with the grace and splendor of an eagle. Others, not so much, and ignorantly flail around over that radar like a one-winged vulture frantic to get its last meal. Graceful or flailing…they look.
Women want to know WHY? “Am I so unattractive that he must look elsewhere?” And men want to know why she cares? “Why is it such a big deal that I glance in another woman’s direction?”
Ladies, he simply can’t help it. He’s biologically programmed and dominated by his testosterone to check out any and all attractive women who cross his path. While his ogling may offend us, it’s completely meaningless to him. He’s only noticing and appreciating. With this glance comes no desire, nor intention, to jump ship and rock someone else’s boat. Well, not always. In truth, he attaches no feeling to his ogling object, whatsoever. Experts say that when men are checking out other women, they unconsciously depersonalize them. So, it’s nothing more than a once-over…then-over moment of admiration. This depersonalization, experts believe, is a byproduct of human evolution…a method once used to ensure drama-free spread of his seed. His primal goal was but one: to mate. No emotion, no commotion…wham, bam, thank you ma’am.
This is why men don’t understand what all the fuss is about. To him, looking is as natural as breathing. He’s irrevocably hard-wired to look at attractive women. It’s the nature of the beast. Studies on brain scans reveal that men have “reward centers” that are triggered when looking at images of women’s faces and bodies. Breaking news: Men are visual creatures. Now close your mouths. The simple act of looking at attractive women rewards his brain and encourages him to do it again…regardless of the consequences. The study also proved the reverse situation not to be true. When looking at attractive men, women did not have a “reward center” triggered in her brain…different brains, different gains.
Biological facts aside, men must understand that she feels threatened by his sudden visual vacation. Guess what though! She’s looking too! She’s checked out her competition just as quickly as he has…maybe quicker. And while she may not be able to look away any easier than he, the last thing she needs is his validation that she’s fallen a notch on his hot-o-meter. And when he does validate her fall, she gets angry. Her anger isn’t driven by jealousy, but by insecurity. She may feel hotter than a busty stripper in the Sahara desert, but let a slightly hotter female catch his eye…and she’s a slave to her insecurity. She’s well aware of how visual men are, so if she loses his eye to another…even for a second…her loss of confidence eats at her, and at the most inopportune time…you guessed it…sex! If she’s feeling insecure come bump ‘n’ grind time, she’ll likely invent an excuse to avoid it. Guys, it’s in your best interest to keep your visual dessert desires to yourself if you want to enjoy the entree.
The last thing she wants is to be compared to a hotter woman…feeling inferior isn’t good for the ego. And fellas, if the tables were turned, and she were ogling a hotter guy whose “goods” were wrestling with his shorts like an anaconda in a body bag…the same insecurity would fester. Each of us is subject to being emotionally bullied by our “less than lusty” self perception.
Ladies, it isn’t rational to ask him not to notice other women…EVEN when in our company. Asking him not to be visual is the equivalent of asking us not to be emotional. Both are biological quirks we have little control over. But any control we can muster will greatly enhance our relationship with the opposite sex. Just as we should scale back the irrational tears and attempt to spare him excess drama, he should make the same attempt to spare us the visual lust fest he feels when crossing paths with a hottie body. Too much emotion is just as foreign to him as dog-in-heat drooling is to her.
The least we can do is be aware of our biological nature and the feelings (be them positive or negative) brought on by that biology. Yes, he has a basic, unfettered need to size women up. Always has. Always will. Ladies, accept him…all of him.
From his thighs to his eyes.
Try not to be insulted. Remember, it’s not personal…it’s instinct. He places much less importance on a lingering glance than we do. And guys…keep the ogling at bay…notice, appreciate, and quickly move on. Lingering will kill her self-confidence, which in turn, will kill your sex life. Your wham bam is only as good as her biggest insecurity. Make her feel good, and she’ll return the favor. Leaving you saying, “Thank you ma’am.”
Tame the wandering eye, and she won’t have to wonder why.
“After a few years of marriage a man can look right at a woman without seeing her and a woman can see right through a man without looking at him.” Helen Rowland
A cheat is a cheat is a cheat. This sentiment is echoed time and time again. Infidelity can deliver a devastating blow to unsuspecting spouses, obliterating their self-confidence, and instantly driving up walls around their hearts to protect from further possible heartache. Couples will have the inevitable ups and downs… ins and outs – good times, bad times, and everything in between. This is the maze that constitutes a relationship. Navigating our way through this maze will be tricky. Sometimes we’ll breeze through with ease and familiarity. Other times, we may butt our head against the same damn wall over and over again expecting the wall to move, rather than changing our direction. When a marriage is in trouble, that trouble is our metaphorical “wall.” We may choose to ignore it…hoping it will correct itself, and we can skip off into the sunset. Unfortunately, delusionally ignoring our marital trouble, or dissatisfaction, will lead us – not into the sunset – but into the arms of another. While some spouses actively search out a one-night stand to “fix” a problem they’re not sure how to fix at home, other spouses develop a seemingly innocent friendship that evolves into more. Sexual cheating…emotional cheating…sexual fantasy. What constitutes cheating? At what point have we shredded our marital trust?
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t agree – sex with someone other than your spouse IS cheating. When we’re unhappy in our marriage, we tend to seek out the missing component. If it’s the sex that’s missing, an occasional one-night stand will “satisfy.” Sexual cheating without emotional ties is usually committed by married men…not to say women don’t have one-night stands as well. But generally speaking, sex, or the lack of it, is the elephant looming in a man’s rapidly shrinking room – the glue holding his marital world together. So, when that glue pulls the disappearing act, is it any wonder he develops a wandering eye. Let’s face it, our eyes wander even when all needs are fulfilled – such is human nature. A sexless marriage, obviously, is an open invitation for an outsider to “fill in the gaps” and offer that much needed glue.
Some consider surfing internet pornography or frequenting strip clubs to be a form of cheating. While neither of these (in moderation) is technically cheating, either can most definitely make a woman feel inadequate and betrayed ~ especially when it becomes routine. Why? Because women don’t separate sex and emotion. They’re synonymous in the chick dictionary. So, discovering that her husband is frequenting porn sites or strip clubs can be devastating to both her trust and her ego…just as devastating as his discovery of her infidelity. Note to men: include her in your online fantasies. This may (depending on the woman) enhance your sex life. Excluding her sends the message that she’s not the one you want, therefore, making her feel betrayed and forsaken. But when enjoyed together, and in moderation, it can become the occasional spice needed to shake things up a bit.
Another blurred line in the world of affairs is emotional cheating – flying just beneath the radar, masking itself as friendship. Emotional cheating occurs when a spouse is emotionally connecting with another person, talking intimately with that person, sharing secrets, and bonding. Unlike a one-night stand, it takes time to form this connection with someone. Usually beginning as an innocent friendship, it can lead to sexual cheating given time and opportunity. The emotional cheater no longer feels that necessary emotional connection to his/her spouse. She/he (usually she) may feel “He doesn’t seem to care about spending time with me or connecting with me. I feel expendable and unappreciated.” Just as one may search out a one-night stand to fulfill a sexless marriage, one may also search out an emotional connection to replace the one that has gone missing. While some experts say emotional cheating is more destructive, a sexual affair is an image one will have burned in memory forever. This image will likely taunt the couple (in different ways: a bitter-sweet memory to the cheater — a threat and constant perceived comparison to the cheated). On the other hand, emotional cheating can form bonds that will never be broken and forever remain in the thoughts of all parties involved. It’s my opinion that one is not worse than the other…just different perspectives, different needs, and different methods of fulfilling these needs.
Cheating is an act that may portray itself as black and white, a simple clear-cut absolute. This would be a deception. It’s not only individual to the couple, their particular boundaries, preferences, and forgiveness thresholds – but it’s also a cry for help. If one felt no attachment to his spouse, he wouldn’t bother with cheating. He’d just walk away and fulfill his needs without the hassle of hiding it. But when one feels an attachment to his/her spouse, he doesn’t want to leave – nor does he want to forgo needs. Cheating becomes an outlet allowing both the opportunity for the original relationship to improve AND sexual, or emotional, needs to be met in the meantime. Affairs aren’t acts committed out of malice to intentionally hurt one’s spouse (although there are always exceptions). But, they are most frequently a symptom of an ailing relationship. A relationship consists of two people with completely different needs: men needing a regular sexual connection, women needing a regular emotional connection. These connections are dependent on one another for the survival of the relationship. So, it should be no surprise that when one isn’t getting his needs met, he OR she will eventually turn to someone else to provide it. With many couples, an affair will both further hurt and surprisingly help repair the broken relationship. Once over the initial betrayal of the affair, it serves as a wake up call. “Something was VERY wrong with us before the affair. I don’t want to lose what we had. What can we do to get it back?” While an affair is incredibly hurtful to a relationship, it can also be just the slap in the face we needed to wake us from our “too comfortable, routine stupor.” Of course, if cheating becomes a way of life, both you and your spouse should do everyone a favor and move on. But, if you’re wondering whether your flirty conversations with your co-worker, your late night internet chats, your frequent visits to porn sites, or your lunch date with a friend is considered cheating, trust your gut. Do you feel guilty? Do you want to keep it secret? If so, then you may be well on your way to breaching your marital trust. Let your guilt be your guide. Proceed with caution.