Both a cheating spouse and their affair partner deserve our anger after an affair; but, who deserves the most blame?
Infidelity happens. A lot. In fact, statistics report that 22% of men will cheat during the course of a marriage (although 57% admit to cheating in at least one past relationship), and 14% of married women have done the same (54% of women have had an affair at some point in their lives). Despite the fact that a whole lot of sneaking and lying is going on and many hearts are broken as a result of infidelity, I have always found it fascinating how blame is assigned in these unfortunate circumstances!
From the position of a wife who has been cheated on, it is natural to feel a range of terrible emotions: anger, betrayal, sadness, confusion, jealousy, you name it! While we may direct those feelings toward our cheating spouse, I find it interesting how often the brunt of rage and judgment is focused on the other woman!
Imagine, if you will, a TV talk show, such as Maury or Jerry Springer, or even a favorite soap opera or other TV drama. If you’ve ever watched even a portion of one of these shows, a popular topic is cheating and the staging of a confrontation between the wife and her spouse’s cheating partner. How interesting is it that a wife, when given the opportunity to face her betrayer and his side piece, may be cold and visibly hurt by her spouse; but, she goes off like a bottle rocket in the face of the other woman ready to scratch her eyes out!
I’ll be quite honest. If presented the chance to face my ex’s trashy tryst trollop, I would have a few choice words for her! My opinion of her would be basement level even if she was someone he just picked up at a bar (although I have no doubt that some of those slutty sirens are out there somewhere!). Instead, she was a neighbor and someone we hung out with as a couple. I thought she was a friend; but, she was, instead, a disgusting backstabbing skank!
I think I just proved where I’m going with my point!
There’s just something about an “other woman” that makes our own blood boil in contempt!
Aside from our thoughts about the lowlife females who knowingly become involved with married men, why do they get the lion’s share of the blame, hostility, and attention in these matters?
It takes two to tango, right?
Sure, “Easy Emily” and “Do Me Debra” may have been all too willing to discard whatever morals they had to step out with our husbands; but, what was he doing there?
For all we know, Miss Thang may have been lied to about his marital status and given a laundry list of reasons that made her feel less trashy about the decision to sleep with him. She could be a lovely young lady. A Sunday school teacher. A Red Cross volunteer. Maybe she was led to believe that he was in love with her and they had a future together. She might think he’s a widower. She may pity him as he is reportedly plagued by a demonic harpy of a wife. She might believe he’s the one. An amazing, upstanding guy.
Then again, she may really just be a dirty ho who could care less that he has a devoted wife and kids and how much an affair would destroy them!
No matter how sweet and innocent or vile she was, he was present, a participant, and consented to whatever happened. He knew he was married. If he at least attempted to hide what he was doing, he knew it was wrong or would hurt us. He deserves the full brunt of our rage, disappointment, and disgust for knowingly stepping out of bounds and breaking the rules!
No woman who knows a man is attached and loved by someone else is deserving of our respect if she allows herself to become involved with him.
I don’t care if he was the pursuer and has a million excuses for why it’s okay. How many movies do we have to watch, stories do we have to read, or friends’ marriages do we have to see torn apart by affairs to know that married men who behave like this are selfish and probably full of crap?
To any would-be fling: if he’s all that, you can wait until he’s, without a doubt, free and clear of any strings attached before hopping in the sack! If you’re that horny, there’s plenty of unmarried men in the sea or a vibrator that can meet your needs!
There simply is no excuse for a husband (or wife) who cheats!
The urge to be angry, curious, jealous, and disgusted by an outside intimate partner is completely understandable; and, he or she is deserving of our scorn. A stranger may act in a way that results in hurting us and will not be too concerned about it because they don’t know us or have a history with us. That doesn’t make them a good person; but, it’s at least easier to understand how they may be less likely to care if their actions hurt us. But, a person whom we married and built a life with should know better. Although they may not be satisfied with the current state of the relationship, they at least owe us a conversation about it, some effort to try to fix the problem, or the courtesy of breaking the ties before moving on!
Blame is well-deserved by all parties involved in an extramarital affair; but, our partner is the one with the most to answer to- at least to us! Anyone can have a lapse of judgment, but a cheating spouse needs to swallow every drop of our anger, pain, and shame for putting us through such an event. The other woman is merely window dressing on a very ugly situation. The main character of this tragedy is a person who had an important choice to make and chose to take a gamble on their relationship with us and who was willing to break our heart and trust. Living out a reality TV fantasy of throttling a mistress may temporarily alleviate our pain or offer a target for our anger; but, the spouse who betrays should bear the brunt of the blame!