How I know I wouldn’t do “that”

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I was going to reblog this (which I have never done before, reblogged anything), but in true Kat style, I decided to link it so I had plenty of space to write out my own comments. I enjoyed reading this post by marriagerecoveryblog.

The other woman’s hatred for the wife

I love how she tells her story and then talks about how she has explored the motives of a “woman who willingly has an intimate relationship with a man she knows to be married.” She has “sought a more comprehensive understanding of difficult and shameful female to female relationships.” Her story is very different from mine, but the similarity lies in the fact that a woman (or women in my case) has willingly pursued sexual relations with our husbands. The women in my husband’s life knew about me, and our children. They knew we were married, I believe they knew my husband never intended to leave me for them. I believe they knew that I did not know anything about the extramarital relationship my husband was having with them. Did they care that there were innocent victims to their crime? It doesn’t appear so. How can this be? Where is all this bad behavior coming from? In my limited research googling articles about mistresses and why women cheat with married men, I had come to the realization that many women are just plain broken. Similar to my husband, they have deep seated issues that allow them to rationalize their behavior due to their own issues around self esteem and sexuality. They trade a true, intimate, honest loyal, and monogamist relationship for a “sharing” relationship because they think they can do no better. Or they rationalize that they are making the man happy (usually with their body, tsk, tsk) and eventually the man will leave his horrid wife. Or maybe the wife isn’t horrid in their mind, just disposable. From what I read, they don’t really believe the man will leave his wife, but delusion and rationalization are what this adultery game is all about. Although they are broken and need help, this still leaves innocent victims in the wake of their selfishness. I think I was letting a whole category of women off the hook. Just calling them vulnerable, or broken, or exhibiting low self esteem is maybe only part of the story?

Marriagerecoveryblog has analyzed this topic even further and in her entry above, she references an American Author named Phyllis Chester, and her book entitled ‘Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman,’ which she admits is a troubling book. I would imagine for me, it would be difficult to read in that this topic of women hating and being envious of other women is more prevalent than I might like to think or admit. I want to believe in the good in people, especially other women. But, it’s true, from an early age, females can be aggressive in a passive sort of way (it’s not nice for a girl to be actively aggressive, so we go behind the back of other females to hurt them). Women are sneaky, and sexist, and can be misogynistic in that they are disrespecting other women, allowing themselves to believe negative ramblings about another woman even though they have no actual proof. They are stealing from another woman and rationalizing hatred. Perhaps they don’t trust other women because they have not been trusted or they are in fact, untrustworthy.

But where does it all come from? I have not read the book, but I do raise the question, is this all learned behavior? What biology would be necessary for women to want to turn on other women or steal what they have? If not for some nurturing event gone wrong in their life, would this kind of behavior even exist? Were these women, in fact, neglected? Or did they just plain learn the behavior from other women in their life and the behavior is carried on? I have never felt the need to be competitive with other women in my life. I have never stolen anything from another woman so I find it baffling and frustrating and just plain sad. I have, however, talked about other women behind their back. But I also talk about men. It is a horrible habit. Eliminating gossip from my life is something I continue to work on. I have always known it carries negative energy. But I am talking about something a little more destructive than gossip here.

I have two boys, so I have not been involved in raising girls. Although I have younger sisters, none are very close in age to me. I kind of grew up as an only child for the early years of my life and then my sister came along. By the time she could walk, I was well into elementary school. My mother is a very sweet, kind, and gentle woman with nurturing in her soul. Things have not always been easy for her, but she is a true survivor. I look up to her and I respect her and she has always treated everyone in her life with the utmost respect and dignity. I think she showed me by example and also taught me to be kind and gentle to all things. To be honest and true. I never struggled with female relationships because if I didn’t like someone else’s behavior, I just walked away. I always knew I didn’t need “mean” people in my life. I have also been incredibly understanding, realizing we are all imperfect beings, of other people’s needs and challenges. Sometimes this understanding has really come back to bite me in the ass!

Boys versus Girls

As I have watched my boys grow, I have seen them tackle life’s little hurdles. When The Pragmatist was in childcare, very early on, he was incredibly verbal. He started talking at 18 months. By 20 months he was putting sentences together. By two years old, you could carry on a fairly intelligent conversation with him, which often shocked people as he was so tiny. By five years old, forget about it… he gave me a headache from trying to think hard and fast enough to keep up with him. Now he is nearly 24 years old, has long hair (maybe longer than mine), he lives in Brooklyn, spends most of his time in museums and coffee shops and you might see him marching for this or that cause if you are in Manhattan. But back in preschool, he was very very small (well, truth be told, he’s still small). He got pushed around a lot. Some of the boys just didn’t know how to communicate, so they did a lot of bullying and being physical. We encouraged The Pragmatist to use his words. To express his discomfort. It didn’t work. The Pragmatist learned to be afraid of boys and hang around with the girls. But, since he wasn’t a girl, he didn’t have the girl baggage, but he loved that on the outside the girls were much sweeter and kinder and softer than the boys, and they were incredibly nice to him even if sometimes they weren’t very nice to each other. All the way into elementary school, the girls would fight over him. They all wanted his undivided attention. I think he got married about three times in Kindergarten. Girls learn very early on what they want… and what a lot of them want, is the attention of boys (nature? nurture?), even my little non-aggressive boy. As the years went by, we worried about The Pragmatist. He remained quite small, and hugely popular with the girls. We thought surely one day they would wake up and realize he was not actually one of them and then he would be caught in the middle, no longer friends with the girls, and shunned by the boys. Honestly, over time I have learned to leave well enough alone. Things will work themselves out. But back then, I hadn’t learned that yet. In third grade, we encouraged him to play soccer. We figured it would be great exercise for him and his growing bones. With proper coaching, the boy energy could be contained and maybe The Pragmatist would make some friends. He agreed to play and was a pretty decent little defender in that he was so low to the ground and fast, that he could dart in and around the bigger players and get the ball safely out of the danger zone. He was also the voice of diplomacy and reason on that team. It was not uncommon to hear him suggesting the boys not climb so high on the fence behind the baseball diamond because they could fall and hurt themselves. He tried to keep the boys focused and organized. He tried really hard to keep the boy energy on the field and not on “wrestling” with each other (he was like a mini Kat out there, ha). The Dad coaches thought all the boy energy and swearing and bad behavior was just “being a boy.” I was constantly at odds with them. In my opinion, teaching them the sport was secondary to teaching them respect, and good sportsmanship. It was a lost cause. The Pragmatist just never quite understood the boy physical energy. I’m pretty sure he thought his bigger and athletic “little” brother was brought here from a foreign planet. The Pragmatist did, however, make friends from the team, which carried over to other boys in the class and from then on, he had female and male friends. As a matter of fact, by fourth grade his verbal skills and confidence made him a class favorite. He has never lost that ability to charm people and garner their respect, people of all ages and genders. When The Pragmatist hit middle school, he was ready to date (pretty sure this was nature?). Again, the confidence on this kid was sky high even if he was still shorter than nearly every single girl in his class. In seventh grade, he asked a girl to the school dance. She was mortified in that, as she said, no one else was going one on one. She didn’t think it was appropriate. The Pragmatist wanted to be a pioneer, a trail blazer. He kept on her and she refused, so he just went with the flow and attended the dance with a bunch of boys. It was right after school and in the broad daylight of the afternoon in the school gym, ha. During the dance, he went up to this same girl and asked her to dance. She said no because not enough kids were dancing, so he asked someone else to dance. Later he asked this girl again. Again she said no, but she gave him no reason this time. Finally, The Pragmatist gave up and danced with other girls and called it a night, or actually, afternoon. On the drive home, he told me all about the dance situation. I told him that he needed to be respectful of her wishes even if he didn’t know or couldn’t understand what they were. She was probably just shy. He did not really understand shy. He just seemed so confused. He knew she liked him because she had told some of the other girls. What transpired after that dance, however, went a little like this. The rest of the girls in The Pragmatist’s class decided they had his back and they decided to gang up on the girl. They started pulling pranks on her. A couple of them called her and told her they were going to the mall and did she want to meet up with them. She went to the mall, but no one was there. They did that a few times, stood her up… the movies, the park, etc… I can only imagine how this poor girl’s mother felt dropping her off all over town just to have her daughter’s little heart crushed. They called and told her they were all wearing pink and then she arrived at school to find everyone else in purple, while she wore pink. I am sure her hurt was not really about what color everyone was wearing, but about the fact that people were ganging up on her. I had volunteered in both my boys’ classrooms numerous times and I knew all the kids. As a matter of fact, I had been a chaperone on their 5th grade trip to Japan and I new them all very well. The Pragmatist came to me one day. He had found out what the other girls were doing “on his behalf.” He was so sad, but didn’t know what to do. I was mortified. I told him he needed to immediately get the other girls together and tell them that you respected the other girl’s decision not to go to the dance with you and not to dance with you and your feelings weren’t hurt and you need them to stop being mean, RIGHT NOW! They also need to apologize to her. Tell her they regretted the mean things they had done. I didn’t care if they actually regretted them or not. The girl needed to believe them. So, The Pragmatist got on his phone and his MySpace and all that and soon the mess was cleaned up. He came back to me and said the girls were sorry. To this day, a group of four of the girls who had picked on her, have become her very best friends. They are friends with me on Facebook and they are the sweetest girls. I don’t think they ever wanted to hurt her, they just went with the crowd. The girls told The Pragmatist they didn’t know why they had done it, they had gotten together and the power of the group sort of got away from them. Their instincts were bad and they hoped HE could forgive them. The Pragmatist said to me, “mommy, why do they care what I think? Why don’t they care what the girl thinks about their behavior?” And you know, I didn’t have a great answer for him, because I didn’t understand it either.

How do I know I wouldn’t do it

When I was 17 years old, I graduated high school but was not going off to college like most of my peers. I went to work instead. I worked at a printing company in the accounting department for 2 1/2 years before eventually heading to university. I started as a file clerk, then a payables clerk, then a receivables clerk, then I ended up managing the pool of accounting clerk staff including A/R, A/P, monthly reports, payroll, etc… As a 19 year old there was no where else for me to go, but college. Since I came into the company as a “friend” of the President’s “lady friend” (the lady friend was my high school counselor who was extremely upset I wasn’t going directly to college so she took it upon herself to find me a decent job), I was kind of protected. No one knew what to do with me, but I think they innately knew they needed to do something with me. Keep me busy, keep me happy. They put the 28 year old CFO in charge of me. I eventually developed a huge crush on this man. He was married with two small children and mine was a purely innocent crush. He wasn’t exceptionally handsome, but he had a great smile and he took me under his wing, so to speak. He taught me all about the financial aspects of companies. He was the CFO for five of the owner’s companies. We scoured those financials together and he taught me about balance sheets, and income & loss statements, and profitability. We were in a wicked recession and the young CFO was brought in to decide which companies should stay and which should go, especially whether the printing company could be salvaged. The owner had inherited the printing company from his step father and he had no real interest in it. The CFO wanted to save it. The owner had his own planes and mansion and other companies and he barely paid attention to this little company. I wasn’t opposed to hard work and so I did everything I could to help out the CFO and I learned A LOT. I started working for him on the weekends too, doing the books of some of the other companies. The Boss, as I will call him, was a freakin’ workaholic. The guy worked all the time. Sometimes I would ask him about his kids, what activities were they involved in, why he wasn’t off at their ball games or dance recitals. They were pretty little back then and he left all that up to his wife. His wife was a machine. She was a nurse and she took care of the two kids AND she was an aerobics instructor. To me they seemed like a good match for each other even if it seemed they spent very little time together. Although The Boss crossed a few boundaries during the regular work week as well, it was really on the weekends when I realized he needed to be kept in check. Now remember, at this point I am an 18 year old virgin. Horny as hell, never having gone past the kissing stage and even that was with guys I didn’t really care about. It was more for experimentation purposes while visiting friends at college. But here was this man that I was attracted to, I think mostly because of what he stood for more than his actual physical presence, and it was quite obvious he was attracted to me. He told me all about how he met his wife. How he had stalked her at college, parked outside her dorm and then later her apartment. Followed her. Begged her to date him until she finally gave in… and how I reminded him of his wife from 10 years ago (and we did have similar features). I was a fairly mature 18 year old, I must say, and so I said to him, “you mean  I remind you of a younger version of your wife who was more carefree, had more free time on her hands, less responsibility, no kids, no job… a body you wanted to have sex with, a conquest.” He said, well, yeah, he supposed that was it. I kind of blew it off, but knew we were entering the danger zone. The Boss often came in on Saturday mornings with a huge hangover. He would send me off to McDonald’s to get him breakfast including a bunch of cartons of milk. I never like running errands for him and I never understood why he didn’t just pick up the food on his way in. Anyway, it got to the point where he told me his dad was in town and they were going to the dog tracks and wanted to know if I wanted to go with them. I asked why his wife wasn’t going. He said she didn’t care for his dad (he was kind of a player) and she wanted to stay home with the kids. I asked if she knew I was going and he said, yeah, she knows I am going with my assistant from work. I said okay. I had never been to dog races before. The race track was fun, if not a little seedy. The Boss’ dad was hilarious. He kind of reminded me of my own Dad, kind of immature and like he never grew up. If my Dad had not cheated on my mom and remarried a mormon woman and had seven more kids, I could kind of picture him roaming around the country like The Boss’ Dad. We had a great time, but I noticed The Boss looking at me a lot and quietly talking with his Dad when he thought I wasn’t looking. I wondered if Dad in fact condoned cheating, and son was kind of asking Dad his opinion, or for permission. Although it was all very flattering to a teenage girl, it started to feel creepy. I mean I liked The Boss for his work ethic and I enjoyed being around him and all, but he was not available for a romantic relationship. That was not what this was about, no matter what I fantasized about when I was home, alone, at night. As time passed, there was more flirting, and a near kiss as I looked at The Boss’ file cabinet behind his desk and the pictures his children had drawn for him. I never gave him the wrong impression. I didn’t commiserate with him about his wife or anything about his personal life. His wife was awesome, and frankly, I was kind of surprised she put up with him. I told him what he was doing was wrong and to stop it. He gave me a really sad puppy dog face. We continued to work together and then I realized I really needed a higher education. By this time, the department had been restructured and I was reporting directly to the Controller for HR purposes instead of the CFO. I gave my two weeks notice. The Boss heard about it later that day. He walked up to my desk, something he never did… I was always called into his office and the door was promptly closed behind my back (which created lots of gossip in the office, but people that really knew me knew I was not that kind of girl). Eventually I took to requiring the door open. This time he stood at my desk with that sad puppy dog face and asked if I would come into his office for a chat. In his office, he told me he was sad and happy. He was happy for me that I was heading off to college, but he was sad for himself because he wouldn’t get to see my pretty face every day any more. I thanked him for the sentiment, while inside I was kind of dying and thinking staying right where I was was lame, but I would miss him too. Those feelings would never be voiced. He tried to hug me but I told him I thought it better if he didn’t. I told him I respected him and had enjoyed working for him and that he had taught me so much. I told him I thought his wife was an incredibly strong, beautiful, and talented woman and I hoped he never ever hurt her. I was 19. He looked directly in my eyes and I hope he understood what I was saying. By this point he was pretty depressed about turning 30 and he made no secret of it. I was 19 freakin’ years old. Maturity and proper boundaries do not necessarily come with age.

Strangely enough, I have been reunited with The Boss two times in my life. Once while I was finishing up university here in my home town and another time three years later while I was pregnant with The Pragmatist. Strange how life does that sometimes, reunites people theoretically by chance, for no apparent reason. We have a mutual friend. The Boss is now 62 years old and a grandfather. He is still married to his beautiful wife. I have never been tempted by or allowed myself to get involved with a married man. I feel good about the choices I have made in my life. I wish people had been as respectful of me.

I want to understand this other type of female behavior, but more than understand it, I want it to go away. I want women to stop hurting other women. I want people to stop hurting other people.

A tropical island, out in the middle of the ocean, looks really, really appealing right now, probably because I know people will never stop hurting other people, and I don’t want to think about it anymore.

23 thoughts on “How I know I wouldn’t do “that”

  1. Today on a radio show I sometimes listen to, they have this segment where someone calls in that suspects their partner is cheating. So the radio hosts call the partner with a disguise/lie-trap and see if they make them fall and see if they are cheating or not.

    Today I was left sad and wondering how people can be so thoughtless and mean and just plain cold.

    A lady called in sobbing that she and her h have been having problems. And the past few months he’s been secretive with his phone. Has it locked and all those red flags. Last night they fought he left the house and did not return. Did not answer her calls. They have two children and so.

    The radio hosts call the husband cell, a girl answers, they ask for him she says he’s busy in the bathroom. The wife confronts the girl. She tells her very much matter-of-fact that she’s been seeing the guy for some months now. Sorry but she needs to move on. He said his marriage is over.
    The RH ask her you know he is married?
    She said, yes but l don’t care.
    The wife would cry and ask her how she could do this.bthey have children.
    Coldly again she’d tell her to move on that her marriage was done.

    I didn’t understand…. Why? Where is the respect, empathy. Common sense and humanity.
    Ok your screwing this MARRIED man and you are ok with that, but do you need to be so heartless when it comes to the wife when confronted. Is it necessary to pore more salt on her wounds?

    And this girl sounded so young. Does her youth not make her feel and see how wrong and cruel this is?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The whole darn story is so sad. The wife having to find out over the phone on a radio show? The betrayal is humiliating enough without some little girl telling us our marriage is over. Thanks for sharing, KC, but you are correct, it does not answer that question, why would any person do something so cruel and heartless and then top it off with something else cruel and heartless. I agree, just simply awful and totally not the wife’s fault, but she will suffer the worst pain and feel humiliated and like it is her fault and she will also have to try and raise healthy children while managing her pain and emptiness and loneliness. No, I don’t get it. I really don’t. Thanks again for sharing.

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  2. Here is my theory, they do it because they 1)Have low self esteem and the guy is able to make them feel good about themselves (if only temporary) 2) they are trying to get something (money or gifts).
    I dont think they stop much to consider the woman their guy is married too. They are too wrapped up in their own selves.
    It was a great post, I can see why you reblogged it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree with your observations, plus more reasons that are equally as vacuous or messed up. I do think they think they are somehow better than the wife, but that is messed up too and about them, not the wife. My issue is when do they go from being merely broken, hurt, or gold diggers, to actual mean vindictive stalkers. If they are so broken and hurt about the affair falling apart (if it does and they do not get their broken, lying, cheating man), what makes them turn downright mean? Where is that coming. I’m sure the same broken place, but I don’t get it. It’s bad enough what they are doing in the first place, but to take it to the next level, crazy!

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      • The other woman probably thinks she is better than the wife because the husband probably feeds them a lot of negative sh*t about us in order to get them. They often play the “poor baby” card with the mistress. I am lucky not to have had a stalker or anything of the sort (if you can consider being cheated on as lucky). It was very well hidden from me.

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        • How long did he cheat before he left? or was it a mutual break up? I guess what I am asking is how long did she have to put out before getting theoretically what she wanted… which sounds like fancy purses and such?

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          • We were together 18 years, married for 10. Of the 10 years, he was cheating on me 8 years with lots of different women. There was no special woman, as far as i know, though he now lives with the woman I last find out about (she is not special though, he is probably cheating on her too). She knew about me, and did not ask him to leave me (or at least not that I am aware of). I just happened to find out about her, and thats when he told me he wanted the divorce. He initially broke up with her too, so I dont think she means that much to him. Who knows, i could be wrong. I only know pieces of the story.

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            • Ah, I see. Sounds like he put on a good show for you in order to suck you in. These men are diabolical, pathological. I am so sorry you had to go through all that, mostly the thinking you had the fairytale and finding out you had the nightmare. There is a bizarre TV show called ‘My Crazy Ex’ on lifetime or something. I watched one episode (frivolous, I know) where the guy was a pilot and he had two wives (with children) who knew nothing about each other, were in different cities, and he was working on a third. Unbelievable. Anyway, on many days, I also feel like I got the nightmare, just a different nightmare. Oh, that reminds me. I had a really strange dream and I need to write it out before I forget. I wish I didn’t have a job. I am so easily distracted by blogging. I also wish blogging was a form of exercise for the body, not just the brain. 🙂

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  4. I wasn’t going to respond, but given my own experience on both sides of this issue, I’ll self indulge…

    There is something attractive to some women about being wanted and desired by men who are unavailable. It’s not necessarily (and never was in my case except in high school) a personal desire to hurt another woman. In fact, I’d say that’s secondary to the real issue, even if some women say it’s why they did it. I don’t think they realize what truly motivates them…It’s a need to feel powerful and needed: to use ones perceived wiles and seductive powers to compel a man to give himself to her or to take her. It’s a tragic, sick and selfish. It comes from a deep empty place inside a person – where self-esteem is next to nothing. Where self love and boundaries were never taught, cared for or reinforced.

    I know this from first hand experience. I know what it’s like to be wanted by married men. I know the aphrodisiac qualities of the intrigue and I know the shame that comes from acting on it, and I was also devastated because it was being done to me by my husband at the same time I was being encouraged by him to partake in it.

    In my case, I have no memories of anyone positively discussing the concepts of faithfulness and monogamy with me, or declaring my value as an individual other than to say I was a “pretty, bright girl”. It was surface at best. My parents divorced when I was 7. My father was insane and my mother was a lonely, active alcoholic. They were adult children themselves. They were simply not there.

    When I was in junior high and high school, there were never discussions with any older females about how to conduct myself with boys, or boundaries with dating. My mother was recovering from addiction and in her own world. I’d already become self-sufficient in many ways but wasn’t yet acting out, so she didn’t spend any time trying to lay down rules or guidelines for me. And I don’t mean the “just say no” kind. I mean the kind of encouragement and support that all young people need when faced with moral questions. The kind of unconditional acceptance and engagement that helps a young person make good judgement calls, or at least look for guidance before acting.

    At 16, my “best friend” betrayed me by hooking up with a boy she knew I was interested in. She did it right in front of me. Her parents were neglectful and abusive too. She measured her worth by who she could get, not what she could accomplish with her intelligence or other talents. Her self esteem was just as bad as mine. But the damage was done. I received more negative reinforcement about trusting and getting close with women.

    Not having close bonds with strong healthy women likely enabled me to act out in some of the ways that I did. I have known many women who have made terrible judgement calls. I used to be “friends” with women whose behavior mirrored my own. Dysfunction attracts dysfunction. I didn’t trust them and I’m certain they didn’t trust me.

    I know that the drive to “take what isn’t yours” can come from childhood neglect and absentee parenting. If a child doesn’t have some kind of safe familial structure present; if a child has violent chaos, sexual abuse or chronic instability as a foundation; if a child’s first role models cannot be trusted, where does this child find inner value and self worth? How hard would it be for any child in this situation to grow up respecting any institution?

    To me, it always comes back to power, or the perceived lack of it.

    Someone here mentioned that little girls seem to be getting more aggressive and pondered, “who knows it come from”. I think we have to look at our families and our environment.

    Being empowered to say NO, to see ourselves as strong individuals who don’t need partners to be validated, who are regularly encouraged to rely on our skills, inner beauty and interests instead of just our femininity or sexuality… These factors are missing for so many.

    The media has done little to help. We spend our formative years watching women sexualized to sell underwear, beer, soda, fast food, cosmetics, men’s colognes, cars… We get mixed messages about what it means to be beautiful, healthy and successful. To this day, 90% of commercials for home cleaning products still feature a woman in the primary homemaker role, taking care of the family for her working man. That is seen as a virtue, but women who acquire power and status in the workplace are still portrayed negatively. The other role regularly portrayed is the “starlet” – the vivacious, sexually aggressive, narcissistic pop star or celebrity. That template is being pushed at kids all day every day.

    I think there are evolutionary/anthropological elements at work too. Men are more and more threatened by strong females taking charge of their own sexuality and women in power. There is research indicating that men who cheat are subliminally still engaging in primitive mating rituals – attempting to spread their seed and procreate with as many females as possible to continue the bloodline(https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-young-and-the-restless/201208/stewing-in-infidelity-why-do-people-cheat). While cheaters don’t intend to impregnate, having sex is mating behavior. That’d be one way for men to still experience feelings of dominance in a world where they aren’t relied on as heavily as they were 40 years ago.

    Put together the combination of societally “emasculated” spouses with low self esteem and lonely, insecure, survivors of trauma or lack of healthy role models, and you get a trove of blogs about infidelity as deep and wide as the problem itself.

    While I work on my recovery and healing, I’m cognizant of how I can teach my son and encourage him to respect himself and others. I can be there for him when he needs me. And I can be the voice of authority and trust when he needs discipline. He’s already light years ahead of where I was at his age. I can do for him what was never done for me. Hopefully, I can help break the cycle. I want to continue to set a good example for him so that one day he can have a happy, healthy relationship full of trust and respect.

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    • Thank you, A_Female for your thoughtful, personal, and eloquent comment. When I started my blog, this email dialogue is something I could not have predicted would be so integral to my appreciation for blogging. I just wanted to get my own pain out on the page and hopefully release it. Wouldn’t that have been a miracle if that was all it took to release the pain. Now, all these months later, I am more self aware and I am more educated about people and sexuality and childhood wounds and I am appreciative of honest discourse about life and how we got to be who we are and how we can all be better. I love that you are basically saying, Kat, this is how it happened for me. I think that is all we can do in our lives, is take responsibility for what we do for ourselves, to ourselves, and to others. You are honest and true and I admire your courage and your strength in your own battles. I also love that as you watch your child grow and mature, that you are self aware and realize how critical it is for all of us to be there for our children regardless of what was perpetrated on us. I have my own story and for me, that story needs to mean something, but I do realize we all have stories and some are horrific tales of neglect and abuse. I don’t think my husband was at all aware of how much his feeding his addiction was hindering his relationships with his sons. I really think they always thought his work was more important than they were. Although they are now grown, he still has the rest of his life to show them by example how to be self aware and take responsibility for his own actions and show them they are certainly way more important than any career, and any addiction. I watched my sister go through men like I go through toothbrushes, mostly older men, and lots of married men too. I loved her, but I knew her behavior was self destructive. She never called a wife or in any way tried to orchestrate the break up of anyone’s marriage, however. Her goal was always self abuse. We knew she was damaged and eventually we were educated on her borderline personality disorder. Our parents’ divorce and the subsequent back and forth, being ripped from our mother’s arms, they say, was her first trauma “event.” She was subsequently sexually abused a number of times before she was 14. When our parents divorced, she was one, I was seven. Different people, different brains, and different ages, but I also got something she didn’t, the love, nurturing, and adoration of both of our birth parents for the first five years my life… before their marriage fell apart. We all have stories. This post was mainly about me asking the question… are there actually women who cheat with other women’s husbands just because they are competitive and mean spirited? Or does this competition and envy component rear its ugly head in combination with “a deep empty place inside a person – where self-esteem is next to nothing. Where self love and boundaries were never taught, cared for or reinforced,” as you say above. I know we are all unique human beings and each person’s story is different, but there are similarities and underlying psychological and sociological elements to all of us. My issue, I think, comes from trying to reconcile what I thought about my life and the world (before dday), with what I now know about my life, and the world. As my husband’s therapist would say, “Kat, stop trying to make sense of the senseless.” But that goes against everything I am. I want to make sense of everything.

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  5. I have been on both sides been cheated on and been the other girl. I always said i would never allow myself to be that girl as sure as hell if one of my mates got cheated on id cause a ruccus. while it does take two to tango womans feeliings are always heightened and when she knows she isnt going to get the man at the end not only does she suffer the hurt of a broken heart but the guilt of putting another woman through the same pain.

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    • Thanks for commenting. Yes, not getting the man who belongs to someone else, when you thought you could or would (believe me, I know the men lie), must be terribly difficult because wanting a taken man in the first place has to be coming from a broken place (or a mean and competitive place as I was talking about above as an alternate possibility to what I have already talked about here on my blog). I know there are lots of different kinds of people with varied personalities and experiences. That’s why I welcome all comments on my blog and I truly appreciate all comments. Of course I know it takes two people to tango as you say and I have talked a great deal about my sex addict husband on my blog here (in this particular post, I left him out of it because I was focusing on why women cheat with married men, without just merely blaming the man) as what he has done both to me and the other women will always create the most discomfort and confusion to me. I guess I just don’t understand the part about the guilt of putting another women through the same pain, so the mistress being in double pain. The mistress has the ability to not start the affair in the first place (an affair that most often the wife knows nothing about, so she cannot even protect herself), therefore saving herself and the wife the ultimate pain. That is the point when someone needs to acknowledge those bad feelings… before they do something that inevitably turns out to be hurtful. I do realize, however, that we are all fallible.

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  6. Nice post Kat! I don’t understand how I’ve missed marriage recovery blog. Having a girl and a boy I can tell you that girls learn subtle manipulative behaviour from a very young age, who knows where it comes from. There has been a post floating around in my head for a while, I think this may have given me the push to write it. Fankiw!

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    • Yeah, I love when blogs inspire me to write. I only have boys, but over the past 20 years, I have volunteered a lot in their classrooms, other classrooms at their schools, and on school trips. It is definitely interesting to see all the behavior and of course I find boys way easier because I have been trained now to deal with them and their behavior, which is varied, but in my opinion, not nearly as diverse as female behavior. I hope you are feeling better. I hope you are having a calmer day 😉 .

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  7. Yeah, so true. I had a moment, that I think I have blogged about, similar in some ways to your experience. A married man, who I was attracted to, and who was very overt about his attraction to me. But he was MARRIED, and expecting his third child, urgh! So I made sure it went nowhere. I also had a boss who came onto me. I was 19, a university dropout already, and we went away on a work trip. He booked two rooms in the tiny place we ended up at overnight. He was a racehorse trainer, and he booked one for his friend (one of the horses’ owners) and the jockey we travelled with, and one for him and me. I was cool with it. We could share a room, we got on well. But he got in my bed overnight, and tried it on. I was attracted to him, he was a good looking guy and I spent a lot of time with him and we got on really well. I told him no way, your lovely wife is at home, and SHE COOKS ME BREAKFAST EVERY DAY! You tool! I was also horny as hell, but I was NOT going there. I heard years later that another staff member stayed at his house (they were fucking) when his wife was in hospital having their baby. Gross! I just don’t get it. Life is complicated enough without adding that shit into the mixing bowl!

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    • Thanks for the comment, Paula. I think dignity and character are what keeps us behaving respectfully to ourselves and others. Many times I think we are shown by example or taught by amazing women. I know my mom set a great example for me and times got tough in there. You have said lovely things about your mum too. I’m glad women from both sides are commenting though as it gives me insight and that is, frankly, what I am going for. I am not just sitting here writing about all the great decisions I made and how great I am for not cheating on anyone. I really want to understand where this is coming from. Why would multiple women do this literally to me. I know it’s not about me, jeez if I haven’t heard that 100 times, but it still affected me and I cannot talk it out with them even if I wanted to. I always attributed the cheating behavior on the female side to low self esteem, childhood wounds, and sexuality issues. I think there are a lot of factors playing in, but I did watch the littlest of girls being manipulative and backstabbing their friends when my boys were little and I’m still trying to figure out why this happens. Weirdly enough, I think I understand men better on this one. I think men are simple creatures… women can be entirely too complex (at least the ones that seem to be different from me, ha). Loved seeing the picture of you yesterday!

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      • Agreed. Entirely. And boy am I sick of hearing (the truth) that this was never about me, no one did this TO me. Yeah. I know. But still the result is the same as if there was intent. You’re right. I had an awesome mum. Just like you do. For that we were blessed (although possessing integrity and character feels like a curse in a world where it seems in ever- decreasing supply!)

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        • Yes, I have always said I thought typing and therapy should also be mandatory subjects in school from a young age. If only our system worked better and good therapy was as easy to accomplish as a good typing teacher. Somebody needed to be teaching self esteem, because a lot sure weren’t getting it at home. In my opinion, it’s about self awareness and being kind to ourselves and in turn, being kind to others. In my world they go hand in hand. The Golden Rule and all that. I know a lot of people are suffering from deep childhood wounds. I never realized what an epidemic this is, until dday.

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  8. I had a nursery school teacher tell me that little girls were already learning subtle aggression as young as three. She preferred boys as their aggression was out in the open.

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