After one of my favorite exercise classes this morning I was in a super good mood. I picked up my mobile phone to check the weather for this afternoon and accidentally hit the News app icon with my clumsy fingers. The above Times article blasted across my screen. I read it. Of course I did. Even if I wasn’t in the situation I’m in, in the relationship I’m in, I would have read this article… as a married woman, it would have peaked my interest, no matter what. On the above, above the title of the article, it states MODERN LOVE. I’m not sure if that is merely a moniker to help us put the article into a category, or if there is a section of the paper that has this title, however, it makes me sick that “this” is how anyone would describe modern love.
The author, a divorced female, states in her first paragraph that she’s not sure whether it’s possible to justify her relationships with married men. The impetus for her article, however, is that she believes that what she has done warrants a conversation. Well, I guess I agree with that since here I am voicing my opinion. In her wisdom, this woman believes the conversations should be had between the husbands she was having sex with, and their wives. She does state that she would be interested in hearing the wives’ sides. Well, isn’t that nice of her… (dripping with sarcasm). She advises that the conversation be had annually, like inspecting the tread on our car tires. Well, thanks, because I always take my marital advice from divorced women I don’t know who admit to having slept with numerous married men. Yeah, NO.
The author admits to dating married men for ‘companionship’ while processing her divorce. She informs us that she didn’t actually seek out married men, but they found her… single men too, in case you’re interested. She wanted no strings attached, regardless of the man’s relationship status. She wanted sex but not a relationship. Apparently in a couple instances the men “… were married to women who had become disabled and could no longer be sexual, but the husbands remained devoted to them.” I am not sure what part of “in sickness and in health…” is being interpreted to mean, unless you are too sick to have sex with me, then of course I can lie to you, deceive you, and sleep around. I would not call that a good, loving husband, I would call that a liar and a cheat. In my opinion, the whole damn thing is about being open and honest. I’m just not sure when it became acceptable that obsessively lying to someone is being kind or devoted. It is being selfish. And selfishness is what this is all about.
Unless a man (or woman) is in an open relationship, of which both parties agree, sleeping with anyone else other than your partner, is infidelity. Not usually covered under a traditional marriage license, OR most spoken or unspoken verbal agreements between partners. So, yeah, maybe instead of sleeping with these men, directing out and away would be the more ladylike thing to do. I am not a prude. I am not mean. I am a wife who wanted the truth, expected the truth, because that is the agreement I made and that is what I gave to my relationship.
She states, “what surprised me was that these husbands weren’t looking to have more sex. They were looking to have any sex.” Really? Really? Just take a look around the blogosphere, lady. Liar liar pants on fire. Many of these men are getting a lot more sex than they admit to, and if they aren’t, boo hoo. Cheating is not the answer. The author also talks about a man whose wife supposedly consented to him having an affair because she didn’t want to have sex with him anymore. Um, okay. Did the writer actually confirm this with the wife? Ever think that this cheater you are having sex with is lying to you? Yeah, it does seem obvious, now, doesn’t it.
She states that she knows “what it feels like to go off sex and to want more than your partner.” She then puts some blame on menopause. What? I thought she wanted sex and that is why she slept with married men? Did her husband go through menopause. I’m confused. I wonder if she communicated all this to her ex, you know, the advice she is giving to all of us. She then brings up Esther Perel, of course, and the theory that for wives, “sex outside of marriage is their way of breaking free from being responsible spouses and mothers they have to be at home. Married sex, for them, often feels obligatory. An affair is adventure.” Wait, so now we’re talking about cheating wives??? And yeah, I feel the same about cheating wives as I do cheating husbands. It’s wrong. Stop lying and justifying and talk about your needs with the person you promised to spend the rest of your life with, or don’t, and get out before you hurt someone.
I don’t care how this woman rationalizes her behavior. In my book, it’s just wrong. And the men, well of course not telling the wife, in their warped mind, is the kind thing to do. But in fact, it is the cruel thing to do. Cruel and heartbreaking and soul sucking, that’s what it is, but go ahead people, rationalize away. Rationalize your lying, cheating, deceitful behavior. I know people want to say that it is not this woman’s fault that she slept with men who were married. They’re the ones who are married, not her. But, she willingly participated in hurtful behavior and then she has the gall to advise other people on how to behave in their marriage. It seems quite obvious to me that open communication is the key to successful relationships, all of them, not just intimate ones. Lying and cheating are poisons that kill relationships. I don’t need to sleep with women’s husbands to figure that one out. Duh.
And then, to top it all off, she backs off and says, “Meanwhile, the husbands I spent time with would have been fine with obligatory sex. For them, adventure wasn’t the main reason for their adultery.” I call bullshit. Adventure and intrigue is what they want. Secret, tawdry sex with someone who is willing to give it away for free is exactly what they’re after. She’s rationalizing again. The same kind of rationalizing that my husband’s other woman got caught up in. Oh baby, honey, sweetie…. wifey doesn’t give you any sex? You poor thing. Here let me throw my body at you and convince myself that what we have is real. The author apparently didn’t want anything real, and that’s probably how she can rationalize giving anyone else advice. She wasn’t being hurt in the process, but she was hurting other people.
In one section of the article, she states that she didn’t have a full on affair with one of the husbands. That they slept together a few times over a few years, talked on the phone, etc… Um, in my book, that IS an affair??? When did marital fidelity and standards of decency go out the window? This is an article in the fucking New York Times!!!
The author also admits to having conversations with these men about telling their wives. If things aren’t fulfilling at home, just talk about it and make it better. Ha, ha, ha. That would work, lady, if in fact it were true. This whole line of “not wanting to hurt the wife,” is just that. A line. They don’t want to get caught and have to stop this behavior that they find stimulating. Not the wife’s fault. We all have shit we need to work on, but feeding the cheater what he wants isn’t exactly a healthy way to get what you want. Stick with the single guys… apparently most of them don’t want a “real” relationship either.