The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Okay...what is it with men?

My housekeeper just found out that her husband of 10 years was cheating on her with a young woman. His response to the discovery was the same as Husbands in general terms: He loves her, he wants to work it out, (I'm feeling so cynical at the moment I want to say "blah, blah, blah..." but I'll resist because I don't doubt the pain and truth in his claim.)

Men need to be socialized differently so that they can express their internal conflict in other ways aside from betraying loving relationships.

I know...this is unfair, women cheat too, etc, but I'm venting! It's challenging to be on the receiving end of this shit and keep looking for the opportunity and the growth, and to continue to recognize such painful actions as them dealing with their problems. I read some statistic months ago about the high rate of infidelity among men compared to women. So clearly they lack something...self-expression, character, self-control...any way you slice it, it's not that appealing.

How do I raise my son to be a different kind of man?

Being the mother of a son becomes more complex in a way now, that Husband, who I believed so completely to be a man of integrity, has cheated and lied. I don't want to form opinions about "men" that I'll inadvertently convey to my boy. But as much as I try to be conscious of it, sometimes I feel that mindset creeping in.


thejunkyswife said...

I find I have a MUCH harder time hearing about others' pain, relapses, or discoveries around addiction than dealing with my husband's. I'm not sure what that's about...but it's interesting seeing you struggle with some of the same stuff. I totally use my Nar-Anon Buddha It's-A-Disease Serenity when somebody else's husband relapses...I get all "What Is Wrong With HIM?!?"

Stefanie said...

I just find it ridiculous that we, as women, wives, always seem to hide our anger behind finding excuses for these men/our men...I'm pretty sick myself of doing that. I think it's time that we stop the crap rhetoric about them being insecure, wounded, addicted, etc...and start holding them more accountable, at least verbally. I think it's bullshit that they can fall upon the excuse that they are a weaker sex and can't help themselves, and we have to put up with it, or rather chose to put up with it, because we've lulled ourselves into thinking that we're too vulnerable...i.e. have kids, quit working to raise the kids, can't do it by ourselves, etc. I don't know what the answer is exactly, but I do know that when I "hear" you say things like you're "just venting" or that your husband is insecure, etc. it makes me mad because you seems to minimize and invalidate your very justified and worthy anger, disgust, frustration and fear!! I can't make any more excuses for my husband. He's a grown, intelligent man who grew up on the same planet as I did, who learned the same Golden Rule as I did, and learned the same right from wrong as everyone else. He can take full responsibility and grow up - I don't need to hold his hand and placate him. Now, I'm venting!

GentlePath said...

Would it be good for sons to see that cheaters lose their families? Or is it better to see that people can change and families can survive such a devastating blow?

I don't know the answer. In my family, we do our best to keep the kids safe from molestation - most of the cheaters (and many of the cheatees) I know were sexualized as children. Beyond that - we've survived a devastating blow.

davka said...

great blog. i'm so sorry you are suffering, but your writing is amazing and powerful and i'm hooked.

i am still reading at the beginning, but i wanted to comment on a more recent post so you might see it.

i think religions that teach us to contain our anger were largely invented by men (buddhism, for example) because men need help in that regard, but i really feel women need a religion that teaches us to stop being so accommodating. we need to be pissed. really fucking pissed. until we embrace our anger we are never going to heal. once the anger is acknowledged and embraced, then we can grow. i watch women on buses and at parties sit and listen and listen and listen to men blabber on and on and the women never come out and say, "you've railroaded me. you are boring." it's like we are socialized to think that being a bitch is masculine. anyway, on my blog i wrote an essay called "Cosmic Titty Archetype" and I think it's relevant.


woman.anonymous7 said...

Davka - I loved your essay. I've had trouble accessing my anger, and I agree that anger is best experienced rather than turned away from, or pretended or explained away.

I realized the other day that I believe compassion isn't having the anger but not expressing it (because I'm "undertsanding," "reasonable," "good" or some other "virtuous" thing;) rather I think that true compassion is being able to be in a place with myself where the actions of another don't stir feelings of anger within me.

But I also believe that in order to genuinely be in that place with myself, I have to go through the humanity of feeling all that anger.

That is where I am. I'm trying to learn how to be with, experience, feel and express the anger because I believe on the other end of that (however long it takes, and however messy or ugly it gets) is true compassion for myself and others, and a true understanding at the most profound level that nobody else can "make" me feel anything.

It's actually terrifying, and I'm not sure why. That's my question of the week. If I actually did express all the anger that might be there, what's the worst that could happen?