Posted in Dating / Relationships, Gender

If This Doesn’t Bother You… It Really Should

When I think back to my first blog 30SomethingAndBreakingUp, which was the story of my divorce after my wife’s unfaithfulness and journey through recovery from my low self esteem and other mental health issues, I received some reactions that I never expected when discussing my break up. Sure, I got a lot of sympathy from men and from women about what I was going through – and I remain eternally grateful for the bloggers I encountered back then and their invaluable insights.

What shocked me was the extent to which people – and women especially – attempted to justify my ex-wife’s cheating. I’d always heard the mantra that if a man cheats it means he’s a pig and if a woman cheats then it means her partner was such a pig that he deserved it, but I never truly expected to come across women who thought that way in real life. Sadly, the notion that women only cheat for good reason was far more common than I’d hoped. I remember having an argument with several women on the blog of a psychologist who specialised in sexuality. They informed me that yes, in no uncertain terms, my ex-wife could not possibly be responsible for her own actions – that I must have driven her to it through my actions.

Now there are memes like this:

I see this meme and variations on it practically every week. Shared by friends and family from pages of a certain persuasion (overwhelmingly aimed at the female half of the species) imply that you are not responsible for your actions, it’s all somebody else’s fault, especially if they are male. The one that grinds me gears the most is the quote from Marilyn Monroe “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”. Basically, you have to put up with my crap but I have no intention or obligation to put up with yours and when I cheat on you because of it, it’s your fault anyway.

I am not responsible for my ex-wife cheating on me and she never lacked for love, attention, honesty or loyalty – yet still she cheated. I find it incredibly insulting that such women can and do absolve all women everywhere for the responsibility of their actions.

It’s about time we all started taking responsibilities for our actions, it’s about time we started taking ownership of our errors, acknowledging them and moving on. Only then can you truly be free of your past. Blaming others helps nobody.

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

3 thoughts on “If This Doesn’t Bother You… It Really Should

  1. Dude! This is bullshit. Talk about giving women an excuse to cheat. I once read in Men’s Magazine that the reasons men and women use to cheat are very different. According to their poll, women cheat because their needs are not being met. They feel ignored, unloved, etc. Men cheat for two reasons: 1.) because they love the thrill and have no intentions of leaving their wives; or2.) they are unhappy. Again, this was in Men’s Magazine (2002-2004 issue – I forget what year). I can tell you right now, some women cheat for the hell of it because they too love the thrill.

    In my opinion, cheating is cheating, no matter how well a person justifies it. My Ex justified what he did because he said, and I quote: You have to admit, our marriage was basically over.

    Um, no, actually I didn’t and if that’s how you felt, you should have told me.

    BTW, I happen to love the MM quote, only the way I interpreted it is: if you can’t accept me for my flaws, then you have no business being with me. Perhaps I misinterpreted her quote. My Ex used to beat me down verbally about my weight. He accused me of being fat when I was a size 8. I was never thin enough or good enough for him. At this stage of my life, if I meet a man, if he cannot accept me for the size I am now (10) then hit the road Jack! I’m through with bending my life around a man so as to please him.

    In closing, I don’t know if I agree with your last bit:

    “Basically, you have to put up with my crap but I have no intention or obligation to put up with yours and when I cheat on you because of it, it’s your fault anyway.”

    I didn’t derive that from MM’s quote. MM had a lot of issues, no doubt the result of her drinking and Rx pill use. So my feeling is, her quote stems from her feeling that, if you cannot accept me when I am having a complete meltdown then you don’t deserve me when I’m having a good day, week, month. Does this make sense?

    🙂

    1. I agree, it is incredibly simplistic. I grant that people cheat for a variety of reasons – some because they like the thrill, others because they are missing something, others still because they have no respect for their partner. Whichever reason, the person being cheated on is not to blame… you make a conscious choice to cheat.

      I accept your interpretation of Monroe’s quote but I think the sentence that goes before that pushes it over the edge for me. Here’s the full quote:

      I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best

      Being selfish, impatient, insecure, out of control and hard to handle goes beyond basic human flaws for me. She is unapologetic about being those things and that’s where I derive the “you have to put up with my crap”.

      Of course we all have flaws but I think the difference is that Monroe’s flaws were critical and would be critical to most men. I also feel that the sort of women that use that as their motto have zero patience with men’s flaws. If you are not yourself the personification of perfection, you’ve no right to demand it of others.

      Thanks for your insight, valued as ever 🙂

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