Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mrs. Banks Was Right

Just when I was cozying up to acceptance with the fact that great men - even civil rights activists that shape a nation - cheat on their wives, I learn yesterday that yet another man that I know personally and highly respect had an affair on his wife when he was forty. It was a typical "mid-life crisis" affair; he was depressed and unhappy with himself, so he finds himself in the arms of another woman. Huh?

Seriously, is there a pattern here? Presidents, pastors, social activists....they all do it. No matter how honorable the man you marry is, it's very likely that one day he'll cheat on you. For reasons that have nothing to do with YOU or your marriage.

What does this say about men in general? I understand that no marriage is immune to infidelity, but it seems that even the smartest and spiritual and thoughtful and bighearted men CHEAT. ON. THEIR. WIVES. Not lazy, dumb, or unattractive wives - no, no. We're talking about beautiful, successful, supportive, AWESOME wives.

So what hope is there for women getting married? In my opinion, if you're marrying a man under the age of 45, there isn't much. Apparently every man thinks they can fix their mid-life crisis by screwing another woman.

I can't tell you how little faith I have in the male race right now.

I must admit, when I learned this little tidbit yesterday about this man that I know, at first a part of me felt comforted. I was like, "Wow, well HE'S an amazing husband and a humble, good man - and even HE was tempted?? Just proof that my husband is also a good person and simply fell prey to the deception."

But then after a few hours, I was more like "WTF??? What is WRONG with these men?!? Is there no hope for beautiful, intelligent women who want to marry a man who will keep their promises?"

So why are men so unable to remain faithful? Do they have that much of a one-track mind that they think 20 minutes of sex with someone new is going to solve their life's problems? Or are they truly incapable of being monogamous? Or is their level of self-esteem that contingent upon female admiration?

There are probably answers to these questions. I'm sure I already know them in the back of my mind because I've read a dozen books about how affairs happen. Yet at this moment, I don't give a flying you-know-what about what some psychiatrist will tell me, because at some point it sounds like an excuse.

So I guess that's just another reason to stay. What good does it do me to divorce my now practically perfect husband for yet another man who'll likely cheat on me again? At least the man I have now already got it out of his system and will probably not repeat the mistake after living the consequences. At least now he knows from experience that sex with a new woman didn't solve his problems and, in fact, made his life much WORSE. At least now he has a very strong motivation to keep his promises in the future, and is careful to prove to me that he will make his second chance worth it for all of us.

For now, I will remember Mrs. Banks' words in Mary Poppins (which finally, as an adult, makes sense) when she was fighting for women's right to vote:

Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they're rather stupid.

*Note: I am not ignorant to the fact that women have affairs, too. Obviously, unfaithful men are sleeping with women and some of those women are married! (My husband's home-wrecking lover was one of them - with two kids in diapers.) In fact, recent studies are showing that women are almost equally as guilty, statistically speaking. I may be picking on men here, but hey, this is a blog - not a science journal. Not to mention the fact that I know very few women who have cheated, yet I know several men who have. So where are all these unfaithful women? Just sayin'.

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