Courtesy of the Daily Mail, here comes another “expert” with another lame theory on Relationship Fail:
A controversial new book argues that infidelity and marriage are entirely compatible. Eric Anderson, author of The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love and the Reality of Cheating, goes even further. He makes the extraordinary claim that men have affairs not despite the fact that they love their partners, but because they do.
Dr Anderson, Professor of Sociology at the University of Winchester, interviewed 120 men and discovered that those who cheated did so because they were sexually bored, and not because they weren’t in love. He concludes that monogamy is an unrealistic expectation, arguing that men cheat — rather than walk out — because they love their wives and want to stay. If they didn’t, the obvious alternative would be to walk out and enjoy guilt-free sex with a new partner.
‘Evidence suggests men who cheat are romantically fulfilled, but unsatisfied with having sex with one person,’ says Dr Anderson. ‘It’s a subversive interpretation, but I’d suggest these men cheat because they do love their partners — they are simply too afraid to take the chance of losing them by expressing a desire for recreational sex with others.’
“But I’m only cheating because I LOVE you!”
Y’know, if my drunken, cheating, sexually inadequate ex-boyfriend (who, to hear him tell it, had nailed every woman he met EXCEPT me) had come out with THAT one on me, I’d probably have laughed myself to death. Just as I damn near did with all the other stupid things he said to me.
As it stands, I dumped him because I got sick of his bullshit. One more lame line wouldn’t have done the trick with me. I was fed up with excuses, and I’d had enough of his rationalizations. If he wanted to sleep with other women, but not me, he could damn well do it without me to fall back on when he had no one else to listen to his drunken ramblings. I refuse to be relegated to a mere compartment in any man’s life…even the one labelled Good Wife, or in my case, Good Girlfriend. Believe it or not, women have needs too…and if they go unmet, as mine did, guess what happens?
Yup. I cheated.
And I’m not going to make lame excuses about how I did it “because I loved him”, either. I thought I loved him, which isn’t the same as actually loving him. Worse, I felt unloved, as a direct result of his cheating, and it was going to take a lot more than platitudes to remedy that.
So I found other company, nice sober guys who didn’t make me feel like I was being constantly abandoned and neglected. Even if I couldn’t quite reciprocate how they felt about me, I thank them to this day for letting me know that I was, in fact, desirable. He had made me feel just the opposite…that I was a nobody and that this crappy guy was the best I could do, and that all I could do about it was put up with it.
Well, I am not, and he wasn’t. And I was done with putting up with it. I ultimately dumped that drunk who always referred to me as his “future fiancée”, but never came through on the boyfriend front in the here-and-now. Dumped him for another guy, one who DID want to be my boyfriend! And now, even without a man in my life, I still feel valuable, and good about myself. How ’bout THEM apples?
But here’s the thing: I don’t delude myself that I would have still stuck with him if he’d let me sleep with other men on the side. He actually told me it was all right if I did, because he planned on doing the same, and do you know how that made me feel? It made me feel like nothing, like I had no emotional value whatsoever to him. He wasn’t even sleeping with me himself.
A man with a raging madonna/whore complex, who can only sleep with “bad” girls, is useless to a nice lady like me. I can’t live on a pedestal, and neither can any other real, live woman. Like I said: We have needs. And if your guy isn’t cutting it, the thing to do is chuck him and find another. Or find another, and THEN chuck him. Or just be alone for a good long while, and learn to love yourself first.
But please, none of this “one for this, another for that” business. It’s a waste of time to negotiate, and a drain on the emotional batteries to actually live it. If any of my gentle readers out there can actually make “open” relationships work in the long run, great, more power to you…but I found out the hard way that when there is too much “open” and not enough relationship, the bottom simply falls out.
You just can’t do what my drunken ex did, and expect the little wifey to stay home and knit you Fair Isle socks while you’re out carousing, and then ask, politely, when you finally get home after a long night (or weekend) of screwing your brains out: “And how was she in the sack, dear?”
And you can’t expect to call it “love”, either. Because in the end, love has fuck-all to do with it.
And those who are honest with themselves and others will have the courage to admit as much.