Monday, October 12, 2009

Affairs and the beating men take for them

Interesting thing about being a woman (single or otherwise) involved in an affair with a married man. If this were me (as the woman) I could lay out to my friends, to my blogging buddies, the women I mean, all of the manipulative, boundary-crossing behaviors of this man with whom I am involved and it’s a pretty safe bet that all of my female blogging buddies would be making all sorts of angry comments about what a manipulative, sex-crazed, untrustworthy bastard the guy is. Certainly I, as the woman scorned in this relationship would eat this up, roll around in it, glory in the love and support that is being thrown my way by my home-girls and keep on talking/blogging about it. Who would not want that kind of love and sympathy and support? He’s hurting me! Sisters Unite! Girls rule and men suck! Why oh why are they so cruel and heartless?!

Let us look at it from another angle.

Sweetheart you are having an affair with a married man. He does not belong to you, he does not want anything permanent with you and you have no right to expect anything from him and you have no right to expect that he won’t hurt you time and time again. Pain is an inherent quality to relationships like this and there is no way around that. He does not know that he is taking advantage of all of the emotional insecurities and dysfunctions that exist in your psyche. He does not know that your father beat you, that your mother was ineffectual and that you are a substance abuser. And even if he did he hasn't got the first freaking clue what that all means to your fragile emotional state and his role in taking advantage of it. He is not willfully and wantonly taking advantage of things of which he knows nothing, unless of course he's got a Ph D. in psychology and he has spent years as a therapist, in which case there are governing boards to whom he should be reported.

Here is a new spin on an old tune. Maybe his father beat him. Maybe his mother was ineffectual. Maybe he is a substance-abuser. And maybe you don't know these things about him and even if you did you do not have the first freaking clue what impact your involvement has on his fragile emotional state and your role in taking advantage of it. Why are we always so quick to paint the man as a predator in these kinds of relationships? We see only our own tender spots and we feel only our own pain as he runs the sandpaper over them.

If you continue to respond to his emails and text messages and phone calls then you are just as guilty of being manipulative and untrustworthy as he is and it is you who is running the sandpaper over your tender spots. This will never amount to anything in your life of any significance. You can sit around with your therapist and your friends and your blogging sisters, spending hours dissecting it, figuring out the why's, the what's, the wherefore's, spending your hard-earned money to understand the emotional need that is being addressed in your life via this affair and that's fine but first know this: It will bring you only pain and more pain and might I just say unequivocally that yes, this situation is your responsibility not his. You have two choices, you can either endure the pain of cutting him loose now or you can endure the pain of hanging onto him until you've 'worked through it'. Pick one. DO NOT waste six months of therapy sessions to come to this conclusion. DUMP HIM FIRST and then use that six months of therapy processing the whole ugly thing and getting past the pain of cutting him loose.

He does not own you, you only choose to LET him own you and yes, you should cut him off and cut him off now. There is no middle ground, these are not muddy waters and there is no ambiguity to weed through.

Put the sandpaper down and back away from the married man.

The End.


  1. I think people create dramas in their lives because they subconsciously need the conflict. Both parties are equally responsible for their situation. If you aren't happy in a relationship change yourself. If that doesn't fix the relationship then leave. Ok, it's not always that easy but often it is! We get what we ask for.

  2. I think sometimes we just don't know we're creating the drama ourselves. All we can see is the person doing this thing to us and we lose sight of our own (unconscious?) decision to play along, to stay in the relationship.
    I have come down hard on the side of us women and while I know it's not quite as simple as all that the truth is that one day we wake up and realize that we ARE in fact doing this to ourselves. That is a wonderful day indeed.

  3. By the way, being a person who has subconsciously kept herself in all sorts of conflictual situations during her life I could not agree with you more. We don't even realize that conflict is a way of life for us.

  4. Reading with interest jss...
    I rarely come down hard on the side of us women... In fact, if anything, I have to force myself to be more sympathetic to women in this situation.
    I think locus of control is essential and we all hve areas in which we need to develop a more mature sense of ownership for the part we play in our crises and our conflicts.
    All this being said, we all need a little mercy from time to time cos we're all so stupidly human that learning from mistakes and taking responsibility for them sometimes feels like a lifelong attempt at the impossible!

  5. Oh that mature sense of ownership. Taking responsibility... sometimes it just wears a girl out and it is good to find a little mercy now and then. Nice response.

  6. HI JSS -

    I saw you over at Wonderingsoul's and I loved your recent comment on her latest post. :-)

    And I think, believe that people do what makes 'sense at the time". As I look back over some of my choices they all made perfect sense at the time - given all the variables etc. I did what I believed would work best to meet my needs effectively. And in retrospect? Well, hind-sight is always 20/20! :-)
    Have a wonderful weekend. And if you want a hi-lite of my blog - my 100th post kinda sums it all up and the post dated 9/4/08 and titled "James-Daniel-Jill" speaks of one of my most powerful "it's"-truths.

    Love Gail

  7. Hi Gail
    Thanks for coming by. It's always such a fine line we walk between giving our opinion based on our own experience at the time and honoring the experience and decisions of others - especially when we have walked that same path ourselves and know that things can get better. Unfortunately those of us who have walked that path ourselves also know how bleak it can be at times and there is simply no way to change that.

  8. HI JSS-

    I have total honor for where-ever people are at alonng their life's journey. I share my experiences only to offer myself, my truth for however, if ever someone finds it helpful. I have stood alone, in the dark and faced myself. I have no expectation that anyone else should do the same - I apologise if my comment came across as 'knowing what is right" - I only know what is right for me and no one else -

    Love Gail

  9. Your comment didn't come across that way at all and I welcome anything you have to say. No doubt your "It" has taken you to some other side where you never thought you'd be. It's an amazing experience... but I'm not sure it is one I'd like to have again. "It"s can be exhausting.
    Please feel free to come by and comment any old time.

  10. HI Jss-

    phew....... :-)

    I have been with my amazing husband almost 20 years now - we live a humble, peaceful life where others find solace, comfort, music, good food and wine, laughter, hope, faith and safety. We try not to take more than we need and give back as we can.

    And yes, my "it's" have taken me to the other side and I have no intention of returning. As a kid, with the abusing teacher, I learned how to survive - and that there is a God the priests almost ruined my faith - but instead as I came in to the light again, my faith was ever stronger. - Hope to see you at my place again and I will come by and see you too. Some times intent, meaning and so forth are lost in these forums -
    Love Gail