Full disclosure: I was once guilty of being one of the guys I am about to discuss.
You know the guy who thinks because there’s more women than men, there’s too many women to be with an ugly one? I said this all the time. You know the guy who thought just because he was once lucky enough to get one pretty girl to like him, he could get other girls who were out of his league to follow suit? Present! The guy who wasn’t opposed to sleeping with a less attractive woman simply because he thought she was less attractive, and instead just kind of hid her from everyone else, only dealing with her behind closed doors and in secret? Let me raise both hands up so you know that I’m here. The guy who wanted to see a picture of the girl complaining about men before he took anything she said seriously? You’re looking at him.
Then I started my job in May and I learned, through the small but very true sample size it provides me, I need to stop being that kind of guy.
I hate that type of guy.
He may not be the kind of guy I deal with on a regular basis (most guys are cool), but I have dealt with him more times than I care to admit. He makes my job a living hell, and because he makes my job a living hell, he makes my life a living hell.
In short: fuck him. That kind of guy, my old self included, should die a virgin.
Allow me to explain.
You look at yourself in the mirror, one scar sits on your lower abdomen.
The scar is not a reminder that you can survive anything. It’s not like the situation from which it stemmed was life or death.
Still, it is a mark representing how life will make you feel alive. It’s an inch long, but like most scars, it can tell a crazy story.
This is my attempt to debunk a myth, or at least, what I believe to be a myth. If I had a dime for every time it was floated around like gospel, I would be rich.
To hear some tell it, we make time for the things we care about.
Simple enough, right? I believe so, but could it be too simple?
Over the years, this adage has gone from a somewhat logical theory about why another person isn’t as available as we like them to be, to pretty much the only theory. And it’s not to say that it’s wrong, because let’s face it, in some cases it makes perfect sense. But there are many times when it’s flawed; not entirely incorrect but slightly off-base.
What I am attempting to debunk is the myth that everything we devote our time to is something we care about more than the things to which we don’t devote our time. Our time is valuable, but where do any of us get off determining that value for someone else? Every time a woman has told me about my time, I have to remind her she’s wasting valuable minutes together talking about what we’re doing when we’re apart. Certainly my time is too valuable to waste it doing that, but I also hope she understands, the time together is actually the time I cherish the most, but due to a packed schedule and various other demands, it is less time than I have.
When I decided to open the David Petraeus can of worms to break down the motives for why Petraeus may have cheated on his wife, I got more than my fair share of push back. Though I hate to divide attitudes along gender lines, the response to my last post was easily divided between men who mostly agreed with what I wrote and women pointing out all sorts of perceived flaws in my logic.
As I continue to tell people, I don’t need to be married like Petraeus was to understand why he cheated on his wife. I just need to have cheated once or twice in my life like he did, and for better or worse, I have, so everything I wrote in my post was informed by those experiences. But there are some things we all do that are accepted as somewhat universal truths. Not all men cheat, but all men who cheat probably do so for one of the reasons I listed in the previous post.
Read: A Cheater On The Ugly Truths of the David Petraeus Affair
When a man breaks down his reasons for cheating on a woman, listen. Don’t push back, don’t say his reasons or motives were wrong. Even he knows that. The reasons aren’t excuses they’re, well, reasons. And instead of being the first to throw a flag against them for what they did, maybe women should be actually listening.
Because let me tell you what I would do if a woman told me why she cheated on her husband or the man she loved:
Study the notes.
Commit them to memory.
Do the exact opposite of everything the man she cheated on did.
I agree a man is going to do what he wants, but it’s a fairly self-defeatist atitude to have in a relationship, no? Certainly I know a woman has the same freedom I do (double standards aside) and if she chooses to step out on me, I am partly responsible for that. So what can I do to make it that much harder for her to exercise her freedom as an adult? Break it down for me, ladies.
I usually hate writing about relationship stories making national headlines, but I can’t resist writing about this whole General David Petraeus scandal. Once again, we have a very human story that most people will be talking about in very inumane ways. Commentators will throw out numbers while offering up science and analytical thought about male infidelity, patriarchal societies, etc; relationship psychologists will chip in with studies done about men in power, etc.
I will end up screaming at televisions and think pieces because no one, absolutely no one, will get down to the nitty gritty, bare-boned facts about why such a thing happened.
Anyone who is honest will tell you people cheat everyday. The only reason it’s a big deal is because one of the main characters involved is a high-ranking official in the public eye. What people don’t want to say, because they want to sound smart about this sort of thing, is the truths behind this scandal are not that deep. But they are ugly and difficult to express without sounding like a complete jerk.
So allow me to be the jerk.
I am going to try to talk about this thing from the vantage point of a person who has cheated. To be clear, I don’t stick out my chest with pride when I say I’ve cheated, but I must say it so people reading this can understand I’m not talking about something I know nothing about. True, I’ve never been married, but I have been in a committed relationship and slept with another woman while in that relationship. Married or not, that’s wrong, I know that for a fact.
But here is the ugly truth about why things like this happen. It is not to justify or excuse anything, it’s just my attempt to break this thing down in a very basic, human, way.