“I’m a very faithful guy hey. I’m one of the most faithful guys around” he says to me as we lay in his bed at 4 in the morning. Words that would please any girl and send her heart beating in her chest, attempting to jump out and hug him for being so amazing. Except I’m not his girlfriend. My hands wrapped around a vodka bottle as I attempt to taste the citrus that’s supposed to be in it, I say “Yeah..I bet your girlfriend thinks so. Yep. That must be why I’M in your bed right now” and he looks uneasy. I laugh and we discuss the beautiful things Life tends to hand us that we feel compelled to destroy.
“Why do men cheat?” has been used to sell magazines since before I was born, with jaded women and defensive men alike attempting to reveal the intricacies or simple truths behind the act.
“They all do. They’re dogs” they say.
“They just don’t know how to be with one woman. It’s not you. It’s not him either. It just IS.”
“It’s in a man’s nature to conquer and explore.”
Or sometimes.. probably more often than I’d care to admit “It’s not him. It’s you. What are YOU doing to drive him out?”
I know some very nice men. Decent. They respect their women. They adore them. Their partners are happy and when they’re together, they create images worthy of a thousand Tumblr reblogs. To quote the young ones, they’re “Perf.”
But these men cheat.
Their partners don’t know it. These men hardly ever acknowledge it, and even when they do, would never call it what it is. “Cheating” is sleazy. But they do.
It’s usually premeditated. It starts off with playful flirting as he wonders whether he actually CAN do this, and possibly fights his feelings of guilt. Because you see, his Lady is lovely, she really is. She understands him and motivates him to be a better man. She could possibly be the future mother of his kids. But right now, he just wants something new. Something different. This one time, he feels an overwhelming urge to satisfy his curiosity and man, it’ll just be once. Once he decides, it’s on to the propositioning.
I find they feel more comfortable exploring infidelity with a close friend rather than a random girl found at a party. Possibly because said friend would respect their relationship and not slander the “Wifey” or make the act seem more than it actually is: sex. A friend I guess would be much more comfortable for them, seeing as they could rationalize the guilt away or minimize it using the age old “It was just a friend helping out another friend.”
And wasn’t it though?
It’s usually a once off thing. He doesn’t want to leave her, not even close. He’s happy and so is she. He simply wants to satisfy his curiosity. Look at it this way, I adore Toni Morrison’s work. At some point I read 4 of her books straight simply because I wanted to take her in, all of her. I then took a break, read Charles Bukowski and went back to Ms Morrison. Is that an issue? Is it something to be ashamed of? No. I think not.
And yes, relationships are different, I know. But monotony is rather irksome.
The only issue I see here is the deceit, but that’s the way it has to be.
Because let’s be honest, how many of us would believe it if our partner said they wanted to have sex with someone else once a year? Just once. How many of us would accept it?
There’s a difference between a man who wanders once in a while, out of curiosity, and a serial cheater with an insatiable appetite who insists on settling into relationships and dragging his partners through his mess. Are they both cheaters? Yeah, sure, but they have different reasons for and methods of cheating. One isn’t as messy, selfish and sleazy as the other, and I think that matters.
The way a man chooses to cheat says a lot about the kind of man that he is. Which is why when some people do what they do, I understand, and to me, that remorse, even if it’s shame for following your desires, means something. The fact that that person cares about the consequences of their actions and weighs everything out. The fact that, to him, it’s not just “Me, Me, Me” it’s “Me, Me, Me, but if I mess up, what about Her?”
I’m not trying to say “Cheating is okay if you’re sorry you did it to an extent”, not at all, the point I’m trying to make is, certain things, once understood, aren’t as evil as we could perceive them to be from face value.