I have never slept with a married man, and as a mid-thirties woman, this is quite an achievement. I have never been married, and I’m certainly no saint, but there are a few hard-and-fast rules I always play by.
Rule number one on my list: Never sleep with men who are attached
I know, it seems obvious, doesn’t it? Even though I am not sure that I believe in the concept of marriage, and I’m still unsure as to whether I would ever get married myself, I still recognise that it’s something you just don’t mess with. I don’t want that sort of karma on my conscious. I figure if you’ve got a wife at home, then go and bother her for sex. If you don’t want to have sex with her, then leave her. Then you can call me. Until then, take your noodle somewhere else, buddy.
Sorry to be Crass.
I am a little annoyed that this former colleague of mine has dared to go there. In fact, it makes me angry. I may be many things, and I may have many poor qualities, but I never cheat on my partners and I never sleep with men who have a wife or girlfriend at home. I feel the need to look out for my sisters and I hope that they’re doing the same thing for me. It started innocently enough. He is married with two young kids and he has a lovely wife at home, from what I gather, the family is quite religious, and after 11 years of marriage, my male former colleague has started to question his religious beliefs, his wife and his involvement in his church.
Predictably, he has lost twenty pounds, started to dress better, got a cooler haircut and a raise at work. This means he is frequently on the road. He has started affairs with two or three women, ranging from sexting to Skye dates to full-blown hotel-room meet-ups. He still loves his wife and adores his kids, but his wife has never been able to orgasm and this is making him feel like less of a man. He is gaining validation from other women, rather than trying to fix the problems in his marriage.
I Can See that he is on a Crash Course towards Destruction.
My former college is about 37. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, people between 40-44 years of age had the highest percentage of divorces granted, with 16.7% of males and 17.1% of females being granted a divorce falling in the age group in 2011.
Lots of people get divorced. We all know the statistics. The chances of a marriage working are very grim indeed. Luckily, the divorce rate has remained relatively unchanged with 2.6 divorces for every 1,000 people in 2005, just slightly higher than the figure for ten years earlier. The greatest annual number of divorces occurred in 2001 when there were nearly sixty thousand divorces granted in Australia.
And What About the Impact on the Children?
Children of divorce have a higher risk of divorce when they marry and an even higher risk if the person they marry comes from a divorced home. One study found that when the wife alone had experienced a parental divorce, her odds of divorce increased to 59 percent. When both spouses experienced parental divorce, the odds of divorce nearly tripled to 189 percent. “Journal of Marriage and the Family
As his friend, I am not sure whether I should take a hard line and tell him that he is in danger of losing everything if he doesn’t start being more honest. I feel that he is a classic case of wanting to have his cake and eat it too. In my opinion he should be a man and face the truth, but that’s easy to say from an outsider’s point of view.
I know that energetically, he is playing with fire. By investing time and energy outside his marriage (in an unhealthy way, not by pursuing a goal, community project or hobby) he is building up a wave of energy that will affect his partnership, one way or another. I have been witnessing this process for about a year now. My former colleague looks happier, healthier and younger, but I worry that this will all come crashing down for him if he doesn’t start to be more honest. He is essentially living, a dual life.
To quote Patti Callahan Henry in Between The Tides, “Cheating and lying aren’t struggles, they’re reasons to break up.”
And Now He’s Bothering Me With His Advances
I guess I didn’t mind so much, but our conversations have shifted to levels that I don’t find appropriate. He has started to have ‘racier’ conversations with me, and I don’t want to tolerate that. He has been dropping hints that he would like to take things further with me, but I’m no fool. I have no desire to get mixed up in a bad situation, even as a casual observer. Why would I? What would be the incentive for a young (well, young-ish), attractive, free, independent woman like me to go there?
You Want to Cheat? Get Real, Buddy!
I believe that Cheryl Hughes is correct when she said, “When people cheat in any arena, they diminish themselves-they threaten their own self-esteem and their relationships with others by undermining the trust they have in their ability to succeed and in their ability to be true.”
More People are Eschewing Marriage
The good news for unwedded heathens like me is that I’m not alone. The decline in marriage rates and increase in divorce rates has led to a decrease in the proportion of the population that is formally married. In 1986, 60% of the population aged 15 years and over were married; by 2001 this proportion had decreased to 55%.
I’m Having Relationship Dramas Too
If you regularly read this blog, then you’ll know it’s not all sunshine and roses in my home either, but luckily my partner and I are not married. My boyfriend has been married before, and divorced after only a year or so. I think he’s been too hurt to go back, even though he did propose marriage to me, he never gave me a ring, didn’t want to announce it and called it all off a few months later. We’re still together over a year later and I have no idea why.
How’s this for an interesting quote? (Beware colourful language.)
F**k You for cheating on me. F**k you for reducing it to the word cheating. As if this were a card game, and you sneaked a look at my hand. Who came up with the term cheating, anyway? A cheater, I imagine. Someone who thought liar was too harsh. Someone who thought devastator was too emotional. The same person who thought, oops, he’d gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. F**k you. This isn’t about slipping yourself an extra twenty dollars of Monopoly money. These are our lives. You went and broke our lives. You are so much worse than a cheater. You killed something. And you killed it when its back was turned.” David Levithan, The Lover’s Dictionary.