When a married man cheats, is the “other woman” more to blame than he is?

I will start of by answering my own question – no.  100% NO.  Unless, of course the lady in question tied him up against his will and forced him to hide the salami in her…pantry.  In which case, that’s just plain-old rape and not cheating.  But I digress…

Bizarre Love Triangle

The other night I was watching the news with my Mom and counting down the minutes until Jeopardy started (because I kick her ass EVERY TIME) when the nightly Herman Cain story came on.  For those that have been living in a cave, or, you know, have an actual life, Herman Cain is one of the long-shot candidates vying for the Republican nomination for President.  He has had some, er, lady troubles as of late of the non-consensual kind but it had recently been discovered that he carried on a 13-year relationship that may or may not have included sex (yeah, right.  And I have a lovely bridge to sell you) but did include meals, cash, and stays at posh hotels.  Putting aside the fact that we don’t really know what happened (and my god, I don’t even want to imagine these two naked) and that we have no idea what kind of marriage/arrangement he has with his wife, it appears to be another case of a married man cheating.

When a picture of the lady in question flashed on the screen, Moms practically spat. “Look at her. She is SO disgusting.”

After a beat, I responded “Well, so is he.”

“But,” she sputtered “she’s MORE disgusting.  Because she knew he was married.”

Unable to wrap my mind around this logic, I pointed out the obvious – that he knew he was married too.  And I’m pretty sure he was aware of that fact long before she was.  Add to it that they are both consenting adults that carried on a relationship for over a decade and I fail to see how either one of them could bear more of the blame than the other. Now, I’ve known Moms for well, my entire life and I understand her better than anyone so it was no surprise that she would, in effect, place a disproportionate amount of blame on the woman vs. the man in this situation.

But her reaction isn’t really all that different from I suspect a good number of women’s reactions would be.  Have you

This makes me sad to be a girl

ever seen Cheaters, or Maury, or Jerry Springer?  Plenty of scorn is heaped upon the man who cheated but how many times have the women gone after (literally and figuratively) the other woman?  Pulling hair, calling her a cunt and home wrecker (is there even a male equivalent to that term?), blasting her for not staying away from her man all while he sits there, sheepish and in some cases enjoying himself.  I’ve never seen a study done on this subject in particular, but I’d be willing to bet my firstborn (and believe me, she is far too helpful at this age for me to part with her easily) that on the whole, more blame is put upon the other woman.

This misguided notion that women “should know better” and that men “just can’t help themselves” is shitty on so many levels and is, I think, very insulting towards men.  They are just not capable of being adults and making good decisions.  They are just powerless when faced with pussy.  Poor dears – how do they get anything done surrounded by all of those boobies? Really people, this is just another form of slut-shaming and you know how I feel about that!

To my knowledge, I’ve only been cheated on once by my high school boyfriend and it wasn’t exactly a warm and fuzzy feeling.  (I dumped him, promptly and without argument.  Sigh – sometimes I wish I had that uncompromising you-fuck-me-over-and-you’re-gone attitude back in my life). However, I’ve seen first hand the devastation and fallout that occurs when adultery tears through a marriage.  So I don’t minimize that this is a serious issue.  But let’s not kid ourselves and think that keeping your man away from other sexy, sexy ladies is going to keep him from taking the old skin boat to tuna town.  And if he does let her ride the bologna pony, it’s a CHOICE that he made.  He’s a shithead.  She’s a shithead. End of story.

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9 responses to “When a married man cheats, is the “other woman” more to blame than he is?

  • nathan

    The most obnoxious and disappointing thing about Cain is the utter lack of honesty and willingness to take responsibility for his actions. The dude seemed to have an endless supply of blame and excuses to spread when it came to his sexual decisions, which frankly undermined every last comment he made during his presidential campaign about how “the rich are self-made” and the poor are simply “too lazy” and “don’t work hard enough.” Apparently “personal responsibility” only applies to those who can’t afford for corporate spin machines to cover their tracks.

    • The Reluctant Monogamist

      I agree 100% and was also sickened by all of the apologists that leapt to his defense as more and more women came out with their stories. You know the old saying if there’s smoke there’s fire…

      Further irritating was the assumption that all of these women were either lying, asking for it or just couldn’t take a joke. Unbelievable.

  • Cadence Harper

    Can I just say, Woman, YOU are awesome! I spent the morning thumbing through mostly crap blogs that either didn’t make sense or could make a point without being overly apologetic and boringly nice… Then I pop on to your site. AHHH, Thank God for people who can write! Love your stuff

  • Lori

    Sheepishly I will admit to being “that girl”. The one that got blamed. I was in a relationship with a married man for a short time. What a lot of people don’t understand is that sometimes men LIE. (hard to believe, I know.) They tell a woman that they are separated or going to leave or in the process of getting divorced. And we believe them. And then when they don’t, we look like the bad guy (girl) But, sometimes we are just as hurt as the wife. Because we were given false hope and were used and made to look like fools. And in addition the man is forgiven while the woman is made out to be the scapegoat.

    • The Reluctant Monogamist

      Hey – you’ll find no judgement here. We all make mistakes, and while you probably heard millions of times the refrain “girl he’s not gonna leave his wife for you” it’s so easy to think that it’s going to be different. By the way, I know this happens the other way too. I have a boy-friend that has been promised for nearly a year by his married girlfriend that she’s leaving. Don’t beat yourself up too badly. You made a mistake, you own it and you move on.

  • CeCe

    If anything I would say the man would be more to blame. HE is the one who took the vow of marriage to his wife and decided to break it, not the woman he is cheating with.

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