Society needs to take tougher stance on "Cheating" spouses
by Robert Randle 7/07/2009 / Marriage
I think you have a good point about the excuses, or is it justifications that some prominent males in the news recently (mostly White) regarding cheating on their wives. Come to think of it, when was the last time that a Legislator's wife admitted to having an affair? I suppose such thoughts do cross some women's minds considering the popularity of such shows as "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES;" to name a few. And of course, there are those female teachers who have sex with their underage male students; Washington's own Mary K. Letourneau started something like a virus [bi-polar disorder??] that has been spreading like contagion ever since. So, outside of the few exceptions, men overwhelming cheat, and the reasons may be simpler than you think. Although I am not an expert, but Sociology seems to point to stratification in society when there was a division of labor, men controlled the factors of production, and determined what the most valued things were. Men rose to power and subordinated and subjugated women to roles of lesser importance than themselves.
Men therefore, due to the differentiation of gender roles and social scripts take advantage of their inherited stats to violate "norms" as former President Bill Clinton said as a guest on OPRAH, when asked about the affair with Monica Lewinsky, "I did it because I knew I could." It isn't because of 'Testosterone' or because a man "just can't help it," but rather that as men in a patriarchal social system where the rules are favorable and excusable to certain rules of conduct and proclivities, a man can do just as 'Slick Willy' boasted.
This double-standard exists despite the gains that women have achieved because a young girl is still raised to be, at least in theory, a sweet, chaste, virginal princess looking to fall in love and marry her handsome Prince Charming. Interestingly though, very few men if any are raised to be that 'Prince Charming,' and consequently, a female is chasing for something that doesn't exist, but is drawn to the illusion and fantasy; like in a Harlequin romance novel or fairy tale. Since a male has no requirement to be chivalrous, kind, respectful and noble, he can be any way he wants. A man can have several lovers or relationships because that is just being a "man" but a female doing the same thing is considered a "slut" or "ho;" even by other women. The difficulty with addressing this behavior is putting it in the right context.
To correct this convenient marital opt-out clause, the first thing needs to be done are to get away from using words or phrases such as: indiscretion, "my bad," moral turpitude, indecent liaison, mistake, weakness, illicit affair, tryst, seduction, moral lapse, etc; although no one has ever said, "the devil made me do it;" at least, so far. Even the word "adultery" doesn't carry the stigma and pariah status that it once used to, so then, what is the answer you may ask?
When a man is abusive to a girlfriend or wife, it is considered "criminal" and punishable by Law, so why isn't it so in this case when someone is 'abused' after the marital vows are broken? It is the same thing as "Domestic Violence" because in 9 out of 10 times, the aggrieved or abused person will forgive their abusive partner and take them back [try to work things out]. Law Enforcement statistics indicate that the abuse only escalates, rarely does it diminish, and if someone is socially prominent or affluent, the abuse can take on other forms such as neglect, ridicule, control, or abandonment [preoccupation with other things].
There is a name for this mistreatment, and it is called the "Battered Woman Syndrome" and surely the harm inflicted can be of no lesser degree in these instances of marital alienation than a physical beating. One other point; especially for those who may seek an answer that is higher than any secular or civil authority. Remember the Patriarch Joseph who, after resisting the seductive allure and attempts from the wife of his employer, Potiphar, said in Genesis 39: 9b, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" This is the heart of the matter because "all" sin is against the Creator and Lord God of heaven and earth. It is a serious matter and should not be taken so lightly because although society's Laws change, the Word of God does not.
Psalms 119: 89
Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven.