Tuesday 10 June 2014

Divorce: An oddity about Infidelity

I ran across the following two articles. Okay, I’m a man and yes, I have a certain male-centric perspective on things, but I couldn’t help thinking there was an underlying oddity about them. Can you spot it?

DivorcedMoms - May 13/2013
11 Common Questions About Infidelity By Julia Hartley Moore
Over the course of my 15 years as a private investigator specializing in infidelity, I have dealt with thousands of cases. Many of my clients ask the same questions when they first come to see me. Even though every case I deal with is unique, it seems that the pain and rejection experienced by my clients unites them. The questions are still as heart-felt as the first time I took on a case of discovering infidelity, and my answers are built up for many years of experience.

6. Is it my fault?
How can it be your fault if you didn't know it was happening? Your husband may have tried to shift the blame onto you by saying if you were only more attentive, less busy, etc., he would never have done this. But for every action there is a reaction, so he should take responsibility for his actions.

DivorcedMoms - May 13/2013
Facing Your Spouse’s Infidelity...Not the Dear Abby Way! By Mandy Walker
I read a Dear Abby column recently from a dad who was divorced when his son was 9. His ex-wife married the man she had an affair with and they now have a 12-year-old son.
Dad says he’s in a “good place” now however the marriage ended fifteen years ago and memories of his ex’s infidelity are still stirring up an intense emotional reaction? It sounds like dad still has self-work to do and I would suggest he start by examining his role in the end of his marriage.

Most experts agree that both spouses play a role in infidelity and that an affair is usually a symptom of more fundamental relationship issues. So while mom had the affair, how did dad contribute? Was he emotionally unavailable? Was he disinterested in social activities? Was he career-focused and absent from parenting? How was dad’s behavior?

In the first article, the man has been unfaithful. There seems to be no doubt that he’s at fault and he should own up to his sins.

In the second article, the woman has been unfaithful. This time, however, experts explain both sides are part of the problem and how did the man contribute to this happening?

Is it just me or is that not an oddity? I’m a guy and maybe I’m being paranoid but I can’t help thinking that I’m damned if I do (yes, indeedy) and damned if I don’t.

Esther Perel: The Colbert Report
Ms. Perel was a guest on the show and for once, Stephen was a bit subdued and let his guest do the talking.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Canada: Comedy Central (full episode)

United States: Colbert Nation

The author spoke of how both unhappy and happy people cheat. What is it that these people are seeking? Stephen jokes about sex, but Ms. Perel insists it’s about the desire for attention, desire to experience a sense of aliveness, vibrancy, and vitality. An affair doesn’t mean a person is looking for somebody else; the person is looking to find another self. An affair allows a person to reconnect with a lost part of themselves. Yes, there is betrayal, the devastation of cheating but the why seems a lot more complicated than just something as simple as sex.

my blog: Esther Perel: Is this woman on to something? - Mar 12/2013
(this has the video of her TED talk)

In long-term relationships, we often expect our beloved to be both best friend and erotic partner. But as Esther Perel argues, good and committed sex draws on two conflicting needs: our need for security and our need for surprise. So how do you sustain desire?

"The very ingredients that nurture love — mutuality, reciprocity, protection, worry, responsibility for the other — are sometimes the very ingredients that stifle desire."

Esther Perel raises some interesting ideas about the paradoxes we all seem to live with. We want security but we want some spice (danger). We want familiarity but we want novelty. We like the old but crave the new. It is an old joke about "the honeymoon is over". Does it have to be? What is that element that drives us wild with not just love but lust in the beginning of our relationships / marriages? Where does it go? Can it be sustained? Can it be recaptured? Esther Perel: "As Proust says, 'Sometimes mystery is not traveling to new places but looking with new eyes.'"

Final Word
We could continue the discussion by bringing up the idea that we are not naturally monogamous. It is a condition forced on us by tradition, religion, and morality but it is not our true state of affairs. We could say that sometimes sex is just sex and maybe we need to look at our sexuality in a different light. Whatever the case, we are betrayed because we think we're getting one thing and end up getting something else. Why? I think Esther Perel is pointing out that the reasons are far more profound than something as simple as a roll in the hay. If we can find out why, maybe we can do a better job of sustaining that special something which brought us together in the first place.


Site Map - William Quincy BelleFollow me on Twitter

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree that infidelity is the "fault" of both spouses. I'm sure there can be instances where it may be the case, but universally we're each responsible for our own choices and infidelity is a choice. The gender of the cheater doesn't change that.

Gotta go watch the Colbert clip now, can't believe I missed that!