We lie to ourselves all the time. We are the best cheaters of ourselves, sometimes preferring to be in denial than knowing the truth. I actually was in deep denial myself. I was afraid to look the truth in the face for years and admit that besides the nice role-play we had of a perfect married couple, my husband and I were not LOVING each other. I needed love of the romantic and passionate kind, while he was obsessed with his work only. Love to him meant that he expected me to take on and complete every mundane life-task, so he could ONLY do his IMPORTANT JOB! We do get so ingrained into these roles, over the years, that we become drones. Drone moms, drone dads, drone bosses, drone coworkers, drone friends… going through the motions… feeling how life and passion get wasted everyday. Until, eventually we wake up and say, enough is enough, we need to live or passions out. We have the children, we have the career, we have a family, we do not have LOVE. We LOVE our family and we do not want to hurt them… SO WE CHEAT?
Well either that or try to force some real change to call for our partner to rekindle our fire. Will our spouses gladly accept or fight us or say we are being frivolous and too demanding? We will try… but chances are we are only going to hear the same lines. For example, the one I always got was, “I am on the verge, I work all the time what do you want from me?!” Then give up and … move on to find love.. secretly, carefully, feeling guilty, perhaps. Or perhaps not… Lets stop frame here for a moment and let me tell you another story … I met one twenty-nine year old Italian man (lets call him Mario), who loved his hot young wife and had all the sex he could get with her. He was creative and passionate using all the wildest positions he could try or imagine as many times as he could get his hands on her. This, however, did not prevent him from wanting more. For example, on his night shift as a doorman in a fancy Manhattan apartment building, he would not mind to generously satisfy a number of lonely ladies in need of company. These mostly forty plus ripe beauties, as he described, would drift by slightly drunk around midnight looking to literally get FIXED! Mario is a hot blooded Sicilian, he is very traditional in a lot of ways and swears that he loves his wife! He would swim an ocean for her, he works two jobs to support the family, yet he also loves to have just SEX! Any sex – as much as he can get it! If SEX is offered by an attractive to him lady (or even a halfway decent one), heck, he will take it! If it can be arranged and gotten online or from a friendly neighbor, he will get it! If it takes a bit of clever deception of his nice wife – that just makes it all the more exciting. Because now on top of just getting it, he is being a clever mastermind as well. His philosophy is simple, as he shared it with me: he is in the prime of his sex might, equipped with a fine specimen of a rather large penis and having only one life to live – therefore, he it is his god given right to use it to the fullest! Every opportunity he can get and get the most pleasure out of it, before he gets old and his magnificent penis stops being happy. That is his vision of the world. Does this make him sick, immoral, or bad?
Is he a complete DOG? Well he actually, and self admittedly, is! But this is the way he is. What can be done? While I am hard pressed to name what proportion of our fine husbands minds are wired this way, I assure you ladies, a lot more then we would dare to suspect. I think a lot of wives would actually be shocked to find out. Not to say that a good proportion of women are not wired in the same way, but due to the societal restrains may express it less overtly. This primal sort of “fuck everything I can” instinct is ages old and is probably programed into the human brains for some good procreation measure, yet we are supposed to never talk about it. We are supposed to hide it and be ashamed about it. We are all playing up this romantic fantasy of NEVER, for the sanctity of marriage, sleeping with anyone other then the once chosen sacred spouse. Well, the very question in my mind is not whether one philosophy is right and the other one is unacceptably wrong. The question is whether the 100% fidelity for life is even realistic considering the raging passions, urges and opportunities the real men and women are facing today? Should they explore them or should they bottle them up?
The answer for our friend Mario, or the more glorious example of Tiger Woods, – is a definitive NO WAY. Where as, I, in my sixteen year marital contract, endured this commitment with compete dedication, subscribing to just such a romantic version. I can’t claim a success story, though, since my marriage has fallen apart anyway. After he finished his manifesto – I took a deep look into Mario’s twinkling eyes, I asked myself, “How would one control a beast like that?” And the real answer, you CAN’T! Love him or hate him, throw him away or put up with him, that is what you got! You can only accept him for what he is. The next question I asked myself, what if he were my husband? What would I do?
Plan A: Run around trying to tame the beast in crazy paranoia policing his every move: text messages, receipts, phone calls? Impossible, plus that would only get him more slithering and determined. He likes a challenge.
Plan B: Get rid of him. But what is the guarantee that another man will not be just as deceitful? Plus this one I love, he loves me, I have his children!
Plan C: Just throw in the towel and turn a blind eye. Be in an innocent bliss of thinking he is only yours. And enjoy him when he is with you and the family.
Plan D: Cheat on him yourself to get even.
Plan E: Decide that you like threesomes with girls or become an open minded swinger and get wicked dirty with him. (Will not work for all people.)
In actuality his wife, as many wives would, executes the trusted plan A: They think they can control him. They become obsessed at watching the clock to time their not-to-be-trusted husband’s every move. This knife cuts both ways the more the wives uncover and suspect, the more angry, resentful, vengeful and miserable they become. But they have to keep digging, they devise elaborate and clever plans at finding out where the husband has left a trail of crumbs, to slap his wrist with the most pain and surprise at just the right moment as he is reaching for the cookie from the forbidden jar. After catching him, the wives perform a self righteous scene of shame, humiliation and even public crucifixion, often involving friends or relatives, aimed at killing any possible future inclination of the husband to repeat his plight. This might be a sound technique for disciplining silly cats, or children, but can have a reverse effect on a man. He might become conceited, seething and the wave of resentment will only grow. Eventually he might rebel and say, “Look, what have I got here? A loving wife or a cruel Nazi? Who does she think she is? This woman does not love me, she is out to get me and ridicule me to the world, and I cannot let her do this. I do not even want SEX with her anymore, she has become a real witch. I am out of here!” A very real scenario girls! I have actually seen it happen right in from of my very eyes.
What does this leave us? Since the real question is how to stay married to him and not how to get rid of him, Plan B is out. So is the only safe choice we are left with THE PLAN C? Well, ignorance is bliss, as they say! Lets for a second assume that not all men are as promiscuous or sex-obsessed as Mario. Or even if they were, to a large degree, they might be able to restrain themselves better due to either societal or moral stances. What is clear from this discussion is that, at the end of the day, the way a person manages, contains, or expresses their passions is their own personal and very individual choice. And the real PROBLEM then is the CLASH with the traditional view of the way the marriage itself prohibits such choices. In the sanctimonious traditional view, you become the 100% dedicated property of your partner. They are supposed to own, serve and control all of your urges, desires and needs. You have no choice, at least when it comes to sex.
The reality is that we must admit that no one can really own anyone else. In relationships and in love, any agreement has got to come from the standpoint of free will, not by order or a mandate. If the attitude of one spouse is “Well if he said ‘I do’ then it is my way or highway,” the other spouse might succumb to this dictatorship, and thus maroon themselves in a lifelong self-sacrifice, which will leave him/her deeply unsatisfied and unhappy. Is it fair or selfish of the first partner to make such demands? In either case, it is impractical– no one of strong enough character and healthy enough self-esteem could be expected to play such a role. We can only accept them and love them for who they are, if they make you happy while they are with you.