How being the other woman was a deep learning experience.
The recent Ashley Madison scandal, where 38 million user’s emails were exposed, revealed fascinating results. Only 20 million of these men actually checked their inbox. Half the people who signed up to the website catering to spouses who want to cheat got cold feet. Almost all the users checking their inbox were men. The number of women who checked their inbox? 1,492. Most of these accounts were either prostitutes or employees of Ashley Madison paid to write fake profiles and fire off a few messages.
There are thousands of couples all over the world in anguish about this data leak. Wives should take comfort that signing up to the Ashley Madison account was almost a guarantee her husband didn’t cheat. It was statistically impossible with so few real women on the site. Still, 38 million men wanted to. They filled out a profile. They searched for women in their area. Then they kept searching, looking for anyone to get in touch and after a brief interaction with a fake woman (who faded on them) they de-activated their account. It’s actually sad, when you think about it.
In the book, The Truth about Cheating, by M. Gary Neuman, his surveys revealed interesting data:
- 1 in 2.7 men will cheat, and most of their wives will never find about it.
- 92 per cent of men say that affairs aren’t primarily about sex.
If it’s not about sex, what is it about? Anecdotally, psychologists say it is men’s fear of intimacy. But what does that mean? Men are frightened about revealing what, exactly? Men stray because they feel a loss of connection and don’t know how to get it back. The resentments that simmer from unfulfilled promises, addictions, and job losses etc. Men are frightened to reveal to their wives they feel like a failure and this fear permeates everything. An affair is a quick affirmation they can connect with someone. A quick respite from feeling so alone.
How are women contributing to this fear? Few people talk glowing about their spouse without throwing in a little slight. Maybe it’s a heavy nod when other wives complain about their husbands. We find it almost impossible to live without judging the crap out of our husbands. Men are guilty of this, as well. We think our spouse will make us happy and when they don’t, we blame them for it.
The unhappiness starts with the thought – it shouldn’t be this way. Then it grows into – I don’t have to put up with this. Then it takes hold with – he has to change. We’re all doing it. What would life look like if we removed the thought ‘it shouldn’t be this way’ and simply lived with our reality? I don’t mean staying in an abusive relationship, I mean seeing events without reacting. Finding peace in it. Having the thought – it is this way. My theory is if you find peace with yourself you can have a perfect relationship, even if only one person is happy. Your peace is everything. Ending a relationship when you’re at peace is also, well, quite peaceful.
When you remove the thought – it shouldn’t be this way, something happens. You are available to talk about reality without judgement and intimacy gets a chance to happen.
What do guys think about women who cheat? Our male columnist, Gus, gives his point of view on infidelity and it may surprise you!
“It’s over 10 years ago now, but once in a while it can still seem fresh enough. I was just back from doing the Europe thing over summer, and was getting the appalling news from my girlfriend that her fidelity had suffered a major blip in my absence.
As the darkness of this news closed around me, I must have given her an imploring look. I needed her to say something that would sweeten this bitter pill, something to cushion the blow. And this is what she said: “It didn’t mean anything! I barely knew the guy! We just met at a party and it went from there. I never saw him apart from that night”.
And that’s the good news?? Faaabulous. Thanks a mill.
I’ve spoken to a couple of friends on this and I can’t say that I speak for all men but, for me, she could not have come up with a response more keenly designed to hurt. There’s obviously not a lot she could have said to give me a lift (although “Darling, it was just awful. His penis exploded before anything could happen!” springs to mind) but the idea that this creep was able to stroll up and hit paydirt so easily was just awful. What kind of loser was I to have invested so much emotion and effort (for starters) in this woman when all you had to do was catch her on the right night? I would have far preferred to hear that this bloke had launched a dazzling campaign, full of romance and all sorts of unexpected delights, that had swept her off her feet. In fact, I would rather had heard that she was in love with him. As it was, she was still mine but seemed a little less special to me.
Childish? Sure. Jurassically proprietorial? Damn right. Far more concerned with sex than the real issues of a relationship? You got that one right, too. My only defense is that I’m a man and if you haven’t learned yet that men are a little weirded out by sex then you haven’t had a lot to do with us.
The thing that struck me as interesting is that my girlfriend really was trying to soften my fall. That is, she came up with something that, in the same circumstances, she would have liked to hear. She thought I wanted to know that there was no emotion involved; that the integrity of our love had not been compromised.
Vive la bloody difference, I guess.
We stayed together for another year, incidentally, and remain friends so it didn’t do us much harm. I went to her wedding a couple of years ago where she sat me at a table with her other old boyfriends. Somehow it worked brilliantly. She always had style with things like that.
And the guy? I am delighted to report that his first marriage (they were engaged at the time of the ‘incident’) ended painfully and publicly when his wife ran off with her university lecturer. On a less pleasing not, he moved to London, remarried and made millions on the financial markets. Not quite the outcome I would have requested, but I figure the bastard’s luck can’t last forever.
So I keep in readiness, coolly biding my time, knowing that one day…one day…”
What do you think?
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