Okay… I know that question is bad. I know I’m probably going to get flagged by a bunch of my guy friends, but as biased as the question may seem, it seems to be the thing that keeps coming up in regular conversation between my friends and I lately.
By now, you’ve most likely heard that Eva and Tony Parker are divorcing and that a large part of the reason for this divorce (according to Eva’s camp) is that Tony Parker was cheating on her. Funny enough though, while a lot of people were initially slightly shocked to hear they were divorcing, the reason for the divorce was treated as something that was a given. “He’s a basketball player,” women said. “What did she expect?” More pointedly, I heard and saw many women say that simply he was a man.
And that’s what got me to thinking. Have we gotten so disenchanted by the idea of cheating that it’s expected now? And if so, is that because it’s all we see or because we’ve let a few instances dictate the story?
I will say that, despite the fact that I tend to be a very trusting person once I get into a relationship, the doubts are there. Now, I’ve never been the chick that checks a guy’s phone or wants to know his email or Facebook password, mostly because I have always believed that a woman’s intuition will tell her everything she needs to know about her man. But I have a lot of friends who would legitimately answer the title question with a resounding “yes.” They wouldn’t think twice about it, in fact. And they worry that they’ll meet a guy, fall in love with him and find out that he’s cheating on them. And unfortunately, I’m not much help in trying to convince them otherwise, because as much as I would like to believe it’s not true, the more that I think about it, I can’t name 10 men that I know who haven’t cheated. Can you? Hell, I might be hard pressed to name 5… and I know a lot of men, between friends and family members.
Is that a bad thing, though? Or is it just indicative that we all make mistakes at some point in our lives? To be clear, this is not an indictment on men. It’s more of an observation that the belief that men will cheat at some point in their lives is extremely prevalent amongst women that I know… and maybe women that you know… and I’m wondering when and why that happened.
Was it as simple as a checklist that women did in their heads and then replayed with their girls, thus creating the stereotype? You know the list… Have you ever been cheated on? Yep. Has your girl ever been cheated on? Yep. What about your aunts? Uh huh. Your female cousins? Sure have. Your sisters? Yep. Do you know men who’ve cheated? Sure do. Do you know men who haven’t cheated? hmmm… and the more these questions are answered, the greater the story becomes? The realer it feels that every man has cheated?
I don’t know – I really don’t. But maybe that’s not the right question to ask anyway. Maybe, the more important question isn’t whether or not all men cheat, but whether or not you believe the guy you’re with will cheat on you because he cheated on someone else. We’re always quick to say things like, “once a cheater, always a cheater,” but is that really true? Or is there some hope that when two healthy people find each other and make a commitment to each other, both people will honor that commitment, despite and maybe because of some of the things they’ve done in their past?