Do ALL Men Cheat?

1 12 2010

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?

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4 responses

1 12 2010
KL

Probably because I’m a “pessimistic optimist” like you, I hope you’re right that there’s still hope for this: “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.” That’s probably because I’ve always believed that whenever someone, male OR female, cheats in a relationship, it’s because there were underlying problems in the relationship that haven’t been addressed. now whether or not the cheating party did an accurate job explaining those needs is a topic for another day (they probably didn’t). But the key thing to our shared hope is “healthy.” Not just healthy people, healthy relationships.

And since you say you need the male perspective from my comments, I have to add this: i think women sometimes miss the point when they say in case like Tony and Eva “how can she get cheated on? she’s GORGEOUS.” Yes she is, but that doesn’t tell us anything about what was going on in their relationship. Which, IMHO, has a much more direct impact. It doesn’t matter how much either a male or a female THINKS they’re satisfying their mate, it matters how much their mate thinks they’re satisfying them.

Very good post though! Made me think, obviously! 🙂 And none of that was justifying cheating, btw.

6 12 2010
dbaham

I’m glad someone still hopes with me – some of the responses I’ve seen from this post (on facebook, mostly) really had me thinking I was naive to believe this way.

I do agree, though, that cheating rarely has anything to do with how pretty or attractive the person being cheated on is. That just happens to be the easiest thing to point out if it’s the case.

7 12 2010
Quindell Johnson

No, all men don’t cheat. I don’t know how many you got up to when you were counting the men you know that haven’t cheated, but you can add one more to that number. Even when my first marriage was falling apart, I didn’t cheat on my wife at the time.

Relationships are so dynamic! That’s something that any astute observer can pick up on. So, IMHO, there is a fair amount of luck involved in having a successful long-term relationship. Both of the individuals in it are slowly, but constantly, changing. What happens when one of the partner changes in a way that the other doesn’t respond well to? For instance, Darby: you’ve listed 11 things that you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. But it is impossible to consider all of the ramifications of these changes. What if you end up as a published book author? What changes will that bring to your self-esteem? Your financial situation? Your overall health? Your sex drive? Your hobbies? Your free time? Your travel time? (Of course, I could go on and on…)

It almost seems antithetical to want to be in a relationship and to try to improve yourself. Most of the time when people get together, it’s because they like the other person for what they are, not what they’re going to be. But, thankfully, there’s an antidote to the constant dynamic change in a relationship: communication. A couple that can communicate effectively can ENJOY the shifting that presents in a long-term relationship. (To continue the earlier example, you might come home and share your joy with your partner about becoming published. This could change his reaction from “I’m being left behind” to “This is obviously great for her, and so it’s great for us.”) Those that can’t/don’t communicate effectively will shy away from the tough conversations that sometimes have to happen and will seek an easier (lust-driven) communication partner elsewhere.

7 12 2010
dbaham

YAY, adding one more in my head! 1, 2, 3, 4…

So first of all, I’m pretty sure I didn’t know you were married before. Hmmm… you lead a very interesting life there, sir.

But either way, I think you are completely and 100% correct. Without communication, you have nothing. That’s why I know so many people who were sooo in love 5 years ago and now feel like they don’t know the person they’re with. We’re constantly changing and growing (or at least, we should be, IMHO), so the only way to grow together is to communicate those things with the other person. Otherwise, someone is bound to feel left out or left behind. And as you said, go looking for something else someWHERE else.

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