I saw The Other Woman last night with a friend (warning: may contain spoilers), and amidst laughing over Leslie Mann’s antics whilst dealing with her despicable, cheating husband, I had a hot flash of fear when I realized that my past experiences list me as a prime candidate to become a potentially victimized wife one day.
If that, in and of itself, wasn’t horrifying enough, next came the realization that, if my past experiences were any indication of my future ones, I was also in danger of becoming one of those women who not only gets cheated on, but doesn’t leave the bastard afterwards. So, this got me thinking.
You see, Leslie Mann’s character would have been one of those women, except that she was lucky enough to not only get a cheater, but a bonafide sociopath who had somewhere between 5 and 7 side chicks and was running an embezzlement scam on the start-up companies he procured funding for. Yeah, you’re right… lucky isn’t the right word, but I hesitate to use “stupid.” That’s just not fair.
Regardless of the proper wording, I highly doubt I would ever end up in a situation as extreme as that, which would make it all the more difficult to get out if he started cheating- especially if that’s all he did wrong. Imagine you have the perfect man- has a job, would make a great father, dotes on you, respects your opinions, ain’t too shabby to look at, but, uh-oh… he couldn’t control mini-me down there from wandering over to little Ms. Bigger-Breasts-Than-Yours at his office.
So, then we come to the age-old question of whether or not monogamy is actually human nature, because you have wonder why a guy like that could treat you so good, and then go and do that to you. Maybe it’s just a perspective given to us in order to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and to maintain the ideal of the “perfect family” that advertisers have been shoving down our throats since day one. Personally, I love monogamy, but biologically speaking, our forms are not designed for it. I mean, what use does one woman have for a billion sperm? She doesn’t even have that many eggs. Personally, I shudder at the thought of giving birth to even half the amount of eggs I carry in my uterus. No, thank you.
But does that mean that the majority of marriages will be forced to exist with some form of cheating in the picture? Perhaps, if people get married too quickly, or before they’re not ready. Marriage is something that should happen only when both involved individuals have reached their peak maturity, which is a different age for everyone. Only then can both parties be ready to settle down and just enjoy each other without having to bother to look elsewhere.
The problem for me is that once I find the person who is supposed to be my soulmate, that’s it for me. I won’t be looking ever again. That means that if I marry him before he is ready and he cheats on me, I honestly don’t know what I would do. Would I leave him? In my position, most of the women that I know would. They would be disgusted with his treatment of them, take it as a sign of his contempt of their feelings, and kick him to the curb. But for me, objectively looking at this potentially futuristic situation, I don’t know if I could do that. After living happily for so many years with a man, how do you go back to a life alone? Wouldn’t you want to try to work it out?
They say once a cheater, always a cheater, but I think that really depends on your reaction to the cheating. A man, in a lot of ways, is like a child. When a child lies to you and you have to discipline them, you don’t say, once a liar, always a liar. You, as the parent, understand that the first transgression of all addictive problems is the perfect place to nip anything in the bud. If your child lies to you and you let them get away with it with little to no punishment, they will do it again, and again, and again. However, if your child lies to you and you bend them over your knee, smack the hell out of their bottom and then take away their toys for the next month, I bet you anything they think twice before lying to you again.
If you catch your husband on his first transgression, treat him like your child and discipline the hell out of him. You know your man, you know what works… pull out all of your stops. I’ll give you an example- a woman I know caught her husband cheating on her. They had kids together, and she didn’t want to leave him; she loved him. So, she didn’t tell him she knew, but instead, waited until he was asleep one night, and then sewed the sheets of the bed into a cocoon around him. She woke him up by pouring boiling water on his private parts and daring him to try cheating on her again. Trust me, he didn’t. Obviously, this is a ridiculously extreme example; but, like I said before, you know your man… you know what works. In all honesty, though, if you got a guy like Leslie Mann’s in The Other Woman, that one is beyond training. That’s not a child needing to be molded; that’s an eighteen year old kid on drugs who steals from his mama’s purse and beats up little kids on the sidewalk for their lunch money to feed his habit. That one needs to be cut loose and sent to rehab.
With this perspective, I feel a little bit better about my understanding of myself. I firmly believe that what you allow is what will continue. The husbands that cheat over and over again do so because their environment allows it. Sometimes it is because their woman is too afraid of being alone that they let them get away with the worst things, and sometimes it’s because their woman is oblivious to their indiscretions.
As a woman, you have to stand up for what is right in your own soul. You have to be ready to deal with the fall-out of your disciplinary actions, and you have to know yourself well enough to only do what you can handle. Decide what’s worse: short term discomfort now while you deal with the cheating and the lies, or long term discomfort later when you’re living your life knowing that you’re forced to share the one you love with another?
Sheesh. Well, when I put it that way, I convinced myself. I take what I said earlier back. I’ll be damned if I ever become a victim. Sure, I might mess up and marry a guy that doesn’t treat me right, but I’ll never be a victim.
In fact, hey, you… yes, you, my future husband. I dare you to cheat on me. That’s right, you heard me… I dare you. Because, truth be told, if you married me, then chances are you know what will happen if you cheat on me… and I doubt you’d wanna put yourself through that.
Love you, baby. 😉