“ A relationship can never go back to the way it was after infidelity, nor should it since the affair grew out of the way it was. But it can go forward to a much deeper, committed and fuller love than before” Dr Salvatore Benanti.
When I asked the question why men cheat I actually anticipated some of the answers I got.
A lot of men (Christian and otherwise) believe that it’s in man’s inherent nature to cheat and some even see it as a God given assignment, after all there are more women than men so they must fulfill their quota to ensure that women have children, do not feel lonely, are supported financially and they do this by sowing their wild oats around forgetting they had sworn fidelity to one woman .
Today’s men are envious of their fathers and ancestors who had more than one wife and they regale themselves with tales of how heroic their fathers were and how they dealt with their women. They look back with nostalgia at the times when it was acceptable for men to have multiple partners without being scandalized.
They bemoan their times and what Christianity, education, financial independence has wrought in women making them demand and insist on fidelity from their men. They all agree that it is increasingly difficult to get away with cheating on their wives like their fathers did and that their had fathers enjoyed life on their behalf.
Interestingly, all the men considered it a terrible thing for their women to cheat on them. They all saw it as shameful and were united in declaring that they will have nothing to do with a woman who cheats on them. Their argument was that infidelity when committed by the woman is an unpardonable sin and shuddered at the thought of another man being affectionate towards their woman.
When asked why, they said Man is territorial by nature and like a lion cannot bear the presence of another within his territory. Most men fail to realize that women are territorial also, that, they too can hardly bear to think of another woman seeing their men’s most private parts or their men looking at another woman the way they look at them when they make love to.
They say casual sex doesn’t mean much to men, that he sees it as a natural urge that doesn’t tug at his heart, they believe that for a woman to have an affair, she must have an emotional attachment to her partner and that her affairs are not casual . They however forget that women can also be casual about sex. After all, prostitutes don’t fall in love with their customers.
Women are deeply affected when their lovers have affairs and I dare say that they feel it just as men do if not more.
The first thing infidelity does to a woman is to make her doubt herself. You see, she knows intuitively that something is on and although she may not have any evidence her intuition is strong. When she ventures albeit tentatively to ask her partner and he tells a lie, says she is imagining things or being paranoid it heightens her self doubt. This sense of self doubt is so intense that most times when the truth comes out to the open, her first emotion is that of relief that what she sensed was true and that she is not crazy after all.
When her fears are confirmed, it brings about a loss of self esteem. She feels ashamed, inadequate, embarrassed at not being able to keep her man. She begins to question herself, her beliefs, her looks, her partner and their relationship. She begins to ask herself if what she believed about her partner and their relationship was true and what her partner really thinks about her and their relationship. If she stays with him afterwards, she wonders during their lovemaking if she satisfies him as much as the other women or if he wished she was the other woman.
She will feel anger so strong that if not handled well might destroy them both. Anger that she may have been a laughing stock amongst the man’s circle – his new found love, friends and family who were in the know. Anger towards the man for betraying her trust, anger towards herself for trusting too much and allowing herself to be in the position she now finds herself. Anger is a powerful emotion and she could find herself doing things she had hitherto never thought herself capable of doing. E.g murder, taking revenge by cheating, destroying property etc
Finally, she becomes resolute, for in accepting her realities, she hardens her heart and steels herself, building a wall around her emotions and inner being. She becomes self aware, more independent and calculating. She begins to take ownership of her life, emotions and finances. It may take her months or years to get over her pain and she may even stay and forgive her partner but…one part of her will always be in a place where no one will ever reach.
Most men, are usually surprised by their partners reaction especially when they insist the affair meant nothing to them. They have said sorry, have apologized and feel remorseful about their actions so they tend to become impatient when she doesn’t get over it as soon as they want. Some even think their women should be glad they came back to them. They forget that trust once broken takes a long while to rebuild and that the standards expected from them are higher and more demanding than before. They become irritated when she begins to second guess their every move, when out of the blue she unexpectedly starts to weep and ask questions like: what made you do it? Do you prefer her to me? What were you thinking? What styles did you do?
They hate having to explain their every movement and having their every action scrutinized and evaluated, they expect her to trust them not knowing that she can’t any more because as far as she is concerned he has become a stranger, someone she really doesn’t know.
Infidelity can make a woman stoic, stronger, more self aware, more independent and mature but it can also make her crazy, bitter, revengeful and murderous. From experience, I have noticed that it makes most men regretful especially in old age and ill health when she becomes his main caregiver and his expectations that she will be solely attentive to his needs are dashed as she has found other interests in life and becomes mildly irritated by his constant need for her having sowed his oats in his youth.