Sentimental Sunday: Would You Stay With A Cheater?
It’s summertime — you know what that means. Everyone is breaking up! Engaged for only about six months, Jesse James and Kat Von D both separately confirmed the split. On July 25 she tweeted: “I am no longer w Jesse, and out of respect for him, his family and myself, that’s all the info I’d like to share. Thanks for respecting that.” A few days later she blogs about the break-up saying, “none of this happened overnight.” Jesse, on the other hand, gave People magazine a reason to why they ended things. “I’m so sad because I really love her. The distance between us was just too much.”
But what do you usually think about a long-distance relationship falling apart? You find fillers to take care of your carnal needs. Especially in Jesse’s case, he’s got a history of cheating after the whole dilemma with Sandra Bullock. Author of Hot Monogamy and The Truth About Love Pat Love, Ed.D, recalls the saying, “When you are not near the one you love your love the one you’re near.”
How does cheating happen, anyway? Pat believes that “it’s really not about you. This is why infidelity can occur in good marriages.” You can’t think that someone decides to cheat because he or she isn’t happy with the relationship. We might have to dig a little deeper than that. Dr. Paul Zak, neuroscientist and professor at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California, says, “If you look at the way the human body is structured, we have a monogamous brain and promiscuous genitals.” Biologically speaking, our bodies were made to have sex with multiple partners. If society didn’t call it taboo, our entire conception of the traditional family would be lost forever. Scary! I’d rue the day my grandchildren tell me there’s no such thing as ‘cheating.’
So would there be any reason to stay with someone knowing he’s cheated and has full potential to do it again? Why would any rational being be okay with that? Are we just cheating ourselves? Dr. Katz says, “I think humans have this ability like animals to deceive themselves.” Maybe it’s better to live in denial, pretend it never happened. After all, we need to move on and accept things the way they are. Arnold Schwarzenegger will never change. Bill Clinton will never change. Jesse James will definitely never change. But their wives are taking the hit and letting it go. “When you’re with an unfaithful spouse you want to believe they’re faithful so you can feel calm and safe.” says Pat.
But I think there’s something uncanny in pretending to be fully committed when there’s so many obvious facts suggesting otherwise. Dominique Strauss-Kahn‘s wife, Anne Sinclair fought for her husband over the May 2011 accusations on a sexual assault in New York City. There must be more to a relationship than monogamy or we’re looking at a gloomy future. Pat advises, “It’s all about integrity. What’s your promise to each other? It may not include sexual fidelity but it can still have integrity.” I understand that we all make mistakes and it’s good that infidelity is more like a slap-on-the-wrist rather than the traditional neighborhood riot banishing you out of your own home. But what would be the new foundation for a relationship? Is it purely subjective to each individual or should we have a standard?
According to Newsweek, when confronted about Dominique’s ‘skirt-chasing’ ways, his wife was reported to have said either “That’s my problem, not yours,” or “I’ll change you.” She’s clearly taking her role as the wife in its traditional sense and will support her husband completely. Anne even continues to say, “He’s a seducer, not a rapist.” If she signed up for this from the get-go, can we really be surprised about this behavior? At first I figured she had a lot of control over her marriage and was content with the infidelity. But now I’m beginning to worry that this will set the example for more infidelity tolerance in relationships. How will we behave? On this situation Dr. Zak argues, “She’s accepted this quirk of biology which that people, lots of people will have multiple sexual partners in the lifetime and often when married.”
According to the 2007 Pew Research Study, a margin of three to one Americans believe that marriage is for personal fulfillment not for the
bearing and raising of children. I guess sticking to one partner might only be half the battle these days. Dr. Zak suggests, “I think we should be humble and accepting that people’s life situations are different from ours, and that we may never understand why we would come to the accommodations that we come to.” So we’re back to square one. It’s really a matter of preference whether or not you should stick with someone who is cheating on you. It looks like we’re on our own on this battle!
Until next time! Follow @missamandachen