“Your cheatin' heart will make you weep, you'll cry and cry, and try to sleep, but sleep won't come, the whole night through, your cheatin' heart, will tell on you. When tears come down, like falling rain, you'll toss around, and call my name, you'll walk the floor, the way I do, your cheatin' heart, will tell on you. Your cheatin' heart, will pine some day, and crave the love, you threw away, the time will come, when you'll be blue, your cheatin' heart, will tell on you.” -Hank Williams
Good old Hank. There are lots of songs about cheating, doing the cheating, being cheating on, and the aftermath of cheating. Lots of vengeance songs out there too. What do we think of cheaters?
When the scandal of Arnold Schwarzenegger first broke a few weeks ago, I thought to myself, Arnold is a dirty pigman. I wasn’t surprised, but just sort of disgusted. This man not only cheated on his wife Maria Shriver with their live in domestic worker, but also fathered a child. I was overcome with a feeling of ‘Dude, you can’t take it outside? You had fuck the help?’ It is just so… unseemly. However, Arnold as grimy as he is, is in “good” company.
New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is in the middle of a scandal that will likely destroy any his future political aspirations. It’s a shame, that he is basically tossing away his very promising career, because he can’t NOT send pictures of his little Mr. Man to various women on the internet. Is a little self control to much to ask Anthony?
A few more names come to mind when I think of cheating; Elliot Sptizer, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Gene Simmons, John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John McCain, Michael Jordon, Rudy Giuliani, Morgan Freeman, Prince Charles, James Cameron, Jesse James and Tiger Woods have not only cheated, but gotten caught doing so.
The question is why do men cheat? Yes, of course women cheat, however since I am a woman, who deals with men and this is my post on my blog, we’re going to talk about men who cheat. My own unscientific poll tells me that most men cheat. Almost every woman I know and every woman I asked if they have ever had a husband/boyfriend cheat on them answered yes. I remember years ago during that whole Clinton/ Lewinsky debacle, the topic came up at a dinner party. Mind you I was with my boyfriend at that time. I said something like well all men poke around so I’m not surprised. The men in the room were surprised at that statement. I got a lot of “April I’ve never…” Maybe those guys didn’t (I doubt that) but many many men do or have. It seems to me that many men, again, maybe not ALL, but many, maybe even most men cheat. By now you know that I Google everything. It’s my go to response. Don’t know? Google. I thought it might be interesting to Google just that, “Why do men cheat”? I started to type in Why do…and the men cheat part populated for me. Clearly enough people do so that the good people at Google deemed it prudent to populate the question for us.
The effects of cheating are significant and far reaching. It causes significant damage to your family, your relationship and how other people view you. We live in an age where people can send images of themselves across the country, across the world. Is that cheating? I don’t know. But I’m sure that Weiner’s wife thinks that it is cheating. I’m sure she feels violated. I have a friend whose husband spent an inordinate amount of time sexting and sex skyping and sex-IM-ing as well as sending pictures of HIS little Mr. Man. I can assure you she feels cheated on and violated.
I came across some information from M.Gary Neuman, who is according to his website is a “licensed psychotherapist and rabbi” as well as Oprah’s main expert on all things cheating. He says that that basically one in three men cheat. One in three. Further, the wife (girlfriend, partner) will never know about it. As a woman who has been cheated on, the question of course is why? While I think we know this, but the answer isn’t sex. Most men said that it was an emotional disconnection. A sense of feeling underappreciated. Hmph. Again, as a woman who adored the man that she was with, as woman who showed him every way I knew how that I loved him and wanted him and appreciated him (for frankly doing nothing) this statement makes me angry. It seems to put the ownership on the woman. Like we don’t do enough to make you feel good about being the big strong man. Sigh. Perhaps I am still feeling scorned. Here is a little lesson. Life gets in the way. We should never take each other for granted, however the garbage needs taking out, the kids diapers need to be changed, dinner needs to be made and the laundry folded and put away. I don’t always have time to say thank you. This does not mean I don’t love you. It means I’m busy taking care of our life. You should not use that as an excuse to philander.
I mean it when I say that cheating is far reaching. My father is a serial cheater or at least he was—he’s getting a little long in the tooth now and is not as handsome or charming as he once was. His cheating affected our family terribly. It affected the way I feel about him. It’s affected the way I interact men. Once after a woman called our house and left the vilest of vile messages on our machine, I took it upon myself to toss him out. I was disgusted, disappointed and so angry. Like really? Its one thing to do what you do outside, quite another to let the garbage come into your home. You hate your wife? Fine. But your job as a father is to protect your kids. My brother was 8. I was 17. Fuck you Daddy. Get out. (Which is pretty much what I said) My mother did nothing, said nothing and eventually took him back. I have remained resentful of this my entire life.
As long as there have been committed relationships there have been people who violate them. I don’t think there is cure for this one.