Whatever happened to “till death do us part”?

Day 205 - Stone and Flesh

I had every intention of posting a second installment of my trip to Prague today. Yet sometimes we plan things and fate steps in and leads us in a different direction.

A phone call was responsible for today’s turnaround. A dear friend, distraught and suffering from depression, called to tell me her husband of 15 years had cheated on her.

It’s not the first time I write about divorce, infidelity, or betrayal on this blog. Other posts, while dealing with these subjects, have not been prompted by the sheer outrage I feel today. My friend’s weeping and claim that she is “broken beyond repair,” touched a nerve.

Thinking of her sorrow, I wondered how it was possible she had meant so little to her spouse that he had stepped out on her. To make matters worse, he’d cheated on her with another man. Not that this mattered. After all, betrayal is betrayal and in my opinion, the gender of the other person is irrelevant. Yet my friend did not feel the same way. To her, it mattered immensely.

“Am I so unattractive he had to cheat with a man, Bella?”, she asked sobbing. For the first time in our ten year friendship, I was at a loss for words. Her husband claimed he was straight and that his indiscretion had simply been part of a middle age crisis; the desire to appease a curiosity he’d had for years. I wasn’t buying it and neither was my friend.

It’s important to note that had this man not been married, he would’ve been free to explore any kind of sexual relationship he wanted. However, given this was not the case, his indiscretion was no different from any other tawdry affair.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows how situations like these make me question the “why.”

Why hurt your spouse in this manner?
Why betray her trust?
Why rob her of her self esteem?

Pondering possible answers to these questions lead me to write a letter. A letter to the very person who initiated this pain. I wrote it thinking, not only of my friend, but in all the women who’ve suffered before her and who will sadly follow in her footsteps. As someone who’s gone through a similar experience, I find that its content reflects what the majority of us felt when we made betrayal’s acquaintance.

Dear Cheating Husband,
How dare you betray the woman you promised to love in good times and in bad times? How dare you put yourself first, before the very woman you promised to love and cherish till death do you part?

Were you not aware of the pain your actions would cause? Did your wife’s love mean so little you were willing to sacrifice it for a night of cheap thrills? How could you be so quick to forget the many years she had your back, loved you unconditionally, and took care of you?

How could you stab her in the back when all she ever did was have your children, take care of your home, and help pay the bills? How could you throw away her trust for mere sexual gratification?

How did you expect her to take you back after you lied, cheated, and made her believe she was worthless? Why did you make her believe you were a man of your word, with integrity, and who respected the sanctity of marriage?

How dare you look her in the eye? How dare you tell her to get over it, that it was just one night? How dare you disregard the results of your actions? How dare you expect her to go on like nothing happened?

Shame on you for being so selfish. Shame on you for misleading her into thinking she was your one and only. Shame on you for putting her life at risk when after having sex with a stranger, you came home to have unprotected sex with her.

For now, have your little laugh. Pretend it’s no big deal. Mock her when she cries.

But do not forget karma is unforgiving. She has a way of making her way to those who are callous and inflict pain. Someday you too will experience the hurt and suffering you have caused. Someday you too will feel broken and unable to get on with life. Someday you too will start and end each day asking yourself, why?

Your wife? Hopefully she will no longer be by your side. Hopefully, she will have realized she is worth more than being with a man who didn’t think twice of betraying her. Hopefully, she will be far away, free of your toxicity, living her life in joy, and laughing at the little things.

Only then will you realize the irony–that your betrayal lead to her freedom. The freedom to experience joy the way it was intended.

Attentively,
Just another survivor

Have you ever felt the pain of betrayal?

XOXO,

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Are these what you call close encounters of the Speedo kind?

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Dear friends,
I’m very excited to finally publish this post. Why? Because it’s due time we all enjoyed a good laugh.

I confess it wasn’t easy to capture these shots. With the Daughter unable to join me this summer, I didn’t have a decoy. As a result, I got the stink eye from avid Speedo wearers on more than one occasion.

However, not one to stray from my mission, I donned a large hat and sunglasses and pretended I was photographing the Mediterranean sea.

Over, and over, and over.

Some of these shots will make you groan, others will make you cringe, and the last one will restore your faith in men’s ability to select appropriate beach wear.

In the past, earlier Speedo posts have been a bit controversial.
Hence, I want to address the issue by stating the following:

To any reader who thinks it’s his or her right to defend Speedos and the men who wear them, I say, don’t bother. Not only because this post is done in good fun, but also because you are never going to convince me there’s a reason for men to go out in public wearing something that resembles an undersized loincloth. As far as I’m concerned, the only man who’s ever been able to pull off a Speedo has been Michael Phelps, and that’s only because he wore it in a tub. So instead of going on a useless crusade, I suggest you sit back, check out the photos, and chuckle to your heart’s content.

Camouflage attire is a must when going on a Speedo mission.
Camouflage attire is a must when going on a Speedo mission.
Glasses and a hat--the perfect way to disguise you and your companion when a Speedo is in attendance.
Glasses and a hat–the perfect way to disguise you and your companion when you’re wearing a Speedo.
This man gave me the stink eye when I captured his self-made Speedo.
This man gave me the stink eye when I captured his self-made Speedo.
Add a bikini top and this man and his wife look like they're wearing twin suits.
Add a bikini top and this man and his wife look like they’re wearing twin suits.
The self-made Speedo--for those times your real Speedo is in the wash.
The self-made Speedo–for those times your real Speedo is in the wash.
I don't know what's more disturbing, the addition of a yellow swim cap or the emerging butt of the blue Speedo user.
I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the addition of a yellow swim cap or the emerging butt of the blue Speedo user.
Not even a tattoo gives this Speedo an edge.
Not even a tattoo gives this Speedo an edge.
Next up, the  Speedo and back hair combo.
Next up, the Speedo and back hair combo.
This year's hottest trend--the Speedo boy shorts.
This year’s hottest trend–the Speedo boy shorts.
A large tote bag--something to carry the board shorts he should be wearing, perhaps?
A large tote bag–something to carry the board shorts he should be wearing, perhaps?
When you manage to pry your eyes away from the six pack, I urge you to look at what stylish and appropriate beach wear looks like.
When you manage to pry your eyes away from the six pack, I urge you to look at what stylish and appropriate beach wear looks like.

When and where was your last Speedo encounter?

XOXO,

Could this be the best kept secret?


cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo shared by Skelekitten

Note: Be advised that this post deals with a subject of a sensitive nature.
Dear readers, please read at your discretion.

“I sat there and listened to him. I heard the group of men he was with laugh heartily. The only thing that kept me from outing him was her pleading look across the table. I was outraged, Bella. Disgusted. And to think this poor woman may not be alone; that other women might find themselves in this circumstance.

Ever since you were ten, I’ve heard you quote, ‘knowledge is power.” Well, don’t you want to know if this is the best kept secret in the world? Don’t you want to debunk the myth? Isn’t it, like you say, your ‘civic duty’ to create awareness?”

“Yes, but my readership is mainly composed of women.”

“So what? Don’t you think it will help women like Betty? Don’t you think it will help her feel better to know that she is not alone? That this has nothing to do with her?”

While I love to write what I hope are humorous posts, I also like to address subjects that I feel strongly about.

The introduction to this post is an excerpt of a conversation I had with my sister. She was recently invited to dinner at a friend’s house and had witnessed her friend’s husband joking with his friends over his frustration of “not getting any.”

Not only did my sister find his public disclosure of lack of intimacy with his wife distasteful, she also knew he was lying. A week before, her friend Betty had mentioned she hadn’t had sex with her husband in six months.

The reason? He wasn’t interested.

However, when in the company of other men, Betty’s husband had felt the need to make light of the situation and blame her for their non-existent sex life.

Sex starved women.

As a society, we’ve been conditioned to believe that men are always ready for sex; that testosterone drives them to have intercourse so they can reproduce, spread their seed, because it’s in their nature.

Boys will be boys.
He’s a man, for God’s sake.
Men just can’t help themselves.
Testosterone fuels their desire.

We hear this constantly.
Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with the notion that men are sex machines.

Yet my sister will attest to the fact that the group of women who sat huddled in Betty’s family room are of a different opinion.

Every one of them complained that their husbands always had an excuse for not having sex.

Yes, folks, for not having sex.

They were too tired.
Too stressed.
Worried about work.
Not in the mood.
Thought it was too much work.
Didn’t have the energy for it.

Healthy men.
Men who were not having affairs.
Men who were not suffering from depression.
Men who were not substituting sex with porn.
Men who were simply not interested in having sex with their wives.

The result?

Women who felt rejected.
Women who thought it was their fault.
Who thought that it was because they weren’t sexy enough.
Who thought they weren’t desirable.
Who thought it was because they’d gained weight, gotten older, gotten grayer.
Women who felt unworthy.
Women who were trapped in a relationship with a man who was nothing more than a roommate.

This post leads us to ask many questions.

Why do we continue to fall prey to the myth that men are the only ones who are sex starved?

What is causing men to lose interest in sex?

What compels men to lie about their lack of sexual libido?

How can women deal with the feelings of rejection and the insecurities that surface as a result of living in these circumstances?

Why isn’t this being discussed more openly?

Why is the only suggestion given, “talk to your husband” when clearly men do not want to discuss the issue?

Is partner celibacy more of a reality than we think it is?

Today’s post is meant to fuel conversation around these topics.
Intelligent and respectful feedback will not only help us discover possible answers, it will also help determine if Betty is alone in her predicament or if more women are also dealing with this problem.

Your input is most appreciated.
I have allowed for anonymous comments on this post so those who wish to share their thoughts but not their identity can participate.
Please note that I reserve the right to delete any comment I feel is not relevant to the discussion.

What say you, friends?

XOXO,

Names have been changed to protect the innocent.