I don’t really have the heart to write a post with the above title, not even in sarcasm as I intend. If I did, it would be about how all women do this or that. How we men can always count on women to behave in a certain predictable way. Something about shoes or chocolate or something similarly condescending and disrespectful.
I can however go to any number of blogs written by women and find plenty of posts and comments about men, which if I reversed the genders and posted here would probably alienate every last follower I had. Why is that, I wonder.
Part of it is that most of my readers are women (thanks for reading, ladies!). Just based on the commenters, probably 90% of my readership is female. Of those, I’d say the breakdown is somewhere around 60-40 or 70-30 Betrayed Spouses to Other Women, with maybe handful of percents reserved for the readers who follow for the mental health stuff.
So I’d say another big part of it is that a majority or close to a majority of my readers are betrayed women. Hearing me, a man and a reformed cheater, say something like “That’s women for you. They’re so predictable and pathetic!” would be pretty damn offensive.
Actually I don’t need to qualify it. That kind of comment should be offensive to everyone, regardless of who is saying it or whom it is said about. So why is it acceptable for people to say “Men are so stupid!”, “They’re so predictable!”, etc? Let’s even be charitable and say these comments are meant for recovering cheaters. Does that make this kind of casual sexism okay? Is this really what you want to say to or about men who are trying to do the right thing? Even if they aren’t doing the right thing, is this the way to induce them to repent – by insulting them?
And then there’s the name-calling. I understand there are things we say when we’re mad that we wouldn’t normally say. But there’s certain things that should never be said. I have been really mad at my wife before. Nevermind the reasons why, but I’ve been mad enough that it’s strained my self-control. However, I’ve never hit my wife. I’ve also never called her fat or stupid, and to my knowledge I’ve never called her a bitch. Those names, especially the first two, would hurt her more than a black eye would. If I had ever called her those names to Scarlet during the affair, that almost certainly would have sealed our fate.
Likewise, my wife has had good cause to be furious with me, but she has never called me a pussy or a bitch. She has never said or implied that I am stupid or sexually deficient. She knows that should those words ever escape her mouth directed at me, it would not only hurt me but it would destroy any respect she has ever shown me.
We both have fragile egos, especially when it comes to each other. I suspect most married couples are that way, which is part of why affairs are so intensely destructive.
I’ve written before about the need for hope in the recovery process. Both the wayward spouse and the loyal spouse need hope to get them through. Without hope, why would you try to save your marriage? It’s easily the hardest thing either of us have ever had to do and if we didn’t have hope, we would have thrown in the towel at the start.
Calling each other names, disrespecting each other, running each other down, further betraying trust – all of these things are hope killers. They also will kill what is left of love and respect. So don’t do it – don’t give in to the temptation to lash out in ways you can’t take back.
Fight hard for your marriage. Fight for your spouse. Fight with your spouse. Fight to rebuild your marriage and to drive out the evil in yourselves and in your marriage.
But don’t fight dirty.
Edit: I have not personally been called a name by anyone online (that I know of). Even if I had been, it wouldn’t mean 1/1000th as much as it would if my wife called me a name. Contrary to what some think, this blog isn’t all about them or even about myself. Not anymore at least.