Sunday, August 31, 2008

Post No. 39: I Can't Believe You Did That - Now That You Have

© 2008, The Institute for Applied Common Sense

By Guest Author, The Laughingman

To my colleague, The Logistician, in response to your earlier post about “Why Men Cheat” (http://theviewfromoutsidemytinywindow.blogspot.com/2008/08/post-no-37-why-men-cheat-definitive.html), and the much needed Addendum (http://theviewfromoutsidemytinywindow.blogspot.com/2008/08/post-no-37a-addendum-to-why-men-cheat.html), both of which were generated in the wake of the John Edwards scandal:

You are either a very brave man, or a man full of that substance that makes us all better drivers, to take this subject on. Blissful monogamy is a man-made myth, based on an economic system idea that went comatose just about the time we started fighting "World Wars."

When I first read your piece, the first thing that came to mind was that “everybody does everything with somebody sometime.” How we respond to questions in the public arena is a different thing. We are animals, and genetically hard wired to respond, sexually, to some pretty strange stuff. Promiscuity protects our gene pool from annihilation from any particularly pesky, gene targeted bug. Sex itself evolved as a defense against such nasty little beasties.

With the boy and the girl of our species now approaching parity in their ability to provide for their off spring, and with the help of a plethora of misanthropic government programs, the male is fast being relegated to freelancer status.

Remember Murphy Brown?

Unfortunately, public policy having now nearly eliminated the demand for cheap menial labor, we are stuck with a welfare system that fosters the increased production of such, and comes close to prohibiting the creation of low income, two parent, households.

Don't take my word for it...spend a couple of afternoons watching the pathetic representatives of our "lower middle class," taking each other to court over cell phone bills and utility sharing agreements, in order to reap their revenge publicly, and simultaneously collect their 15 minutes of fame on day-time TV.

Even worse, many of the participants see this public pageant of promiscuity as a modern day dating game.

I include Donald and Ivana Trump as examples of all the above.

And all of these people vote...although I'm not sure about Ivana.

Monogamy is no God given right. It is the product of a functional partnership, which can only exist in an atmosphere of genuine trust...the popularity of same being inversely proportional to the demand for lawyers.

Oddly enough, in this era of damn near universal visual surveillance, most of us still think we can get away with damn near anything, without getting caught.

Not. That a show such as “Cheaters” exists, and these purported “partners” continue to frolic and cavort, tells you something.

And when the bell tolls, men honestly defend all this as a harmless following of preternatural instincts.

Women see it as a betrayal of a basic (and financial) trust.

But on day-time TV, roughly half the woman can't accurately identify the father of their children.

And it is nobody's fault - but our own.

Since very few readers of your tome appeared to get your point, I’ll make it for you, my friend. If we spent a little more time talking to our partners about what we considered a partnership; if we better appreciated the breadth of the dynamics involved; if we were just a little more honest while talking; or even considered inviting one's spouse along, when an extramarital sexual opportunity presents itself, we could cut the divorce rate in half.

(Not likely to happen...we are also genetically hard wired to keep our own genes safe...and well fed...which is why Bears and Lions kill the cubs in their proximity they know are not their own.)

Unfortunately, we might also cut the marriage (and the progeny production rate as well) in half...too.

But, we are going to have to change something, and the genetic drive that spurs us on to survive as a species may not be the best place to start.Your piece certainly got the conversation going.

Thanks...

© 2008, The Institute for Applied Common Sense

6 comments:

  1. © 2008, the Institute for Applied Common Sense

    Everything, everything, everything that we do as humans is governed and processed by the brain, a living organism. Consequently, every human action is biological in origin.

    Many of you missed the furor caused by the posting of our article, “Why Men Cheat,” on a discussion board sponsored by a popular blog community. They ultimately shut down the discussion stating that although they supported free speech, the subject matter was “too inflammatory.”

    People were angry, primarily women, because they thought that cheating was caused by mere "selfishness." Interestingly, one male reader confidently admitted that he had cheated on all of his past girlfriends, and then clearly attributed it to "selfishness," as if his declaration might somehow get him some play from some impressed female readers.

    Of course it's caused by selfishness, Watson; but selfishness is a function of the brain and DNA. It's part of the survival mechanism in operation as witnessed when everyone, during a crisis, is running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

    Only through "training" and discussions, BEFORE that selfish gene kicks in, can we as humans expect to nip cheating in the bud. It's no different than the training (perhaps in nature but not in purpose) in which the military engages before its soldiers go to real war, out of the hope that they will not panic or do something irrational, or the training of police officers before they approach their urban war zones, for the same reasons.

    There's a certain degree of arrogance which those of us in modern Western society exhibit with relation to Nature, as if it is a force separate and apart from who we are. Additionally, we seem to think that we can control all things physical.

    Do we really think that we can always control ourselves under any circumstances? Oh yeah, how many times have you heard, "We can place a man on the moon but we can't ...

    The human brain, even when coupled with this notion called "conscience," can be a pretty nasty, evil beast, even in the best of us. That innate drive for revenge was very apparent when the Allied forces were close to winning the war in the South Pacific. Were it not for the filming, of Allied atrocities against the captured Japanese soon-to-be prisoners of war, by an American war correspondent, showing American brutality at its worst, and in violation of the canons of decency and international law, you wouldn't have believed it.

    In fact, we don't like to talk about that side of our personality because we don't like to think that reasonable, civilized folks can go there. Well we can, just like virtually any man can potentially find himself given the proper cheating circumstances.

    Getting back to the "training" of couples, perhaps we should consider role playing, or some other mechanism, to prepare men and women for potential cheating circumstances. Can you imagine it? Yeah, we can hear the comments now, "My baby wouldn't cheat. We have a great relationship!" “I’m not going to participate in that BS.”

    Cheating is the culmination of a string of prior events, some benign, some not as much. Recognizing and talking about them might be helpful if the responsive acrimony does not kill the suicide bomber while there is still some time left on the timer connected to the blasting cap.

    What we're currently doing ain't working. Last time we checked, it appeared as though infidelity continues to be on the increase, not the decrease.

    © 2008, the Institute for Applied Common Sense

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are indeed brave souls for entering this discussion. As I am foolish for saying publicly what I am about to say. Here goes:

    It is the fault of women that there is cheating. (Unless of course the man cheating is with another man - but I'm not going there.)

    Ok, there I said it, for those of you still willing to read on, let me elaborate.

    For proof we can start with the Bible - It was Eve's cheating that caused the problems for Adam and their relationships.

    Second: If a woman (married or single) were not willing to hook up with a married man (or one in a relationship) the man's opportunity to cheat would not exist. (Unless Rape is involved - but that is criminal and not the subject here.)

    Third: The fact that biological urges exist for both male and female, it is important that those needs be met within the relationship to minimize the need to look outside. In most cases the women is biologically more likely to have a decrease sexual desire later in a relationship due to the normal life changes affecting her hormonal make up. Obviously, this is not her "fault" but can lead to her spouse acting upon the opportunities presented by the other women discussed above.

    There are obviously exceptions to this observation in that the "cheater" should not have been in the relationship in the first place. Another exception is the “lying cheater” (one who withholds the fact that he is married or in a relationship). But as Laughingman suggests this is likely due to events occurring within the relationship before the opportunity presented itself.

    It is my opinion that in order to reduce the divorce rate associated with cheating, women should ban together to ostracize those women who would lay with their boyfriends or husbands. Sort of like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) – could be Wives Against Cheating Sisters (WACS). I think historically society has tried similar solutions with some success – I am referring to the use of the Scarlet Letter. (A)

    As my first proof suggests, society’s movement away from the moral tenants of religion may have a lot to do with the epidemic of failed relationships as well as the acceptance (even on daytime TV) of extramarital affairs, out of wedlock sexual behavior and the moral decay of our society. Individual freedom (especially for women) untethered to a religious moral code of conduct will lead to the “whatever feels good at the moment” decision making regarding sex. The use of contraceptives and availability of abortion on demand minimizes the risk of unintended pregnancy that could result from the encounter. This sexual freedom has had significant effect on the stability of marriages and other relationships, as women now have greater choice over whom they select to have sexual relations.

    Ok Chicks – let me have it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As with solving any problem, it is not the number of approaches, nor the intensity or passion connected with the approach, but rather picking the approach that most closely and effectively confronts the underlying issue. As long as we deny that it is at least partly biological, and look for an explanation outside of the human body (just think about that), a solution will continue to elude us. Quite frankly, in thinking about this subject matter further over the past 5 days or so, I imagine that lots of folks think that it is the Devil (an outside, non-human force and separate from the human body) working his magic, or God testing our faith. Even then, the human brain and therefore biology will dictate the human response. Don’t see how we can manage to ignore biology at least to some extent. Got to deal with it.

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  4. Coop: There are many things on which we agree; however, this is not one of them. I believe that men are primarily at fault and responsible for infidelity, but not for the most obvious reasons. Since the original posting of "Why Men Cheat," I have either spoken to, or received e-mails from, scores of men who indicated that the article was right on the money, but also admitted that they would never tell a woman the truth, out of concern that it would create conflict. Is it any surprise that women are seriously angry when the betrayal occurs? Actually, I'm not sure that it would actually help, but how about a little more honesty on the front end?

    ReplyDelete
  5. According to Dr. Gregory House:

    Female marathon runner presents to Dr. House.

    The woman indicates that despite her extensive training, she continues to gain weight.

    House asks her to raise her arms.

    House informs her that she has a “parasite.”

    The woman inquires as to whether it can be treated.

    House indicates that yes, perhaps for about another month in some states, but after that the treatment is illegal almost everywhere.

    The woman exclaims, “What am I going to do?”

    House asks her to sit back and pull up her top.

    Dr. House states that some women actually become quite fond of this parasite, dress it up, and even give it names.

    He puts the ultrasound tabs on her stomach, directs her attention to the screen, and says that the parasite has her eyes.

    The woman says, “Oh no, I can’t be pregnant,” I have a birth control implant.

    Dr. House says that he noted that when he asked her to lift her arms, and saw the implant scar.

    She further explains that five months before she and her husband had a big fight, and in a moment of passion, she slept with her former boyfriend - one time.

    House inquires as to whether the two potential fathers look roughly the same.

    The woman thinks about it for a minute and says, “Sorta,” to which House responds that she can have the baby and no one will ever know the difference.

    To which the woman says, “That would be lying.”

    To which Dr. House responds, “The most successful marriages are based on lies.”

    ReplyDelete
  6. As with solving any problem, it is not the number of approaches, nor the intensity or passion connected with the approach, but rather picking the approach that most closely and effectively confronts the underlying issue. As long as we deny that it is at least partly biological, and look for an explanation outside of the human body (just think about that), a solution will continue to elude us. Quite frankly, in thinking about this subject matter further over the past 5 days or so, I imagine that lots of folks think that it is the Devil (an outside, non-human force and separate from the human body) working his magic, or God testing our faith. Even then, the human brain and therefore biology will dictate the human response. Don’t see how we can manage to ignore biology at least to some extent. Got to deal with it.

    ReplyDelete

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