Who is to Blame When Men Stray
Should Women Shoulder the Blame?
I recently ran across a quote in a national magazine that was perhaps the saddest I have every read. Running through a national magazine for women, I recently ran across an article regarding the narratives of a dozen women who had discovered their partners had cheated.
In half the cases, the women stayed; in the other half, they left. Women who left did so for a variety reasons including pride, mental health, anticipation of a future filled with children and insecurity. Women who stayed did so because of pride, mental health or the anticipation of a future filled with children and security. Love becomes a huge issue in all cases.
And no matter who insulated a woman might feel regarding her relationship, statistics indicate that one in five women will be cheated upon. To further emphasize the point, the magazine quoted famous women who had been cheated upon. Women like Uma Thurman and Sandra Bullock noted that they had moved on with their lives. Kathy Lee Gifford said her husband Frank Gifford's cheating ultimately saved their marriage.
But the most heart wrenching was that of Silda Sptizer who allegedly confided to a family friend after the prostitution scandal of her politician husband, Elliott, "This is my failing. I wasn't adequate".
Every woman who has ever heard from a cheated upon friend has heard that woman quietly voice her concerns about insecurities and inadequacies. Silda Spitzer simply revoiced the chant of cheaters world-wide. "It's not me, It's you."
Cheaters cheat for a variety of reasons, their own insecurity, conquest, lack of a moral compass, but their reasons never include being forced to cheat by their partner.
What often does happen is that cheaters work away at the confidence of their partners, owning up to their infidelities of their own, but blaming their partners. As the partners are weakened, they find it easier and easier to cheat and easier and easier to blame. But when the victim becomes convinced it is their fault, she or he begins to spout the blame line.
This isn't the role model we want for our children. As the wife of a high=profile elected officials who was caught in a prostitution scandal, we should expect more. And personally, she should expect more of herself. Has she taken a moment to consider how such a statement might affect her children's outlook.
As friends, as individuals committed to healthy relationships or seeking them; as women who respect themselves or the men who love such women, it becomes imperative that we stop the blame game and address the cheating. Place the blame where the blame belongs. With the person who cannot keep his or her commitment or walk away.
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