Infidelity and Cheating. Why They Are Gendered.
Infidelity - Heartbreaking, Sneaky & Tragic
The Sanford-Townsend Band, in 1977 came up with this memorable song. A kind of poetry set to music, the imagery was unforgettable, as you could sense that upon hearing it, everyone was thinking about a lover, or mate having a teary state, but tears that came from a person or relationship from somewhere else.
How about it? Do your eyes have a mist from the smoke of a distant fire? And if they do, are you a man or a woman? For there is a difference as to why there are gender differences in the smoke from the distant fire.
Infidelity is not Always How We Imagine it to Be
It is easy to characterize infidelity in its final unfoldment. The wanton secret sexual encounter in a motel, swapping spit at a party across town, spending way too long at a drinking lunch where the lunch is supposed to be discreet, but you drink your paycheck and embarrass yourselves in a memorable way.
Sure, that's how we joke about infidelity; that's how we see it on TV shows, or reality programs about private eyes on the prowl for wild secret sex. We see infidelity like it shows up on Starz or an over the top representation of "office life" or what its like to travel when no one knows who you both are.
Infidelity and its images inhabit our Loins and our "Lower Brains".
And yet, when you think about heartfelt romance and truly beautiful relationships, you go beyond these cartoon characterizations. You realize that infidelity starts with:
1) Lingering Glances
2) Conversations that seem strangely boring and yet the two of your are magnetized.
3) Going to church to see a key person who continues to intrigue you.
4) Talking to someone who you know they know, so you can make them suffer.
5) Becoming very close with an office friend after the office party turned into a "bash".
6) Arranging for get togethers that are not normal but they do help you meet someone.
7) Bowling, and you have never bowled, not to "network" but to explore an opportunity.
Infidelity can be heartbreaking and sneaky. It can be tragic, but also wildly irresponsible. An article from HealthNewsDigest shines a light on infidelity because in fact it is a phenomenon separate from the idea that it ALWAYS ENDS IN DIVORCE. In fact it does not, but as it does not always lead to divorce, it is loaded with other psychological and social problems.
The Differences Between How and Why Men and Women Cheat
Men don’t cheat because someone prettier comes along (although she may act sexier). They cheat because they can, and they are not thinking of the consequences.
Male impulsivity is legendary and if they are truly trying to make things "happen", they probably will, as opposed to a woman. This kind of cheating would appear to be largely the "fault" of the male.
Women also cheat. They cheat because they become involved with someone emotionally. They rationalize to themselves that this person cares for them and is able to connect to them and their current partner cannot.
If a woman feels emotionally deprived, or cut off from an emotional fulfilling life, she is not liable to disclose that to the main cause of that emotional deprivation. If a man is truly unaware of her state, he will probably be "surprised" upon finding out.
Women will rarely cheat without having a relationship, but men don’t necessarily need a relationship to cheat.
Women more commonly cheat upwards (economically and/or socially) whereas many men cheat downwards (the person they cheat with many times is not educated or at the level their wife is with years of school or income).
The "Smoke of a Distant Fire" then is about the Emotionally Deprived Female trying to deal with the fact that she is not connected anymore. The lyrics have the bitterness and pain that many songs hold. But as it is read, we can all relate to the fact that infidelity seldom has lots of good benefits. In a way, it is a result of a big bad available world, and the preponderance of the modern concept of "freedom". And since we tend not to have formal duels anymore over infidelity, we tend to experiment in the open quality of western civilization. And yet --- there is still plenty of violence associated with it.
Since infidelity is not a crime per se, perhaps we could all in our celebration of individual freedom, pray a little prayer everyday that what is sanctified to us will remain so.
The next warning I would insert is that these emotional and physical transactions seldom reap great harvests, but most usually exact tremendous pain and broken lives.
"You Pulled the Rug Right out from under My Life"
This well crafted song has plenty of imagery in the lyrics:
"You left me here on your way to paradise
You pulled the rug right out from under my life
I know where you goin' to I knew when you came home last night
'Cause your eyes had a mist from the smoke of a distant fire
Lord, I was stunned shoulda' seen it come a long time ago.
When I realized the reality gave me a roll
If things are the same then explain why your kiss is so cold
And that mist in your eyes feels like rain on the fire in my soul."
The last observation is that we should listen closely to the song. The wronged party almost always picks up reasons to suspect, discover and realize the unfortunate and destructive aspects of our adventures.
When a Divorce Does Not Occur
These acts that sometimes upon reflection seem to be remembered with these kinds of words and phrases:
"It was just physical".
"It did not MEAN anything".
"I've Learned so much since then."
"I did not realize how important you were to me."
"That was when I was drinking so much."
"But I did not love her!"
These statements put the historical explanation on the event that everyone wishes would completely go away. But it does not. The most important thing to remember when you are considering something that you will call "just physical" in the future; you should also remember that no matter how much you are forgiven...
THESE THINGS WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.