Friday, 25 November 2016

Playing the field

I can't imagine what it's like to live with a man who's a compulsive flirt and womaniser. Whenever he's out of your sight, you must be wondering what he's up to and fearing the worst.

Your suspicions of womanising must intensify if he's a prominent public figure mixing with glamorous women who admire powerful men. Can he resist the endless temptation?

I guess you have several choices. Either you watch him like a hawk and try to prevent any shenanigans, or you accept that's the way he is and adapt to it, or you kiss him goodbye and get him out of your life.

I have no such worries about Jenny, and vice versa. Neither of us have ever been promiscuous and we know there are no shameful confessions in the offing. Old-fashioned maybe but that's how we like it.

It must be almost as bad to live with a man who's insanely jealous and convinced you're having affairs when you're not. My father was always sure my mother was up to something behind his back - not only with men but with women. He simply couldn't believe she was 100 per cent loyal to him and was never enticed by anyone else. He thought she was so attractive that other men must be making advances all the time. She would be hurt and offended by his outrageous accusations, but her angry denials never entirely persuaded him.

It doesn't help that affairs are now considered normal by many people. If you've lived with someone for many years, isn't it natural that you get bored with each other sexually and need a fresh partner to stir up that sluggish libido?

Well, it depends on the couple and their relationship, I guess. To some, looking elsewhere might seem the obvious thing to do. To others, it's a sign the relationship is failing and needs to be reassessed.

Fortunately, not a dilemma I've had to face.


  1. I wonder if President-elect Pussy Grabber will be arrogant enough to move on a woman who is not afraid to bring charges. Wouldn't that be something.

  2. Neither Andy nor I have any worries in this regard. Probably because we're having such a good time playing with our projects/toys. :)

  3. Joanne: Wouldn't that be wonderful? I'm sure a sufficiently determined woman will appear sooner or later and he'll get his come-uppance.

    Jean: You both seem to have more intelligent interests than running after the opposite sex!

  4. I am lucky too as I am monogamous and so is the Prof
    I don't do ambiguity

  5. Nick,
    You are resorting to cliche here and your thinking is sloppy.
    It's not promiscuous people who have affairs, it is unhappy people.
    Affairs are not normal to most people, that's why it's a deal breaker for most of us.
    Affairs are rarely about sexual boredom or sluggish libido.

    I had an affair a very long time ago. It was not a smart response but the situation was tough and I refuse to feel guilty

  6. I can't imagine putting up with that, but then i wonder more about the type of person who stays with someone like that? What could possibly be in it for them?

  7. You and Jenny are a lovely couple.
    My parents set a good example of their love and trust for each other, my in-laws were the same. I am totally relaxed about my husband and he of me and I wish the same for my son.
    Greetings Maria x

  8. John: Ah, a man after my own heart!

    Kylie: That's brave of you to admit you had an affair. I think many people would still want to hide it.

    There must be many reasons why men (or women) have affairs, and it can't always be unhappiness. It could be wanting someone younger, wanting to prove his virility, wanting some sort of sex his regular partner refuses etc etc. I don't think I'm resorting to clich├ęs or sloppy thinking. I'm well aware it's a complicated business with all sorts of odd motives.

  9. Bijoux: The fact that so many women stay with their philandering partners is also a complicated business. It may be because he's powerful, or rich, or generally charming and affectionate, all sorts of things. And I think many women are afraid that if they split up, they won't be strong enough to make a new life for themselves. Hope that isn't too much mansplaining, ha ha!

  10. Maria: Sounds like you're a lovely couple too! Setting an example of love and trust for your children is so important. The consequences of toxic family environments can be seen everywhere you look.

  11. I do want to hide it but I think it needs to be recognised that it not the behaviour of a monster, just a person who fails in one way

  12. Many sources cite ridiculously high percentages on marital infidelity. Tom Smith, a highly respected researcher says,“There are probably more scientifically worthless ‘facts’ on extramarital relations than on any other facet of human behavior.”

    "In a 2006 paper Smith reported: 'The best estimates are that about 3% to 4% of currently married people have a sexual partner besides their spouse in a given year and about 15% to 18% of ever-married people have had a sexual partner other than their spouse while married.'"

    These figures are from surveys done in America, but I suspect the results would be similar for most western countries.

    Neither Karen or I have ever cheated. In the early years, when I was gone on the submarine 3 1/2 months at a time, she had more opportunity than I. Some wives did cheat -- and it almost always was messy -- but I never even had any doubts. On my part, it not so much about whether it was right or wrong. It was how much it would hurt her if she ever found out.

    And cheating is wrong. "According to polls, slightly more than 80% of Americans say that extramarital sexual relations are always wrong."

  13. Kylie: I agree, there's nothing monstrous about it, it's just a human weakness that we could all succumb to if the circumstances led to it.

  14. Mike: I'm sure most of the stats on the subject are unreliable because they rely on self-reporting and on honest responses. There's no way you can physically follow people around to see if they're cheating or not.

    I think that's what deters a lot of people, not wanting to hurt their partner. And if not that, all the secrecy and deception that's involved. I couldn't imagine keeping up that level of deceit day after day.

    As for the 80% of disapprovers, I think you have to bear in mind that what people say and what they do can be rather different. Just look at all those moralistic politicians who suddenly get caught in flagrante!

  15. Wouldn't cross our collective minds. I've heard a few women saying 'I just want a little happiness' to explain having an affair, but wouldn't buying a new handbag be more long term...

  16. Helen: Yes, and a new handbag would be a lot less trouble. No pandering to your bloke's eccentricities, no sneaking about, no need for special sexy lingerie....

  17. People can be promiscuous while they are single and absolutely faithful when partnered. The two are not necessarily correlated.

    I have a hard line on infidelity which includes not only sex outside the relationship, but also (as we've discussed here before) things like strip clubs and pornography. My partner is in agreement and I don't worry at all about what he's doing when he's not with me. But I'd leave a cheater in a heartbeat.

  18. Agent: I guess that's true about promiscuity. And I agree about strip clubs and pornography. I would think finding out that your partner is secretly lusting after other women is bound to be hurtful.

  19. you've heard the trite saying about the 'thunder bolt'... which I do believe. because bob was mine.
    for some blessed fate beyond either of our personal doing... it was literally a great marriage.
    we had so much FUN! we were simply great friends as well as lovers. and maybe that's the most important. even in the last year before he got sick... when I heard his car in the drive I literally got chills of excitement to see him. and that was going on 17 years.
    I would have grown old with him.
    perhaps it worked because we had not just sexual excitement but real true affection for each other. and respect.
    the thought of straying never entered my mind. and if it ever did his ... I never knew about it.

  20. Tammy: That's what Jenny and I have too - true affection and respect, and loads of fun! Why would I want to stray?

    It sounds as if you and Bob had a great relationship - almost a "marriage born in heaven" as they say.

  21. I'm not sure if it's a weakness.... and I agree with Kylie about unhappiness being at the root of affairs. Ack. These things are intensely personal. I refuse to judge.

  22. Scarlet: I agree it's all very personal and not to be judged. There are often very good reasons why people have affairs and it's not necessarily just a sudden overwhelming attraction, as the popular belief has it.

  23. If there is one thing that is opaque to me, it's the sex lives of other people. I don't even understand my own that well. (;

  24. Hattie: I understand my own sexuality very well. It's unorthodox to say the least. Human sexuality is quite a minefield.

  25. I don't know why I find your post odd, Nick but I do.

    Perhaps a little too flippant on the reasons for affairs, why people cheat. If they cheat in marriage they cheat everywhere and in every thing. It is very serious.

    As to porn use, use of prostitutes, strip clubs, they'd be out my door in a heartbeat. Serious issues in treatment of women as commodities for use and abuse.

    Sex is such a small, though meaningful part of any relationship, trust and respect are at the top of the list. And cheating is a deal breaker.


  26. www: Oh, I didn't mean to be flippant. Something that involves cheating and deceit and general guardedness rather than total openness with your partner is indeed serious, which is why I'd never contemplate it myself. As you say, if they cheat with their partner, they're probably cheating on all sorts of things.

    I totally agree, trust and respect are much more important than sex. Without those, you have nothing.

  27. I have never cheated at anything except for that one period of time and it's impossible to feel a connection to a handbag.
    There's a lot of judgement here

  28. I had a philanderer for a father and that put me and my siblings off from any kind of misadventures. The four of us have had successful marriages and would not have had it any other way,

    We saw our mother suffer and after it was possible for her to move away from him, gave her the best life that she could have had. The joy of seeing her getting that was enough to wipe off the grief that we had had as children seeing her suffer,

  29. Kylie: Oh, I think Jenny feels very connected to her handbags!

    Ramana: I'm glad your mother was eventually able to move away from your father and have a better life. The effects of philandering on the rest of the family can be severe.