Monday, August 23, 2004

Marriage, Love, Infidelity and A Few Other Things

First, sorry to all bloggers if I have missed your comments on my earlier posts. Yahoo/Blogger normally lets me know but for some reason... pffffffffffffft!!!! Also to the folks who posted comments on my photoblog, I had no idea, and now its really too late to comment on your comments. Will look at my photoblog more. Speaking of my photoblog, I did post some pics of my friend Troy who lives in the Boston area and is a single guy. As I told Fleece, when I get to Boston in November I'm sure he'll see more of it in the three days I'll be there than he has in the past year. Beatdown with a bowl of clam chowdah, which I plan on consuming at an alarming rate while I am there. I may just decide that's all I need and live off of it. If its better than the best of the muck we have here, I will be a very happy Inanna. Okay, this is crazy... I'm getting hits from 1:00 p.m. today. Maybe Yahoo/Blogger is constipated and will begin pinging me with e-mails like... oh we don't want to go there. The following is something I wrote right after I started reading other people's blogs. I was quite disheartened at the time and I felt like I was being the most idealist person in the world to believe that one man would want to spend his life with me and have sex with no other woman BUT ME for the rest of his life. I still believe it is possible. Let's see what you guys think. Marriage, Love & Infidelity I’m bummed out because I read an online diary of a man last night who is cheating on his wife. Not having an affair, which would constitute emotional involvement, but merely meeting women once or twice, having a few go arounds and then moving on. Now he believes that biologically men are geared to spread their seed and that marriage and monogamy are inconsistent with that biology. He sites reports that upwards of 70% of men and 50% or so of women who are married have cheated or are cheating on their spouses. He doesn’t mention that women are biologically geared toward propagating and procreating with those she deems to be the stronger, better genetic form as to insure the strength and survival of the offspring. Okay, biology, hormones, etc. I get that. But that’s mere biology and applicable practically to every biological creature. Does the peacock not shake his tail feathers as testament to the female of his grace, beauty, honor and strength. Does the swan cob not rise from the water and beat his wings before the pen? But wait, swans are monogamous. Hmmmm....biology again? Biological anomaly aside, what is supposed to separate humans from other species is free will, correct? Logic? The ability to reason? What? I am reminded again of two things in my quest of understanding. The Clintons and Plato. I chuckled myself. I will put forth pure conjecture based on the readings I have done first of the excerpts from Bill Clinton’s mother’s book and Hilary Clinton’s book and then I’ll get to Plato. I believe that intellectually and accordingly, emotionally, Bill loves Hilary as much as he can love a woman. May not be what society wants it to be, may not be exactly what Hilary wants, but it is so. In Virginia Kelley’s book, she makes no bones about the fact that when Bill brought Hilary home to meet her that she was shocked by her plainness, not to mention, Hilary was not warm and fuzzy. Bill reprimanded his mother and brother with words something like "I need someone I can talk to." In other words, he sought his intellectual equal regardless of her unflattering looks. That in itself is a type of love and part of the big picture of love. At least in my book. Plato speaks of spiritual loveliness in the Symposium and how one may find it even in the "husk of an unlovely body, he will find it beautiful enough to fall in love with and to cherish..." Perhaps in Bill’s case the spiritual loveliness to him is Hilary’s intelligence and passion for her beliefs. Conjecture on my part, pure conjecture. However, Bill stopped on the Ladder of Love at about that point. Plato goes on to describe those having followed the path of Love find that love is not beauty nor does it take physical form of any type, basically it is infinity without form. Deep stuff which I’m still studying and will probably never figure out, if I was ever meant to. So, Bill loves Hilary, loves her deeply, finds her intellectually stimulating, a partner in politics, in life, in combined pursuits. Ahhhh... but Bill is also biological. Meaning, he needs sex. I hate to think that Hilary is a bore in the bedroom but truthfully, I think so. Not that this is any of anyone’s business. Frankly, I think Hilary and Bill have or may have had a tacit agreement, – do your thing, but be discreet. Oops. I think their marriage goes far beyond a business arrangement of intellectual minds and there is genuine affection and love between them. So back to the cheating spouse on the internet. Some excerpts from his diary: So was out last nite with the significant other ("SFO") at some hot and trendy establishments. She looked good no doubt...but so did almost every other chick dressed in hot pants, halter tops or skin tight hip-hugging jeans. ...The institution of marriage is also not an issue of dispute. Marriage has many benefits and joys unrelated to sex and physical intimacy. The concept of strict monogamy in marriage, however, is another issue. This concept is a social construct re-inforced (sic) with certain religious dogma that is counter to social nature. Once again, in every aspect of our lives we are encouraged to diversify, meet new people, obtain new relationships and foster interaction, except that we must sleep with only one for our entire lives. Why? I have to agree with his assessment of the dogma and religious mores associated with fidelity and infidelity. We’ve already established that biologically speaking, with a few exceptions, that we perhaps are not meant to sleep with just one person our entire lives. As evidenced by the first paragraph and by other entries, he truly believes that there are just too many good looking women to just sleep with one. Yet took a vow to forsake all others. Religious dogma? Societal pressure? Had there been no Bible and we were all taught to love freely without repercussions, would anyone remain faithful? Or would we all chase the next chick in tight jeans or the guy with the washboard stomach? For all people the answer may be yes or no. Personally, I believe there are people out there like me for whom sexually the idea of continually chasing a new piece of ass once or twice a week would be boring and unstimulating. This does not make us better than the person who does, it simply makes us different. Perhaps others may believe that the cheating spouse may have the best of both worlds, the spouse at home, the piece on the side and for right now, he’s getting away with it. But I do not understand the compulsion of this. Even though I know women who are just like that, determined not to be tied down by the bonds of matrimony so that they may flit and float from one to another, even though their ex-spouse gave them permission to do so, even with members of the same sex. It is no wonder that I feel freakish in this world today as I believe that love is a set of ladders, moving from the physical beauty, to the beauty of the soul, to the beauty of shared knowledge and intellect and further to a beauty which has no form and is infinite. Marriage is not the ideal, neither the beginning, nor the end, but as Khalil Gibran states in The Prophet: Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow. And in reading that, one is moved by the fluidity and grace of Gibran’s words but in the context of this topic, does it perhaps mean too, when the pillars of the temple stand apart, that the oak and the cypress cannot grow in each other’s shadow, to let the wind flow between you... can this not be interpreted as a call to not hold too tightly to that which you love, as it will surely begin to suffocate and as it suffocates it struggles and strays? It seeks the new song and dance, a new lute, a new loaf to bite off of? Can this be interpreted to allow each partner their own, even in the context of infidelity? Although I do not believe that to be Gibran’s intent, I certainly saw the poem with new eyes in regard to the question of marriage, love and infidelity. Just an interpretation of the musings of a Greek philosopher, a Lebanese poet and a 21st Century Idealist.
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    24 Comments:

    Blogger Trashman said...

    Some of that was too deep for my shallow mind. However I think people can be monogamus once again a guy is coping out. Just excuses for letting his little head contorl his big head. It boils down to right and wrong. If you have some kind of agreement with your spouse fine, but if you don't then you should keep your word of commitment. I look at the menu but I ain't going off the diet.

    8/23/2004 11:33:00 PM  
    Blogger Outburst said...

    I think it all comes down to the individual person.
    Men and women commit infidelity and I'm not going to say that men do it more although on first thought I would say that's likely, but generally I think it's for different reasons.
    I think women who do it are usually looking for the stronger mate. Men who do it are from what I've seen, looking for the chase and conquering, the notch on the bedpost and the opportunity to gloat to the boys.
    You're right though, free will, logic and reasoning are what set us apart. I can't explain why some animals are monogamous and some aren't however.
    We all have the temptations, we're all attracted to various people in our lives, but while some of us will jump at the chance, others of us will restrain ourselves.
    I don't like the fact that many men are considered to be controlled by their hormones but for many of us it is a hard thing to keep in check.
    Makes me wonder what would happen if the guy's wife had reason to suspect he was doing what he's doing and had something on the side herself. Say she screwed a guy in the backseat of his car one day, or found herself a guy with a part that made his pale in comparison, or even better regularly slammed his best friend? How would he react to it?
    I suspect he wouldn't quite be singing the praises of infidelity at that point.

    8/23/2004 11:46:00 PM  
    Blogger Cattiva said...

    Once again I agree with Trashman. I'm going to have to find time to stroll over to his blog and see what else I agree with :)

    It would be a perfect world if the man or woman who was thinking of cheating instead decided to expend the energy to examine what the problem in their own relationship is that makes them contemplate cheating in the first place! And how is that for an Olympic Champion run-on sentence? I was going for more, but ran out of words. Sorry.

    8/24/2004 12:32:00 AM  
    Blogger jakethelad said...

    Inanna - you are far more intelegent than me (wow, what aa post!), but I think what you said is so true. I'm single at the moment so have no compunction to be what I should be if committed to one other person. Been sepatated for 3 years and at the moment can't even think of being a one woman man. However, I just couldn't live a lie and do the cheating thing.
    Jake.

    8/24/2004 07:03:00 AM  
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    8/24/2004 07:03:00 AM  
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    8/24/2004 07:04:00 AM  
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    8/24/2004 07:04:00 AM  
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    8/24/2004 07:05:00 AM  
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    8/24/2004 07:07:00 AM  
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    8/24/2004 08:13:00 AM  
    Blogger Inanna said...

    Trashman – You’re a good guy and not shallow in the least

    Outburst – I have no idea how Cheating Spouse would react to his wife cheating on him... and you make a good point... temptation is always out there, its what we decide to do with it that counts.

    Catt – You win the gold for longest run-on sentence. This guy’s problem is not that he finds marriage and home life unstimulating, he just doesn’t believe he’s meant to sleep with just ONE woman for the rest of his life. I agree with Trashman a lot, even pink flamingos.

    Jake – You spammed me!!! And I can’t figure out in all my intelligence how to remove your extra comments. I have a lot of respect for what you said... if you can’t stay faithful, why live the lie?? It speaks more for your character that you’re willing to admit it than to sneak around behind someone else’s back. Multiply that by seven... LOL!!!

    8/24/2004 09:29:00 AM  
    Blogger Celti said...

    Wow, I love that Gibran passage! Very, very interesting. I agree with you for the most part. I think if you find the right match for you, and you keep him sexually satisfied, then he can stay faithful. If they stray, then there is something missing in your relationship that they are going elsewhere to seek.

    Lovely post, Inanna. xoxo

    8/24/2004 10:01:00 AM  
    Blogger Zelda said...

    This is a fascinating post. I agree with Trashman 100%. I'll also add that we are not animals in that we posess reason and logic and it is entirely possible to forego the more basic predatory instincts. In nature, males mount other males to prove their dominance. If males can rise above this istinct, surely they can manage to stay faithful to a loving wife. :-)

    As far as the Clinton's are concerned, I understand that he felt the need to be with someone who was his intellectual equal. The problem I have with it is that he shouldn't have married her. He should have kept her phone number in his little black book and had coffee with her once or twice a week. He should have married someone who was his sexual equal, or he shouldn't have married at all. It doesn't matter what arrangements you make with your unattractive wife, your cheating is going to wreak emotional havoc on her and that is ungentlemanly, caddish, and totally lacking in integrity.

    You also mentioned biology and hormones as reasons people cheat. I also think that this is just an excuse. Biology, before antibiotics, gave us extremely good reasons to stay faithful to one person. And now, with the spread of AIDS, it is giving us reason once more. I believe that disease is the PRACTICAL reason for most religions. Notice I didn't say SPIRITUAL.

    I wanted to write about Plato's Symposium, but I guess that'll keep. This was a really thought provoking post. Great job, and I hope I get to see more.

    8/24/2004 11:29:00 AM  
    Blogger lucidkim said...

    I'm at work and can't babble on like I would prefer. Love this post - I'm thinking of printing it to read over a few times. :) I agree that we are intelligent beings who make a choice to remain faithful (or not). For Clinton it did seem to be about sex. Often it seems men stray because of an emotional disconnect with their spouse. Sex is part of the equation, but not the primary factor for them.

    And comments that have been hitting my blog are taking hours to hit my email. Something is up with blogger, maybe they'll work it out. :)

    kim

    8/24/2004 11:41:00 AM  
    Blogger lucidkim said...

    I'm at work and can't babble on like I would prefer. Love this post - I'm thinking of printing it to read over a few times. :) I agree that we are intelligent beings who make a choice to remain faithful (or not). For Clinton it did seem to be about sex. Often it seems men stray because of an emotional disconnect with their spouse. Sex is part of the equation, but not the primary factor for them.

    And comments that have been hitting my blog are taking hours to hit my email. Something is up with blogger, maybe they'll work it out. :)

    kim

    8/24/2004 11:41:00 AM  
    Blogger lucidkim said...

    I'm at work and can't babble on like I would prefer. Love this post - I'm thinking of printing it to read over a few times. :) I agree that we are intelligent beings who make a choice to remain faithful (or not). For Clinton it did seem to be about sex. Often it seems men stray because of an emotional disconnect with their spouse. Sex is part of the equation, but not the primary factor for them.

    And comments that have been hitting my blog are taking hours to hit my email. Something is up with blogger, maybe they'll work it out. :)

    kim

    8/24/2004 11:41:00 AM  
    Blogger lucidkim said...

    I'm at work and can't babble on like I would prefer. Love this post - I'm thinking of printing it to read over a few times. :) I agree that we are intelligent beings who make a choice to remain faithful (or not). For Clinton it did seem to be about sex. Often it seems men stray because of an emotional disconnect with their spouse. Sex is part of the equation, but not the primary factor for them.

    And comments that have been hitting my blog are taking hours to hit my email. Something is up with blogger, maybe they'll work it out. :)

    kim

    8/24/2004 11:42:00 AM  
    Blogger lucidkim said...

    I'm at work and can't babble on like I would prefer. Love this post - I'm thinking of printing it to read over a few times. :) I agree that we are intelligent beings who make a choice to remain faithful (or not). For Clinton it did seem to be about sex. Often it seems men stray because of an emotional disconnect with their spouse. Sex is part of the equation, but not the primary factor for them.

    And comments that have been hitting my blog are taking hours to hit my email. Something is up with blogger, maybe they'll work it out. :)

    And blogger is saying an error is keeping this from posting...hope it doesn't show up later 13 times.

    kim

    8/24/2004 11:43:00 AM  
    Blogger Esther said...

    where to start!
    We aren't animals, otherwise we would be at it like dogs. You can't pick the animal you most want to be like. With some bird species it's almost always the females that "cheat". I would like to believe we have progressed somewhat since homo sapiens discovered fire.
    It's what thrasman said. A mind set, a decision. Respect for the other person in your life. Otherwise get out. What I have seen though is that some people, men and women, are addicted to the conquest, the chase, the "newness" factor. They also know that their rate of success is limited if they are truthfull up front, so they prefer to make promises just to get what they want.
    There's something new on the block, or maybe not so new. It's called polyamory (to have many loves). This is where a man and a woman love their married partners but also love someone else. Where all parties are aware of who all the other parties are and they form a social group. In other words, you have a husband/wife and a girlfriend/boyfriend.
    Each to his own in that case :)

    8/24/2004 02:21:00 PM  
    Blogger Inanna said...

    Celti – I love Gibran.. A copy of The Prophet can be read online at http://www.columbia.edu/~gm84/gibtable.html. It is a short and sweet piece of work and terribly thought provoking. Thanks so much Celti.

    Zelda – Just to make this clear... I didn’t say hormones made peeps cheat, I think I wondered if that was a good excuse... biology, blah, blah, at least, that's what I meant. I know when my hormones are in an uproar and I’m more than capable of controlling myself while in a relationship, even if I’m not getting any. If I’m not in a relationship, that’s my business... :o) As for the Clinton’s, I agree and disagree.... hmmm... cad yes, what’s up with them, have no idea. Thanks very much.

    k - Hun, it only posted three times.... but it had the number three in it!! Thanks for your comment. Glad you liked the post... as for what makes peeps cheat... I think it has to do with just wanting a different lay or emotional support. I’ve read some pretty good theories on it. Maybe I’ll get to that next.

    Esther – You’re right, we’re not “animals” in the sense of dogs, cats etc... however, I do see the human being as an animal with impulses and urges, which can be controlled by most. I would much rather someone be up front and honest about what they want. As for husband/wife and boyfriend/girlfriend..... errrr... threesomes perhaps but even that pushes my boundaries but if they want to live like that... more power to them!!

    8/24/2004 03:33:00 PM  
    Blogger Zelda said...

    Sorry Inanna, I knew what you meant by "hormones." I just got a little lazy in my wording and I wanted a segue into my own brilliant thoughts on the biological repercussions of infidelity.

    As for the Clintons, I have no idea what is up with them either, but I have a suspicion that Hillary has been ill-used by a charming, brilliant, unethical man. But obviously it is her choice to stay with him, so there it is. I find it to be a very odd situation. I feel a blog entry coming on. Ta.

    8/24/2004 08:52:00 PM  
    Blogger pc said...

    Hey there. It's been a while for me, but I've been busy. Just got back from Vegas a couple of days ago, and since they don't call it Sin City for nothing, I figured this post is a good place to talk about it.

    You know me pretty well, so you know my thoughts about cheating spouses, especially when they are real bitches like my Ex- bitch who you loved so-o-o-o much.

    But I got a new perspective while in Vegas with my co-worker, I'll call him R. R is a happily married man, loves his wife, loves his kid, the whole nine-yards. His wife loves him too, does anything for him and they have a great sex life. Being a single man who currently isn't gettin' any, it gets a little sickening hearing about it.

    But the real sickening part was having to listen to R while in Vegas. R may be married and he may get laid all the time at home, but he is still one horny sum-bitch. His favorite activity while in Vegas was commenting on every pretty girl who went by (and there were plenty), and talking about the three other women (who aren't his wife)who wanted to come to Vegas with him. He spent quite some time looking for a memento of some kind for the woman who just got a boob job and wants R to come check them out.

    Now, happily married R didn't do much more than talk (unless you count the private dance at Deja Vu). But he freely admits that if another certain woman had been in Vegas, he probably would have cheated on his wife with her.

    Now this is a man who has it all and for all purposes is satisfied. But he still has the desire to chase. For him, as a married man, it's all about the thrill of the chase, not whether he catches them or not. For the most part, he has no desire to catch them. Instead, he takes that pent up energy home to his wife and makes love to her like a man possessed.

    So as sickened as I may be by hearing of the constant sexual attention he gets from his wife and others, can I really find fault in what he does with that attention?

    8/24/2004 08:59:00 PM  
    Blogger Inanna said...

    HEY PC!!! Welcome back from Sin City. First, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas... hee hee. Otherwise, what R.R. does within the confines of flirting and then taking it home to his wife is a good thing. But answer me why he would want to fuck up such a good thing for a piece of strange??? Is it worth it? You have such a loving, sexual monster for a wife and run the risk, possibility etc. that he may put himself out to lose her, or what they have built over the years? Hmmmmm... You know I learned my lesson with married cops, just glad its not me.

    8/25/2004 03:11:00 AM  
    Blogger pc said...

    Thanks for the welcome, it's good to be back.

    As far as R, I don't think he would ever really cheat on his wife. But I'm tired of hearing about all the opportunity he has to if he wants to, plus hear about all the sex he gets from his wife. For those of us who ain't gettin' any, we really don't want to hear it. And in Vegas it was worse because it was constant "Look at those tits" and "Check out that ass" and "Pussy..." this and that. Knowing that R would be getting laid as soon he got home from the trip and I wasn't sure if I had anyone to come home to or not. (It ended up being not by the way)

    Basically I went on this trip, got all hot and bothered, and don't have the chance to release the sexual frustration the way R does. I guess if I'm pissed about anything, it's really that.

    8/25/2004 09:23:00 PM  

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