Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Here’s a question: Were people meant to be monogamous? And if so, why does it seem to be so difficult for so many. I looked up the stats. Apparently 40-60% of married people are, have been, or will be unfaithful. If the subject group was men with money and power I think you’d get closer to 99.9%. In fact, I’m afraid I’d be more amazed to hear that a celeb is toeing the line than to hear that he’s cheating.

Think about the recent scandals. Elin Nordegren

Tiger Woods: He was married to a Swedish beauty named Elin Nordegren for five years. They had two gorgeous children together. But recently he admitted to having 120 affairs. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a lot to me. (It works out to two a month.) Elin vows that she had no idea he was being unfaithful until she learned of his connection with their 21 year old neighbor. Personally, I think naiveté hits new heights there. Still, I cannot possibly tell you how happy I was when I heard she was divorcing him.

Brett Favre: Maybe this isn’t such big news elsewhere, but here in Minnesota, there’s little talk about anything other than how football pro Favre sent naughty sexts and pics of his not so private parts to a former Jets employee, Jenn Sterger (who some think looks very much like his wife).
Deanna Favre

First off, really? He sent nude photos to a reporter and didn’t think the public would find out? Almost makes me think professional athletes aren’t as intelligent as I first suspected. :-/

Jenn Sterger

John Travolta: He is said to have been caught "cheating in a gay sex scandal within a secret sub culture" while his wife Kelly, 47, is due to bear their baby in a couple of weeks.

Mel Gibson: I don’t even know where to begin with this guy. I mean, seriously, he had about 47 kids with his wife of 28 years then left her (to the tune of $320 million) for a Russian musician who demanded $60,000 a month in childcare (for their baby) and alleged that he hit her so hard he broke her teeth. Because of this and various recent rants he's lost his upcoming role on Hangover II. I’m not generally a proponent of the capital punishment but I could make an exception in Gibson’s case.

John Edwards: He was running for president and lying about the existence of a love child while proposing to have a wonderful marriage to Elizabeth who was fighting a battle with cancer. Nuf said.

I’m sure you could name a half a dozen other sordid scandals.

But why? Why, why, why, why, why does it happen? I have to assume none of these men walked down the aisle with the intent of making their wives’s lives miserable. In fact, I have to believe they were attracted to and cared about their spouses at some point. So why would they risk their families, their reputations and their careers by having affairs with somebody else?

Thoughts anyone?


krisgils33 said...

I've got nuthin'. It's all a big mystery. Especially Tiger who has a gorgeous super model wife at home....how are you going to do better than that????

Cindy Gerard said...

Oh say it isn't so about John T!! Please tell me you read that in STAR or the Inquirer or some similar sleazy tabloid. It would break my heart to see this guy stumble like that. he's always seemed like one of the really good guys.

As for monogamy - it's a great concept and works for many but it makes one wonder if there are simply personality types that cannot seal the deal or if there are things a foot in those particular relationships that result in suffering on both ends and one or the other person looks for another alternative. Either way, it's sad because it means someone's not happy.

Leanne said...

I think it's interesting that you pointed out men who have stepped outside their marital bliss. Supposedly more women are ditching monogamy too. I once heard an anthropologist say "We were intended to marry for life, but that was before our lifespans doubled!"

With the examples you mentioned, all those men are/were in high profile careers where they're repeatedly told how wonderful they are... so maybe they don't think the usual rules apply to them?

Rob Gregory Browne said...

As unforgiving as the actions of these men are, I always believe people deserve another chance. Maybe not from their spouses, but the public has no idea what led up to these affairs, so who are we to judge them?

I say this as a serial monogamist who generally frowns on such behavior. But I understand temptation and realize that not everyone can resist it.

When you think about it, Tiger Woods only gave in 120 times.

Michele Hauf said...

I agree that the monogamy thing may be a bunch of bull concerning we humans. Some have the monogamous gene, others don't.

The one that kills me is John Edwards and his bold-faced lies to the public. Ugg.

But seriously? All the people Lois listed are just like all of us, they just have the misfortune that cameras constantly follow them and record every minute detail of their lives.

lois greiman said...

Kris, I know, right?? Elin is gorgeous. But so is Favre's wife and John T's wife. Shrug.

Helen Brenna said...

RGB - 120 times. LOL

I don't think what a man's wife looks like has a darned thing to do with it. It's really all about this thing called testosterone. Men were designed to populate the world, and some of them take this task a bit more seriously than others!

Throw in a little power, some money, and bang. Recipe for disaster.

I read somewhere that single women are unknowingly attracted to married men because it shows they're capable of committing. Interesting.

Don't get me wrong, please! I don't condone it for a second. I think it just helps to understand it.

Kudos to all those men and women out there who get propositioned either overtly or subtly who remain true to their vows.

I've read there are a surprising number of women having affairs, too. Close to the stats on men. Do you think they're just smarter about not getting caught?

Christie Ridgway said...

I think what bothers me most about any case of infidelity is the disrespect it shows to the spouse. Tired of marriage? Then get out of it before you unzip. To hurt the person in your life in that way is pretty darn low.

And yes, I do think these powerful ppl probably think they live outside the "rules." I think they'll ultimately feel bad about themselves over it.

lois greiman said...

Cindy, I don't read Star. Really! Really!! Really...okay, except at the checkout counter.

Hubby said something about John T (he doesn't read Star either. Really! :) so I Googled. Who knows if it's true. It just seems that men with opportunity have a very hard time keeping it in their pants.

lois greiman said...

Leanne, yeah, I'm picking on men. I expect better from women. It's that weird, cuz yeah, I, too, read that women are having almost as many affairs as their counterparts. I just can't understand it. I mean really, one's enough for me. :)

Kathleen Eagle said...

I hope Betina chimes in here, because she knows so much about social history. If I'm remembering correctly, since time immemorial, the institution of marriage has been primarily about property. Even among "commoners" it was a matter of economy. The mainly Western idea of marrying for love was, as I remember, pretty much a 20th century phenomenon. That's not to say that love hasn't existed since time immemorial--witness "The Song of Solomon." And then recall the number of wives Solomon had and David's big deal with Bathsheba.

We just celebrated our 40th anniversary. Try telling people that and watch their jaws drop.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, and I predict that in 20 years, there will be no such thing as a scandal over infidelity. With all news becoming tabloid and every minute of everyone's day getting thrown up on the 'net, stories like those Lois cites here will be ho-hum.

Actually, I hope that's what happens. Otherwise famous people won't be the only ones who have to try to deal with this stuff in the center of our virtual Colosseum, and privacy will go the way of the dodo bird.

lois greiman said...

Rob, "Tiger Woods only gave in 120 times." :) Never thought of it like that, although, that's assuming he was only with each woman once. :/

lois greiman said...

Someone once told me that we expect too much from marriage. We expect our spouses to be our best friend and our lover and our financial partners etc. In a lot of countries it's not like that. Arranged marriages for instant just seem to expect a decent partner with which to raise a family. Maybe that's why arranged marriages are more likely to last. On the other hand, maybe they last because liaisons are accepted??

catslady said...

Not only are we living longer but one of the main reasons for marriage (so I've read) was to insure the man knew that the child was his (of course no guarantee there lol). Now with DNA testing everyone can know.

Also powerful/rich people seem to feel entitled, especially the male of the species!

lois greiman said...

So then are wolves and geese the only true monogamous species?

Betina Krahn said...

Kathy, you're so right about marriage. . . for millenia it was all about the property and inheritance and succession. In fact, it was a great compliment in the High Middle Ages to have a number of single courtiers and jonglears "in love" with you. Romantic love was attached to the unobtainable other-- and thus remained "pure" and unsullied by temporal passions. Interesting concept, given the state of affairs in western society.

Maybe we do expect too much of an institution that begets unions initiated by hormones! The thing, is, there ARE wonderful fulfilling unions that last decades and weather the crises of human life to grow richer and deeper. That is the ideal, but it seems to be more the exception than the rule.

Still, "free will" in choosing a mate is preferable to the forced "arranged marriages" seen in many other cultures.

Great topic, Lois!

KylieBrant said...

When I see men being unfaithful to these stunningly beautiful women it drives home the fact that cheating has little to do with the spouse and everything to do with what's missing within the cheater. There has to be this incredible void, doesn't there, that the cheater is striving to fill?

Frankly they all disgust me. But then I become even more cynical and wonder how many of our monogamous guys would also cheat if the opportunities presented themselves with the frequency and ease that they do with these guys.

Makes me sad :(