Your grandparents stayed married longer than you probably will. They seemed perfect on the outside, but few couples today are able to catch that same sort of magic. Is it because men back then didn’t cheat on their wives? Hardly. They probably did so more than they do today.
Is it because their wives were simple-minded doormats who had no standards? Women today certainly have gotten better at demanding what they want without compromising. But your grand parents were each more appealing mates than most of what you see today. Men took care of their families, and women allowed men to be empowered. Now, women want to wear the pants and men are dropping the ball more often than in the past.
What’s a woman to do?
If we focus solely on the concept of infidelity, it becomes tricky. Men have always, for thousands of years, liked to be with a variety of women. Biologists regularly cite the male’s desire for multiple mating options as part of his DNA makeup. In fact, the thing that you love about him the most, his drive, ambition and strength are all linked to testosterone, which makes him into a sexual beast.
This creates a dilemma because he may not have a hunger that is satisfied by one woman, sometimes leading him to stray.
But he chose to marry you for a reason. He chose you because there is more to the connection than just physical gratification. He wants to come home to you and holds you above all others, respecting you as a human being and not just the one of the pieces of meat he might see when he’s out going astray. Is that enough to make you reconsider your interpretation of infidelity to mean that he doesn’t love or respect you? Maybe not.
But here’s a secret: A lot of men do it. They all lie about it, the same way women lie about their number of s*xual encounters. So, the new guy will convince you that he’s not a cheater like the last guy you dumped, then you find out that they are all the same. How do you process that?
The way you respond is in the eye of the beholder. But cases like the ones experienced by Tina Campbell at Mary Mary or Trina Braxton are quite common. It’s easy to say that if you expect your man to never stray, then it might be best to never get married in the first place. A lot of marriages start off with high hopes and seemingly broad foundations for love, only to end because someone committed a relatively meaningless act that could very likely also be committed (or hidden) by any guy you choose to replace him. It’s a strange dilemma where some of us end up looking around the world to find something that almost never exists, like that man who is looking for a woman who is a 100% pure Christian in both thoughts and deeds. Yea, right. The best he might get is a woman who is good at lying to him about it.
Another perspective might be the one held by Jada Pinkett-Smith, who knows that her husband strays at times, but has professed that she will never leave his side for any reason. That means that she is the queen of her castle no matter, what and she will always be the woman on his arm at red carpet events. The same was stated by the wife of Reverend Jesse Jackson, who said, after finding out about his illegitimate child, that “The will only be one Mrs. Jackson.”
This is what your grandmother probably decided to do: She endured the infidelity but chose to keep her family together no matter what. We can’t say if the sacrifice is worth it, but if you’re going to get married, you should probably toss the fairy tale out of your head right now. Or, you’ll end up shocked and in divorce court swearing that your relationship was supposed the one out of many that will never have any form of physical infidelity. Marriage is harder than you think.