Dangerous Minds

So I’m sure that unless you’ve been living under a rock – a really BIG rock – you’ve no doubt heard about the latest infidelity debacle Sandra Bullock is currently enduring.  I’ve read a slew of crap pieces (I know, my bad) ranging from the typical, venemous ‘how could he do this to HER???’ to an idiotic, correlation between winning an Oscar for best actress to being hit with spousal infidelity…with the not-so-subtle message stating ‘be careful not to get TOO successful Ladies…otherwise your man’s gonna use his pecker to excavate his lost man pride’.

Please.

On a more personal note, I now know seven couples…yes, SEVEN couples….in various stages of deep marital strife or divorce.  Two of those due to serial infidelity.  My side of the family is also no stranger to this ‘phenomenon’ – and due to this, I’ve delineated what I think are the basic two reasons why people cheat while in seemingly content marriages:

(1) Duh, they’re actually not so happy after all, and are looking for a endorfin-drip-laden escape or

(2) Because they thought they could.

I want to discuss the latter, admittedly over-simplified reason above. 

I have absolutely no doubt that Tiger and Jesse and others I’ve known are deeply in love with their spouses.  I also believe they thought they were special or clever enough to get away with it.  There’s an old expression: “To cheat is French, to get caught is American.”  Apparently true.

And while I cannot condone infidelity, I think it’s safe to say I understand the urge.  That’s human.  I am also deeply in love with my husband and treasure the life we’ve built with our two kids.  But that hasn’t stopped me from fantasizing about the allure of tasting something different.  Jesus, even Jimmy Carter admitted to being adulterous in his thoughts back in the 70s – and THAT was considered a big scandal at the time.  Let’s now LOL over THAT one, people.

Because there is always going to be someone you didn’t get to have….or something your spouse won’t do that maybe the tattoo-laden hussy is more than happy to give you.  You’ve been there. I’ve been there. I’m sure Mr. Mix rides that wave as well (although I must admit I can’t think of something I wouldn’t do with him, but whatev).  In fact, thanks to the latest hookup bar otherwise known as Facebook, Mr. Mix has been hounded by an ex of his – wanting to ‘get together’ a little too often. Sigh.

And the truth is, maybe if I had frequent absences from my spouse – coupled with living in a world full of celebrity self-entitlement, maybe I or Mr. Mix would find ourselves entangled in a similar mess.  Does that reflect bad character? Probably…but I think Chris Rock has a point when he says we are only as faithful as our options. 

So, what’s the answer? Well, after thirteen years of marriage, I’ve delineated once again the options down to three:

(1) You and your spouse are gonna ride your own ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ and have one of those open, 70s-disco-coke-inspired marriages where almost everything goes.  Good luck with that.

(2) You’re gonna sneak around and get caught. No really, you will.  And uh no, you’re not that smart.

(3) You decide that you’re not really into seeing your spouse ride someone else in front of you, and you’re not quite alternative enough for one of those polyamorous arrangements, so you choose monogamy.  And if you do choose this option, you surround yourself with others who have made the same choice – for better or for worse – in order to curb your out-of-marital-bond enthusiasm. So to speak.

In other words, you follow Chris Rock’s advice and YOU limit your options.  Figure out what your own triggers are – and then don’t go there.  Sex can be the same thing as drugs and alcohol…they become a problem when the consequences start to seriously mess with your life.  And I don’t say this as some Buddha-on-the-mountain…in the past, I have come dangerously close to blowing it with Mr. Mix over my ego-driven flirtations.  Why? Not because I’m a celebrity or some testoserone-infected lothario.

Because I thought I could. 

Does that make me an asshole? Yep. Does that make me human? Right again. 

I guess what I’m saying is, I unfortunately get what Tiger and Jesse and other like them were thinking.  I guess the difference is, I didn’t actually do it.  The question is, did I not do it because of my character or my options? I don’t have an answer for that, and the whole point of this piece is to say I’m not going to test myself trying to find that out either.  It’s not worth it.

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45 responses to “Dangerous Minds

  1. Irony … the SB/JJ thing is so “A Star Is Born” I can’t stand it.

  2. And I love that someone FINALLY made a Barbara Streisand reference on my blog.

    ‘Bout time…

  3. Right on. I always say you can never REALLY know what you would do until you yourself are in that situation. And it’s highly unlikely that I will find myself in a “situation” with a tattoo model, so I guess I’ll never know.

  4. I guess I live under a huge rock or maybe it is because I think celebrities are just artist and there is no need to dig in their personal lives. I had no idea…

    I guess some have to limit their options when they had only settled in the beginning.

  5. One really nice thing about growing older is realizing that it really doesn’t matter. Whatever you do is a reflection of you & your character or very self. You get to pick. Once that moment of self gratification is over, it’s gone. Doesn’t matter if it’s sex with a porn star or honkin some shit up your nose. Eventually, (if you’re lucky) you come down & it’s all the same. You’re still lookin at yourself in the mirror. You could have been a stand up person in the meantime, the person you thought you were. Make the choice. then it’s easy. Indeed, decide then limit your options.

  6. Actually, a person cheats, not because they think they can, but because it is so gradual that the spouse takes the little steps first. Maybe he did not think there was anything wrong with having lunch with Janet from accounting? Maybe Janet and him ran into each other at the water cooler way too much? Over time, they got coffee together, then it was lunch. His wife is always busy, doing things with the children, at work, or with her friends and never seems to remember romance or the idea of friendship with ones spouse. He gets lonely. He finds solace in Janet. Then, one day at lunch they accidently touch hands while reaching for the bread basket at the same time. There is some imagined tingle–a spark–Janet gives him those big dopey eyes. Then, he starts taking time off without the wife knowing about it. Him and Janet begin to find discreet places in which to solidify their relationship. She starts imagining he will leave his wife for her and he may look at this as love. She spends time with him. His wife is still in her little world unaware of the distance that has developed over time, maybe even years, and one day some little thing sparks uneasiness in her spirit.

    She finds nothing in his dresser. There is no lipstick on his collar, but a strange perfume. Then, she decides to surprise him at lunch. She dresses up, hoping her heart is wrong, and goes to his job. The employees cannot look her in the eyes. One helpful employee points her to a restaurant he’s been frequenting.

    Janet and her husband are sitting in the back of the restaurant holding hands and looking in love. She notices his left hand. He is not wearing his ring. Suddenly, it hits her and she realizes for the past two years they’ve been drifting. Betrayal, anger, even livid hate burns in her soul for Janet who knew of his married state.

    Yet, is it only his fault for having an affair with Janet? Or can the wife share in that blame? Yes, he made the choice. But what if she had been more aware of her marriage?

    Marriage is delicate and tough. Time and distance are its greatest enemy. A man and a wife have different ways in which they wish the other to show them love. What is the answer?

    1) Have a regular date night.
    2) Remember to do the little things for each other.
    3) Remember to listen to each other.
    4) Remember to say, I love you.
    5) Put Christ first in your marriage.
    6) Have a servant attitude towards each other; in other words, love each other in action as well as words.

    • This is so very well written Nikki! You are spot on right. You don’t wake up thinking mmmh I shall have an extra marital relationship today!
      The answer can only be in Christ and His spirit who leads us and convicts us to choose Christ’s way as opposed to our own way. I would put your number 5, on number 1!!

  7. As Tony Soprano said when Carmela asked him why he was a serial cheater. “I’m not sticking my dick in the mouth of the woman who kisses my children goodnight.” ‘Nuff said?

  8. BTW..I loved that last paragraph. Good for you for making a good choice and not doing it. I think people need to realize if they are tempted, they may want to say no and go back to their marriage and fix what is wrong.

  9. Hummmm…
    Am I the only one who thinks sandra looks a little DRUNK???

    http://1picture1blog365days.wordpress.com/

  10. Its always interesting to watch the lies unravel.

    The problem with compulsive liars is that often tend to have compulsive habits in many other sociopathic realms.

    Telling Lies to escape lies…man, its a slippery slope.

    I just wish the Media would pick something else to focus on.

    Is Sandra Bullocks husband really worth all of this attention? I imagine he’ll get all sorts of book offers, interviews, and other press ventures once the heat about this dies down.

    Neo Nazi Sex Addict goes to Rehab “Cleans Up”…and ends on VH1.

    The tragic cycle of American Pop Culture.

    SMH.

    http:/hypothesisspits.com

  11. Seems like most instances of infidelity that I have heard of involve a partner having the same mindset as an impulsive buyer. “I saw it and thought I had to have it. Now, a day later, I don’t really want it.”

    I believe that some of the “steamiest” relationships are between two people who have stuck with each other through thick and thin, and who remain commited not only to merely staying together but to having a great relationship.

  12. Insightful and very truthful, thank you.
    I agree, we are programmed to lust for what is not ours to lust and we are also unfortunately loaded with overblown egos and hubris when we think we have it all goin’ on!
    What’s unfortunate about celebrity unions in that egos are a million times greater than regular people and they are given the green light/special treatment in just about every aspect of their lives, so why not the extra curricular bedroom activity?
    As for Mr. James, he’s probably got a shelf-life of about half a minute now. I almost expect to read Ms. Bullock’s break-up text to him while he’s in saltpeter rehab.
    Too bad these unfortunate things are so titillating. Jesse James and Tiger Woods are poor examples of a definition of our society, but here we are, hanging on their every move, clucking away at how they spurned their perfect wives for sleazy, dirty girls.

  13. Dangerous Minds or Safe Snapshots?

  14. OK, I’ll be really shallow and say that I don’t care if this man (Sandra’s husband) is a celebrity, I wouldn’t want to sleep with him if he came on to me. His eyes are too pale, his forehead is too high and his upper lip is thin & pointed– which looks severe. (From what I can see in the photo you posted.) He doesn’t interest me physically at all– I don’t care what kind of “big name” he might have.

  15. Great post, Mixie. I think these types of things can lead to black and white thinking. But, I think you can be an asshole and be human at the same time, as you’ve said. I guess the real key, beyond knowing your triggers and avoiding them, is to own your mistakes and be willing to pay the consequences. This is a big part of the whole love thing – one of the hard parts that’s easy to say, but hard to do.

    Cheers for the post!

  16. This sucks that they can’t even have a private moment about their relationship… It’s like plastered all over the news. I wouldn’t be able to handle this pressure lol

  17. Actually, my girlfriend had not heard about this story until I told her. And that was today!

  18. Well argued. I agree that limiting one’s options or triggers is an excellent place to start.

  19. It seems to me it may not be about the options people have (or do not have) at the time they think of straying, but of the options they did not exercise before they got married. So many people getting married young, too quickly, or for the wrong reasons. Much as pop and cultural evolution has changed the way we view adultery, it has changed the way many view marriage, as an institution that can be easily entered and exited, not sacred, so why does it matter if one cheats? Not a nicer reason, or excuse, for certain.

    AD

    http://apathygirlpublications.wordpress.com/

    • Wait, are you saying if you didn’t screw around before marriage you’re likely to after?

      I don’t think so. Boundaries make the difference, I think, either by choice or personality (mine by personality; getting close to people isn’t easy).

      At some point, for whatever reason, someone decides to move that boundary. I would think past experience makes that boundary more fluid, not less so.

  20. Well written.

  21. Wow, thank you. Thanks for posting something like this. I’m sick of hearing people talk about how they “cant believe _____ could do this!” Give me a break. You cant understand why because you NEVER had the kind of opportunity or temptation these guys do. Like you, I am not condoning, but understanding. Besides, who fucking cares? Go make good movies and drive your motorcycle off of cool shit. You’re famous because you’re entertaining, not because of your high moral standards. I wrote a similar thing about Tiger.

    http://retortnation.com/2010/03/16/tigerowes/

  22. RE: Nikki Hahn

    Even in your scenario: the guy thought he could get away with it. That spark at the bread basket was a decision making moment, he did not make the decision to leave his wife – he made the decision to cheat on her because he thought he could.

    I’m all for some of your advice (that servant attitude is, well let’s just say it creeeeeeeeepy) but I must assume the man in this story has the capability of speech, should have talked to his wife before humping the lady who is too desperate to find a single man at the office.

    Think you and your spouse are drifting from each other? Think that your spouse never has time for you? Or doesn’t think of romance?
    TELL THEM.

    #1 on your list (and everyone else’s internal lists) should be COMMUNICATE. Your thoughts, your feelings, your fears and hopes.

    Because you can love Jesus all you want and you can say the words “I love you” every other day and eat at a restaurant together each Friday but if you don’t connect through communication, it won’t work.

    #3 is listen to each other, the wife in your story could’ve listened till the cows came home and she wouldn’t have saved her marriage from this disaster: because her partner wasn’t talking.

  23. Ok, first of all… This post is straight talk and straight awesome.

    As a singleton I am also watching the demise of more marriages and partnerships than I ever imagined possible. I wonder about it all the time and have decided that the really green looking grass over there must have as many blemishes as my own well intentioned lawn.

    “You’re gonna sneak around and get caught. No really, you will. And uh no, you’re not that smart.”

    Hell yes. Bearing in mind I think I am pretty darn clever, and have never gotten away with my formerly bad behavior, I don’t think you could me more correct with this assertion. No one “thinks” they will get caught, though I would also hazard a guess that most people do not enter into these dalliances with the idea or intention that they will be anything of consequence. Oh, the arrogance. (Quite likely I am projecting here, so I’ll wind it up…)

    We’re only human in the end, and so Chris Rock might really have it nailed. I thought I cheated because I was dishonest and a bad person, but really I was in a bad relationship where two people were unable to be honest about that.

    Rob Base might be on to something when he says “it takes two to make a thing go right, it takes two to make it out of sight…”

  24. One really nice thing about growing older is realizing that it really doesn’t matter. Whatever you do is a reflection of you & your character or very self. You get to pick. Once that moment of self gratification is over, it’s gone. Doesn’t matter if it’s sex with a porn star or honkin some shit up your nose. Eventually, (if you’re lucky) you come down & it’s all the same. You’re still lookin at yourself in the mirror. You could have been a stand up person in the meantime, the person you thought you were. Make the choice. then it’s easy. Indeed, decide then limit your options.

  25. A further aspect is the strength of temptation and the ability to cheat: It is easier to refrain from women/cake/alcohol/… on a desert island than in a brothel/bakery/pub/…

    If we look at Woods, e.g., I think it is safe to say that he has had no lack of offers (implied or explicit) and some likely from very attractive women. Most men will turn down the occasional Lewinski, but how many will have the strenght to resist all offers when they (hypothetically) include an 18 y.o. cheerleader a week and one super-model every quarter?

    As an aside: Hearing earlier this week that Bullock was married to Jesse James, I thought she had gone cradle robbing—learning that this was not the child actor was a bit of relief.

  26. Loved Dangerous Minds… Best written about the current issues, Rock on, sister!

  27. Haha I need to brush up on my history; I think it’s hilarious J Carter admitted that. Of course most people think it, but kudos to him.

    Good insight though on the whole situation.

  28. They deserve some privacy whilst going through a major bump in there relationship.

    Thanks
    http://preppydiary.wordpress.com/

  29. kjcenters,

    I believe Carter admitted that during – of all things – an interview with Playboy magazine.

    http://www.arts.mcgill.ca/history/faculty/troyweb/courseweb/jimmycartertheplayboyinterview.htm
    Go figure!

  30. Crystal, let me expand on the servant attitude. When you marry someone you marry them for life. It’s a partnership. A servant attitude does not mean you do not have a voice, but it means you want to make him happy. In turn, he wants to make you happy, or at least, that is the way it should be. You do things for each other because you love each other. Putting Christ first in your marriage means you are both on the same path and striving for the same goal. In any marriage, striving for the same goal is important.

    What I have noticed is how many husbands are put down by their wives because wives have this idea that the husband is there to serve them and they do not have to do anything. Like I said, it’s a partnership. They feel especially ‘wronged’ if their husband doesn’t jump fast enough when they call. Guys are different than women. Servant attitude comes in when you go to a baseball game with him even when you hate baseball and you show enthusiasim. Likewise, if you like to go to art museums, he could best show you love by going with you.

    My husband, on his days off, tries to clean the house for me because he loves my expression when I come home from work to a clean house. I, in turn, will cook and bake because I love how he looks forward to every meal and doing these little things for him. I will often try to help with the chores.

    You are right. I may not have mentioned communication, but inferred it. Communication and time often spent together is important to any marriage.

    This blog has inspired a new blog series on my website. It’s told in a short story. Part 1 is now posted.

  31. kjcenters,

    Ms. Mix & Bitch is right.

  32. Jeff,

    I love love love it when a man says I’m right. Gets me hot.

    😉

  33. That’s not an old saying, it’s a “Dirty, rotten, Scoundrels” movie quote.

  34. Well, whadaya know. Thanks Joel 🙂

  35. Ok…so I am a bartender at an upscale lounge in Vegas. From the attractive coworkers to the groups of women that flock in with the “What Happens in Vegas” mentality I will be the first to say that even with options, you still have a choice to make.

    I love my girlfriend of 4 years and have dealt with temptation more than you can imagine. When we became “exclusive” we talked about why we wanted it and we both made a choice to stay true to one another for our own reasons.

    You see, when one commits to an exclusive relationship their “word” goes on the line. Until you “communicate” that it is over with whoever you made that exclusive commitment with, your word remains on the line.

    If I were to compromise my word, and go up to the hotel room with Mrs. Random Cougar/Spring Breaker/sexy drunk who left her digits and room number on the receipt; I fail not only my girlfriend but more important, myself. Even though she would never know I would and whether I felt bad about it or not I still would be failing myself for not being able to keep my word.

  36. Colin L Beadon

    I don’t understand how, so called intelligent people, can’t figure out all this for themsevles ? Didn’t school and University teach them anything, or have they spent life walking around with their eyes and minds forever inwards and closed.

  37. About time someone thinks the way I do. Seriously I been through thick and thin times in my life, and have seened two faced people. I hate when someone is in a relationship, a friend or relative has to make a negative comment to the couple, yet after a few years or even months they are in the same situation and doing exactly what they once thought was wrong.

  38. Thank you, Crystal…

  39. The thing that I don’t understand (and maybe it is just me not understanding the male psychie?) is that these men… Jessie, Tiger and COUNTLESS others in their situation… they are successful, famous and always married to gorgeous, amazing women, what is not enough?!?!

  40. thx 4 share i think she drunk

  41. I think it’s even more simple in Sandra’s case. Somewhere on my deal breaker list would be dating somebody who has been divorced twice and somebody who was married to a person who did porn.

  42. “…we are only as faithful as our options.” Unfortunately I think this statement rings true for a lot of people. In our fast paced, fast food society what is a little quickie cheat? Less calories. Sad.

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