I’m watching it happen: a twenty-something boosting her ego by trying to get her hands on someone else’s husband. It’s a car crash I’m not interested in watching, and am unable prevent.
Infidelity is a theme that keeps cropping up in my path, and something I feel passionately about.
At a work Christmas party, 18 months ago, I found myself a comfortable spot on the dance floor and became lost in a happy bubble of surprisingly decent tunes. Strangers were uniting through the appreciation of music, and it was a temporarily beautiful moment. The track ‘Song 2’ came on and I embraced the vibe, alongside (well, not right alongside, there was a good three metre gap between us) a man who apparently shared my love of Blur; we jumped around in sync, within the limits of my impractical footwear. He was not a love interest, I did not want to pull him and I doubt for a second that he wanted to pull me – being evidently very happy with his wife and child, and the fact that I’m an acquired taste. Within about 30 seconds, a married woman, of extremely senior status within the company, stormed across and grabbed him – dragging him away from my sights and giving me a look as if I had just decapitated a kitten on the dance floor. I was absolutely incensed.
Something triggered this again recently, and I guess it feels a little personal – because hitting on someone else’s man is not just something I would not do – it’s something I feel very strongly against. It was offensive that I was deemed someone who would dive head first into a married man’s trousers.
Here’s why I couldn’t do it: imagine someone taking a rusty pair of scissors to any part of your body that would come off, then applying a cheese grater with brute force to the rest of your body – followed by a finale of pushing you into a bath of acid. That’s how much it hurts when someone does that to you. And if you think it can’t feel worse, they then watch, praying you will drown, don’t offer you a life jacket of an apology and then rob your wardrobe, handbag and Gin shelf.
Should these women be forgiven? Yes. I think that everyone deserves forgiveness, kindness and the benefit of the doubt that they aren’t quite aware of what they have done. However, I believe the situation can be avoided very easily, aside from the very simple approach of “try not to put a married man’s willy in your nutty”. You can control your feelings – and here’s proof, through one very awkward question:
If your brother wasn’t your brother, would you fancy him?
The most common reason people aren’t attracted to their siblings is because they are siblings – there is something that makes it impossible to fancy someone else – and that is because they are out of bounds. Men in relationships are out of bounds. Make that people in relationships – this post is about women respecting each other and there being some sort of girl code, largely because I write autobiographically – but it’s not based on a perception that only women behave like this – men pinch people’s partners too.
There’s no science behind not having an affair – you simply think of that person as your brother. Oh and you respect their wife/partner, as another human being, not stick your fingers on your ears, close your eyes and sing ‘la la la’, to avoid that fact, whilst you put their penis in your mouth.
I have been lucky as a single woman: I get invited round to other couples’ houses, I have been given lifts by friends’ husbands, I have had a friend babysit whilst I went running with her husband and have been for a drink after work with married male friends. Until the day I die, I will never see any of these men as anything other than friends.
I wish the dance floor lady could read this. I wish she had the opportunity to realise that her public gesture was a kick in the genitalia, and that she was lucky I didn’t grab her by her bulging eyeballs and say “Listen lady, just for reference, I would bath in dog shit over sleep with him. And not because there’s anything wrong with him, but because he is married. And he’s a dad. And for what it’s worth, I’m wearing a jumpsuit, heels and loads of make-up because I’m clinging onto the attempt to feel attractive after being left for someone else – not because I want to attract a man. Aside from this, you are a GREAT BIG SEXIST PIG – why did you not drag any of the married women away from me? Take your unfair, sexist conclusion and shove it up your hairy judgemental arse crack.”
Whilst I’m on the rampage, I want to take the woman I observed, who was gunning for a dirty shag in an ALDI car park with her target married man, and set fire to her boobs. I want to run at her with an electric sander, and then push her into a paddling pool of lemon juice. I want to show her quite how much her actions might hurt the oblivious wife.
Despite my asexual vibes, I got accosted recently by an out-of-bounds gent, and was deeply offended by the offer – which, to me, equated to ‘Hi, if you’re free on Friday night, do you fancy destroying my girlfriend’s life? – No! I don’t care if you cover it in chocolate, tie a bow around it or if it has the powers of a magical genie lamp – I’m not going near your todger. End of discussion.
I totally understand that men have natural urges and that it may be fact that monogamy is unnatural. I think that men who are honest about wandering thoughts, who acknowledge this and seek the advice of their wives, especially at times when women are trying to snare them, should be proud. I’m aware of this happening with more than one friend, and I totally back their supportive approach to these revelations – both friends understanding the position of their husbands, and being grateful for the honesty and the fact their husbands didn’t just drop their pants and hold up a ‘jump on board my javelin!’ sign. However, if women had respect for each other, and stayed away from other people’s partners, then affairs wouldn’t happen. Also true for same sex couples and for men who have got jiggy with, or suggested it, with married women.
Would I have done it in my twenties? I’d like to think not. Would I have appreciated the pain I would have caused if I had a married man with kids on offer, who I wanted to be with? Probably not. I know there’s an element of naivety here on the part of women who do this – but there’s also a hugely apparent ‘who gives a shit’, and in the latest case I’ve had wafted in front of my eyes, I think the lass just wanted to get fingered round the back of a Ladbrokes, and then be on her way.
I have a burning research project: if a mass of women, and men, are genuinely ignorant to the hurt they would cause by stuffing a committed sword into their foof, then do those of us with children have the power to influence infidelity in the next generation? Up there with ‘don’t do drugs,’ ‘don’t drink too much,’ ‘work hard at school’ etc., should we be adding ‘don’t have sex with someone who is in a relationship?’ It would be an interesting study to carry out, over a 20-30 year period. It makes me think of the school visit we had from Leah Betts’ dad, Paul, (I even remember his name, over 20 years on); he warned us of the devastation of taking drugs – and it worked – his story stuck in my mind for forever and possibly stopped me from ever trying class A drugs. And I have since met two friends in adult life who remembered the same talk at their primary schools, and felt it had really worked in preventing them from dabbling with drugs.
Preparing for potential disgruntled readers who have imitated a scene from Geordie Shore – and dabbled with someone else’s man/woman – I am not claiming a squeaky clean track record in my life – there are many other platforms from which I could not preach. But if this hits a nerve, it just needs to be taken on the chin. People aren’t chips – you can’t pop one in your mouth when the person who ordered and paid for them is looking away.
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