SHOULD WE REALLY EXPECT A POLITICIAN -- OR ANY MAN -- to stay true to his marriage?
August 13, 2008
BY PAIGE WISER firstname.lastname@example.org
Between campaigning, fund-raising, kissing babies and filibustering, it's a wonder they find the time -- but they do. Politicians are becoming almost as famous for adultery as they are for corruption.
John Edwards, the latest caught in the act, -- so to speak (hilarious)-- has said that his political status contributed to the situation. He told ABC News that "becoming a national figure" created "a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want. You're invincible. And there will be no consequences." (Mr. Edwards, who is this 'you' person you keep referring to? OH! I see....you mean yourself, but, instead of saying 'I' or 'me', it's less of an admission of guilt when you refer to yourself in the third person....well played. I'm convinced.)
Wrongo. (thank you, Mrs. Tuscadero) Bill Clinton could have told him that. Or Gary Condit. Or Eliot Spitzer. Or Kwame Kilpatrick. (Or anybody with a functioning brain...)
Their collective behavior makes one (by 'one, she means any columnist reaching for something to write about) ask: Is it too much to ask for fidelity in marriage?
Evolutionary psychologists say that men are wired to spread their seed, in order to ensure our genetic survival. (kinda takes the whimsy out of it, doesn't it?) Yet the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy concluded that extramarital sex occurs in fewer than 25 percent of committed relationships.
Of course, they only counted the cheaters who admitted it. (ah HA! You've cracked the case, Ms. Wiser)
And no one has yet studied the mating habits of politicians. (OUTRAGE!)
"To many politicians and public figures, a mistress or high-priced call girl is a status symbol," says Ruth Houston, a New York-based infidelity expert. "Being able to afford one is seen as the ultimate mark of success." (What backwards-ass, fucked up parallel universe do you occupy, Ms. 'infidelity expert'? Jesus Christ! Let me slow this down......They.....waaaaaant....a lady....to...suuuuuck....their......diiiiiiick.)
Houston has pinpointed 829 telltale signs that a man is cheating, grouped into 21 major categories. (time well-spent, indeed)
"Many cheating men enjoy the subterfuge, the lying, the scheming associated with having an affair," she says. "Cheating politicians are no different. Cheating gives them the kind of adrenaline rush they'd get from participating in a high-risk sport." (I don't remember fucking anyone after I ran for a first down. Shall I slow it down again?....they....want....their...dicks...sucked......Any questions?)
So, is expecting faithfulness setting the bar too high in today's marriage?
"I think monogamy should at least be aspirational," says Pepper Schwartz, (You've got to be kidding, right?) the relationships expert for perfectmatch.com. "We have to keep trying."
She is in no way surprised by the Edwards scandal. "Personally, I took one look at him and I thought he was way too cute not to cheat," says Schwartz. (Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your relationship expert. 'Too cute not to cheat'? Absolutely the stupidest thing I may have read this year. And that's saying somethin')
Sexual appetites vary, she notes, and it's easier to be faithful when you have a lower sex drive. (Her expertise is astounding!) "Bill Clinton probably has big appetites in every area of his life," she says. (it keeps getting more astounding)
Cheating isn't about love, says Schwartz. And it doesn't have to be the end of a relationship. "OK, life happens," she says. "Maybe what we do need is a policy of forgiveness." (a 'policy' of forgiveness? Life happens? Where's my gun? Seriously. Time to take out the trash. Get the car warmed up. What a fantastic attitude. I'm sure if you get your heart trampled upon your husband, someday, Pepper, you'll shrug it off with a 'Life happens' attitude. Go fuck yourself.)
The one-strike-and-you're-out policy of past generations doesn't seem to apply today. "I'm sure we don't know the sex life of every senator, or we'd have a new headline every day," says Schwartz. (I almost can't keep writing about this.....no shit, Sherlock?)
Bonnie Eaker Weil is the author of Adultery, the Forgivable Sin, and she estimates infidelity rates to be at about 70 percent of men, and somewhere between 50-62 percent of women. But of the couples who come to her for therapy to deal with the problem, 98 percent stay together.
"We need to start treating this as a disease," she says. (oh, Jesus. Not this shit again. A disease? Again.....slowing it down.....they waaaaant to have their dicks sucked.....it's not a goddamned disease you fucking moron.) She finds that men cheat when they are under stress, or dealing with a loss. Edwards' political career would certainly be high-stress, and he's dealt with the loss of a son, his wife's cancer and long periods of time away from home. (time to fuck a skank, I say!)
The rest of us are dealing with a bad economy, high gasoline prices, terrorist fears and other uncertainties that make us vulnerable. (I know when I pay $4/gal. of gas, I wanna hit some whore tang!)
"Adultery is really a wakeup call," says Weil. "It's a cry for help, a dysfunctional attempt to stabilize the relationship you're in." ("Honey, I fucked that tranny in the back alley because I was trying to stabilize our marriage. I need your help!")
She says that cheating is a way to self-medicate. "Thrill seeking creates dopamine, which makes you feel loved and happy," she says. "It's like taking a drink -- except that it can hurt someone else." (and a drink doesn't make you cum.....unless you have a really good blender, maybe)
Weil thinks fewer people would cheat if they could get that feeling at home, and she has plenty of ideas about keeping things fresh with your spouse.
"You have to do the unexpected, create the forbidden fruit and thrill-seeking by having an affair with your own husband," she says. "I'm talking about making out in a car, taking the humdrum out of life." (Oh, this is such a 'chick' idea.....Ladies, let me just set you straight - a husband having an affair will never EVER consider his wife 'forbidden fruit'. He will never have an 'affair' with his wife. Once he's done making out with you in your car once or twice, he'll get bored with that and move on to the 20-year-old college student....This is a bullshit attitude that, still, somehow, it's the woman's fault for the adulterous husband. A cheating husband is being a fucking asshole. End. of. story. )
Or you could always put it in writing. Some of her clients have "fidelity contracts" promising each other to be faithful. "One client has to pay his wife $100,000 if he cheats," she says. (....keep.....breathing....Snrub......keeeeeep....breeeeeaathii......steady....steeeeady..)
Something needs to change, says Jenny Block (yet, another chick offering advice about men. Well done, Paige) , author of Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage. "I think we need to reevaluate how we 'do' marriage because it is not working for most people as it is," she says. "People are unhappy. People cheat. People are getting separated and divorced. And, without fail, when one political sex scandal dies down, another one crops up."
If the lifestyle of TV's "Swingtown" were truly a mainstream option, she thinks a lot of people would try it. (if anybody watched it)
"Human beings are not a monogamous species, and expecting everyone to live that way is unrealistic, as this scandal proves once again," says Block. "It's as if we want to be a society of happily, healthily, successfully monogamously married people, and so we pretend we are. We pretend that works for us, and yet our actual behavior displays anything but that." (Again. What's with this 'we' shit? Talk about yourself, Jenny "on the" Block, and maybe I'll listen.)
Block knows a number of couples who are faithful and happy. But why focus so much on the ideal? "People can believe in different religions," she says. "They can believe in different methods of child-rearing. They can believe in different ways of eating and dressing. But when it comes to love and sex and relationships and marriage, there's supposed to be one right way for everyone. It keeps failing." (So does religion, parenting, eating and fashion.....people fail at all of them, yet, I guess we should just stop shooting for religious morals, being good parents, eating healthily and dressing professionally, then, because, hey, we're just going to fail anyway....what a load of lazy-ass bullshit)
Block doesn't see what Edwards' personal life has to do with his leadership abilities. And she doesn't see why we limit ourselves to monogamy.
"Would it be so bad if there was more than one way to do marriage?" she asks. "Wouldn't honest and happy be better than lying and unhappy?" (who's stopping you, shithead? You wanna fuck around while you're married? Go ahead. Lord knows, your husband's already doing it.)