Cheating Husband Trend: My Theory

Lately, left and right we are hearing about yet another famous man/s infidelity. Politicans, athletes, celebrities… We are just inundated. It is sublimely depressing. Here’s a great blog post by Alanna Glicksman which sums up recent celeb betrayals. I’ll save space and skip over the politicos and the ballers: we’re all familiar.

Maybe monogamy is unnatural for humans.  Interesting Wendy Walsh momlogic article states that:

“Cheating husbands are not be a new trend. After all, we are a primate society with what anthropologists like to call “perceived monogamy.” Today 65% of marriages break up because of an extra-marital affair. Despite the sexual revolution and the reduction of the “double standard,” more men still cheat than women. Now science shows us why this gender imbalance has existed for thousands of years.

First, there could be a genetic link. Swedish researchers recently identified an “infidelity gene,” which is present in four of 10 men.”

(Another issue to discuss another day.) However, marriage is a contract and sadly, a failing institution. Evolutionary tendencies may be strong but we override them all the time, so that innate wandering eye/differential parental investment excuse does not stand. And funnily enough, this sacred institution is still one only available to straight people, most of whom can’t seem to stay married! Ain’t it grand. Anyway my beloved Tina Fey recently reacted with this SNL bit (NBC video will not embed).

It’s funny of course. But I have to wonder why women are still blaming other women. Tina starts by naming women politicians and astronauts, clearly lauding women’s progress. But she falls into the same pattern of our gender’s self-defeating style. As far as culpability, the mistress is irrelevant, frankly. Homewreckers are hated indeed, and great fodder for comedy. But one must ask, why don’t we talk about male homewreckers? The men with whom wives cheat on their husbands? Is it less common or less destructive? I beg this question, and please comment with your thoughts.

Bombshell McGee is too easy a target. I mean…:

Perhaps the actuality of rampant infidelity is too awful to make real jokes about. So the butt of the joke is the outrageous mistress, and we haven’t really mocked Jesse James at all. My theory: There is something comforting about mocking this counter culture Kat Von D lookalike, because it creates that warm fuzzy us-and-them dichotomy. And if we can only hold on to that, this infidelity thing is easier to swallow because something is still sacred about the status quo. If it’s Bombshell’s fault for being ridiculous, no one has to deal with the reality that “normal” or seemingly good husbands choose to have sex with reps for the alt lifestyle.  (Although, if Bombshell really is a Nazi chick, the tatted vegan hXc feminist baker/blogger/photographer thing doesn’t really apply here…)  Essentially, Bombshell was not under a contract (James was).

Related: Nike’s recent Tiger Woods ad is another piece to ponder. I’ve already tweeted about it but wanted to repost because I am still analyzing it. Frankly, the media offers no solace or sardonic humor that would artfully rebuke the deserving, truly culpable parties- the married infidels.  Can’t they do any better?  Or do they purposely write for an unintelligent audience (understandable since news is a business)?  For those who have not yet seen it:

  • Hmmm… first of all I would like to say that of course its a double standard, we exist in a patriarchy, and as such women will blame other women because the structure that is created leaves men above persecution. Women are portrayed as sluts when they engage in unethical or ethical promiscuity whereas men are perceived as acting on biological impulse. Women are still somewhat chattel within our societal constraints, which is not surprising considering less than a century of so called equal rights or a women’s lib movement versus thousands of years of dowries or being treated as property and being valued on aesthetics alone.

    That being said it comes as no surprise that men betrothed to such high achieving women cheat, as their validation and identity are devalued as their roles are now reversed and they are left behind holding their wives purses at the Oscars. They are essentially emasculated and to validate their identities as men they seek sexual relationships to reaffirm their power. No surprise there. No surprise either that media does not chastise the philanderers like Tiki Barber leaving his 8 month pregnant wife (with twins) for a hot young blonde. That is the nature of the beast, quoth the godfather “this… is the business we have chosen”

    I do take umbrage with a biological reductionist argument favoring genetics as a behavioral explanation. In fact studies show in some cases women are MORE likely to cheat…

    This “science” is just the tool of those in power, ie men so I don’t put any stock in it, as it is ENTIRELY used as a justification for maintaining the status quo and fails as an actually explanation for why men actually cheat. It has little to do with biological imperatives programmed into our bodies

    – DJV

  • This JUST popped up on my Google Alerts. Thanks so much for the link love!

    • Emily

      Better late than never. You’re welcome.