Society’s Changing Views On Infidelity

This article was in Huffington Post today and it hit a nerve with me. Society in general has become nonchalant about alot of things infidelity, domestic violence, lying politicians. It is almost expected that people will lie about you, manipulate you and if you are so niave you end up getting hurt.then shame on you. I know I don’t talk about my relationship with JC with just anyone because I don’t want to have to defend myself for being gullible, a sucker, too forgiving or weak. Tell me what you think.

Tracy Schorn
Jul 16, 2013
It used to be infidelity was considered dangerous and full of tragic consequence. Mess with another’s man’s wife? You might wind up dead. Sleep with a married man? You were a “home wrecker.” If you were the chump, society understood that you’d be full of rage and temporarily insane with grief. We had “crimes of passion.” We understood that the pain of betrayal drove ordinary people to extremes.That’s been the conventional wisdom going back through the ages — to Shakespearean tragedies. Othello weeps and agonizes, before killing Desdemona just on the (wrongful) suspicion that she’s been unfaithful. “Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men.”

Elizabethans understood that to cheat on someone who loved you was to destroy them.My wife! my wife! what wife? I have no wife. O insupportable! O heavy hour! Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse Of sun and moon, and that the affrighted globe Should yawn at alteration.Or check out the old British folk song Matty Groves. Lord Donald’s wife cheats on him with Matty Groves. He finds the couple in bed and tells the naked man to have one of his swords and strike him first, before asking:”So how do you like my feather bed? And how do you like my sheets? And how do you like my lady who lies in your arms asleep?”Lord Donald kills Matty Groves and when his wife says she enjoyed kissing Matty better than him, he drives a knife through her heart and buries the cheaters together in the same grave. “But bury my lady at the top, for she was of noble kin.”Or the blues song Frankie and Albert (also known as Frankie and Johnny) — where Frankie shoots her unfaithful lover.”Boohoo, boohoo, boohoo, Frankie cried, ‘Baby what have I done? I shot the only man that I loved with a Colt 41.’ She shot that man, ’cause he was doing her wrong.”It is certainly a societal improvement that we don’t romanticize such bloodthirstiness now. (Although people still kill each over other cheating.) But in my opinion, the pendulum has swung over to a new extreme — nonchalance about infidelity.

The emphasis of wrong-doing is placed on the chump now instead of the betrayer. Chumps didn’t manage their expectations appropriately. Their inadequacies drove their partners to cheat on them. They must own their part in that! These false equivalencies — that your faults are commensurate with acts of betrayal — seem to be the new norm.

Today in our culture, Iago would say to Othello — “Dude, get over it already.” Lord Donald would probably commit murder suicide from the shame of being chumped. And Frankie and Albert would go to marriage counseling, where the shrink would ask Frankie why she wasn’t meeting Albert’s needs. What was her part in driving Albert into the arms of Nelly Bly?As a culture, we used to understand that infidelity drove people out of their minds’ with pain. Now it’s a big whatever.

In our narcissistic age we ask — did you get played for a sucker? Well, that’s your fault. You expected too much. What did you do to make them do that? And we don’t want consequences or unseemly drama. Get over it already! Sentimentality is for suckers. Commitment is for chumps. Only unsophisticated rubes expect people to keep their promises to them. You fell for that? Did you give too much? Well, that was your choice then, wasn’t it? Surely you didn’t expect reciprocity. Didn’t you have a Plan B? You put all the eggs in that basket? That was sure dumb of you. As my ex-husband said to me after I discovered his serial infidelities — “Don’t be such a Pollyanna. Everybody cheats.”The problem wasn’t that he cheated. No, the problem was that I didn’t manage my expectations of him properly. How dare I be upset that he didn’t keep his commitments! My heartbreak was just a symptom of my naivety. Of being an unsophisticated Pollyanna.

There isn’t anything wrong with chumps for assuming that their partners would be faithful. There is something terribly wrong, however, with a culture that thinks you should shrug at infidelity, and better yet — be friends with the person who betrayed you. Have Thanksgiving dinners together! Be progressive and evolved! Do it for the kids!

Lord Donald didn’t throw dinner parties with Matty Groves. He told the man who screwed his wife to put his pants on, take his best shot — and then he killed him. I’m not advocating chump violence. I’m advocating understanding. Chumps are entitled to their grief and anger. They are entitled to a chilly distance from people who betrayed them.

The world must recognize once again that infidelity is life altering, tragic and terrifying. Betrayal is not a big shrug. It is fully human to love completely. We are wired to bond and it’s not naive to do so. We are not unsophisticated to expect people to honor their commitments to us. On the contrary, chumps are a better class of people because they do honor their commitments. And if they haven’t stabbed anyone through the heart over this? I think they’re doing pretty good.

Posted by Carrie Reimer the Lady WithaTruck

4 thoughts on “Society’s Changing Views On Infidelity

  1. The Heretic

    I hate to say it this way (or maybe I am just too self-conscious), but I think in today’s society it is kind of seen as a trendy, OK kind of thing. Where both sexes seem to have some kind of entitlement and justification for infidelity, and no one should judge. To have something pre-arranged in the relationship is one thing, but when there isn’t a mutual agreement for something like that I think it is fucked up either way to do to someone. Although it comes across that way in some movies and shows that it is OK and justified too. If the main character is not some Adonis, pretty-boy (and also on the reverse) then it is OK that the female character cheat on him, because she had some kind of justification because (you know) he was ugly, or isn’t godly endowed. Even if the “ugly” person treats them like gold and the pretty one treats them like utter crap, it is completely OK and justified. Mind you, this isn’t to say that EVERY show or movie is completely like this, just pointing out that there are those that do have it present.

    Again, this is coming from someone who literally has the most minimal experience of being in a relationship. Which is sad that someone like me can point it out.


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Micheal, for someone with minimal experience you are pretty aware of the way things are. In my opinion things have changed a lot even in the last 12 years when I started dating jC. I have read the forums on dating sites and it seems to be expected that the women will put out while the man tests out several women and she hopes he picks her. I have always expected that the man I am having sex with is only having sex with me.
      Good to see you Micheal, say hi to mom!


  2. Whitewolf2

    I agree with the first poster/commenter on the trendy aspect. Also social media has a huge impact. The Narcissist can “love bomb” several women at once, all across the country! One article that opened my eyes was on the “Good men project” and it was something like “Why men don’t cheat on their wives”…and it was like “I won’t cheat on my wife b/c I love her too much to hurt her”, and several guys said that, I was like floored! That’s when I realized my “N” wasn’t a normal guy! This society fosters Narcissists and rewards them for bad behavior. Its accepted as polis cheat on their wives and then are “Forgiven by god” BS all over. We have a really sick society with no values at this point in time.



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