Tuesday, April 24, 2012

He's married, but........

He's Married, But.....
--> (Disclaimer – this is not applicable to all circumstances – each case is individual.  Just sharing my thoughts and observations – I am not the DEFINITIVE authority on this topic.)
A friend and I were talking about adultery and she mentioned that it seems that women seem more angry with the other woman than they are with the errant husband.  I agreed that it does appear unfair to blame the other woman more than the man.  I also agreed that it does seem women are blamed and judged more harshly by the wife and other women for their involvement in adultery.  Shortly after this conversation, I had an experience that caused me to reflect on this difference in blame.
I was having a conversation with a handsome gentleman who seemed interested in more than a ‘hook up’.  In the course of the conversation, he asked if I was single, being truthful I responded that I was “married but that we have been separated for a number of years.”  He vanished so fast I thought he had been a hallucination.  Clearly, ‘married’ was the stop sign no matter what the quality or state of the marriage. 
The man made no evaluation about the quality or state of my marriage.  There were no probing questions about when or if I was going to be single.  There was no interpretation or analysis – it was simple.  Married = Stop. End Approach. Period.
I thought about that and my observation was that men seem more often to acknowledge 'married' as a HARD Stop and some women (usually the ones that end up involved with married men long term or as a pattern) take it as a SOFT Stop. 

As I reflected on it I realized that you often hear women say “He was married, BUT….
·       he was unhappy with her, I make him happy
·       he was planning to divorce her anyway
·       he wasn’t in love with her
·       he said his wife didn't do this, that or the other
·       he’s my soulmate, she made him marry her

And any number of other meaningless justifications for their own lack of self-respect and integrity in order to give themselves license to run the STOP SIGN that marriage is supposed to represent. 

Women justify and excuse their selfish and wreckless behavior, citing that the married man is guilty too.  They frequently cite “well he’s the one who made the commitment” and so he is, but what does that have to do with her willingness to actively participate in adultery?  Would she smoke crack just because he did or he asked her to?  ‘No Thank You’ is an acceptable response to any invitation. 
Perhaps they are judged harshly for their disregard of their own integrity, for their own failure to recognize that he has no more regard for her than he does for anyone else, in fact less regard since he has invited her to a wholly inappropriate relationship.    Even worse is when she is the one initiating, pursuing and facilitating the relationship.  And I am learning this happens A LOT.
It is an individual choice to engage in behavior that is destructive in another woman's life.  I think blame for women who willingly and knowingly engage with married men is the acknowledgement that the choice to be involved with another woman’s husband is borne of coveting, jealousy and desperation.  A woman involved with a married man positions herself to be in (false) competition with his wife.  It’s petty and small.  It creates chaos in the lives of people who have done nothing to her. 
Avoid the blame – wait (without engagement or involvement) until the divorce decree is signed.  Do not judge the quality of his marriage, the character or any other attribute of his WIFE.  Married = Stop. End Approach. Period.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Balcony is Open

Enjoying my balcony.  Working a little.  And acutely aware of the praise that is rising from the depths of my soul.  When I try to pinpoint the source of my joy - it becomes fuzzy.  There are good things happening, there are challenging things coming.  Perhaps it's just that at this stage of my life I know with comfort and contentment that God has a plan and makes a way.  And that obedience is a little thing.

Recently, I was reunited with some childhood friends.  It is such a blessing.  I am so grateful for them in my life again.  Such a wonderful and unexpected gift.

I find my mind fresh with simple memories - while getting a manicure this morning I suddenly changed my mind and switched from french to a sassy red polish.  When the manicurist finished I looked at my hands and remembered vividly my mother's hands and was warmed by the memories of her.  She is still missed - but oh how the memories make me smile.

I am blessed to have friends/cousins who support me in my walk - and tap or thump me when I decide to dance to close to the fire.  I am grateful.  And there is my work - I am fortunate to enjoy what I do.  Speaking of work - I must get back to it.

Be blessed and enjoy Easter.  I am always overwhelmed by the mere thought of HIS sacrifice.