Volume Twenty-Nine: Springer, Redux

Posted on 05/04/2010

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Wooooooow! I must say that I was surprised by the response to last week’s post: The Jerry Springer Effect. Was I surprised because it was a sensitive subject matter? Nope. I expected that. Was I surprised at all of the affirmative responses from my male readers – even though it was offline? Nope. I expected that too. What I was surprised by the most is my female readers’ responses. Their responses surprised me for two reasons: 1) A great many of them understood my points and even agreed with some; and, 2) The objectivity and logic presented when they dis-agreed with me. I expected more emotion and vitriol in their responses – which I did get – but not in the amount or intensity anticipated. So, after hearing some direct (and not so pleasant) response from my female readers, I decided to reach out to a wonderful person and fellow blogger to write the female point-of-view. My new friend Joy, who writes an incredible blog (http://joysrantlist.wordpress.com/) gave me a response to the Springer Effect that I had to post this week. In addition to Joy, another female reader provided some written feedback. This week, I plan to share their feedback and try to find a comfortable way to integrate the two diametrically opposed views.

Joy’s Response

I liked this post and I agree with some of it. I think the thing that most women are going to overlook about this situation is that the man’s cheating is a physical way for him to express what he can’t seem to say about the state of your relationship. If something is missing, he will find it with the other woman. The affair happens slowly, from what I’ve seen – a flirt, a smile, a shared lunch, all lead to the bedroom eventually. Women have to also remember that sex is just an act for most men. So in the same way a woman might yell and scream about what she is feeling, a man (who has been RAISED to not show emotion) will go out and show his pain to another – when he may not be able to show it to you. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. It means he needed something that you couldn’t give him, for whatever reason.

Now the only issue I have with this is that people seem to forget the 80-20 rule. You are only going to get about 80% of what you need from your spouse. That missing 20% is what a woman will pout and scream about, and what a man will cheat for. The difference, is that a woman’s emotional antics don’t violate the vows of marriage. I understand that a man will feel the need to act out – and may have an affair because of it. But I disagree that the wife should have to take charge of repairing things after that happens. Once a man cheats, the trust is broken. Some women can get over it, and some can’t. So, to me, if a man truly wants to stay married, he needs to weigh the option of losing everything against acting out. While that affair was slowly building, the man should be thinking about what could happen and douse the fire before it all blows up on him. To me, this is where men abdicate responsibility. Saying you didn’t expect to sleep with a woman is a cop-out. Are you in a prone position, kissing her? Then you are expecting it. C’mon, men have been expecting sex after 2nd base since high school.

In Corporate America, if you get fired for problems that have not been discussed with you on your performance reviews, you have grounds for a lawsuit. To me, a man having an affair for reasons that he has never shared with his spouse is the same thing.

And then a reader added…

How are we supposed to know what we did and or fix it if he is too hurt and unable or unwilling to tell us?

Push him away even further? How much further away can he get? It seems he’s not communicating AND he’s effing another broad…that’s pretty far away…

If it was broken enough for him to stray as opposed to trying to fix it why is the bulk of the effort to figure it out and fix it on me after he’s damaged it even further?

We end up focusing on the infidelity because at that point it feels like he was just looking for an excuse to cheat. Maybe not true but that’s how it feels.

You all can’t really believe that not communicating with us and then betraying us will ever result in us taking a harder look at ourselves? It certainly wouldn’t work if we required that of you, would it? If you told me what’s wrong and I refused to listen or act, then yeah definitely but otherwise that’s just unreasonable.

@ “Then you need to, again, decide what is more important: Your hurt or the relationship?”

(Ok, this part may be a little combative) That statement is just grossly hypocritical. Couldn’t HE have made that same decision before the infidelity…”my hurt or the relationship?”

Redux

I’m going to keep this short, because I know your time is limited…

I consider myself to be a scholar. And, as a scholar, I can allow for varying viewpoints to merge with my own to formulate a stronger theory. It’s called being objective (Rebubs and Tea Partiers take notice). Anyway, the revision of the Springer Effect is as follows:

1) Men cannot minimize the magnitude of the distraction brought on by the introduction of the “other woman”. Even women that agreed with most of my points, had something to say about her.

2) Men have the responsibility of expressing their emotional needs to their partners before introducing a third-party. Despite their best efforts, women are not mind readers; so, if we want them to know how we feel we have to tell them. If they don’t respond, then…..ummmm – tell them again.

3) Finally, a point that I’ve made before. You have to know your own truth in order to be fully present in any relationship. It is very difficult to be present and consistent in a relationship if you are still discovering who you are as a person. Knowing your truth eliminates emotional ambiguity.

Thank you all for participating in The Jerry Springer Effect. Next week, we will finish this series with a fully integrated and workable plan on how to salvage a relationship – even after it’s been Springer-ized.

That’s just my three cents…

Sill-E

“Peep my ver-na-cular cuz I don’t know how to act…”

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