A number of readers have pointed out the article on Huffington Post: I Just Wish He Would Have An Affair! Click the link for the full post, but in a nutshell it describes the surprisingly common phenomenon of wives expressing the wish that their husbands would cheat on them, and asks why this is so common. The article opens with:
“My husband is so nice. He’s a good guy. I just wish he would have an affair!”
I have heard these comments, or comments very similar to this, numerous times lately. What’s going on? I’m not sure I have an answer. In fact, I know I don’t have an answer…
Further down she elaborates:
These women are done. They say they aren’t happy. They say they aren’t in love with their husbands (or any other man — they aren’t having affairs). They say they simply wish they were no longer married to him. They aren’t fulfilled. They wonder if this is how they are doomed to live the rest of their lives (and God-willing, most of them have another 40+ years ahead of them).
The common factor amongst all of these women is that they say that their husbands are really solid, good, nice men. They are not victims of physical or emotional abuse. They are not married to felons. They are not married to alcoholics or drug addicts. Their husbands are not having affairs. In fact, they tell me, there really isn’t anything “wrong” with their husbands … they just don’t want to be married to them anymore because they have fallen out of love.
While the author is baffled by the fact that so many of these women wish their husbands would have an affair, the reason is quite obvious if you consider the situation from the would be frivolous divorcées perspective. Divorce is an act of immense destruction. This is true even in cases where it is fully justified. Families aren’t designed to be broken apart. It takes an act of terrible destructive power to make this happen. You can’t just unfasten a few bolts and neatly remove one part from another. The only method available is something akin to remodeling with dynamite.
Put yourself in these women’s shoes for a moment. Imagine you have a mortgage you don’t want to have to pay any more. Never-mind the fact that you were the one hell bent on buying instead of renting, and never-mind that you very likely signed these mortgage papers in front of everyone you know; you aren’t haaaapy paying the mortgage any more. However, as your friends and the media tell you 24×7, you are in luck. Due to an inexplicable bout of legal insanity, there is a way out of your heavy obligation, a loophole. All you have to do is light the house on fire:
Don’t worry, your kids are statistically extremely likely to make it out alive without (visible) lifelong burns and pain. Yes, you will unfortunately put them and the rest of the family through unconscionable suffering, but the law is designed to move as much of the consequences as is possible to your soon to be ex husband and your children. But there is either way a terrible cost to doing what you want to do. It is a grave act of destruction. No one can deny this, even the pathological deniers:
…I know that in my case it took over two years before I stopped cringing about what I had done – institute a divorce.
So while you won’t be held legally responsible for the destruction you are about to unleash, you need to find a way not to be held morally responsible. You have to answer the question:
How could you profit from inflicting this kind of pain and destruction on the innocent, on your own family? How could you profit from breaking your own solemn word? What kind of a monster would do that?
This is where the near absolute corruption of modern Christianity comes into play. Even if you aren’t particularly religious, Christianity is the most prominent moral voice in the west. If you can get moral cover from Christianity this is your best shelter for what you want to do. Fortunately as I’ve shown repeatedly the corruption of modern Christianity is nearly perfect. A faithful Christian on the topic of marriage and divorce stands out as much as an honest cop in Ciudad Juarez.
But even here you have to work with them. It isn’t that Christians aren’t willing to gin up a biblical excuse for what you are about to do, but you need to provide them with a kernel to build their biblical rationalization on. They don’t need your husband to actually commit adultery, just tell them that he viewed pornography. They don’t need him to actually abuse you, just make an earnest enough pronouncement that he did. It can be as simple as declaring I will say, I was extremely emotionally abused. But as I said, you have to give them something however small that they can manufacture into a serious biblical charge. And don’t worry, it isn’t just Protestants who will do this for you, as Elusive Wapiti describes in his post Second Chances on the Divorce Superhighway:
My former wife had already absconded with my children across the country when she served me with divorce papers, thus her act of filing for divorce was both the beginning and the end of the divorce process. It was all over but for the court date to make it official…
Incidentally, her Catholic priest recommended to her that she seek a divorce (and later the Archdiocese of Washington would breezily approve the annulment, after having the sac to ask me for a $500 “donation” to finance their declaring that my marriage to her never happened and my children were henceforth bastards).
But what if part of you knows that your husband is truly a good man, who doesn’t deserve to be slandered while also (along with your children) bearing the bulk of the cost of the destruction you want to unleash? This can create a sense of guilt, as the Huffington Post article explains:
And we are talking about women here, so here comes the “guilt.” Women have guilt covered — and these women are no different. They feel guilty as all get out and wonder about what everyone else will think should they decide to leave this “nice” guy. They wonder about the impact it will have on their kids, their extended families, their circle of friends. Deep inside they feel selfish and ask, “What gives me the right to leave my husband when he has done nothing wrong?”
Yes, you read that right. Women are victims for feeling guilty about wreaking massive devastation on the innocent, for profiting from their own family’s pain and her own unwillingness to keep her promise. What they need is a patsy, a rube. They need someone else to volunteer to take the fall for the terrible crime they plan on committing. There is only one choice; their husband must be the one to play the patsy.
And remember, Christians are going to want her to claim some form of abuse or adultery. This leaves her with two options, somehow convince him to cheat (or at least view porn), or to abuse her. As with the wife in Fireproof, many women find that by denying their husband sex they can at least drive him to viewing porn. But as wretched as frivolous divorcées are, for some of them at least this charade is too much to stomach. They can’t imagine explaining for the rest of their lives that they turned their home into a smoking hole in the ground because their husband looked at porn. The same goes for trying to claim some nebulous form of abuse. So unless they can bait their husband into hitting them or filing for divorce himself, they need to get him to cheat.
This is why the Huffington Post author keeps hearing from women who wish their husbands would cheat, and why we have heard this same thing from so many other sources. You may recall the frivolous divorcée from the Marie Claire article I quoted in this post:
Clark had dated a handsome businessman for four years before they got engaged, and although he didn’t make her heart race, she still loved him. “We were best friends, and I thought he’d make a great husband and father, even though I wasn’t ‘in love,’” she says. “I walked down the aisle thinking, What the hell? During my vows, I wasn’t making eye contact with my fiancé.”
Five years and two kids later, their sex life nonexistent, Clark wanted out. “I’d often wish he would cheat,” she says.
Devlin discusses this same basic thing in his post Rotating Polyandry—& its Enforcers, Part 1:
The women sometimes responded with a kind of countermanipulation: “they thought if they were cold and treated their husbands terribly, the men would leave, or ask them to leave.” Sometimes this happens—which, incidentally, explains why divorce initiation statistics can be misleading. A significant portion of the roughly thirty percent of divorces which are formally male-initiated result from the wife deliberately maneuvering her husband into taking the step.
But it is not always easy for women to obtain a divorce in this manner: “Some of the women couldn’t believe the things their husbands were willing to put up with.” (So much for men not being committed.) The author recounts cases where women deliberately tried to provoke their husbands into striking them because they calculated it would be to their advantage in the looming child-custody dispute.
We see the same thing described by Dreamer1982, one of the Christian women who have now gone on for 44 pages justifying divorce if they aren’t haaapy and feeling the love:
When I told a friend of mine that her h was cheating on her, while she was devastated, she was also thankful and relieved. In her words, “What you told me saved me from having to stay in a loveless marriage.”
I often wished that I could have been the one who was left by my husband. Of course, I acknowledge that being left isn’t any more fun, but I longed to be able to avoid taking responsibility for the choice that made me feel so unhinged.
There are two key things we should all take away from this. The first is that a divorcée with a seeming good excuse very well may not be as innocent as she sounds. The profoundly biased family courts and the thorough corruption of modern Christianity create a huge incentive for wives to willfully maneuver their husbands into playing the patsy. He may have hit her, he may have even cheated on her, but that doesn’t mean she was an innocent victim or is a good bet for (re)marriage. Some number of women are certainly blameless, but unfortunately we typically can’t tell. This is made all the worse by the bizarre willingness, often eagerness, of the blameless to stand in solidarity with the frivolous.
The other thing men especially must take away from this is to be aware of the risk. As Devlin describes, “I’m not haaaapy!” isn’t just an innocent expression of marital dissatisfaction. It is typically an indication that you are already well down the path of marital destruction. Men need to be aware of this to protect themselves from false charges, and they need to be smart, restrained, and moral enough not to actually play the patsy. No matter how much she communicates through her attitude and her actions that she wants you to hit her or cheat on her, don’t take the bait.