Another new standard has just been applied to women during this presidential election. Hillary Clinton was attacked by Donald Trump as he condoned her role in her husband’s philandering. Trump said Hillary hurt other women by being an enabler. Ugh.
Faulting a wife for her husband’s deeds is, unfortunately, not new. Women have been under scrutiny for the actions of our partners for centuries now. Let’s be honest here, who hasn’t said, “She must have known” when we learn of a cheating spouse?
Does Trump imply that Hillary is responsible for the actions of her husband? An interesting angle, especially when reminded that Trump’s second wife was his mistress during his first marriage.
In an ideal world there are no cheaters. The research data on infidelity is very complicated because it is difficult to get honest responses about a dishonest topic. Take a look at this article to find out more.
You know I am big on women’s rights and an advocate for addressing women’s issues. And this is just one of those issues that we rarely talk about, even though each of us has an opinion.
I wonder how women can win any side of the argument. Let’s take one of my girlfriends in Europe as an example. She figured out that her partner cheated and after hacking into his phone, she learned the disturbing things he had been saying about her. Not only did she have to deal personally with the betrayal, she witnessed the pain her son faced and what happened to his relationship with his Dad after the details came out.
Now she wondered if she was my friend the only one who didn’t know about his transgressions? Does the men’s code prohibit other men who knew about this affair from telling her about it? If yes, then it is an even bigger betrayal.
Next is the biggest question of it all. Should a woman stay in the relationship and try to make things work for the sake of the 10 or 20 years already invested, for the sake of children, and to avoid the harsh financial consequences? Or should she tell him to buzz off and salvage what she can?
In the public eye, women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
If she leaves him, she acts unreasonably for not being able to forgive his small blunder and she jeopardizes the happiness and strength of her entire family. Therefore, she is a bad woman and a worse wife.
If she stays with him to try and repair the relationship and her family, she allows him to make a fool out of her. As the saying goes: once a cheater, always a cheater. She obviously has no self-worth and takes on part of the responsibility for his actions.
And if that isn’t enough to make your blood boil, here are some of my favorite accusations faced by women and the stupidest excuses for men:
- She can’t keep her man happy, so he must look somewhere else for whatever she is not giving him. If he is unhappy he can do whatever he pleases.
- She complains or nags too much. He doesn’t want to hear it anymore, so he has the right to go somewhere where he is appreciated. Who needs to be burdened with the difficulties that life and kids bring?
- She doesn’t want as much sex as he does, or won’t provide as much excitement as he wants. That is a free pass for him to explore other more titillating adventures. After all, why should he be bored just because she’s frigid?
- She wants him to be perfect and he couldn’t fulfill her expectations. This one needs no further explanation.
The truth is that overcoming cheating is always a double-edge sword. The betrayal felt after being cheated on is so profound that many are never able to get over it. Something dies inside of us.
On the flip side, we want to make things work for the sake of our families. The women I know who have walked away did so only after much consideration and only because they saw no other way to move on.
Women cannot and should not be held responsible for what their partners do or don’t do. As women, we should jointly reject being held responsible for his behavior and its consequences. The decision of whether to stay with him or not is a very personal one, and only she in the situation can be the judge. In The Women’s Code we support ALL decisions our sisters make, even if we disagree.
In this election with so much dirt being unearthed and flung around, I want to encourage all of us to focus on the issues at hand and the qualifications and accomplishments of the candidates. In the heat of a scandalous political argument it is easy to oversee the underlying issue. In this case, it is yet another attack on women in general – just a spin on past events and a man grasping for flaws.
And I am having none of it. I hope you agree.