August 1, 2012 § 195 Comments

There are some comforts to be found in self-employment, and one is that no one can sack you.  So it is with being a plankton, at least no one can be unfaithful to you.

Seems there’s a lot of infidelity about, all over the bloody shop; seemingly more now than ever before.  Everywhere you look.  Every day I hear of new stories of friends or friends of friends or not even friends (stories in the papers, and I don’t even read the tabloids).  I am currently haunted by one beautiful, perfect, brilliant young woman (not a celebrity) who is only one degree of separation from me and who was with her boyfriend for ten years.  Got married very recently.  Fairytale wedding and all that.  Only to discover, just months later, that he is fucking someone else.  I see the photograph of Someone Else, smiling and smug and self-righteous, and the evil part of me wishes her considerable ill.  As well as him.

I can’t help it.


§ 195 Responses to Infidelity

  • Barry says:

    If only it were that simple .
    The other side of the coin is arranged marriages and honour killings and “Staying together for the kids”
    If reincarnation could be proved it might change things ?

  • Lydia says:

    Women are no better. Just had an email from a friend – his third wife was divorced both times in her earlier marriages for adultery.

  • Jill says:

    Yes, P, I feel very much the same. It was infidelity that caused the break up of my long marriage – a “friend” who coveted my husband, and made her first move while I was recovering from my third Caesarean. We recovered from that, went on to have a fourth child, and when those two boys were 8 and 11, I discovered that a full-blown affair was going on with the same individual My husband said that it was “a moment of madness” and he didn’t want to divorce, so I made the choice, very consciously, to put my family before my own feelings and did my best to do everything I could to repair the marriage. Her husband divorced her when she told him what was happening; I think she probably hoped that doing that would prompt me to divorce my husband. Our marriage continued for another ten years, during which time we went through a great deal – parents’ deaths, children marrying, severe illness, and so on. But he could never rid hnmself of his guilt and became more and more “angry” – he said he was angry with me (?) but I know that he knew how badly he had hurt me and how much damage he had done, and couldn’t forgive himself. He finally called a halt to this unhappy situation in 2010 and left the marital home when I was away for a week, giving him plenty of time to take all his possessions, and leaving a note on the table for me to find on my return. He didn’t even have the courage to tell our four sons what he was planning to do, nor our friends, so I had to cope with all of that. Three months after leaving, he resumed his “relationship” with that same individual, and I am now divorcing him on the grounds of their adultery, which is probably what I should have done a long time ago. However, my sons feel very strongly that they are fortunate that they had the stability of a home with two parents while they were all growing up, and it was certainly never apparent to them that anything major was wrong – they just accepted that they had a rather curmudgeonly father and a mother who could be a bit tense at times…..but my ability to put up a good front has earned me the equivalent of several Oscar nominations from friends who had no idea what had really been going on for so many years!

    In a strange sort of way, I think it helped me to cope with the situation that I had a “target” for my anger and someone to blame for what had happened, other than my husband, and that enabled me to carry on and try to keep things on an even keel. Now, of course, I feel hugely insulted that he has returned to her, especially as I strongly suspect that it was the easy thing for him to do. He couldn’t cope with being on his own and she was still available, not unsurprisingly in my opinion. So I certainly know all about the “evil part of me wish[ing] her considerable ill” , dear P.

    • Elle says:

      Jill, sorry to hear your story but unfortunately it’s a very common one. So many brave women putting up a facade for the sake of the family. However, you did have him by your side for parents’ deaths, severe illness and children marrying. I’m single myself, never married and frankly fidelity isn’t the top of my list. I would want to be faithful myself and ideally both partners are faithful, but there is so much temptation thrown in mens’ way that they often can’t resist. Perhaps it’s best to focus on building a strong relationship that can withstand infidelity.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Jill, Thank you for writing about this. My sympathies abound. pxx

    • Jo-Jo says:

      Oh Jill, what an amazingly strong woman you are, many would have kicked him out when they first discovered he was having an affair….but you stuck with it for the sake of your family which was a selfless and inspirational act to do. It must have been so hard for you to put on the ‘normal face’ to friends and family, when inside you must have been torn apart, and crying tears that you could only cry in private.

      I can totally understand that anyone who had gone through this would wish for some sort of karma……you reap what you sow, so maybe one day!!!

      • Jill says:

        Thank you so much for that, Jo-Jo. You demonstrate a vast amount of understanding. But I honestly don’t wish for revenge – I just wish he could have formed a ndew relationship with anyone other than ‘her’. I wouldn’t/couldn’t have him back now, but I would be happy for him to be with someone new, if only…….As it is, the whole family is repulsed by what he has done, as he was foolish enough to tell his sons who she was and what had happened historically. The whole story. When I asked him why he had done that, he said that he had to tell them in case I did. I told him that was proof of how little he really knew me.

      • EmGee says:

        Jill, a friend of my bf’s was in your situation when his wife cheated on him. He said he could have been far more forgiving if it had been a total stranger, but it was a close friend of many years to both to them and in their tight social circle.

    • kathy says:

      rest assured, once a cheater always a cheater and i am sure one of them will cheat on the other eventually. They haven’t “won”.

  • MissBates says:

    This has always been the silver lining of the dark cloud that is my career as a divorce lawyer: I have no illusions about the “fairytale ending.”

    In my private life, do I know of some successfully-married couples? Sure. (I say “successfully” rather than “happy” because of course Real Life means a fair dose of UNhappy along with the good times…) But back to the point — I would say that of the divorce cases in my office (and I am a member of one of NYC’s most prominent family law firms) somewhere north of 90% of them were instigated by one spouse’s infidelity. Anecdotal rather than scientific data, but accurate nonetheless.

    • Emgee says:

      I have always felt that the main reason Plankton are single, is because they are far more cautious about who they are willing to get into a relationship with. Lots of people get cheated on, are abused, etc, but tend to repeat the same patterns. There is more infidelity than ever, I am sure, and fewer reasons to either not stray, or stay together ‘in spite of’. But we still make the choice of who and whether we want to be with someone.

    • Elle says:

      True Miss Bates. I also remember you saying that although divorces appear to be initiated by women, the CIRCUMSTANCES causing the divorce are more often than not initiated by men. If 90% of divorce cases are instigated by one spouse’s infidelity then there are a lot of unfaithful men about. Some women too, but Jill’s story is a classic case of the woman divorcing the man having turned a blind eye to his misbehaviour for years.

      • Jill says:

        No, no, Elle, I certainly did not turn a blind eye. I made a very considered – if incomprehensible to some – choice And it was sporadic infidelity, not ongoing, as far as I could tell, although I may have been deceived in that as well. Interestingly, the first instance coincided with his 40th birthday, the second with his 50th and the third with his ….you guessed it, his 60th….make of that what you will. As part of my university degree was in psychology (until the statistics modules got the bettter of me!), I do have several theory-ettes as to the whys and wherefores of my soon-to-be-ex’s behaviour, and a very disfunctional childhood/upbringing and absentee mother were definitely contributory factors, as was a huge sense of entitlement, quite common in men of his age and ilk, and often ascribed to a condition called narcissistic personality disorder.

    • The Plankton says:

      I have to say I am not remotely surprised. Pxx

  • Sarah says:

    I wonder why that guy got married if he couldn’t keep it in his pants. He’s had 10yrs for god’s sake to make a decision, and when he does commit he then goes and blows it. I expect it was all too much for him, poor lad, the chains of marriage an’ all.

    Talk about not thinking it through!

    • Emgee says:

      I dated a guy for a few months, and he asked me to marry him. I was a bit surprised, feeling the relationship hadn’t reached that point. He said if we got married, he wouldn’t have to worry about me seeing other guys (I wasn’t dating anyone else at the time, and we were considered a couple). I found his reasoning appalling, but my point is that people often feel this way. Maybe in this couple’s case, there was potential for infidelity, and they (or he, or she), thought the relationship would be strengthened by taking vows?

  • Ella says:

    I think it’s wildly oversimplistic to assume that ‘infidelity’ is the sole cause of marital breakdown, and to assign all the blame to the person who has formed another relationship, and left; in many cases, when a person strays, it’s likely to be the symptom of serious underlying problems in the marriage that long predated the infidelity. And often these problems have been denied by the person who is left, right up until the point where they are left and even afterwards..

    Habitual philanderers aside, when a person forms another serious, long-term relationship outside the marriage, it’s likely to be because they can no longer bear their current home life, for whatever reason. To give an example, a friend of mine was married for 16 years, during the last six of which his wife refused to sleep with him, or even hug him. Further, she ‘bullied, belittled and ignored’ him, often in public, and would make derisive remarks about him in front of their friends. He became profoundly depressed, and asked her to go to couples’ counselling. She declined, refusing to acknowledge that there were any problems in the marriage, stated that she was nor responsible for his happiness, and that any problems were his.

    Eventually, deeply depressed, starved of physical contact and any kind of affection, my friend started a relationship with another woman, and a year later left his wife; he is now living with his new partner, very happily. It would be a cold heart that, knowing the facts of this matter, would condemn him for this: yet, the ‘public narrative’ of this particular marital breakdown is that he is a bastard who has abandoned his wife for another woman, and his ex is playing the role of ‘wronged woman’ to the hilt in public. She has yet to acknowledge that she played any part at all in the breakdown of her marriage and, yes, she is suing for divorce because of his adultery. But his adultery is absolutely not what caused the breakdown of her marriage – the infidelity only came about after years of unhappiness on his part, and her absolute refusal to acknowledge that there was a problem.

    And yes, I know that there are 2 sides to every story, and that there are many men, and women, who do behave like complete shits, but I do think it’s important to acknowledge that infidelity should not necessarily be regarded as simple wanton betrayal – it is often a great deal more complicated than that.

    There’s a very interesting book about divorce, called ‘Crazy Time’, which examines common patterns in the breakdown of relationships, and it was a great comfort to my friend, who felt that he had been very weak to put up with this situation for so long, to find that many marriages which break do so follow a similar psychological profile to his own: there is a psychologically dominant partner, who can be male or female, who sets the tone of the relationship, and the ‘weaker’ partner goes along with them for a certain period of time, but eventually becomes unhappy with complying, and tries to make the relationship more balanced. Unfortunately, the ‘dominant’ partner will often deny that there is a problem (well, for them, there isn’t) and refuse to change things, or to go to counselling, or to address their partner’s unhappiness at all. Because of this blanket denial, the ‘weaker’ partner, unable to bear this reality any longer, looks outside the marriage to find comfort, and eventually creates a new reality with another partner, and leaves.

    This comes as a massive shock to the person who is left, because they have successfully dominated their partner for so long, and they simply cannot believe that the ‘weaker’ person has had the balls to up sticks and go, And the sad thing is that by this time it is much too late finally to acknowledge that there is a problem, and agree to go to couples counselling (which is what my friend’s ex belatedly tried to do): by the time the ‘weaker’ partner leaves, they have already moved on emotionally, and created another emotional life for themselves – there is nothing left to resuscitate.

    ps Plankton, since you have said that men only ever leave their wives for younger women, you might like to know that my friend left his wife for a woman a decade older than him, about which he seems to be perfectly happy!

    • The Plankton says:

      Sure. I take all your points. I am a great believer in several sides to every story. Nothing is black and white, of course, but there just are some cases in which one partner is more selfish and/or to blame than another. Pxx

    • Jill says:

      I totally agree, Ella, that nothing is ever black and white in relationships, but then again,no one who does not know both sides of the story can really form an honest appraisal of individual circumstances. It sounds very much as if you only heard the husband’s side of things, and if he told you that his wife was cold towards him, and as you say in quotation marks, ‘bullied, belittled and ignored him’, how do you know that he was telling the truth, unless you made every effort to find out his wife’s perspective from her, rather than his version of the situation. False information is very easy to disseminate, as I know to my cost, and it is undeniably in the “guilty party’s” interests to assert that he was denied affection, and so on, in order to make himself and his actions more sympathetically viewed. I was told by my husband that all he wanted out of our marriage was “food and f***ing”,and this was after he had been unfaithful over a two year period with a woman who had been a friend of mine – as a consequence of that, every time we “made love” I could visualise her sneering at me. Pretty destructive all round. And when their relationship began, I had just given birth to our child – it’s an exceptional sort of woman who can do that to another woman, let alone a so-called friend.

      • Ella says:

        He’s a work colleague, and I don’t know his ex, and I was actually deeply sceptical when he first told me about all this. In response to my scepticism, he agreed that his ex had her own story, but also said that he found it deeply humiliating to admit that a) he had meekly put up with a sexless marriage for so long at a relatively young age (late 30s) and b) that he had let her bully him – because what kind of man did that make him? – so he didn’t really have much incentive to lie about this, and he certainly wasn’t going round slagging off his ex in public.

        The fact that he was telling me at all was only because at the time he was a complete basket case, and teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown. He was in a terrible state. Eventually he went to counselling ,by himself, and that helped him to find the determination to change his situation, which he eventually did. It’s clearly been a tough and painful process, but he’s a changed man.

        Every situation is different, and I’m so sorry to hear about your own experience – I have also been on the sharp end of being the person left, and I know exactly how it feels.

      • EmGee says:

        Ella, not to judge your colleague, but it does appear to reinforce the notion that men line up someone new before leaving a marriage.

        Why can’t they ever ‘man up’ and leave the unhappy marriage first? If I am reading your post correctly, he was unhappy in the marriage, was unfaithful, then sought counseling to leave the marriage.

    • MissBates says:

      God yes, sometimes I look at the clients (and keep in mind I represent just as many of the ones who were unfaithful as the ones who were “left”) and I think, “Christ, what took him/her so long to cheat?” It is NOT simplistic. I guess my point was merely to say that I have no illusions about the grass ALWAYS being greener on the married side of the fence, and for that clarity I am grateful.

      • Ella says:

        @emgee (there is no reply box by your post, for some reason) No, that wasn’t how it was – sorry, I didn’t make it very clear: the sequence of events was that he was very unhappy in the marriage, asked his wife to go to couples’ counselling, but she refused point blank. So he went to counselling on his own, and it was a couple of years after he started the counselling that he started the new relationship.

        Re your point out why men always seem to start a new relationship before leaving the old one, I think it’s a very interesting question. I used to agree with you entirely, that you should cast off the old before on with the new, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not as simple as that, for most people, and particularly for men..To end a marriage and shake up your whole life, and those of other people, emotionally, physically, financially, is an enormous thing to do, and even harder without anything to go to once you’ve done it. In the case of my friend, he was in such a wretched state that I don’t think he would ever have had the courage or the strength to change his situation without a great deal of emotional support, and without having created a ‘safe haven’ emotionally, to move on to. It seems very often to be the case that men rely almost entirely on their female partner for emotional support, whilst women draw a lot of their emotional support from friends and family. And that is why I think men find a new partner before leaving the old one – because they afraid of being alone and find it difficult to imagine life without the emotional support of a partner.

        Again, it’s obviously not as simple as that, but women seem a lot more able to walk out of a bad situation without something to go onto, and to survive on their own – I don’t think it’s necessarily just a case of men being cruel, unfeeling bastards – not all of them, anyway!

      • The Plankton says:

        I agree with a lot of these points too. Thanks, Ella. pxx

      • EmGee says:

        @Ella, @emgee: 🙂 When the reply box isn’t there, it can be hit an miss where your comment ends up!

        It is pretty irrelevant whether the infidelity happened before or after the counseling, the point being that he did it before the divorce. Having said that, I posted another comment about a woman who left her husband for a mutual friend of theirs, so it isn’t always the man…

        On one hand we are expected to wait until a man is single before chasing after him, on the other hand, they seem to want to assurance of another relationship before ending the other. THEN, there’s the situation where one has an affair with a married man, who promises to dump his wife, and strings along the mistress forever without ever making good on that promise!

        What”s a Plankton to do? Singlehood looks pretty appealing, actually. My bf hasn’t been married for a long time, neither of us have ever had kids, so a lot of complications don’t exist for us. On the other hand, he has Asperger’s, and as loving as he is, I have to be careful not to overload him emotionally, and not be disappointed when he appears to shut down. I am sure I have equally challenging ‘charms’ as well. 🙂

    • Jo-Jo says:

      Ella, this is exactly how my marriage was, except that it was the other way round in that I was the weaker partner. I had many years of unhappiness before I was strong enough and bold enough to make my escape. I was not whisked away by a knight in shining armour, and I did not run into the arms of another man. I simply walked away (four kids in tow!) with as much dignity as I could muster, and at the age of 48 embarked on a single life (last experienced as a teenager!). I am still single, but that is fine. I will bide my time, and if I meet my soul mate, that would be wonderful, and my happiness will be complete. If I don’t, at least I am free from the chains and shackles of an unhappy relationship, and I can be happy on my own. I am worthy of so much more than all those years of unhappiness with a husband who never loved me, and who treated me as a mignon. Maybe there is someone out there for me, but maybe not……who knows, only time will tell!!!

    • Brigitte says:

      I’ve always believed that both parties have a hand in most divorces. It takes two to tango, as they say.

      My friend asked for a divorce when she found out her husband was cheating on her. She would never admit to contributing to his cheating, but, like me, she is not the pleasant, easy, nurturing/generous type that make a wife appealing. He, on the other hand, was rather business-like, cold and non-communicative.

      There are *three* sides to every story: his, hers, and the truth.

  • june says:

    Im with you there emgee , i think planktons are on their own because they are very cautious about who they get into a relationship with, i know i am. Im often amazed how friends get into relationships with people they have nothing in common with just to avoid being alone and because living on own is so expensive. Basically many stay in relationships that should be history, some keep papering over the cracks so muchm you cant believe it,and they think you weird for being so choosey. I was discussing this with a friend yesterday, she is one of these staying in a relationship that should have ended long ago, but i kn ow she thinks me strange for preferring to live on my own, even if get lonely, and not having relationships with anyone,even if ive nothing in common with them. But for me it has to be right and if not right id rather not.

    To be honest i dont think men are meant to be faithful, i think my dad was, but he had quite a low sex drive but most men are so hard wired to sex thats all that conc erns them, they seem to think about nothing else with a partner, and if partner cant satisfy they are off to find one who will.

  • Meadowmaker says:

    I think there are some very good points being made here on a subject that is, unfortunately, perennial. Although divorce rates have temporarily plateaud (due to the recession, apparently), the opportunity for both sexes to commit adultery is probably still rising annually, due to the onward march of liberal society and the ease of online communication which enables people to find partners from a much wider, deeper pool. Looking at my friends that have split up due to adultery, it appears to be largely due to a mismatch in libidos (as always) and often follows having kids, which again is not surprising. However, it is split about 60:40 between men and women as to who the ‘lead’ adulterer.

    As in a previous comment, people with high libidos are not generally suited to long-term relationships, as they tend to tire of their partner after a few years. Sadly, this is generally after having children, so the inevitable conflict between ‘stick together for the kids’ and ‘we are better off apart’ often seems to arise.

    Having watched several marriages crater at this point, I can only say that the damage to the children from the split is always awful, with loads of examples of unhappiness, anorexia, self-harming etc. So I tend to respect those that stick together and manage the problem until the children are old enough to cope. That may be an unfashionable view, but the sheer selfishness of couples that smash up the family home simply because they want more sex drugs and rock’n’roll makes my blood boil!

    • EmGee says:

      I’m afraid I have to disagree, Meadowmaker. Whether a couple stays together or not, it boils down to civility and respect (whether one thinks the other ‘deserves it’ or not). I have seen adult children of bad marriages who are just as damaged as those children of divorce, because they came from homes where there was resentment, abuse, fighting, and a generally hostile environment.

      In fact, the family rooted troubles a child may develop who is from a broken home may be easier to spot, than ones from a child who comes from an unhappy home where the rule of the day is keep it all hidden away from view, if not from each other, then the outside world.

      I do recall that circumstances caused Ms P to share Xmas with her Ex, and the children. Apparently they set aside any differences to make a happy memory for the kids. If only all adult could act with such maturity.

  • Sinead says:

    I got married last March to a man I had been with for 5 years. He was very keen to get married and for me to be his wife. We moved overseas so he could accept a dream once-in-a-lifetime job he was headhunted for. I left my own job, sold my house and much of my furniture and said goodbye to my friends for a land unseen.

    Five months into the marriage I discovered purely by chance and accident that he was in touch with two old girlfriends and ‘catching’ up with them on his business trips abroad. We are in the processing of divorcing and I am doing my best to protect the equity I put into the apartment we bought together (guess who put up the big deposit).

    It has been the biggest wake up call and reminder that we only get one life. I don’t even feel bitter. I hate him, that’s true but I am triple star relieved I found out the truth sooner rather than ten years down the line when I had relocated two more times for his next dream jobs and reproduced with this man. Phew! Lucky escape!

    Load of old shit as well though, don’t get me wrong. Half-divorced in a foreign land with limited local friends (anyone for a drink with the sobbing divorcee? 🙂 ) ain’t a pretty picture. But it’s my life and not some accident. Just gotta get on with it.

    Enjoy the blog plankton … thanks

  • Mezzanine says:

    Just had the most beautiful book delivered from Amazon. I’m a BIG fan of books, love the smell and feel of ’em as well as reading the contents. It’s title is One – living as one and loving it, written by Victoria Alexander. I’m not the biggest fan of self-help books but just reading a couple of pages have made me feel better as I’ve been a bit down lately.

    I know I’m going a bit ‘off road’ here and not commenting on the blog but I just wanted to share this wonderful book with you.

  • Alison says:

    That sounds a lovely book Mezzanine 🙂 I will look into it.

    I also fit the above pattern, serial philandering husband, but have chosen to stay together for our children, fortunately we don’t have horrible screaming fights or arguments and in fact get along very well and are able to have humour and spend time with our children amicably. It started early in our marriage, I was promised by husband that counselling would help, so he had counselling, I had counselling, we both had counselling together over the years and I stayed because I thought he needed help, naive wasn’t it. It has never helped but at least it helped me to come to terms with it and have the strength to say 6 years ago, no more sex with my husband as frankly, I don’t know what he might give to me and I would feel so filthy if I contracted an STD from him.

    There are always two sides, I have taken this stance of no more sex and staying together for our children as we can do it amicably and they are none the wiser but have a stable family home.

    Talk to him, and you may hear that I have refused sex and now he has to look outside the marriage for affection, you won’t hear about all the years spent trying to help his ‘sex addiction’ and the countless tears and anguish and time to eventually arrive at this place I am in now.

    Are men able to be faithful, I don’t know, I am very wary of trying again once I am single again, and I too have hated every one of my husbands, sexual partners in infidelity, they knew he was married and they too had a choice to walk away from a married man, but when it comes down to it, my husband had the choice and he exercised that 8 months after we were first married and to this day.

    I can see where you are coming from Plankton, be careful out there

  • Alison says:

    🙂 I forgot to mention, I have been married 30 years now!

    • Jill says:

      I read your post with great empathy and respect for you, Alison. Thirty years is a very long time to stay in such a deficient marriage, as I know only too well. I am sure that the lives and future happiness of your children have been so much more secure and will have been enhanced by your choice to stay in the marriage than would have been the case had you left it. But surely your children must now be of an age when they would be able to come to terms with a schism in thieir parents’ marriage, and you might well find, as I have done, that being on one’s own is so much better than being in an unhappy marriage. Yes, it is awful at first, and lonely and all the othe things that have been mentioned on this site by other contributors. However, I have realised that it is never too late to make a fresh start, and I do believe that women are better at doing that than men (a big generalisation ,I know, but I have seen a good deal of this). I wish you all the good fortune and the happiness you deserve.

      • Dawn says:

        I’m not sure children are ever able to come to terms with a schism in their parents’ marriage, unless the children are exceptionally mature.

        I have a friend whose 30+ year old daughter has told her point blank she will disown her mother (which would mean losing contact with the 3 grandchildren) if she ever divorces her father. And there are good reasons for the mother to want to leave.

  • Maggie says:

    I identify with just about ALL these comments, especially about living with a philandering husband, trying to protect the children etc. I’ve been there too – 30 yr marriage, finally left and made a new single life, the loneliness, the personal reinvention – but the relief of getting away from the emotional anguish But gosh, I wish I could keep all these comments for my 2 newly-married children! Of course I wish them the ‘fairytale’, but knowing the pitfalls and the clashing rocks to come! I’ve found this blog so comforting in that I am NOT alone – to put a compilation of these experiences & insights into a book could help and comfort many an anguished partner. Positive comments too!

  • Elle says:

    I mentioned earlier about one woman turning a “blind eye” to her husband’s infidelity. I didn’t mean that literally, I meant that many women choose to stay with an unfaithful husband for family reasons. They may or may not leave him later on. More couples seem to be staying together thanks to the recession. It’s a sad situation, two people living separate lives under one roof. However, from an eternally single woman’s point of view I can see the benefits for both concerned.

    The cheating partner gets to have his (or her) cake and eat it and still has a nice home and partner. The other partner is being short changed but still may have some moral and emotional support from the cheating partner.

    I have come to the conclusion that marriage and relationships don’t revolve around fidelity. There is a certain amount of suffering in every relationship whether it’s related to infidelity, illness, depression, substance abuse or simply the stresses of everyday life. Most tragic of all is the suffering caused by the illness of a child.

    Not everyone may agree with me here, but I would tolerate infidelity if I could be sure that the unfaithful partner practised safe sex outside of marriage. However, one can never be sure of anything.

    When it boils down to it most single women of our age who are dating aren’t in exclusive relationships. The men concerned will be seeing one or more other women, and will dump those they tire of as they see fit. At least with marriage the partner being cheated on has the security of being a legitimate partner.

    As a woman of a certain age, expecting fidelity in any sort of relationship is like believing in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It’s a myth, just as an exclusive relationship is a myth.

    • Scott Benowitz says:

      Ah, Ms. Elle- I did not know that you are a practicing Pastafarian…. Me too, His Noodleness reachethed out to me and He touchethed me with His noodly appendage, and I’ve been a believer ever since- Really, it happened, we were in an Italian restaurant back in the summer of 2006…

    • Jill says:

      Goodness, Elle, that is a very cynical view of marriage/long term relationships, if I may say so. Even I, who should have long since rid myself of any romantic aspirations/rose-tinted specs vis-a-vis the marital state, still believe that there can (and should) be fidelity in marriage, and that exclusive relationships DO exist. They most certainly do in my circle of friends – I am a pretty lone voice in the wilderness in my neck of the woods. Fidelity, yes most certainly, but also loyalty and mutual respect.

      As for any future relationship – and I’m certainly not sitting on my hands waiting for one to come along – I’m having great fun internet dating! – I will emphatically not settle for anything less than fidelity, let alone the loyalty and respect, which I DESERVE – which we ALL deserve. (I apologise if that is “shouting” but since there is no facility for underlining/italics here, I want to emphasise how strongly I feel about this.)

    • maria says:

      Sorry Elle, but I don’t agree with you. I’d rather be alone than with a cheating partner. Besides finding cheating highly disrespectful for the faithful partner, you also risk getting a STD or even worse, Aids.
      I know I’m old and I’m not worth much in the sexual market but I still have my self respect.

    • MissBates says:

      Hello Elle: Although I myself couldn’t tolerate infidelity, I must say I agree with your assessment, grim though it is. (Which is one of the plethora of reasons I’m alone….)

  • Scott Benowitz says:

    Prince Charles did it…

    Bill Clinton did it….

  • James B says:

    What a wonderful blog this is! The discussions are excellent too, stimulated by timely prompting from you Ms P.

    When I was a young boy in the UK (I am in my late 40’s) women and men in their 50’s looked like people do now in their 70’s. Life expectancy has changed for the better, Viagra has extended the male sexual cycle (quite literally!) and we can now communicate constantly with thousands of people from our pasts and our present because of the Internet. What is more, the mobile phone means we all have portable communications privacy.

    Is it any wonder that people that get married in their 20’s don’t want to stray at some point in their lives? Is it natural to only kiss or make love to the same person for 70 years? People change, they grow out of love and sometimes back into love. Statistics show that 70% of marriages will have at least one person behaving unfaithfully at some point. Soon there won’t be any marriages either as people just get together and live together.

    So perhaps the real question is, why is occasional transitory infidelity that important if a life of friendship, shared experience, children and common outlook and companionship can still take place? Is a long life without infidelity an unrealistic expectation?

    I have asked many old people what their greatest regrets in life were, now that their time on the planet is drawing to a close. The 3 most common answers are always:

    1. Not living their own life but instead living a life that was EXPECTED of them.

    2. They regretted the things they had NOT done, not the things (often the mistakes) that they had undertaken

    3. Not having had enough relationships and/or sex and not having taken advantage of a handful of fleeting romantic opportunities that had cropped up during their lives.

    So we must ask ourselves, what is most important to us really, as well as living a good daily life and looking after loved ones…

    We need to manage our expectations in my opinion, learn to empathise with others, learn to forgive, learn to live in the moment. And perhaps … take the occasional risk.

    • maria says:

      James B, I wonder if this lovely theory of yours also applies to women. I mean, is it ok for women to cheat on their husbands? And are most husbands this magnanimous, forgiving and willing to let the whole thing go, in the name of a whole life of companionship, shared interests and children?
      It seems to me that’s mostly men who cheat and it’s always the wives that are willing to forgive the sexcapades and stay with them. With women it’s a whole different story.

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        I had an affair with a married woman once. It was an AMAZINGLY liberating experience for both of us. I would gladly do so again these days….

        I hope none of you wish considerable ill upon me or her for this…. She’s back with her husband now.

        I don’t have to worry, I’m quite confident that she does not read Ms. Plankton’s blogsite here….

      • EmGee says:

        “I had an affair with a married woman once. It was an AMAZINGLY liberating experience…”

        So is cutting a rather large fart in public, but it may make the people around you very uncomfortable.

        Oh, and I am not wishing you ill will Scott, we have all done things others may not approve of, but I would like to know *why* it was so liberating. Did it cause you to be liberated from friends, family, home, savings, or conscience? Did you discover that you wouldn’t get struck by lightning for being unfaithful, after all?

      • Loud flatulence in public is usually something that people do by accident….

        There was nothing at all accidental about what this woman and I were doing with each other….

      • EmGee says:

        “Loud flatulence in public is usually something that people do by accident….”
        And when it isn’t?

        I am still curious about how it liberated you, exhilarated yes, I’m sure it released all kinds of feel good chemicals in your body (which may be a hint why people actually do it), but what did it free you from?

      • T Lover says:

        EmGee, let me explain.

        She was a passionate older woman. Her husband had a string of lovers, Fi, Rosie, Lydia, EmGee to mention a few and, but, well, no time for her. Her children had flown the nest. She was desperate.

        There, staggering along was a mere boy ziggy zagging home from his 40th. Picking over the debris from a carry oot, a peppery curry. Wearing a jellyfish suit.

        She tore at the latex. The holes for the legs were a bit tight but eventually she liberated him and with it the – what shall I say – the gas trapped inside.


      • T Lover says:


        I meant HE was wearing the suit not the curry.

        I hope this misunderstanding did not cause any offence.

      • Emgee says:

        @T Lover’s post: “…the gas trapped inside.” <— 😀

        Unfortunately, Scott is clearly unapologetic, and has cited many justifications for having an affair. I personally find the "she was bored" defence particularly appalling. Because a prince and a president did it, childish. He obviously sees this as a victimless situation.
        I applaud you for giving a first person account of how the loss of trust can change the dynamic of a marriage, how one
        views the world, and/or the opposite sex.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks for this, James. Pxx

      • T L – How did you know??

        That’s actually it… precisely !!!!

      • MG- I said that she was married, I did not say that she was happily married- She was not so miserable that she was contemplating divorce, but bored enough that she was becoming curious to experiment with other men…

        She liberated me from my pattern of previous brief encounters with women who were far less interesting, attractive or intelligent as her….

        Not gonna lie here- If I meet another woman who is intelligent, interesting, attractive and bored with her husband, I would do it again…

      • Oh, and as for why some people enjoy letting ’em rip in public- I have no idea. Sigmund Freud had one explanation, which might be true. Being an American, I think that it might just be something deeply embedded within our culture…

      • In fact, she probably still feels the same way- her name is … …..

        Oh wait, what just happened? My computer suddenly crashed just as I was getting ready to type her real name here…. must be this operating system interfacing with recent Windows updates….

      • Ah hah !!! Mrs. T Lover is in fact T. Lover’s sister- That would explain why their language style and their use of words is so similar- They grew up together and learned the English language together….

        All this time I thought that they were husband and wife…. ironic, considering that they are both writing into the same blogsite about sexual frustrations….

      • T Lover says:

        Scott, this isn’t funny.

        Twelve/thirteen years ago I discovered my wife was playing an away fixture. Two children at home. My world fell apart. At home, work and the family. After a year and a half we made up. Made up was an overstatement. I never trusted her again. There was always a tension.

        Now: all women are barking and slippery. Read this post about infidelity and the comments. Not one woman is prepared to admit she had been unfaithful or, even thought about being unfaithful. Mine would swear black was white to cover her tracks.

        Someone (some arsehole) shagged my wife. No, several as far as I can see. One was a friend. Now then, I know it takes two but next time you get a tug from a married woman think about me. There were times when I thought stoning the cow would have been too kind.

        And next time imagine what she is telling you might be a tale. There might be a family and the husband devastated.

      • I almost did not mention this, I’m probably the only person who writes into Ms. Plankton’s blogsite using my real first and last name…

        This is actually the first time that I’m writing about this relationship anywhere.

        Am I the only person here who has ever had an affair with a woman (or a man) who was married?

      • I should not have said that- The part about Prince Charles, I mean…

        He’s always claimed that he and Camilla were just very close friends and nothing else while he was still married to the late Diana… Who knows, perhaps that’s really true?

        I doubt it, but it is in fact entirely possible….

      • fi says:

        Scott – quite possibly, but whether that is true or not I don’t think they find the emotional pain it causes quite as amusing as you do.

    • Jill says:

      James, I usually consider that you talk really good sense but on this occasion I am moved to take issue with you……not so much about your justifiable question as to whether it is reasonable to expect people to make love to the same person for 70 (?!) years now that we all live so much longer than our ancestors, but in respect of your fourth paragraph. You ask why “transitory infidelity” should be regarded as important if a life of friendship, shared experience, children, common outlook and companionship can still take place”. My question is: but can they? Doesn’t the very fact of the deceit, disloyalty and lack of respect for a life partner which infidelity involves deny that possibility? Obviously each case should be considered in isolation – I hesitate from saying “on its merits” for obvious reasons – but I think it is very hard to reconcile infidelity with the trust which is so vital to a long-term relationship. (Needless to say, an open marriage in which both parties are amenable to the idea of multiple sexual liaisons is a totally different matter.) It is perfectly reasonable to say that some long-term relationships may come to a natural conclusion, for all sorts of valid reasons, but surely it is infinitely preferable for one relationship to be terminated properly before another begins?

  • James B says:

    Thanks Jill. I think that firstly, all my points should refer to women as equally as to men and that many of my female friends have indeed been unfaithful.

    The point is that in the same way that we are all allowed to have moods, to have periods of weakness, to make mistakes, to f**k up at work, well why cannot the occasional dalliance in a 50 or 60 year relationship actually be an accepted norm? Especially given the fact that even in 10 marriages that there is a 70% chance that this will happen. It’s human nature, sadly. The biological imperative at work in fact. Yet marriages often work, despite infidelity. I guess it depends whether the infidelity comes to light, the underlying circumstances, length of external relationship and level of intimacy. The most important thing I think though, is whether the infidelity caused the cheater to behave worse (emotionally) to the innocent partner or whether the affair or momentary indiscretion had a beneficial effect. Some of my friends actually reported back to me that their marriages were indeed stronger after infidelity had been exposed. It’s complicated.

    For my part I think that males in particular should not marry too young before they have achieved emotional and sexual maturity or else they may become high risk candidates for repeated bad behaviour. Many females I know have affairs when things get REALLY bad at home or else as a pre-exit affair before divorce. That seems to me to be the difference really. Men wanting sex, company and ego-enriching conquests. Women look for good sex, good company and intimacy when things are very bad at home. Men can cheat on a happy marriage. It’s more unlikely for a woman to do the same.

    Trust? It’s the big loser here. The fact is that once a man has cheated he will be far more likely to cheat again than a man who has not cheated. This is my personal experience from my male friends. Leopards not changing their spots etc… A cheater will cheat. The question is, is cheating enough to end a marriage? Only the couple truly knows.

    • fi says:

      What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over. I think there are worse things to do to your partner than be occasionally unfathful, especially if they don’t ever find out.

      • fi says:

        That doesn’t mean it’s ok to do it by the way…

      • Jill says:

        Agreed, fi, and if there are no consquences for the “betrayed” partners, e.g. an STD – I might just agree with you. But I cannot not believe how many 50+ aged men there are out there who think it is their right to have unprotected sex just because AIDs didn’t exist when they were sowing their younger wild oats and they don’t “do/like using condoms”…. N.B. This information is gathered from reportage NOT personal experience! However, my husband did once lie when I asked if he was having another affair, and then made what he called “love” to me, only for him to own up a few months later that he had indeed had (unprotected) sex with another woman. (I don’t think he ever told our sons he had done that,)

  • Jill says:

    Ah, you added that sentence while I was writing my response to you…..Yes, I wholeheatedly gree with that…

    • fi says:

      Yes well when I was younger I walked but now I’m older..well if everything else was good, or if my kids were happy in the home, I’d choose to pretend I hadn’t seen anything and expect him to hide it from me.

      • Elle says:

        Fi, like me you are a pragmatist. When I was younger I was idealistic and would never have condoned infidelity of any sort, but now I realise that people are fallible and why let a fleeting encounter ruin a family or relationship that has taken years of work. I know this sounds terrible, but men don’t see infidelity (on their part) as a huge misdemeanour, but if a woman is unfaithful it’s a different story. Unpalatable but true.

  • James B says:

    Better to be with someone who is happy, interesting and is lovely to be with and is well behaved 99% of the time than someone faithful but unhappy, boring and frustrated 100% of the time. That’s my personal opinion and that’s the case for men and women too. It’s just that no-one let’s us know that in the marriage guidebook. Not that there is one! Life is not black and white.

    • The Plankton says:

      Life being neither black nor white is one of the great things that has come home to me since my marriage broke down. Pxx

    • Jill says:

      If someone cannot be happy and fulfilled in his or her marriage/long term relationship, then so be it. As you imply in your earlier post, perhaps we are not meant to be with the same person for fifty years or more, and I would be the last person to say that one should stay in an unsatisfactory relationship for the wrong reasons. (I do think that where there are young children involved, the parents should consider very carefully whether or not to go their separate ways and should only do so if the situation is completely untenable.) But how insulting a picture you paint of the (“boring”) partner of the unfaithful person: and how can you maintain that the mere act of having extra marital sex will keep a marriage alive/intact. In my experience, the betrayed partner always has an instinctive awareness of what is going on, even if he/she does not even admit it to him or herself. And unless the unfaithful man or woman is completely deviod of conscience, I think there is always the danger that guilt will taint the relationship sooner or later. It is far better, surely, to do the decent thing and draw a line under one relationship before embarking on another?

      • fi says:

        Well….this will be controversial but why break up a stable family unit that works for kids? Surely its worse for them to be brought up in poverty say, or shuffled between parents who maybe go through replacement partners? It could be better for the parents to stay together and both have extra marital relationships. Or if they can’t agree on that then the one who is doing it to just do it quietly and practise safe sex. I know this won’t go down well but I don’t think ending one relationship before another begins is always the best way. Not that I’m recommending that everyone as soon as they’re bored start having sex with other people, and I know how painful it can be as its happened to me, just challenging the black and white view that all extra marital relationships are bad and that its always better to leave first.

  • MW says:

    I finally got the courage to leave when MY HUSBAND suggested perhaps I had better go for an HIV test?! As he said, after all, he had! 29 years with a philanderer…..sitting in the clinic I suddenly woke up – an oh what a feeling, exhilarating, frightened, excited. I was 50 – and the past 10 years have been so interesting. It took huge courage to re-invent myself, but after meeting many men online, in passing and mostly whilst travelling, and having learnt much about men in their 50s and 60s, all sorts – well, I am SO glad I got out of the marriage! met some great men, but most of them desperate for another wife……but I’ve been there and done that, just loving being free!

    • Elle says:

      Glad to hear it MW, but I hope you are practising safe sex because most of the men you are seeing are probably seeing other women too. It’s the way of online dating and men have a bigger pond to fish from.

      • MW says:

        Elle – ABSOLUTELY! I know all the statistics for my age group and I am absolutely astonished that so many of the men I have met are NOT practising safe sex.

  • James B says:

    Ms P – I personally would love to hear your thoughts now, a couple of years on, on why and how, in retrospect your marriage broke down. If that’s not too personal a request.

    Relationships are fragile and special things really and a sense of perspective only really comes to us in hindsight and once our emotions have returned to a healthy and dispassionate equilibrium.

    We can all learn from each other and one of the reasons your blog is so good is a combination of your honesty, clarity and of course your writing style.

    • fi says:

      Her husband – who I think is VERY attractive – has not as yet got involved with another woman although its 6 months since they split. She says she doesn’t mind if he meets someone else as she thinks she will too. Oh deluded woman!!

      • mike wilcox says:

        I’ve just started following this blog, just what was her situation, did she leave or did he? A lot of men are being the ones dumped these days, the “grass looking greener” elsewhere it seems.

      • fi says:

        Sorry this ended up in the wrong place. It was a foLlow on to the 50+ woman I chatted to yesterday. She got fed up with him, but while he wasn’t having affairs I gather he was just a pain in the ar*e and she just stopped being ‘in love’. Kids grown up. No reason to stay with someone she didn’t want to. I get where she’s coming from, and she isn’t looking for someone else, but she does believe longer term that she and he both have an equal chance of meeting someone else. Which isn’t the case as he will and she won’t. I did ask her how she’d feel when he did, and she said it would be ok. But I think that’s because she doesn’t quite get the fact that she isn’t looking at a year or two’s respite from him, but probably singledom for ever while he runs around with loads of younger women before settling with one. And he is attractive – I’d not say no to him, and I ALWAYS say no. 🙂

      • mike wilcox says:

        It’s a topic I’ve been researching, the number of mid life women leaving relatively conflict free marriages has been on the rise in recent years, it’s almost an epidemic in Canada and the USA.

        I think a lot of it has to do with all the online social networking available now. One can develop an emotional affair online and eventually transfer their affections away from their spouse before there has even been a physical affair.

        Sadly though I don’t think a lot of these women don’t realize the pickings are pretty slim for women over 45, as a lot of men who are available are the ones that have already been dumped and not too pleased about it. They are also going out with younger women than their former wives as you mentioned.

        I think the worst of it though for the women is the man being left often becomes the guy she’d always wanted. He often does a complete “180” once he gets past the pain, he goes to gym, sheds 40lbs, gets a new wardrobe, takes Salsa lessons and becomes the kind of guy she’d never think of leaving…. She ends up with men 10+ years her senior as potential partners, or men her own age she never would have looked at in her youth…

      • fi says:

        I think there are women who have affairs whilein relationships. I don’t think this group is them though. The ones I see aren’t 45+ women, these are mid 50s, and they do it I think because their kids have left home and on their own women are almost forced to re-evaluate their lives, including the relationship with the man that they were maybe shielded from by their kids, and in an empty house they see him more clearly. And maybe after 30 years with him they are fed up listening to him. Maybe he wasn’t so boring when she had the kids to speak to, but now its just the two of them. Then they realise that they maybe actually don’t have more than another 20 years left, maybe 10 before they start to suffer ill health, and they think life’s too short to stay in a situation that doesn’t make them happy. And they realise what they want is to pick up their youthful dreams that were put on hold before kids came along, and that going to a mid week yoga class isn’t going to fix that, and once that train of thought begins it ends in them leaving. It really isn’t anything to do with affairs, its to do with having a second chance at life. These women aren’t looking for men. In my opinion.

      • mike wilcox says:

        It seems a little odd that it’s the women having all these problems and leaving… if things are that dire why hasn’t the husband left? Are they just more tolerant of their wive’s faults or simply more realistic about life and accept it?

      • fi says:

        You’re missing the point. Its not about faults or things being dire. Its about realising lifes too short. I think when women have children it changes their lives in such a fundamental way – more than blokes I think – and kids leaving home is another significant marker. Maybe blokes have always been able to maintain more of a life outside the home. Don’t know. Maybe blokes don’t care. Don’t know. Another friend of mine who’s 60 wants to go travelling for 3 months. Her partner’s fine with that but doesn’t want to go with her as he’s already done that. She hasn’t and told him that. She’s lucky in that he is supportive, but if he wasn’t maybe that would be the start of the end. Its about taking last opportunities to do things they want to between kids leaving home and them getting old and dying. And don’t forget in this age group they start to see their peers getting ill with cancers and heart problems which reinforces the idea of the brevity of life. And maybe they aren’t having sex any more so aren’t looking for it.

      • mike wilcox says:

        I just find it strange a lot of these relationship articles focus on women who somehow feel unfulfilled, but the husband of 20+ years seems to be regarded little more than a potted plant they never liked very much anyway.

        I would have to say the vast majority of husbands also buried hopes and dreams, but we seldom see husbands or their feelings brought up in these discussions as anything other than a roadblock to the wife’s happiness. I find this terribly sad that wanting to go to Spain or being bored can negate the devotion of 20+ years…and truth be told incredibly selfish.

      • fi says:

        I can’t speak for the men as they haven’t told me how they feel about their marriages but maybe they feel the same way. I think you’re seeing it simply as women bad, men devoted and bewildered. If the relationship was good the women wouldn’t be questioning it in the first place. And simply because the man hasn’t filed for divorce earlier doesn’t mean 20+ years devotion.

      • mike wilcox says:

        FI, I’m not saying at all that women are “bad”, only that it seems one viewpoint is being floated, the wive’s, and the husband’s is not even mentioned in a lot of these articles. I might add that yes, most husbands I know that have been through this are indeed “Bewildered”, many claim it’s like their wife was been taking over by Aliens when she hit her 40’s

      • fi says:

        Or maybe those women were unhappy for a long time but their husbands didn’t notice/care, then in their 40s for one reason or another, they did. Who knows. But its a bit simplistic to think everything was fine then suddenly they upped and left perfectly good devoted husbands for no reason whatsoever

      • mike wilcox says:

        There it goes again, “maybe those women were unhappy for a long time but their husbands didn’t notice/care”. The automatic blame being on the husband.

        I have to ask if the wife hid her unhappiness how is it possible it’s the husbands fault he didn’t notice? Surely you must find it curious that so many women are so unhappy with their lot they have to to leave and yet the husbands wants to stick it out? Does not seem possible that a lot of this has nothing to do with the marriage itself or the husband, but the wive’s unrealistic expectations of life not being met?

      • fi says:

        Mike – I think you’re being a tad judgemental about women here. I’m simply putting forward theories as I think is clear from my language. I’m not using words like fault or blame – you are doing that.

      • mike wilcox says:

        I have not used either word, nor placed blame anywhere. I’ve only asked the question of why is it assumed that the husband is the major cause of all this unhappiness? Marriages are 50/50 propositions, I’m just asking does not anyone find this strange that a wife would not share some of the blame for her own unhappiness in a marriage?

      • EmGee says:

        Mike, it is my belief that anytime anyone points their finger at someone else there are 3 pointing back, myself included. No one is wholly to blame for anything, everyone plays a part.

        Then there are those people who become angry bitter and resentful martyrs, for whom everything bad in their lives is someone else’s fault.

      • fi says:

        Mike – actually you’re doing it again I.e attaching emotive judgemental interpretations to what I’m saying. Maybe there isn’t anyone to ‘blame’ nor am I saying that “the husband is the major cause of all this unhappiness” or even that there is necessarily “unhappiness”. As stated previously I think its an awareness that life is short and as James says some men, as well as some women, are asking if this is all there is. If you prefer to think its because women are having emotional affairs on the internet then think that, I was only contributing my viewpoint. It doesn’t really matter if I’m right or wrong does it?I’m not recommending that women leave their husbands.

      • fi says:

        Mike – Here’s something to cheer you up anyway. Went out for a drink with 3 male friends tonight. When I appeared one said I was “gorgeous as always” and another said I looked “hot”. Just context so you don’t think I’m an ugly old crone. Well maybe not ugly anyway although as I’m about to demonstrate I am relegated to the old crone category – the first one (50) told me about his new woman (34) who he is having great casual sex with, the second one (40) literally forgot what he was saying to me mid conversation as a pretty 20 something walked past, and I ended up watching the olympics with the 3rd one as he told me about his recent heart attack. The attractive man was there surrounded by women. 🙂

      • mike wilcox says:

        I actually love older women, there is much to be shared with someone who’s know what you are talking about when you make a cultural reference to something that happened circa 1974 ;~)

        It just saddens me that couples who have shared so much can allow a failure to understand one another’s cues over the years to break up their marriages due to unhappiness, boredom or fear of growing old.

        I see it happening all around me, and the ones that’s been left are virtually destroyed for a couple of years and the kids are a mess. The one’s that left don’t seem to be any happier after a string of relationships a couple of years later. Divorce rate for second marriages are even worse than first marriages.

        Call me odd, but at 57 I look around my wee paid for house, my kids, a full fridge, my 12 year old car and seldom ever think ” Is this all there is”, I’m just profoundly grateful for what I have.

      • fi says:

        And Mike that is the secret of happiness – not really having what you want, but wanting what you have.

    • EmGee says:

      Well, if you ask a woman, and most of us here are women, you will get the woman’s opinion, whether it’s what she thinks herself, or thinks men think. T Lover did speak up about his own experience, and the mistrust it generated in his marriage.

      • maria says:

        “Ah. Well you’re obviously not British.”
        Fi, I didn’t get that. What do you mean?

      • fi says:

        Well its only a guess but he referred to his mum as ‘mom’ and also talked about his ‘ancestry’ as scottish. And really its only american and canadians who bother about ‘ancestry’.

    • maria says:

      Fi, what I don’t get is why these young gorgeous women like old men. I never did when I was young and even now I don’t like men older than me. And I was never that desperate either.

      • fi says:

        God only knows. Well to be honest the 20 somthing ignored the 40 year old, and the 50yr old bloke said it was only casual and he works abroad where he lives on one of those compounds full of foreigners where I gather there’s not much else to do of an evening (!). I don’t really think women like older men unless they’re in good shape, and even then maybe they don’t see them as a longer term thing. Don’t know really but I agree with you. One of them said to me last night jokingly that my target male audience is 60-70. Then after they’d all killed themselves laughing I burst into tears. Only joking about the tears 🙂

      • mike wilcox says:

        I suppose it would depend on the man . Today with the economy the way it is a man with more resources might be seen as a better bet than a young man who’s living at home at 28 and playing video games.The younger women I know often complain about the immaturity of younger men these days and don’t see them as good prospects.

        I’m 57 and I have women in their mid 30’s expressing serious interest in me, but I’ve not taken advantage of that. Unlike many of the recently made single I have no plans of rushing into another relationship until I get my baggage down to “carry on” size.

      • EmGee says:

        “why these young gorgeous women like old men.”
        My theory is that they have been treated like princesses all their lives, and will always need a father figure to take care of them. It doesn’t matter who the father figure is, unfortunately, so when Daddy becomes infirm and needs taken care of, or runs out of money, she’s gone. Conversely, it also happens that when the sex kitten starts looking and sounding more like a yowling deceitful tigress, she may find herself kicked to the curb.

        Mike makes a good point about the immaturity of young men in there 20s as well, it only reinforces the young women’s desire for an older man.

        My friends in their early 30s (my youngest one just turned three-oh, so I am fresh out of 20 something friends), are not princesses, and they all find an ewwww-factor in men 50 or older. One friend’s niece just turned 21 and still lives with and depends on Grammy for everything (it’s not just the boys who refuse to grow up). I swear being around her is like being around a 15 yr old. It will be interesting to see how she turns out.

      • fi says:

        Unless you spend time in the gym and watch your diet, by the time you’re in your 50s your body is going to sag and bulge. And your friends are probably the same age as you with the same cultural reference points and interests. Your clubbing days are probably over. I’m sure there are some women 20 years younger that genuinely do prefer to have sex with a man who isn’t taut, fit and energetic and who don’t want to go out clubbing with their own generation. I’ve never met any though.

      • mike wilcox says:

        My gym is full of men in their 40’s who are in better shape now than when they were in their 20’s, some could pass fro fitness models. A lot of them are a few years past their divorces and have rebuilt their finances, drive nice cars and dress very well.

        All of this I would imagine would be very attractive to a woman of any age. If a younger woman was just looking for a good time or as an opportunity to meet upwardly mobile people, I could see them being attracted as well. In my case my finances are still in a bit of a shambles, but at 6’2″/180lbs with all my hair and teeth I seem to be considered worth a second look at ;~)

      • fi says:

        Actually that’s not quite true – my brother has got a girlfriend 15 years younger than him, but he does still go clubbing, is handsome and does go to the gym.

      • fi says:

        Mike. For god’s sake save yourself now. Run. Run before you’re hunted down by single middle aged women for you are as valuable as gold.

      • fi says:

        Ps mike – are you in scotland?

      • fi says:

        Not cos I’m going to hunt you down – you just referred to your wee house and in wondered 🙂

      • mike wilcox says:

        I’m not in Scotland, but my ancestry goes back that way on my Mom’s side ;~) “Wee” just seems a nicer term to use than “Small”, Small seemingly meaning ” Not a s good” as “large”. I’d sooner a cottage with no mortgage, than a mansion of debt.

      • maria says:

        “My gym is full of men in their 40′s who are in better shape now than when they were in their 20′s, some could pass fro fitness models. A lot of them are a few years past their divorces and have rebuilt their finances, drive nice cars and dress very well. All of this I would imagine would be very attractive to a woman of any age”.

        Yeah, but they are still old, right? And they don’t look like 20 year olds, do they? Why is it that old men who are in good shape, good finances, etc, are supposed to be a catch, but the same never applies to women in the same situation, no matter how good they look, how well their finances are, how smartly they dress, etc.
        For a woman the single most important attribute is always her age, and once one’s past 35, we might as well kill ourselves because everybody thinks we’re worthless.

      • mike wilcox says:

        I certainly don’t consider women over 35 as worthless, I think it’s just that when the balance of power shifts in terms of the sexual/relationship market place from women to men, the men who spent most of their 20’s being shot down in the dating department go overboard on their new found marketability…..

      • maria says:

        EmGee, here in Portugal most “kids” depend and live with their parents till their late 20’s even 30, they get a college degree, than a master degree, then a postgraduate (I don’t know if that’s what you call it down there), all at the parents expense. And when they finally leave home to get married, the parents are expected to pay for a lavish wedding, the honeymoon, and to help them buy their house, furniture, household electrical appliances, etc. And the mothers are expected to babysit the grandchildren for free.
        But when you’re old, frail and need somebody to take care of you, you’re not supposed to bother your children, you’re supposed to go to a nursing home (a cheap one, so your children can inherit your money) and die, the sooner the better and without causing much trouble.
        Yes, it’s not easy to be a parent in Portugal. Thank god I’ve never had any children (I’ve never wanted any).

      • fi says:

        Ah. Well you’re obviously not British.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you for this, James. Believe me, I would love to write about it but I cannot because I feel very strongly that the story involves other people (ie. my ex-husband) and that wouldn’t be fair, even though this blog is anonymous. Suffice it to say that the current thread is not irrelevant, but although very tempted, I won’t say more than that! Pxx

  • mike wilcox says:

    A lot of misinformation being posted here about affairs and men, 66% of all divorce action are by middle aged women and infidelity by the husband is no where near the top of the list these days, it’s down near the bottom with physical abuse. Women have stated that “growing apart or falling out of love” is at the heart of most divorces in Britain today.

    • Jill says:

      Ah, but there is no quicker or surer way of falling out of love with your husband than finding out he has been unfaithful to you with a friend of yours. Don’t forget that a lot of people are so humiiated by that, that they would prefer to use the phrase “growing part” than admit that they have been betrayed. My husband told people that “we were making each other unhappy” when the reality of the situation was that he had made me so unhappy as a result of his actions and behaviour that he could no longer bear to stay around and watch me disintegrate. Good old fashioned guilt.

      • mike wilcox says:

        The problem with your theory is that in past surveys infidelity WAS brought up as a main reason by women. So why now in a much more open age where everything is discussed would it suddenly be taboo as a reason or called something else? It just does not hold up

      • EmGee says:

        Mike, without some sort of link to where you got your information, your argument doesn’t hold up either.

        On the other hand, maybe women are more independent and in a better position to get out of a bad situation earlier, before the incessant flirting becomes philandering, or just shoving her away in anger becomes black eyes and broken bones.

        Also in the past, there had to be a valid reason given to divorce someone, just saying you are ‘unhappy’ or ‘no longer in love’ wasn’t good enough.

        However if you want to back up your assertion with some facts from a reliable source, I’ll gladly take a look.

      • fi says:

        Sitting on the fence here but I was chatting to a woman yesterday who had split up with her husband as they’d grown apart. I don’t think its that uncommon for women to re-evaluate their lives when the kids have grown up and left home and then decide they don’t want to spend what time they have left with the face across the breakfast table. It also can happen that once they no longer have the kids there they may actually have nothing in common as some people do lead quite separate lives.

  • EmGee says:

    Mike thank you for the link to the article.

    I can see why newspaper articles may seem one sided, but unfortunately for everyone, this sort of thing is considered ‘women’s news’, (as in: men aren’t interested in reading about relationships) so the bias is going to be toward a woman’s pov. The media’s always worked that way, they just renamed that section of the paper “Living Today” or some such, so as not to appear sexist. It’s still about relationships, recipes, make up tips, and home remodeling, with a few theater and music reviews thrown in.

    Obviously, by so many of the replies here, it is a much more complex subject than is usually portrayed.

    • Jill says:

      Actually, having had a look at the link Mike provided, I would say that the breakdown of a marriage can be/is often caused by a combination of all the factors mentioned in the article. Someone (husband OR wife) has a mid-life crisis, decides to have an affair, which in itself constitutes unreasonable behaviour, and the hapless partner somewhat understandably falls out of love when he or she finds out…….

      And, one reason that infidelityis no longer brought up as a primary cause of marital breakdown is that divorce is now “no fault”, even though adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion can still be cited as causes.

      • mike wilcox says:

        The whole mid life crisis thing is very interesting because it fits right in with the ages men are going through androphase and women in perimenopause.

        The reduction of hormones in both cases often brings on depression and feelings of the clock running out…..Many of the forums that deal with both often have online journals men and women have kept that chronicle this process from the first feelings of “something is missing” to six months later as ” I can’t stand to be in the same room as Him/Her”.

        It’s only been since the advent of the internet that it’s been noticed this is more common than previously thought. I know of one forum that deals with mid life crisis that has close to 18,000 posts, most of them eerily the same as the reports in the andro/perimeno forum journals.

      • EmGee says:

        While I agree with your assessment Jill, the changes in attitude cited in the article are between 2003 and 2011. I am not sure about Britain, but generally I think no fault divorce has been around longer than that.

        However, upon reading the article again, extra marital affairs only fell to 2nd place (25%), with ‘growing apart’ (how ambiguous – sounds like a wiggle-word the cheating spouse would prefer, eh?) topping the list at 27%. So a quarter of all divorces (in Britain) are *still* caused by infidelity. Either it doesn’t say what percentage it was in 2003, or I didn’t see it. Could have been 27%, could have been higher.

        A less lazy person than I could hunt up the 2003 survey, I suppose.

  • James B says:

    I think the fear of mortality and the dawning realisation that time is limited is perhaps the biggest spur to marriage break up post 45 or so. I know that I am asking myself – “Is that really all there is?”. Once the kids are older, it is natural to think about oneself a little. Men are undoubtedly more simple creatures too and youthful looks and sex matters more to many men than to many women. Sometimes it is the other way round of course. Recently a friend of wife’s (a stunning recently single blonde) made an explicit pass at me. I was shocked, flattered, confused, disturbed and yes, tempted. Oh well …

    I am 47 and watching the most amazing things going on in our social circle at the moment. Affairs, divorces, reconciliations, re-marriages, the lot. One 65 year old neighbour has a new 22 year old Ukranian girlfriend. I hope she likes looking after the elderly …

  • fi says:

    You know I think I’ve a lot to offer in terms of experience, tolerance, and acceptance of people’s fallibility. I don’t think the main criteria that a man uses is a woman’s age when deciding whether he’s attracted or not, I think exactly as James says they want an interesting, charming and nice one that they have a good time with. Unfortunately (contaversial again sorry) most older women have let themselves go so they are no longer sexually attractive and/or they have so much baggage they are bitter and brittle. And that’s why men prefer younger women – because they’re easier or kinder or less neurotic – not because their breasts are perkier. And honestly if a man my age or thereabouts didn’t want me because of my age I couldn’t give a toss as I really wouldn’t want him. If I was turned down because he didn’t like me, or was bored by me, or didn’t think I was clever or interesting or good company, now THAT would really bother me. But my age, not at all. I feel so much more interesting now I’ve experienced life. Look at kristen scott thomas or anjelica houston or judi dench and tell me that a man or woman wouldn’t find them interesting. Or nigella lawson or helen mirren or monica belluci and tell me that an older man wouldn’t want to spend the weekend in bed with them. I really believe you can go on being sexually attractive for a long time and men don’t run away at signs of age – I think they’re a lot more tolerant and pragmatic than women – if you look after yourself and retain your attractiveness.

    • RS says:

      I’ll throw something else into the mix… I get a ton of messages from younger men on an internet dating site. As in, 20 years younger. And they aren’t all looking for a leg over. When I politely tell them 2 decades younger is much too much younger, more often than not I get messaged back with some well-thought-out arguments. The complaints I get from them about young women is that they’re lacking in confidence,too attention seeking, too clingy, too interested in material things, reality tv, soaps, etc. and that they aren’t interested in, or capable of, carrying on an intelligent conversation.

      And I’ll just say in response to Mike about an earlier comment on women being dissatisfied in their marriages but not expressing this to their husbands… I can think of 2 examples in my personal experience where the dissatisfaction was clearly expressed, for years, to the point where the women (my mother in one case) tried and tried to talk to their spouses about it, yet were either poo-poo’d or ignored. Eventually, after a number of years (and counselling on their own in one case since the husband refused to go) they decided that they’d be much happier on their own.
      Not saying that’s the rule for every case where a woman leaves a marriage in middle age, but that’s what I’ve witnessed in my small circle.

      • mike wilcox says:

        Well, in my case I can count the serious arguments we had over 24 years on less than five fingers, every major decision we made was by consensus. Never once did my wife suggest we had problems or ask for counseling and I was never given any indication there were any issues to think otherwise until the last couple of months we were together. At that point I was the one that asked her what was wrong and was told “everythings fine, I’m just not feeling well”,” It’s PMS” etc…So it’s not always the man.

      • fi says:

        RS. I think you’re right although I suppose its possible that some women somewhere do go mental for no good reason and that we just have never met any. We do hear about fantastic marriages with superb wives that the husbands suddenly walk out on for no good reason.

      • fi says:

        Mike – it sounds like by the time you were aware enough to ask what the problem was (ie just before the end ) she’d already decided it was pretty much over and wasn’t interested in fixing things which is why she didn’t want to discuss it. That indicates the problems had started long before that really although it sounds like you weren’t aware of that.

      • mike wilcox says:

        I see this same rational thrown up all the time that the husband ‘just wasn’t paying attention’ , ‘didn’t see the signs’ and it just does not hold water in all cases . If one does not appear to be dissatisfied, never says their dissatisfied and is making long range plans for you both that indicate a future with you, just how are you supposed to know there’s problem? I found out what the problem was some months later, another man she’s met online promising her the moon.

      • EmGee says:

        Now wait a minute, Mike. First you said it was menopause, otherwise you didn’t have a clue why her behavior changed, now you are saying you found out later that she had met someone online.

        I am seeing a correlation here, and it ain’t “The Change”.

        It is very understandable that it took you by surprise though, sometimes people behave normally on the outside to protect themselves, but think their spouses should be able read their minds, recognize little clues, and if he/she has to ask what is wrong, then they aren’t ‘in touch’ (add another fabricated resentment to the list, to boot).

      • mike wilcox says:

        All these behavioral changes began within months after she began to have the standard physical issues with peri meno, eg night sweats, hot flashes, irregular periods, fibroids etc.

        I’d heard horror stories from older men about their wive’s “Changes” and had experienced it with my own mother, so I read up on this as soon as it became apparent my wife was beginning to go through it.
        I even logged into a half a dozen menopause forums to find exactly what women where telling one another about their experiences with it,

        Some admit to being ” Borderline crazy”, having depression, rages feelings of just wanting to run away from it all. A great many worried about their marriage due to having strong attractions to other men and losing all affection for their husbands. To read some of their journals is heart breaking, so yes peri does bring on a multitude of behavior changes as well as physical ones.

      • fi says:

        Mike – it doesn’t matter whether you were paying attention or not, its done. The reason I think you’re stuck where you are is because you feel if you’d been given a chance you’d have done something to stop her leaving and you feel its unfair she didn’t give you the opportunity. Maybe you could or actually maybe there was nothing you could have done. Maybe the problem wasn’t solvable by you and she just wanted to go – it sounds like she hid it from you till she was on her way out the door. If there is no way that you could reconcile then you have to move forward with the rest of your life and look at the situation and its causes more objectively. Maybe counselling could help you understand what happened and help you move forward.

      • fi says:

        ” I think you’re right although I suppose its possible that some women somewhere do go mental for no good reason and that we just have never met any. We do hear about fantastic marriages with superb wives that the husbands suddenly walk out on for no good reason.”

        Not really.

      • fi says:

        Mike – I had no symptoms apart from occasional hot flushes and a desire to begin zumba classes. Unless I’m so irrational and mental I’m not aware of my rages, depression and strong attractions to other men.

      • Leftatforty says:

        I had the same experience as you Mike Wilcox. My husband suddenly went EPL on me. If it hadn’t happened to me I’d have never believe something like that can happen. I think everyone is responsible of the way they communicate and if my husband was ‘unhappy’ he should have told me in a way I could understand rather than starting an affair.
        Having said this, I known many more women who have done this sort of thing in my immediate circle… in fact I feel like the odd one out.

      • Leftatforty says:

        “We do hear about fantastic marriages with superb wives that the husbands suddenly walk out on for no good reason.”

        Well, my husband’s good reason is younger than me and with no children or responsibilities. I am not sure about the hot flushes but he goes to Zumba classes (!). As I said, I am the odd one out.

      • RS says:

        Mike – I’ve never said “it’s always the man” and I’ve never said “it’s always the woman”. I merely gave examples to refute your assertion that women are suddenly springing these decisions to leave on their husbands with no warning. Your personal experience is that women somehow “lose it” when they reach a certain age and their men are left bewildered. Mine has been, generally, that men don’t take seriously women’s complaints about dissatisfaction with their lives. I don’t doubt your experience is valid in some instances and I’m not negating it.

        People change through the course of a marriage. Because of this, sometimes they make silly decisions, sometimes they make the right decisions. Sometimes they are men, sometimes they are women. And often they hurt the ones who are left behind. I think that’s the only thing we can say with certainty.

  • James B says:

    I agree with this, Fi. In general though, I think women change more than men over time. Men are more or less the same creatures from 18 onwards. Women change when kids come along – they replace their male partners in the importance league and then another change comes along with the menopause. Therefore, in my experience anyway, a man can marry three separate women in the one body between the ages of 25 and 55! Sounds sexist this – I do not mean to be.

    The point of all this is though, that men will look happily at older women as long as they look after themselves, have some enthusiasm, optimism and show a continuing sexual identity. For women in middle age it is a good opportunity to find a compatible male partner too.

    • mike wilcox says:

      This is very true, though in my eye’s my wife was always the “Bride of my Youth” through the first two phases. then peri menopause hit and the woman I’d known and loved disappeared in a matter of months… there isn’t a day that goes by I don’t miss her…

    • fi says:

      I think women evolve as they grow older and experience different aspects of life. Maybe that’s the crux of the problem with the women who have left their husbands in the examples I used – the husbands just weren’t capable of evolving alongside them and expected their wives to be satisfied at 45 with the same things that they were at 20. Which is bizarre as nobody would expect to be doing the same job, and have the same friends, interests or hobbies. I am not sympathetic to the idea of the menopause or perimenopause causing women to leave – that idea that it is a womans pesky hormones making her behave irrationally is a conclusion that men reach because they can’t understand her behaviour and its preferable to accepting any responsibility for things going wrong in the relationship – after all she was perfectly happy 10 years ago and nothing has changed except she’s got older therefore the problem must be her. I think it may be a trigger that encourages women to re-evaluate their lives and if they haven’t been happy they may well leave, but it doesn’t make them disatisfied where previously they were content. Instead they maybe just decide to stop hiding their discontent and do something about it. A breakdown in a relationship is never one person’s fault although it is easier to think it is, there are always 2 sides to every story. Or 3 as they say – mine,yours and the truth

    • fi says:

      I’ve said before here that getting older (am now 51) has not made me any less attractive to my peers. In fact I would go as far as to say I get many more offers now from men then I did 10 years ago and I think its because firstly I take care of myself when a lot of women my age don’t so I look bloody brilliant in comparison, secondly my life experiences and personality make me interesting to men and thirdly I really love their company. I think as men get older they change too in looking for different qualities in a woman and personality is much more important than when they were younger when it was more looks they were interested in. And men become so much nicer as they age or else they were always nice but I just didn’t see it when I was younger.

      • fi says:

        Actually not all men obv, some end up bitter and angry and resentful as do some women, but personally what a waste of a very short life.

      • fi says:

        Sorry I’m not saying this so I come across a gorgeous – I’m ordinary – I’m trying to say that with a bit of effort and a change in mindset including seeing we are where we are as a result of our actions or reactions to other people or events, people can accomplish major changes in their lives.

  • PY says:

    It is probably no coincidence that one of the shortest of Ms P’s blogs has ellicited among the most responses. It is a highly emotive subject and correspondents thoughts have spun off in all sorts of directions, with some very sound points being made and common sense expressed.

    However, a number of sweeping generalisations have crept in or been repeated which, from personal experience lead me to comment as follows :

    Not all men line up a new partner before leaving a marriage. Some do not have the opportunity nor the inclination.

    Not all men will only look at younger women when they are seeking a new partner. Have just returned from a cracking weekend with a 50+ friend at ‘The Fringe’ (sorry, Fi , catch you next time – but would draw the line at Nigella, it would be carnage in the ktchen).

    If you accept the argument that women do change personality as a result of the menopause, isn’t it better for a man to seek a new partner from amongst those who have passed through that change ?

    Not all women decide to change tack at the end of child rearing – some have a ” So, is that it ?” moment very early in their marital years – particularly if divorce is endemic within their family.

    Not all children of separated parents are irreparably damaged by their parents actions – or so I hope and would like to believe.

    Not all men disappear over the horizon – some take their responsibilities to their offspring very seriously.

    The forces of nature are against both men and women – that includes gravity and hormones – both of which are a bugger. What state people end up in is unknown but, to a certain extent, it is within their control.

    That includes taking care of themselves, stopping wallowing in self pity, getting out there and making an effort to be both interesting and personable . Reading this blog, it’s clearly expected of men so why not women ? Attraction comes in many forms.

    I recognise that it is possibly a fool’s mission but , clearly, some men do make the effort to try and understand both sides of the equation. Looking for answers to the circumstances they find themselves in and , where necessary , defending their position. I have a nasty suspicion that, on my death bed, a female companion will whisper into my ear the secret of ‘What makes women happy ?’.

    That’s my ha’porth for today

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you, PY, for your ha’porth for today. Pxx

    • Emgee says:

      Since the subject of sweeping generaliztions was presented, here’s the answer to the last one:
      There are as many answers to “what women want”, as there are women in this world. And as our lives change, our desires change. Same applies to men, naturally.

      I just watched a movie last night called “Another Life”, and I am glad we live in an era with expanded choices for everyone, whether we make tham wisely, or not.

  • Alison says:

    I was interested on Mike’s point on hormones and peri and menopause and also on the point of feeling he had been through different stages resulting in a change of the woman he married each time.

    As I said earlier I have been with my husband for 30 years, decided to stay for the children despite his serial philandering, we had children quite late so my youngest is 13 now. My husband had a situation which I am told is more common than one would think in that his testosterone levels dropped considerably and he now has to have implants every few months to compensate as these levels never recover again. There is no doubt when the ‘top-up’ is needed, he becomes very tired and emotional too, the least thing makes him irritated.

    Whilst this was not the excuse in the early days of our marriage for his infidelity, it must be quite as much a life-changing experience to have this reminder of increasing years as it is for us women. Having said that, I was very lucky with the peri and menopause, just a few weeks of feeling a bit hotter and cessation of periods, there were no wild mood swings.

    The point I was trying to make is that my husband has also changed, and maybe this is what happens, not that the husband stays on the same tracks wondering why his wife wants something different 20 years down the line, but that both diverge, just not along the same lines.

    It doesn’t excuse his constant relationships outsdie the marriage or the visiting of the swinging clubs, just that hormones do play a part for men too,

    This is not to downgrade your experience at all Mike, it is painful whichever partner leaves first, I wondered whether you thought you had changed over that time too?

    • fi says:

      I think fluctuating hormones do effect your mood, hormones govern how your entire body operates anyway, and so there will be an impact at menopause. However. We still manage to go to work and pay bills and do shopping and drive cars without causing mayhem. I thought though we’d moved on from the days where a woman’s hormones were blamed if she made a decision a man didn’t like.

      • Jill says:

        Hear, hear, Fi. In my opinion, some men can suffer (note how carefully I phrased that….) in just the same way as women from too much or too little hormonal activity, yet that particular charge only ever seems to be levelled at the distaff side.

      • mike wilcox says:

        Androphase hit’s men more gradually, as our main hormone testosterone only drops about 1% a year beginning in our late 20’s. For you girls though it’s much more drastic.

        I know women get annoyed when men bring it up, but you really have no idea what it’s like dealing with it on our end. I’ve a dear friend with three daughters and his wife all cycling together, he generally makes himself scarce at certain times of the month to maintain his own sanity ;~)

      • fi says:

        Mike. Thanks for clarifying. I rather stupidly thought I functioned as a rational human being but obviously not, I’m at the mercy of my hormones and unable to control myself. Thank god I’m single as whatever poor man was stuck with me would have to suffer my extreme mood swings, rages and fibroids before I ran off with someone else. All as a result of my hormones.

      • mike wilcox says:

        Thank you for proving once again why no man wants to raise this issue, as he’s immediately attacked as being some kind of Misogynist. You are using emotions in a discussion based on biological science. We are all, men and women, at the mercy of the chemicals and hormones in our brain, the ones that affect our moods.fluctuate far more in the female brain than in men’s . I did not just pull this out of thin air, it’s a biological reality and not some chauvinistic cliche.

        I’ve made my points very clear that I am not talking about all women going totally bonkers or not able to control themselves, I’ve just raised the notion that some women have a very bad time of it based on their own personal accounts in forums that deal with menopause, many of them bringing up the very behavioral changes I mentioned. You can choose to disagree as it your right, but at least check out what I’ve seen in forums that deal with this issue first.

      • EmGee says:

        Dude, please. Touch on a sensitive subject, and you should expect emotional responses. It isn’t like you haven’t responded emotionally to the topic (both infidelity and menopause) yourself.

        Men can be sympathetic to difficulties related women’s physical differences, eg, menses, pregnancy, and menopause, and even feel the brunt of the effects in varying degrees, but you will never, ever, ever be able to walk a mile in our shoes.

        And re: “you really have no idea what it’s like dealing with it on our end.”
        it’s absurd to assume we’ve never been on the receiving end of a woman who’s feeling irritable, grouchy, unreasonable, etc. We don’t live in bubbles, we interact with and live with both genders all the time,

      • mike wilcox says:

        LOL, come on, there is no comparison to dealing with someone going through this at work or some social function to actually being married to them and dealing with it everyday and not being allowed to help in any way. If you stand back and stay out of the way you are accused of “neglecting” them and being “non supportive”, if you try and be proactive you’re told you are “Controlling” and to “leave me alone, you can’t possibly understand what I’m going through” ;~) This is why a lot of guys go fishing, play poker and often spend a lot of time in the garage in later years….it’s not safe in the house…

      • EmGee says:

        Oh no, and mothers, daughters, room mates, lesbian partners have no interaction at all, our bubbles just bounce off each other as we roll on by, oblivious to the existence of anyone but men…..

        Sheesh. Who is really living in a bubble here?

      • mike wilcox says:

        No, being married to someone having real problems with their menopause is not the same as dealing with mothers, daughters or other relations. I’ll grant you the lesbian couples, but even there the gender issue is not thrown up as an attack as it is at a man in trying to help in this.

        I’ve friends who’ve moved into the spare room who prior to menopause were having regular relations, now their wives can’t stand the touch of them most of the time, others are all smiles, as between mood swings their wives libido’s went into hyperdrive , but they never know what to expect from one day to the next. It’s not fiction, most of us try and deal with it as best we can hoping our wives get to the other side of it with our marriages intact

      • fi says:

        Mike, really, I think it’s becoming clear to women readers here that out of all the reasons for your marriage breaking down, your wife going through the perimenopause probably wasn’t one of them.

      • EmGee says:

        “I’ve friends who’ve moved into the spare room who prior to menopause were having regular relations,…”
        Well then, I am afraid you have some friends in a very sad predicament. And by ‘relations’ I assume you are alluding to sex. As if all the other unpleasantness would be tolerable, if only there was sex.

        Let me guess that you are here to find out what makes women tick. I don’t know if you are any wiser in that regard, but let me say this, your posts have elicited a lot of responses here, nearly all of them negative.

        Now, you can either take that as a sign that we here are all a bunch of vengeful harpies who delight in attacking any man who comes in here with an opinion, or you can consider the adage: “The only consistent feature of all your dissatisfying relationships is you”. Both may be true, neither may be true, but-

        It’s easy to blame other people, or things beyond our control, for our problems, but the fact remains that there are always choices, different paths to take, new dreams to follow. If you cling to to what you believe is true, whether it is correct or not, you will never go any further. If you are generally happy, good. If you are generally unhappy, well…

    • Elle says:

      Alison, sorry to hear about your experience but I am beginning to think that all men cheat if they can get away with it or can afford it.

      A friend said to me yesterday that what makes being single tolerable for her is the fact that so many men in relationships (marriages and otherwise) are cheating behind the woman’s back. She has rebuffed some of these men’s advances and so have I.

      When we tell them to get lost and go back to their partners they laugh and tell us we should be grateful for their offers and what the wife (or partner) doesn’t know won’t hurt her!

      Why do men cheat? Because they can.

  • Elle says:

    Indeed, I have given up on finding an exclusive relationship and will have to settle for being alone forever or being part of some man’s harem.

    • maria says:

      I’d rather be alone.

      • fi says:

        Me too. But I think I’m lucky in that for so long I was bringing up kids and not looking and so any man shaped gaps have been long since filled in.

      • maria says:

        I’ve always been single so I guess I’m used to it and I do love my independence. Currently I have my slob brother living with me, he was kicked out by his wife, and just the fact of having someone else at home, really gets on my nerves. How I miss the days when I was totally alone! Since he is a slob, has no money , can’t keep a job and has really awful smelly feet, I don’t think it’s gona happen any time soon.

      • fi says:

        Heh heh. My brother was the same when he split from his wife -hanging about and leaving his kids with me for days on end for me to entertain and feed and I did my cheering up routine then he got a new woman and buggered off without even leaving a bottle of wine. Now he just send his kids through to me when he wants to have sex with her.

    • fi says:

      Maybe I’m naïve but I’m pretty sure that none of the blokes I know as friends cheat on their wives or their wives on them. And even the single ones I’m friends with don’t have harems. In fact all of them have been in longer term relationships in the past and would like to be again and even where they are currently in casual ones they still don’t see more than one woman at once. I don’t know why I don’t see it round me. Maybe I’m just blind.

  • MW says:

    oh dear -that’s it – I’ve heard enough. Move on , move on……Thanks P for the subject, but now I’m leaving it behind and moving on….BYE!

  • Sheila says:

    When the man I love broke up with me, my world fell apart. I had gone to several casters and I got no results or insufficient ones. I found and gave another try to retrieve my lover and restore the passionate relationship I had with him. I’m so glad I did and trusted him. He performed a spiritual cleansing to banish negative energies and cast a love spell. After 3days, the man I missed dearly started to call me and told me few days ago that he still loves me and wants to try again. Thank you

    • EmGee says:

      Google search ihumudumupriest and you’ll find that ‘Sheila’ is a spammer who posts in bog comments under different names, but with the same story. I am friends with a spellcaster, and while I am very skeptical myself, he believes in what he does and would never stoop to such lows to pull in clients.

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