May 28, 2010
Rise of the Husband Poachers
Since moving to Kuwait I've met some women dating married men. These are not my friends but expats that I've come across living in Kuwait. One lady that I used to work with explained that she didn't feel it was "cheating" since he could have up to four wives at one time. Are men here allowed to date other women while married since they can have four wives? I wouldn't think so!
A while ago I met a gorgeous, American lady at my old salon. She was super friendly and loved to travel as much as I do. We really hit it off and I just knew we would be fast friends. We exchanged cell numbers and planned to get together for lunch. Later she would tell me that she is madly in love with a Kuwaiti man who is married to an American woman. That she found out after they fell in love and she couldn't leave him. He has children already. She barely knew me but went on and on about his "secret flat" that they shared when he could get away from his family and the late nights, weekend travel and all the gifts he gives her. That they are going to get married soon which made it okay...
To me that is the ultimate betrayal towards the unwritten laws of sisterhood. When I told her how I felt she didn't call me again.
Lately in the news infidelity is all you hear about. Here are two articles I found about this very subject...
Beware of the Husband Hunter ~ Why Some Women Go For Guys Who Are Taken
By Elise Nersesian
A sparkly engagement ring used to be the symbol of ultimate security for single girls. However, a dangerous ilk of women is on the rise — those who don't consider a wedding band a deterrent, while searching for Mr. Right. They crave the excitement of a passionate romance, but one with an added challenge on top. In other words: They want your boyfriend or husband and aren't the least bit afraid to go after him.
If the tabloids are any indication, one may assume that chasing married men is largely a habit formed in Hollywood — from Rachel Uchitel's recent confession to bedding actor David Boreanaz (a married father of two), to stripper Michelle “Bombshell” McGee's tryst with Sandra Bullock's soon-to-be ex Jesse James, to (insert name of stripper-Playmate-bottle girl)'s fling with shamed golfer Tiger Woods.
However, this recent batch of philandering female star-chasers is indicative of a real-life trend that's been taking place for a while, say scientists at Oklahoma State University.
In a prominent and highly publicized study, researchers divided bachelorettes into two groups and showed them photographs of a hot guy — telling one group he was single and the other he was in a relationship; then, they asked the women how likely they were to pursue him. Only when the woman believed he was committed to someone else did interest in the male subject skyrocket.
So what gives? It's not like mate poaching is a new concept. The idea of seeking several partners — even those who are taken — well, that's classic Darwinian thinking. However, some experts say the more sexual equality females gain in society, the more Rachel Uchitel types are likely to come crawling out of the woodwork.
“Research shows that in societies where women are economically powerful, the more sexually and socially aggressive they are,” says anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D., author of Why We Love. “And today, with more men out of work than women (due to the recession cutting more male-oriented jobs), we're seeing women become bolder in every area of their lives.”
There's even a chemical explanation for why many women pursue guys in relationships. “Any block to romantic love drives up dopamine — a brain chemical associated with love and reward,” says Fisher. “That brain rush can feel addictive.”
And, for the female mate poacher who Oklahoma researchers say bases her self-esteem on her looks and romantic status, that brain rush can be an intoxicating and driving force, causing her to view already-committed men with rose-colored glasses.
“Men in relationships have already proven their willingness to commit, which is a major draw to these women,” says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., sex and relationship therapist. “The possibility of landing him may make her feel special and maybe even superior.”
But this high doesn't last for long. Expending all their energy on already- committed men is a risky business, says Kerner. That's because these men are often happy to have sex on the side, but are rarely willing to leave their wives or girlfriends.
Proof can be gleaned from Michelle McGee's infamous quote in Steppin' Out magazine: “I think men are made to spread their seed. Women need to accept that. If you're going to be married to somebody, you need to know that men are not meant to be with one woman. I think you can totally love your spouse and still sleep with other women. That urge will always be there, if you're a man. I believe you can love your wife 100 percent and still stray.”
But in the end, both women get shafted. “The problem is, by expending all their energy on men in relationships, female mate poachers are overlooking potential guys who could be compatible long-term mates,” says Kerner.
Yet, sometimes it does work out. Angelina Jolie — no doubt our generation's most famous mate-poacher — snatched Brad Pitt from Jennifer Aniston; five years and six kids later, they seem to be going strong. But in Angie's darkest hour, does she ever wonder whether one day she could become the next scorned wife?
Rise of the Husband Poachers
Is it time to issue all of the husbands of the world orange safety vests? Today's "other woman" is aggressive, unashamed, and (shockingly) unapologetic.
First came Rielle Hunter's interview with GQ, in which she was equal parts shameless and finger-pointing (towards Elizabeth Edwards). Then came the Vanity Fair spread of "Tiger's Lovely Ladies," and the New York Magazine article on Rachael Uchitel. Suddenly we were wondering: is this a shiny, brand new trend?
Meet the "Proud Mistress." Rather than going into hiding, this girl likes to get out in front of accusations, own-up to being a notch on the proverbial bed post (think: shrug. "Yeah, I did it, so what?"), and virtually double-dare people to judge her. Newsflash: they are.
While we hate to see men behaving so badly, what's really killing us is how little remorse "she" seems to feel. Is this just a savvy PR move (i.e. act innocent and the press will follow), or does it represent a sea change in attitudes toward infidelity? In short, is the stigma of home wrecker a thing of the past?
Though we've tried to avoid blaming the women involved, we're starting to smell that they didn't all play passive roles. Separately, they might be written off as a bunch of "poor life choices" poured into tiny outfits. But their sheer numbers have us wondering if this is really about getting their 15 minutes. Does celeb worship and the quest for fame trump any concern these girls may have had for their fellow women? Is the mere idea of an unspoken sisterhood among women naive and outdated? How would you feel if your husband cheated with a woman who seemed proud of it?
We took our questions to TheNest.com community. Here's what they had to say:
"The whole 'proud mistress' thing is nothing new. I would say most mistresses' fall into that category if they know the man is married. If they were embarrassed, they wouldn't be in that situation in the first place. It feels like a relatively new phenomenon because of the rise of tabloid culture and social media. Scandal sells magazines and discretion has gone the way of the dodo bird. As for the mistresses 'not having any respect for women,' I think that's beside the point. They don't have any respect for themselves." BowiesInSpace
"I hate this idea of some sort of band of womanhood where women are supposed to stick together and support one another, and stay away from one another's husbands. There is no such thing. 'The other woman' isn't doing a damn thing to the wife -- I've no doubt she's just falling for the same lies that the cheater is giving the wife. The cheater is 100 percent at fault and is 100 percent responsible. This has nothing to do with feminism. The question is why are men disrespecting women to whom they made vows? Another woman can 'disrespect' you by flirting with him all she wants, but nothing will come of it unless your husband is a cheater. It's really that simple. It's not any other women's job to keep my husband faithful, and it's not anyone else's fault if he's not. 'She' just doesn't matter at all." OMG Guinea Pigs!!
"Maybe they do it for the thrill of sleeping with someone rich and famous. Maybe they do it because they fall in love (or think they fell in love). Maybe they do it because they're the type of women who sleep with men on a whim or maybe they do it because they have no self-esteem." Shadow42
"The point is that the husband made the vows to his wife, so the 'other woman' owes her nothing. It's ridiculous to blame the other woman when the husband was the person who didn't keep his promise to stay faithful. No one can tempt someone into cheating if they don't want to."