We don’t want what we don’t have; rather that which we can’t have. ~ Ace Andres
In 1994 Robert Wright wrote a profound book called: “The Moral Animal”.. The book’s premise was: “Man was meant to fall in love, but not designed to stay in love. I would recommend the book but Wright uses Darwinism way too much for my recommendation. But if you sift through the theories of “Sexual Dimorphisms”, there are some thought provoking pearls. By the way, Dimorphism is a theory that species which have more physical parody in the sexes is similar to their desire for a non-monogamous relationship. For example, Apes are at the top of the mammal spectrum when it comes to the difference in size of the average male and average female. On the far right side of the spectrum you have little Gibbon’s monkeys. They are identical in the size of the male and female and subsequently are monogamous. This is where the meat of Sexual Dimorphism lays.
In the late 80s or early 90s when the term Supermodel was first coined, I asked myself an honest question: “If you could have anyone you chose as a mate/spouse; who would you pick”? My answer was not what I wanted to hear. In the late 70s Woody Allen wrote the movie Annie Hall. In the movie he quotes Groucho Marx’s great line: “I would never want to be in a club that would have me as a member”. As funny and self-deprecating as the joke is, it does tragically touch on the root of man’s (the human race) desire for infidelity. That would be simply, insecurity.
So who would I have wanted back in 1991 if I had the pick of the universe? I was honest enough to understand that if I chose Cindy Crawford, I knew deep in my heart, that it wouldn’t be long before I would want Gina Lee Nolan. If by chance I had Gina Lee also, I would then want Elle MacPherson, and so on then so on. This brings us back to Robert Wright.
Wright uses Darwinism to suggest that “Man” (The male sex) has an inherent need to spread the seeds of his DNA in multiple partners for the survival of the name. Woman on the other hand, pretty much is always on the lookout for the BBD or Bigger, Better, Deal. In this case Wright is talking about the ability to provide and in certain cases the ability to protect. Even if it means “sharing” her mate with another female. (See Mormon wives)
TV show “My five Wives”
Infidelity is far from a new activity. In the Old Testament, King David, the child that killed the Giant “Goliath”, The Man after God’s heart took one of his military officers’ wife and banged her while her hubby “Uriah” was at war with the Philistines. It’s all in 2nd Samuel chapter 11. Now being a male I have to try to defend the adulterer and give the excuse many bible scholars use.
When David brought the “Arch of the covenant” into Jerusalem, he was dancing like a hippie at a grateful dead concert. Upon entering his kingdom, his better half told him that he looked like a Jack Ass dancing in the street. I can only imagine the scene of Elaine from Seinfeld dancing at the office holiday party. The Bible scholars say this stuck in King David’s ego and when he had sex with Bathsheba, it was an act of retribution. Personally, I think David did it because Bathsheba was hot and he could. And to quote Mel Brooks: “It’s good to be King”. I do feel that it is my Christian duty to say that the king’s actions did not go unpunished.
I believe that we fall in love because the feeling of affection is our first conscious positive human emotion. So we have been hard wired to “want” unconditional love. So once we find it; why are we not content with the source of our affection? Setting Darwin aside; I think men and women always have that unfulfilled question of: “Could I have done better”? Is “Spirituality” the bond that keeps a couple together till death do they part?
If King David (A man after God’s heart) could not resist the temptations of the flesh, how is Joe Lunch Bucket supposed to fight the urge when the opposite sex is practically “presenting” in a nature like fashion? I firmly believe that we bring it on ourselves, (subconsciously). I’ve actually had to say: “I’m happily married”. I would be lying if I said it was easy to say. But knowing the principle of cause and effect, it didn’t take me long to come to that conclusion. Maybe that’s it?
Perhaps the potential cheater wants to see if they can “get away with it”? Many shop lifters do it for the thrill of “getting away with it”. Look at Winona Ryder. She could have bought the stores that she shop lifted from, yet she did it anyway. I think deep inside, they want to get caught. It goes back to negative attention you got when you cried as an infant.
Some of the things that amaze me about infidelity are people’s attitudes towards the cheater. I read an interview in the late 70s with one of Rod Stewarts beautiful ex-wives (I guess that’s redundant isn’t it)? Whom said: “I couldn’t respect Rod if I could trust him”. HUH?
That brings up another question that is just as absurd. Why would Hugh Grant, (an attractive actor) who was cohabitating at the time with the unbelievably gorgeous actress Elizabeth Hurley get caught on the Strip in Hollywood receiving oral sex from the prostitute “Devine Brown” I’m unable to confirm DB’s true gender? Could I cheat on Elizabeth Hurley? Maybe but not with Devine Brown. No, Never, not even upon pain of death.
Hollywood couples are like coupons, they should come with an expiration date on them. Why is it that an actor or musician can’t be truly monogamous? I think I can understand it the first time around. Once you’ve attained fame, that’s a hard thing for your partner to deal with. The same partner that’s been with you for years is now that person in the background. With few exceptions like Rhea Pearlman and Danny DeVito. It seems like once you make it in La-La, you’ll be divorced and married to the person that was your leading co-star in your break through film. You wouldn’t believe how many people I THOUGHT were married once that are Hollywood stars that had a secret first spouse. For example, I thought Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were a first time couple. Nope! Tom apparently was married prior to his fame and left his former wife along with his former obscure life.
I can remember the first time I ever heard that Bogie had a mistress. It was in 1982 and I was watching a documentary on Humphrey Bogart. (As you can tell by the name of this magazine, I’m a Bogie fan. Although married four times, most recently to Lauren Bacall (1945-1957). He had an affair with the former actress/wig maker named Verita Thompson for 13 years, whom Bogart had on his staff as a secretary. When seen by the press leaving the airport, Bogie use to joke about how he and his mistress had to leave. Everyone thought Bogart was joking including Mrs. Bogart who would have the mistress over for dinner many times, and even talk to on a daily basis while Bogart was on set.
What I find interesting about the Thompson/Bogart affair is that Bogie started his relationship with Thompson while married to his third wife Mayo Methot. During that time the secret affair was kept silent while Bogart married Lauren Bacall. Thompson claimed to be upset when 12 days after Bogie’s divorce from Methot was final, he married Lauren Bacall.
Remember this was in 1945. Morals were not as they are today. There were no Brad, Jennifer and Angelinas in the public’s eye. Talk of an affair could ruin an actor’s career. In Bogart and Thompson’s situation, Thompson was married to a film technician named Robert Peterson.
But today, once you make it in Hollywood, people throw themselves at you. The successful one needs to remember that there are two types of people in Hollywood. Those trying to be discovered. And those trying to marry into money. I’m not saying that those trying to marry into money have a premeditated plan to take the money and house via divorce, but it does happen.
Finding success in the public’s eye is like getting rid of the cubicle and getting a corner office with a big oak desk. Consider the corner office the new partner and the old cubicle the person you left for the corner office. And many times I can understand why a person would divorce their former spouse.
I do not condone divorce, but I use the term understand. If your spouse of 15 years is telling you that you’ll never make it, and your ship finally comes in, what loyalty do you owe the non-believer that you supported? I’ll bet if you asked the typical Kevin Costner type actor why they got divorced, somewhere in there you’re going find that the seeds of the divorce were sowed long before success came. I would go so far as to say that success came in spite of the marriage. Occasionally you’ll find someone that gets the moniker as Hollywood’s family man. Mel Gibson was the last star to occupy the throne. But in 2011 he got divorced and now has a “Partner”.
Why do people cheat? The answers are as plentiful as what is for lunch. They say: “Variety is like a buffet of life” Yet we all know what happens to the food once the fire is gone from the buffet table. Sometimes the one night stand can save a marriage. Sometimes a 13 year affair can save a marriage. Did Bogart not love Lauren Bacall from 1945 till his death in 1957, I believe he did. Did he love Verita Thompson/Peterson? I doubt it. If he did, he would have married her once his divorce to Methot was final.
Often we see public couples and even our friends get divorced or their affairs are not so secret. Every case is different but all of them are none of our business. If your friend is having an affair and comes to you for advice, I would say that is between them and their current spouse or partner. If you do encourage one action or the other, you then become a part of the problem.
If you’re reading this and you’re in an affair or considering an affair, I would tell you to ask yourself WHY would you want to ruin someone else’s life? If you’re married and they’re single, are you just using them? If you’re single and they’re married, are you a home wrecker? If the marriage is rocky and you think divorce is inevitable, it’s best to stay out of it until its’ over. Even then, you need to stay away for a period of time.
Some affairs are like aspirins. The person married is using the affair as a method of coping with a bad marriage. The truth is, the person should be seeing a counselor or a doctor. When we cheat, we’re engaging in an act that is nothing to be proud of. We’re trying to “Cheat” the system. When you do that, you forget about the unintended consequences. Children get hurt the most. Parents are forced to pick sides. Nobody is perfect. Rarely does a person in a really good relationship cheat unless it is because of hubris. Unfortunately, the good relationship in today’s culture is becoming rare as well.
We make a lot of bad decisions when we’re young. A lot of the time it’s marriage to a person you know very little about. The desire to cheat is normal in a relationship that is not fulfilling. Some people are never fulfilled with one person and should not be married.
Fidelity alone does not define a relationship. Forgiveness is divine. In the end, you will have to answer for your decisions. Make good ones. And by the way. Ice cream melts, roses lose their petals and that attractive person ages.