August 23, 2013
Today, I’m going to talk about a subject that I tend to avoid, The Kardashians, specifically Khloe and Lamar, and the rumors swirling around that he’s cheating on her. Let me just say, as much as people demonize the Kardashians, I give them credit for using their feminine allure to create an empire that has millions of people tuning in each week to their shenanigans and drama. Because the truth is their fame and fortune could not exist if not for the obsession and attention given to them by the American public and media.
But, moving on.
I don’t talk a lot about male behavior in dating, love and relationships because I work primarily with women. And while a man’s behavior in a relationship is important, it’s ultimately about you, your choices, and how you communicate and set boundaries around what you will accept in a relationship and what’s right for you, regardless of what he’s doing.
But if something must be said about men’s behavior as it pertains to cheating, it is this: men need to exercise more self control when they make a commitment. That’s the thing about marriage and making a commitment, you stay faithful and do the right thing as a matter of the commitment you have made. You do the right thing because its the right thing to do, that’s called integrity.
Men’s ability to compartmentalize their emotions and behaviors leads many of them to think its ok to cheat, because they isolate sex from their emotions. I often think of really great men in history, or men who are well loved like Martin Luther King Jr, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Bill Cosby, Elliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Fitzgerald Grant III (for all my Scandal fans), Tiger Woods, all cheated on their wives. These kind of men leave me feeling conflicted, because while they’ve contributed something amazing to the world with their gifts, talents, and leadership, their male privilege and sense of entitlement, especially around relationships, normalizes their behavior and is seen as being “only natural” or we say “that’s just what men do”.
This is why we must take a closer look at Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom and the love lessons they can teach you.
I’m still trying to untangle women’s need to clamor for the attention of a man who has not proven himself worthy or a worthwhile partner. But if a man is in the public eye, makes a lot of money, or is really attractive, getting his validation and approval seems to be important. I also see this play out a lot with women and their fathers, especially if he was really successful or distant in some way.
Take time to really get to know someone to see if they are right for you. Dive deep and get to know him and whether or not he’s actually compatible with you, as opposed to obsessing or solely focusing on getting the ring, impressing your friends and family, and the relief you think you’ll feel because you can finally stop looking for The One.
If your man cheats, make an informed decision about whether to stay or go, but if you stay, do it with eyes wide open. If a man cheats once, it’s possible he won’t do it again. If he’s a serial cheater, he’ll likely continue cheating. I don’t necessarily think cheating has to be the end of a long-term relationship or marriage, so long as the person who cheats stops the affair and makes amends. Or, the woman who is being cheated on makes a conscious decision to stay and accept things as they are, because she believes love and the other benefits of being with her man outweighs the decision to erode a marriage and partnership.
Please know I am NOT advocating staying in a relationship with a man who cheats on you. As a matter of fact, I think it’s a BAD idea for most women to stay in a relationship with a cheater. But I’ve been working with women around creating healthy relationships for a long time, and I know a lot of women talk a good game when it comes to the issue of cheating men, but many women choose to stay, mostly out of fear or believing that he will change.
What saddens me most about a man who cheats, is his lack of reflection on the affects of cheating on his partner. Here’s the truth, cheating is usually a sign that something has gone awry in a relationship, that means both parties likely had a role to play in creating the problem. HOWEVER, the onus is on the potentially cheating man to let you know that he is unhappy enough with where things are that he wants to cheat. But when a man starts to reveal himself and tell the truth, most women start to spin off into their own heads about how she’s not good enough or pretty enough or somehow wasn’t enough for him because he desires another woman. So a regimen of beauty treatments, weight loss efforts and self hate ensues, as a result of his pathology and cheating behavior.
The best way to deal with a cheating man is to confront him. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, or if you have a sneaking suspicion that he’s cheating, you’re probably right. Don’t allow him to turn the tables on you for questioning his behavior, a sure sign of a cheater. When a man tries to make you feel bad for “not trusting him”, he’s probably lying about something. But after you confront him, if he says he’s not cheating, you have a decision to make: end the relationship because you don’t believe you can trust him, or trust him and let it go. But most importantly, make an informed decision and trust yourself.
Have you been cheated on? How did you handle it? Leave a comment.