Stand by your man…? (Conclusion)

Flash back to my time in VA…One of the girls in my squad was sporting an engagement ring that could’ve sunk a modern-day Titanic who seemed very much into her future husband. Well, that was until she met Specialist Jackson. They immediately hit it off; against training standards, and a sexual relationship quickly ensued. In spite of my warnings and those of the company commander, she continued. Well, one day I was checking the dorms to make sure they were clean and everyone was out when I heard the shower running. A quick peek to see who it was and why revealed said young lady with hickeys and other sexually created marks on her body. I advised that she hurry and her response was hysterical tears. She confided that her fiance would be arriving that evening and she didn’t know what she was going to do. It was supposed to be a surprise, but someone in the office messed up and told her. The mix up afforded her time to come up with a way to get out of having sex with him, but it certainly needed to be good enough to justify the marks on her body. I didn’t feel bad for her because she knew better and had been warned, but hard ears makes a soft behind; or in her case; cost her a ring and marriage.

Back to me…If I had a dollar for every married man or man with a girlfriend, I’d have a decent chunk of change sitting tax-free in an offshore account. Yes, infidelity was that serious!

Some were more discreet in their flirting or ways of finding out where my moral compass pointed; however, most were pretty overt and made countless attempts to have me be their side piece. Hell, my ex-husbands father used to make passes at me back in the day before his son and I got together. Makes my skin crawl rethinking it! Let me clarify something as not to be misunderstood because it takes two to tango and trust me when I tell you that there were many married women engaged in various acts of infidelity. I wasn’t surprised per se, but it was funny how they handled their business with a little more finesse and discretion.

I heard men plotting on the new girls that came in on how they’d be their weekend girlfriend or their Annual Training wife. They made offerings of helping them with their training or whatever else they could to sway her into their favour and once they had her, she became shop fodder amongst the men and another notch on their proverbial bedpost. When I was approached, I made it known I’d be no one’s tabloid discussion and there’s nothing they had that I needed to compromise my character for. Oh, trust your girl was “stuck up”, “she must think her p*ssy is lined with gold”, or some other snarky remark. I proudly wore whatever moniker they gave me instead of being anyone’s cum dumpster.

Rank had its privileges because the lower ranking girls thought themselves special for hooking up with the higher ranking enlisted or officers. As I said, it was not limited to men as I saw an E-6 hook up with an E-4 for no other reason than him being cute and having a nice body. Officers and high enlisted alike made promises of special treatment to those who took up with them and their boys were sometimes given preferential assignments for being alibis and such. Olivia Pope would have been proud of how they handled their indiscretions and cover ups…lol…I digress, but they did take esprit de corps to a whole new place!

Being one to never want to be in the lime light and shied away from anything that even remotely stunk of drama, I hated that I knew what I did and found myself being questioned here and there about the (alleged) actions of others even if it was just for curiosity’s sake. It’s sad to recall how many no sooner kissed their kids, spouses, and significant others goodbye and then began kissing their military spouse hello.

Military marriages suffer high rates of divorce primary due to a cheating spouse, which I’ve personally witnessed. I saw a good friend no sooner leave for a 30-day deployment and his wife’s boyfriend keep the bed warm in his absence. Neighbours knew and said nothing; they were probably likewise guilty. It was a gut feeling on his part that caught her in the act. He told her he was leaving for training, packed his stuff and left. He parked around the corner and double backed on foot to the house where he saw an unfamiliar car parked in his driveway. He let himself in through the side door and found his wife and lover on the couch in the act. Talk about coitus interuptus!! Although she was a civilian, she ended up losing the most to include custody of their daughter.

Conversely, there are many spouses who condone infidelity by citing long or extended deployments, recurring training schedules, or some other reason because they’ve grown accustomed to the lifestyle provided by their military spouse. General Sinclair’s wife alluded to such in her statement. Sorry son, I’m not going to make such excuses and there is no amount of lifestyle that will make me think otherwise. I’m not standing by my man and I’m not going to be made light of or become a part of media sensationalism as a result of his actions.

Again, I understand military life, but there is no excuse for the behaviour these and many other have exhibited. A military career is hard-earned and fought hard for and shouldn’t be reduced to something demeaning and seedy to end it. I want to feel bad for either General in some way and maybe if I hadn’t been in the service, I may have a little compassion, but since I’ve been there, I can’t and won’t. I’ve seen how many high-ranking men use and abuse their authority. I’ve seen them manipulate, coerce, cajole, threaten, etc., to get what they want. Sadly, I’ve seen women counter by giving of themselves with hidden agendas; however, any way you slice it, both parties are wrong. In this instance, these men displayed blatant disregard for their marriages, careers, reputations, and whatever else it has cost them. I feel for the spouses; slightly, but I mostly feel for the kids who will have to live and relive this scandal. With today’s technology, there is no undoing what’s published. Personally, I might be inclined to want to change my last name to reduce any known or future associations, but it may never truly remove the human stain. Actions speak louder than words and theirs are the beacons that we will see for all perpetuity.

Stand by your man? Depends on what I’m standing by him for!

That is all!

Cheating with a contingency…

I was listening to the Rickey Smiley Morning Show today, (10 Sept 12) and he was going off about women cheating. He was rather pissed at how women cheat, why women cheat, and that the numbers are as high as 80%. While I can’t confirm or deny his accuracy, I can say that women are rather slick with theirs and tend to be more successful than men at it, so while psychological studies suggest the rate is 70-76% of men to 40% of women, no one can really know for sure. It’s not like folk are going to just put themselves on blast so someone can gather statistics anyway.

Rickey Smiley aside, my issue with cheating is when folk cheat on a contingency. That is, people who’ll cheat while they’re waiting for someone better to come along. I’ve got real beef with that. Why? Because if you’re relationship isn’t working out and you’ve tried to fix it, then just leave. Why drag it out and make your life even more complicated by adding another factor into the equation? I understand it may be hard to simply up and leave, but giving someone potential ammunition to be used against you is just stupid.

While I admit to having been a participant in someone’s infidelity, I’m not a supporter of it and find it exhausting and in many ways an annoying practice to be kept up. The lies, the excessive deleting of calls, texts, emails, ensuring your phone GPS is off, removing your EZ pass from your car, and all the other tactics one has to employ to prevent themselves from being found it is just too taxing as I stated.

Although I’ve known many or heard of many people who cheat, it seems that lately it’s becoming more and more known to me in my immediate and extended social circles, but it’s being done on a contingent basis. The offending party has the mindset that mirrors something like this…”With my (insert title) isn’t where I want to be and I want out, but I don’t want to be alone, so I’m going to cheat and see what’s out there. I’ll still maintain the security of my shaky relationship I’m in until someone better comes along”.

I understand that we all think the grass may be greener when we’re unhappy, but in truth the grass can be as green or as brown as you make it. Grass, like most things is a living entity, and needs care and attention to be maintained. Yes, some might require a little more time and attention, but at the end of the day, it’s what you put into that yields favourable results. Envying what someone else has or what you perceive is better, can in many ways only complicate matters, so why not work on you and/or what you have to improve what you want? We are all responsible for our own happiness and we’re all responsible for the choices we make or don’t make in our lives. So, if we’re unhappy, why not get to the root of it and fix what’s broken within? Seeking the approval, validation, or thinking someone else can or will make you happy doesn’t improve us or our situations. In fact, it can only compound an already tenuous situation because if you have a conscious, you have to assuage your guilt for what you’re doing by 1) yourself by adding more stress to your life, 2) deal with all the lies and manipulation it takes to cheat, and 3) live with the consequences of what you’re doing.

Now, if things are so bad where you are, why can’t the offending party simply just get out? Why do they have to cheat and straddle the fence at the same time? In my humble opinion, if you’re relationship isn’t working out and you’ve honestly tried all you can to make it work, then you should be man or woman enough to call it quits and move on. If you’re cheating with a contingency, then you’re never truly invested in anyone but yourself and in reality, you’re not even really doing that because you’re so busy covering your ass so you don’t get busted that your focus is erratic at best.

I revert back to a previous post Own Your Shit where I state that we are all responsible for ourselves and our actions. When we take ownership for things in our lives, we are working toward making our future better in whatever way it needs to be and in the context of this post it’s finding ways to effectively get out of your relationship without the added drama of cheating. Infidelity is synonymous with being untrustworthy and there are few relationships that successfully survive when that’s what it’s founded on. Now, I’m not suggesting that people can’t and don’t change, but think about it…If you got your man or woman by way of infidelity, isn’t there a part of you; even if it’s one iota of a doubt that the person wouldn’t do it to you? At some point, don’t you stop to wonder how a relationship that was founded on lies and deception has any stability? I know I sure as shit would, but, that’s just me and how I view things.

In order to have healthy and wholesome relationships, we must be honest. We have to take inventory ourselves and our view on relationships as a whole in order to know how we can achieve the healthy mindset it takes to be with someone. Relationships are only as healthy as the sickest person, so it’s imperative that we heal and close doors before inviting another person into our personal mess. We have to see past thinking that 50/50 makes a whole in a relationship. If each party is only bringing 50% to the table, then the ground is pretty unstable; moreso if cheating is the foundation. However, when each party is bringing as close to 100% to the table as they can, that means they’ve done their personal inventory, have asked and insisted that the party of interest has likewise done theirs, and they’ve got something of substance to work with. Two strong people weather a greater storm that two halves.
So, boys and girls, I’ll close with this thought. Would you rather your spouse/partner/girl-boyfriend simply state they no longer want to be in the relationship and end it or them maintaining the front of the relationship all while cheating on a contingency? I’m sure I probably already know the answer, but I really want you all to think about this. Also, reflect on your past relationships to assess whether you’ve cheated on a contingency.

When I look back to the time I was party to someone else’s infidelity, I was single and let it be known that he and I; in spite of the boomerang bond we shared, I’d never enter a one-on-one relationship with him should it have ever come down to that unless he’d done some serious soul-searching and worked through his issues. I likewise, would have and actually did work through why I accepted being the “go to” girl. Fast forward; said man, has worked through his issues, did the required soul-searching, and he’s made great leaps in how he views relationships and himself in one. We never became a couple, but we are still friends to this very day. There is much to be said about integrity!

That is all!