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Fed up of the idea that men who cheat sometimes 'just can't help themselves' and somehow it's the OW fault!!

(40 Posts)
DunnTrying Mon 13-Jul-15 09:04:48

This is not in any way a defence of affairs or the OWs part that they play in affairs, but recently a family friend has been revealed as having an affair with another friends husband (she was single) - this is absolutely horrendous behaviour and I don't condone it at all. However I am getting pretty fed up of the argument everyone keeps putting forwards that she is a very attractive woman, who dresses up and is known as having had quite a few sexual partners - that somehow this absolves the man of the some of the responsibility as how is he expected to help himself when this is offered? And then follows the saying of 'ohh don't let her near your husband' as if her very presence would make him lose all sense and have sex with her and 'he just can't help it'. I would still expect my husband to be faithful even if 1000 naked women paraded in front of him offering him anything he wanted!! I've just been really shocked by how many people seem to think she is more to blame than the man by tempting him and being so attractive etc - I don't get why this is relevant or how it absolves him in any way!! As far as I am concerned they are equally to blame, but in terms of his wife - HE cheated - HE broke his trust and promises - HE betrayed her. The OW behaved terribly and I hope feels incredibly guilt for her part, but how she looks, behaves, etc cannot absolves him of any responsibility about what he freely chooses to do!

ollieplimsoles Mon 13-Jul-15 09:06:33

This is all true, but i think the disgust towards OWs stems from the fact that one woman could do that to another woman.

WorraLiberty Mon 13-Jul-15 09:07:12

I don't think I know anyone who thinks like that

But YANBU anyway.

AuntyMag10 Mon 13-Jul-15 09:08:03

Yanbu but you need to look at the type of people who you are with. I don't know anyone who has that attitude.

DunnTrying Mon 13-Jul-15 09:12:02

Agree AuntyMag10 entirely!! Mostly in-laws, who I have very little time for most the of the time anyway, very glad to here it is not a commonly held view and just them who are completely off target again!!

0x530x610x750x630x79 Mon 13-Jul-15 09:16:55

i always think of this song (jolen):
my mum blamed the other woman not my dad. It disgusted me as she had already told me about his string of other "other women"

Rosieliveson Mon 13-Jul-15 09:17:31

I agree with you OP. It's like the phrase she 'turned his head'. As if to say a man can't help himself but to have found her attractive. As of that excuses lying and cheating!
I also agree that the venom toward the other woman does stem from the fact that she could be a part of betraying another woman.

ShirleySmears Mon 13-Jul-15 09:20:26

Of course he's to blame if he's the one who cheated but FWIW I do think affairs often "just happen", to perfectly decent people who have stuff going on in thier lives that no-one really knows about, made bad decisions early on and got into a situation they didn't intend.

The OW in this situation doesn't sound quite like that though and TBH, decent people in this situation keep their affairs very very quiet, there's no "revealing"

Teabagbeforemilk Mon 13-Jul-15 09:21:31

Yanbu if people are saying this.

However I don't find people think this way. In the case you describe I would be hurt and angry with both of them. Him because he cheated, her for betraying a friend. Surely it's an unspoken rule that you don't sleep with your friends husband?

The husband broke his spoken vows. Both are shits imo.

HoneyLemon Mon 13-Jul-15 09:22:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maddening Mon 13-Jul-15 09:23:11

as far as her friendship with the wife your relative was at fault as much as the man - she has hurt her friend knowingly.

DunnTrying Mon 13-Jul-15 09:28:09

Absolutely Teabag they really are both shits without doubt, especially as she was comforting the wife in feeling her marriage was on rocky ground. It is horrendous - I think though as the husband in this case has always been viewed as a 'decent' chap and people seem to want the husband and wife to stay together it seems lots of people are trying to blame the OW rather than him.... even his wife has come out with this argument. I am not defending the OW at all, but I just am surprised by how all this is turning on her more than him. I am pretty close to all involved in this scenario and was absolutely shocked when this came to light - such a sad situation and seems filled with regret on every avenue.

ShirleySmears Mon 13-Jul-15 09:30:36

She does sound a bit "worse" that your average OW TBH. That doesn't absolve him at all, but she has behaved spectacularly badly too.

PurpleSwift Mon 13-Jul-15 09:36:13

How does she sound worse than the average other woman? Because she's attractive and has had other sexual partners? confused

ShirleySmears Mon 13-Jul-15 09:40:10

No because she's friends with the woman they cheated on and was "supporting" that woman through problems in her marriage confused

Runwayqueen Mon 13-Jul-15 09:42:49


My now xh had an affair. However i do partially blame the ow involved, she knew me and that we had a newborn dd and she still pursed him. She even attended our wedding. She made no secret amongst our colleagues that she had her eyes on him. Yes he made the choice to check out of our marriage but she didn't help matters

Sighing Mon 13-Jul-15 09:48:51

The cheater is always (or should be) responsible for their own actions. But, anyone (m/f) actively pursuing a married person is hardly being manipulated by the cheater.
No amount of chasing excuses a cheat though. To me, pursuing a married person is less bad than breaking a commitment. To some I know it's the other way around.

JassyRadlett Mon 13-Jul-15 09:50:20

This is exactly right. I hear too many excuses for men who cheat, blaming the women involved for being somehow 'irresistible'. It's ridiculous and sexist.

This is all true, but i think the disgust towards OWs stems from the fact that one woman could do that to another woman.

As opposed to a man who could do it to his wife?

PeppaWellington Mon 13-Jul-15 10:01:50

I think the main culprit in an affair is the married party.

I think blaming of the other woman is in part, as Rosieliveson said, to do with the betrayal of another woman. But I also wonder if the venom towards her can increase if the marriage survives, because then is the wife is more inclined to blame the other party, maybe to help her forgive/live with her sexually incontinent husband?

And I think there is a difference between the OW in the OP's example - no doubt she was behaving utterly despicably towards her friend - and the OW who has no idea her partner is married, or he has lied about being separated/the marriage is on its last legs/I'm planning to get out etc. The hoodwinked woman who has also been deceived.

Allbymyselfagain Mon 13-Jul-15 11:09:52

Only time the OW is not at fault is if she doesn't know he is married (it's happened to me, I was mortified and broke it off as soon as I found out) BUT in this case she knew. Despicable behaviour on both parts. They would both be ostracised from my group of friends.

BuildYourOwnSnowman Mon 13-Jul-15 11:21:56

They are both horrible people and I don't think there is any need to rank them as worse or not!

People don't want to think badly of their loved ones so they come up with excuses for them. I'm sure the ow family are portraying her as the innocent victim of a predator.

Deep down they know. I hope your friend has the strength to see him for who he is and try not to listen to the excuses

Birdsgottafly Mon 13-Jul-15 12:59:09

When I was growing up it was very much thought that "if he's handed it on a plate, of course he's going to go for it".

It's the old fashioned view that Women (and girls) should be the gate keepers and with holders of sex, it leads nicely on to rape apologies etc.

It's depressing when you hear the same shit out of younger people's mouths.

notquitehuman Mon 13-Jul-15 13:20:12

As others have said, it's usually just a way for the wife to come to terms with things, usually because she's trying to keep the family unit together. I've seen a friend do these ridiculous mental gymnastics that her husband wouldn't usually cheat, but the OW threw herself at him and blah blah. Well, you can guess what happened again two years after she took him back...

In this case they both sound like they did something pretty terrible, but I don't think it's worth trying to judge which is worse.

Millionprammiles Mon 13-Jul-15 13:22:09

On MN all OW are terrible, awful people.
And also on MN all ex wives of current partners are terrible, awful people.

Which logically makes a significant portion of the female population terrible, awful people. confused

manicinsomniac Mon 13-Jul-15 13:28:43


One of the scariest thing I've ever heard was while teaching for a Summer in Lesotho. One of the lecturers at the teaching college was talking to us about the AIDS epidemic in the country. He said;

'it's really all because the economy here is so bad. The men in this country have no choice but to work in South Africa to support their families and the border control is bad so they stay there a month or two at a time. Obviously they can't stay all that time with no sex so they have affairs and bring back more AIDS. It's difficult but there's really nobody to blame.'

Our jaws were on the floor!

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