Welcome back to our revamped GuySpeak/GirlSpeak, the most bipartisan debate in America right now. Over at Guyspeak, girls write in and ask real guys real questions. Together, we pick one of those questions, discuss it the most modern way we know how -- Gchat -- then present our closing arguments to you. This week's question:
This week we debate the very trendy problem of men cheating. Are people cheating more than ever now? Are women ever really blindsided when their men step out on them? Are celebrities held to a different standard than the rest of us? John and Emily debate all of the angles.
Is your man a basic-cable reality television star or the world's most successful athlete? He's not, is he? He's just a normal guy who probably hasn't done anything. I think you should stop reading celebrity gossip -- it's making you paranoid. Every time some preening, entitled male celebrity gets caught throwing his junk at a groupie behind his wife's back, the women of the world take it out on the dudes in their lives.
Sometimes I worry that ladyfolk are losing the ability to tell the difference between the real world and the world of celebrity gossip. I've heard friends talk about Jennifer Aniston as if they were best friends, or complain about Jon Gosselin as if he were actually an ex-boyfriend.
Seriously. As a society, we are transfixed by these tawdry spectacles. We're hypnotized by pretty people doing unpretty things. But that world is not the world I live in, and it's also just not the world you live in.
We've been told all our lives that celebrities have it all, and to aspire to be one. But the truth is you can take the boy out of the trailer park, give him millions, and a house in Malibu -- but you can't take the trailer park out of the boy.
Your man isn't a golf prodigy worth tens of millions of dollars who has spent his entire life being venerated like a god on Earth either. There is no way he has ever experienced that kind of bizarre, identity-warping worship. Tiger Woods is a freak who probably felt entitled to whatever he wanted, then was shocked to find out that he had to play by the same rules we all do. In any event, America loves a winner. So much so, we were ready to embrace him again if he could just win The Masters.
Jesse James is a star in his own right, albeit a much smaller one compared to Woods ... or his wife. But he's another guy surrounded by fawning, adoring, calculating, leech-like groupies with various agendas. Not to mention he probably withered in the shadow of his successful wife, and turned to fans for validation. Either way, he's just another dude diva in a fish-bowl echo chamber.
Give your man a break. If he cheats on you, he's going to do it in his own special way. And you can't stop it. But let me ask you a question: How do I stop a woman I'm seeing from cheating like the dozens of women who allegedly cheated with Jesse James and Tiger Woods?
Questions like this make it seem like cheating is akin to H1N1: virulent, unpredictable and omigod where can I get the vaccine?! Having so many gory details of extramarital trysts can be upsetting to see on CNN, but cheating wasn't invented by the Tiger Woodses of the world -- just perfected.
The truth is there is nothing you can do to stop your man from cheating. No matter how much you fret or check up on him, if a man wants to cheat, he will.
All you can really do is create a relationship wherein a sane man would never want to stray, which is stickier, because it means acknowledging that cheating doesn't happen in a vacuum.
You, dear questioner, should never be blamed if your man cheats, but it's not about blaming after the fact -- it's about prevention.
Think back to when you first started dating your man, how you would put on lipstick before seeing him, or flirt with him in public, or playfully grab his ass. Do you still do those things?
It's good to be comfortable in a relationship, but I think sometimes people equate comfortable with trapped. No matter how long you've been with your man, he still wants to see those signs that you think he's worth the effort. Should a man feeling underappreciated at home say, "I want to feel special," before he strays? Sure. But he may not.
So, my advice to you is that if your man is a good man, make him feel like a good man. Make sure he knows that you like him, that you desire him, and that you don't want to lose him. But if he's a lame shifty boyfriend who is merely a placeholder for a better man, stop wasting your efforts on keeping him around.
What do you think?
Is there anything you can do to stop a guy from cheating? Leave your comments below, and if you have a question you want both genders to take a shot at answering, head over to Guyspeak
and ask -- it might end up back here!