The Adulterer

Photo credit: www.depositphotos.com

 

Line training on the Airbus 330 flew by in a blur. I simply can not recall a thing. Yet, I relive my second night stop with crystal clear memory.

My colleagues and I claimed the middle booth at the hotel’s breakfast buffet. Bed hair still evident, I armed myself with enough food to feed a small army. And then, between stuffing my face with sashimi sushi and cream pudding, I received a pep talk about unfaithful men. “God gave us two eyes, open one and close the other”.

I struggled to apprehend their message.

Because, I was taught that a cheating man losses standing in his family. He surrenders the right to push his children in their studies, or to clean their room, nor to brush their teeth before bed. It is an offense redeemable solely by repentance.

It has been impressed upon me that a real man honors his marriage vows. He regards his wife’s dignity and feelings over his own pleasure. He respects her insecurities, and does everything in his power to ensure her emotional security.

This explains my shock at this alternate standard. Many Chinese women, like my well- meaning coworkers, are taught that if he puts food on the table and comes home every night, what he does outside the confines of his home is his own business.

I beg to differ.

If I may, infidelity represents the highest form of blatant disregard one could direct at a spouse and family, made worst only by lying. Lies do not cover up your wrongdoings. On the contrary, it deepens the wounds and heightens the pain. Denial in the light of a wife’s suspicion chisels mistrust, the outset of a downward spiral. This is because a woman trusts her instincts. And suspicions are the only proof she needs.

Pause to consider the implication of your actions. Infidelity breaks up a family with surprise efficiency. You sow suspicions and hurt. Children receive mixed signals about romantic love. And nothing tears a nuclear unit apart like the threat of its parents’ dissolution.

Serial “sluts” (for lack of a better word) are often traced to a cheating parent. Sufficient research proves that “like father, like son” (“Like father,” 2011), and Mail online advice; “look at your father in law to predict your husband’s faithfulness”. Here, you jeopardize not just your immediate family, but also your daughter in law, and any potential family she might share with your son. Thus begins a melting pot of misgiving, fear and hurt.

In Michelle Obama’s words:

“There is nothing that threatens the security of a wife than the thought of another woman competing for the attention and affection of her husband. Nothing is more painful. Nothing is more disrespecting. Nothing is more insulting. Nothing is more belittling and degrading.” (Srivastava, 2017)

And the pain, disrespect, insults, belittling and degrading are made worse by her husband’s disregard. The man who thinks her fear is unfounded.

Justification pars deceit. “But we didn’t have sex” he insists. To the doubting Thomas, the umbrella of infidelity extends beyond the sexual aspect of relations. There is no such thing as “harmless fun”. If your woman trusted you before, and she doesn’t now, chances are, you are the problem.

In cheating, you forfeit your right to privacy. You forfeit your freedom. You forfeit your authority as “man of the household”. And as sure as rain; forfeit the respect of your family.

Do your peers exalt your “victory”? Do they support your “activities”? Are you respected for your antics? Does the scruffy old man at the bar celebrate your “success”?

For your sake, I present you the ugly truth, old man.

You just plunged from hero…

… to Zero.

 

Reference

Like father, like son: Men more likely to cheat on wives if their fathers were unfaithful, survey shows, (June 27, 2011). Mail Online. Retrieved April 27, 2017 from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2008368/Cheating-runs-family–future-father-law-unfaithful-likely-husband-too.html

Srivastava, S. (Jan 30, 2017). Michelle Obama’s marriage advice to every couple. Speaking Tree. Retrieved April 27, 2017 from http://www.speakingtree.in/allslides/michelle-obama-marriage-advice-to-every-couple-must-read

“Dickson” as seen by Dickson

I say “cajun chicken salad with no dressing”, he hears “double cheese beef bacon burger with extra bacon”.  I say “let’s go shopping”, he hears “let’s have sex”. And they say women are hard to understand.

These are how excerpts from my previous post “Dickson” (in Italic font) are perceived by Dickson:

I once described our chemistry as proteins that fit perfectly with specific substrates.

Protein = meat = barbecue ribs = I’m hungry

The two jigsaw puzzle pieces are apt.

Do you know what else are apt? The PS4 controller and my hands.

Our hours together flew past like minutes, and our hours apart felt like days.

She talks, I listen. It’s easier that way.

…The mature, considerate, laid back kind of love I share with him.

Ssshhh… my cartoon is starting. Look! It’s Doraemon!

The funniest things would set this sequence into action: his smile, a wriggle of his shoulders.

Usually, I wriggle my shoulders when I fart. I’ve discovered it’s quieter that way.

He understands my wants and needs.

Wine, wine, and more wine.

He apprehends my longing for achievements, my exigency to feel relevant, and the requisite role of motion in my welfare.

BEH DIAM!

He can’t fathom my family’s dietary habits.

They eat rice, dragon fruit, soup and meat. On. The. Same. Plate. At. The. Same. Time.

But we work things out. We always do.

Just nod. And wriggle shoulders. Works like a charm. Nod. Wriggle. Nod. Wriggle.

Perhaps, I benefit from a society that values individualism and desire.

A.k.a the breeding ground for opinionated women.

Whatever, I married Dickson.

Thank God I can finally have sex.

Dickson

When I became his girlfriend, it was to end a love triangle. My friend bugged me daily saying, “choose now, before things get ugly”. So I chose the one that shone on paper. Good family, religious upbringing, with plans for the future.

Our dates were so boring! Many times, I find myself wishing unto our date an early end, in favor of some me- time. I understand this is not an unusual wall to hit, but our cycle was premature. It started within the first week, if I must be blatantly honest. I would mentally beg him to leave me alone, and then convince myself that I should want to spend time with my boyfriend. There was no “honeymoon period” when I count down the minutes till our next meeting, or working hours spent daydreaming.

My resentment escalated when he tried to play “macho man”. He would say, “I’ll support you, you can quit your job”. While many girls regard this lifestyle as the holy- grail, it clashes fiercely with my independent and driven nature. It did nothing but punctuate how much he didn’t know me. It also illustrates our different love languages, and how he didn’t know mine. And told him, I did. But stuck in his stubborn patriarchal ways, he was.

Speaking of language, I craved a relationship in which I could… speak English. Although I speak 3 languages, I relate best in English. It’s the only one in which I can comfortably have a heart- to- heart. Many of our conversations end with my frustration when words fail me, him saying: “讲英文 (speak english)”. And when I do, the struggle becomes his.

I knew from the beginning that we didn’t “fit right”. Language was just one of our many incompatibilities. He couldn’t understand my jokes. I thought he was lame, and not in a funny way. He didn’t even understand my dreams, let alone support them. I hated the way he sways his butt when he walks.

But he was a habit. Like the old t-shirt will 2 large holes at the armpits that I can’t bring myself to discard. There was no love, only familiarity. When the relationship blew up in our faces, I didn’t want it to end. He was my comfort zone, and I wanted to waddle in it.

But when I realized how little regard he had for my well being, it was easy to leave. I’ve always been the kind of girl that knows what she wants, and he was not it.

Then I met Dickson. And it all made sense. I once described our chemistry as proteins that fit perfectly with specific substrates. These proteins are called enzymes. We are enzyme and substrate. The key and lock fit perfectly. The two jigsaw puzzle pieces are apt.

Our hours together flew past like minutes, and our hours apart felt like days. My new favorite past time was daydreaming about him. I fell in love. I’ve been infatuated, had crushes, participated in childish affection, but never been in love. At least, not the mature, considerate, laid back kind of love I share with him.

I remember this warm, fuzzy feeling that consumed me. It would start from my heart, then spread to the rest of my body in perfect peristaltic movement. The funniest things would set this sequence into action: his smile, a wriggle of his shoulders. And once, the flick of his watch to free his wrist for motion.

He understands my wants and needs. He apprehends my longing for achievements, my exigency to feel relevant, and the requisite role of motion in my welfare. He didn’t necessarily like my endeavours, but he grasp their importance.

Sure, we have our issues. To me, the day is meant for human activity; but he comes out to play at night. I struggle with his family’s traditional expectations; he can’t fathom my family’s dietary habits.

But we work things out. We always do. Being with him makes me wonder, why do people say relationships are hard work? Are we weird?

Somebody once told me: “Grow in love, don’t fall in love”.

I tried growing in love. And failed. Then I fell in love.

Perhaps, I benefit from a society that values individualism and desire.

Whatever, I married Dickson.