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Why does he get a pass for cheating but she doesn't

Jordan Crawford | 1/15/2014, 9:49 a.m.

When it comes to relationships there is no question that men and women live by different codes. Everyone has their different standard of what is acceptable and what is not, what you can forgive and what you can move past. However, cheating is one in which there seems to be some discrepancies.

For quite some time, Americans have functioned in a patriarchal society riddled with double standards that benefit men, especially when it comes to things of a sexual nature. While men are believed to respond to sex physically, women are believed to respond emotionally and are perceived and almost expected to be more faithful.

There are many people that say “cheating” is not the correct term to label unfaithfulness in a boyfriend/girlfriend situation because they are not married.

“Boyfriend or girlfriend is not recognized on a W2 or by God in the bible,” said Hampton resident Deshaun Marable. “Interacting with an outside person on an intimate level whether emotionally or physically is merely just breaking a disagreement, a promise.”

So, for the sake of this article, let’s ignore the term cheating and just focus on being “dishonest” to someone that you claimed you would be honest to.

What is interesting is that according to Marable, many men nowadays are of the mindset that if a woman believes her man is not or has not cheated on her at least once, she is truly in denial. This goes for marriage and boyfriend-and-girlfriend relationships. Could this be? Could there really not be one man out there who is committed to his relationship?

Jalayna Holbrook of Newport News argues that this collective theory of the naturally unfaithful male is bogus.

“No, every man does not cheat. I take major offense to that statement because you’re calling my boyfriend and my dad cheaters,” she said. “If I found out my boyfriend was cheating or did cheat, he’d be instantly out the picture, but I know I don’t have to worry because he’s shown me that he is honest and trustworthy and I trust him. Also, I learned everything about how a relationship should go from my parents. My dad adores my mom, I can tell. He’d never do such a thing.”

Since the common belief is apparently that all men have cheated or will in the future, how do women respond to the situation? Do they stay or do they automatically leave? Or does it depend on the relationship?

Many marriage counselors say that in marriages where men are unfaithful there is a higher probability that the couple will stay together. Marriage and family therapist Marlene Adams says that while only three in 100 women cheat, it is still more probable that the marriage will crumble.

There is a definite double standard. When men cheat, the woman almost 90 percent of the time forgives him and takes him back, but even if the man suspects that the woman’s cheated she is instantly banished.

Kevin Copeland of Hampton nonchalantly described a relationship he is currently in where his wife of over three years now has to live overseas for three months. He admitted that in order to deal with the long time apart he filled it with other women.