Is it Me?: The Fairy Tale of Love & Fidelity
When we prioritize what we want from our mates we throw out characteristics like honest, caring, understanding, and the list goes on. In my experience someone can be caring but still be a liar. As a result I stopped making lists. Now I only want one thing… fidelity. As far as I’m concerned all of the other things I could want in a man fall under that umbrella.
If he loves me, and cares about me then he’ll be faithful, and if he’s being faithful then he’s being honest therefore I can trust him etc.
It may not make sense to some people at first glance. It took me a while to come to that understanding of what I want mainly because I was taught and I wholeheartedly believed that fidelity was not an expectation but standard practice in a committed relationship. Apparently I’m wrong.
In a revealing conversation with one of my exes I was told that my view of relationships was pretty much a fairytale. That I need to wake up and realize that men are going to be men and that no matter what they’re going to cheat. Just as soon as the words left his mouth evidence of his theory started to pop up in the situation I was in. My core was rocked to say the least, because then I started to think that if men when were going to be men regardless of how good of a woman I was, then what was the point of being a good a woman? I don’t have it in me to be a “bad girl” per say, so is my only other option to continue to get my heart broken? I also don’t have the capacity to be heartless.
I posed my ex’s theory to several men after that conversation and at first they all adamantly said that the theory was wrong. Then after really thinking about their own interactions with women especially the one’s they said they loved, they admitted that they didn’t like the wording of the theory however they have all proved it in one way shape or form.
I used to have a list or at least an order of progression in my relationships. I wanted honesty first because it sets the stage for expectations. Then trust because I had to believe that the words coming out of my man’s mouth were true to his actions whether or not I was around. After that love came easy because his other characteristics would shine due to him being honest and trustworthy.
But like they say, “All that Glitters isn’t gold”. What appears to actually be happening is: I’m honest about how I feel and where I think the relationship is, and because I thought we had an understanding I automatically would give my trust. Then he figures me out, says all the right things and I think I’m in love… then BAM… he won’t leave me because I’m good to him (of course I’ve figured him out too and therefore I’m able to make him happy) but for some reason he can’t say no to the other women who are interested in him.
That’s where it gets complicated. This is the moment when you begin to question everything. You ask yourself how is it possible for a man to look you in the face daily and say all the right things; in your presence he does all the right things as well, and then as soon as the opportunity presents itself he’s sleeping and flirting relentlessly with someone else? If you know about the infidelity which is both a blessing and a curse and you give him the chance to be honest and he continues to lie about it, is he lying to protect you? Is he lying because he doesn’t think he will get caught and doesn’t want to rock the boat unnecessarily? Is it possible that a man can truly love you and have meaningless sex with everyone else?
I want to believe more than anything that my ex’s theory doesn’t include all men. Relationships between men and women are complicated enough without having to accept that we are destined to always give more than we can get back. Sadly, his theory continues to present itself. I’m watching men do everything from sending daily text messages with loving words to someone other than their woman. I’m witnessing men going out on dates and saying they’re working late. And of course the visual of the random hook up is ever present. What I’m not seeing is a man who is truly happy just being with the woman he has. Instead he is holding on for various selfish reasons or obligations.
When did believing that true love included devotion and loyalty become a dream or fairytale?
I guess I have to keep my eyes wide open.
by Simone Waugh