Have you read the story about the woman who used some very clever marketing to try and sell her home after hubby left her for a 22 year old? If you haven't, please take a minute and check it out right here.
First of all, let me say, YOU GO GIRL! I love it. I love everything about this story. I love that she's taking advantage of the world's short attention span and selling fridge magnets (she jokingly says on her website, "Hey, if I sell 40,000 or so magnets I can buy my own house"...lady, don't be surprised if that happens...just saying). I love that her tool of an ex actually consented to having his indiscretions put out on the laundry line for the whole world to see (seems a little off to me, but you know what? Doesn't matter.). I love that by doing this, she has stirred up dialogue in the media about the epidemic of husbands leaving their families for other women. And I'm not kidding when I use the word epidemic.
Have you read some of the comments on that Yahoo article? Or on her blog? Every other comment is from someone just like her, someone just like me, someone just like the women who find my blog every single day looking for some help or advice or just some company.
The other comments, sadly, seem to be from asshats who say something along the lines of, "Well look at her. She's fat. No wonder he left."
Really? I mean, REALLY? Is that an acceptable excuse now, a valid reason to commit adultery, to go outside of a marriage and ultimately destroy a family?
When Big Daddy first broached the fact that he was having "icky feelings" about our marriage (about a month before he officially walked out), I asked him point-blank if he was seeing someone else. He denied it so vehemently, and actually looked so horrified I had even suggested such an awful thing, that I let it go. The next thing I asked him was, "Is it because I'm out of shape?". I will never forget this...we were lying in bed, the room was dark. The head of our bed was in front of a window and there was just the faintest, silvery beam of moonlight filtering in through the blinds. I looked over at him, waiting for his response, and in the dim light saw his profile slowly nodding up and down. Affirmative.
Did I get mad? Hell no. I got scared. I'm pretty sure I stopped eating, and began working out. But you know what?
At that point, it was already too late. By this time he had already done the deed, already jumped the shark...he'd already screwed the secretary. I could have turned myself into a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and it wouldn't have mattered (well, ok...that may be stretching things, but you know what I mean).
Before a man physically cheats on his wife, he does it mentally. I would love it if a man who has cheated would sit down with someone and go through it, step by step. I mean honestly go through it, not the same bullshit story of "Well I used to love her so much but then we had kids/she gained weight/my job got too stressful/she stopped supporting me/blah/blah/blah...and then I fell out of love. But I still love her, you know? Just not in the way I used to."
I'm sure studies have been done, articles written, talk shows aired, that have addressed the subject of Husbands who Leave. I don't have the time nor the energy to dig up any statistics or figures or pie charts, but wouldn't it be cool if a husband who cheated and left would actually spill the beans and tell us exactly what goes through their heads before they do the dirty deed? Is there a window of opportunity for the first wife to fix things, or is the marriage doomed from the moment the man finds his Plan B?
And is a wife gaining weight a valid reason for leaving? Is one spouse gaining weight over time enough of a burden on a marriage that the other spouse has no other choice but to ditch and find a new life?
I don't think it is. I think a real, solid marriage, one built on a foundation of love and trust and faith, is built to withstand something as horrifying as weight gain. I think that if you love someone enough to be in a relationship with them, love them enough to make babies, make plans for the future...I think that means you love them enough to stick around when their waistline thickens or they get in a workout slump and gain some pounds. Or have babies and find that their bodies don't snap back into shape as fast as Heidi Klum or Jessica Alba.
I think there are real men out there who love their wives for who they are, not what size jeans they wear. In fact, I know these men exist, because some of my friends are married to them. They love their wives no matter what size they are, and here's a shocker- some of them actually like their wives in a curvier form. I also have some friends who are married to guys who don't like the extra weight, but you know what? None of them have left because of it. They ask their wives to go on walks with them, offer to go to the gym with them or do South Beach together or whatever. They don't go outside of their marriage and seek comfort in the skinnier arms or between the thinner thighs of some other chick.
Those are the keepers, ladies.
But here's what really chaps my hide about the whole "If she hadn't gotten fat, he wouldn't have left" claim: it once again blames the wife, blames the woman for something the husband did. And it sends the wrong message to women EVERYWHERE. The message that if you look a certain way, you are safe from the sordid world of mistresses and affairs and cheating husbands.
Let's ask Jennifer Aniston what she thinks of that, shall we?
Jen (as I like to call her) was going through her messy divorce just about the same time I was going through mine. And just like when a celebrity is pregnant at the same time you are, I felt some sort of affinity with her. In my really pathetic moments, I thought how awesome it would be if she and were BFF's and could get together and bitch about our woes.
Me and Jen, walking our dogs. Jen: "Augghhh...you would not believe the text I got from Brad today. Told me that he's thinking about 'us' lately, and he wonders if he's making a mistake. What an ass!" Me: "Oh jeeze..I know what you mean. Big Daddy sent me this pathetic email last night. I'm pretty sure he was bombed, it actually sounded like a human being wrote it." Both of us: "LOL!!" Then we'd go do some pilates and have margaritas. /crazy
Ok so maybe that was just sad. But my point is, being thin or fit or gorgeous or wealthy or smart or a super coupon clipper...none of that is a guarantee that a man won't cheat.
Because the problem isn't YOU, my dears. It's them.