Quotes and generalizations

“Show me a loyal husband and I’ll show you one who’s never had a real opportunity to stray.” – Bel Mooney

I saw the above quote on a blog today… and it’s a little hard to explain how fucking angry it made me.  Not the post itself, that was fine, just the quote.  Similar statements are unfortunately common, we see them all the time, but this one very specifically pissed me off.  Really, the sexism (and cynicism) in that single line made me want to puke and then punch someone in the face.
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When I got married I was totally in love, head over heels, dedicated to her.  I did everything “right”, making sure she was taken care of, I treated her like a princess, I was responsible, respectful but fun, romantic, patient and caring… And to make sure I could take care of her I joined the Navy.  Good money, benefits, etc.  We moved far away from home, two newlyweds on an adventure.

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I didn’t quite realize the potential depravity of the Navy until I went on my first deployment.  I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors about prostitutes following the ships around, it’s disgustingly accurate.  Massage parlors, brothels, hookers on the corners, cheap strippers… everywhere.  You step two feet off base and the hookers will come to you.  I could have very, very easily paid for sex.  Often.  And for cheap.  “You like Asian?  White?  Black?  Latin?”  It was like ordering take out in some places.  Hell, there was peer pressure to do it.  One time I was even offered a free trip to the brothel by a couple guys who needed a third liberty buddy to get off base.  But I was a young dude, less than two years into his marriage, and totally committed to Cat.  I had dozens of opportunities, nobody would have known, nobody would have said anything if they did, but I still didn’t do it.  Dozens of opportunities.
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Just think about that for a second.  Six months on a boat, no sex, and every time you hit port there are dozens of women who would looove to spend some time with you… yet, there were many guys like me who never cheated.  And I was only 22 years old.  Six months, no sex.
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Then I came home from that deployment to an empty airport terminal… because Cat was in another state, living with another man.
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We eventually reconciled and she came back home.
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Over the next six years she cheated on me at least two more times.  That I know of, for a fact.  Hell, there were rumors going around that my daughter wasn’t my daughter, one of my best friends wanted me to do a paternity test.  But me, ever loyal, never even considered doing that.  It didn’t matter if she was mine by blood (even though I’m sure she is), even if she wasn’t I’d have cared for her because that’s the kind of guy I was raised to be.
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All of Cat’s infidelity and I was still loyal.
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While in the military I went on FOUR deployments, a cumulative two years without sex, with easy women in every port, not to mention my female coworkers and every other opportunity on a daily basis.  Yet, the ONLY time that I slept with another woman while I was still married was when we decided to open our marriage in year eight.
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So when I read quotes like that it pisses me off.  I’m a good guy, I was a good husband (I’m still friends with Cat, ask her), I’m a good father, and I’m not a cheater.  I’m a romantic.  Is it really so hard to believe that not all men are pigs?  Every person is different and every relationship is different.
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Even after all that, you know what?  I’m not special.  I’ve known plenty of guys exactly like me, even given opportunities in port (or at home) they were loyal.  Half of their wives weren’t, but that’s a subject for another post.
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So, please, don’t tell me that only loyal husband is the one who can’t get away with cheating.  Fuck that.
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19 thoughts on “Quotes and generalizations

  1. Well damn mister…I definitely did not mean to cause all this anger, rage or rekindle of bad memories. :/
    For the record…although I used the line as my title, I did explain that I did not necessarily agree with it.
    As for your situation, I applaud you for being the good guy. The better person in a relationship where disloyalty played a major role. Yes, there are plenty of men like you. I don’t and wouldn’t debate that.
    I think paying for sex is not necessarily the opportunity being referred to, but I get it. Explaining that would need it’s own post :). So, hey…here is me, humbling apologizing for my title.

    • I told you, it was nothing to do with the post, it was just the quote the got to me, for reasons which are hopefully apparent. And I made sure to draw a distinction between the quote and the post. I just needed to rant a bit. 😉

      • Yes…you told me, the quote for apparent reasons. And yes your distinction was clear. Just pulling your leg my dear (and making sure it was clear where I stood 🙂 ).
        Totally can see your reason to rant. There are things that we read sometimes that make us want to do just that. As a matter of fact, that post I wrote was really that. With less frustration than yours, obviously, but ranting nonetheless. Sooooo….rant a way. It was very well put :)!

    • Well, in my opinion there are two types of guys that get into blogging; those that want to brag and those that want to think. So, if there’s a navy guy who blogs, there’s about a 50% chance he’s a thinker like me. 😉

  2. I was with you until you threw in the “Half of their wives weren’t, but that’s a subject for another post” because you’re pissed off at an unfair stereotype and yet you threw one out there at the end (and it may well be true – after all, you used half -not all) but you still felt compelled to throw it out there.

    • I understand your comment but that wasn’t how I meant that statement. That wasn’t intended to be a generalization about all military members and their spouses, just those guys I mentioned and their situations that I observed. Of those good guys that I knew during my time in the Navy, around half of their wives cheated on them. I was going to put in some specific examples, horror stories really, but decided that if I was going to do that it really needed to be its own post.

  3. I’ve been lurking on your blog for over a year now, and I don’t doubt for a second that you (a complete stranger) are a good guy. I think it’s commendable how you behaved in unfathomable circumstances (and I’m sure you’re not looking for a pat on the back but still I had to say it). I can testify that there are many of you out there, because I’m married to one. Maybe it’s my own hard-won security, or perhaps just maturity – but he’s the first man (and last man) I’ve never felt an ounce of worry about.

    • Well, thank you for reading and commenting. It’s hard to tell sometimes how I come across from post to post, I’m glad that it’s not all bad. 😉

      • I think you are “real,” which makes what you write interesting. And then there’s the sincerity/honesty thing that you project. I don’t think you have any false pretenses. I started following you after Ann outed you and that period in time was almost intoxicating to read. I’m sorry for the way things turned out (I’m a sucker for happy endings) .. I still have to say that I think that time really gave a unique perspective into who you are. Not all bad. 🙂

      • One of the reasons I went with an anonymous blog was so that I could be honest about how I think and feel without regard to how others might see it. The only time I’m less than honest is when I’m blind to something myself and only realize it later. That tends to happen when I fall hard for someone, love-blindness and all that. What happens, happens, we just have to learn how to be okay with that.

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