I have been watching a show on the ABC called "a beautiful lie". Another great Australian show. But...the characters are so frustrating!
It got me thinking...the main (female) character has an affair. Not once has she been concerned about the impact the affair has on her young son (maybe 4 or 5 years). She sacrifices everything for the new man.
Look, I know it's a show and all, but I absolutely can't get it out of my head how she risks it all. There is absolutely no way I could cheat on my husband, because in reality, i'd feel like I was cheating on my whole family. I could never do it to my children.
I feel like men who cheat, would never really have the same "maternal" feeling of the impact on the children. But I feel that women would? Is that a huge generalization?
I'm not judging anyone, I'm just interested on what people think about why mothers cheat and if they feel their actions affect the whole family?
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24-11-2015 20:31 #1
Women who cheat (who have kids)
24-11-2015 21:07 #2
I'll state upfront that I was a cheating mother (one time only), and I'm not going to go into that because it's not relevant. Except to say that my experience there is probably what has caused a strong and emotional reaction to your OP.
Here is my opinion, fwiw.
We are not just 'mothers', we are *women* too, and we are not always mothers to the exclusion of that.
Mothers, women, fathers, men can all cheat. There is no one universal reason, as I'm sure you would know.
We hear about man caves, men's nights out, as a societal acknowledgement of the fact that men aren't just 'fathers', nor are they generally expected to be. Why is it that women are held to different standards of behaviour?
*All* cheating can and might affect the whole family. Lots of people would say what I did was wrong or reprehensible, and that's cool. I was one of those women who believed it could never ever happen in my marriage. But I really struggle with the idea of my being a mother outweighing my humanity as a woman.
Just to clarify, did you mean that you feel that women *would* be more maternal or that they *should*? Because to answer your question, I think that it probably depends on the individual and the circumstances.
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24-11-2015 21:31 #3
Yes, absolutely understand that both men and women cheat and I'm not saying that a mother who cheats is a lesser person than any one else. As I said, this isn't a judgement at all. I was just wanting to get a point of view. The show in particular, makes it out that this woman has no real emotion to the affect on the child. I wasn't sure if this was a true representation of how women/mothers felt.
To clarify, I was just asking if men might be less maternal, so therefore the impact on the family wouldn't affect them as much.
24-11-2015 21:37 #4
Oh, I know you weren't saying that :-) but it is a common opinion I think.
I haven't seen the show, but I don't think there would be many people with children who wouldn't feel some degree of emotional turmoil when they cheat? I wonder if they haven't explored that because they are focussing more on her journey as a woman?
24-11-2015 21:38 #5
Women who cheat (who have kids)
I haven't seen the show but I wonder if that was part of the show's intent - to depict this woman in what might appear to be an unnatural way? Lacking the usual maternal elements that so many women on tv are full of? It makes us uncomfortable. It makes an angry. But maybe that's the point? To invoke a response? To make us feel?
All assumptions of course given I haven't seen it.
Thank you @harvs for your bravery. I've held my sanctimonious head high at times, especially when it comes to cheating. I haven't cheated on DH and I hope like hell neither one of us ever does. Some of avoiding that will be hard work but no doubt some will be sheer dumb luck.
I no longer believe good people are faithful and bad people cheat, like I used to.
What I do know is that motherhood doesn't define me or my actions, completely anyway.
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24-11-2015 21:43 #6Senior Member
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I'm not sure how being maternal vs paternal equates to different expectations from men and women?
Women cheating has never seemed any different in my mind to men cheating whether they are parents or not.
I guess I just don't think that anyone that is unfaithful, male or female, mother or father can be put into a box in terms of why they are unfaithful, how they feel about their actions etc...
I haven't seen the show you mention, but maybe she's just a douchcanoe? Her gender or the fact that she has children doesn't really have to come into it.
I hope I don't sound hostile or argumentative (having a bad day!)
But yeah, I'm not sure why it's "worse" if a woman who has children is unfaithful vs a man?
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24-11-2015 21:46 #7
Loved this show! It's an adaptation of Tolstoys Anna Karenina and an obvious theme is the judgement of male vs female cheating and the way we judge it. It was fascinating to watch and ride my own roller coaster of emotions in relation to Anna. From hating her to feeling such terrible pain and sobbing my heart out at the end. It was such a tragic story. I loved that the characters were all so flawed. I actually thought her husband did a lot of damage to their child in the end, it was parental alienation.
24-11-2015 21:49 #8Senior Member
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24-11-2015 21:50 #9
24-11-2015 21:53 #10
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