Anyone who has read my blog before will know I am lucky enough to have an absolutely fabulous husband. He is honestly, the nicest person I have ever met and I consider myself and my children incredibly blessed to have such a rare breed living alongside us! I'm certain there are a good few of us who have been fortunate enough to find ourselves a good'un, and I'm sure you all share my sentiments in having landed a decent, honest, kind and caring other half. But this post is not about these great guys. This post is about another breed of man...the lying, cheating sort who mess with your mind and make you feel to blame for their wrongdoing.
As life has exposed me to numerous men in numerous guises I have noticed this trait common in too many of them for it to be down to co-incidence or chance. Let me elaborate with some examples.
Things had been going wrong with me and my boyfriend for some time. We had split up but had got back together after I discovered I was pregnant aged 18. We were trying to find a house for us and our future baby. I was scrabbling together all my energy in an attempt to make it work, convinced that it was me that was at fault in our relationship. He'd made it clear that my paranoia, possessiveness and depressive tendencies were the problem. When he arrived home at 5 am in the morning, he resented me asking where he'd been. I'd lie in bed worried sick, six months pregnant with my imagination in overdrive, but how dare I doubt him! When the front seats of my car were fully reclined that same morning, I convinced myself there must have been an intermittent fault in the mechanism when faced with his puzzlement as to how on earth it could have happened. The can of hairspray and the lipstick on the floor of the car was because of an innocent lift he'd given a colleague. I even went with him to return these lost items and didn't question why I had to wait outside in the car while he went in to return them. If I even raised a suspicious eyebrow, I'd be told that I was mad and unreasonable with trust issues. This constant feeling of confusion lead me to question my own sanity. I began to feel incredibly vulnerable and unsure of my own instincts. Eventually, of course the shit hit the fan. We were about to sign a lease on a 2 bedroomed maisonette, when he pulled the car over and said "I can't do this," and physically shoved me out onto the street. What had I done? I asked outright whether someone else was involved, but was shot down in a torrent of accusations about it being my fault entirely, and why did I always resort to trying to blame him for destroying our relationship.
It didn't take long however, for me to find out that 'hard done by' boyfriend had in fact been seeing the hairspray and lipstick losing work colleague since we first split up. Convincing me that my suspicions, the doubts and the fears I had were unfounded and all in my head, had given him free reign to do exactly as he wanted. Having his cake and eating it for six months. Six months where I could have moved on, sorted out me and my baby's future. Instead, I was made to feel like a bunny boiling maniac and spiralled into a dark place mentally. Did he apologise for the deceit? Did he confess all and tell me my suspicions were actually 100% correct and that I wasn't mad or paranoid? Did he heck!! It's as if he thought he was doing me a favour by keeping it going with me while he went off with his new woman. Then when the dirty deeds were all out in the open, he treated me with utter contempt and generally ignored my existence. (Was that guilt?? Was he unable to face me because that would have meant facing up to what he had done to me?)
Now, if this was an isolated incident, I'd think I'd been unlucky in love. That I'd wound up with a rotter. But no. Time and time again I see this. My sister QWERTY Mum had a similar experience with her ex-husband. He was carrying on with his Portuguese work colleague....taking 'important phone calls'', going on 'business trips' and 'working late'. All the time denying any involvement, going to the lengths of saying she was like his little sister. (Now there's a whole other can of worms that don't want to be opened!) Engaging in dirty sex talk on MSN (yes my sister found the logs...interseting reading that made!) yet vehemently denying that he was in any way responsible for the breakdown of the marriage and eventually insisting on divorcing HER due to an incident involving vegetarian sausages (another story entirely...please blog about this one day Paula!) Not once did he throw his hands up and say "Yes, I was having an affair. Sorry about that!" Instead it was him attacking her for being paranoid and demanding a six month even keel in the marriage for him to decide what to do. It's so cowardly and gutless...even when found out he didn't fess up! Refusing to take any blame. Do they actually believe they do nothing wrong?
More recently, someone very close to me has found herself on the receiving end of this brand of man behaviour. Having her own instincts questioned, having her emotions run through the mill and doubting her own sanity. Even finding a text message saying "I've got out the shower and I'm naked. Wish you were here!" wasn't evidence enough for ball-less boyfriend to admit to any wrong doing. It was just a mate having a laugh he said. The hour long secret phone calls that left my friend sat alone waiting for aforementioned limp BF to return were the same 'mate'. So convincing were his denials that there was no other woman involved, my poor friend began to wonder if his mate was in fact trying to "come out" and was not messing around at all. BF listened to her concerns without an ounce of guilt on his two timing face All the while he was making promises to her, making himself look sympathetic to her distress, all the time compounding her own feelings of helplessness over being the one in the relationship at fault. He painted himself as a saint, putting up with her distrust...all the time he was openly betraying her. Eventually, some mutual friends who could no longer watch the pathetic masquerade play out any longer, told her the truth. Their loyalty to her exceeded their desire to cover up for this gutless wonder. Even when confronted and asked outright for an admission from his own lying lips, he would not accept any wrongdoing. He adopted a very pre-pubescent approach that belied his age, upbringing and education: "I'm not even talking to you anyway," he bleated.
Time and time again I hear this story. Different ages, different social classes, different demographics. However, all concerning men who cannot admit any wrong doing in relationships, who shift 100% of the blame onto their wives or girlfriends convincing them that they have over active imaginations and trust issues. Prolonged exposure to this erodes your confidence and has you believing that you are being overly suspicious and don't deserve the relationship you are in. The harder you try to fix it, the easier it is for the man to lead his double life, with you pre-occupied trying to stay sane and please your man so he forgives you for doubting him. Surely all these men aren't that clever that they connive to facilitate this effect in the relationship. Is it learned behaviour or is it instinctive? Is there a secret handbook that a certain breed of male are privvy too? Are we as women as much to blame for allowing our doubts to cloud our own judgment when confronted with evidence of wrongdoing perpetrated against us?
What are their motives? Is it an anthropological anomaly that makes males still have the urge to spread their seed far and wide, while females strive for the protection and security of monogamy? Are these men too insecure to move on entirely, trying to keep one foot in each camp for as long as possible, thus keeping their options open? Or are they just that arrogant, that they think they can play who they want, to achieve what they want until the last moment when it all comes crashing down around them? Which is then they squirm away still holding onto the righteous indignity of being caught out by a lesser mortal.
I simply do not know the answers. But I do know that my husband says the idea of emotionally hurting me makes him feel sick to the stomach and that he would never risk damaging the integrity of our relationship by ever doing anything deceitful. I believe him 100%. He and any other decent bloke out there are not to be tarred with the same brush as these aformentioned nomarks.
Some people say that Men are from Mars and Women from Venus. Of course men are different to us women. Vive le difference!! Embrace it! However, these other men....they are another breed entirely and being so crappy I believe they can only possibly come from Ur-anus!