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User Topic: the impact of gender bias on R
20WrongsVs1
♀ 39000
Member # 39000
Question  Posted: 4:43 PM, March 9th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Has anyone else noticed the gender bias that seems to exist in our society WRT infidelity? Such gender biases are detrimental to R, and I would love to see a united front on SI, to extinguish them. In my anecdotal observation, a few common gender stereotypes are...

Blaming the M or BS for conditions leading to infidelity
WW tend to, at first, blame our M or BH for our unhappiness...and by extension, our infidelity. And society tends to agree with us. Women cheat because their needs aren't getting met in the M. Who did you root for in Bridges of Madison County?

WH have other needs that supposedly aren't being met, and often claim to be in a "sexless M." Society says, if the W is frigid, who can blame her H for looking elsewhere? Men have needs!

Impact on R: either of the above can cause the BS to wonder if maybe they were partly to blame for their WS infidelity. Anything that diminishes 100% responsibility of the WS can retard or prevent R.

Abusive post-DDay behavior by the BS
Lately it seems to be a weekly Wayward Side occurrence that a WW, weeks after DDay, hosts a pity party because her BH shouted profanities at her, or dictated some (typically not unreasonable) restrictions. Invariably, some posters will jump to her defense and scream, "That's abusive!" AYFKM? You cheated on your husband, and you're bristling because he's a little upset?

On the flip side are the recurrent posts in General or JFO, where an understandably upset BW slaps her WH. Invariably, but shockingly, some BSs cheer her on. "Yeah, I hit my WH too, and I don't regret it one bit!"

Imagine either of those scenarios reversed. I've never seen a poster sympathize with a BH who hit his WW, or criticize a BW who screamed obscenities at her WH.

Impact on R: telling a WW that her BH's anger is abusive can reinforce that her A was justified, which impedes true remorse. Physical violence clearly has no place in any M.

The predatory OW
Admittedly I may be viewing this through a distorted lens, but I rarely see BHs complain of "predatory OM." This, however, is a quotidian utterance: "My WH would never have cheated, if the OW hadn't relentlessly pursued him!" Or, "He only kept it going because she threatened to out him."

Impact on R: Displacing the WS full responsibility for his actions can retard or prevent R, and may make recidivism more likely.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1252 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Morhurt
♀ 40166
Member # 40166
Default  Posted: 4:54 PM, March 9th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree, though I would say none of those have played out in our R thankfully. (I did throw a glass in anger/frustration/despair but I threw it at the floor, not at H)

I will say though that I think this one...

WH have other needs that supposedly aren't being met, and often claim to be in a "sexless M." Society says, if the W is frigid, who can blame her H for looking elsewhere? Men have needs!
may have played a role in my H's ability to tell himself that what he was doing was OK.


Me: BS
Him: FWS
M: 15 years
4 lovely daughters
Working to rebuild.

Posts: 960 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Canada
BtraydWife
♀ 42581
Member # 42581
Default  Posted: 5:32 PM, March 9th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with all your points but I only think the 2nd one has a true gender bias in it.

The 1st and 3rd I see all the time by both genders and I think it's for personal reasons rather than a gender bias.

Many times infidelity can point out personal issues the BS has. Sometimes avoiding those issues is why they agree to accept less than full R from their WS.

For example this one-

My WH would never have cheated, if the OW hadn't relentlessly pursued him!"

He can't fully realize and change his behavior/thought process that got him there if she refuses to hold him accountable for it. It's easier for this BW to blame someone else and the WS will probably be happy to let her do that. But I see it like an omen that they will have more problems down the road. Maybe not infidelity but issues from his lack of accountability. Of course it will resurface if it's not dealt with.


Me-BW
Him-WH
DD-March 2010
TT for 6 months
Unremorseful for 3.5 years

Delay is the deadliest form of denial. - C. Northcote Parkinson

Your standards aren't up for negotiation just because he/she can't meet them.


Posts: 2371 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: United States
karmahappens
♀ 35846
Member # 35846
Default  Posted: 6:26 PM, March 9th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I see gender bias come across in a post on occasion. ...

Following the post are plenty of us SI folks calling bullshit.....

There is a world of hurt on here. Sometimes people need to vent and we need to let things go.

I think as a group we do a great job of being fair.


“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
Anaïs Nin
Me: 45
Him: 47
Dday 8/2007
We have R'd

Posts: 3858 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Massachusetts
StorybookGirl42
♀ 42276
Member # 42276
Default  Posted: 7:00 PM, March 9th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There is gender bias to damn near everything, I think.

My WH tried to use sex or the lack thereof as an excuse. So we talked about WHY I wasn't in the mood, and the fact that I tried, numerous times, to talk to him about those reasons. The fact that I was going through hell at work and his exact words to me about it were "I don't care and don't want to hear about it."

When he was going through hell with the never-ending custody case, I listened to him when he needed me to, and gave advice or opinion when he asked for it. I supported him in his time of crisis but when I had one, he couldn't be bothered to give me support. That it had a tremendous effect on my sexuality because it felt like it was all about him getting off and never about me.

He was actually ashamed about it.

The point? It is SO easy to just blame the frigid wife, no one ever stops to think "Why is she not wanting to have sex with him?" Hey, shocker, he might not be doing much for her in that realm, either!

As far as the post DD behavior--I don't condone hitting, especially in anger. There were times I just wanted to slap him, and my choice in those instances was to leave the room or go for a walk. Get away from the moment that was leading to such anger that I wanted to hit him. Hitting is NEVER productive.

And on the predatory OW, I have seen stories of the predatory OM. They are often labeled as stalkers.

I will say the OW I have to deal with is definitely predatory. She spent 3 years making it clear all he had to do was say the word and she'd drop trou and spread her legs. He is still the one I am angriest with. HE is the one that chose to kiss her back the day she kissed him when I was gone. HE is the one that chose not to tell me what happened and claimed nothing happened when something was off. HE was the one that lied to me about where he was going when he went to have dates with her. She's a horrible human being, imo, but I thought that before the affair. Now I trust her less than I did before, and he's had an uphill battle to start regaining my trust, period.


Posts: 95 | Registered: Jan 2014
peoplepleaser
♀ 41535
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 7:08 PM, March 9th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's all over this site in so many ways. I am a feminine BW with a masculine WW. Try looking at this and reading posts and threads through our lenses... It's not sometimes, or even just in those cases. What WHs do to help their BWs heal is so crazily biased it's frustrating. My WS left the site because she couldn't relate to much on that. Thanks for calling this out.

Edited to add...it's not the sites fault. It's all over society, and it's reflected on the posts. I'm not blaming the site or even the people posting. I've gained tons of wisdom on here despite this barrier which I've grown accustomed to dealing with daily IRL.

For instance, and this is what bothers WS, an employed WH often claims that he demonstrates remorse by helping his equally employed BW with childcare and household cleaning. Though we naturally divide some typically gendered roles traditionally (as in she works on cars and I cook), the "family" tasks of cleaning and childcare are equally divided, which is not yet typical in opposite sex relationships. In that sense she had a difficult time relating. When a WW talks about remorse and restitution it goes beyond these tasks usually. So in addition to continuing to provide the same or more effort around the house, she must do special things to show it.

What may seem negligible becomes a big deal when one is looking for a safe and supportive atmosphere to relate and look for solutions.

My response is one of relief that someone else notices this bias, rather than being critical of the site and those posting. I'm thrilled to see this discussion, as it will make us think about how we view the situations in ways that perpetuate a bias that hinders our ability to adequately support others. Though I may be more aware of it in different ways, I'm not above having done it myself.

[This message edited by peoplepleaser at 8:34 PM, March 9th (Sunday)]


WS: 39
BS: 39
DS: 6
9 year relationship
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013 with TT
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011 with TT
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 823 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
bionicgal
♀ 39803
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 8:57 PM, March 9th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Regarding gender bias, I also think that it is still considered less heinous on a societal level when men have affairs. I am constantly aware of this in our small community where sentiment would not be kind to my H's AP if she were outed. While people are disappointed in men when they cheat, they look at women more harshly, I think. She even complained about this during the affair to my H. She said, "Everyone loves Bionicgal, if people knew about us, they'd run me out of town." (I assure you I am not more beloved than anyone else.)

So, I actually think the hurdle to get over to cheat is higher for women. They are generally taking more of a risk, and they/we know it.

Oh, and our AP was somewhat predatory -- had a crush on him for years, started taking the same classes he did at the gym, tracked his workouts on the system at the gym, and tracked the weather wherever he happened to be traveling. (I didn't even do that, and I am married to him!) She had a whole list of these things that pre-dated the affair that she called her "confessions." She even timed her trips to the water fountain during gym class to coincide with his so that she could "smell" him. I'd love to share that with her OBS.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 9:03 PM, March 9th (Sunday)]


me - BS (45) - DDay - June 2013
A was 2+ months, EA/PA
In MC & Reconciling
"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point to move forward." -- C.S. Lewis.

Posts: 2143 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
20WrongsVs1
♀ 39000
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 10:47 PM, March 9th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm sorry, I know infidelity is no laughing matter, but...

She even timed her trips to the water fountain during gym class to coincide with his so that she could "smell" him

Gross.

bionicgal, thank you for synthesizing this:

it is still considered less heinous on a societal level when men have affairs

Another topic that rears its ugly head on SI with some frequency is, "All men cheat...or would if they could get away with it!" Because, ya know, boys will be boys, and if some OW persistently throws herself at him...

((peoplepleaser)) I know you didn't intend this, but now I feel like an ass for limiting this to men and women. I'm straight, but not narrow. Thanks for lending your perspective. ITA that these biases are not the fault of SI or our members, but society at large. I guess that was my point, my goal...that we rise above it.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1252 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
BtraydWife
♀ 42581
Member # 42581
Default  Posted: 11:04 PM, March 9th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

an employed WH often claims that he demonstrates remorse by helping his equally employed BW with childcare and household cleaning.

Yikes if this is really happening. I'd call that dividing chores. I require more for real remorse. That's just daily life stuff that should be happening regardless of anything else.

How do you get extra points for doing what you are suppose to do? That's a close cousin to the getting extra points for doing the right thing. Those both make me shake my head.


Me-BW
Him-WH
DD-March 2010
TT for 6 months
Unremorseful for 3.5 years

Delay is the deadliest form of denial. - C. Northcote Parkinson

Your standards aren't up for negotiation just because he/she can't meet them.


Posts: 2371 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: United States
absolut
♀ 37933
Member # 37933
Default  Posted: 1:47 AM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For instance, and this is what bothers WS, an employed WH often claims that he demonstrates remorse by helping his equally employed BW with childcare and household cleaning. Though we naturally divide some typically gendered roles traditionally (as in she works on cars and I cook), the "family" tasks of cleaning and childcare are equally divided, which is not yet typical in opposite sex relationships. In that sense she had a difficult time relating. When a WW talks about remorse and restitution it goes beyond these tasks usually. So in addition to continuing to provide the same or more effort around the house, she must do special things to show it.

I noticed this too and it grosses me out.


Posts: 421 | Registered: Dec 2012
peoplepleaser
♀ 41535
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 7:16 AM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

20WrongsVsl,

Yep, totally not my intent.

Seriously, I'm thrilled you brought attention to it. I'm a feminist first, and some if the leeway men get is enjoyed by my WS because she moves through the world in a masculine way. It's very frustrating to watch.

Betrydwife,

Yep. It happens. Often, even, that WH helps out to show remorse. It's like they were never doing enough anyway, cheat, and then make it even by doing what should have been expected in the first place. My WS cried out that it wasn't fair she had to do more than they did. (love this little pukey-guy emoticon!) I was like, "Really?!" Ugh.


WS: 39
BS: 39
DS: 6
9 year relationship
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013 with TT
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011 with TT
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 823 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
LostSamurai
♂ 41347
Member # 41347
Default  Posted: 7:35 AM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It is funny how society does look at WHO and HOW people cheat.

On DDay, when I told my parents, my mother said she would of thought I would of cheated because I am so far away and surrounded by women who dress high class.

Society also paints the worst picture of Infidelity.
Take the notebook, where apparently it's ok to cheat to be with your true love...


I am now nothing by a mere Ronin.

Posts: 1041 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Maryland
StillGoing
♂ 28571
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 7:36 AM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Regarding gender bias, I also think that it is still considered less heinous on a societal level when men have affairs.

I'm really not sure I agree. Like 20Wrongs pointed out in the initial post it's a matter of perception. Who was the protagonist in Bridges of Madison County?

I think the reason a lot of WW build up their BH's as monsters is that society is almost immediately ready to accept that she cheated because he was an asshole. He was neglecting her, he was abusive, he was this that and the other. Suddenly, it's not just understandable that she cheated but the BH is the monster in the story.


For instance, and this is what bothers WS, an employed WH often claims that he demonstrates remorse by helping his equally employed BW with childcare and household cleaning.

This one makes me shake my head as well, though I admit it's probably because I do most of the chores around the house. Housework is generally viewed as household tasks that need done. The family lives here, the family deals with it, and it has been easier to incorporate things like prepping kids lunches, dealing with dishes and laundry and so on into my schedule than hers. In fact I will often tell her I don't want her working on a chore when she has some free time because I'd rather hang out with her. I stopped applauding my kids for wiping their own asses years ago, I dunno why anyone would celebrate a grown ass man doing basically the same thing.

eta:

DUPLICATE THOUGHT IN DIFFERENT WORDS IS STILL DUPLICATE

[This message edited by StillGoing at 7:38 AM, March 10th (Monday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7565 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
refuz2bavictim
♀ 27176
Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 9:00 AM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would love to see a united front on SI

Overall, I DO see a united front at SI. That's my perception. Even if ideas are being challenged I see a general consensus on many topics.

I know I didn't get a cheering section for my husband slappery. If I did, I missed it.

I think we need to be careful not to confuse telling someone we "understand" where they are coming from, with "cheering them on" or condoning the behavior. Understand where they are, simply means that we have "been there, done that" and empathizing with their pain, is nothing more than giving a moment to acknowledge their hurt. It's not typically my first response to swing 2x4's right out of the gate. Even if some of their ideas seem a bit misguided.

There are usually so many thoughts and hurts being expressed all at once that we really need to prioritize what needs to be dealt with first. Triage.

I have seen the gender based comments get shot down more often than not. I believe that an imbalance between male and female posters add to the perception that there is an underlying gender bias preventing R for some.

Some people are just stubborn and when they are in pain, it's probably more pronounced. We see it from males and females alike.

I think as a group we do a great job of being fair.

This is what I see also.

I think we need to be most careful about creating us/them camps. It has a tendency to shut down effective communication. It's not helpful to the reconciliation process with ourselves or with our partners.

We have a great deal of room to vent and post, thoughts, pain, ideas, and whatever else might be plaguing us. That wide berth allows individuals to reflect on their own thoughts and processes.

[This message edited by refuz2bavictim at 9:01 AM, March 10th (Monday)]


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
SpotlessMind
♀ 41775
Member # 41775
Default  Posted: 11:07 AM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great discussion. So much gender bias, everywhere in our country, for both men and women

I agree with BionicGal. To a certain extent, I think our society gives men more of a pass on cheating, because you know, men have those pesky physical needs! (look throughout history--men often had mistresses, while women could sometimes be executed for suspected adultery). Whereas, if a woman cheats (or often, even if she has multiple sex partners) she is likely to be slut shamed (we expect guys to fulfill their sexual needs, but women, heavens, no--it's so unladylike!.)

PeoplePleaser, it's so interesting that in your experience, even being a female in the more masculine role can result in similar male biases.


fWS/BS--me
BH/WH--him
Married: 12 yrs
D-Day: October
Kids: yes

Posts: 277 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Where am I?
peoplepleaser
♀ 41535
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 11:19 AM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Spotlessmind,

Absolutely! I found that to be true, also. Sowing oats, for instance, is a male expectation that some masculine presenting females use to assert their masculinity and feed their self esteem. It's true in lots of places with regard to gender presentation over gender identity. Currently studying this, so I could bore you with days of posts about it...but I won't. However, these biases work both for her and against her. She may be taken more seriously at work because she presents and moves masculinely, but she is judged more harshly in society for her gender presentation not matching what people expect in her gender presentation.

I think some of this crosses over with regard to personal expectations and awareness for engaging in As too. It's nut just that we hold women responsible for men's sexual deviance and then blame the BW for being frigid or the OW for seducing the WH, but don't you think maybe these gender biases give am implied permission to the WH before engaging in the A? Is it easier in a certain context for a certain gender to cheat based on these social biases?


WS: 39
BS: 39
DS: 6
9 year relationship
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013 with TT
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011 with TT
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 823 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
LostSamurai
♂ 41347
Member # 41347
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The society does portray the BH as a monster. I know, because happen to me first hand.

Day after DDAY my INLaws go to my parents and say that because I did porn and grabbed her.

And I threaten her and AP on DDAY.

FORGIVE ME FOR THE ONE TIME I LOSE MY COOL. I just had a bomb dropped on me and find out my wife has been unfaithful for X amount of years with a Relative and a Former Co-Worker.

Months of Gaslighting, Lying and talking to me about Divorce EVEN on Valentines DAY! SHEESH. I am all of a sudden a monster.

1. I am almost 4 years clean in porn.
2. We talked about the Grabbing situation and never grabbed her after and that was over 2-3 years ago. And most of the time we were playing around.

If a man cheats, he is a low down dirty dog.
A woman cheats, poor baby, her husband must not be taking care of her or she needs to find her true love, sappy story.

Look at media. Man cheats, he is a low down dirt dog in the movies, if the woman cheats, she has found the man of her dreams and the guy she with now is just not him. She deserves to have him, she needs him. BULL!


I am now nothing by a mere Ronin.

Posts: 1041 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Maryland
SpotlessMind
♀ 41775
Member # 41775
Default  Posted: 11:44 AM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

((LostS)) I think movies often romanticize cheating and adultery in any manifestation, ugh.

PeoplePleaser--

She may be taken more seriously at work because she presents and moves masculinely, but she is judged more harshly in society for her gender presentation not matching what people expect in her gender presentation.

I can totally see how this happens, since our society pretty much defaults to cisgender expectations. You see it start playing out from an incredibly young age (girls play with dolls, boys with cars), in kindergarten and elementary school (the little girl who likes Spiderman--"oh, look, that little girl dresses like a boy!") or, having pink wading pools for the girls and blue for the boys on water play day (blah).

[This message edited by SpotlessMind at 11:45 AM, March 10th (Monday)]


fWS/BS--me
BH/WH--him
Married: 12 yrs
D-Day: October
Kids: yes

Posts: 277 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Where am I?
FeelingSoMuch
♂ 38814
Member # 38814
Default  Posted: 12:47 PM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This post is dead on. Thank you.


Me: BH
Her: WW
Together since 2001, married since 2007.
D-day: Feb. 20, 2013.
Broke NC: 2 phone calls since
Today: In MC and IC, attempting R.
It got easier: They no longer work together.

Posts: 509 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: Canada
JanaGreen
♀ 29341
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 1:05 PM, March 10th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Take the notebook, where apparently it's ok to cheat to be with your true love...

Slight threadjack - one of the things I actually DO like about The Notebook is that the fiance, whose name I can't recall, wasn't an asshole. I kept waiting for the big reveal, where we would discover his secret harem or he'd show himself to be an abusive asshole, but it never happened. He was by all appearances a great catch. I have to give The Notebook credit for that.

Something Borrowed, on the other hand, made me


We're both in our 30s. One awesome 5-year-old daughter. Baby Green 2.0 expected June 2015!!!!!!!!!

Posts: 6908 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Topic Posts: 53
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