What would you do if you found out your partner was having a same-sex affair? Would it upset you as much as finding out your wife was seeing another man? Or not?
We’re honoured to be featuring a few guest posts over the coming weeks by some wonderful bloggers in the same vein as what we usually do. She said that, he said this on the same topic. And so this week the theme is same-sex affairs, and She, @pols80, says that, and he, @babberblog, says this. Thank you both for contributing and we are so pleased to have your words on this here blog. For a start its a reminder we need to up our game a bit.
Thanks again *Hands blog over to* @pols80 and @babberblog.
She says, by @pols80
Adultery. Cheating. Playing away. It’s a tough subject, isn’t it? Finding out your partner has been having an affair is a horrible experience for anyone, but what if your wayward beau has been having a relationship with someone of the same sex? Does it hurt more? Less? Perhaps it’s easier to forgive?
Relationships are an entirely personal thing. We all have different needs and preferences (and I’m not talking bedroom acrobatics, you dirty lot!). We’ve all been shaped by our previous experiences and we all have different boundaries. For a start, what defines cheating? Lustful thoughts? A quick snog at the office party? Getting to third base in the photocopier room? Some people will forgive none of those, some will forgive all. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to affairs of the heart.
When you think of affairs, do you automatically think of a partner seeing someone of the same gender as you? Prompted by an item on ITV’s This Morning on this very subject, I started to ponder how I’d feel if I discovered Mr Pols was having a fling with another man.
At first, I figured I’d be less upset than if it was a woman. After all, there are a lot of things I can change about myself but I’m quite happy as a woman. If he was getting jiggy with another lady, and knowing myself as I do, I reckon I’d tie myself up in knots wondering if she was slimmer/younger/prettier/less annoying/more fun than me. I’d wonder if her clothes were nicer, if she shaved her legs on a more regular basis or if her knickers were less granny-ish. But a man? Well, how can I compete with someone of a different gender. It’s like comparing apples and pears, yes?
But then two things happened. I started to consider the foundations my relationship is built on. I’ve been with Mr Pols for 13 years. Surely there’s more to our marriage than how furry my legs are, or whether my hair is salon glossy? More importantly, there’s more to me than my thigh circumference and how groomed my eyebrows are. Surely the ‘me-ness’ is more about my sense of humour, my belief in standing up for what I believe in, and then there’s the fact I’m always right(!). So really, it’s not the ‘girly’ things that matter anyway, it’s qualities that someone of either gender could possess.
The other thing that happened was that I started to think about my own views on gender and relationships. I’ve always felt that we worry too much about labels; straight, gay or bisexual… Does it really matter? Should we get less caught up in gender and care more about finding someone with whom we can have a happy, caring, healthy relationship. I guess what I believe is that it’s who we fall in love with that defines our relationship, and not their gender. Which leads me to wonder if the gender of the third-party actually matters?
I started out thinking I’d be less upset if the man in my life had an affair with a man than with a woman. I definitely don’t think I’d be more upset. But now I’m not convinced the gender of the other person involved matters as much as I thought it might. Of course I can only speak for myself, but I think what matters is what happened, why it happened and whether there’s a way to move forward.
He says, by @babberblog
How would I feel if I found out my wife was sleeping with another woman?
You may be surprised to hear that I have never given that question a moment’s consideration before now. It’s not something I’d ever really thought of as a possibility. But then I saw Tess Stimson on This Morning, telling the world how an affair with a woman had SAVED HER MARRIAGE.
Now, calm down men. You may be thinking something along the lines of a porn film right now: Tess and her lady lover doing the bedroom boogie, when in comes Erik (Tess’s husband) and catches them in the act. He thinks “I knew our marriage had been missing something in recent years, and now I know what it was: another woman”. Both ladies then approach Erik and resume the sexing, but this time with Erik getting involved too. Cue the terrible music…
But no. That’s not what happened. Real life isn’t porn. Erik wasn’t invited into a three-way tryst which gave the marriage a boost.
Erik was at work. Or at the golf club. Or somewhere else.
His wife was having an affair.
Luckily, I suppose, for her, he didn’t mind (despite not being offered the opportunity to indulge that very stereotypical male fantasy; the FFM threesome).
But I would have.
Unlike Tess, I don’t think I would see the distinction between an affair with a man or an affair with a woman. I don’t think there are subcategories of affair (“Oh, no, it was fine, she was only sleeping with a ginger. Affairs with ginger people don’t count.”) and I don’t think I’d feel very happy if I found out my wife was having one.
The three people on the couch discussing the nuances of affairs with different genders seemed convinced there was a difference too. They were happily talking all about why it’s different if a woman has an affair with a woman (it’s about comfort, social inclusion, it’s something that can be drifted into) versus a man having an affair with a man (latent homosexuality, or an undeniable urge). It was nice that they didn’t feel the need to ask any men for their thoughts on any of it.
So anyway: I’d feel shitty. Not because it was a woman, because it was an affair.
Sure, I know these things happen, and I know marriage isn’t necessarily for life, but I’m quite a fan of fidelity myself.
What do you think?
Thanks for reading and please leave your comments and thoughts in our comments slit. Please let us know what you think and thanks again to @pols80 and @babberblog for being so darn awesomes and please check out their blogs if you’ve not done so. Both blogs are brilliant, written with true skill, great wit and a heck of a lot of funny.