Guest Author - Kathie LoMonaco
I wrote a previous article on men who cheat - married men (adulterers), narcissists, psychopaths. It has by far been the top-read article I have ever written. I have had thousands upon thousands upon thousands of readers visiting this article. What does that tell you? It tells me volumes - there are a lot of women out there getting their hearts stomped on - used, abused - some discarded for a younger model. Cold - isn't it? yes, Very. I've had my share of dating heartless men such as I've described. Let me tell you why we women wear our heart on our sleeve - and men don't.
Men are not made that way. They do not get emotionally entangled - not like we do. They can have sex and not be in love - or, fall in love. Therefore, they don't have to worry about getting attached. Cheaters usually want a smooth and easy 'thing'. Once you start making plans - or demands - they are usually gone in a blink. That starts to feel too much like a 'wifey' deal. And, of course, they already have that - at home, complete with the kids, the house and the bills; afterall, THAT is what they were looking to escape from for a few hours - with you!
Some years back I went through this - dating a lot of either single/divorced 'walking wounded', or once or twice - met a married guy (who of course hid that significant fact from me). After being on the dating scene for a number of years, I kind of withdrew for a while. Enter my girlfriend who moved back to New York from California after her husband died at a rather young age. She started wanting to get out and date. I tried to warn her that dating nowadays is nothing like years ago - a generation ago - when we were late teens or twenties and for some reason there were more wholesome guys walking the face of the earth back then.
Well, she didn't heed my advice - and she went out like a house afire dating up a storm. She met a guy - I forgot how or where - but he was 'separated' - don't know if he told her he was fairly newly separated (under 6 months is all I remember) - but he started wining and dining her, gifting her very expensive jewelry - and so she felt he was as 'hooked' on her as she was on him. Hmmm, we'll get to that in a minute. Signs did point to that, didn't they?
Well, she would stop by intermittently and fill me in on her new-found love, excitement and joy! All I could think of was - BEWARE of brand new boyfriends bearing expensive gifts - I wanted to scream it to her but I didn't want her to think I was resentful or jealous in any way. I'd been there - done that - and knew she was headed for a fall. I thought maybe I could circumvent her getting hurt - by telling her not too be too available ALL the time - let him know you have a life - or he will eventually scare himself out of the picture. She would have none of my advice. She was THRILLED that he wanted to be with her every single waking minute - that is, when he wasn't at work. It sounded too good to be true - and, guess what? IT WAS.
Flash forward three months into the 'relationship' - and I use the term loosely. That's when he started WITHDRAWING. Yep, 3 months is about the magic time that Cinderella loses her glass slipper and is left on the stairway - alone with her tears. I will never forget one Saturday morning, around 10 a.m., hearing a knock at my door - and when I went to open it - saw my friend with big, dark sunglasses on, scarf over fly-away hair, - rushing in teary-eyed -- to tell me that the love of her life - disappeared into the black hole. She didn't see it coming - couldn't understand it - he was the one who rushed the entire relationship. He insisted on them seeing each other all the time. Now, nothing. He backed off completely - and she could not contact him by phone! That was the ultimate kick in the heart.
Why, why, why? I guess if I could figure it out - I could make a lot of money helping women avoid this type of ending to a once promising scenario. It is a cruel blow - to a woman's heart, self-esteem, self-image.....it plays such havoc with your head. 'Was I too available?' 'was I too willing?' 'was I not available enough?' 'Should I have played more hard-to-get?'....after a while, the tears turn to anger and, eventually, bitterness - 'what the hell did he want, anyway' 'what does he think he's going to find out there?' - 'what IS his problem?'....and on and on.....
Well, not every man is a heel. But, when he's a chronic cheater, you shouldn't and cannot expect (or maybe anticipate is a better word) that this guy is going to sign himself away to you - there are too many women out there willing to settle for crumbs - for one reason or another - or, should I say, 'sloppy seconds' - and cheaters know that they can (because they usually do) get away with murder. They know, for instance, women outnumber men - and that the ratio of single women to single men is very high. So, therefore, they know there are a lot of lonely women out there - gorgeous, beautiful, Lonely women. And, as they get involved with you - they can pretty much size you up - as to whether you will accept them on a second-hand basis. Once you become physically/emotionally involved, you're pretty much hooked, lined and 'sinkered', so to speak.
There are no easy answers. As I said - not all men hit and run. But, to me - a cheater is a cheater is - a cheater. The one consolation in losing a 'cheater' is that his wife is STILL stuck with him - as he goes looking for his next flavor of the month (or, victim). Do you really want a life with this type of guy? Come on, be honest - of course you don't. You don't want - nor do you need - heartache. Life is too short. You'll be spending more time crying and wondering where he is at any given time when he's not with you - or his wife, for that matter.
Getting back to my friend - she started to act desperate - and I believe 'her' guy felt it - he started pulling away more and more and more. She not only acted desperate - she appeared so desperate as to take any crumbs he was willing to give to her. She started trying to get him back - or re-interested -by showing up at his place of employment. Not a good move. Utter humiliation. I heard they were having trysts in motels. Don't know why when she had her own place.
Then, one day, as she drove past his 'wife's' place - whammo.....the realization hit -- his car was parked in the driveway! I'm sure right there and then she felt the pain and devastation she was trying so hard to avoid - and so hard to accept.
We lost touch after that - she had become bitter and angry and it was not pleasant being around her. The 'heel' would show up from time to time (when it suited HIM) - and she would jump through any hoop for him at a moment's notice. She was not the girl I knew (or used to know) - but then, she wasn't that girl - she had changed. I had held her in such high esteem - and my bubble had burst when she fell off her pedestal. The last I heard - that whirlwind 'thing' she got involved in eventually tapered off to less than a trickle and she had moved away and bought a house - and was still single, but that was some years ago. Every now and then I wonder if she healed emotionally enough to ever want to get into another serious relationship - and if she did, in fact. After all, as I said - she had buried a husband at a fairly early age - then she got flatlined by a speeding locomotive - going nowhere.
You can take this experience and become bitter - or use it to become wiser - Lemons to Lemonade...the choice is ours. We can be more discerning NEXT TIME and date someone who is available -- on our terms! Don't let the relationship get out of balance because it's all downhill from there! Be a little mysterious - somewhat unavailable at times - he will love the chase!