Men in the world today are being called out left right and center and sometimes for good reason. Where three to five generations ago, men could get away with a lot including polygamy and infidelity, we’ve evolved as a species and know now that it helps to hold our men (and boys) accountable.
For the most part, boys and men today are doing better than before. There are generally better informed, more mindful of other’s space and have a sense of personal accountability. ‘Boys will be boys’ is an idea that is tossed about a lot less carelessly today.
The Damages Among Men
Where many men are doing the work needed to become better human beings there are still those struggling with simpler or at times, more complicated internal processes. One area where certain men seem to fumble is establishment of and consistency within relationships.
What is even more problematic is that many men seem to seek out women who are already committed in some capacity or the other. So what’s this all about? Why is it that some men seem to have a penchant for falling for and sometimes seducing other peoples partners? Let’s find out.
Negative Role Modeling
Many men seek out partners who are already happily committed because of negative role modeling. They may have seen their fathers, uncles, grandfathers or other male authority figures behave in a certain way and hence have normalized such behaviors.
In such cases, it is not uncommon for such men to repeat behaviors they may have witnessed and wrongfully idealized when still young. Remember, a child needn’t witness their parent in action. Children are smart and fighting parents coupled with the eventual absence of one parent is enough for most kids to subconsciously put two and two together.
When it comes to toxic elements of the patriarchy, the association of a boy or man’s worth with dominance and power play is possibly one of the most toxic. Many men who end up courting the partners of others or those already committed may feel quite inadequate under the surface.
Getting someone to stray from a prior intimate commitment, particularly one with another man for such individuals serves as validation. In other words, the fact that the man in question could steal away, distract or charm someone devoted to another makes them feel like the alpha so to speak.
As many of you know, gender does exist on a spectrum. There are a lot of internal processes common to both men and women and low self-esteem is one of them. Like in the case of women who seek unavailable men, men who do the same may have self esteem issues.
They may feel like no one will ever love them like the person whose side interest they are and hence, continue to engage in the relationship. The issue here is that the relationship in question does nothing for the low self esteem however the person involved sticks it out in the hope that things will get better.
Fear of Commitment
Once again, much like women, men may also seek out pre-committed partners because the same would mean they would not need to give in 100%. A married woman with kids is probably not going to rush you to get your life together so you can settle down or push to have kids in a hurry because her clock is ticking. Though this may be true, it is important not to ignore the existence of the original partner or original relationship.
This model might makes sense if you were dating a divorcee or a widow but it’s a different story if the person’s partner is alive and well and their relationship is formally intact. A fear of committing in a relationship 100% can sometimes lead men to go for women who are unavailable including those who are married.
The Darker Side of What’s Already Troubling
If you’re a man who is currently involved with another man or woman who is committed, you might need to take stock of what is going on. If the points above don’t rattle you, think about the damage you may be doing whether knowingly or in ignorance.
The person who you are intimate with has a life that is likely being derailed because of your mutual actions. Furthermore, you’re probably doing irreparable damage to the person’s family, particularly to the partner who is being cheated on. Infidelity, according to research, can result in PTSD and other problems so we’re not talking about anything small here.
Further, if there are children in the picture, you’re probably impacting their lives, intellects and emotional development too. You might not want to think about all this but do, because chances are, you’re not a bad person!
What am I to Do?
If you’ve read this blog and are now thinking you might need some help processing, that’s great! One way you can get the space to better understand yourself and in doing so, be a better person is by connecting with a therapist.
If you’re located in Palo Alto and looking for support or counseling for infidelity, relationships, depression, anxiety or anything else, we’re here to help. Human beings are designed to survive. What we need to do is make sure that our means of emotional survival do not put others in harm’s way!