This goes much further than social networking sites, the demise of committed relationships, men cheating and women wearing neurotic like badges of honor. Men cheat. I’m stating the obvious. I’m not making generalizations. I’ve known more than one “man” to cheat and thus can correctly state that the plural man cheats. Men cheat. The “men cheat” conversation is exhausted. I am exhausted with hearing about it and I’m sure men are exhausted with defending it. Yet, I’m perpetuating the fatigued rhetoric when I spew more concern with what a man does with his heart, genitalia, or combination of both while in his exclusive relationship. Well, I’m not here to perpetuate it. Not exactly.
As of late I have had three female friends reveal what must have become a common trend in relationships. While I have been out of commission to the exclusivity aspect of a romantic relationship something horrific has happened. If discretion was a suicidal woman on a bridge prior to social networking sites, the woman’s brains currently lay scattered on the pavement. I’m not discussing the negative affects social networking sites have on relationships, that would just be obvious.I hate obvious. The negative affect social networking sites have had on our generation, at large, has been discussed at nauseam. I took a stab at it last week, trying to bring a fresh take here. It is almost expected that the integration of an enormous social phenomenon, any social phenomenon, would greatly affect our lives. Yet, as I sat and listened to how three of my female friend’s relationships have been affected, almost compromised, by the phenomenon it left me speechless.
This is how it seems to be happening: girl and boy are in relationship, girl does not trust boy (for either a merited or unmerited reason), girl finds crafty way of getting boy’s facebook or email password, girl proceeds to hack into his facebook or email, girl confronts boy on all of the rubbish she finds during her investigation, boy apologizes, boy never changes password, girl continues to snoop for the duration of their relationship, boy knows she is snooping, boy proceeds doing suspect stuff.
This scenario is so problematic that I could use three separate posts to address all of the dimensions. To me it’s highly problematic but my three friends, who relay some variation of this scenario, carry such nonchalance to their undeniably invasive ways that I wonder if I’m the one out of the loop. I’m from the school where you try to trust your significant other or at the very least pretend to. To my surprise, couples aren’t even pretending anymore. Instead, they are switching facebook and email passwords like it’s a rite of passage or way to prove trustworthiness.
More problematic than the girlfriends who purposefully and aggressively look for incriminating evidence are the men that allow it to happen. What has happened to men? The man that is socially conformed to be dominant and non-tolerant of a constant question of his loyalty. I listened to these three friends share their private investigative anecdotes and if they all had told me in a room together I wouldn’t have believed any of them. I would have secretly devised that each was egging the other on and that none of it was true. I can’t say this though, these three women told me similar stories, at separate times, none of them knowing the other. All to say, the similarity in their stories metamorphose from lie to coincidence to trend each time I hear a new rendition of it. As I listen to these women tell me about their boyfriends I am flabbergasted that the seemingly more dominant gender has quietly let this betrayal of trust become the norm. And so I marinated on this for a few days.
And now I have some perspective. From the untrained eye it would appear that women have finally gotten men by their figurative balls. Lets re-examine the aforementioned scenario though: girl and boy are in relationship, girl does not trust boy (for either a merited or unmerited reason), girl finds crafty way of getting boy’s facebook or email password, girl proceeds to hack into his facebook or email, girl confronts boy on all of the rubbish she finds during her investigation, boy apologizes, boy never changes password, girl continues to snoop for the duration of their relationship, boy knows she is snooping, boy proceeds doing suspect stuff. This new age display of distrust is not one that women should brag about. Yes, men are showing a high level of density when allowing themselves to be tricked into relinquishing private passwords. However, women are quite misguided too. Women are mistaking a man’s indifference to them knowing about their bad behavior for the man being afraid to confront them about it. Let’s be honest: It would be completely appropriate for a man to be outraged by this type of invasive conduct and if he’s not there lies the larger problem.
The truth is a woman’s blatant prying does not reform her man’s actions. Contrarily, it creates an environment where the man feels betrayed by her invasive antics, acquires a defense to it by becoming indifferent, deliberately does unacceptable things in her face, and all the while his misbehaving conduct becomes more acceptable, evidenced by both party staying in the relationship. Sadly, a woman’s neurotic mistake and the continuation of that mistake is not propelling her into a more esteemed role in her man’s life, instead its downgrading both her role and status.
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5 years ago