Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Time for Tea: What kind of woman?

I decided it  was time to get myself out of the house for a bit, I needed a change of scenery and a chance to think straight. I was getting bogged down with the.. 

Some opt for a walk in the woods, some go for a spa day or a yoga retreat. While time wasn't on my side me and me being much more of a city girl at heart, I decided to follow the inner basic bitch in me and head to Starbucks. There's nothing a latte and some people watching can't fix. 

I had a lot of pent-up thoughts, the temptation to rant to a someone (anyone) was strong and as this isn't a movie with a helpful stranger in the-right-place-at-the-right-time scenario, my best option was to write. My inner Carrie Bradshaw was calling out and with a laptop and a coffee in a quiet corner, I was already a cliche. I went with it...

There’s a lot of talk about how men are dicks. Sitting here in a coffee shop I can see the stereotypes come and go. The shy one, the fitness freak, the ego, the busy one - so busy he doesn't even get off his phone to order. *eye roll. It's easy to judge on appearances. 

Many a girls night has been filled with conversations around men messing us around;
The glossy magazines filled with articles about these "typically awful" guys. They focus on the most trivial thing like leaving that little milk cap on the side instead of throwing it in the bin (why do they do that?) right up to the serious suff like gas lighting and toxic behaviour.  Us girls love to pick on the guys. 

Men load the dishwasher badly, they leave socks on the floor and oh ...yes, men cheat; I feel like society focuses on that a lot. The guys in relationships taking off the wedding ring on nights out, having secret Tinder accounts. Some leading double lives. 

A man will be remembered as a cheater. A name will be brought up and the automatic ‘oh Rich, he cheats on his wife’ response follows, often in such a throw-away fashion. This isn't  to say that it's not forgiven, but it’s always remembered. Some even wear it as a badge of honour, they already know they can get away with it. 


It takes two to tango. 

At the moment I know I'm stating the obvious, "tell me something we don' know, Jenn";
Now, this might be an unpopular opinion but in these scenarios, these affairs, the flings -there is a woman involved, someone who plays the part as the other woman, the mistress. This woman (and I’m generalising here)  has it all brushed off. She's the innocent one, her name isn't tarnished. Not that I've known of anyway, and I can only write from my own perspective here. Do you ever hear "oh, Charlotte, she was seeing a guy who was married and his wife was pregnant"? Charlotte was very much in the wrong too, but it's not her that gets focussed on. 

This little ramble stems from a poll I did on Twitter recently. I asked if anyone who had ever worked in an office knew of an office affair. I wondered if anybody knew of a work colleague in a relationship-of-sorts at work but also had a partner at home. I think you know where I'm going here, the most common answer was yes. It was very common to know a guy with a 'work wife' and a Mrs at home with the kids. There were several cases of people at work who were inseparable, that just were overly friendly and there was more than meets the eye. 

I’ve worked in many offices and in every single one I knew about an affair going on. I have so many stories I could tell but there just isn’t the time. Maybe one day I'll write a book. 

...I should write a book! 

One time my (married with kids) boss sent every girl in the office a rose on Valentines day, which was very sweet but I knew it was the way he got around sending his PA a bigger bunch without anyone raising an eyebrow. My eyebrow very much raised as said PA (newly married with a baby) trained me and left her e-mails open while she 'left me to it'. A bored temp who can file papers quickly finds ways of passing the time. Those e-mails revealed a lot about what her and the boss got up to and it was much more than making the coffee and booking the meeting rooms, let me tell you! There wasn't a care in the world for the partners outside of the office, it was like they didn't exist between 9 and 5. 

At another job, a work friendship of mine ended due to her telling the (married to a model, with a kid together) boss that she’d been filling me in on details of their dates and nights in the back of his Range Rover. He swiftly made me redundant... so that was fun. No, I did not tell the wife, even though I probably should have. 

I know a very large restaurant booking platform where their company has trips away where almost everyone is up to no good behind their partner’s backs. They make out it's all for work purposes but there is very little work being done. And everyone covers for each other. Or at least they try to. I could out SO many people at this company. It has been very tempting to name and shame.

Now, in the cases I’ve mentioned it’s the men that have the family at home. It’s still wrong when it’s someone’s boyfriend but I think it’s got more to it when there’s a marriage or children involved so I’m focusing on them- the husbands. Some are recently married, their instagram filled with wedding photos and beautiful shots from their exotic honeymoon, some even have babies on the way. It appears that they have a wonderful relationship, and their wife may even think so -  but she doesn't know the full story. What would she think if she heard the phone calls that I have? Bragging about nights with strippers while she's at home with the kids?

You might be getting as angry as I me here, what utter scumbags, right? And I 100% agree, But the men are cheating with someone. Someone who thinks that’s ok. Someone who threw girl code out  the window for a bit of attention when she wasn't hitting targets. A girl who would do that to another women. A girl that has no thought for the woman at home looking after that man’s kids while he has dinners and drinks away at bars, theme parks or race courses. In some cases to pregnant women, which is the lowest of the low.

What kind of girl thinks that’s ok?!

I can’t help but feel that these girls get off scot-free. The men (when they are found out) are outed as cheating scum while the girl moves on to her next victim- never to actually settle of course. Maybe it’s the type of girl that doesn’t suit relationships, she has commitment problems or daddy issues. The need to feel significant for a few hours far out ways any pride or dignity. We've spent decades calling out the men in these scenarios, so I'm bringing a little bit of balance. 

Maybe not knowing the wife makes it easier, out of sight, out of mind. you don't see all of a persons life when they're at work so you can't see their life as a family man - just the fun guy at work who has a laugh with everyone and helps when you get 'white girl wasted'.
 I’d like to think if it was a friend of theirs they would act differently, but who knows? It would be interesting to get inside their mind and really understand. Maybe I'll track some people down and do a Q&A...?
If the wife gets in touch all they need to do is block their social accounts and move on. There’s no real repercussions, nothing to lose. Very cowardly. 

If a friend of mine sat me down, poured me drink, ready to fill me in with her latest gossip and said "guess what, I’ve been seeing this guy! He’s married, his wife is pregnant but that doesn’t matter...’ I’d be calling her some names that rhyme with ‘hut’ and ‘ducking tanky itch". There's no grey area, it's wrong. 

I find myself looking around me, so many with their head buried in a phone or laptop (myself included) but which of these people is messaging someone they shouldn't be..? 

 It’s just not ok to be ‘that girl’. Even emotional cheating, not quite getting (pardon the phrase) ‘in there’ but implying it;  morning texts, attention seeking selfies, replying heart eyes or flames to insta stories when you know they're on holiday with their family, it’s still not right. Fuelling each others ego at the expense of someone else. 

"You get me all to yourself today ;) ..."

Anything behind the wive’s back is not ok. If you feel it needs to be kept secret, it's a problem. It’s not a case of “I’m not married, he’s the one who’s in the wrong- not me!’ No, you both are! You lumped yourself right into the category of wrong when this started. Yes, he should address any problems in his relationship with his wife but any woman with any form of moral compass would not move forward til he did so. And the other woman who cover for the guys doing this - you're just as bad! We're supposed to look out for each other. 
I'm all for calling out guys when they're in the wrong, but let's stop giving them the option. 

I could talk about this subject for hours, but I just wanted to vent so I'm keeping it brief. 

In this age of feminism and having the ‘girls support girls’ anthem rammed down our throats on every slogan tee on the market we should be better. You should be better. So fucking stop it.

Now I might need a stronger drink.