What woman doesn't identify or hasn't dealt with some form or measure of flirting and/or cheating in her relationship?
I congratulate the women who are married to decent men that know how to show respect to their wives and marriages because many of us haven't been so lucky. A good husband will always make other women jealous of his wife by the way he treats her, looks at her, cares for her and shows her off, not the other way round. Almost every other day, I read and hear stories about infidelity on the part of our men(not to say that women aren't guilty of this as well) with the sad part being that we (women) accept this behavior for the most part as normal. If as a woman, I stay silent when I know my partner/husband flirts with other women, then it should come as no surprise when he graduates that to cheating. I'm ashamed to say that this was me just a few short years ago, I knew the person I was with was a chronic flirt/cheater before marriage and allowed it continue (because I married him). I, like many women was told that this was "normal" and should learn to overlook it because that is just part of being a man.
Some experts will say there are signs to look for in your relationship that let you know if your partner is flirting and when that crosses the line to infidelity or becomes cheating. These signs include but are not limited to:
1. flirting with just one person
2. when flirting is kept a secret
3. when flirting continues despite causing problems in the relationship
4. when flirty conversations become sexual
All of these signs and more were obvious in my relationship but it wasn't shocking at this point because as I said, these things were happening even while dating. Regardless of the amount of times I complained and confronted, the flirting did not stop and so when it continued in the marriage, it became clear that there was very little to zero respect for me and our marital vows. If you argue that there is no ulterior motive or intent to act on your playful interest, I think we would find that flirting while married or committed to someone is the same as playing with fire if we are being truly honest. Flirting can have unintended consequences like becoming truly attracted to the object of your attention much to the detriment of your primary commitment. Knowing from experience that it doesn't feel good to continually be disrespected in this manner, yet for whatever reason, women choose to stay in relationships with partners that show them little to no regard. I can't begin to imagine why this is nor will I try to postulate a guess but for me, I needed to first and foremost believe that I deserved better, focused on loving myself and believe that I was enough even if my partner had refused to acknowledge that fact.
It is so important that we, both men and women, practice self love, self appreciation and self respect. Nobody can give us that if we do not first give it to ourselves. Why is there a double standard when it comes to flirting or cheating? Why is it socially acceptable/permissible for men but not for women to do? More importantly, why are women encouraged to accept or put up with their men flirting and cheating but men are expected to do away with women who do? I urge every woman to search within herself and ask the hard questions as to why she has allowed this pattern of behavior. Certainly there are those who would say that women should be prepared to be single forever if she is looking for the "perfect" man and there have been images created that specifically mock women who refuse to put up with disrespect by displaying them as skeletal remains because they were waiting for "Mr Right". Do I want to be single forever? Surely not, that wasn't God's intent when He created Adam and Eve but do I want to continue to subject myself to less than basic decency and respect for my feelings in a relationship? No! Been there,done that!
Marriage and marriage vows should be taken seriously and not this lowered standard of coupling we have allowed ourselves to accept as the norm. Just my 2 cents..nothing else!
What are your views on this? Am I living in lala land and asking for too much? Let's talk in the comments section...