Type 3: The Philanderer Affair

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The Philanderer Affair Type

AKA:

The “Sexist” Player, Womanizer, or Casanova

 

What most wives don’t realize is that their husbands’ philandering has nothing whatever to do with them.

 

AFFAIR TYPE OVERVIEW

  • There is no emotional attachment to the affair partners – they are conquests.
  • Require a steady change of sexual partners. Only then can they “commit to one partner”/wife
  • Obsessed with gender – not gender equity
  • Sexist attitudes – “women exist to serve men”
  • Do not believe in Monogamy
  • Seduction is a part of their game
  • Humiliation does not come from the affair discovery, but from the change in the wife’s relationship power
  • There is no guilt from the affairs
  • They typically do not want a divorce – but for you to “fix” their spouse, so they can get back to Philandering
  • Philandering is an addictive behavior. Change must begin with the desire to want to change.
  • They will not be FORCED or CONTROLLED
  • Insecure
  • Many married Philanderers are also Bisexual, and lead a highly promiscuous sex life
  • Highly Manipulative
  • A Habitual Liar

 

ABOUT PHILANDERERS

  • The phil in philanderer means “love” and a philanderer’s love never seems to stop. “So many ladies, so little time…” — That may just be the motto of the quintessential philanderer, those delightful serial womanizers who specialize in brief affairs of the carnal kind.
  • A philandering husband doesn’t just have a wandering eye. He also has wandering hands, and probably a long line of jilted lovers.
  • Men in pursuit of extramarital sex can carry on their philandering actions for decades without being detected, or they could encounter personal and professional catastrophes because of their habitual risk-taking behaviors.
  • The paradox that is difficult for most women to understand is that these philandering men frequently perceive that they are committed to their wives and regard themselves as happily married.
  • They are able to compartmentalize their sexual exploits as separate from their marriages until they are discovered. The underlying causes are usually individual issues which vary greatly although the contrasting patterns may look similar on the surface.
  • Masculinity is served two ways – by competing with other men, and by exerting dominance over women. Therefore, men who are not defeating of men and not screwing women are loosing masculinity and status. The greatest loss of status would be to come under control of a woman.
  • A woman could never be an equal partner in life, she has a defined role, usually at home. He is at “home” amongst men of his own caliber. Usually other Philanderers, where they can talk about their man victories, and their conquests over women.
  • Female philanderer’s have had philandering fathers, whom seen their daughter different from other women. They may have had an unfaithful husband, so they turn to seduce then humiliate men.
  • Often a philandering woman will be the “other woman” seen in others’ affairs, as she now destroys other marriages. Sex is the weapon of weapons

 

FAMILY OF ORIGIN (FOO)

  • He may get along with family members better than his wife
  • Often adored and pampered by his mother
  • Father would have left the family in some way by cheating, withdrawing, or chasing other women
  • masculinity is seen as an escape from female control, either because his father achieved it or because he wanted to but couldn’t.
  • He wants women to serve him – masculinity and dominance = safety & happiness. Therefore, a woman could never be his equal.

 

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WHY THIS AFFAIR HAPPENS

Successful men often perceive that they are entitled to enjoy the fruits of their labor by taking advantage of the women who are enamored of them.

 

The common stereotype of the powerful man and the trophy woman is consistent with research findings across cultures and across time that men are attracted to beauty and youth, and women are attracted to power and resources.

 

These prominent men are captivated by opportunities for the conquest of beauty queens who scorned them when they were young, awkward, and starting their climb up the ladder.

Infidelity is a legacy carried down through the generations in families such as the Kennedys where the men are committed to family life but have affairs, and the women “stand by their men.”

Occupations which were prone to rampant infidelity as an industry standard before the advent of sexual harassment suits not only condoned extracurricular “fooling around” by married men but actually fostered “territorial amnesia” by providing women for hire at conventions.

I have heard a number of men try to diminish the impact of their infidelities by saying, “You shouldn’t be this upset. It didn’t mean a thing.” When the wife asks how they would feel if the shoe was on the other foot, the common response is, “I’d kill you, but I know you’d never do anything like that.” They inherently recognize that a wife’s affair is usually more threatening to the stability of the marriage because of the greater likelihood of an emotional involvement.

The Betrayed Partner

“A philanderer is a guy who likes women. A lot. So much that he’s got a beautiful wife, and a date with a different girl every weekend.”

Characteristics:

  • Romantics at heart
  • Subservient
  • Attractive/feminine
  • Attracted to successful men
  • Feels unappreciated, lonely and has anxiety
  • Has ignored the affairs for many years, or pretends not to have known

 

 

They are usually very attractive, with well polished social skills and talents. They are very seductive, and quite often, popular. Think of the Kennedy’s. They will keep their marriage in a state of hot and cold so that they can have their affairs

Women in relationships with men like these have to deal with long-term emotional abuse, which leads to feelings of betrayal, abandonment and shame. However some women may refuse to believe the truth about their womanizing husband even when the signs are right there. Many choose to turn a “blind eye”. This is because accepting that your man is not a good partner is admitting the failure of a relationship and everything that a woman may hold precious.

Problems will come into the marriage if she tries to exert her power. The philanderer will not accept equality or closeness in the marriage. He does not wish to be understood by his wife, or under her “control”.

 

CAN A PHILANDERER CHANGE?

 

The philanderer will find monogamy difficult.

 

If he really wants to change, and this will be difficult, then he has to believe that the affairs are hurting him. Recovery means much more than just stopping the sex/cheating. It means a different level of honesty and equality, a shifting level of marriage sexuality, and above all, a rethinking of everything these men think they know about Gender!

The changes required for the spouse would be equally drastic. If a woman is determined to stay, she must be careful to keep a distance. She has to understand that the reason for his behavior is that he believes his life is dependent upon escaping her control. There is no way in which she can please him sufficiently, or impress him enough so he can declare her an equal. She must pursue her own life giving him as much independence as he requires, while she takes as much freedom as she needs to develop our own self-esteem.

Guild producing dependency will only bring out the worst in him, and will deprive her of a life that could be fulfilling.

Threats will not help, but using a plan separation can often wake the man up.

 

Philandering is an addictive behavior and like all addictive behaviors, it is difficult to change without great honesty and the willingness to put yourself under someone else’s control.

Many men and women in these situations are not willing to make such drastic changes, and if they did, they might be little basis left for the marriage.

Recovery and healing are possible if the philandering husband takes responsibility for his actions, is truthful about the full extent of his betrayal(s), is empathic about the pain he has caused, and is truly committed to a monogamous marriage. The motivation for change is often the destructive consequences of the behaviors or the pain caused to loved ones. Couples counseling is used to explore the causes, open the windows of honest communication, and rebuild the marriage.

 

FIRST TIME OFFENDER

If the philanderer is a first time or one-time offender, I would say that the prognosis for working things through is somewhat more positive. In order for this to happen, however, the exposed cheater must come completely clean with what happened, take full responsibility for it, and be prepared to beg the partner’s forgiveness for his or her devastating misstep.

Any pre-existing problems in the relationship prior to the affair (and obviously, an ongoing affair is typically much more damaging than a one-night-stand) or indiscretion should be systematically addressed and resolved.

Communication skills must be evaluated, improved, and regularly practiced between the couple with a therapist’s assistance. And, perhaps the hardest part, trust must be rebuilt.

Trust cannot–and should not– just be freely given again. Trust now has become a privilege, not a right. Trust must be earned, gradually re-established by offenders consistently following through faithfully on whatever they say they are going to do–or not do. There is no real wiggle room here. Zero-tolerance. It should be the injured or betrayed party that dictates what will be required for him or her to ever fully trust the offender again. And whatever they say it will take, within reason, is what the offender must be willing to commit to providing unconditionally. And deliver, consistently, willingly and unequivocally.

Ultimately, the victimized or offended party will have to reach a point (frequently requiring individual therapy in addition to couples counseling) where they can get past their hurt, humiliation and anger to a place of forgiveness and compassion. And find the courage to trust again. We all make mistakes. Humans are imperfect beings. But we can also learn from our mistakes, so as to avoid repeating them.

REPEAT OFFENDER

Here the prognosis gets poorer. Once can be considered a slip up. An aberration. Twice or more is a pattern. Why should the serial cheater be forgiven or provided a third, fourth or fifth chance? Of course, this is for the person who was betrayed to decide. Some see their own unequivocal commitment to the relationship and love for the offending partner as reasons for either overlooking such bad behavior or for giving them repeated chances to change.

This can become a kind of co-dependency, unintentionally enabling and perpetuating the problem. As with domestic violence, the victim may be bamboozled and confused by the offender’s apparent heartfelt contrition and proclamations of love and dedication.

Or they come to see the offending partner as suffering from some mental disorder or substance or sexual addiction that both compels and excuses their abusive behavior.

In certain cases, say of severe bipolar disorder, substance abuse or compulsive sexual behavior, it may make sense to compassionately support and stand by the offender during his or her treatment or rehabilitation.

But the key is that commitment is a two way street. Both parties must be equally committed to the relationship and to monogamy, if that is what is promised and expected. Commitment is an existential choice. A choice one reaffirms each and every day. One chooses not to cheat not necessarily because one doesn’t desire to. But because one chooses to honor one’s commitment and because one cares about and values the relationship with the partner so highly that taking the risk of threatening, damaging or losing that relationship and deeply wounding the partner is completely unacceptable.

A womanizing husband may seem like an impossible cross to bear. However recovery is possible with awareness, time and commitment. Finally, the rewards of recovery are worth the effort for it not only makes the husband a better partner and person but gives a fresh lease of life to the marriage.

 

TREATMENT STRATEGY

Personal Healing

Spouse:

  • Self esteem issues to work on?
  • Understanding boundaries
  • Having a fulfilling life with enjoyable separate activities
  • Work on communicating their true feelings and emotions

Philanderer:

  • Self-discovery – Are their addictive patterns serving them?
  • Requires new personal habits & rituals.
  • Change of social circle?
  • Are there other addictions such as drugs or alcohol?

Additional Tips

There are self-help programs for the addicted philanderer such as Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous and Sexaholics Anonymous which are based on 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous.