html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: I would also like a pony.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I would also like a pony.

You know what else I know exists, but can’t understand? I can’t understand the women who decide their men are done having female friends now. I’ve had these discussions with my girlfriends, and the justification is: “I trust my honey, but the flesh is weak. Why tolerate any temptation when the stakes are so high?” And I am all “Because he is a grownup whose life would be richer for having more friends.” And they say “His life doesn’t need to be rich. He has me.”

That bugs me, because I would like to be friends with men who have wives or girlfriends. I have never been on either end of cheating ever, and when I find myself tempted by someone’s husband, I decide not to be around him for a few months until the feeling fades. I am responsible, dammit. Good men are too, and that’s who I associate with. I know there’s no changing this one, but I still wish it weren’t so.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I decide not to be around him for a few months until the feeling fades."

Is this all that love is, or is love something that only really exists after knowing someone and being in a relationship? It seems less romantic (and much more practical) to imagine that you can walk away from feelings of love.

Or maybe you truly meant "temptation" and nothing more.

I would never engage in an affair with a married man, however I am not so sure about being able to just escape for a few months and never feel anything for one, if that feeling exists and is strong.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

By the time you're using words like "love", you have spent waaaay to much time with someone else's husband. There is a time when you can notice that you were way too excited by a phone call, or looking forward to seeing him just a little too much, or starting to contrast him favorably to other men; once you see those early indicators in yourself, you clear out until they fade.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand it either. First of all, you can't possibly remove all temptations to cheat; there will always be female coworkers and your friends and his friends' girlfriends. Of course a close female friend of his own seems less controllable, but that's the thing: nothing your partner does is, or should be, under your control. He doesn't cheat on you because he wants to be faithful to you more than he wants to have sex with other women, not because there are no other women (and if he is only faithful because there are no other women, what use is that?).

Years ago I developed reciprocated feelings for a close friend when we were both unhappily attached. We agonized over this separately for a long time and together, sort of cotemporally with ending our relationships, for a much shorter time, and then realized our mutual misery in our relationships had blinded us to the fact that the chemistry we had is the kind that comes with warning labels. I think that's how it normally is, and that our friendship would never have developed romantic overtones if either of us had been happily paired up.

Also: I've known people who cheated, a lot of them, and it was never with close friends.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand it either. That would be a relationship killer for me (and actually has). I could sort of understand a particular person. As in `I know she's your friend but I'm just not ok with her'. I don't think that would be easy to accept either, but it's maybe plausible.

But in general? Not going to happen.

s.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"once you see those early indicators in yourself, you clear out until they fade."

1. What if they don't?
2. Do you deny yourself a friendship if you have some feelings? What if you value the friendship with or without the love? What if you know that you would never engage in adultery and nor would he?

3:50 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

1. What if they don't?

They do, if you stop feeding the crush.

2. Do you deny yourself a friendship if you have some feelings? What if you value the friendship with or without the love? What if you know that you would never engage in adultery and nor would he?

I do deny myself that friendship, if I see feelings develop that would lead to love. I don't need to pine hopelessly for someone; I have tendencies in that direction and I'm tired of unrequited yearning. Even worse would be requited feelings by an attached guy. At best, he's stinting his primary relationship; at worst we would be cheaters.

I want wives and girlfriends to trust me, and I try to earn that by being trustworthy.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous jens said...

Unrequited (or requited but impractical) love really is not a serious threat when you are already in a committed relationship.

Just because you are married doesn't mean you stop falling in love with people...you just stop sexualizing the feeling (assuming you are getting enough at home) and settle more into a brother/sister thing.

This might not work out well if the other person is not also in a satisfactory relationship because it can lead to mind games.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave once said to me that he has never seen a relationship between a man and a woman where one of them was not attracted to the other at some point. From observation, I think this is true. This may be what some women get all possessive about (fear of being left? Fear that she is prettier and more desirable?). However, if you have enough trust in your relationship (as in, you had a childhood in which you LEARNED how to trust the opposite sex), that should be enough, even with the assumption that there is/was an attraction. Ummmm, yeah.
-Mel

4:45 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Eh. I have lots of friends with whom I don't have that problem. I don't need to be friends with people I'm halfway falling for.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For "relationship", I meant FRIENDSHIP. It makes more sense that way. Sorry. :)
-Mel

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops, and even THEN, I only meant that the FIRST instance of "relationship" should be converted to "friendship". Drat! I need an editor!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Hey sugar, I knew what you meant. I agree with you about learning to trust.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

"I'm tired of unrequited yearning."

Hilarious website you might enjoy:
http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~sstoneb/agony/

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hilarious website you might enjoy"

Brilliant! Thank you!!

7:28 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

It is an excellent website. I'm working my way through denouement and thinking of submitting a daydream or two (although the ones they already have cover most of the bases).

7:32 PM  
Blogger Spungen said...

Guess my other comment was more appropriate for this post, but I thought it was about horses at first so I skipped it.

Playing devil's advocate: It occurs to me that I've known a number of older (us. 30s and early 40s) guys who were in committed relationships yet liked to befriend young women. In retrospect, their "committed" relationships were always unhappy and doomed, and they were always attracted to at least some of the young women they hung out with.

Usually -- in retrospect -- they seemed to be hoping one of those (usually younger) women would develop feelings for them, offer a relationship, and give them a way out with their SO.

Again, devil's advocate: There were two relationships in which I really hated a female friend of the guy's. Neither were major relationships, and in neither did I suspect they were having sex with female friend nor even that they wished to. In fact, I considered the female rather plain. The problem was that she was snide to me, always making little catty comments of the sort that tend to go over guys' heads. They would both ignore me when she was around -- especially around other people, causing me embarrassment. Then, when I'd complain to him about the way she treated me, he would praise her to me, criticize me, and tell me my perceptions must be the product of sexual paranoia.

Another issue: Many women like to tightly control their social spheres, and need to constantly be the center of attention. They view their man as the center of this sphere. So, they see it as a slight when some other woman takes some of her man's time or attention. I've never poached a boyfriend, but I've had female friends who it was obvious did not want me around their new boyfriends, even with them present. If the guy was around, they would make loud and embarrassing criticisms of my appearance, ask embarrasing questions, snap at me, and/or try to get me stuck with any man in sight, the less desirable the better.

My point (and I do have one) is that there is a lot more to the equation than fear that the two people are having sex.

2:54 PM  

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