I close this series with the lousiest kind of cheating husbands. Probably a player before marriage, the hopeless trickster continues his antics afterward. He can’t deal with a woman without expecting to take her to bed now, soon, or later. He’s the con man of sex. His pride is built around conquests and scoring undetected by his wife. He can’t settle down. With a conscience deadened by promiscuity, he leaves a trail of disappointed and disrespected women. Wife is the exception, worse that is, because she is devastated and disrespected beyond comprehension. His emotional immaturity smacks wife with boundless emotional unfaithfulness.
When she finds out, her self-respect, self-confidence, and sense of importance in life sink into a swamp of misery. Except for loss of a child, nothing devastates her more. Her misery rises not so much from his betrayal but from her submergence in the moral filth of it all. She feels not only used but also dirty.
That’s enough about his trails of tears. Let’s look at him more deeply.
- Caught up in adolescent fantasies, conviction of sexual prowess, and the appeal of adventurism, he chases women with total disregard for feelings left behind.
- He rationalizes that wife either drove him to it or should have been a better wife, and it makes his guilt wilt away—if he in fact feels any guilt. Not likely, however, since promiscuity sears his conscience about the opposite sex.
- By blaming wife, his self-image about integrity goes unblemished in his eyes. With self-image never disturbed and guilt so easily displaced, quite opposite of the ‘accidental cheater’, he withdraws from attentions and actions designed to please his wife. It’s her fault, he thinks, why should she be rewarded? Emotionally he hangs her out to dry and justifies his further cheating.
- He’s the cheater that wife easily suspects and detects. However, when found out and different from the bullet above, he often disguises his total lack of respect of wife by trying to demonstrate super love, smooth talk, and persuasive charm. He seeks to compensate for his folly and keep her on their string of a marriage. His sense of significance won’t allow him to fail at anything with a woman, and so he tries to prop up their marriage enough that she doesn’t dump him.
As mentioned above, the hopeless trickster makes the lousiest of cheating husbands. But many are less so. The accidental cheater can make a good if not wonderful husband when left to recover through his own conscience and character. The booty fraud may be recoverable, but the wife plays the major role by winning out over her competition. The serial conqueror may be recoverable, but he can never be trusted. The hopeless trickster remains precisely that. For his wife trying to harmonize their marriage, the threat of his seared conscience prevents the simplest measure of trust so essential for marital compatibility and peace.
For all of the above and plenty more reasons, deliberate courtship screening of a man’s character pays off better than all the infatuation, lust, and romantic love that lead to so many mistakes determining just who is and who isn’t Mr. GoodEnough.