There are conflicting statistics on men versus women's average cheating rates in this country. One reason for that may be because some studies defined cheating differently than others. However, after investigating a number of them, I found one constant — while the gap is closing somewhat, men still cheat on their spouses more than women do.
According to a study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, this has less to do with men having no self-control and everything to do with men having stronger sexual impulses. Evolutionary speaking, they're designed to spread their seed when potential mates make themselves available.
Jenny Handle, a 36-year-old woman from Tunbridge Wells, Kent in England, is all too familiar with this inclination. However, rather than let it negatively affect her, she's decided to play into the male evolutionary tendency — by choosing to always be the mistress of married men.
It all started after her second divorce. Handle had already been cheated on twice and is now certain that no man can be truly faithful for the long haul. "I believe there are no loyal and honest men, they don't exist. I have no interest in dating single men who will promise me the world, then cheat on me," Handle told the Daily Mail.
While she says she used to believe in true love that could last forever, her upbringing suggests this seed of male mistrust had been planted long ago. When Handle was young, she witnessed her mother getting her heart broken repeatedly by her cheating father. Then, when she was only 15, Handle herself was cheated on by her first serious boyfriend — a 21-year-old professional athlete.
After that, she went through a series of relationships that all went belly-up because of infidelity. Finally, at the age of 31, she had had enough.
"I'm not a man hater — I just don't think men are made to be with one woman. So I don't want to try and be in a relationship if it will end in cheating. As soon as I decided this in my mind it all made sense and I never looked back," she told the Daily Mail.
Since then, she's only dated married men (nine to be exact) and appears to be much happier for it. Going into these relationships knowing she's the other woman gives her a sense of control that she never felt in relationships where both parties were supposed to be faithful. And, weirdly enough, it also makes her feel more desirable. "Being the other woman, not only do you know where you stand, it's flattering that you have been chosen over his wife."
Handle admits she keeps all of these men at arm's length so as not to get hurt again. After all, it's not like you can hope to have any sort of healthy, committed relationship with a man who has to meet you in secret.
So, even though Handle may look like she's got it all figured out, in the end, she can never expect to be more than the other woman to these men. While she claims she doesn't want anything else, part of that thought process could just be her way of dealing with being burned so many times before.
To me, it feels more like a long-standing revenge plan than a way of life. Handle may get a great deal of satisfaction thinking she's now controlling the game from the other side. But those fleeting moments of retribution are not the stuff on which an emotionally fulfilling life is built.
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