Somehow amidst all of my end of semester madness, I am doing some extra reading. I am reading a book about the trauma related to experiencing infidelity in a relationship. The author makes the claim:
Women are more easily traumatized because they invest more of themselves in relationships.
I agree with this. It has been my experience personally and it seems that way for friends that I’ve talked to too. Women are just taught through socialization that part of their worth is directly tied to how their relationship is doing. It is a major part of their identity. And I remember too when I was cheated on, I didn’t want to tell anyone because I didn’t want to hear, what I thought would be fake sympathy. That, oh, I’m sorry, when underneath I would have believed people to be really thinking that I should have seen red flags/I can’t keep a man interested/etc etc etc. Women I think are programmed to take things more personally because they are seen as and socialized to be the “fixers” the relationship makers and the healers, but they are not taught to heal themselves because they are taught to focus on everyone else.
Let me qualify. I am not saying that no men are hurt or shattered by being cheated on. I am saying that I think in general, men and women tend to think it means different things. I think women are more inclined to think that being cheated on says something about them as a person: their worth, abilities, attractiveness and on and on, whereas men may have thoughts like that but I don’t think it penetrates as deep. Men are socialized to view work and accomplishments as defining rather than relationships. I know when I was cheated on I felt worthless, and still do, to a lesser extent. It takes long and hard work to undo that message. I am not saying men cannot experience these feelings, I am saying I think this train of thought is more cultivated in women and thus they suffer more when relationships suffer/end. In general.
I’ve also found it to be the case that women seek emotional connections and men seek more physical… in general. I don’t want to be physical with people I am not emotionally connected to, so it is hard for me to imagine doing that. I could think someone is attractive, but if I don’t know them I don’t want to be physical with them. I don’t think a lot of men have that problem. lol. As many male friends as I have, sometimes males still baffle me. Maybe I’ll leave that for another post.