On Thursday, February 11, 2010 I wrote a somewhat tongue in cheek blog entitled, 95% of Italian Men Cheat. I wrote the blog after having several conversations with Italian men on how socially acceptable (and almost expected) it is for Italian men to have affairs.
Without a doubt this blog topic has inspired myriad comments both blasting my over generalization and commisserating the title. Today, however, I recieved a comment that was more focused on the psychological affects of being the other woman. It was wonderfully written and I wanted to share it with you today because I think the writer has great points on what it means to accept this role as the mistress.
I have copied the blog exactly as written and posted below.
"In this day and age it's socially acceptable to have 'open' relationships if that's what you choose - we're all grown-ups. Personally I have never been in one, nor would I choose to.
I think what is deeply distasteful in all of these tales of Misogyny - let's call it what it is - is that Misrepresenting reality to a person who shares intimacy with you is not only an unfair exchange - it is mental cruelty.
Only a masochist would sign-up to be a Mistress, reduced to the status of sex provider, and not having any of their human needs for love and respect met. But to get a woman to this point where she accepts to be treated so badly, Italian men misrepresent reality to the victim as if this was a talent or a virtue - they claim to love them (they don't or they would not be Using them) - they claim they are the centre of the universe (and then go home to their wife and children) - they elevate their 'right' to sex above the rights of another human being to not be abused. If it was happening to a child we would call it Grooming. The tacit message to the Mistress - Be weak, be vulnerable, be an object, you are not safe, women are not safe, life has nothing to offer you, so you may as well take what you can get from me.
It is emotionally disorientating to be loving someone, and believe yourself loved in return, only to find that they misrepresented reality to you; that they have a Wife. What do you do then? Renege on your own (valid and real) love and all the energy of life you have invested? Or hang in there hoping that the person who inflicted this Deep-as-Life pain, will make it all better again, and love you back for real?
They think they are clever, getting something for nothing. It is not cleverness it is sociopathy and results in an entire society where no-one really takes ownership or responsibility for deeper emotions. What is going on in the head of the child who knows his father cheats? Who sees his daddy going after the waitress? It teaches them that their whole world is an artifice; their mother and father are not united but opportunists using each other to create a facade or a veneer of respectability. It is an infantilized society as a result, I have honestly met more emotionally amputated Italians than any other nationality; by that I mean they do not forge the connection between emotional love and physical demonstrativeness. I would not choose to live in a culture where the women are so beaten down that the grandmothers are telling their children it is just part of life. It does not have to be - and it is NOT OK to treat the feelings of others - and your own - with such Levity."