November 12, 2014

"Are they relationships with no future, ones that will end in a similar manner, with the man remaining married and me single?"

"Yes, but what of it? What if I don’t want to embark on a long journey, one with changing scenery and a companion who remains the same? What if I want to cruise the cul-de-sac?... Affairs with married men offer controlled companionship — there’s warmth and there’s space, there’s intimacy and there’s distance. I can’t control growing older. But as the other woman, I’ll always have an element of mystery, an invitation to a different narrative...."

From a squalid Salon essay by Heather L. Hughes titled "Why I date married men."

62 comments:

Paco Wové said...

"squalid"

So, pretty much in keeping with the rest of Salon, then.

Amichel said...

Rejected title: My Own Self-Worth and Happiness are Far More Important than some Other Woman's "Marriage"

David said...

"Insipid" was the first adjective that came to my mind.

Martha said...

Why Heather dates married men and remained a virgin without a history of relationships until she was 29....
arrested development.

Tibore said...

Pfff... she's trying to portray her "adventures" with married men as something willing and deliberate, something she's happy with. But the truth she's ignoring but can't suppress in her article is that she was just used as a sex toy by men with failing marriages. That article amounts to tedious self-justification to try to elevate herself above "temporary diversion" status.

Renee said...

I didnt see empowerment, I saw a loser having someone's leftovers. And these leftovers treated her pretty crappy.

Staying a virgin sounded like a better option.

Only thing of interest was her mention of her own family's emotional style, the lack of it.

traditionalguy said...

Oh look, more sexual progress. The opinion leaders have now gone from slut shaming to slut admiring.

tim in vermont said...

I read somewhere, and I can't vouch for the truth of it, that nothing turns a woman off a married man like knowing he has his wife's permission.

If he doesn't, there is always a chance she will ruin the marriage and be the one squatting on the rubble.

Laslo Spatula said...

This is why, if you are a single man and want to get laid, just wear a wedding ring. One, it implies you have been pre-vetted. More importantly, there will always be a woman who wants to screw over another woman by screwing you.

Laslo Spatula said...

I think the harmful effects are somewhat mitigated if the 'other woman' foots the bill for all expenses incurred in their dalliances. The married man has a family to support.

Tank said...


squal-id

[skwol-id, skwaw-lid]

adjective

1. foul and repulsive, as from lack of care or cleanliness; neglected and filthy.

2. wretched; miserable; degraded; sordid.


Squalid is a good word.

The Cracker Emcee said...

And at the end of the day you have...jackshit. I know women in their '50's who lived their lives this way. They are not happy people.

carrie said...

Easy to think that when you are young. I hope that they can find her in 40 years when she is old and alone and ask her how she thinks it worked out.

theribbonguy said...

What?!? A lefty journo with a broken moral compass? Say it aint so,

Mrs Whatsit said...

But as the other woman, I’ll always have an element of mystery, an invitation to a different narrative...."

Always, eh?

Flawless logic, just flawless!

Laslo Spatula said...

There is always a bunny waiting to be boiled.

Shanna said...

Awful.

Rejected title: My Own Self-Worth and Happiness are Far More Important than some Other Woman's "Marriage"

Seriously. Even if you don't care about the marriage itself, some of those men probably have kids and this is an awful thing to do to them.

Laslo Spatula said...

It would be interesting to read a response essay by one of the married men she 'cul-de'sacs' with (anonymous, of course). I am not sure he is all that interested in the 'mystery' of her 'different narrative', just her different vagina.

Burger King is across the street, Wendy's is on the same side of the road you are driving, so -- hey -- Wendys it is; she is just the drive-thru on the right side of the street.

Laslo Spatula said...

You can tell who has the upper hand in this scenario by the frequency of anal sex. Obvious.

Anonymous said...

This is not a new phenomenon. Proverbs 5 is a warning to men to avoid such women. The Bible also advises women to avoid such behavior.

It is interesting to read her thoughts on the matter, though.

jr565 said...

The virtue of being a home wrecker. Not so virtuous.

Balfegor said...

Another time I snapped an instant photo of him sitting on my bed partially unclothed, then snatched it from him when he grimaced and demanded that I tear it up. It wasn’t the photo’s existence, that evidence of his infidelity, that bothered him so much as how he looked in it: stocky and slightly thick from a surplus of alcohol and food and a lack of exercise.

So I guess she . . believed him? It's obviously the blackmail he's worried about. How could he not be??

EDH said...

Is the married man a Democrat?

Makes all the difference.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

"Why I date married men?" Because she likes to hurt other women. Unless they are in an "open" relationship, but then they're not really married, and her sadistic fetish will remain unsatisfied. The perception of inducing pain is lost.

I wonder if sadistic (and its masochistic complement) orientation or behavior is an expression of "garbled sensorimotor brain signals". This is not how normal people function. Or perhaps some psychiatrists have changed the reference line to accommodate their personal fetish.

chillblaine said...

Nice use of the word 'squalid!' The thrill of looking up a new word is similar to the experience of seeing an old one in a new light.

Funny how males are always seen as the predatory gender. I could not imagine acting out on any feelings for another man's wife.

Jay said...

Laslo Spatula said...
This is why, if you are a single man and want to get laid, just wear a wedding ring. One, it implies you have been pre-vetted.


Costanza did that on Seinfeld and did have some success...

Michael K said...

I think it was "Freakanomics" where the author interviewed a prostitute who told him most of her clients were married. This woman is another example.

Freeman Hunt said...

But then you're only dating cads.

Anglelyne said...

"But as the other woman, I’ll always have an element of mystery, an invitation to a different narrative...."

Nothing says mystery and allure like writing about your squalid sex life and your squalid lovers in a mass-market publication.

Renee said...

@Michael K

Yeah, She's free.

Does this woman have friends? What woman would be friends with her?

FullMoon said...

Apparently her "menu" and "donation for her time" were edited out of her little tail.

Anglelyne said...

Michael K: I think it was "Freakanomics" where the author interviewed a prostitute who told him most of her clients were married.

Anybody who's ever interviewed a prostitute gets told that.

(Not that it ain't true. Just hoary.)

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Suprise, it's in Salon.

Shanna said...Even if you don't care about the marriage itself, some of those men probably have kids and this is an awful thing to do to them.
That sounds like thinking about the needs/feelings/existence of someone other than herself, though, and whyever would she do that? Don't you dare judge her, now.

Skeptical Voter said...

Well if you grow up on Goosepecker Road . . . things just ..happen.

Our host calls this essay "squalid". It may in fact be squalid morally--the women's union rules say don't play with married men.

But "squalid"--both morally, ethically and intellectually is what Salon does. You don't go to a garbage dump and expect to pick up fresh new things--and you don't go to Salon if you want "not squalid".

Skeptical Voter said...

Hey Laslo I didn't see your comment here before I wrote mine.

But just as an addendum, this girl's for you. She's "not smart", so it's safe to sleep with her.

furious_a said...

***>>>TRIGGER WARNING FOR JUDGMENTALISM<<<***

Cheap. Homewrecking. Whore.

Anonymous said...

"But as the other woman, I’ll always have an element of mystery, an invitation to a different narrative...."

Mystery to whom? Definitely not to the other woman. The man doesn't care as long as he has what he wants. The wife doesn't know and couldn't care less when she divorces him.

The only narrative is Heather is delusional, she lives in a cheap novel.

Freeman Hunt said...

Dishonorable woman limits herself to dating only dishonorable men.

John Lynch said...

It's the men's fault, too.

Psychologically, the author seems to get stuck on certain behaviors. First it was virginity, then it was dating married men. I think she kept doing it simply because her first time was with a married man.

Stereotyping. She's stuck.

Chuck said...

One more upvote for "squalid."

Is there any handy compendium for all of the Salon columns favoring various forms of sexual perversion, moral outrage and other offenses to civilized society?

Big Mike said...

She's hurting the wives, but being an ardent feminist means that it's okay to hurt other women (else why would Salon publish it?)

Krumhorn said...

It's no wonder that Ashley Madison is one of the most profitable of the internet dating sites.

- Krumhorn

Krumhorn said...

Ok, I'll live with the shame of being a cad, but I've been crushing on Freeman Hunt for years.

- Krumhorn

Pookie Number 2 said...

Dishonorable woman limits herself to dating only dishonorable men.

Sure, the self-identification is helpful, but not every theoretically dishonorable man realizes his 'potential', so society is still worse off when people like her exercise their lack of character.

Renee said...

Married females with children aren't women anyways.... Right?

Sam L. said...

I'm guessing this article was sufficiently transgressive for SALON. Are all their editors male?

Carl said...

I thought it was a good essay, although it doesn't actually say why she does what she does, only describes it, and notes the things she likes about it. But as a description of her thinking, I think it was pretty good, straightforward, well written, moves along without cliche or maudlin bombast.

I can understand why people who work at marriage find it a little threatening, but the hostility is a bit weird, unless we're talking middle-aged married women -- their hostility towards Other Women is age-old and perfectly understandable, driven by the DNA.

Anyway, she's not wrecking any families, she's at most an accessory after the fact, and I any woman who smiles in a certain way at a man whose marriage she knows is in trouble falls into the same category -- the fucking is the least important aspect of the infidelity.

I think she's OK. She didn't rag on married women as some kind of losers, or boast of her lifestyle as superior to theirs. She just said this is what she likes, and it's bit odd to her that she does, but she does and that's that. I don't even think she's bad for the ecosystem: I think all married people should bear in mind that there is somebody out there who will take your spouse off your hands if you are a big enough pain the ass. Nothing makes people pay attention to the quality of job they do like the threat of being replaced.

Krumhorn said...

I think all married people should bear in mind that there is somebody out there who will take your spouse off your hands if you are a big enough pain the ass. Nothing makes people pay attention to the quality of job they do like the threat of being replaced.

True enough, but the parties to her story are actors in a cismorality tale behaving cissexually.

At some point, and I think that point has passed, as a society we lose all of the civilizing momentum of the family core that has been essential in taking us from the caves to the burbs (although, apparently, not the upper west side).

- Krumhorn

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

People in successful marriages don't cheat.

Adultery doesn't wreck a marriage.

It's already broken if someone in it breaks his or her vows.

I think?

I'm not certain I believe that but I think it's probably true.

Or maybe the cheater is a defective human being.

It's very easy to say "if you're that unhappy and unfulfilled, deal with that the honorable way and get out before you start shopping for a better companion," but "getting out" is so destructive.

I dunno.

Adultery is confusing.

Freeman Hunt said...

Societal mores help weak people not fall into dishonor. The looser the mores, the lesser the weakness that allows one to fall in.

She fell in, and she's decided she'd rather pull others in with her than climb out.

Freeman Hunt said...

The hope is that one day she says, "We're all wet!" and climbs out.

Jupiter said...

My goodness, what absolute unanimity we have here at Althouse today! Will no one say a good word for Heather the Homewrecker? Although it doesn't really sound as if she wrecks too many homes. And she never really answers the question posed by the title. If I understand correctly, she thinks the marriage protects her. She seems to imagine that unmarried men have a dangerous tendency to spontaneous commitment. Must not get out much.

Jupiter said...

Not so sure about the "squalid". Squalid to me connotes a condition resulting from neglect, which doesn't seem quite appropriate here. Sordid, certainly. Jack, Dan and Tom don't sound much like prizes, do they?

Squalid is to squalor as liquid is to liquor and vapid is to vapor, but there is no sordor, or frigor, or turgor.

Laslo Spatula said...

Come on, people. After a hard day slaving for a passive-agressive, bitchy, incompetent female boss, sometimes a man just wants to vent himself through some raw, angry, hair-pulling thigh-biting sex, is all. Is he supposed to have THAT with the wife while the kids are asleep in the next room?

The wife will no doubt say things like "You seem very upset: do you want to talk about it?" and you know that is just going to make things worse, because she will bring up a situation that is apples-and-fucking-unicorns and then she gets all upset that her words didn't totally change how you are feeling like a magic wand.

The only thing that will change that feeling? Raw, angry, hair-pulling thigh-biting sex, the kind you have with the woman who wants no commitments: let HER have the teeth-marks on the ass, and then let the wife tell you about her day: you are now ready to listen.

Anonymous said...

This is just terrible. What an awful woman!

BTW, what's her number?

Laslo Spatula said...

There are different kinds of sex a man can have: the kind of sex he has with a woman who is not his wife (and probably younger), the kind of sex he has with a hooker, and then the regular sex he has with his wife.

To those who say that they fulfill all of those desires with their wife alone, I then ask this: you let your wife kiss your kids with that mouth?

Laslo Spatula said...

Of course all of my opinions are subject to change if I was married to Mandy Moore.

Laslo Spatula said...

Who knows, Mandy Moore might be the kind of girl who likes to slip one of her pink-polished pedicured toes in a man's ass. Not my cup of tea, but I'd go along with it. For Mandy.

Achilles said...

Those were the best days when deployed. You know... the ones where one of your buddies got the news his wife at home was cheating on him! Oh infidelity is such a good thing for society.

Next subject? Suicide and divorce!

Eric said...

Societal mores help weak people not fall into dishonor. The looser the mores, the lesser the weakness that allows one to fall in.

Yes. And to "dishonor" I'd add "misery". The road to happiness doesn't lie in satisfying your base urges on a whim.

Anglelyne said...

Carl: I can understand why people who work at marriage find it a little threatening, but the hostility is a bit weird...

I think you're mistakenly taking disgust and contempt for hostility and feeling "threatened". But I don't get the impression from the rest of your comment that disgust and contempt loom large in your moral universe, so I can understand why you interpret things as you do.