I have met some real characters during my nine months of traveling. In some ways I feel like I have seen the best and the worst of mankind. Unfortunately, one theme that stands out is the number of men who cheat on their wives while traveling abroad. And, the number that flirt dangerously close to disaster, is staggering. I apologize in advance if this post offends anyone as I may include some “choice” language while I retell some of my encounters. You may not like what I have to say but this is my blog and I have to get my thoughts out. These are the stories of the unfaithful.
Just today, while standing in the customs line in Chicago, I overheard a trio of NFL referees bantering back and forth about their “travels.” They talked of luggage blunders, unfamiliar hotels, and being apart from their families. Just when I was about to award these men imaginary points for being caring husbands, one of the referees stated, “Yeah, each night I travel is one less night I’m sleeping next to my wife’s “ass.” The other responded, “Well I MAY miss sleeping next to my wife’s “ass” but I have a substitute “ass” that I pay for to keep me company.” Oh boy, did I ever want to unleash my sailor’s mouth on these fellas. But I bit my tongue and gave them a long “squinty-eyed stare down.”
Like I was saying earlier, I have met many people along the way. I’m not going to lie, I have had a number of men approach me with questionable intentions. I always tell them, “I’m taken.” The thing that has shocked me the most about these encounters are some the responses that I have gotten. A good number of men have replied by pointing to the band on their ring fingers while shrugging or saying something similar to, “That doesn’t mean we can’t have a good time.” Each time this happened, I couldn’t help but think of the women they left behind. You know, the ones who go to bed each night thinking of their husbands and looking forward to their return.
And the worst part about it all, the part that saddens me the most, is this trail of unfaithfulness seems to have infected our men in uniform as well. It’s frustrating that many good men fall into this snare while serving in the military. Prostitutes are RAMPANT overseas and our men in uniform spend so much time away from their families that it’s an easy trap to fall into. Freedom really doesn’t come free especially when the families have to suffer. I am not trying to undermine their sacrifice for our country as I have a tremendous respect for their dedication and work ethic. But rather, I am sharing my real life experiences and I became weary and discouraged by the behavior that I witnessed. I truly wish I could go back to the time when I was blissfully unaware of how the world really works. I would give just about anything to go back into the safety of my rosy little bubble.
Now if you are still reading this blog post, I’m sure you are wondering about the women who cheat? I know they are out there; but I didn’t encounter any. In my opinion, this cross-cultural dilemma seems to be mainly a male epidemic. Don’t get me wrong. Not all men cheat. There are still some good ones out there. For example, I had an interesting discussion with an Israeli man on this very topic. He is married with two children and he chooses to stay in his hotel room while his colleagues see traveling as a license to go out and sleep with prostitutes or hook up with the women they meet at the bars. My response to his disclosure was less than lady like and I know I used a few choice words in retaliation against these men. He stopped me from my verbal fury as he said, “Amy, it’s not the cheating that makes this so bad, it’s the loss of intimacy that these men will encounter with their wives as a result of their choices.” Well I say, a HUGE props to the men who stay faithful and DOWN with the ones who don’t!