Insanity!

Insanity!

"Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results." ~ Rita Mae Brown

Time to vent! I'm frustrated. Actually, it's more like I'm in disbelief and amazement.  Do these men just lose their minds? Do they honestly and truly experience a form of temporary insanity when they decide to leave their wives!? This is NOT male-bashing!  Those of you who know my writing style know that I am very even-keeled!  I get on the women just as much as I get on the men. I'm just genuinely confused.  

Around about the same time I got divorced, three other women I know also got divorced. Their husbands each had an affair.  We joked (sadly) that it must have been something in the water.  Each of these men quickly married the other women.  He "loved" the other woman. She was his "soul-mate." She made him feel things he had "never felt before." All three are already divorced. All three cheated on their new wives. It has been less than five years! 


Seriously? My first worry is for the eight children who have now faced divorce twice in recent years. All of them are still under the age of 18 and in their formative years. My second thought is, "ladies, seriously, if he cheated on his wife already once … with you … what made you think he wouldn't be capable of cheating again … on you?!" Talk about karma!  

Then there are the three men who were all recently discovered to be cheating on their wives. All were viewed in the community as upstanding, honorable men with positions of power and influence. One worked in local government, one was a successful entrepreneur, and one worked in wealth management.  All were vocal about their moral values and personal codes of conduct. They used words like integrity, honor, perseverance and self-control to describe themselves. 

One went from leading a men's accountability group one week, to defaulting on the mortgage the next week.  One went from teaching young kids the value of integrity one week, to lying to his wife about where he had gone after work the following week.  One went from having a conversation with his wife about their joint financial goals and plans one week, to taking money from their joint accounts and stockpiling it in individual off-shore accounts the following week.

This is where my presumption of temporary insanity comes into play. How can a man who always preached to his children the values of integrity suddenly lie and cheat on their mother? How can a man who values self-control suddenly lose control, have multiple affairs, and go on spending sprees that take the family into bankruptcy? How can a man who preaches to his kids the values of marriage, and the sanctity of living together only after marriage, suddenly move in with his girlfriend and her kids much to the detriment of his own kids?

Seriously? This is role modeling for our children? No wonder our kids roll their eyes and ignore parents today! We are raising a generation of children who are watching their parents preach one thing, then go out and do something entirely different. This is "do what I say, not what I do." Kids are too smart, and the hypocrisy being demonstrated by so many of their parents is not inconsequential to these kids.

No answers, just musings. The only thing I can come up with is temporary insanity!  I hope so, because I REALLY honestly and truly hope that these people are able to look back and says, "Oops… what a major mistake," then apologize, get back on track with their children, begin to act how a parent should act, and role model the integrity, honor, perseverance and self-control they once used to describe themselves. 

I think there is hope; I really do. In fact, I have met two couples recently who both went through a fair bit of what I described here.  One couple separated; the other got divorced. Both couples had two children. In both instances, these couples have successfully reconciled and turned their negative experience into a learning opportunity for their families and their communities. Their faith in each other shines through. The power of forgiveness that they demonstrate is amazing. Their kids have learned that people make mistakes, but that doesn't mean people can't continue to learn from those mistakes, fix those mistakes, and become better people as a result of those mistakes. 

That is an example of some pretty powerful role modeling as a parent and I applaud these couples for having the perseverance to overcome the odds and make their marriages work. It doesn't happen that often, so when it does, it's nice to see. 

What do you think? Is it temporary insanity? Is there hope that these parents can get back on track and right their wrongs? Can they still be wonderful role models for their kids? Can they teach lessons about making mistakes, asking for forgiveness, and moving forward positively?

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Monique A. Honaman More Articles By This Author

Monique A. Honaman is the author of "The High Road Has Less Traffic: honest advice on the path through love and divorce. The "High Road" is an inspiring roadmap for marriage, a positive exit strategy for "surviving" divorce, and a powerful life philosophy. Monique's second book in the series, "The High Road Has Less Traffic ...
and a better view," has just been released. She is also the founding partner of ISHR Group, which provides global solutions in the area of leadership assessment, development and coaching.

Monique received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, a Masters of Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University, and a Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School. She was profiled by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the "40-Under-40-Up-and-Comers. Monique is a contributing expert for HopeAfterDivorce.org, FamilyShare.com, CupidsPusle.com, and LAFamily.com.