In case you haven’t heard yet, ladies, if your man cheats on you, it’s all your fault. Or at least partially your fault.
Except not really. Or at all.
According to The Daily Mail, Anna Duggar is taking some of the blame for her husband, Josh’s, filthy philandering.
The article only speculates as to why, citing an unnamed source who stated Anna maybe should have paid better attention to the stress her husband was under and an interview last year in which Michelle Duggar told TODAY Moms that it is a wife’s duty to give her husband sex whenever he wants it (I’m paraphrasing here), insinuating that maybe these are potential reasons why Prince Duggar stepped out on his wife. It doesn’t really matter the reason, though. That she is accepting part of the blame at all is the disturbing part.
It’s not shocking that a woman is being blamed for her husband’s promiscuity. Society has long looked to the wife for what she did or didn’t do to deserve her man’s infidelity. But a woman in today’s “progressive” world? Are we still that behind the times? Is this one giant episode of Mad Men and I missed the memo?
I am both angry and sad about this, though to say I’m surprised would be untrue.
I am angry because here we go again, blaming the woman for something she has no part in. A man does not require some misdeed on the part of his wife to step out on the marriage. That’s all on him. Nobody to blame but himself. Maybe he is in a shit marriage and has a crappy relationship with his wife. That does not somehow excuse his behavior or mean she is to blame. Get thee to counseling or break that thing off instead. Those are appropriate actions. Cheating (and let’s not forget child molesting) is not.
And maybe he made a mistake (though, c’mon; his behavior isn’t something you can characterize as a mistake). People make mistakes. But those mistakes don’t belong to anybody else, least of all his wife.
Furthermore, what are we teaching our girls and young women? That they alone are responsible for their partners’ faithfulness? What happened to good old personal responsibility? Sure, it’s important to put your best into a relationship if you want it to work, but it’s not anybody’s job to make sure her husband keeps his pants zipped.
I am sad because it’s not lost on me that the power Anna Duggar’s in-laws wield and the religion with which she identifies probably have a lot to do with her decision to look inward (or pretend to look inward) for the reasons why her husband is a disgusting liar face whose pants are beyond ablaze. I don’t pretend to know a lot about either, but I can only imagine the pressure she’s under to keep appearances and somehow prove her faith.
I’m also sad because there are countless women out there like Anna Duggar who feel the need to blame themselves for their husbands’ inexcusable behavior and who, for one reason or another, don’t have the strength or the resources to leave their relationships and start fresh. It’s not fair. Nor is it right.
We’ve got to do better by our daughters, people. Teach them to be strong, independent women who do not need to take others’ transgressions on as their own. Model this behavior for them in our own lives. And do our best to help women who have been or are being victimized, no matter how obvious or subtle we may believe it to be, stand up for themselves.
*sigh* The whole thing is such a mess. A terrible, rotten mess. And I’m sure we haven’t even neared the climax of this saga yet (BARF).
Lessons to be learned from this:
- Give your man sex whenever he wants it or else. (Just kidding. Don’t do that. Unless you want to, of course. Then do it. Pun intended.)
- Accept responsibility for yourself and your actions alone. You are not in control of what others do. You should always act with people’s best interests in mind, but each person owns his or her individual indiscretions.
- Teach young girls that they are not responsible for their partners’ fidelity or errors in judgment. They are contributors in a relationship, not owners of their partners’ behavior. And they deserve happiness, even (and especially) if that happiness comes from leaving a toxic partnership.
- Don’t marry Josh Duggar. Hindsight is 20/20, though, as I’m sure Anna Duggar is quickly realizing.