After five months together, last weekend I discovered my boyfriend was cheating on me. And not just your basic shag the office tottie on the stat machine at the Xmas party kind of cheat, it seems he was having a full-blown relationship with someone else for two of the five months we were together.

So why do men cheat? I wish I knew, maybe it’s just because they can. I read about this study they did on a university campus somewhere in America. They got a good-looking young guy to approach fifty women on campus and ask each woman if she would have sex with him that night. Apparently he got forty-five no’s, three slaps in the face and two charges of sexual harassment.

Then they got a good-looking young woman to approach fifty men on the same campus and ask the same question. Will you have sex with me tonight? Altogether she got sixty-two resounding yeses, if you include all the guy’s friends who asked if they could come along too.

Here’s another thought, in their lifetimes men produce millions of sperm, while women produce considerably less eggs, probably closer to four hundred in a lifetime. So even though the last thing I want to do is condone their wild and stupid seed-sowing behaviour, maybe it really is in men’s genes, as well as their jeans.

So I may not be any wiser as to why men cheat, but I have learnt a couple of things from this whole experience.

The first being that most men are bastards. (I believe there are exceptions to the rule, it’s just I’ve never dated any of them.)

The other thing I’ve learnt is that it’s time us women got some new advice when it comes to break-ups.

Noticing my enormous, puffy, red swollen eyes, and shoddy appearance over the last few days, friends, family, colleagues and even neighbours have tried to offer me tons of advice.

“There are plenty more fish in the sea, you know dear.” was one. Thanks a bunch Aunty, but I’m not that mad about fish. They’re a little too slimy and slippery for my liking. (Might also be the reason fish are used as an analogy for men!)

Then there’s the classic “Time heals all wounds”. But lets be realistic here, when your heart was broken yesterday, you can barely figure out how you’re going to make it to tomorrow, let alone six months from now.  So that one’s really no good either.

Aha, what about “You’re too good for him”. Yes I’m so good he had to go and have sex with flat-chested Lisa that he met on the Internet. I must be really, really good.

So I think it’s time we came up with some more modern pearls of wisdom for recently devastated women. Some advice that’s more practical and realistic and a little less clichéd, the kind of advice that will actually make the terminally heartbroken feel a little better. For example, what about “Why slash tires with a knife, when a corkscrew is so much more effective.”

Or what about “Nothing heals a broken heart quite like a bottle of scotch and a one-night-stand”. Now that’s some advice I can use.

Or there’s always the more practical, but equally effective: “The more expensive his item of clothing, the better it cleans your toilet.” Wow, this is incredible, I feel better already.

But on a more serious note, here’s one I that actually encouraged me to mourn and at the same time start to heal, because it makes the pain a little easier to bear. A guy friend emailed it to me, (I’m thinking he might be gay.) “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. “ Not bad huh?

It’s actually pretty true too. I’m not really that upset that it happened, a little bitter and twisted maybe. But deep down I know it’s all a part of being human, and this is just one more chapter in a book that I’m pretty sure will have a happy ending eventually. All I have to do is ignore all the bad advice and get started on the next chapter.

By: Paige Nick

PdflogogtLAJ_April 2005 Vol. 17

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