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“My Husband Has Been Pursuing Ads on Craigslist Casual Encounters”

My husband and I have been married for six years. This past September I found he had responded to casual encounter ads on Craiglist. The emails said he wanted to “watch” and he “hadn’t gotten up the nerve to cheat on his wife.” I confronted him with this and he said nothing happened and he was “just bored” and “he’s a grown ass man and can look at what he wants.”

In January of this year I found he had a secret email account where he had posted on Craiglist saying he “was looking to watch and touching was ok with him if it was ok with them.” I confronted him again and got the same answer as before. Last week I found history on his phone that he was looking at local Craiglist ads when he was out of town. Again, same answer: “Nothing happened and I’m a grown ass man and can look at what I want.” He also said no one ever actually goes through after emailing back and forth with those ads.

I don’t know what to believe. I want to trust him but I am very hurt. Should I believe nothing is happening? — A Fool to Believe

Um, no, you shouldn’t believe that “nothing happened” unless you consider your husband pursuing and responding to ads for casual sex, and emailing women telling them he’s “ok with touching,” nothing. Personally, I consider that very much something, especially when the intent is to do a whole lot more than simply email. And for all you know, there has been more. I know that’s the part you don’t want to believe, but what I’m saying is the part you already have confirmation happened — that your husband has been looking for casual sex — is bad enough. Why in the world would you be even remotely OK with that if you don’t have a pre-agreed upon open relationship? I repeat: your husband has been searching for casual sex at least since last September — quite possibly longer — and doesn’t seem the least bit remorseful or apologetic.

He’s so serious in his search that he created a private email address and pursues women when he’s out of town. Do you need it spelled out on a blimp flown over your back yard? The man is, at the very least, trying very intently to cheat on you, and has quite possibly already cheated on you. If he hasn’t already, it probably isn’t because he doesn’t want to or, as he says, hasn’t “gotten up the nerve”; it’s because, much to his chagrin, “no one ever goes through after emailing back and forth with those ads.” Even if all he’s after is the excitement of doing something he knows he shouldn’t — emailing random women about having casual sex together — without anything actually “happening,” he’s still way out of line and totally disrespecting you and your union. That you don’t seem entirely outraged that your husband has so much as looked at an ad with an interest in pursuing it suggests a history of your husband doing crappy things and you looking the other way.

And WTF is this business about your husband being a “grown ass man and can look at what he wants”? Being a grown-up doesn’t mean that rules, laws, and vows suddenly don’t apply. Being a grown-up doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences to your actions. Being a grown-up doesn’t mean you can cheat on your spouse or try to cheat on your spouse and not have to deal with the repercussions. If he wants to play that ridiculous game, I suggest you play it and beat him at it. Find a good divorce attorney and discuss what you would be entitled to if your marriage ended and what kind of information you’d need to prove that your husband has been breaking the vows of your marriage. After all, you’re a grown ass woman and maybe what you want — I hope what you want — is to not be with a man who has such little regard and respect for you.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ me on Facebook.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

avatar MissDre June 19, 2012, 9:06 am

Right on Wendy!

avatar kerrycontrary June 19, 2012, 9:11 am

WWS! Something DID happen-Your husband pursued people on the INTERNET to have sex with. That’s not normal. That’s not OK. Why are you not more angry!?

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 10:20 am

what does WWS stand for again?

ScrambledMegss ScrambledMegss June 19, 2012, 10:24 am

What Wendy Said!

katie Katie June 19, 2012, 11:27 am

come on brad, keep up… Lol

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 1:42 pm

hush it you!

FireStar FireStar June 19, 2012, 9:12 am

Oh honey. Anyone this intent on cheating – already has. Go make an appointment with your doctor to get checked for everything under the sun and then go find a divorce attorney. The bad news is that you have to go through the process of a divorce; the good news is that you will then be rid of this jackass and can find yourself a REAL man and not settle for a weak-ass facsimile of one.

Fabelle Fabelle June 19, 2012, 9:17 am

LW, listen to Wendy! (…WWS :))

Seriously, your question after all this is essentially “so do I put my head back in the sand?” Even if your husband wants to e-mail people from Craigslist just for the thrill (which, personally, those e-mails sound full of intent…not like somebody just trying to get off), that is unacceptable. Your husband is actively looking for sex outside of the marriage, & his justification is “I’m a grown-ass man & can look at what I want”?? Craigslist isn’t porn… people post ads to meet up for real, live sex. A monogamous person does not contact people from that site.

He seems to be banking on your passivity & trust– so don’t give it to him.

avatar anonymous June 19, 2012, 9:22 am

WWS!

avatar SweetPeaG June 19, 2012, 9:22 am

Gross.

I can’t be surprised anymore. How many of these types of things to we see? I don’t have any real advice because Wendy already gave the best advice possible for this situation.

I just need to generally ask WHY??? Why do people continue to enter into monogamous marriages that they clearly don’t want to be in? This guy clearly has no respect for his wife. He clearly didn’t take his vows seriously. You can call it anything you like. He might have a “kink” for anonymous sex or for “watching”. You can argue (as some do) that human beings aren’t meant to be monogamous. That it isn’t natural. I don’t know if that is true. But, I continue to fight “nature” because it is worth it to me. To be in a committed bond with one person I can trust. I love monogamy. But, I digress. What I really want to say is if this is truly a “grown ass man”… why wasn’t he grown ass enough to give this woman the honest truth before he entered into this very serious commitment with her? He mislead her. He allowed her to waste precious time being with him. It’s not fair. Real men do not lie to and hurt someone they love. That’s what it comes down to.

Sorry for the rant. I am just tired of seeing this kind of thing. People just need to stop it.

LW- do what Wendy says. When a man shows no remorse for these kind of actions, he’s not going to change. So, you can live like this for years to come. Or you can go live another, much happier life without him.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 9:28 am

i feel the same way. i think though, it boils down to the fact that in our society, for basically all of civilized history, we have married each other. we have been monogomous, atleast in theory. so i dont think that people feel that they have a choice…

its like we were talking about yesterday about having babies. i always just thought i was going to have babies, everyone did, thats just what you do. and then, now as i get older, i really do have a choice. i dont think that the vast majority of people feel that way with marriage… so i dont think this guy thought he had any other option then marriage, you know?

its dumb.

avatar SweetPeaG June 19, 2012, 9:38 am

I agree with what you’re saying. People feel like marriage is the step they are “supposed” to take. And I can certainly feel sorry for anyone who got married just because they felt societal pressure to do so.

But, I still don’t see it as an excuse for lying and deceit.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 12:18 pm

an excuse, no.

a reason why? maybe… although i still dont even buy that. i guess the sad part is that, assuming what we think is true (he didnt actually want to be married), the lying and deceit started internally with him. he is living a lie. his whole life is a lie. thats sad…

avatar Anna June 19, 2012, 10:17 am

You know, I’ve heard that “men aren’t meant to be monogamous” bullshit from almost every guy I know and I still don’t believe it. If you want to go full caveman, men also weren’t meant to eat with forks and knives or wash their clothes or move any faster than they can walk. Technology and societal norms have evolved over the years that people have become civilized, and monogamy is one of the beautiful things that became of the evolution. Men who claim that are just making an excuse for being dickheaded assholes, and it’s a poor excuse at that.

avatar applescruff June 19, 2012, 10:25 am

Don’t forget be dead by 35!

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 10:29 am

One of the main natural impulses of men when it comes to mating is rape. Maybe we should legalize that so we can be true to our base nature. *rolls eyes* Just be glad those idiots advertised themselves as such so you didn’t waste any time on them.

avatar SweetPeaG June 19, 2012, 10:32 am

Anna! LOL… don’t be creeped out, but I love you for this!

My thoughts exactly. If people want me to run around naked and unshowered and use the bathroom wherever I please (because clothing and indoor plumbing aren’t really natural either), I can do that. Who would like to see us revert to that? Anyone?

I know plenty of men who are quite okay with monogamy and don’t need a freaking harem to be happy. Civilization is great!

avatar Anna June 19, 2012, 11:54 am

Not creepy at all :) And civilization is great! I’ve recently been talking to my cute coworker a lot more and it turns out he wanted to get married by the time he was 25 and is as disappointed as I am that it didn’t happen. Yes, wants to get married! And we are both single :) So apparently they do exist.

avatar SweetPeaG June 19, 2012, 12:47 pm

Anna… any dates with this guy on the horizon?! :)

Maybe I have been spoiled by the amazing guys in my life? My Dad (who has been married to my Mom quite happily for 35 years), my fiance (who I would trust with my life), and many guy friends (who are all totally loyal to the significant others in their lives… or are searching for a girl to settle down with). None of these guys seem to have an issue staying faithful. So, YES, they do absolutely exist. Keep the faith!

avatar Anna June 19, 2012, 8:03 pm

Well, I don’t know if it counts as a date but he did invite me out to dinner at a fancy restaurant in Cleveland that I’ve always wanted to go to. It will be with a small group of friends from work but he said he would be my protector so I don’t have to walk the streets of downtown Cleveland alone. :) It’s kind of a joke we have because one time when I was still with my ex I went to Cleveland for a mutual friend’s birthday party and he was there and I was scared shitless about walking through the city alone at night. So he walked me back to my car like a gentleman :)

Kate B. Kate B June 19, 2012, 11:21 am

I love this too! In my life, among my friends and family, I have had lots of examples of real men who gladly live up to their vows . Unfortunately, there have been examples of dickhead assholes, too. This guy is one of those. Lose him.

avatar Anna June 19, 2012, 11:57 am

Agreed! As many women as there are in the world like me who expect monogamy, there are also plenty of loose women who don’t want it. I know someone who goes to the bar at least twice a week and comes home with a different guy almost every night. If a guy wants someone like that, he can find it in this society. I personally think it’s gross and she probably has every STD in the book because she “doesn’t like condoms” but hey to each her own right? Not my style!

FireStar FireStar June 19, 2012, 12:43 pm

I don’t think you need to call women who don’t want monogamy ‘loose’ – once they aren’t lying or cheating or hurting anyone then they are free to live their lives how they want. It isn’t a lesser life – just different and not one you would choose.

avatar Anna June 20, 2012, 3:53 am

I wasn’t defining anyone who has sex outside of a monogamous relationship as loose; just people like the girl I know who have screwed almost every male in their small town and some of the females too. She’s my best friend’s sister, and my best friend is really worried that she’s going to get pregnant any day now and have no idea who the father is. For some reason, she also refuses to on the Pill. This girl is also continuously unemployed or underemployed and definitely could not support a child.

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 1:47 pm

“because she “doesn’t like condoms”” The thought alone of unknowingly sleeping with someone like this keeps me from being promiscious.

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 1:52 pm

Yeah, but that’s why it’s your responsibility to protect YOURSELF.

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 2:12 pm

Doesn’t matter. Condoms aren’t 100% effective and they don’t prevent you from oral sex (yes I’ve heard of dental dams but I’m not licking plastic–yuck). I’m just too paranoid for that sort of life style.

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 2:39 pm

Well, that’s how you’re protecting yourself then.

Obviously abstinence is the only sure-fire way to avoid STDs, but it’s not a reasonable choice for everyone.

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 3:08 pm

Anyway, when I made that statement I didn’t really mean to direct it toward YOU(Brad), but mostly meant YOU(general). It takes 2 to tango, you know? I don’t really think her decision to have unprotected sex with multiple partners is a smart move, but she sure isn’t having any trouble finding dudes to fuck her without a condom is she? And then if they get something they wanna be like “She BURNED me!”……I hear it all the time. I’m like, who the hell put a gun up to your head and forced you to fuck her without a condom? So it’s just another one of my rants. Nothing against you, and sorry if it came across that way.

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 6:57 pm

It didn’t. I was just commenting my opinion on it.

avatar *HmC* June 19, 2012, 3:32 pm

“If you want to go full caveman, men also weren’t meant to eat with forks and knives or wash their clothes or move any faster than they can walk”

Brilliant Anna!

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 6:14 pm

Unfortunately, the ‘men aren’t meant to be monogamous’ ideology was perpetuated by a majority of the world’s religions. There’s a great meme about marriage in the Bible out there..and I know for a fact that Islam and Hinduism both allowed multiple wives. Not too sure about Judaism though. Until we can learn to discern traditional religious values, with the way society has evolved there will always be a contingent that can justify such ideas.

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 6:54 pm

Christianity and Judaism don’t allow multiple wives. If you said that somewhere else I didn’t see it.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 6:59 pm

Not even the old testament?!

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 9:42 pm

Quoting old testament (OT) stuff get’s into some pretty complicated issues and that is too long to get into here. Suffice to say, looking a verses (especially OT ones) outside of the context of the whole chapter/book can be very misleading. A decent amount of that stuff is no longer applicable to Christians today. Some of it is just a historical account of what was going on. Some of it can be proven with archaeological evidence and some of it cannot. Knowing what’s applicable to us today vs what’s history is something that can’t really be explained briefly in a comment box like this. But to try and give a simple example: I forget where, but there are sections of the OT detailing how we are supposed to perform animal sacrifices, how do choose the animal being sacrificed, etc. Well all of that stuff is not relevant to today’s Christians because the whole purpose of animal sacrifices was to serve as an illusion to the coming of Christ and as a teaching instrument. Now that he’s come and gone, animal sacrifices aren’t needed anymore because Jesus’s death paid for all sin. Also, there are stories in the bible that detail God working with imperfect people. It doesn’t mean He condoned it, but sometimes I think God was focusing on the bigger picture rather than all of the individual’s faults. For example, I think King David had something like over 100 concubines or something ridiculous like that. He also committed adultery on some guy’s wife, a guy he had sent off to war on purpose so he could fuck her, and the guy ended up dying in battle. No one can argue that from the dawn of time God has hated adultery (it’s in the 10 commandments after all). Doesn’t mean I should take that as justification for me to go out and build a harem or sleep with married women.

So my point is that just because someone quotes a single verse (like in that meme) doesn’t mean that it’s part of the doctrine of the faith. Context is very important. Case in point: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kvlb79iwFy1qzxzwwo1_500.jpg

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 9:48 pm

Its been a while since my world religions class, so I’ll leave it at your explanation that its NOT applicable to today’s Christians. And speaking of context..it reminded me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfrO6LJyhII

katie katie June 19, 2012, 10:18 pm

i always was confused by the paradox created from those two ideals: no adultery is in the big 10, but at the same time all these “godly” people did all these shitty sexual things. i never got that. very contradictory…

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 11:14 pm

Well if God waited around for a perfect human to use to further his plans we wouldn’t even have a bible! Nobody’s perfect. God works in mysterious ways as the cheesy line goes. Certain things we’ll never be able to fully identify made the people God chose the right choice to do what he wanted to do. I’ll admit it’s not an entirely satisfying answer but it’s the best I can give you really. I mean look at Saul/Paul. The guy swore up and down that Jesus was a fraud up until (and after) the day Jesus died. Then Jesus revealed himself to Paul after the resurrection and he became one of the founding members of Christianity. What sense does that make??? Maybe converting a doubter added credibility? Who knows?

Yeah some of the stuff God commanded people to do in the OT was pretty harsh, but if you study the people it was ordered on it wasn’t so bad in comparison. The video Lili linked for example references the command to kill all the Amalekites, including babies. Sounds harsh to us today, but it’s not quite as bad when you look at the context. Those people were in the process of committing genocide against the Israelites. What would you have done in their situation? They weren’t willing to negotiate. It was a them or us situation. They were pretty wicked in God’s eyes, so God gave Israel permission to wipe them out. They used to place babies in the arms of the statues of their gods that had been cooked red hot by fire for rituals (the babies would die obviously). Those people often killed the handicap and rape was a regular occurrence, especially on foreigners (both men and women). So it’s not like they were virtuous and innocent. People back then were pretty wicked is all I can really tell you, lol. Hell even the “civilized” Romans had people butchered for entertainment! Regardless of whether or not you’re looking at antiquity with a religious frame or not, ancient people were fucked up in the head!!!

And I think the reason there’s an illusion that the NT God is nicer than the OT one is because of Jesus. During the OT the savior had not come yet, so God was occasionally sending out judgments on the wicked. I think that’s stopped now that Jesus came and went. It’s my understanding that there won’t be anymore judgement from now on until the last one. Same reason why I think there’s no really big special effect miracles happening (like parting the Red Sea), nothing new needs to be preached. We’ve got all we need now–just waiting for the climax.

katie Katie June 19, 2012, 11:29 pm

So then the total irony is that Christians today try to emulate the old testament characters… Wow.

Brad Brad June 20, 2012, 12:24 am

@Katie: I don’t think Christians are trying to emulate the old testament characters. Some of them do have good qualities sure, but overall I don’t think we’re trying to be like them. If anyone, Christians are supposed to emulate Christ. Christ challenged his followers to strive for perfection and to seek holiness, but it’s not fully achievable until death.

Nowadays, the OT is there mostly as a historical account and proof that Jesus is who he says he is. The OT for example is where you’ll find all of the prophecies that predicted the coming of Christ and the ways of knowing who he is (His flesh will be pierced but no bones broken, he will be born in Bethlehem, etc.). Daniel chapter 9 contains the prophecy that gives the date of when Christ would appear (roughly 480 years after the book of Daniel was written).

@Lili, You’re welcome. Having to defend Christ is pretty standard these days in 2012 lol, so I’m mostly used to it. Truth be told it actually often helps further my understanding. I’m a loyal person by nature so I have a natural impulse to rise to the defense, but since I’m not biblical scholar/expert, I have to look a good bit of it up. I hope I’ll have/make time somewhere down the road to give it a more serious study, but for now the core essentials are enough. Which to me are that that God’s mercy can be found both in the OT and the NT. Christ was planned from the very beginning and everything in the OT is to set the stage for the entrance of Christ. Some of the harsh things that can be found in the OT were done to ensure that all the pieces were in place for Christ because Christ is the essential piece. He’s the loophole as I like to think of it (all have to be judged and the price of sin is death, but Christ is the loophole because he will spare his own from judgement). And his core message was one of love and forgiveness and it was intended for every and all types of sinners. Everyone that wants salvation from God’s judgement can have it–they just have to ask for it. And Jesus made the promise that if your heart genuinely seeks him–you will find him. There’s all sorts of distractions from that out there but that’s really the core of it in my opinion.

I think just about all of the problems Christianity has in an image department stem from pride issues and the different ways it works to try and prevent others and itself from sinning. I think it’s noble to work on trying not to sin out of love and obedience/respect for God, but it’s not something to get obsessed over, and going too far can be damaging (like the whole gay issue). All I can really tell people is to pay attention to the message of Christ himself, and not on what Christians are doing/saying in his name.

avatar Rachel June 20, 2012, 12:30 am

I’m glad there are Christians out there that actually THINK about their religion. Thanks, Brad, for sharing your point of view. It’s so refreshing when people actually put some thought into these things instead of just yelling out bible verses.

Brad Brad June 20, 2012, 12:42 am

Thanks for the kind words Rachel. It’s always been my opinion that you’ll win over more souls primarily appealing to people’s hearts and appealing to their sense of logic rather than beating them over the head with a bible. Love was the strategy most* used by Christ. If you look past the sensationalism and misconceptions perpetuated from all sorts of different sources, you’ll find that the bible isn’t nearly as inconsistent or crazy as it’s made out to be. It sadly just isn’t easy to understand or piece together and you have to evaluate each part on the basis of whether it’s applicable to you or history. Not if you want the WHOLE story anyway.

katie katie June 20, 2012, 9:24 am

brad, i completely agree with everything you say, and i do appreciate your approach and your thoughts related to christianity.. but i disagree that people nowadays dont try to emulate the OT. that is where all the laws that I like to call crazy- the seemingly hundreds related to women, homosexuality, polygamy, ect, come from… when you ask christians about those, they take “law” directly from the OT and cite those verses as a explaination as to why it is the “right” way or whatever… deutoronomy actually means “the law”, or so i have been told when i was young. anyway, thats how i grew up- according to OT “law”… so while i agree with you that it is just supposed to be a historical account, your supposed to concentrate more on jesus, ect… in practice, that hasnt ever happened, in my experience, with out there crazy biblical people like my dad, and with the regular, secular biblical people i have just met in everyday life. afterall, that is where the anti homosexual bible verses come from…

Brad Brad June 20, 2012, 11:48 am

Katie, the subject of the law, or more specifically, which parts (if any) are still in effect day is extremely complicated. Unfortunately this is one area that I do not know well enough to speak from any position of believed mastery/authority. There are some Christians out there that believe none of it is applicable today, and there are some that believe that we are still bound by it. I’ve heard good arguments for both sides. I lean a little toward none of it applying anymore but again I don’t know if that’s correct or not. All I can do/say is to encourage you to do your own research on the topic.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 11:47 pm

Wow, thanks for all the info Brad. Seriously, I appreciate your perspective since its not one I hear often in my circle. I seriously hope I’m not coming across as disrespecting Christianity, I respect it (well Jesus anyway) a LOT. I just don’t have any tolerance for hypocrisy and turning the meaning of the religion away from the love an acceptance Jesus preached to emulate.

avatar SweetPeaG June 20, 2012, 8:50 am

Hey Brad!
I wanted to thank you for a lot of this in depth explanation!

I was raised in a VERY Christian home, so I have always professed it as my belief system (although often with many doubts). I decided a couple months ago to really try to read the Bible all the way through. I am currently struggling through the OT. Some rough stuff!!!! Some people have told me to skip right to the NT. But, I need to do it systematically if I’m going to do it.

Some of your thoughts are really going to help me to keep in mind while reading the OT.

Thanks :)

Brad Brad June 20, 2012, 9:47 am

I think every rational Christian has doubts. You’d have to be insane not to recognize that the possibility exists that most of what’s in the bible is fiction carefully crafted by leaders to keep people in line. But I think that there’s enough archaeological evidence out there to suggest that this isn’t the case. Good luck finishing it all. It’s something I’d like to do myself someday.

avatar Eagle Eye June 20, 2012, 9:14 am

Huh, that’s really interesting, especially because as a Jew who was sent to YEARS of Hebrew School, I understand how the Jews read the Torah (the OT) but its really fascinating to hear how Christians interpret the same stories.

For example, i/r/t animal sacrifices, the official doctrine that i always got was the with the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, no more sacrifices. (Although the sacrifice of the scape-goat and some bulls are still apart of the High Holidays liturgy).

Additionally, the people from the Old Testament are supposed to be imperfect, because humans are imperfect. G-d of course is perfect, but we, as humans, can never quite live up to those standards. The view is to look at these holy individuals and understand that despite their human foibles they were able to do G-d’s bidding.

Anyway, very interesting…

Brad Brad June 20, 2012, 10:29 am

Heh, fascinating huh? Is it my imagination or can I hear you thinking “You’re doing it wrong!” :-P

Kidding aside, that’s pretty consistent with what I’ve learned though. The biggest difference between how Jews and Christians read the Torah is that Christians see the prophecies/law as being fulfilled, and Jews do not. Since the Jewish perspective doesn’t consider Jesus the Messiah, Jews are still waiting for the Savior—meaning that the sins of men have not been paid for yet. So the Jews “should” still be performing the ritual to my understanding as an illusion to the ultimate sacrifice of the ‘coming’ Christ. God is willing to accept an imperfect sacrifice as payment for sin (death being the price for sin as required under the law) until he’s ready to send the Messiah. However, the rules/rituals surrounding that practice are extremely specific so it’s currently physically impossible to do it since there’s a Mosque where the temple is supposed to be. If memory serves, there’s 144 specific items required to be in the temple and perform all those rituals according to the Torah. I think it’s interesting that the high Rabbis (sorry I forget the proper term) in Jerusalem have all 144 of them and just need permission to rebuild the temple. Heh, I think if Israel tried that it would start WWIII considering they’d have to tear down one of the most important holy sites in Islam. If you think terrorism is bad now…

As a Christian, we see the destruction of the temple in 70AD by the Romans as serving two big purposes (there might be others). The first being that it simply was not required anymore. Christians believe that Jesus was the promised savior as was foretold in the OT by prophets like Daniel, so now that the savior was sacrificed there’s no need to perform any more animal sacrifices since the sacrifice of the Christ paid for all sins (past, present, and future) in full. So it served to end the continued existence of the temple and the Jews’ continued practice of animal sacrificing. *I* think God considered it an insult that his people were still trying to pay for their sins after he already did that for them, so he put an end to it. I mean if you had taken your friends out to lunch and paid for the meal as a gift to them; wouldn’t you be a little annoyed if one of them kept rejecting your gift and kept trying to pay for their portion of the check? It’s not a perfect example I know but I hope it at least makes it clearer the idea I’m trying to get at. PErhaps putting it in another way, say a wife is getting annoyed with her husband for watching TV in bed when she’s trying to sleep (or get laid), so one easy fix to that problem is to take the TV out of the room. Can’t very well watch TV in bed without the TV!

I believe the second purpose was to fulfill prophecy (one Jesus gave himself if I’m not mistaken). I think that prophecy was supposed to help convince the Jews that Jesus wasn’t a fraud like they’d seen so many times before, but was the real deal.

avatar Eagle Eye June 20, 2012, 10:44 am

Heh, hey, as long as no one messes with me, I don’t mess with anyone else!

Yeah, with regards to the Temple, I’ve actually heard some conflicting view points, to the degree that with the destruction of the Temple, Jews started turning to the Rabbis (as opposed to the High Priests) and while we do mourn the destruction of the Temple (its some fast day, I’m not a good enough of a Jew to know which one), its allowed for everyone to be encouraged to study and partake in the religion instead of the High Priests. (I’m pretty sure, Hebrew school was many years ago, and we weren’t THAT good at paying attention…)

Anyways, sorry, I guess this really isn’t the time/ place for a theological discussion! Mostly my Christian friends and I just bitch about trying to find someone who either believes in the same thing you do, or at least is cool with you believing…

It always comes back to dating/ relationships doesn’t it?

dandywarhol dandywarhol June 19, 2012, 11:31 am

I feel the same. Not everyone is cut out for monogamy. If more people could understand that, and realize that, there would *hopefully* be a lot less heartbreak like the LW.
If you can’t be in a relationship with only one person, then don’t!!

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 1:41 pm

Yeah, but the hard thing about this is the underlying distaste and name calling associated with people who prefer to be non monogamous (I mean, frankly I hate to say it but look around the comments to today’s letter, people calling more sexually liberated people all sorts of names…) I just don’t think society is ready for it yet. And, I also firmly believe that acceptance of gays is linked to society accepting non traditional sexual drives. I HOPE that people are more accepting of poly and kinky people now that we have started accepting gays more, but its STILL a long uphill battle.

/end rant

JK JK June 19, 2012, 1:49 pm

I totally agree, LIli. I mean I´m pretty much as vanilla as they come, but I believe everybody should be able to do as they please (within reason- pedophilia, zoophilia, necrophilia and rape of course are off bounds).
The only caveat is that there be open communication in every couple (and before marriage/commitment) about the kinks, not just expect your SO to be ok with itonce it´s “too late”.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 2:00 pm

Thanks JK! Ha, with my rants and soapboxes people must think I’m some sort of ‘kinky slutty whore’ but the truth is, I too am pretty vanilla and am looking for a long term commitment and firmly believe in monogamy for myself. but I am as Live and let live as they come. I don’t have to be a part of something to want it to be accepted,(case in point–gay marriage and acceptance, I am taking part in the gay pride parade here next weekend) because i truly think a accepting society is a happier one.

avatar artsygirl June 19, 2012, 9:23 am

I would respond with “Yes you are a grown ass man, and I am a grown ass woman and this is me kicking your grown ass to the curb”

katie katie June 19, 2012, 9:24 am

i have said this before, so maybe this counts as a DW-ism, but just because looking at craigslist adds and emailing those people isnt “crossing a line” to some people, doesnt mean that you have to just sit and deal with it. if emailing strange women about having sex with them is crossing a line, you need to let your husband know that!! you get to make up your own lines, thats whats nice about the life we can build for ourselves.

and just like yesterday, can we please talk about why all these men are emailing sketchy people on craigslist for sex? guys, where you at? can you explain this? i think its just the thrill of getting the emails.. i dont think a lot of guys would go through with it… but i definitely do think it is still crossing a freaking line.

avatar GatorGirl June 19, 2012, 9:41 am

You have an excellent point here. Just because the LW’s husband appears to have no problem with his CraigsList trollling, doesn’t mean the LW has to be okay with it. Everyone gets to decide what they are comfortable with and where their line is drawn. That line needs to be clearly communicated within every relationship, but LW- this guy doesn’t care. Three times, THREE, you have caught him doing something that you have established is crossing your line. Three times you have communicated to him this is unacceptable to you, and three times he has dismissed your feelings. It is time for you to be a grown ass woman and kick this looser to the curb.

Fabelle Fabelle June 19, 2012, 9:46 am

I guess it’s easy– I mean, you can post/search for the exact, specific thing you’re into & find someone in your area willing to meet up. Personally, I would never– but I understand why someone who is SINGLE or in an OPEN relationship would (if they can’t find a better site, that is…) I don’t understand why all these “committed” people seem to be into it, though.

An andecdote: one time I was hanging out with an ex, like a week or two after I broke his heart (not a good idea, guys!!) & I looked through his open e-mail while he was in the bathroom (ALSO not a good idea…) and I saw he’d replied to a shitton of Craigslist ads (and these were hooker ones, not just random people looking for casual sex) I don’t think he’d met up with any– but he did e-mail back and forth with a couple, some of them mentioning me (“My ex taught me to fuck pretty good!) so it was pretty disturbing. When I confronted him (which, obviously, I had no right to do) he said he was conducting a social experiment.

Anyway! There was no real point to that except Craiglist seems to be something people use as a last resort? Maybe?

Fabelle Fabelle June 19, 2012, 9:49 am

Which is not to excuse this guy, at ALL. I’m sort of just rambling/speculating/trying to answer why people might use Craigslist.

avatar ele4phant June 19, 2012, 12:06 pm

I get that its easy, but aren’t there like legitimate sites that facilitate that? I live in Seattle, and they support the LustLab. And even sites like okcupid allow you to signify you’re just looking to hookup.

avatar ele4phant June 19, 2012, 12:07 pm

Excuse, the Stranger supports the LustLab, not the city of Seattle! We’re not THAT liberal.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 12:17 pm

Um…Why haven’t we met up YET?!!!

avatar ele4phant June 19, 2012, 12:33 pm

Oh, somehow I thought I was the only Seattlite.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 12:37 pm

We should!! I’ll set up a seattle meetup in the forum :)

avatar cporoski June 19, 2012, 11:08 am

It is funny you say that. after reading this site about the girl whose SO was doing the interactive web thing…remember? Anyway, I told my husband at dinner that I thought that was cheating. He was like, that is crazy, I wouldn’t do that. I told him I didn’t think he had but I just wanted him to know that it is where I draw the line. It is a good thing to do in your relationship.

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 12:54 pm

Don’t look at me just because I’m a guy, lol. I don’t know why they think it’s OK. I think it’s crossing a line too and I wouldn’t do it. And I do think most would want to do more than just talk. I think it’s more of an ego/numbers kinda thing. And it’s an easier way to have more exciting sex (different people rather than trying new stuff with the same person).

Budj Budj June 19, 2012, 9:25 am

“I’m a grown ass man and can look at what I want” roflcopter…

That is the worst line I’ve ever heard….and totally not even appropriate in the context. You should just tell him he’s a grown ass man that will be looking for an apartment since this grown ass man has stupidly left a blatent e-paper trail of his extra-marital transgressions….grown ass dumb ass is probably more appropriate….before you do any of that obtain copies of everything you’ve found.

honeybeenicki honeybeenicki June 19, 2012, 9:42 am

“roflcopter” that made me laugh out loud at my desk in the middle of a quiet office. Thanks for that, as if they didn’t think I was strange enough! :)

avatar Suzanne June 19, 2012, 10:31 am

What is rotflcopter?

Budj Budj June 19, 2012, 10:34 am

rofl – copter. A helicopter that shoots lolbombs.

avatar Sunshine Brite June 19, 2012, 10:10 am

I know, right? I could barely make it through the letter. I have friends who joke that they do what they want, but I’m pretty sure their partners would say otherwise. They’d say that they’re caring and take their views into account… or they’d be exes. You know, like this guy should have been after he’d been caught a couple times ago.

avatar ReginaRey June 19, 2012, 9:27 am

I think it’s a pretty good rule of thumb that when someone has to repeatedly declare that they’re a grown up and can do what they want…that they are in fact childish and immature and are NOT very “grown up.” No mature adult needs to spout off about how much of a “grown ass man” they are. Please.

Your husband has approximately 0 respect for you and your marriage. He’s immature. He’s irresponsible. He’s creepy. Yes, creepy. It’s fucking creepy to pursue people on the Craigslist casual encounters section. Have you ever read any entries there? It’s enough to make any sane person shudder.

I don’t know how old you two are, or how long you’ve been married. But his creep factor, his skeeziness, his lack of respect and maturity…none of these things just *poof!* “appeared” after you got married. I’m guessing he possessed these qualities in spades before you ever got married. Given what you’ve written in your letter, and like Wendy said, it seems like you’ve overlooked quite a lot. I’m guessing it has something to do with a lack of self-worth, self-respect, confidence, etc on your part. Maybe you didn’t have the best example of a healthy relationship growing up. Maybe you married him because you didn’t know any better at the time.

Well, this isn’t healthy. And you no longer have an excuse not to know better…he doesn’t respect you and he’s trying to cheat on you. Buck up, LW. Buck up and leave your husband to pursue as many casual encounters as his heart desires. You’ve got better things to do, and better people to be with in the future. I promise.

caitie_didnt caitie_didn't June 19, 2012, 9:35 am

I totally agree that saying ‘I’m a grown-up and I can do what I want!” is an big, neon sign that this person is actually not a grown up. Much the same way that “well it’s a free country and I can do what I want!” is never used to defend something that is not indefensibly, hilariously stupid.

avatar kerrycontrary June 19, 2012, 9:51 am

I don’t think it’s really “creppy” or skeezy for someone to use casual encounters if they are single and are into that sort of thing. I think it’s completely dangerous, but perhaps no less dangerous than going home with a guy you met at the bar that night. Different strokes for different folks.

The problem with the letters that wendy has been getting pertaining craigslist have all been from people in relationships. Which is nuts.

avatar ReginaRey June 19, 2012, 9:59 am

I respect your ability to be non-judgy about the casual encounters section. I truly do. I just…can’t. I actually just browsed through the DC section, and it’s just…creepy. People wanting to come blow you during lunch. Girls wanting to f**k you for $90 so they can have enough cash to buy a MacBook Pro. It’s…so skeezy. I mean, I agree that people can do it if they want to. But what kind of intelligent, stable individual thinks it’s a good idea to meet up with someone you’ve never seen or spoken to before for sex?? Like you said, it’s freaking dangerous!

avatar ReginaRey June 19, 2012, 10:00 am

Oh, and the buy who wants to blow another dude while he takes a huge dump. No lie.

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 10:03 am

Do you guys call this a “blumpie” or a “blumpkins”? I’ve heard it both ways.

Budj Budj June 19, 2012, 10:07 am

blumpkin. ew.

avatar a_different_Wendy June 19, 2012, 10:20 am

I consider myself fairly sane, stable, and intelligent. I could be wrong about myself of course, but my life is pretty good. And I have posted on Casual Encounters when I was single and a little younger. I was pretty choosy about who I met up with, and was pretty careful about it. The fact is, I’d just gotten out of a long relationship and I didn’t want to date anyone, I didn’t even want the tiniest risk of any emotion developing. I just wanted to sleep with some random strangers. I’m not gonna say some of the ads aren’t really gross, but for some people it’s just exactly what they need.

avatar Anna June 19, 2012, 10:20 am

Really!? EWWWWW. *shudder* No wonder I don’t go on there.

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 10:08 am

RR, people use ALL kinds of sites to look for casual sex encounters. You might think it’s creepy/weird/dangerous, but it’s not uncommon at all. It’s not even just internet sites anymore, but location-based apps. WAY more people do it than you might imagine. Even intelligent and stable ones.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 10:19 am

ah yea i heard about one of those apps- you connect with people who are in like a 1 block radius from you and meet up… some guys in chicago were using it to rape teenage girls…

great stuff…

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 10:31 am

I think most of them are geared toward men who have sex with men (Grindr, Growlr, Scruff). I think the ones geared toward straight people are supposed to be more like “friend finders” or something less obvious.

katie Katie June 19, 2012, 11:39 am

Yea thats true… But that probably didn’t matter to the girls who got raped, you know?

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 12:19 pm

Yeah, but what I’m saying is that the girls may not have been looking for casual sex. And even if they were, it’s not their fault or technology’s fault that they were raped. It’s the rapist’s fault. Technology is just another way for predators to find prey; but predators are going to exist regardless of the technology, and if they want to rape someone, they’ll find a way.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 12:22 pm

oh yea, i just hate how “meet-up” sites or apps like that make it so easy. like the rapist has to put in almost no effort to actually find his victims. i just wish it was harder to rape people.

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 12:46 pm

Yeah, me too. :(

dandywarhol dandywarhol June 19, 2012, 11:35 am

One guy in Wisconsin (the town I went to college in, incindentally) met up with a younger boy, maybe like 13, and raped/harassed him. Hooray for technology!

avatar SweetPeaG June 19, 2012, 10:14 am

And I totally respect your honesty RR. Because I feel the same way. I *try* so hard to not be judgy. But, I am. Those sorts of ads kinda scare me as well. Give me the willies, if you will.

Blumpkins… yes. I will judge the heck out of people that are into blumpkins. I really just will.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 10:21 am

but do you (and RR) judge the people who would go home with a guy they just met at a bar? i see no difference, personally, in the safety risk and in the gross factor with those two things. i just think that the internet gives people an easier way to be really out there and secific with what they want to do sexually.

avatar SweetPeaG June 19, 2012, 10:35 am

I see what you’re saying- I do! You have a great point. Which is why I *try* to not be judgmental.

Creeped out is just my gut reaction to Craigs list ads. Sometimes our gut reaction is something we can’t change.

katie Katie June 19, 2012, 11:36 am

My gut reaction is the same, but I get that same reaction from people going home with others they just met in a bar… I guess I’m just for all inclusive creepiness about having random sex with strangers.

avatar SweetPeaG June 19, 2012, 12:58 pm

Well, I agree. Don’t get me wrong. Going home with a guy from a bar doesn’t seem safe either! I guess the whole “Craig’s List Killer” thing may have given it a bad name. Although, I know there are countless “Random Bar Killers” as well :)

Kate B. Kate B June 19, 2012, 11:32 am

I try very hard not to be judgy, too. But I will judge someone who’s into blumpkins (never heard that one, the things I learn on DW) and, I’m afraid I will judge someone who goes home with a random stranger from a bar. It’s just not a smart thing to do.

avatar ReginaRey June 19, 2012, 11:36 am

Honestly, yes, I will judge people who go home from bars with strangers. It’s a great way to get raped.

Kate B. Kate B June 19, 2012, 11:49 am

I mean, if blumpkins are your thing (New word of the day!), more power to you. I will respect your right to be into them, and I will respect your right to experience them whenever you can. But, I will still they’re gross and just how it is.

Kate B. Kate B June 19, 2012, 11:50 am

*think* they’re gross.

Kate B. Kate B June 19, 2012, 11:51 am

and *that’s* just how it is. Fat fingers, today. Good thing I’m not at work.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 12:42 pm

Right! Well, as Dan Savage preaches, don’t partake in a kink if you don’t want to, but NEVER make a partner feel bad or shameful for having it. Its just that, a kink.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 12:39 pm

Woah! RR not sure if you re-read this comment, but to me it came across as victim shaming. I think its the rapists fault, even if a girl went home with a guy she met at the bar. Plus I mean, most rapes are done by partners.

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 1:00 pm

yeah I’ve heard the number thrown around that roughly 75% of the time the woman had some degree of a relationship with the rapist.

Fabelle Fabelle June 19, 2012, 1:07 pm

Chiming in to agree, here– it was pretty poor phrasing, & implies culpability on the part of the victim. I understand the larger point RR was trying to make– that there’s always danger involved when in an intimate situation with a stranger (whether that person is from Craigslist, or from a bar)– but saying people “get raped” is a not-great way to express that.

Kate B. Kate B. June 19, 2012, 1:37 pm

I don’t think it’s victim shaming. No woman deserves to be raped. While it is true that the rapist is the one who makes the decision to be a rapist, I do not think it is smart to deliberately, consciously put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation without taking appropriate precautions. If you play with fire, you must consider the possibility that you will get burned. To do otherwise is foolish. You cannot control the actions of others, but you can do your best to protect yourself and not be a victim.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 1:51 pm

See, the underlying assumption in your comment is that the victim can prevent rape if they follow ‘certain societal rules’ that is simply not true. Rapists are the only ones who can prevent rape. Can we PLEASE start focusing on better training men in our society to NOT think its ok to force a woman to have sex EVER. Yes, I know its less scary to think that so and so was raped because she did this. I (insert Italics) would n ever be so dumb. Therefore I am safe. Its a false security.

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 2:07 pm

Maybe I’m just a pessimist, but I’m not sure what more you could do in terms of male training. I think 99% of men out there know it’s wrong by the time they have a sex drive–they just don’t care. Not really sure how you can get a person to care about something they don’t.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 2:16 pm

@Brad–by making the consequences harsh and obvious. Rapists who rape family members know the chances of being reported are minuscule. And men who rape drunk women know society will put equal blame on her and are less likely to follow up. If we can all collectively somehow say We’re NOT OK WITH RAPE. I think thats the first step to a better world.

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 2:17 pm

@Brad – maybe actually hold them accountable and punish them for it. If we weren’t constantly telling women it’s THEIR fault (because they dressed too “slutty” or drank “too much” or shouldn’t have gone home with that man from the bar), and making the reporting and prosecuting process such hell, then MORE women would report and feel less ashamed about the fact that it happened. Instead the woman gets scrutinized for her appearance and her past behavior, which shouldn’t come into play at all. There is no “perfect victim.” Rapists continue to rape because they know they’ll get away with it (among other reasons).

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 2:21 pm

@Lili – jinx! :)

Kate B. Kate B. June 19, 2012, 2:35 pm

I haven’t seen anything here that says that women who pick up men in bars deserve to be raped. I think we are all in agreement that rape is not okay. I do know that victim-blaming does exist and it does need to change. Until it does, be as safe as you can.

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 2:51 pm

I agree the consequences should be stiffer, but you have to be very careful when lowering the burden of proof. The example you raise about shaming a woman and calling her a liar because she had too much to drink is a good one. Unfortunately, that’s not as easy of a call as we want it to be. It’s just as easy to sit there and assume she felt ashamed in the morning and changed her mind as it is to believe some jerk took advantage of a drunken woman. It’s a he said she said situation. There has to be some other form of proof before I think it’s OK to send a guy to rot in prison for YEARS and be permanently registered as a sex offender. You don’t want to make it too easy to convict men by rape because there are plenty of cases out there where the rape charge was made up or they caught the wrong guy and convicted purely on circumstantial evidence. That hurts legitimate rape victims just as much as slut shaming. I’d like to see the penalty for false rape accusations be the same penalty as actual rape to help lower the rate of that happening (and it’s only fair she rot for as long as she was going to let him rot for). Thankfully it’s getting better now to prove that a real rape did occur thanks to things like DNA evidence getting more accurate and that testing is more standard practice.

avatar bluesunday June 19, 2012, 3:00 pm

I don’t think its at all unfair to ask women to be aware of the dangers that certain situations pose. At the end of the day, there are bad men out there that will take advantage of women. And they don’t care about the consequences. And as women its up to us to protect ourselves from shady situations. And that doesn’t mean they are at fault for any unwanted situation, but it does mean that said unwanted situation could have been avoided altogether with a bit of caution.

Kate B. Kate B. June 19, 2012, 4:31 pm

Brad, you’re right about the he said/she said thing. As a young legal secretary, my first job was dealing with sexual discrimination/harassment cases. About 75% of them were not about rape. They turned out to be about someone being dissatified with the way a relationship ended and wanting revenge. This really trivializes real rape cases.

Leroy Leroy June 19, 2012, 2:33 pm

pray tell why is it now offensive to acknowledge that someone had gotten raped?

Honestly you guys are the ones imputing blame, not Regina. If someone exposes themselves to a risk, and comes to harm as the result, that doesn’t mean that they deserved to be harmed. And warning people of risks, isn’t a form of blame.

It’s absurd that we’ve now reached a point where political correctness mandates that we can’t acknowledge rape victims or the circumstances under which rapes often occur. Because that’s not to benefit women, it’s to defend an ideological position at women’s expense.

Budj Budj June 19, 2012, 2:36 pm

but didn’t you know that smacking down PC means you are a bigot and ignorant?

Fabelle Fabelle June 19, 2012, 3:37 pm

I get what you’re saying– but women tend to be warned of the risks so often, that a good portion of people DO feel that a victim is to blame for putting herself in a potentially shady situation. I don’t think it’s necessarily a “PC” issue to try to shift the thought process away from “she should know better.”

avatar kerrycontrary June 19, 2012, 1:42 pm

Agree it’s victim-shaming. Do you also blame the college girl who is watching a movie with a male-friend of hers who gets raped? Or goes back to a guy’s apartment after the 10th date and gets raped? Or the girl who is babysat by her pedophile uncle Because that’s a lot more probable than a grown woman who goes home with a guy from a bar(implying consensual sex) getting raped. As women we should take every precaution to protect ourselves, but women should be able to say “NO” and have someone listen no matter who they are with.

Kate B. Kate B. June 19, 2012, 1:53 pm

No I don’t. You are right that we should be able to say No have people listen, but the fact is, some people don’t. The men in the situations you describe CHOOSE to rape the women. In these cases, they have carefully cultivated ther relationships with the women so that the women feel safe. In the case of the pedophile uncle or the male friend, this process has been going on for a while. Are the women still victims? Yes. Is it their fault? No. They are the victims of someone else’s decision to rape. All I am saying is that women should do their best to keep themselves safe and, in my opinion, this includes not picking up men in bars.

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 2:02 pm

Yeah, but it’s attitudes like this that perpetuate the problem – because the women are blamed equally for their actions, they’re less likely to report the crime and rapists are less likely to be prosecuted.

avatar GatorGirl June 19, 2012, 4:07 pm

@CatsMeow I don’t think she’s saying the victim is partially to blame by being in a risky situation, just that it’s smart to minimize the risk when possible. My little sister is going off to college this fall and I made sure to tell her about things like using the buddy system, not going home with strange men, drinking a glass of water with every liquor drink. Not because I’ll blame her if something, God forbid, happend…but because I want her to do everything to minimize her potential risk.

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 1:53 pm

Yeah I think lots of guys missed that memo that informed us that No doesn’t always secretly mean yes.

Kate B. Kate B. June 19, 2012, 2:12 pm

You are correct. And until that memo goes out, I will not be picking up any men in bars. No guarantee I’ll never get raped, but it’s the best I can do.

avatar Savannah June 19, 2012, 1:24 pm

A great way to get raped is to be near a rapist-thats actually pretty much the only way to get raped.

avatar Nina June 19, 2012, 1:31 pm

THANK YOU!!! I agree-it’s just not safe!!!

Kate B. Kate B. June 19, 2012, 1:39 pm

Rapists come in all stripes and are good at camouflage. Are you willing to risk your life on your ability to spot one?

katie katie June 19, 2012, 4:51 pm

wow guys- i think you took RR’s comment WAY out of contex, and way too far.

she obviously was not talking about victim shaming a woman who gets raped.. she was talking about the inherant dangers of going off alone with strangers. replace “raped” with… murdered, robbed, your cat getting killed, being beaten, eating rotted “homemade” food, spending the night in a roach infested bed, getting an STD, getting kidnapped and brought to mexico where your killed and your brains are used in a voodoo ritual meant to keep their drugs safe as the cross the border… i mean, literally anything can happen to you if you go off alone with a stranger- man or woman stranger, big or small stranger, rich or poor stranger…

that was the point. going somewhere with someone you know is dangerous. you could get yourself in a huge bit of trouble. you could lose your life. its dangerous. does it really matter the example of danger we use? come on.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 6:22 pm

…But how do you KNOW someone who is a stranger is dangerous? Also, if we want to use your logic to be applied to another situation, that is also blaming a woman who stays with a partner who has hit her. He’s demonstrated himself as dangerous. But she’s not preventing the situation by leaving. I don’t mean to be argumentative, I’m just trying to illustrate how underlying beliefs permeate through and lead to a lot of harmful to the victim type judgments.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 7:55 pm

you dont. its a risk… i mean, thats a moot point. you have no idea of course. there is a difference between understanding the difference between a seemingly safe situation that turns badly (like being a battered wife), and a situation that is dangerous from anyone’s perspective. i think that the vast majority of people would say that going somewhere alone with a stranger is dangerous.

my point was that it is definitely not victim blaming to acknowledge that something is dangerous. and it is also not victim blaming to acknowledge that you can get raped if you go off somewhere with someone you dont know. i mean, i know as a woman, whenever a guy even follows me for more then two turns in my car, the first two things that come to mind are omg im going to get raped and murdered.

that is just not victim blaming. its just not.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 8:01 pm

i mean really, i am very much against victim blaming as it relates to rape, but to go so far as to say that its victim blaming to tell women that its dangerous (ie they may get raped, among about 2000 other terrible things) to be in dangerous situations is insane. lets bring a little bit of common sense back… dangerous situations are dangerous situations and we should understand what those situations are and try to avoid them, educate people about them, and perhaps find ways to make them a little more safe. i absolutely think that going home with a strange man you meet in a bar is dangerous… but i am sure that there are ways to make that situation more safe- can we focus on that?

no one will ever be 100% protected from everything. life is a gamble everyday, and especially if we leave our house at any time.. but there are ways to make yourself more safe… and if thats victim blaming, then im all for it.

Kristina Kristina June 19, 2012, 8:14 pm

RR openly said she would JUDGE people who go home with a stranger because god forbid, they COULD get raped. That is victim blaming. I’m not saying going home with a stranger is safe (because it’s true, it’s not the safest thing to do–but neither is walking to your car by yourself at night in the city, and I’ve never gone home with a stranger so I don’t have any personal reason for or against it), but it’s foolish to think that doing that leads to rape, and equally foolish to judge someone for it.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 8:24 pm

actually, if you read the whole thing, we were talking about how creepy looking-for-sex sites are, and we were saying how we would judge people who put themselves in such dangerous situations…

a direct quote- “I’m afraid I will judge someone who goes home with a random stranger from a bar. It’s just not a smart thing to do.”

the “she openly JUDGEs people who go home with a stranger because god forbid, they COULD get raped” is something you all kind of assumed or maybe just completely made up… we were talking about how random sex with strangers was weird *in some of our opinions*, and there was a very unanimous decision that it is a dangerous thing to do. rape was an example. she could have just as easily said murdered, robbed, ect…

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 8:34 pm

But Katie, who decides that arbitrarily going home with a stranger is dangerous for a particular woman? What if she’s a trained martial arts expert, not that drunk and just really in need of a good fuck? The victim blaming and shaming come in when someone views someone as having ‘put themselves in the situation’ vs solely looking at the aggressor who committed the crime.

Also, can we please agree that the majority of crimes (including rape and murder) are committed by someone the victim knew, so classifying going home with strangers as more dangerous is just false. Because most people are raped by people NOT their hookup. I can start citing studies if that proves my point better.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 9:11 pm

lili, if you want to live in a world where educating people about the dangers of society at large is “victim blaming”, go for it.

i dont want to live in that world. i want to openly be able to talk about situations that will happen, to women and men, and talk about them honestly, and let them know about the potential outcomes of those situations.

you are holding on so hard to the fact that a women is sexually liberated and we can do whatever we want to do– and that is all true. but that DOESNT mean that we should just turn a blind eye to basic personal safety! are you serious? if i tell my daughter, niece, or younger sister that you probably shouldnt put yourself in dangerous situations -of which there are many, going home with a stranger is not the only one-, i am victim blaming her? no. im sorry, but no. i am telling her ways that she might be able to better protect herself then if she just runs around willy-nilly without a care in world.

and for a trained martial arts expert, obviously then the experience of “society at large” is a completely different one. that was honestly a dumb example. we are talking generally.

would it make you feel better if we took the sexuality out of it? i think the real problem is that you (you with this general opinion, not you personally) cant make sense of the fact that you can be a sexually liberated woman and also take measures to be safe. those two can, and do, happen simultaneously. and, even when all measures are taken, if something bad does happen, it doesnt mean you did anything wrong. you did what you could (what you felt was right at that moment, what you always did back in your hometown, what your martial arts teacher taught you, whatever) to keep yourself safe and it failed. that doesnt mean you somehow “brought it on yourself”. all those thoughts can exist together- they dont cancel one another out.

can we talk about ways to not get yourself robbed? would that make you feel better? ok, those things are locking up your things as best you can- that includes your car and your house (when you are there or not). keep your windows locked. another thing you can do is to carry a very small purse.. or, make sure your larger purse is always zipped up when you are in public. keep your credit card companies number in your cell phone, so if your wallet is stolen you can call them quickly to put a freeze on the accounts. always make sure you keep some money on your person that is not in your wallet, in case that is stolen you will have cab/bus/phone/whatever fair.

is that victim blaming robbery victims?

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 9:27 pm

I just wanted to take the judgment out of DW. Thats all.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 9:35 pm

then why would you judge someone for looking out for their personal safety?

that was what we were talking about. we were saying that *in our opinion* going somewhere with a stranger is dangerous. i mean, no one even said anything about being drunk.. the whole victim blaming a girl who was raped by someone while drunk was just pulled out of thin air here… i just dont understand where all the freaking out came in, and how now if we try to “be safe” we are victim blaming on another. read the thread again… thats where it went.

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 9:40 pm

I’m not judging people for making ANY decisions relating to themselves. The victim blaming came from that one comment, and of course like any online discussion it grew legs with additional comments added on by other people. So it DID take on a whole new trajectory from what you and RR were discussing. I think we’re getting worked up over seeing two different sides in the same thread. So lets just leave it at that.

Kristina Kristina June 19, 2012, 9:46 pm

I just wanted to throw this link out there..this article makes a great point about why telling people to avoid something deemed as risky and dangerous is still victim-blaming (sure it focuses on binge drinking, but its point remains the same):

http://feministing.com/2011/12/14/more-on-why-victim-blaming-is-not-a-good-way-to-prevent-binge-drinking/

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 9:49 pm

I don’t think anyone is saying to completely disregard personal safety. But when the topic is avoiding rape, the onus is ALWAYS on women to prevent themselves from getting raped. And never on the men who rape. Would a man be judged as severely for going home with a strange woman he met at a bar? Would a gay man be judged as severely for going home with a strange man he just met?

Usually when people tell women ways to avoid getting raped, it comes down to “Don’t be slutty.” It’s like a form of slut-shaming in disguise. And society as a whole condones and tolerates it. When the 14-year-old girl in Texas was gang-raped – and it was recorded, so there was proof that it happened – reports talked about how she dressed, and how she hung out with older boys, and by god WHERE WAS HER MOTHER. I think there were interviews where people said they felt SORRY for the rapists because now their lives were “ruined”! I mean, how could they know that a 14-year-old can’t consent, right? It ALL went back on her.

And if I went home with a guy and he raped me, and someone said, “Well if you hadn’t done x, y, or z then you wouldn’t have been raped” then yes that is putting the blame back onto me. RR said don’t go home with men from bars, or else you might get raped. What else might someone say? Don’t dress a certain way? (Yeah, people say that all the time). Don’t flirt? Don’t go on blind dates? Don’t ever be alone with a man ever??? Basically it boils down to “Don’t be overtly sexual” because then you might be “asking for it.” Right?

Lili Lili June 19, 2012, 9:51 pm

YES! Great Article. @ Kristina, you’re making the point I’m trying to make way way better than I am. I’m heading off to the gym folks.

Peace!

katie katie June 19, 2012, 10:09 pm

kristina, thats a good article.

like i said before, i am all for the stopping of victim blaming. that article really did show how people focus on “risky behaviors” instead of the actual rape:
“But you can’t prevent rape by not drinking, just like you can’t prevent rape by not wearing a short skirt”
i actually think that too much is given to the circumstances *after* the fact, and that is greatest insult. that can be applied to any crime- if only you had locked your doors, if only you had used a money belt instead of a purse, if only you had done X, Y wouldnt have happened to you. that is wrong, and that is what victim blaming is at its core. however, i do not think that is the same as saying, hey, these situations can sometimes be dangerous. it is good to educate yourself on them, how to avoid them completely, or how to navigate them in the safest way possible. and as i said above, just because you do take measures to keep yourself safe does not mean that if something happens you failed. those ideas can exist together- you can plan all you want to be safe, and it fails, something bad happens– that doesnt make it your fault. isnt that the whole anti-victim blaming ideal? that no matter what you do, the crime committed against you isnt your fault? that the drunk girl in a miniskirt is no more to blame for her rape then the librarian walking home one day?

the only point i am trying to make is this: the few of us talking up there said that we felt it was dangerous to pursue someone from craigslist, and then i asked if they felt the same way about taking someone home from a bar. and some agreed -kerrycontrary didnt agree, actually-, and thats fine. but we were talking about what we are comfortable with given our own boundaries and thoughts about personal safety. we werent actually talking about how you should avoid sexual assault, we were talking about personal danger in general. RR threw out “thats a great way to get raped” just as casually as she could have used “murdered” or “robbed”, as i have said many times. people freaked out because she used the word rape, apparently, and now we are sitting talking about this. i would have loved to see people jump on the victim blaming train if she had said murdered or robbed.. because i really dont think it would have happened. and i dont want to live in a society where the mention of rape and ways to prevent it ends in a victim blaming debate.

blaming the victim because of a crime and giving people the power to protect themselves are two different things, and if we start to meld them, that is not going to be good.

and for the record, the drinking that article talked so much about could be applied to pretty much any alcohol induced problem- getting sick (if only you hadn’t drank so much…), their cat running away (if only you werent so drunk you left your door cracked open…), missing work (if only you werent in an alcohol-induced slumber…), basically anything. so blaming binge drinking for rape is stupid.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 10:11 pm

@cats-

Would a man be judged as severely for going home with a strange woman he met at a bar? Would a gay man be judged as severely for going home with a strange man he just met?

YES

we were talking about personal safety, not debating how effective “rape prevention” is or is not.

LadyinPurpleNotRed LadyinPurpleNotRed June 19, 2012, 10:24 pm

@katie in an ideal world maybe. In the real world men get applauded for taking strange women home from a bar and from what my gay friends tell me… They do too.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 10:28 pm

yea, a good and unfortunate point.

i guess i should have said that “YES” was just from me personally. i think its unsafe. you have no idea who that person is you go home with and first, what kind of stuff they are willing to do (steal, rape, kidnap, whatever that may be), and second, where and how they live (ew- can you imagine??). those two things would worry me about anyone going home with a stranger.. male, female, whoever.

katie katie June 19, 2012, 10:37 pm

ok, here is my point:

if i ask someone about good ways to protect myself during my sexual escapades, and that someone tells me that i dont have to take any measures to protect myself, because if i do, thats victim blaming, im going to call them an idiot.

those are two very different things.

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 10:51 pm

There’s a reason many of the best Russian spies were female… Men can be stupid when their dick is involved. Hot chicks loosen lips (in more ways than one…)

avatar Savannah June 20, 2012, 3:02 am

Just thought I’d add this list of sexual assault prevention tips to the debate: http://feministlawprofessors.com/?p=12965

katie katie June 20, 2012, 8:05 am

ok, here is another example why jumping all over someone for mentioning rape is stupid:

remember that forum topic a young teenager posted about her boyfriend she was planning on flying to meet, alone, in texas? she lived in ohio. she wasnt even 18 yet. and she was having some gut feelings that situation might not be so safe. WE ALL TOLD HER SHE WAS RIGHT AND SHE SHOULD LISTEN TO HER GUT AND THAT THE SITUATION WAS PROBABLY SKETCHY!!! why wasn’t that victim blaming? where were all of you when we told her that she should probably think of her personal safety and if not completely cancel her trip, she should take some measures to make sure she keeps herself safe? why wasnt that victim blaming? why didnt you guys tell her to live her life the way she wants to, and if something bad happens, oh well- it wasnt her fault, and thats all that matters, right?

rape was mentioned there. so was sexual assault, so was being kidnapped and taken over the border, so was being murdered. why is talking about that situation any different then some people saying, you know what, going home with a stranger might end up in me being raped. id rather not put myself in thats spot. this girl came to us for advice, we gave her good advice, and no one yelled at us for victim blaming her. but now, someone mentions that rape is a possible outcome of a situation, and were all victim blaming?

can someone make sense of this for me? because all i see is people jumping all over one statement (that is actually true) and taking it somewhere where it was not meant to go. this is just like when i talked about a military guy who did some bad stuff- i was totally flamed for being “disrespectful to americas heros”.. i see this as no different.

Kristina Kristina June 19, 2012, 7:46 pm

Wow. When I saw this comment earlier, I thought it was completely asinine. And as someone who has been raped and sexually abused many times, it blows my mind to see some of the reactions on here and that people think that some level of victim-shaming is okay. In fact, nearly 9 times out of 10, the rapist is NOT a stranger. I get RR’s original point, but she inadvertently made a ridiculous accusation about rape victims, when strangers really aren’t even a majority of rapists in the first place.

Leroy Leroy June 19, 2012, 11:04 am

The ads on Craigslist casual encounters are definitely creepy and pathetic. It’s one thing to want casual sex, but Craigslist is specifically for skeezy sex and prostitution.

avatar melikeycheesecake June 19, 2012, 9:31 am

Unbelievable! Great Advice, Wendy!

Love this… After all, you’re a grown ass woman and maybe what you want — I hope what you want — is to not be with a man who has such little regard and respect for you.”

avatar bluesunday June 19, 2012, 9:32 am

Can this letter be on the tshirts?

avatar GertietheDino June 19, 2012, 10:13 am

Here, here!

avatar Morgan June 19, 2012, 10:15 am

Whether or not he cheated saying “Nothing happened and I’m a grown ass man and can look at what I want.” isn’t enough reason to leave?

CatsMeow CatsMeow June 19, 2012, 10:54 am

I think his rationalization for his behavior might actually piss me off more than the behavior itself. He has no remorse. None whatsoever. Plus, he’s an idiot.

avatar Bossy Italian Wife June 19, 2012, 10:15 am

The sad fact is that you love and trust your husband SO much that you are buying the load of crap he is trying to feed you. You need to, as Wendy says, realize that this man isn’t worthy of your trust and what’s worse is that he is playing on the fact that you trust him and using it against you!

You’ve caught him not once, not twice, but three times now…. it’s time to wake up and smell the cheater. He’s cheating on you, and if he isn’t, his intention to do so is palpable.

Divorce is an ugly thing, and I loath to recommend it, but Wendy is right. Print out those emails, take them to a lawyer and take his sorry ass to the cleaners. Because he’s right–he’s a grown ass man and he can look at what he wants–but you are a grown ass woman and you are entitled to HALF!

Brad Brad June 19, 2012, 10:18 am

“Nothing happened and I’m a grown ass man and can look at what I want.” He’s exactly right. He can look at whatever he wants. He can also have sex with whomever he wants. But if he want’s to stay married then perhaps he ought to take his wife’s feelings/objections into consideration because she doesn’t have to stay married to someone that ignores her feelings/is an asshole.

LW, It’s not a good sign he’s flirting with cheating and being so callous with your feelings, especially considering what you’re having a problem with is completely reasonable and your reaction to what he is doing is completely normal and justified. If he’s bored with his sex life he should be working with you to resolve this and not working up the nerve to cheat. His reaction to your confrontation is manipulation pure and simple. He got caught doing what he shouldn’t be as a married man, and so he’s trying to make you feel guilty/unreasonable in order to make himself feel better (dick move). Your husband needs a serious attitude adjustment in order for this marriage to survive. Perhaps looking into couples counceling is in order if he isn’t willing to openly discuss with you what his issues are. But for your own well being, don’t stay in an emotionally abusive relationship simply out of a sense duty. If he isn’t willing to stop doing something that you (and most people) consider to be out of line, then you have to protect yourself. Hope it works out.

avatar Amanda June 19, 2012, 10:53 am

This is great advice! I don’t want to immediately jump on the “Divorce the asshole immediately!” bandwagon because the LW and this guy have been married for six years. LW, before calling it quits, I would at least try couple’s counseling. If your husband is unwilling to go, then I would begin preparing for divorce.

Has your husband always been so disrespectful towards you, or is this a more recent development? If he has always treated you poorly, I would recommend that you get some private counseling to figure out why you allow yourself to be treated this way. Where is your self respect?

avatar SweetPeaG June 19, 2012, 11:11 am

I think the only thing that made me immediately jump on the “divorce bandwagon” is the fact that he was caught THREE times and each time, he showed no remorse. I fully believe that a marriage where cheating (or borderline cheating) has occurred can be saved. It is hard, of course, but I like to believe in forgiveness and healing. I like to believe that love can overcome. But, where one partner refuses to admit wrongdoing (when it is plain as day!), I wonder if he’d agree to counseling? She should try it- you both are right. I just doubt that this guy wants to make changes or even cares to put in effort for his marriage. All signs point to hopeless.

dandywarhol dandywarhol June 19, 2012, 11:39 am

Yeah, the fact he never felt bad about what he did is a big fat red flag. He was more pissed he was caught than actually upsetting his wife (at least it sounds that way). Even if it’s been 6 years, (which, in all reality, isn’t too long) there doesn’t seem to be much respect to stick around for.

avatar Rachel June 19, 2012, 11:32 am

Yes! That “I can do whatever I want” thing is totally manipulation. There are clearly problems with their communication and respect. Counseling is a necessity if she wants to save this marriage.

avatar painted_lady June 19, 2012, 10:20 am

“I’m a grown-ass man and can look at whatever I want” sounds like my kids. Not my high school kids, my middle school kids. The immature ones. The ones who throw tantrums and steal my candy. That’s totally creepy.

Also, get tested for everything. His grown ass is probably so damn grown he doesn’t think he needs condoms.

avatar Pinky June 19, 2012, 10:26 am

Dear Letter Writer,

Are you married to Anthony Weiner?

avatar bluesunday June 19, 2012, 10:29 am

Hahahah I know this is terrible but I love him.

avatar MarkD June 19, 2012, 10:34 am

He is not a man. Perpetual adolescent, man-child, cheat, sneak, coward and liar, yes. Man, no.

avatar Pinky June 19, 2012, 10:40 am

I work at a local college and sometimes I have to confront a student who is behaving irresponsibly/unethically/selfishly, etc. Often, they respond, “I’m an adult,” as though that’s a justification for their crappy behavior. Okey dokey, Mr./Ms. Adult. I’d like you to meet your new best friend, Dr. Consequences. They’re always surprised.

It does sound like the LW is married to a sociopath. Here’s a website with some specific details regarding the behavior. http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

Fabelle Fabelle June 19, 2012, 10:46 am

Love the example in your first paragraph– seriously, part of being an adult means adhering to behavior standards, appropriate for the situation you’re in. And understanding that there are consequences– or at least drawbacks– if you do not.

dandywarhol dandywarhol June 19, 2012, 11:42 am

Yes, I agree on the sociopath idea. Most people assume sociopath=john wayne gacy or something, but really, it could be anyone. I dated one. They have no remorse or true emotions.