Any man is liable to err, only a fool persists in error.
– Marcus Cicero
The refugee crisis of 2015 (that is still waiting to reach its peak) has highlighted the Western resource and wealth inequality to the extent, where people are no longer able to deny its effects. The most common stressor that disturbs the balance of any relationship is money problems. It is one thing to be unable to afford going out on Friday night, it is quite another to scavenge for food. Women and men alike have their breaking point. However, it appears that over the previous years, men have been more greatly affected by the recessions than women. Once survival is threatened, all bets are off. The balance of power in the relationship is altered beyond the point of return.
One does not have to be mentally or emotionally unstable to break it off, when one’s partner is unable to provide. In many Western cultures, this behaviour is even encouraged. In fact, one would have to be either so mentally stable/unstable that it borders on sociopathic tendencies to stay. However, it also results in countless broken homes and single parents fending by themselves. Although everyone should have to prerogative to act as they choose, it is hard times that determine the strength of a relationship. If we all were to stray at the first sight of trouble, mankind would have never made it to present day. Nonetheless, many blood-lines most likely only survived, because they did whatever was necessary to ensure the continued existence of themselves and therefore their genetic lineage. One may argue that the current disposable nature of society has driven its inhabitants to view their relationships as equally disposable. While divorce sky-rockets, few strive to patch things up, regardless of what mistakes were made. The problems have begun to extend beyond the relationship and can rarely be reconciled, merely overcome.
For example, adultery has less of an impact on the outcome of relationships than money concerns. Whereas many can forgive the occasional slip-up, constant financial worries are overcome far less often. From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that long-term relationships are hard work, but they are also very rewarding, if you are with the right person. After two years, the relationship is still relatively fresh, however, many couples decide to tie the knot after approximately a year (dependent on age). In other words, the length of a relationship only partly affects the impact of financial woes. When women are put in the position of fuel poverty, starvation or homelessness, the majority will seek a more suitable mate that can meet their base requirements. However, the minority are either so in love that it does not matter or they are invested in the relationship for different reasons. Although it is often assumed that sex is a primary reason for this, I’ve always found it insufficient and unrealistic. Sexual pleasure can cloud the mind so far, before other needs become more pressing. Besides, homeless couples rarely have the opportunity to be intimate. Their bond is one much deeper. Theirs is one that goes beyond the material. In fact, research suggests couples that endure traumatic experiences or persistent hardship are more likely to stay together. In a way, the trust that is forged between couples when surviving life-threatening circumstances is profound and far less often betrayed. Couples describe a sense of knowing their partner at their best and at their worst. However, they also emphasise the uncertainty of entering a new relationship with a new partner that may not cope as effectively. One particular couple that I was acquainted with suffered great ordeals, only for the husband to pass on from a fatal head-wound two months after they had finally resettled. The wife found herself at the beginning of a complicated, long-winded grieving process, in which she closed herself off from the world. The one thing we had in common at the time was the fact that she could not imagine a relationship with any other type of man. When she began dating after a year of therapy, she asked me to call her an hour in to provide her with an emergency exit strategy. Despite the fact, she was comfortable socialising, she was bored out of her mind, listening to his macho tales. All she could hear was incessant jabbering about the newest gadgets, newest fashion and the woe-is-me tales of ex girlfriends that were probably drawn way out of proportion. As was evident, they were rather ill-matched. For most women, a financially stable man is irresistibly attractive, but wealth can disappear in an instant. Bankruptcy, financial hardship or other unfortunate experiences affect the way a minority of women operate. Particularly, when it comes down to selecting a mate.
Few men and women cope well during financial turmoil, which is understandable, since it is a matter of working progress. In Apocalypse & the Middle-Classes, I explained that different social classes cope differently when disaster strikes. The lead-up to mass extinction is grinding society to a halt, in some of the most inhumane ways to keep itself going for as long as possible. Without adequate food production and distribution to all of the planet, over a quarter of the species already live in poverty without proper nutrition. Adding the refugee crisis to the equation only shows how thin we are stretching ourselves with highly destructive tools to feed, clothe and shelter all. Once more, it highlights inadequate wealth and resource production, distribution and renewal. The resources we take, we do not replenish. The manner through which we produce these resources is not merely flawed but environmentally hazardous. Without addressing the root cause of our problems, we are and/or will be forced to resort to extreme measures to survive. In sum, our way of living inevitably affects our reproductive behaviour. For some women that means trading up, for others that means turning tricks, but for a small minority it means to reflect on the bigger picture. Each of those three coping mechanisms have their roots in fallen civilisations. Although prostitution is thought of as the oldest of all professions, it is generally discouraged and disapproved of in modern society, even in the most dire circumstances. Therefore, it is a road less travelled. Looking for another mate is considered the more logical option. But when everyone is just as worse off, who are you going to choose? Mass extinction invariably impedes on the logic of reproduction, in times where the survival of the species is threatened. This could result in reproductive behaviour reverting back to a time when the sacrifice of one’s own life for the life of the infant was a common occurrence. In other words, we may revert back to a time when we would had to selflessly play against the odds of our long-term survival for the sake of short-term happiness. The brutal truth is that few would willingly choose that end, if push comes to shove. Conversely, there are always be those that will.
“Some people view love and romance as a sacred bond between two individuals. Other people see love as a game, where the goal is to manipulate another individual and gain emotional power over a partner.”
In conclusion, it is often argued that women are driven to go where the food is on an evolutionary basis, unless conditioned behaviour or other events supersede the most basic survival mechanisms. This is particularly the case in societies where farming is not an option or prohibited by law. It is inferred that this is what makes us more likely to cheat, but only a small minority of women have it so bad that it justifies adultery, as they could technically decide to leave at anytime. Commitment issues are only a small part of why relationships fail. Uncertainty, misrepresentation, distrust or outright deceit are all the more manifest in presence of commitment and abandonment issues. On a separate note, a former client of mine always used to say “Women are like money’s. They won’t let go of the old branch until they’ve got a new one.” Despite his troubled past with women, he has a point. Ironically, his statement is true for a large percentage of men and women. Research suggests men and women are more prone to jumping from one relationship into another when the partner is far from what they’re looking for and a more suitable mate presents itself. However, it begs the question whether emotional attachment serves as an indicator of balance in the relationship. As an unhealthy degree of emotional attachment can develop in any relationship, it is often useful to take time and reflect…To continuously invest effort and resources into the relationship as a sign of commitment, if it is one-sided can hamper marital bliss and equality. However, some are not capable of reciprocity, even if the issue is addressed repeatedly. Particularly, where money is tight and emotions run too high for personal comfort. In that case, one has to either accept that they may not change or walk away.