Apr 03

Gemma and Clay - Sons of Anarchy

The act of dating your friend’s wife or girlfriend after he dies or leaves is always viewed as suspect from other males.

So men, answer me this: What goes through your head as a man when your newly dead friend’s ex-wife sends you an invitation to her wedding and the husband is his brother? Is it the same thing that goes through your head when a man gets a lengthy sentence in prison and you find out that she’s now sleeping with his best friend? What about the “best friend” who finds himself over at the military wife’s house weekly, then a few months later he’s spending nights? All very different situations, different people and different levels of loss and need from the woman’s standpoint but one thing remains constant with these: To the outsider’s eye it looks as if the man took advantage of her.

On the surface the sight of a woman being in love with a guy that was close to the family leads to many questions. Was he always eying her that way even when her husband was still around? Had he already been sleeping with her and moved in full-time once hubby was out of the way? Yet with this knowledge of how bad it looks to outsiders it remains a standard pattern, almost automatic that the man who the woman grieves with will end up crossing the lines eventually.

Why men blame other men in these situations

When someone has suffered a great loss (death, divorce, abandonment), it is very hard for them to think clearly due to the emotional trauma. In this state of vulnerability a knowledgeable player can slip into a woman really easily just by offering a shoulder to cry on. It happens all the time and the most frequent offenders are the “guy friends” that women tend to keep around.

Men don’t see it as an even situation for the woman who is the one going through the loss. We see her as emotional, wanting someone to take the pain away, and dependent on that person to help her move past the pain. When the guy who offers her his shoulder manages to sleep with her too (we all know sex is often used to bypass heartache temporarily) then he is seen as getting some easy ass at the expense of the woman’s lowered defenses.

The only people who know the truth are the ones together

Of course our scrutiny of the coupling of uncle and ex-wife is unfair and harshly judgmental, but where there’s smoke there’s fire. Here’s my view on it – As a man you know what can lead to lines being crossed and it is up to us (in these situations) to navigate carefully. Now if both parties are suffering the loss then the situation is extremely different and the chances of the scandalous hook-up is inevitable.

The guy whose brother dies leaving behind a loving wife that has no friends and family will find himself in her house bringing in groceries, fixing her appliances, or sipping wine as the hours tick by, reminiscing on how great he was. This inevitably leads to a kiss, which becomes sex, which becomes a vice for getting over the loss which in turn becomes a relationship. Different situation, but men on the outside still see it as a violation on the man’s part.

This all stems from our belief that a strong man can overcome these situations and stick to the code of “off-limits”. In our minds we see it as weak men with no game finding a vulnerability in a woman who he already knows. It’s like the nerd who asks his crush out only after she has been in his office for 2 years, assumes him friend, and shares with him that her boyfriend just dumped her. See there is no ice to break, no questioning her situation (he knows she has no man), and little risk. Basically it’s cowardly, and regardless of the situation it will always look bad to the outside viewer.

Have you ever been in this situation as a man consoling a woman or a woman being consoled? Did it lead to sex and do you feel bad for it having went there? Did the relationship last? Let me know what you think, and most importantly the main question is – did you catch hell from family members for crossing the line.

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  • MJessica

    I lost my husband last October. Our best man has been there for my toddler and I ever since. We have slept in each others beds and he has held me like no other. I have fallen in love with him however I know he will never kiss me on the lips because of ridicule of his male friends. My own mother even wants us together. His texts saying hey buddy are enough to brighten my day and I look forward to that. The person who ends up being with him will be the luckiest woman ever.

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