Why Gen. Petreaus Fucking Whomever is Really not my Business

10 Nov

Why Gen. Petreaus Fucking Whomever Really Should not Send us into a Tizzy: A Defence of his Mistress and an Indictment of Popular Hypocrisy
By Nate Thayer

I am disturbed by the voyeuristic dismissal, belittling and diminishing of the woman who CIA director General David Petraeus had an affair with. Other than being a legitimate national security issue, which has not been legitimately articulated to my satisfaction, the focus seems to be on the prurient voyeurism and shadenfreude watching successful people suffer as if we are enjoying slowing down to gape at a horrific car accident.

But equally as disquieting is how the issue is being seen, as significant as the news prominence clearly suggests, underlines the fallacy that far too many Americans have about the reality that most people like to fuck, and many do so with people other than the one they are married to.

Paula Broadwell and Gen David Petreaus

Despite what most of us proclaim and perhaps wish we actually thought–that monogamy is the norm of a marriage or any committed relationship– the reality is that monogamy is not the norm. Monogamy is something most people say they believe in and want for themselves. Every survey ever done on this question shows a high percentage of people think monogamy is important to marriage and that affairs are wrong. But such contentions of monogamy as an ideal contradict the large numbers of people that have extramarital affairs. Most people don’t intend to have an affair and most people don’t think it will happen to them—but it does.

The fact is that human beings are NOT monogamous by nature. That doesn’t have to mean they cheat. But to avoid cheating one has to be honest. You can’t cheat if you don’t lie, by definition. Statistics on the percentage of married couples who cheat on each other means that someone is having an affair in nearly 80 percent of marriages. People are bombarded with images of sex in advertising and marketing campaigns.

Conservative estimates are that 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair. These figures are conservative when we consider the total number of marriages involved—since it’s unlikely that all the men and women having affairs happen to be married to each other. Another way to look at it is if half of the women having affairs are married to men not included in the 60 percent having affairs, then at least one partner will have an affair in approximately 80 percent of all marriages.

Then when a Petreaus and his lover get outed, we tsk tsk and moralize. Public disclosure of public figures having affairs is headline news because we are fascinated and titillated by hearing of others’ affairs.

So for the record, I offer the following:

Paula Dean Kranz Broadwell is an accomplished adult married woman who entered into an affair and sexual liaison with another higher profile accomplished public figure, Petraeus. She made a decision, as a married woman, to have an affair with a married man.

General Petraeus and Paula Broadwell

She is no floozy. She was her high school homecoming queen and valedictorian for the class of 1991. She was state student council president, an all-state basketball player and valedictorian of her high school class.

Paula Broadwell is, as of this week, besides becoming a public spectacle with insinuations of being a slut and dishonorable, is a research associate at Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership and a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.

She has lived, worked, or traveled in more than 60 countries during more than fifteen years of military service and work in geopolitical analysis and counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations. She has served with the U.S. intelligence community, U.S. Special Operations Command, and FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces. She has written for the New York Times and Foreign Policy’s Best Defense blogs, and published op-eds in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and The Boston Globe as well as chapters in books on counterinsurgency, transformational leadership, and women in defense.

Broadwell graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1995 and was Class Secretary, and graduated number one physically in her class along with a degree in Political Geography and Systems Engineering. In the U.S. military, she had a commended military intelligence career, serving in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies as well as a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She was Director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Afterwards, she began a Ph.D. program at Department of War Studies at King’s College London. After active duty, she is now a Major in the United States Army Reserve.

After a University of Denver dual masters degree in International Security and Conflict Resolution, her proficiency in Arabic and Middle East studies resulted in years working in the Middle East and south Asia. She was given a full doctoral scholarship and a fellowship from Harvard University for study in Syria and Iraq. She is the co-author with respected journalist Vernon Loeb of All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, a biography and profile of David Petraeus

Paula Broadwell and CIA director Gen. David Petreaus

The reasons for fucking people other than ones spouses are legion and varied: Attraction: sex, companionship, admiration, power, novelty, excitement, risk, challenge, curiosity, enhanced self-image, falling in love, desire to escape or find relief from a painful relationship, boredom, to punish one’s partner, need to prove one’s attractiveness or worth, desire for attention, and on and one. Take your pick. The unspoken elephant in the room is that just plain feels good.

Affairs happen in non-marital, “committed” relationships as well as within marriage, but most of the statistics deal only with “extramarital” affairs. These statistics began with Kinsey reported, with samples included 5,000 men, showed that by age 40, 50 percent of the men had extramarital affairs. Kinsey’s study of 6,000 women showed that by age 40, 26 percent of the women had extramarital sex.

So the chasm between popular protestations and reality is a wide gap of hypocrisy. Really the issue is honesty, not fucking more than one person. In other words, not withholding relevant information. I would suggest one can’t avoid affairs without discussing the issue.  It contributed to a cycle of dishonesty that is the unspoken reality that fuels the fictional portrait of the reality of human sexuality. It is absurd to deny for either men or woman, regardless of their marital status of being attracted to someone else. If they don’t admit these attractions, then they won’t admit being tempted. If they don’t admit being tempted, then they are creating a foundation of dishonesty, and that foundation of dishonesty lays the groundwork for acting on what is a normal human emotion–sexual attraction. This fuels jealousy, suspicion, and ultimately infidelity. In my final estimation, you can’t cheat if you don’t lie by definition.

By assuming a commitment to honesty, rather than monogamy, then one avoids the fallacy that attractions to others are other than inevitable, regardless of how much they love each other. And therefore creates a realistic foundation of honest communication about the reality of the sexual attraction and how to act or not on them. The effect is honesty replaces suspicion with trust, making it more likely that a monogamous relationship will result. But more important an honest and respectful one won’t be undermined and often destroyed. Trust is far more an important quality in a relationship, that one won’t deceive the other, than the proven failure of eradicating and denying normal sexual feelings.

Statistics vary but include that 60% of married men and 40% of married woman have had sex with someone other than their wife at least once during their married lives. Even more relevant is the statistic that 70 percent of married women and 54 percent of married men did not know of their spouses’ extramarital activity. Something to ponder is the absurd discrepancy that 90 percent of Americans believe adultery is morally wrong although 50 percent of Americans say President Clinton’s adultery made his moral standard “about the same as the average married man,” and the even more preposterous statistic that 35 percent of Americans thought adultery should be a crime in the United states. An important interesting additional statistic is few of those who divorce as a result marry the person with whom they are having the affair, with one survey finding only 3 percent of the 4,100 successful men surveyed eventually married their lovers and the divorce rate among those who married their lovers was 75 percent. In 2012, One-third of divorce litigation is caused by online affairs and approximately 70% of time on-line is spent in chat rooms or sending e-mail; of these interactions, the vast majority are romantic in nature. 57% of people have used the Internet to flirt. 38% of people have engaged in explicit online sexual conversation. 31% of people have had an online conversation that has led to real-time sex. 2 out of 3 women and 3 out of 4 men admit they have sexual thoughts about co-workers. 86% of men and 81% of women admit they routinely flirt with the opposite sex. 75% of men and 65% of women admit to having sex with people they work with.

The existences of sexual taboos combine to make it difficult for most partners to talk honestly about sex. We get conditioned in deception when it comes to sex—engaging in sexual activity while hiding it from those we love and respect otherwise. Really if one thinks about it, it isn’t just counterproductive and futile, it is goofy. Not to mention that the secrecy and deception contributes to more affairs because the belief that dishonesty will be successful leads many to believe they won’t get caught.

3 Responses to “Why Gen. Petreaus Fucking Whomever is Really not my Business”

  1. jp morellans November 10, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    How do you know she wasn’t a jewish Mossad agent in a honeytrap plot to download his emails try to get USA dragged in to WWIII?

    Like

    • Nate Thayer November 10, 2012 at 4:32 am #

      I don’t. I suspect (and certainly hope) your are commenting in jest. If not, I suggest that you immediately engage in a particularly raucous sexual liaison as therapy. The fact she held top secret secuirty clearances suggests that whosoever’s job it is to determine she was not employed by whom you suggest determined she was not a Mossad agent. Humour is difficult to translate in cyberspace, but under the assumption that was your intent, I chuckled. Briefly

      Like

      • Phil Mele November 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

        It is definately a matter of national security. Many conspiracy theorists would agree that Kennedy was probably execute because of national security issues. If your not one to fall for conspiracies I have a good one for you, Santa Claus. I mean how could so many people not speak of something.

        Like

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