Monday, October 11, 2010

Is your Husband one of the 70%?

A new Brazilian study says that 70% of Brazilian men are either cheating or have cheated on... I didn´t quite get if it was ever or their current partner. 

Basically it is says what a lot of people already assume. 

So a lot of questions come to mind when you see statistics like this, such as, is this at one party and why am I not invited???

Seriously though, where and how are this much of the population screwing around... Oh wait.

1. Motels with hidden garages:  Yeah, you need to have an underground garage because your kids are going to get embarrassed that you and your wife still have an active sex life. Sure, that´s the reason for that one.

2. Culturally ok beers with friends after work without calling the wife or worrying about helping with the kids:  I´m not talking about going out with the guys once or twice a week. It is quite common for men in Rio de Janeiro to go out and get drunk every single night with their buddies.  Sometimes the wife goes to babysit, often she is not invited.  I ran into the drunk doorman of my old building one evening and he told me he was celebrating the birth of his babies.  I exclaimed twins! No, too easy.  His wife had their baby 4 days earlier. Another woman he met at the bar just had the other that morning.  His reply to my speechlessness was that it´s ok because he can support them both. Sure, that makes the whole situation just dandy.

3. Traveling for work:  Travel is necessary for a lot of jobs in this country. To Brasilia, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, hell they could have a girl at every port.  This doesn´t mean much but the sheer frequency of trips between Rio and São Paulo, for example, could open a lot of windows if you were looking.

4. Or while living in another city all together because of your job while your family stayed behind in your home town: This one totally caught me off guard. One of my first students worked in Rio and went home every weekend to his family in Victoria.  His wife didn´t want to uproot the family because of the new job.  That was not the last time I encountered that type of arrangement.  I don´t want to say that you´re asking for trouble there but you are asking for trouble there!

Doe that mean your Brazilian mate is going to be bringing you home a present in the form of something that requires a shot? No no no.  You still have a 30% chance right?  What on Earth can we do?! 

Well, we have a few options:

Castration. But then there´d be little to no point in staying around after that. 

Swinging, not at the playground.  This lands in the whatever floats your boat category.  Personally, I don´t have the maturity or lack there off (depending on how you look at it) to jump into this boat. I´d end up trying and then reverting to option number one and no one would be happy. 

Role playing.  Now this is fun for the whole family... if you take out the children because that´s just sick.  No your costumes can not double as dress up cloths thank you very much. 

In all honesty, I don´t think it has anything to do with sex, or in very few cases.  It´s a thrill of the catch or a new cow/old cow situation.  It´s a glitch in the personality.  A need to plant their seed. 

Personally, this Stat doesn´t bother me in the slightest. I have a very strong, almost delusional, trust in my husband. I see no point in marriage without it.  I figure innocent until proven asshole.  That and I studied statistics and know that most of them are about as reliable as a Brazilian bus schedule.

And you know what, I wouldn´t want to know.  I think the vast majority of the wives/partners of those men feel the same way.  I don´t think I could forgive him. It´s not my nature to forgive.  It´s in my nature to buy a hatchet. 

I think this is a what would you do post.  Would you forgive and forget?  Does this kind of statistic bother you? What color panties are you wearing? Oh wait, that last one is from the 70%.


  1. Monogamy is not natural. Luiz and I have an understanding: "What the eye does not see the heart does not feel." In other words, if you do hook up - I don't want to know about it.

    The other rule is that three's company, if we both agree.

    A life long commitment of love and support is way more important than having sex with the same person (and only that person) for the rest of your life.

    The stories that get me are of the Brazilian men who have totally parralel FAMILIES in two separate cities. That would break even our rules.

  2. Love it. Love the post. Love the comment. Ha Ha..

  3. From my experience/associations here, 70% is a gross underestimation for men. But ladies, don't feel so bad. The rate for women here is at least in the upper 50's ballpark.

    This is definitely a culture where they play the "I know what you are doing but If I don't see it, it doesn't matter because I'm doing it too" game. It is hard for us who come from a society where a commitment means something.

    I agree with Jim, monogamy is NOT natural. If it was, it would be just as easy as eating, drinking, know, natural stuff.

    Another thing, do you see how low the divorce rate is out here. I believe the reason is that members of married couples are too busy enjoying outside flings. There just isn't enough sexual frustration to cause fights and divorce. These guys have made lying, deception and delusion into a whole new art form. Marriage is more of an economic necessity as well as a stable anchor for any kids born to the marriage.

    Maybe we should just accept, "si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more..."

  4. I like to think that monogamy is natural but only because i really love my husband and don't want to be with anyone else. I love the idea of mating for life. Lots of animals do it. Why is it so unnatural for us?

    After having forgiven and forgotten (read tried to get over it and never fully let go or trusted him again) I would never "forgive and forget" again. Doesn't work.

  5. I'm wearing black panties with the word "Ronaldinho" on the back.

  6. Thats why I am a brazilian NOT married a brazilian man. Cheating is clearly open and culturally motivated there. Usually, if a guy is loyal to his wife/ partner, he is gonna be a joke among his pals.
    Famlilies clear accept and support their "boys" having more than one girlfriend... Their go proud how Macho their son is. While for a girl it would be a complet ruin.

  7. Linds - animals mate for life because it is biologically imprinted - they have no choice. Humans are monogamous only because of the particular social customs of their culture. There are still cultures where polygamy is the norm. Also, if you go back in time, polygamy was much more accepted social structure in ancient cultures.

    Ana Flavia - you are spot on! I remember at one family gathering, my sogra started telling everyone loudly how I, a gringo living in Brazil, should have no less than 10 girlfriends here within a year. That was a shock to say the least!

  8. We are not mongamous. Mongamy is only one partner for your whole life. Serial monogamy is the dominant sexuality, we stay with ONE partner for a given amount of time and we later can have another for another given amount of time(like series). Sexuality is really historical, spatial and cultural.

    In the western world polygamy was not accepted in the majority. Somtimes being gay was the majority in the ancient western world ( Romans Fun Fact: they loved using the penis in household art). It changed a lot.

    Sex is not always biological. The Japanese language didn't have word for "kiss" because they didn't kiss until the west influenced them to. We had Native American people who cross- dressed called "Two Hearts". Sigmund Freud was one of the first supporters for love (yeah we didn't marry for love before).

    How many Brazilians are married? I have not met many poor people married, it seems to be a rich and middle class thing. And divorce is really common. The law has even been changed here to award people benefits when they dont get married. Like, Rights to property.

    My husband is super loyal and I would never worry about Ricardo cheating. I think that he is really respected for this by his family and friends. Here the sexuality seems really oppressive. Rules like men need ten girlfriends. HYPER-MASCULINITY! That is the American parallel, a current problem in the black communities and hip hop culture (of course catching on with white "wannabes"). Men identifying their "maleness" by fathering children and the sex they have. Then everyone cries that we live in a messed up world. Come on!

    I don't think the US "norm" is it right either. Walking two by two down the alley. Having couples massed produced like their in some factory. Living, breathing and functioning just for your partner. yikes.

    But my husband and I make our own rules. It makes me really happy. Your post is so interesting and funny! I really think you brought up so many cultural ideas. kudos!

    P.S. What the hell is that photo of???

  9. Speaking photo,...Rachel, where on earth do you find all these awesome photos for your blog? I really have to give you credit....

    In any case, maybe I fall into the same mystified categorey as you but I think I know my husband well enough to know he is not in the 70%. I suspect economics plays a blind eye to these Brazilian wives that but up the cheating. Most of them don't work and their families would never support them leaving their husbands because they cheated on them when they should be putting up with it.

  10. Greg,

    What you wrote about "Brazilians not being as commited as US" couldn't be further from the truth, men and women cheat at the same percentage everywhere...
    There is no bigger sense of commitment in any given country...this is a childish notion to say the least.
    Humans cheat on the same percentage anywhere, some are hypocrites, some are honest...all cheat the same, it is human nature issue, not a commitment issue.

    Americans and a few other countries are notoriously oppressed and up tight in the sex department by a strong religious culture, but they still cheat, unfortunately even with children in churches, Boston, Catholic priests etc... let's no even go there...

    Maybe Brazilians talk more openly about it, don't get me wrong, I don't condone the Latin American way, I just think the differences are in the way it is expressed, we Americans might be more reserved about the subject, but we are no different when it comes to acting on it...
    I will give you that there is WE and THEM on many subjects when comparing Brazilians and Americans but I have to say, this is not one of them...


  11. Great topic Rachel!

    I am totally with Jim, I will take honesty over hypocrisy.
    It's all about setting your expectations in the right place, loving and trusting your partner and knowing where you are standing.
    Important NOTE to remember, not everyone cheats, not everyone needs variety on the sex department.
    People are so afraid to talk about it.
    Honesty is key!


  12. I have a Brazilian friend that's married for about 10 years. She's not in a open relationship, but she tells me that she understands and accept that male psychology and needs are just different from female's in the matter of sex. She loves her husband and she doesn't have the need of having sex outside her marriage, but she expects her husband to cheat on her, maybe because of his profile of an ex-surfer womanizer sort of guy. Well, although she's very possessive and jealous, she would say to him: "I hope you don't need to fool around with other girls, but if you do, at least think about the future of your family and never bring to our bed some kind of disease". I must say that they don't represent in any way or fashion the behaviour of a regular Brazilian couple. They just deal with their marriage their own way, as others do. So, saying it has anything to do with the "lack of commitment" of Brazilians is pure and simple generalization, a very primitive one by the way and, obviously, unfair, like all kinds of generalizations are. And I take it personal because I happen to be a Brazilian woman married to a Brazilian guy for 15 years, and we are committed people in every aspect of the word and we live in a monogamous relationship. So, not everyone is the same, and I don't think it's a matter of culture, otherwise, as Brazilians, we would accept it as a normal behavior, and we just DO NOT. Brazilian men, Brazilian women, Brazilian gay men and Brazilian gay women are NOT different from their foreigner counterparts.

  13. The image is of a cheating spouse. I think it´s like the husband caught the wife and is trying to shoot the other guy who is trying to escape. I find these pics with some luck and a lot of persistence.

    I´m loving all the views here!

  14. Awesome post.

    I was in a 7 year relationship where the closer I started feeling towards my partner, the more secrets he would need to keep from me. It was as though the secrecy provided some necessary space and distance from me. It was simply pornography and softcore drugs. Maybe it wouldn't have been that bad if it was out in the open, but the fact that he wanted that to be his very own, something I wouldn't know about, caused the problem.

    I think I learned something from this. Everyone needs some space in relationships. It's important to respect that for the other. Everyone needs their own ways to find fulfillment that don't involve their spouse. It's unrealistic to think that we can completely fulfill each other as 2 people. I'm not talking exclusively about sex. I'm talking more about what makes us feel vivacious, and effective, cannot only come from one person. But trust is super important for longterm relationship.

    I think that it's good to prevent our appetites from ruling us, for the sake of the other person's comfort and trust. The secrecy can cause a lot of problems, including but not limited to-- a break of the trust bond. So it's important to discuss.

    Everyone has different levels where they can say, that's okay for my spouse to do that. Some people feel terrible if their spouse looks at someone's ass,from worrying that it could escalate into all sorts of other fulfillment of desires.

    I would become medusa if my boyfriend had a secret encounter with someone else. It would tear me apart completely and I would become the nastiest thing on the face of this earth for a while. Because it's something we've talked about that is just not okay. Same thing with me. If I cheated on him, the relationship would be over. That's how it works for both of us. But that doesn't mean that we try to control each other's fantasy lives or who we dance with while the other is away. We have a line that we do not cross, and in crossing it, we would lose each other, or at least a large piece of the other person's heart.

  15. Rachel
    What a GREAT POST! Love your blog by the way, this topic has raised a very interesting discussion.


    I love you girl! THAT'S IT! You're just REALISTIC, HONEST and FAIR! That's the way to go! A lovely acquaintance from the blogsphere told me about your young blog, which I'm very interested to check it out. He told me that you're a down-to-earth kind of girl, and I just love it as when you are like that, you're most likely not to make the old same mistakes expats use to make, like GENERALIZING, UNFAIR COMPARISONS BETWEEN COUNTRIES and all kinds of biased and naive conceptions. As we say in Brazil, "você enxerga longe". I know that your start in Brazil has been a little rough, but I'm pretty sure that a bright future is ahead of you and your special one. PATIENCE is all it takes, believe me! Girl!!!! I wish you both all the best, my dear!

  16. First off I am loving the openness of everyone commenting on this post! What a great way to see what works in relationships for different people. I have read a few books on why men/women cheat and they bring quite a few compelling arguments. I honestly see how easy it is to be led down that path and why people feel they need it.

    As for me it would not be ok and I know that my husband feels the same. Since neither of us have ever gone through such an event it is hard to say that is how we will both feel in that situation. What is important is communication which will make or break a relationship if not cultivated.

    Thanks Rachel for such a great post! Keep up the good work :)


  17. Thanks G---!

    Actually after posting that comment I started to feel really exposed! I couldn't sleep, and when I did, I had nightmares about my ex! So I came back to this little conversation circle and it was so nice to get your compliments. Come visit me at my place (blog)!

  18. I think it basically comes down to whatever agreement a couple has and whether or not both parties are honest with each other. If a couple agrees to keep sex within the marriage bed, then to go outside of the marriage is to break the bond of trust. It's a form of dishonor, disrespect and a blatant disregard for the other persons feelings.

    On top of this there are many sexually transmitted diseases which do not manifest any physical symptoms until they are beyond being treatable. The Human Papilloma Virus (causes cervical cancer), Hepatitus C and AIDS are a few I can think of off the top of my head. The first two can be transmitted orally (kissing and felatio) so even simply smooching with some hot number on the street can bring an unwanted guest home to your beloved family. Including the children....

    I believe my husband is a man of honor,integrity and compassion. I trust him. He is fully aware of my views and we have both agreed to be faithful to each other. I also realize everyone has their moments of weakness. If he was to be unfaithful in a random moment of passion and he had no love for the woman perhaps I would forgive, but I would certainly never forget. If I were to find out he had a long term affair with another woman he had romantic feelings for...our relationship would be over. If he was unfaithful AND brought home a disease...I would hate him for the rest of my life and come back to haunt him after I died from the disease he gave me....