Men, like women, are intimacy seekers. The men whom I know who had affairs had them primarily to find someone who made them feel good about themselves, made them feel desirable. Men cheat out of a sense of brokenness. That’s why the most common refrain among married men to their mistresses is, “My wife doesn’t understand me.” And he thinks that some other woman would, when all along he could have made the effort to open up emotionally to his wife and find new erotic opportunities, and the feeling that he is a success, within the confines of marriage and monogamy.
But advice givers like Dan Savage do their readers an injustice when they allow men to devolve back into the bad behavior that has all too long characterized the male species. They likewise do a disservice when raging at the Bible in front of impressionable youth rather than promoting further harmony between religion and reason, faith and modernity.
Written in memory of Machla Dabakarov, the mother of a dear friend of Rabbi Shmuley, who passed away last year.