April 04, 2005

Secret, Second Lives of Men


Snapshots In My Time...
Of My Time.....Hauntings.

I was reading the obit for Johnny Cochran and I came across some interesting tidbits that got me thinking. He had a secret second family with kids and everything. I began to think about our society and that while we tend to stress monogomy and try to live that way, a lot of the world does not. Maybe most of the world does not adhere to that. Polygamy is really commonplace. Look at the Mormons. That has been the staple of their religion forever.

Outside of the western world polygamy is the norm and is accepted just about everywhere. One source says:
"Although the percentage of men in the world who have more than one wife is relatively small, as many as a third of the world's population belongs to a community that allows it, says Israeli anthropologist Joseph Ginat."
In my study of cultural anthropology when I was in college I learned that there are plural marriages in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and here in the west with religious groups like the Mormons. I also think that some pagans have plural marriages as well in addition to some muslims and some jews in the Mediterranean. Some native American tribes have also had plural marriages as well.

In American society many times when relations are strained, the husband simply deserts his wife. Then he cohabits with a prostitute or other immoral woman without marriage. Actually there are three kinds of polygamy practiced in Western societies:

  1. serial polygamy, that is, marriage, divorce, marriage, divorce, and so on any number of times;
  2. a man married to one woman but having and supporting one or more mistresses;
  3. an unmarried man having a number of mistresses.
Why is it that when it happens in our western society it is such a scandal? We have rules and we have taboos in our culture but it seems that most men do not follow the rules. They can run around with various women and are looked upon as a "man about town," or a "ladies man." Let a woman do that and she is seen as being loose or skanky. It seems that noone really sees anything bad when a man runs around with lots of women. It does not hurt their reputation. It is more like a notch on their belt. Something that guys and their buddies would high five and butt chests together on.

Why have we not heard the great scandal of leading a double life? I mean not just an affair but having whole families and homes set up in other cities with kids and all?

Look at Johnny Cochran.

Flamboyant in public, he kept his private life shrouded in secrecy, and when some of those secrets became public following a 1978 divorce, they were startling.

His first marriage, to his college sweetheart, Barbara Berry, produced two daughters, Melodie and Tiffany. During their divorce, it came to light that for 10 years Cochran had secretly maintained a "second family," which included a son.

When that relationship soured, his mistress, Patricia Sikora, sued him for palimony and the case was settled privately in 2004.


Look at Charles Kuralt.

The "On the Road" correspondent lived a dual existence for nearly three decades.
June 8, 1999 | Charles Kuralt, CBS's folksy "On the Road" correspondent, spent years exploring America's out-of-the-way places in search of oddball stories. But the best story may have been the one he never told.

For 29 years, until his death in 1997, he apparently kept a mistress and maintained a second family. The celebrated journalist was, in effect, husband and father to them, as well as breadwinner, friend and hero.

While his wife remained at their home in the concrete canyons of New York City, he nurtured his secret life along a rushing trout stream in Montana.

None of this would come out, however, until after his death, when his mistress, Patricia Elizabeth Shannon, sued to get a Montana retreat he promised her. Montana's Supreme Court ruled last month that the woman is entitled to a trial on her claim.

Look at Charles Lindbergh

He had the reputation of a faithful husband and exemplary father, was considered strict and disciplined. But what do we really know about the legendary pilot Charles Lindbergh, the first man to cross the Atlantic? How could he keep three love relationships and seven illegitimate children secret from the world for decades? Almost 30 years after his death his secret has been lifted: The American national hero led a perfectly hidden double life in Europe. The biography is being written in collaboration with the three German children of Charles Lindbergh. It will contain a selection of love letters written by Lindbergh to Brigitte Hesshaimer and as yet unpublished photos.

He had the reputation of a faithful husband and exemplary father, was considered strict and disciplined. But what do we really know about the legendary pilot Charles Lindbergh, the first man to cross the Atlantic? How could he keep three love relationships and seven illegitimate children secret from the world for decades? Almost 30 years after his death his secret has been lifted: The American national hero led a perfectly hidden double life in Europe. The biography is being written in collaboration with the three German children of Charles Lindbergh. It will contain a selection of love letters written by Lindbergh to Brigitte Hesshaimer and as yet unpublished photos.

DNA tests carried out by a university medical centre in Munich have supported the claim that Charles Lindbergh fathered three illegitimate children in Germany.

Lindbergh, portrayed as a happily married man, fell in love with Brigitte Hesshaimer in 1957. It was only when she died in 2001 that the children came forward.

Lindbergh supported the family financially and visited them regularly.

Why can't men just be happy with one woman? That is the age old search of evey woman. To find the one man who just wants her. That has been my search and trust me I have been unsuccessful. I do not know where the monogamous men are. I sure would like to know where they are hiding. Or maybe they are hiding from me? When I look back there has not been one person I have dated who was ever faithful. But me, I always was. That is the way of women. To be faithful and loyal and to stand by our men. Unfortunately they do not stand by us. If anyone knows where the monogamous men are, please send me an email! Leave me a comment!! Just tell me where they are!

5 comments:

  1. It´s a very interesting thought. Then there are the differences to be found in matriarchies rather than partiarchies, Iceland for instance is closer to the former I´d say. Upon marriage (although cohabitation is the norm) it is far more usual to stay with the wifes family if needs be and family relations always seem stronger on that side. Then there is also the question of the modern day fact that a large part of men are now bringing up other mens children due to previous divorces or splitups.... just a thought ;-P
    Oh and I normally refer to number 1. as being serial monogamy ;-) You are faithful to one for a certain time, then the next...

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  2. Great commentary, and excellent writing. However, I must clarify that Mormons do not practice polygamy.

    From their FAQ: "This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church. . . . If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church."


    http://www.mormon.org/question/faq/category/answer/0,9777,1601-1-114-3,00.html

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  3. thanks for the clarification point-n-click. i do work with several mormoms and they of course do not have multipel wives. it was my understanding that long ago they did have multiple partners, eventhought things have now evolved away from that.

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  5. I have been in several relationships where men cheat, and as I do not belive in cheating, I never have. (If you don't like him, move on, why cheat?) but I must say there are women out there who do. So we can't really say that it is the ay of women to be faithful. And shame on the ones that do, who might just scar a few of the good ones out there. I'd like to know if there is a secret society of good looking, unmarried, heterosexual, non cheaters, non beaters men out there. If so take me to your leader XD

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