Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Economic Cost of an "Outside Woman"

Everyone acknowledges that to philander is morally reprehensible on the most basic level but few often rationally consider the economic cost associated with the activity even more so when one is in a committed relationship. This article considers the associated costs of the practice especially when considering that no man has unlimited resources and must use these limited resources to maximise his overall well-being.  

1. The costs of gifts and tokens of appreciation that must be provided to both/all women to maintain the façade that a special relationship still exists. He must ensure that he remembers to buy gifts for Mary and Jane for their anniversaries,  birthdays, valentines day, Christmas day, special carnival fetes etc. Engaging in adulterous behaviour essentially doubles expenditures on gifts, movies, dinners and other entertainment related expenses. 

This principle is predicated on the fact that all voluntary relationships occur because either party  perceives to derive some benefit from engaging in the relationship -whether pecuniary or otherwise.


2. Extensive time, another limited resource, is spent establishing second or third relationships through long conversations and romantic encounters. Time that could otherwise be spent more productively advancing work or academic careers or at home doing chores, helping children with their homework or spending quality time with family. Your most precious resource -your time is sacrificed.

3. Reputational damage / Loss of Honour and Respect - What is in darkness eventually comes to light and this usually means you are negatively branded as dishonest and untrustworthy throughout your community and even within your working environment when you are ultimately exposed. This damage to your reputation not only impacts personal relationships within your social circle but also potential job prospects and promotion opportunities which hinge to a large extent on trust.



4. Reprisal often follows when lovers become jaded. This often leads to property damage when revenge seekers take their frustrations out on philanderers at substantial cost. The philanderer is also forced to take costly steps to avoid or protect themselves or their property from attack. e.g.  taking alternative commute routes, installations of cameras, changing phone numbers, parking in secure locations, changing bank accounts, locks etc.


5. Reduction in Productivity Due to Emotional Distraction and Distress Distractions also detract from your overall performance and consequent well being. Strong, uncomfortable emotions, such as fear, anger, sadness, and shame are difficult to deal with, even sometimes leading to unhealthy coping strategies including alcohol and drug use further inhibiting performance. Though many men may pretend to be immune or suppress these feelings they cannot subvert the human phenomenon that is emotion and its spill over effects into day to day living.



6. Increased health risk - Apart from the associated stress of engaging in external relationships there also exists the very real risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases STDs. After all if a woman is willing to engage you in a sexual act in spite of your existing commitment, what will restrain her from engaging with another sexual partner even whilst already sexually involved. 


7. The Cost of Divorce Proceedings 


"Marriage is Grand divorce is 50 Grand!"
Unfortunately the untimely death of marriages is the likely outcome of extramarital affairs and the cost of ending a marriage comes at a significant cost. Most notably the legal costs and impact of legal proceeding will be more adverse in the case of infidelity. This occurs because a jaded spouse will likely adopt an adversarial approach and be aggressive in coming after alimony, child support, visitation rights and of course the division of marital property.

The following only outlines the associative cost on the first person and does not consider the negative impacts on the second and third parties; including the emotional and psychological damage. Perhaps highlighting the above may serve to encourage philanderers to reconsider the costs of their actions, which are often ignored. 

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