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Italy's Cheating Hearts
Everyone wants to know why Italian men betray their women
Many a woman has written to me to ask if Italian men cheat. Some women already know the answer and ask me why they cheat. I don't know if they cheat more than other men do, but the perception certainly is that Italian men can not be faithful. A completely unscientific poll I posted on my Web site showed that the majority of you thought Italians had more affairs than others. The events that have recently unfolded in Italy are only making the stereotype seem real.
Recently, news broke that Cosimo Mele, a married member of the Christian Democrats, a conservative party in Italy's parliament, was caught with two prostitutes, one of whom went to the hospital for a cocaine overdose. Billed a family man before the incident, Mele admits to the adulterous sex but not to the drugs. As if the situation was not embarrassing or absurd enough, one of his colleagues reportedly suggested that the Italian politician's travel schedule, which often forces him to be away from home for days at a time, is what drives people to have such affairs. And that the Italian taxpayer's money should be used to pay for the wives of these politicians to join them on the road. Mele was away from home for something like five days when this happened. Five days!
Now, I'm a journalist. I know that means I'm supposed to try and remain objective - and everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But reading these articles and statements in various European and American newspapers, I became outraged. Are these people for real? Can these men really expect us to believe that they can't be celibate for a few days at a time? How difficult is it really to remain committed and faithful to one woman and one family?
Personally, I know plenty of men who are Italian and can keep it in their pants - at least I think they can, hope they can. But in Italy, the suspicion has grown so deep - for both sexes - that the courts also recently gave the okay to bugging a spouse's car to determine if he or she is betraying you. That stereotype about Italians being jealous seems to be true as well.
Talk of these cheaters gets me queasy. I have an Italian boyfriend, who spends entire months living in Italy while I'm in the States. Listening to these stories of others, you can convince yourself of all sorts of things. You start to doubt if anyone is faithful and monogamous anymore. Separated by an ocean, I have to trust him. He has to trust me. And we both have to keep our jealousy in check. It's not always easy. But if you love each other and you're both good people who want to do the right thing, then it can be done. The hope of having a family together sometime in the future is a strong motivation.
My answer to all those people writing to me about the cheating men of Italy is simple. Every man is different. You have to listen to your heart and gut because together they will know if this man is betraying you whether he is an Italian, a Greek, a Korean, or a Martian. (Men, this works for you, too, if your lady might be cheating on you.) Asking some journalist who observes things and writes them down isn't going to give you the answers you need. But your instincts will. Go with them - and be well!
For more information on all things Italian, visit www.francescadimeglio.com.
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