It has been a while since I have written about spouse poachers. But, it appears the Corona Virus has driven them out of hiding. Like the film Poltergeist Two, all I can say is:
By Sarah P.
What is a Spouse Poacher?
A spouse poacher is an individual who strategically targets a married person, with the intent of establishing a sexual relationship, so that they can one day break up the marriage, and replace the spouse.
Contrary to popular belief, I did not invent the term “spouse poacher” and many psychologists had observed it, studied, and named it, long before I finished a psychology degree.
The first psychology study, which I have found that references the phrase “mate poaching” aka “spouse poaching” appeared in the early 1990’s, roughly 30 years ago.
In reality, this phenomenon has been going on for thousands of years. If one studies the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, there are entire chapters that warn young men NOT to fall into the arms of heavily perfumed, married women.
Technically, even King David was a “mate poacher,” when he sent Bathsheba’s husband into battle, with the intention of having her husband killed, so he could hide his affair with the pregnant Bathsheba.
In those days, quite a few marriages were arranged by families for the sake of wealth, political alliances, lack of wealth, or a myriad of other reasons.
The concept of marrying, for the sake of love, was generally seen as reckless. This is why tales and plays, such as Romeo and Juliet, appealed to the creative consciousness. These tales were both enticing and horrifying: star-crossed lovers were the forbidden fruit.
These were bittersweet tales and also moral tales, which meant to warn society that marrying for love, was unwise.
Of course, some people did marry for love, even centuries ago. But, arranged marriages were the norm in many cultures, centuries ago.
Today, we are told to marry for love. The Romance Novel Industry, is one of the most financially lucrative literary genres, since the idea of a perfect love story, captures the imagination of so many readers.
So many women are enticed by the idea of their own personal Prince Charming, who is perfect in every way: handsome, wealthy, monogamous, sexy, charismatic, spontaneous, charming, well dressed, articulate, funny, intelligent, loyal, and great in bed.
Unfortunately, people are not perfect and relationships are nuanced. There is no such thing as Prince Charming and this archetype does not do any favor to the institution of marriage.
Men are equally enticed by images of women presented in the media. Turn on any TV show, watch any movie, look at any magazine, and unrealistic images of women are found everywhere. Women in movies often have plastic surgeons, personal trainers, the best make-up artists on earth, and the best lighting, and camera angles. To make things worse, actresses are now heavily made over by CG.
For example, if you have seen, Wonder Woman, which starred Gal Gadot, you may not have realized you were not watching the real Gal Gadot. She was pregnant during the first film, and her body was completely computer generated. Her face was also airbrushed to perfection, since we now have the technology to airbrush videos. When the actress doesn’t even look like the person on screen, we are in trouble.
In essence, both men and women are presented with ideals that do not exist. Further, we are taught that when we get married, our sexual relationships will be as hot as ever and sometimes this may not be the case.
After a couple gets used to each other, their brains pump out pair-bonding hormones, which can deepen the relationship, but the “hot sex” that occurred earlier in the relationship can fade.
The human brain releases different neuro chemicals at different points in a relationship.
When the sexual hunger starts to die down in a couple, some couples believe that they either married the wrong person OR they might believe they have fallen out of love.
In some couples, one marriage partner may be open to the idea of meeting someone who rekindles that spark. Most people, meet those “rekindlers” in the workplace.
Almost 90% of affairs begin at work. But, not all workplace affairs are driven by spouse poaching. Some workplace affairs happen because people grow close over time, and neither party intended that closeness to happen.
Poaching is an entirely different animal. Poachers go to work – or to other places where they might meet desirable people – with the intention of “hunting” an individual. If both people are single, then no harm no foul.
However, mate poachers disregard the marriages of others. Some mate poachers get a thrill, when they think of having the power to break up a marriage.
What is the Primary Driver for Modern Day Spouse Poachers?
A typical spouse poacher wants something very specific, such as wealth and prestige. They are also keenly aware that marriages can grow stale over time.
They identify what it is they want, like wealth and fame, and they go hunting for a person who already possesses wealth and fame.
Instead of working hard and earning their own wealth and prestige, they seek shortcuts by breaking up the marriages of someone, who already has the wealth and prestige that they so desire.
Spouse poachers are heartless because their mindset is cold and calculated. They know what they want and they do NOT care how many people they destroy, as long as they get what they want.
I was speaking to a colleague and my colleague told me that in their area of the USA, a new kind of spouse poaching has emerged.
People have started to drive through wealthy neighborhoods, they write down the addresses of beautiful homes and research the people who live there.
If they find someone who might be worth pursuing, such as an investment banker, they begin to stalk the person.
They do something such as intentionally showing up at Starbucks, where the target frequents at the same time every day, to study the person they are targeting.
When it’s time to make their move on the target, they plan it out meticulously. They also study the habits of their intended target, so that they may “mirror” what that person likes.
Spouse Poaching: Truth is Stranger Than Truth
A couple of weeks ago, my husband was assigned someone from a new department to work with him.
She immediately started coming onto him and he showed me the unsolicited messages she sent. He also gave me her name.
She found our home address online and started telling my husband that she only lived minutes away. My husband contacted his boss to complain.
I pay for a service that allows me to lock my personal information and the service also makes me aware of online imposters, as well as people looking for personal information. My identity was stolen earlier in the year, so I have been vigilant.
The service that monitors my identity, sent me an alert, that showed this woman AND her parents were stalking my online profiles.
I was so creeped out, that I called the service and spoke with a customer service representative to ensure this was the same person. Indeed, I verified it was the same woman who was stalking me along with her parents.
As the customer service person scrolled through this person’s data, she said to me, “Oh my goodness. This woman has been arrested for so many things… this is so strange…”
I do NOT live in a gated community. I live in a quiet area, with nice neighbors, and we look out for one another. I will be installing more security cameras, floodlights, and “camera” doorbells.
What this coworker of my husband is doing, is NOT normal. But, she is just like millions of other spouse poachers. She sees a “short cut” to what she perceives to be a more prestigious life, and she wants that short cut.
I have NEVER thought of moving into a gated community in my entire life. But, now I am actually considering it. I cannot tell you how surreal it is to be going through this experience. I do not hate this woman and I would guess she has done this before. She also likely has more than one man (and wife) she is stalking.
Mate poachers cast the net wide, because they are interested in the MONEY and NOT the man/woman. Many female spouse poachers perceive men as nothing more than a “walking wallet.” They cast the net wide until they find the “weakest walking wallet.”
Spouse poachers see humans as OBJECTS for consumption. Many spouse poachers likely qualify for mental health diagnoses, like malignant narcissism and sociopathy.
Should we feel sorry for spouse poachers?
Well, I ask you this: do we feel sorry for a rattlesnake that intends to bite us with poisonous fangs?
I hope we love ourselves enough, not to feel sorry for rattlesnakes, that intend to poison us.
With spouse poachers and rattlesnakes, it’s probably wise to stay OUT OF THEIR WAY and go on with life.
We don’t need to sit and psychoanalyze why mate poachers act this way. We simply need to know this is WHO they are and do our best to steer clear and protect our families.
The most shocking thing is that mate poaching is on the rise. Here is a recent article from Psychology Today, which discusses this topic in detail. The new data on the number of men and women engaging in spouse poaching is shocking. Don’t take it from me, take it from the experts!