(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)
Jerry Falwell Jr. — the now-ex-President of Liberty University, a private evangelical Christian school founded by his father, Jerry Sr., that he had run since 2007 – is allegedly a cuckold.
The definition of a “cuckold” varies. The Cambridge dictionary spells it out as “a man whose wife deceives him by having a sexual relationship with another man.” The more streetwise Urban Dictionary says that a cuckold is “a man who willingly encourages his wife to sleep with other people because it brings him pleasure.” As sex and relationship therapist Joe Kort writes in his blog, it’s generally thought that cuckolding is when “straight men fantasize and/or engage in sexual activity with another man’s female wife with the husband present and watching (or not), but with the husband’s knowledge.”
Was Falwell Jr. a cuckold? That depends on who you believe. He recently resigned his position after certain reports of alleged inappropriate behavior emerged. (Falwell, for his part, told NPR he was simply “leaving because I think I’ve done all I can do. It’s better to leave at the top.”) The most damaging of these was a Reuters story that detailed how his wife allegedly had a years-long sexual relationship with a younger man and that Falwell would sometimes watch them while they had sex.
“He enjoyed watching us in person and also remotely through video cameras,” his wife’s alleged lover said. “He also listened to our phone calls.” Falwell Jr. and his wife, Becki, both deny these claims. But if true, then he’s definitely a cuckold.
Hey, that’s cool. Because you know what? So am I.
No, no, not THAT kind of cuckold. My wife and I — as far I know — have never cheated on each other, let alone watch each other cheat on each other. But in a business sense, I too have been cuckolded. Many times. I get cheated on by my clients and even trusted partners. I usually know about it too. Yet I still let it happen. Sometimes, I even watch.
One client, for example, once informed me that she was using a competitor of my company to create a specially customize add-on for a product that we sold to her and still supported. “You’re a good man,” she told me, “but in some ways you’re just…inadequate.” For weeks I had to watch, helplessly, while this other company — a much bigger and stronger company — had their way with my client.
And you know what? I kind of enjoyed it.
The competitor really wasn’t such a bad guy. And\ the way he delivered the goods? Well, suffice it to say it really took my client’s breath away. In the end, I even learned a few valuable moves from him – techniques and behaviors that I believe I can use to help further satisfy this client, as well as other clients, in the future. Being a cuckold is all that. It’s watching, sharing and learning. It’s pleasurable!
I’ve also been cuckolded by my contracting partners. These are the trainers, data specialists and consultants that I often use on short-term client projects. Although I’d like to say that they’re loyal to me, I find that many times they’re not. They do work for their own clients, and sometimes that competes with the services that my company offers. Like my competitors, I sit by and watch these people perform without saying a word. Look, if the outside work serves to improve their skills, then hopefully it will improve their performance with my clients too.
In business I’ve learned that it can sometimes be good to be a cuckold. I’ve learned that my company can’t do everything. I can provide very pleasurable services for my clients, but sometimes I lack the necessary equipment to truly satisfy them. When that happens, they sometimes choose to bring in someone who can better service their needs. The same goes for my contracting partners. I can’t provide all the types of things they desire, so they sometimes too feel the need to go elsewhere to satiate their wants.
I get it. I accept my inadequacies. Falwell and I are both cuckolds in our own ways. He allegedly allowed his wife to bring in another man to provide a desired service. I admittedly let my clients and others do the same. But over the years, I’ve come to the realization that my small business can’t be all things to all people. In the end, as long as my company is rising to the occasion, we’ll be able to maintain close, long-term client relationships.