Tag Archives: Cheating

FOR WOMEN: Why Men Stray And How to Prevent Cheating

It is estimated that 65% of divorces occur  because of an extra martial affair. And, despite the sexual revolution and the reduction of the “double standard,” more men still cheat than women. Now science shows us why this gender imbalance might exist.

First, there could be a genetic link. Swedish researchers recently identified an infidelity gene, which is present in four of 10 men. This gene can explain why some men are more prone to stormy relationships and bond less to their wives or girlfriends. However, it’s important to remember that biology is not destiny. People born with genetic predispositions to say, heart disease or obesity, make lifestyle adjustments that compensate for the negative gene.

Secondly, men may find it easier to cheat because they feel less than woman. A Spanish study recently revealed that the interpersonal sensitivity of men (especially those aged between 25-33) is low compared to women. This clearly could affect a man’s ability to empathize with his partner. The study also showed that men feel less intense guilt and this difference is particularly stark in the 40-50-year-old age group, a group particularly vulnerable to the mid-life crisis affair.

Finally, more men fear emotional intimacy and more than do women. Believe it or not, some men find lovers so they can  avoid any real intimacy. Emotional closeness and the expression of vulnerability that goes with it scares many men, so they distance themselves from their wives by cheating on them. At the same time,  they don’t get too emotionally involved with their lovers. This kind of “watering down of the milk” feels safer to some men.

As always, my solution to bullet-proof relationships is to grow a bond through emotional intimacy. To make a relationship  rock-solid, one must move a step or two closer to the bone, and hone some relationship skills. Compassion can be learned. Fair-fighting is a skill. And stonewalling is a killer of all connection. Intimacy is not easy nor pain free. Extreme emotional intimacy and mutual care may involve squeamish feelings of shame, the forced expression of awkward words, an ability to see the ugly in others and still love them, and worse,  the ability to glaringly see the ugly in ourselves and still feel lovable. But the pay-back is pure kryptonite. An I’ve-got-your-back-if-you’ve-got-mine emotional contract that can make your relationship affair-proof.

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FOR COUPLES: How To Forgive A Cheater

what-to-do-when-husbands-cheatLet’s face it, sexual infidelity is probably one of the worst things that can happen to a couple. But many, many couples are able to survive a bout of infidelity and stay together. In some cases, those couples say that their relationship quality got even better  — working through the transgression created an even deeper bond.

Studies of couples who survived cheating, found that the partners had a much easier time forgiving when the cheater self-reported rather than having the shameful event of having someone telling them. But whether you found out through a tip or a confession, here are three ways to survive infidelity:

1. Seek professional help. It is much easier to process your feelings with the guidance of a caring therapist. Remember, a therapist considers the relationship to be the patient and rather than taking sides, will work to help you make the relationship healthy again.

2. Minimize the event. Research shows that when a partner is able to consider the infidelity as a one-time thing and not make it explode into feelings that your partner is untrustworthy about every thing, it is easier to get back into a place of love and respect.

3. Fight the Feeling of Being a Victim. When ever couples have conflict, if one person constantly goes into a victim act, defending themselves, it shuts the lines of communication or creates a bickering war over who was more victimized. Instead of playing the victim, empower yourself with thoughts that the affair is a challenge to the relationship, that you can meet and solve.

Remember, forgiveness is a gift to yourself. Holding resentment is like drinking poison and hoping someone else will die. For more tips of other types of forgiveness, watch my video, HOW TO FORGIVE SOMEONE, here:


FOR COUPLES: Can Open Marriages Work?

couple-cheatingPeople often pose the question to me, is cheating really that bad? Does it have to be a deal breaker in a relationship? My answer is no. Sometimes a discovered act of infidelity can bring a couple closer as they work through the pain and come to a place of understanding and forgivness.

But open marriages are different. First of all, permission to cheat does not remove the inherent risks of introducing a third or fourth body to the relationship, risk that include STDs, a broken heart if the new partner isn’t prepared, or even a potential stalker. These are things an imaginary fling would never have.

Let’s break it down to biology. For most men, sex can be just sex. However, women have the hormone oxytocin released during orgasm and sexual activity that bonds many women with a sexual partner. For many women having sex is much more than just a romp. It’s an emotional act. Many argue that women cheat as often and in the same way as men. The research shows that women do cheat, but still not as often as men, and a good proportion of those women cheat because they are looking for a new relationship.

Some people believe that monogamy is a term invented by modern day humans. Many think nature is nature, deer and rabbit can’t have an affair, so the same should apply for humans. Here’s the thing: we are human! We are much more evolved than a deer or a rabbit. Our elaborate social systems were designed to create pair bonds that endured long enough to get offspring up and out of the womb.

Is an open marriage possible? The only condition under which an open marriage can work, is for a short period. Sooner or later someone always gets hurt. Someone becomes bonded to someone else, or age-old feelings of jealousy creep up to the surface. Think about it. Every story you’ve ever heard about a successful open marriage is told in past tense. The relationship ended.

I believe that infidelity is a symptom of a problem anyway. Infidelity alone is not the problem. And even permissive cheating has emotional underpinnings that should be explored. But I want to hear from you, would you let your significant other cheat?


FOR SINGLES: The Cheaters High

The new drug of choice to get high…cheating? New research shows that positive feelings are an unexpected effect of cheating. Lead researcher, Nicole Ruedy, of the University of Washington, and her team found that many get a pleasurable pep in their step from performing unethical acts. Their study looked at 1,000 participants who claimed that being dishonest would make them feel guilty. However, when the participants were asked to perform tasks, such as math problems or spelling challenges, given the option to cheat without anyone knowing or being hurt, many of them felt happier when they peeked at the answers ahead of time. Of those who participated in the research, 68 percent of the group swindled the answers early and felt better than those who didn’t cheat. Ruedy commented that this research showed that some people don’t feel bad if they think no one is being hurt, and even get a boost when compared to completely honest people.


How does this translate to relationships? If a partner does not perceive infidelity as harmful, should they step out on a relationship, they may not feel guilty and may even feel secretly pleased. Maryanne Fisher, of St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada recently published a study in the journal Evolutionary Psychology about male versus female remorse over unfaithful acts. She commented that guilt is led by personal inferences about the importance and consequences of certain acts. The results of her study showed that women felt worse about emotional cheating, and men felt more sorry about sexual infidelity. Therefore, if a partner can rationalize a certain type of cheating, physical or emotional, to themselves, they are less likely to feel remorse about their actions afterward. Among the reasons cited for these results, researchers felt that people are often unable to see the perspective of their partner and how their values are different. Men, for example, fear physical infidelity and women tend to fear emotional infidelity. Fisher’s research suggests that men and women project their own emotional experience on the other.

This boils down to empathy. A more empathetic partner has the ability to feel other people’s pain and understand the root of it. In understanding the harm of unethical actions, like infidelity, they are less likely to get a ‘cheaters high’. Instead, they will preemptively regret an unfaithful decision and avoid what would cause their loved one anguish.

FOR WOMEN: Do Men Cheat on Successful Women?

9ad30_226_dating_girl_flashToday the number of women in the workforce and among college campuses is soaring. There are now more women than men with bachelor’s degrees and women make up three-fifths of graduate students.

Breadwinners beware.

In 39 of the 50 top urban markets, women are making more than their male peers. And, in nearly half of American households, women are the breadwinners. But as women work their way up that career ladder and begin to out-earn their husbands or partners, cheating is on the rise.

According to new research, when a man is completely financially dependent on his female partner, he is five times more likely to cheat than men who contribute an equal amount to the partnership.

Continue reading FOR WOMEN: Do Men Cheat on Successful Women?