Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do men and women cheat for different reasons?

I was recently contacted by a reporter researching an article for why men cheat. And in answering her question, I got thinking myself about why men cheat and whether or not the reason(s) can be distilled to one or two. Having heard the stories of literally hundreds of betrayed wives, it seems the main reason men cheat is that they like the reflection of themselves they see in another's eyes. Most – not all, but most – men don't want to lose their marriages and wives. They simply get lured in by the heady sensation of being desired, sexy, interesting...all those feelings we all felt at the beginning of a relationship, but which eventually gave way to feeling loved, respected, and, perhaps too often, taken for granted.
Rather than spice up their own marriages, they take the easy route offered by women who are frequently looking for the same thing: the chance to feel special again.
I know it's not that simple and, of course, there are all sorts of mitigating factors, often going right back to childhood.
But if I had to simplify the reason, there it is.
Thoughts?

2 comments:

  1. I wish I could come close to even understanding this theory - I've heard it for years, even on Ophra... So it must have a lot of validity to it.

    My husband cheated for sex. I know, I keep trying to find another reason. My ex-therapist (therapists want the victim -yes, I do believe we are victims even though many despise my belief on this, but it is mine to believe and anyone else's to give themselves or anyone else a different title, like survivor, etc, but I'm a victim here, to heal too quickly) even thought that he wanted validity from the women, even if they were paid. But my husband keeps stating over and over that because he paid them he was not seeking love or any validation, because he was paying them, it was all about and only about having sex with young beautiful perfect bodied women who were willing to have sex for a price.

    Nice, yes, that's the loser I married and had baby with. My baby, a wonderful person, people seek her out, she is so beautiful and her beauty emanates from within also, has a father who was/is/whatever does it really matter now, who is a creep and a pig. A complete opposite of myself and his child.

    But anyway, mine it was all about sex. I can't imagine what it is like to have it about emotions - I always wonder, would it be easier to understand wanting love, love as in admiration, worshiping, adoration, respectful love? Or is it easier to understand sexual attraction only? I wonder if it has to do with gender. Do women prefer their man falling crazily in love with a woman, usually younger to a lot younger, having sex, going to dinner, sleeping over, buying gifts, giving money, giving time, long chats over life and love and their lives.... Or is it preferable to pay prostitutes. I'm on the other end of the spectrum. It sounds insane, but I'd rather know what the other end is like also. I'm lost in the not making any sense world of sex, because to me sex has never been even on my top 10 list - as I know most women are that way also. We are so busy thinking and thinking and thinking that the act of sex is just not in our minds. Affairs, I wonder what that is like, to have lived through.

    I keep looking and searching and reading blogs, but never get it. I hope to get something here, something more real.

    Thanks for your time and investment in this great blog that is not full of vengeance or disgust...Uggh, that's for another blog entirely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I often think I'll never really understand the thought process involved in an affair. I can try to imagine and sometimes I come close...but to actually go through with it and then come home and look my spouse in the eye. Just don't think I could do it without loathing myself.
      And I also sometimes wonder what the point is in trying to understand it. I think we imagine it gives us a measure of control over the situation to understand it. But it doesn't really. Ultimately all we can do is hope that our spouse understands his motives behind what he did...and that he puts in place a thought process that prevents him from doing it again. THAT is the only real chance of moving forward with a spouse that becomes a better person for what he did.
      I'm glad you found us. And thank-you for your kind words. Vengeance and disgust (I know exactly what you mean) don't move the conversation forward. Which is what I hope to achieve here. The chance to move all of us forward in a way that's healthy and healing.

      Elle

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