Friday, September 12, 2008

Why Men Cheat - Oprah Show


The Oprah Show featured an author discussing his findings on why men cheat. The most important finding is that men typically choose to cheat for emotional rather than sexual needs. They don't seek out a hot, younger woman, but rather "fall into" an emotional affair that becomes sexual.

The affair begins by meeting the man's need for admiration, someone who looks up to him and shows interest. They interviewed several men who had cheated and each admitted that the affair was not something they did out of strength but out of weakness. They felt that their relationship with their wife was not meeting their emotional needs.

From my experience, their weakness is passivity. If you have emotional needs that are unmet in the marriage, then you ought to be able to address this with your wife in a very forceful manner. She has to be aware of her husband's emotional needs in order to address the ways she is falling short. If the husband does confront the wife, it is important for her to focus on defending the relationship instead of defending herself.

It is OK to fall short in meeting your partner's needs, but it is not OK to not care if you fall short. Defending yourself communicates a lack of caring about your partner. The husband must be mature enough to know that he will not always get his needs met. Realistically, women have more things pulling on them for attention than ever before, so the husband must know that his wife does care but give her "permission" to fall short (just as he will fall short in meeting her needs).

The man who chooses to have an overlapping relationship will have his needs met at a terribly high price. He will place himself in a position to make a decision about his marriage and his lover simultaneously. This places him in a position to make emotional decisions that are often regretted.

Men must be strong enough to maintain a commitment to the marriage. Commitment does not mean that you remain married, but that you continue to confront the shortcomings of the marriage until you determine that the relationship cannot be satisfying. Failing to confront the shortcomings of the relationship through an overlapping relationship leads to emotional decision making and pain for many who are affected by your decisions.

1 comment:

Yehuda N said...

Hey, my name is Yehuda, I helped out with the research for the book featured on the Oprah show. (http://www.stylesofthemind.com)

To address your question. the problem is that when a man would go and "forcibly" tell his wife that he needs his emotional needs to be met as well, the woman tends to see him as a woos.

THe reason is the same reason why we had a strong reaction from some women who said, "If my man needs me to help him with his emotional needs than he isnt really a man."

I believe a large part of the way the book was meant to help women was to help women overcome our societys stereotype htat men are emotionaless and dont need emotional connection.

The book is saying to women, "If you want a great relationship that is strongly built and wont ever have the man thinking about straying is to realiez that he has emotional needs as well.

Of course we arent blaming women in the slightest but merely giving them the tools to proactively build a strong healthy relationship.