Is Cheating Different For Men Than Women

Is Cheating Different For Men Than Women.  Is it worse when a man or a woman cheats on their partner?  Men and women are socialized in different ways.  Some may think if a woman cheats she has damaged her primary relationship beyond repair.  Others think if a man cheats his partner is more willing to forgive and forget as Society places less of a stigma on males cheating than on females cheating.  Remember the 1850 novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Scarlett Letter?”  The woman who committed adultery had to wear a scarlet “A ” on her dress to publicly announce her shame and guilt.  As a gender, we are raised and socialized to think and feel differently about sex, roles, and relationships.  For men are generally more likely than women to be able to compartmentalize sex and emotional connections.   Making affairs mostly about sex and a physical connection.  Women, on the other hand, tend to develop an emotional connection with sex and intimacy.  With this relational intimacy, sexual attraction is misconstrued as being in love so having affairs make them more vulnerable to being criticized.

As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, I see this affecting  Primary Relationships between both men and women in different ways.  With men who have affairs, I hear rationale that state it was “nothing more than sex.”  As a well-known study indicates http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00750.x men are driven by physiological rather than psychological factors so that statement can very well be true.  Not so for women.  She needs the romance and emotional intimacy, especially in committed relationships.  When contemplating sex women consider the long-term factors which generate from years of evolution in that women need safety and security from their men.  So for a woman to engage in an affair, there is much more at stake than for a man, as a man will sometimes cheat just for sex even when they are perfectly happy with their primary relationship, whereas a woman who cheats has probably checked out of her primary relationship and has developed emotional feelings for her to have engaged in the physical.  This is why a relationship damaged by a man’s infidelity might be more likely to be salvaged, as opposed to when a woman has cheated.

Men cheat on good relationships and good relationships are worth saving.  Women are more likely to cheat when the relationship is not going well and relationships that aren’t going well might not be worth the pain and effort required to move forward.  Rebuilding trust and emotional intimacy are challenging when you’ve given it to someone else.  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Hurt Partners say they would rather it have been a physical affair and not have any emotions associated with it.

For more information about affairs and affair recovery please contact me (858) 735-1139.

Are You Cheating?

Are You Cheating? Do you have a dirty little secret you’ve been hiding from your partner? Have you been sneaking around and covering your tracks?  Maybe you’re caught up in an unquenchable love affair with designer handbags or it’s your partner who’s totally embedded in gambling.  If you’re living in fear of each other’s credit card bills, it may be a case of Financial Infidelity.

People tend to say your relationship with money is directly related to your personal relationship with each other.  Whether it’s a secret debt, undisclosed extra income, or out of control spending, once it’s discovered financial infidelity can be just as devastating to your partner as Sexual Infidelity.  Your sense of trust is just as violated and, just like an affair, you try to go back in time, recounting all the secretive behavior going on right under your nose.

To give you a better idea of how easy it is to fall into this trap here are a few examples of risky reasoning that can lead to financial cheating:

  • “I deserve it.” Feeling entitled to splurge on something you can’t afford to make up for a bad day at work or because your partner didn’t/won’t buy it for you.
  • “Keeping up with the Joneses.”  Materialism being a priority over intimacy and wanting to keep up the life you “believe” you should have…rather than the one you can afford.
  • “It’s my only real pleasure.”  Using buying and spending to fulfill unmet needs.

Just like Sexual Infidelity the recovery process is the same.  Trust has been broken and to reconnect and move forward both need to take responsibility for their actions. Marriage Counseling can help with the Repair process as the betrayal includes similar emotions.  Couples Therapy enables both partners to share their thoughts, feelings and perspectives about what caused their acting out behaviors and discuss new ways to prevent their relationship from moving toward the relationship they truly want.

If you think you have cheated this way or the other contact me at (858) 735-1139.