Why Married Men Don’t Cheat

Why Married Men Don’t Cheat.  According to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy dated 9/8/2013 22% of married men have strayed at least once during their married lives.  There have been many articles written by experts in the field as to why men cheat.  In 1995, Sheppard, Nelso & Andreoli-Mathie, reported men cheat because they are unsatisfied sexually.  Another study reported men cheat due to a lack of communication, understanding, and sexual incompatibility, (Roscoe, Cavanaugh, & Kennedy 1988). Marital dissatisfaction was the main reason cited in the 20th Century for infidelity for both male and female, however, there are many other reasons why men cheat and not just because they “can.”  There are also reasons why men don’t cheat.  A recent  article in AARP magazine by Joe Queenan takes a look into the mind of the male monogamist.  He states some men stay in their marriages without the stain of infidelity because men are:

Incredibly Lazy

As my ex-husband once said, “I’d never cheat because I’m too lazy, having an affair would be too much work.”  Men like to relax after a hard days work.  Downloading in their Man Cave drinking a beer, watching sports, on their computer, etc.  Romance, by contrast, is allot of work.  You have to shower, smell good, shave, exercise courtship behavior like buy flowers, go on dates and engage in conversation.  Cheating would require all of the above times two, the wife and the mistress.  Extramarital affairs are too exhausting if you consider wanting to make both women happy.

Startlingly Ugly

According to Queenan, “You might see a 10 with an 8, or an 8 with a 5, but you never see a 9 with a 2.”  That’s the reason unattractive men do not cheat on their wives.  “An ugly man is so happy that he found one woman willing to gaze at his dreadful countenance for the next 40 years” that he’s grateful and isn’t willing to risk everything by cheating on her.

Cheap

Taking women out on dates require a fair amount of financial resources and that’s additional money from the household income.  Often times men having affairs spend money on the same presents and dates for both their wives and mistresses.

Fearful of getting caught

Men know they aren’t as good at multitasking as most women and also know they don’t have that great of memory or are very organized.  So “shady” behavior like engaging in an affair is too risky in that they may get caught and don’t want to deal with the consequences of getting caught.

Under the assumption Affairs are time-consuming

There aren’t enough hours in the day to maintain an extramarital affair as having a mistress exerts as much energy as having a wife and family at home.  Their individual time gets narrowed down to no time and nobody gets the best of his time, not even himself.

(Bores) and can’t get dates

Just like the unattractive guys, boring guys are happy that they are able to find one woman who finds them half way interesting and although may think about cheating couldn’t find anyone interested in them to take them on.

They’ve seen the movie “Fatal Attraction” and bottom line they aren’t really good at it.

Neuropsychologist state there’s an area in the brain located in the frontal lobe that supports self-control processes.  These processes are referred to as “executive functions” and involve the ability to plan, inhibit or delay responding.  Resisting the temptation to cheat requires cognitive (thinking) effort. If you possess a high level of executive control, you probably are less likely to cheat on your partner as your way of thinking includes more inhibition and delayed immediate gratification capability opposed to someone with less executive control.  Whenever someone must focus hard on a task and ignore distractions, this area is particularly active. The extent to which these areas of the brain light up predicts a lot of important outcomes, including whether people are likely to follow the rule norms of society, resist a wide variety of temptations, and engage in risky behaviors.

Other Reasons Married Men Don’t Cheat have to do with character and good moral judgement.  A few to mention include:

Commitment to sexually exclusive monogamy

Integrity – a promise was made to vows; a commitment was given to exclusivity

Happy with wife – being in love their wife enhances the faithfulness

Don’t want to feel guilty

Civilized – the behavior of being unfaithful may be indicative to the contrary

Their wife doesn’t give them any reason to stray

Their father cheated on their mother and they don’t want to become like their cheater father –  repeating history and hurting other loved ones besides the hurt partner

Don’t want to possibly contract a sexually transmitted disease

Not empowering

The bottom line in deciding to engage in an affair happens to be a personal choice.  In Marriage Counseling I hear various reasons why affairs started.  They range from reasonable and understandable to the ridiculous.  As a Therapist who specializes in Affair Recovery, I believe affairs are symptoms of other problems that are being acted inappropriately when the initial step to prevent such behavior would be to talk to your partner about your feelings and go from there.  Marriage Therapy can give you the opportunity to talk about what you want in your relationship and how you can integrate that part of yourself that you feel while engaging in an affair.  Whilst married men who do not engage in affairs apparently are able to manage that part of themselves there are some who are not.  Bravo to those who can.

Please call me if you would like to understand more about affairs and why they happen at (858) 735-1139.

Is Your Body Language Getting Your Message Across?

Is Your Body Language Getting Your Message Across?  From first impressions to first dates, a smile can be worth everything.  A smile conveys warmth and friendliness.  It helps put the other person at ease.  Eye contact is an important nonverbal form of body language.  Direct eye contact shows respect for the other person, although, in some cultures, it shows disrespect and defiance.  However, in this culture, it shows interest in a person.  In fact, if you want to show a man you’re really into him, look deeply into his eyes as he speaks to you.  To catch the interest of a guy who you’re not on a date with (yet), catch his eye and smile, look away and hold his gaze the next time you glance over to him.

Ninety percent of our communication with one another is nonverbal.  Sometimes what’s in your heart and mind doesn’t come across in your body language.  When dating it’s important to make sure your body language is as sharp as your conversation skills.

Other signs that convey attraction include leaning toward a person, crossing your legs, tossing your hair, and lightly touching your arm and neck.  When people are really attracted to each other they often lick their lips.

If you’re wondering about him/her?  Same rules apply.  Some signs to look out for include fidgeting, crossing arms across the chest and darting eyes are signs of indifference or worse.  If he/she can’t stop scoping the room, it’s probably best to move on.

If you’ve been out in the Singles market longer than you wanted and would like help getting back into the swing of things with comfort and confidence Counseling with me can do just that.  Please don’t hesitate to call me at (858) 735-1139 so we can get started.

The New Monogamy Agreement

The New Monogamy Agreement So what’s all this talk about New Monogamy Agreements? New Monogamy Agreements are Contracts that are an Explicit Relationship Agreement created by each partner to openly, honestly, and safely share their desires, expectations, and limitations for moving forward in a new way of behaving within their Relationship. This agreement in no way creates an open marriage, but rather, an open conversation wherein each partner can have a say in setting the ground rules for their relationship.   If Open Marriage happens to be a desire for both partners then it would become part of the Agreement.

The New Monogamy Agreement

In Marriage Counseling with me there is no judgement or criticism while developing these Agreements as I am here to help guide the process enabling Couples to live the life they desire as we have entered into the 21st Century.  We do not have the marriages/relationships that our parents or grandparents had.  There are hundreds of “How To” lists for relationships and all seem to say the same thing.  Why not put something together that works for you and your partner.  We live in such a diversified and dynamic world where everyone is unique.  I help Couples in Couples Therapy develop New Monogamy Agreements to rebuild trust after an Affair or to re-establish Intimacy in a seemingly stale partnership.

When making your Monogamy Agreement try and keep in mind that it’s like renewing your Vows.  It’s important not to just make promises like you did when you got married or pledged your Fidelity.  This agreement will have fluidity and variety and will be renewed as often as needed.

Some of the questions to ask in your New Monogamy Agreement will be based on your cultural and religious beliefs, as well as your upbringing and traditional sex roles, family history and personal moral values.

Utilizing Tammy Nelson’s Book “The New Monogamy” I help Couples in the Moving Forward process answer questions that help create their new agreements.  Included are questions that incorporate:

  1. Thoughts
  2. Fantasies
  3. Desires
  4. Arousal
  5. Flirtation
  6. Emotion
  7. Action (Behavior)
  8. Connection
  9. Sex
  10. Love
  11. Detachment
  12.  And Extras – anything else you want to add that is important to you

The vision for your Monogamy should be described as if it is happening at present….in the “now.”  When the agreement is written and dated it is kept in a safe place where it can be updated whenever you are unsure about your commitment.   Talk about questions that come up and revise when needed.  When completed celebrate and do something special to concretize the experience for you.  Your New Monogamy agreement is one of the most important things you will accomplish.  It shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Give yourself credit for having a conscious relationship for moving forward in your newly established relationship.

Symptoms of Relationship Addiction

Symptoms of Relationship Addiction. Addictions come in many forms. There is alcohol addiction, drug addiction, eating disorders with food addictions, even addiction to healthy things like exercising. What can be troubling is when a once healthy relationship turns into a toxic one. Relationships are wonderful until you start to put boundaries in place to take care of your needs oppose to others. A healthy partner will respect those boundaries and your need for self-care. An unhealthy partner with unresolved personal issues can take this as a bad thing. Some individuals continue to accept bad behavior and before you know it you’ve become addicted to the vicious cycle of something that is not good for you.
Symptoms of Relationship Addiction
Symptoms of Relationship Addiction:
  • Premature Bonding
    Relationship addicts have an overwhelming need to bond with someone. This goes beyond a healthy need to connect with others. Unfortunately, this need to form an instant attachment tends to overwhelm other people and pushes them away. And it leads to poor decisions about whom to let into one’s life.
  • Excessive Fantasies
  • Throughout the course of the relationship, the addict spends a great deal of time thinking about the other person and how perfect things will be. Even after the relationship has ended, the fantasies about getting together again may continue. Of course, a healthy love relationship also involves fantasies, but addictive fantasies have an obsessive quality about them. These fantasies tend to take over one’s day. The need to fantasize takes precedence over socializing with others, work, taking care of normal daily routines – and they tend to become dreams or expectations that must come true.
  • The Need for Excitement
    Addicts in general crave getting “high.” Relationship addicts base their ideas about a relationship on romance, and this involves creating drama. They might pick fights just to experience a rush of excitement. An ordinary argument becomes a war. They see reality in terms of their own needs, so they easily read between the lines (“No matter what she says, I know she really loves me”). A love addict fails to understand that a normal relationship involves a series of highs and lows – in real life, lows do not mean that the love has ended. They see an ordinary relationship as boring because it lacks a sense of constant excitement.
  • Symptoms of Relationship Addiction
  • Exaggerated Anxiety and Jealousy about the Relationship
    Relationship addicts typically have fears left over from earlier experiences in their lives when they have been neglected, rejected, or abandoned. Their greatest fear in adulthood is feeling lonely because this reminds them of their earlier negative experiences – and they never want to endure that again. They need to feel attached and find it difficult to live independently. So, in their relationships they tend to look constantly for signs that things are not going well. They become possessive of their partner, experiencing anxiety when the partner is not present and frequently accusing or nagging the partner.
  • Ineffective Expression of Emotions
    The relationship addict, because of difficult earlier life experiences, is confused and overwhelmed by emotions. For example, she/he might feel that anger leads to rejection or abandonment, so she/he doesn’t express anger and instead holds in all emotional expression – and when someone expresses anger to the relationship addict, she/he is unable to tolerate it. She might harbor painful feelings that seem unrelated to present circumstances. She/he may become stoic (relationship addicts have a great tolerance for suffering and endure substantial pain rather than face the prospect of a breakup of the relationship). Because she/he suppresses her normal, flexible emotional expression, she/he may revert to polarized expression of feelings (“all or nothing”) – for example, love or hate (but nothing in between), vigilance or complacency, fear or courage.
  • Loose Personal Boundaries
    Because many relationship addicts have issues with self-esteem, they have weak personal boundaries. They lose their sense of individuality and become enmeshed with their partner. They don’t know where their needs and emotions begin and where their partner’s end. If their partner feels happy, they feel happy. If their partner feels sad, they feel sad. If they sense that their partner wants them to be a certain way, that is what they become. They have difficulty saying “no.” Unfortunately, this sets the stage for being treated with disrespect. Addictive relationships show a lack of equality between the two partners.

Symptoms of Relationship Addiction

The healthy love relationship can be viewed in terms of two independent people who come together and make a commitment to each other. They each have the freedom to live as they choose within the boundaries of the commitment, and they are loved by their partner for showing integrity in how they live. Their partner encourages them to follow the beat of their own drum. The commitment enhances each partner’s ability to experience a full life – with love, security, and support.

If you believe you or someone you know can relate to any of the above symptoms it would be good to seek the help of a counselor or therapist who can make an assessment to determine whether or not there could be a relationship addiction in the making.
I work with individuals and couples in San Diego and its neighboring communities.  I also provide telephone and internet counseling so please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

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