Monday, September 29, 2008

Are Wives to Blame When Their Husbands Cheat?

Many of you have called or e-mailed with questions raised by the controversial new infidelity book, The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It by Gary Neuman. Those of you who watched the author’s two interviews on Oprah were outraged and highly offended because he gave the impression that wives are to blame when their husbands cheat.

Below, I’ve addressed your most pressing questions about The Truth About Cheating, based on my 15 years of in-depth research on all aspects of infidelity, which includes close to 7000 interviews. NOTE: Neuman’s book, The Truth about Cheating is based on interviews with only 100 cheating men.

(Over the next few days, I will be posting more information and observations about The Truth About Cheating on my website and on this blog.)

Is it really my fault that my husband cheated on me?
My husband says it’s my fault he had the affair. Is that true?

No, it’s NOT your fault that your husband had an affair. A wife is NOT to blame when her husband cheats. In my opinion, The Truth about Cheating sends the wrong message to those of you who are already traumatized by your husband’s infidelity. And it provides cheating husbands with yet another excuse to use for their extramarital affairs. A cheating husband – not his wife – is responsible for his own marital misbehavior. Regardless of what was going on in your marriage, no one held a gun to your husband’s head and made him cheat. Cheating was the choice he made. So your husband really has no one to blame for his cheating but himself.

Did my husband cheat on me because of something I do or didn’t do?

The vast majority of extramarital affairs are totally unrelated to anything that a wife did or didn’t do. It’s unfair to imply that the way a wife treats her husband determines whether or not he’ll have an extramarital affair. For every thing your husband says you did or didn’t do that made him cheat on you, there are thousands of men whose wives did or didn’t do those very same things, and those men did not cheat on their wives. So don’t believe your husband or anyone else who tries to convince you that your husband cheated because of something you did or didn’t do. It’s highly unlikely that your behavior drove your husband to have an affair.

If I’d treated my husband differently, would that have kept him from having an affair?
Is there anything I can do to keep my husband from cheating on me?

Not necessarily. The reality is that there is nothing you, or any woman can do that will guarantee 100% that her husband will not cheat. The Quick Action Program in The Truth About Cheating gives a number of suggestions for things you can do to improve the quality of your marriage. Will following the suggestions in this program guarantee that your husband won’t cheat? Absolutely not. Like I said – there are no guarantees. It’s misleading to make a woman think that certain behavior on her part will keep her husband from having an affair. Infidelity can happen to any one, at anytime, under any circumstances. No one is immune.

Did my husband have an affair because he wasn’t happy with me?

Probably not. Happiness or unhappiness are not the main reasons men cheat despite the, statistics given in The Truth About Cheating (see question below) Keeping your husband happy is not the answer because happy husbands cheat too. A few months ago, there were studies were published in 3 different medical journals around the same time, showing that even husbands who said they were happy still had extramarital affairs. There are things that you, as a wife, can do to decrease the likelihood that your husband will have an affair, but as I stated above, there is nothing that will absolutely guarantee 100% that your husband will not cheat

What’s this about men cheating because of emotional dissatisfaction?

I totally disagree with Neuman’s findings in this area, which differ drastically from all the other research on the reasons why men cheat. Although there are exceptions, most men do not cheat or have affairs because they are emotionally dissatisfied. I think the wording of Neuman’s questions had a lot to do with the kind of answers that were given by the 100 cheating husbands he interviewed. If you really want to know the top 10 reasons why men cheat, go to my website and check out the article entitled Why Men Cheat vs Why Women Cheat – The Top 10 Reasons. You’ll see that men cheat primarily for sexual reasons and what I call ego- embellishment reasons. There are also many secondary reasons why men cheat, which I will post at a later date. However, women – not men -- are the ones who have affairs because of emotional dissatisfaction.

More information on The Truth About Cheating to Come

As I mentioned above, over the next few days, I’ll be posting more information and observations about The Truth About Cheating on my website and here on this blog. So bookmark this page so you can return and see what else I have to say about this controversial new infidelity book.

FREE Tip Sheet for Wives with Cheating Husbands

If your husband is cheating on you, there are several things you can do can do to empower yourself and minimize a lot of the damage infidelity can cause. My free tip sheet “How Wives with Cheating Husbands Can Gain the Upper Hand,” suggests a number of practical steps you can take, even if you’re not sure yet whether you’re going to leave your cheating husband, or stay with him and try to work things out and get your marriage back on track. For a free copy of this tip sheet, e-mail with the words “Upper Hand Tip Sheet - b” in the subject line.

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Andy said...

I am so glad that someone finally had courage to speak up for men! I am a married man who's being married for 8 years. I confessed I am far from perfect and not the most romantic man; but I do try and try hard. My wife refused to make love to me because her excuses are (1) don't feel it, (2) too tired, (3) you are not romantic enough, (4) I just don't have that feeling for you anymore. We have two beautiful kids who think the world of me and they are the only reasons that I stay in this marriage. They are very happy and I want to make sure they stay that way despite I tried hard to hid my sadness and hopelessness in my relationship with my wife. Almost every day of our married life, she belittles me. She hates my parents even though most of their friends will say they are wonderful people. She looked down on my sisters. I always go extra mile to provide and to protect my family. To marry this woman is my biggest regret and mistake in life. I made 6 figures salary and hold my job well despite the recessions; she complains that I am not giving her enough financial security. I never complain about chores around the house and I stay home taking care kids when they are sick. Again, I am not perfect; but I do need my wife's love desperately. We haven't have sex in the last few years and probably can count all the time we had sex with both hands in 8 years of our marriage. I used to be very harsh on my fellow men who cheat on their wives but I can longer be so hard on them because I now understand their wives can either make them or break them. Listen up wives, you are responsible too!! Andy

Mark said...

If the sexes were reversed the notion that a husband is the culprit of the wife's infidelity would be taken as self evident... beautiful example of double standard. Of course the wife's actions have a lot to do with the husband's. Men need to feel special, strong, so what do you think will happen if the wife doesn't care about making him feel this way? If the wife only complains about everything? It's important to note that many men strayed to feel strong, virile again. Obvously he wasn't getting it at home

Anonymous said...

Ok... now lets ook at another scenario.
I had an affair w/a mm.
We met on a website called Ashley Madison.
He signed up, paid 250.00, had a "secret" email addy for his cheating.
He signed up 10 years ago.He has beeb married 11 years.
Wife found a text from me... we were caught.
He outed me, told her my name, (she had to know)
He confessed about being on Ashley Madison for 8 years before he met me.
But the crazy bitch still blames me !
How sick are yo to know all of this, not blame "hubby" and still stay w/him ?
As I always told me , she would never leave, he has given this homely hag a very nice life.
He is a gold digging piece of trash trash..... living in a luxury home, driving a leased Mercedes is better than spltting the assets.
Texts, emails , will be sent to her and her parents. They have decided to keep ths all quite from friends & family.
I would have taken this to my grave.
The text she found ?
I was confronting him about whether he was "seeing" someone else!
Second marriage for both.
He has grown kids.. she has none.
Since he has LIED about me.....I will tell the TRUTH about him !

Anonymous said...

You're a woman, so you don't know why men will cheat on their wives.

Men have hard shells so things don't appear to phase us, but when a wife nags, belittles, withholds sex for months, we feel icky inside. We feel we can't express our love to our wives anymore and that our wives aren't loving. So the temptation to cheat or divorce becomes a resonating voice in our heads.

Ultimately the decision to cheat is the man's decision, but the wife isn't always completely innocent because she did didn't show she loved him and now another woman is.

We NEED respect from our wife to feel loved. If she doesn't provide that, it is only a matter of time when the man accepts defeat and leaves (emotionally and/or physically.)

Marriage is hard work.