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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