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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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Did His Genes Make Him Cheat? – Not Likely

If your cheating husband tells you that there’s a new study out which proves that his genes made him cheat, he’s basing this excuse for his marital misbehavior on a new genetic study that has been widely misinterpreted.

Either he doesn’t know, or he’s hoping that you don’t know the facts.

There have been numerous reports in various print and online publications about the study of a male variant gene which has been referred to as the “cheating gene,” the “infidelity gene,” the “divorce gene,” – and a host of similar names. This gene has (erroneously) been reported to be responsible for why some men cheat on their mates.

But is that really the case?

What the “Cheating Gene” Study Was All About

Here are some important facts you should know about how the study of the so-called "cheating gene"was conducted, and why the study was done.

First of all, the study had nothing to do with infidelity. The researchers were studying pair-bonding behavior.

The study was inspired by early research done on male voles, known as field mice in the United States.

It was discovered that the males of one species of these little mouse-like rodents mated with numerous female voles, while the males of another species mated with only one female for life.

Their behavior was traced to the presence of a particular gene variant which acts on a hormone in the brain called Vasopressin. In voles, vasopressin affects pair-bonding behavior and sexual attachment.

Hasse Walum and a team of researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden set out to see if this variant gene was present in human males, and if so, what effect it had on their behavior with regard to how they bonded with their mates.

552 pairs of male twins were genetically tested to see which men carried the variant gene. All of the men tested were currently in relationships that have lasted for a minimum 5 years. The men and their wives or live-in partners were also asked to fill our questionnaires designed to test the quality of their relationships with their mate.

Does the Gene Make Men Cheat?

It was found that 2 out of 5 men possess this variant gene which has also been called “the “bonding gene,” the “monogamy gene,” the “fidelity gene” and the “anti-commitment gene.”

The question is " Was the gene found to make men cheat?"

First of all, humans and voles are entirely different species. Although they know how the genes affect voles or field mice, the scientists aren’t really clear about how this gene affect human males.

Walum said, "Taken together, the effect of the gene variant that we have studied on human pair-bonding behavior is rather small, and it can not, with any real accuracy, be used to predict how someone will behave in a future relationship." He stressed that men and their spouses shouldn't read too much into the finding.

The only thing the researchers at the Karolinska Institute know for sure is that the men in their study who had this gene scored lower than the men without the gene, on a Pair Bonding Scale which measured the strength of their bonds and the quality of their relationships with their mates.

“We never looked at infidelity in our study at all. What we have been focusing on is how strongly men bond to their partners," said Hasse Walum.

But the study has been widely misinterpreted to mean that men with the variant gene are more likely to cheat on their mates.

If He Tells You His Genes Made Him Cheat

Since this study came out I have been inundated with e-mails and consultation requests from women who want to know if there’s any truth to this new genetic excuse men are using for their marital misbehavior.

If your cheating husband tries to pull this one on you, tell him to go back and look at the facts.

If he still insists that his genes made him cheat, ask him if he’s a man or a mouse.

Why Men Cheat

If you 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 Why Men and Women Cheat.
Or click on this link

Will He Cheat on You?

It’s true that some men are more likely to cheat than others. But as far as I know, it has nothing to do with their genes. However, there are certain things about a man - his life experiences, family history, character flaws and personality traits – which indicate that he may be prone to infidelity.

To find out if your husband or boyfriend is one of these potential cheaters, go to my website and take the 7-question Will He Cheat Quiz which you can find at this link,

Or you can request a free copy of the Potential Cheater’s Quiz, as it’s also called, by e-mailing with the words Cheater’s Quiz-b in the subject line.

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