Expert M. Gary Neuman has written a new book titled, THE TRUTH ABOUT CHEATING* and was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Neuman's twenty years of counseling sparked the book idea and the statistics he shares on the number of married men who cheat on their wives is discouraging. According to Neuman, 1 in 2.7 husbands have affairs and the reasons Neuman gathered during his research rarely included better sex or a prettier woman. Most often, their reasons revolved around feeling under-appreciated or taken for granted.
In my experience as well as based on what I heard from M. Gary Neuman, it's all just selfishness. Isn't it?
He goes to work day after day after day and provides for his family. And eventually, it becomes a part of his routine and his wife forgets to acknowledge him for being such a good provider. So he cheats. He spends his Saturdays cutting the grass, washing the cars or shuffling kids from soccer game to soccer game and sooner or later he starts to feel like just another thing that happens on Saturday because his wife neglects to hug him or pat him on the back or stroke his ego. So he cheats. When his life becomes routine, he starts to feel routine. He needs to feel special. And then... he cheats.
So what makes him feel appreciated and special? Sex is on the list but time alone with his wife and a newlywed-type interest from her is important as well. Doing the things you did in the beginning of your relationship gets lost in the shuffle of the daily responsibilities of house and home and children but they are still important to most men. And as women, it's hard for us to understand because women perform the same duties and tasks listed above, not for rewards or accolades or sex, but for the love of their families. And that should be enough, right? Well, apparently it's not.
To be fair, I did a bit of my own infidelity research and found that on average, studies show that 40% of married women cheat too. Unfortunately all these male and female cheaters aren't married to each other so 80% of marriages today are affected by infidelity. EIGHTY PERCENT.
We live in a country that constantly debates what constitutes a marriage but the truth is that 80% of married people don't even know the definition.**
*Neuman's book is available for FREE for a limited time on Oprah's website so if you are interested in the details of his studies, go download it today. Once you've read it, please come back to post your comments or send me an email. And don't forget to answer the questions to the polls on this blog. I will write a follow up blog with the results and comments from all of you.
**For the record, Merriam-Webster defines marriage as : "the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law" or "the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage." And united is defined as "made one" or "being in agreement." It's an institution built upon the relationship of TWO people. Not three and certainly not four.