Monday, April 26, 2010

Cheating in Relationships and Marriage: A Symptom, Not a Problem, Part 1

Part 1 of a 3-part series: Many people think that cheating in a relationship is a major problem. It is in fact NOT a problem at all, but a SYMPTOM of a real and much bigger problem. Fix the problem and the cheating goes away, at least as long as the problem doesn’t come back. The questions are “What’s the problem?” and “How do I fix it?” I will answer both…

I’ve had more than the usual number of e-mails in the last couple of weeks asking about detecting and dealing with affairs, as well as casual “cheating,” in sexual and other forms. Indeed, one of the largest and most involved discussions on our forum at this point is that of the affairs that usually accompany mid-life crisis, and have nothing whatsoever to do with the relationship, and you really should join us and cover that material so you can be prepared to spot the symptoms developing if it should happen in your household.

Cheating and affairs are one of the hardest aspects of troubled relationships for people to deal with, regardless of their personality or mindset. It’s time we go through a series of lessons on how to detect, understand, and stop affairs and cheating, and we start today.

I have some readers who really, really make me proud to have them onboard. I’m proud to have anyone onboard who has the sense to realize they have a problem and the guts to look for an answer, but in addition to that, there are a few of you who don’t just blindly grab whatever is said and follow instructions like some sort of robot. Instead, these special people take my lessons and advice and think about them, and abstract from them other lessons, some which are parallel, other which are advanced concepts from the basic points I provide, and it’s always delightful when I receive one of them.

For example, ponder this question that came in response to the “What Do You Do When You Know She’s Cheating?” article which we will revisit tomorrow as part of this series:

“Is it cheating when she spends hours every day talking to people on the Internet rather than talking to her husband? It sure feels like it.”

This guy gets a big “high five” for seeing past the end of his nose and making the connection. Why?

It is a form of emotional abandonment, and that’s why it feels like cheating. She’s spending a disproportionate amount of time with other people and unavailable to you. However, this isn’t the problem; it’s only a symptom of the same problem that causes what we think of first when we think of “cheating,” an affair.

She’s bored because he is no longer tripping those biological triggers that make her feel attraction for him and make her want to spend that time with him getting that “swept off her feet” feeling. There’s no longer anything interesting or fun about talking or being with him. The only difference is that for some reason, whether her value system, opportunity, or whatever, she’s seeking intimacy and/or adrenaline rushes in e-mail, a chat room, or on the telephone, or being absorbed in some form of hobby or volunteer work that gives her a reason to be around other people where she thinks she has a better chance of escaping he boredom instead of being caught up in a sexual affair.

This doesn’t mean that she is or is not looking for an affair, or that there is anything wrong with having a hobby, but it does mean that if she is spending a lot of time away from her husband and sees nothing attractive about him, she is vulnerable to an affair, whether she wants it or not. And make no mistake; the answer is NOT to start hammering on her trying to control her time like a dictator or to start whining like a wuss that she spends time with everybody but you. And for crying out loud, DON’T start telling her how much you NEED her. That’s the kiss of death. The dictatorial route might be VERY TEMPORARILY effective, but if it is, it will be VERY short-lived. The correct answer?

He needs to trip her attraction triggers and get on the same wavelength with her in communications so that she’ll be focused more on talking to him and having fun with him and much less (if any at all – some women need more social connectivity than others no matter what is going on at home) on chat room companions or phone buddies. Of all the women in my test panel, every one of them admitted to spending too much time on the phone and in chat rooms before their husbands started applying what they learned from my book, and all found themselves not even being tempted when their husbands got back on track. Indeed, they freely admitted that their time spent outside of their marriage felt like they were “settling for less” in the absence of the man they thought they married.

Her primary reason for being in the chat rooms for inordinately long periods is to combat that terrible boredom that grips women when their man isn’t creating enough attraction for them, which is good news for him, because it means he certainly can fix it, UNLESS SOMEBODY IN A CHAT ROOM HAS CREATED ATTRACTION ALREADY, in which case he will have to compete with the new guy and while not impossible, it is VERY difficult to catch up.

Women will focus on sources of attraction and protect them, even from family and friends. I cannot overstress this. But as I’ve told you before if you’ve been with me for a while, because the chat rooms, excessive phone use, and affairs, both emotional and purely sexual, are all symptoms of the same problem, BOREDOM, solving that problem eliminates ALL of the symptoms that are or may become present.

And yes, she probably did try to tell him about it at some time in the past, but he couldn’t hear her. When she said, “Do you think everything’s okay with us?” he had no idea that she was in fact making the statement, “I have a problem with what’s going on between us and want you to talk with me about it.” He just said, “Yes, it’s fine,” and she thought, “Well you insensitive jerk! Well, if you don’t want to talk to me, I can sure find somebody who does!” Questions are statements and statements are questions; men state, while women negotiate (see my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report or my book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” for more on this).

Let me be perfectly clear on something here, spending a few minutes a few times a week to check in on friends by phone, e-mail, instant messaging or in chat rooms is not cause for alarm; even a little while each day is not excessive. Women are social creatures and if they become cut off from the rest of the world, as is common in new relationships and with young children, she will find a way to maintain a social circle, no matter what.

HOWEVER, if the majority of the day that she has available to spend with you is spent avoiding you and seeking the company of others, it’s a problem, and no different than if she’s disappearing every evening to socialize or even have sex with someone else. Luckily, it’s a problem you can fix, and if you haven’t let it run on to the point that she’s done with you (which WILL happen if some other man creates attraction for her – it’s a double-edged sword, and a powerful one!), she’ll be more than willing to let you -- or even help you – to fix it.

There are exceptions, as always, starting with the chronic/serial cheater who has so little self-esteem that they are constantly seeking approval from any and all available sources and will commit any feat of self-destruction and take any risk to get it. There are also psychopaths and sociopaths, parasites and predators who seek opportunity at any cost, and it doesn’t matter how much you give them, nothing is enough. But don’t be alarmed…

There are some very important things about these people that you can recognize and some more that you must know. First, there is a common thread running through all of them that you can easily spot: an entitlement mentality. They feel it is their right to cheat, and they will get very angry with anyone who would even suggest otherwise. And that sense of entitlement permeates everything they do; you’ll see a lot of situations where they are expecting you to do something for their benefit when there is nothing in it for you, and will often use guilt to make it happen.

What you must know about these people, all of them, is that they are almost always unsalvageable. The mental and emotional defects or damage that make them like this is beyond anything you can help. They don’t WANT to change. They want the rest of the world to suit them. Even those with abysmal self-esteem will often prefer to keep seeking self-esteem through the approval of others rather than its one authentic source, personal achievement, because it is far easier to flirt and drum up anything from a smile to an affair than it is to work and achieve something – they feel entitled to the easy way out.

So should you identify your spouse as one of these people, you may make an effort to wake them up and get them to step up and be a worthy spouse and deserving part of your family, but if they do not do it, DO NOT get it in your head that this is because there is something WRONG WITH YOU. You have made a mistake, but they, their attitude, and their choices are the problem, not YOU, because they have gone somewhere besides you for resolution.

If you get your own self-esteem up to a comfortable level, start enjoying your life, having fun and being fun to be around and she still insists that affairs are necessary, point out that self-esteem repair did wonders for you and could do wonders for them. And if they reject that most self-evident of truths, cut them loose, else they will suck you dry and leave you in a heap while they continue to bounce from jugular to jugular, feeding on the lives and resources of others looking for something that will make them feel good about themselves but requires no effort, no commitment, or anything else on their part. Luckily for the human race, such women – and such men – are a minority, and easily spotted once you know what to look for.

Most women are not hard to live with, but it can sure seem like they are when you don’t understand them and can’t comprehend their needs, which in turn seem complex, but are in fact extremely simple, no matter how dramatic or complex they make it seem. You know from your life’s experience that most things that seem mysterious and complex when you know too little about them are ridiculously simple when you learn what you need to know.

What’s more, when you start understanding women better and communicating better with them, they respond with nurturing, loyalty, and intimacy on a level you cannot imagine until you’ve seen it. This is because of a biological drive to respond on an unconscious level and because they consciously know they’ve got a “one-in-a-million man,” one that every woman dreams of having and few ever find. Keep repeating that: “Biological, not logical…biological, not logical…” It’s not a choice, it’s a million year old biological program. So…

If you want to be the happiest man alive, learn the simple things you need to know about her and communicating with her, put that knowledge to use, and nature will take its course; making her happy will make you happy every time. It seems like forbidden knowledge; Sigmund Freud, the great psychologist, is famous for saying, “The great question... which I have not been able to answer... is, "What does a woman want?

Well, I didn’t figure it out either, at least not without some help. I asked a bunch of women, nearly 200 of them, and made them prove to me that what they told me was accurate by putting it in the hands of their own husbands and boyfriends and checking the results. We refined it, retested it, and it is indeed accurate, and is working for everybody who is using it. Unlike everybody else in this business, I don’t get refund requests; I get questions and testimonials.

So now it’s your turn to know what happy men know and most men will never know. This seemingly “forbidden” knowledge awaits you at http://www.makingherhappy.com in an instantly-downloadable and easy-to-read e-book (on screen or on paper!) called “"THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s fully guaranteed to work for you, so now you have a choice: you can let things ride and continue to gradually decay, or you can choose to take charge and make things better than you’d ever hoped they could be. Choose well, because she’s watching…

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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