Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cheating Men on Oprah

After rushing home from work, getting in a pitiful little 30 minute workout, talking on the phone with my mother and then high-tailing it over to a fellow therapist’s house, we settled in to watch Oprah tell us “why men cheat?” The show featured licensed mental health counselor, M. Gary Neuman along with several couples brave enough to publicly share their struggles with infidelity. I have to say…I didn’t hear anything earth shatteringly new. It basically just confirmed that the reason why men cheat…is the same reason why women cheat. Although, I did get a good belly laugh out of Gary’s suggestion to lo-jack your man or take him for a lie detector test if you suspect he’s cheating. I find it hard to believe that any man who is cheating would agree to take a lie detector test. From my perspective, women ARE lie detector tests! Our “women’s intuition” is all the test we need. Just be sure it’s coming from a place of “gut instinct and substantial proof” and not “neurotic insecurity”. I’ve had clients and friends ask me if it’s okay for them to go through their man’s stuff or tap their phone. My answer is always the same. If you even feel compelled to play Inspector Clouseau, that’s your intuition telling you that he’s cheating. The problem is that women often want the confession so despite the flashing neon sign above his head that says cheater, we want to hear it from his mouth. So we spend a lot of time and energy trying to create a “gotcha!” moment when that energy is best spent confronting your man. Gary’s book is about prevention and helping women see the signs and create an environment that a man would not want to stray from. But the reality is that it takes two to cheat. The man is not the only one being fulfilled in an affair. So the question then becomes, are we all so eager to fulfill our own needs that we’re willing to violate the boundaries of others' relationships? The best way to combat the cheating man, is for women to take a stand and say, I will not involve myself with any man currently in a relationship. Can you imagine if we all took that stand? Where would the cheating man go? My guess is…back home. And once he’s there…feel free to implement Gary’s tips.