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Cheating – Are women innocent?

Cheating – Are women innocent?

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to respond to a blogger’s comments to me which raised the question: when it comes to cheating, are women innocent?

First a quick update:

“Learn my coaching/therapeutic techniques”
In response to numerous requests, look for an email this week when I will be offering for the first time, a training course on my “Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique” (SRTT)

Interventions & addiction”
If you had a friend or family member who was out of control and nothing works, what would you do to help them? Watch the series of four TV interviews I gave on The Morning Show:

When to do an intervention – Patrick Wanis PhD Pt.1

Interventions & addiction – Patrick Wanis PhD Pt. 2

Interventions – can you help? – Patrick Wanis PhD Pt. 3

Interventions – How to do an intervention – Patrick Wanis PhD Pt. 4

Now, let’s talk about cheating and if women are innocent or not.

In a press release I issued in October 2008, “So much wrong with women”, I responded to a book by Gary Neuman, a marriage counselor, who claims when men cheat it’s women’s fault because they don’t show enough appreciation to their man.

Neuman says women are to blame when men cheat. He says the no. 1 reason men cheat is “feeling underappreciated – a lack of thoughtful gestures” by the woman. He says cheaters are not the bad, rotten guys; “they can also be nice guys that get lost and do the wrong thing.”

In the above press release, and in subsequent interviews I gave, I revealed the major errors in Neuman’s conclusions. For example, first: no one else is to blame for the way we choose to respond to the way someone treats us. We cannot argue ‘you forced me to cheat’ or ‘you left me no other choice.’ Second: we alone are responsible and accountable for our own actions. While Neuman says that for 20 years he has heard the number one reason from men for their cheating is ‘feeling underappreciated’, I would argue that that is not the number one reason, rather, it is the number one excuse. I teach that cheating is about power, opportunity, instant gratification and lack of self-discipline and self-control.

(Read more of my responses in the transcript of the interview I gave to the syndicated radio show “Hits and Favorites” with Richard and Lori about “women to blame for men cheating”)

After reading my release, this week, one blogger on my website wrote a lengthy scathing comment, accusing me of favoring women and saying that “The bias against men in this article is glaringly obvious and pathetic.” Neoeritas wrote:

“Wanis like most others in our culture give women way to much movement while condemning men for the same failings…I suspect that his clientele are mostly if not exclusively female. I am also surprised that there is a PHD behind his name as one would think that someone with such a level of education would not make such sweepingly condemning statements to one gender. Women are not inherently innocent as our culture and they would like everyone to believe. They are just as capable of neglect, abuse, and cheating as men. And yes, they are also responsible for choosing their own responses.”

Neoeritas said that it is not anyone’s place to define what a ‘real man’ is: “Anyone who uses this statement is attempting to demean, degrade, and manipulate men.” Neoeritas also said that he can understand why a man would cheat:

“When a man cheats it very well could be due to his partner’s indifference and neglect.”

Yes, someone else’s actions can affect the way we feel. Yes, a constantly abusive partner (male or female) will affect our self-esteem, self-confidence and personal power if we are in that relationship long enough. However, the way that this abused person responds or reacts to the way they have been treated and the way they feel is a personal choice. It would be entirely incorrect to say that we are an island and completely immune from the way our partner or others around us treat us. Consider the people in concentration camps; one cannot argue that the abuses had no impact on the prisoners. Also, please consider Battered Woman’s Syndrome. If you research it, you will learn more about the long-term effects of abuse.

With regards to the gender behind the abuse: I entirely agree that both men and women are capable of cheating and betrayal as well as being abusive and neglectful. However, the statistics behind abuse reveal that men are more physically, mentally and emotionally abusive to women than women are to men. About 300,000 women are abused by a man in the US each year.

Now the bigger question remains: Are women inherently innocent “as our culture and they would like everyone to believe”?

Statistics reveal that women cheat almost as much as men do – though any of these statistics would be hard to quantify since much of it would be based on self-reporting i.e. that the cheater admits it to their partner or a researcher. Many men and women have cheated but been able to keep it secret.

This brings us to the next point, women seem to be much more discreet than men when it comes to cheating, and maybe they don’t boast about it or do it on grand scales with multiple partners the way some men such as Jesse James, Tiger Woods or David Boreanaz did. And if a woman were to cheat with multiple partners, we would most likely respond by saying that she must have a mental or emotional disorder.

Laurence Josephs is Psychology Professor with Adelphi University. Professor Josephs argues that it is the personality type rather than the gender that indicates whether a person might cheat or not. He says that people who have lower levels of empathy or experience less guilt tend to engage in more infidelity and; the people that are more prone to affairs and straying are “People who are higher in narcissism — whether they are male or female — are more likely to cheat. People who feel entitled to it, people who have what’s called avoidant attachment style where they tend to have more impersonal sex.”

Again, the reference to narcissism supports my teachings that cheating is primarily about power, opportunity, instant gratification and a lack of self-discipline – and therefore both men and women are prone to cheat.

As I wrote in response to Neoeritas:

“We are all capable of committing wrong or even evil acts, but again, statistics and studies reveal that men are more abusive than women are. And yes, in the past, I have had two girlfriends who cheated on me, and so I understand that women are not inherently innocent but also based on my understanding and knowledge of human behavior, I understand why they did it and that it had nothing to do with me – and yes, their actions along with other issues were motivated by opportunity and self-gratification. One at the time was still young with little life experience and little guidance – age 24, on vacation in Europe, and there was opportunity, along with attraction and a desire for self-gratification; there was also for her, deeper issues of self-sabotage.”

And this brings us to the final but potentially contentious point – something that is almost never mentioned: women betraying women. As we continue to read about various married men (celebrities, athletes and politicians) cheating and betraying their wife, the question remains are women betraying their own gender when they have an affair with a man that they know is already married?

If you would like to read all of Neoeritas’ comments and my detailed response, go here.

If you want to read more about the psychological motivations behind cheating, read my Newsletter from July 2009.

If you would like to comment on this newsletter, go here. If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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