In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal how to overcome cheating – what to do after the affair has occurred.
First a quick update:
“Is Britney mentally incapable?”
Read my quotes to FoxNews.com about Britney Spears.
“Schwarzenegger – Why powerful men cheat”
Read my press release.
“Why powerful couples fail”
Watch the TV interview I will be live giving from LA to Australia for “The Morning Show” Thursday 9 AM Australia time.
“Why leading men in Hollywood cheat”
Watch the TV interview I will be giving to The Morning show on Fox 10 in Arizona Thursday at 10 AM Arizona time.
Now, lets’ talk about what to do after the cheating has occurred.
The announcement yesterday that actor and former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child secretly after an affair ten years ago with a household staffer, has enraged again the debate about why men cheat, why men in power cheat and what the victim of the betrayal should do.
First, it is important to note that cheating is not exclusive to men – both genders do it – and women often do it for different reasons to men. Women tend to cheat when their emotional needs are not being met and when they feel invisible.
In my article, “Lies, cheating and betrayal”, I explain in detail many of the possible reasons that cheating can occur.
Larry Josephs, a professor of psychology at Adelphi University claims there is a new reasoning to cheating “There’s a fairly new measure we use that’s called ‘the dark side…It’s a combination of narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.”
However, ultimately, cheating often comes down to one thing – power and its effects – delusions of invincibility, entitlement and the corruption of one’s morals and values. Yes, the male has a powerful impulse to recreate but the choice and decision to be monogamous and faithful requires then self-denial, self-restraint, delayed gratification, self-control and self-discipline. And these principles apply to every area of one’s life. The people who are in positions of power and influence simply face greater tests and more temptation. And as Lord Acton said in 1887, “All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The list of guilty people is long: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor Mark Sanford, Governor Elliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Bill Murray, President Bill Clinton, Jesse James and so forth.
However, some women tolerate and even accept cheating. Actress Goldie Hawn says men are wired to cheat and that’s OK with her. Goldie says it’s a fallacy to believe you can be with only one person your entire life, and says, to stay happy, she ignores whatever her partner does; Goldie and actor Kurt Russell have been together since 1983.
On the other end of the spectrum some women respond to betrayal by becoming angry; they feel inadequate and blame themselves: “The wife is supposed to take care of the sex. This is my failing; I wasn’t adequate” said Silda Wall Spitzer, the wife of Governor Eliot Spitzer who used a young, high-priced prostitute. Read my article “Women to blame for men cheating?”
But the question remains, what do you do once you have found out about the cheating?
In an interview to Extra TV show immediately following the Tiger Woods scandal, I said that his wife Elin should wait before making any major decisions and first take care of herself and her children – physically, mentally and emotionally. And when children are involved, don’t tell them – particularly if they are very young. You also need to be careful of projecting, transferring or taking out your pain, anger, hurt and other emotional distress onto your children.
Another key point and warning here:
Do not ask for all of the details regarding the affair.
It will simply create a dangerous cycle where you will replay in your mind, over and over again, the image and details of the cheating and, will only serve to make it more difficult to get over it – regardless of whether or not you stay in the relationship or marriage.
The only way any relationship can survive and be rebuilt after a betrayal is for both partners to want that result and for both be willing to do what is necessary.
Just two days before the announcement by Arnold Schwarzenegger that he had betrayed his wife Maria Shriver, a reader wrote to me on my blog asking for advice about a betrayal.
My husband has cheated on me with my sister. I did had a suspicious about them, but they always denied and tell me that I was a suspicious person and I don’t like them together…but one day I found her naked photo on his computer and finally they accepted it…my husband ask me to forgive him it was mistake and there is nothing going between them…it’s history…but my sister never said sorry and what she did was wrong. Unfortunately she works in his office, that I always didn’t like it because she was trying to take my place…I found out from one function that she was using my name..as a wife of my husband…after this my husband said that she is no longer will be in the office…but after two months I found out she is back after her leave and still there..I had a big fight with my husband…and his excuse is she has a five years of experience in that work and he can not let her go…our kids and family took the objection on his decisions…and my sister has no shame at all…not one talks with her including her own 18year son hates it…but she is still in the office. We all told her to go…I’m going crazy over this…I love him, how should I cope with this and bring his trust back..I don’t trust my sis, she is big liar in the past…what should I do…is working in same office is healthy…my husband is always travels and hardly in the office…
My response to Raati:
“Cheating and betrayal can be some of the deepest pains we have to face. The first thing I would like to say is that you both need to seek counseling.
You have three choices:
1. Get out of the relationship
2. You both come clean (open up) about everything and what you feel in this relationship
3. You both work towards rebuilding the trust
Remember, you always have time to go back to option 1., so try out the others first. Another key point here is that the only way that trust can be rebuilt into a relationship – and stronger than before is for both partners to want it. Next, you Raati, have to state what it is you want i.e. tell him how he can help you to trust him (make it measurable and tangible) – do you want him to call you, text you or prove to you where he is and what he is doing, etc?
The last element is about forgiveness, which sets you free and possibly leads to the rebuilding of the relationship (remember, you can forgive him and still end the relationship.) Accordingly, if he really wants to heal the relationship and transform it for the better, then the following must occur:
He must accept responsibility for his actions and he must make himself accountable. In other words, he must take the step to seek your forgiveness. He must prove to you that he regrets his ways and is willing to do what is necessary for you to give him another chance. In other words, you must decide if you want your sister out of that office and if so, then you tell him and if he truly regrets his actions and decides to pay the consequences of his actions and chooses to prove to you that he loves you and the relationship is a priority, then he will let go of your sister from the office – even if it negatively affects his business. If that is what you want in order to give him another chance, then say it and stick to it. Remember, part of the reason he does what he does is because you let him – you are not to blame for his affair but you are responsible for allowing the marriage to continue with your sister still working in your husband’s office – after they both betrayed you!
All the best and I hope this helps.
Here are some additional resources.
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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 & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.