In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the motivations and reasons women cheat.
First a quick update:
“The relationship poll”
Read the interview I gave to the Daily Vanguard about the relationship poll it took with college students and with surprising findings when males and females identified trust, loyalty and honesty as the most important thing they look for in a partner.
“Does your marriage or relationship suffer from the putt putt syndrome?”
I have been appointed the exclusive relationship expert for the new movie, “The Putt Putt Syndrome.” What is it? How do you prevent it? How do you get out of it? Read the transcript of the interview I gave to Joanie Winberg CEO of the National Association of Divorce for Women and Children and host of “Single Again! Now What?” Talk Radio Show.
Now, let’s talk about why women cheat.
When we mention the word cheating, we often immediately think of men – Tiger Woods, John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, Governor Mark Sanford, ESPN’s Steve Phillips, Robert “Mutt” Lange, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Peter Cook and the list goes on. From politicians, athletes and musicians to corporate executives such as Oracle President Charles E. Philips, it seems as if men are cheating all the time and much more than women.
But what about women? Do women cheat?
The latest statistics reveal that women cheat on their husbands equally as much as men – one in five married women has had an affair according to the National Opinion Research Center.
Why do women cheat on their husbands and are their motivations different from men’s motivations?
Yes, women cheat for different reasons to men!
As I have outlined in various media interviews and articles, men cheat first and foremost because of power, opportunity, narcissism and a lack of self-discipline (i.e. they can’t say no and thus they give into temptation.) Listen to the various radio interviews I have given about men, cheating and power at Radio-Interviews
In 2010, the celebrities and the powerful have found the way to excuse their behavior by claiming they are addicts – i.e. Tiger Woods and Steve Phillips. In fact, both Tiger Woods and Steve Phillips have attended the same rehab clinic. This is like the Monopoly game’s “Get out of Jail free” card; the ideal way to cry “I am not responsible for my behavior, I have an excuse and I do not need to be accountable; It’s not my fault, I am helpless.” And for high profile people such as Tiger Woods and Steve Phillips, it is also the perfect way to try and win back the public’s support, empathy and affection. And yes, Tiger Woods and Steve Phillips may have other emotional issues but their primary issue is not addiction.
So if the primary reason men cheat is due to narcissism and lack of will power, what about women? Why do women cheat?
Women cheat when they feel invisible and their emotional needs aren’t being met – and that is part of The Putt Putt Syndrome.
The Putt Putt Syndrome is a new movie, a dark comedy by director and producer, Allen Cognata; it had its New York City screening last Friday and is coming to Los Angeles in March. Allen and his team chose me as the exclusive relationship expert to the movie.
And although the movie is a dark comedy, it has a powerful message, and a startling wake up call to men.
The Putt Putt Syndrome is a real and common occurrence where both partners putt putt along on contentment, idling and just getting by; the man is in mid-life crisis and the woman is disillusioned by a one-minute romp. She feels lonely, isolated and neglected by her husband who is lost in his work while she is lost in the children and maybe her own career. Gone is the romance and excitement and now both husband and wife have become roommates – the woman feels invisible, she’s not being heard, and with plenty of opportunity and temptation around her, she seeks to have her needs met elsewhere…cheating occurs. Remember, today, women have more opportunity than ever before; in decades past, the joke was that the wife, stuck at home, might have an affair with the milk man but today, she is surrounded by men and opportunity at work, the gym and even in the supermarket.
In the film, The Putt Putt Syndrome, Johnny (played by Jason London) thinks he lives the perfect married life until his friend Tony (played by David Chokachi) whose wife cheated on him, plants a seed of doubt in Johnny’s mind. One day, tired of hearing his bitter friend’s nagging about why wives cheat and marriages fail, Johnny decides to check out Tony’s theories only to discover he has got all the symptoms himself. Suddenly, Johnny’s perception of suburban marital bliss comes tumbling down, as he finds himself trying to save his marriage in the midst of a midlife crisis.
Vicki, the cheating wife (played by Heather Tom) reveals in the film why she cheated when her husband stopped giving her attention and stopped noticing her. Vicki confides in her best friend Sam (played by Thea Gill) when she tells Sam that she felt invisible in her marriage and her husband Tony never noticed her or listened to her.
When women feel neglected and unloved, they can also feel ugly, unwanted and worthless. When a woman loses all of the emotional intimacy and bond, she also feels like a shell rather than a whole or full person; she feels unfulfilled even if her career is going well and even if she has a close and healthy relationship with her children. For women, bonding, relationships and nesting are critical to their sense of happiness and mental and emotional health.
And one of the key things a woman wants is to be adored, to be feel, know and be reassured that she is the one, the only one. She wants to be heard, wants to be noticed and wants her man to listen and be empathetic. She also wants him to respect her body and love and express affection without it always having to lead to the bedroom. She wants him to be with her.
Thus, when another man comes along and starts to provide her with her emotional needs – he gives her the attention, listens to her and makes her feel alive, treasured and special – then she will give in and have an affair. And as Vicki in the movie, The Putt Putt Syndrome explains, her affair wasn’t about love or the pure physicality – they were both using each other –she was using him for the attention, the compliments and for making her feel like a woman again.
Of course, in every situation, we decide how we are going to respond. And one of the mistakes many people make is the failure to communicate to their partner about what they feel, what they are experiencing and what they want and need. It is okay to ask your partner for what you need. Too many women make the mistake, out of false pride, of refusing to ask their partner to give them what they want, falsely believing that “He should know what I want and do it naturally.” This is the misconception: “If he loved me, he would naturally do it.” Sorry ladies, but sometimes, we men are Neanderthals, and we need to be reminded.
In fact, the major mistake most men make is to think that as long as they are working and providing for the woman and family, then they are fulfilling their role. In other words, men quickly forget about providing what cannot be bought; providing for her emotional needs – love, praise, attention, compliments, encouragement, support, affection, bonding, romance, and so forth.
So yes, there are strategies to get out of the Putt Putt Syndrome and to prevent an affair. In order to relight the fire, both partners must make the romance and marriage the priority. Many parents put their children first but then the marriage falls apart and the children end up being hurt, lonely and parentless. Think of the airplane analogy – put on the oxygen mask and then turn to your children and give them the mask.
Accordingly, awareness and action are the answer.
For men, here are some key tips:
*Listen and pay attention to your wife/girlfriend
*Notice everything about her – when she does her hair, it’s for you; when she has her nails done, dresses up or buys a new dress, it’s for you
*Make her your priority once more, put her first; the better she feels about herself, the better she will feel and respond towards you
*Stop thinking that marriage is SOD (sex on demand) and romance her once again; be creative
*Block time to discuss bills, problems and responsibilities and then switch off and become a romantic couple
*Compliment her, give her attention and affection without expecting or trying to lead to sex
*Take the lead and organize romantic getaways or dates
For women, here are some key tips:
*Stop taking the children to every single co-curricular activity on offer
*Start putting the marriage first
*Tell your man/husband how you feel – neglected, invisible, not heard
*Ask your husband for what you want and need; he will express his real love by responding accordingly
*Create a weekly date night
*Reserve a hotel room once a month for that “afternoon delight”
*Use texting to create anticipation and mystery for a surprise meeting with your partner
*Play roles and fantasies
*Revive the mystery and flirting
Finally, remember, we all need to be loved and men need to feel needed. Let your man know how you need him and what you need to feel special.
If you would like more information, tips and strategies, read the transcript of the interview I gave about the Putt Putt Syndrome and how to get out of it.
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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 & Clinical Hypnotherapist
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.