A book by a marriage counselor claims women are to blame when men cheat because women don’t show enough appreciation to their man and they don’t value their man sufficiently. “The Truth about Cheating” by Gary Neuman says the no. 1 reason men cheat is “feeling underappreciated – a lack of thoughtful gestures” by the woman. Gary Neuman says cheaters are not the bad, rotten guys; “they can also be nice guys that get lost and do the wrong thing.” But Human Behavior Expert and Clinical Hypnotherapist Patrick Wanis PhD, says “Again here is another man who removes the responsibility of infidelity from the man who cheated and places it right in the lap of the woman by claiming that it is women’s responsibility to build up the man and make him feel valued because Neuman claims that is what men are searching for and expecting from women.” Patrick Wanis joins radio personalities Richard Stevens and Lori St. James to share his insights and explain why Gary Neuman’s claim is false and destructive to women’s self-esteem. Patrick also reveals that Neuman’s experience as a marriage counselor is being poorly used to simply repeat the excuses that men give and omits the empowering lesson that men and women should learn: we all have choices about how we react to the way people “make” or leave us feeling.
This is the transcript of the interview between Patrick Wanis PhD and radio personalities Richard Stevens and Lori St. James. To listen to the radio interview, click here.
Richard: Ah, the truth about cheating. “It’s all her fault.” That basically is the message of a book by Gary Neuman, The Truth About Cheating and maybe it’s a message that you may remember Peter Cook subscribed to. Former husband of supermodel Christie Brinkley said it was pretty much her fault, no attention to him. He just wanted a little …
Lori: Oh, but she has every right to be angry. Ah, duh!
Richard: Just wanted to be appreciated for the little things he does. Joining us is Patrick Wanis. Dr. Patrick Wanis is back with us, a celebrity life coach, author and an expert in human behavior and relationships and we need that as we try and sort through the mind of – well, people like Peter Cook. Patrick, welcome back.
Patrick: Thank you very much. There’s really not a lot to sort out with Peter Cook.
Lori: Yes. Yes, it was pretty black and white though. It was all written on the wall, right?
Patrick: Well, it’s interesting because in the divorce court case proceedings, the psychologist said quite openly this guy is very narcissistic but he also did say that both of them needed to go into counseling and therapy – meaning Peter Cook and Christie Brinkley …
Patrick: … because you can never say one person is perfect and the other one is completely evil or bad.
Lori: Well, absolutely not and, you know, what – Christie has been married four times now. So, that’s not exactly, you know, good.
Patrick: Yes, there’s a pattern there that she’s going through regardless of whether she’s attracting the same kind of person or the way that she’s interacting and responding or even treating men. And having said that, of course, that doesn’t justify anything that Peter did or said.
Lori: Exactly. Well, with this book with Gary Neuman and I saw him on Oprah when he – The Truth About Cheating. She did a follow-up show after that because women were angry.
Patrick: Well …
Lori: We – you know, as I was when I watched the show.
Patrick: Well, I got angry and I’m a man.
Lori: I know. Good for you.
Patrick: And the reason that I got angry is first, you know, this is a guy that’s a marriage counselor who says, “Look, men enter into a relationship because they want to be valued by a woman and they’re not being valued. And if they’re not being appreciated, there’s a good chance they’re going to cheat. So, ladies, wake up. You got to think. You got to appreciate your guys.” Now, if the message is to both men and women, “show appreciation, show gratitude …”
Patrick: “… say thank you to a partner as well as to anyone in your life who does something for you”, then that’s a positive message.
Patrick: But unfortunately in his book, he’s actually justifying cheating by saying it’s women’s fault that we’re cheating on you because you’re not doing enough for us.
Lori: Right. Wah, wah, wah.
Patrick: And it’s worse than that, Lori because it’s not just, you know, whining and whinging. They’re saying it’s your fault for my actions.
Patrick: It’s never the fault of the other person for what I choose to do.
Lori: And that has been the story for decades, blaming the woman. “Because you weren’t there for me,” or, “You’re not giving me sex,” or whatever it may be. And I’m thinking, excuse me?
Patrick: Well, there’s another point here too, Lori. Gary comes on and says, “Well, the reason I’m doing this, the reason I wrote this book is I want to empower women.” Well, you’re not empowering them when you’re ultimately tearing down their self-esteem by saying, “Look, here’s another example of what’s wrong with you women.”
Richard: This is one example of a bigger problem and that is the problem that we do not take responsibility for our actions on many levels in our lives.
Patrick: What a great point.
Richard: We’re pointing fingers at – on every level, it seems like we’re pointing fingers at somebody else.
So I want to say this because this is really important. From a therapist’s point of view, it’s vital for everyone listening right now to understand that yes, you can inspire me to feel a certain way; you might do something that makes me feel a certain way or leaves me feeling a certain way; But how I respond to the way I feel based on what you did has nothing to do with you.
So for example, if my wife isn’t showing me any appreciation, if my wife never says thank you, I have a thousand different ways of responding to that. I could cheat or I could sit down and talk to her. I could write her a letter. I could say, “Honey, we need to talk about this. Honey we need to go to counseling.” There are so many ways to respond. So, the way that I choose to respond has nothing to do with my wife or my partner. That’s my own personal choice. And that’s what annoyed me about what Gary Neuman is saying because he’s saying the way that your husband responds, if he decides to cheat on you, isn’t his fault. It’s your fault.
No – and the other point here too, Lori, is that we do all need validation but ultimately, we have to seek our own validation first. We can’t expect our partner to validate us 24 hours a day.
Patrick: And then the other thing that’s really critical here for both men and women is that there’s a difference between not being validated by a partner and being invalidated by a partner. So one is where – say your partner man or woman never says anything to you good versus a partner man or woman who only says bad things to you.
Patrick: And so I think it’s important to distinguish too between saying, “Look, I’m not getting validation,” versus, “Not only am I not getting validation, my husband or my wife continually puts me down and therefore invalidates me.” Well, Gary Neuman in his book is invalidating women because he’s putting them down and saying it’s their fault.
Lori: There should be a battle of the minds with you and Gary Neuman on Oprah. That would be so great.
Patrick: Well – and you know what – thank you, Lori. The other thing I want to say about this is unfortunately, people give credibility and credence to this book because they say, “Look, the author is a marriage counselor. He has been a marriage counselor 20 years.” Whoopie doo! That doesn’t mean he’s right, number one. Number two, it …
Lori: Whoopie doo!
Patrick: [laughs] Number two, because number one is the most important, right? Whoopie doo.
Richard: Neener neener neener. [laughs]
Patrick: Oh, and so here comes the real number one. The fact that the guy is a marriage counselor simply tells you he had heard the same excuse time after time.
Lori: Excuse, yes.
Patrick: And it’s really an excuse. It’s like going to the judge and saying, “Well, judge, the reason I stole from my company was because they didn’t pay me enough.” That’s an excuse. It’s not necessarily valid nor is it an explanation. So if I’m sitting there and a husband or a wife, they’re both sitting there and he says, “Well, I cheated on her because I didn’t feel appreciated or I felt undervalued.” And so? Why did you choose that response? That response is not justified simply because every man says it.
Patrick: That doesn’t justify. It’s like – it’s like saying, “Well, I’m doing it because everyone else is doing it.”
Patrick: As a therapist, I would say to the man, “Why did you choose this line of action?” versus “Why didn’t you just sit down and talk to her? Why didn’t you say to her, you know, honey, I’ve been working really, really hard and I never hear a thank you. Why couldn’t you say that? Oh, you have a fear about expressing yourself. Then, we’ll talk about that.” And this is a point that I make with everyone that I talk to on a one-on-one basis or even in an interview: Take accountability and responsibility for yourself and learn to speak up and say, “This is what I’m not getting. This is what I need,” so the other partner has the opportunity to say, “Here’s what I need.”
And, you know, you began, Lori by talking about Peter Cook and Peter Cook says he didn’t get enough appreciation from Christie Brinkley and he claims he didn’t get the emotional connection. That’s no excuse to say, “I as a 48-year-old,” or I think he’s a 50-year-old man, got a better emotional connection with an 18-year-old girl.
Richard: Yes, yes.
Richard: He has got absolutely no credibility.
Patrick: And again, you know, it’s simply someone trying to say, “I want to justify what I did rather than looking at myself and saying what is missing.” And in his book, Gary Neuman even cites a case where a man had the emotional connection and he had regular sex and he still chose to cheat. Therefore, we’re talking about selfishness. We’re talking about instant gratification. We’re talking about somebody who doesn’t have the power of resisting temptation. We’re talking about someone who doesn’t even have self-discipline. Look, I think Lori, you know this yourself. You will be attracted to other people in your life. You will feel a connection or a bond with other people in your life. That is a natural human thing. But the way you choose to respond to that attraction, is what will determine whether you will keep your commitment and vow to your partner, and be …
Richard: Beat temptation.
Lori: Absolutely. That’s the key.
Richard: One night only, one night only. Civic Auditorium, this Friday night. It’s Patrick Wanis. It’s Gary Neuman in the Match of The Future.
Patrick: It won’t last very long because I’ll tear him apart.
Richard: Fighting words just like the WWE.
Patrick: Well, I just – I really believe…
Patrick: You know, and this is coming from a man. I believe that we have to be fair. We have to see things as they really are and stop trying to blame other people for who we are and what we choose to do. And it comes down to that. It’s personal accountability and responsibility. Someone can punch you in the face or someone can say something abusive. You can respond the same way back or you can walk away or you can run away or you can put your hands up or you can do something else.
Richard: You can go to our website and figure out what you need to do.
Richard: Go to HitsAndFavorites.com. Click on the Morning Show. We will get you to Patrick Wanis who can give us some good insight so I suggest you try and go there. Patrick Wanis, always a pleasure to have you with us. Dr. Patrick Wanis: Celebrity Life Coach, Author and Expert in Human Behavior & Relationships. As always, Patrick, thanks for being here.
Patrick: And thank you for the opportunity.
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.