An incredible theory about cheating
A friend of mine once casually told me a theory for "why people cheating" that blew me away because it seems so true. She said something like:
- "The most common reason a woman will cheat on a man, is if he doesn't make her feel appreciated and adored as a woman - if he takes her for granted - if he steals her feminine power."
I was floored because it seemed so simple and made so much sense. So now let's add to it:
- "The most common reason a man will cheat on you a woman, is if she doesn't make him feel appreciated and revered as a man - is she consistently nags or emasculates him - if he doesn't get to feel his masculine power."
Disclaimer: My advanced apologies for making huge generalization and being heteronormative. I am aware that not all women are predominately feminine and not all men predominately masculine... and of course that there is a big spectrum of pronouns, genders, and sexual preferences in between. Take this as it is - a theory about heteronormative couples.
I've known lots of friends who were cheated on and it usually involves one of these two scenarios. The happiest and wisest of my friends who were cheated on relatively quickly snap out of the victim trap and take responsibility and ownership in the role they played. Even if you didn't really do anything "conventionally" wrong, you are doing yourself a disservice if you continue a victim mentality which is pretty synonymous with suffering. Pain is a fact of life, suffering is a choice. So choose to snap out of it and learn! Maybe they are, as you claim a narcissists... but maybe they felt unseen by you, and you were not given them what they needed to feel powerful and supported as a man or woman.
I've also had a couple of close friends and lovers who admitted to me that they once (in the past) cheated on someone. They were not proud of it and I was floored at the honesty of their confession. Even one of the people I most admire, who is now an incredible empowerment coach and mother, admitted that she once cheated on someone. I realized in that moment that cheating isn't always black and white. Her partner had stopped treating her as a goddess but more like a piece of furniture, and she didn't have the communication skills at that point to express that her needs were not met. In this case, it sounded like it had nothing to do with how much sexual they were or were not having, and everything to do with "Are you feeling appreciated". I've been in a few workshops now where people get to step forward if they have ever cheated on someone and I was - each times - shocked at the number of people who stepped forward. People I never expected.
An Incredible Theory About Cheating: Are You Making Them Feel Like a Man or Like a Woman
I apologize (once again) about being heteronormative here, but most women feel truly empowered when they feel what? Women feel empowered when they feel into their feminine power. In modern society, women have often felt pushed to behave more like men to be taken seriously... but most still enjoy moments when their partner worships and adores them as a goddess. They love it when their partner provides them with a strong shoulder, lifts them up, takes the lead spoils them... pampers them... whispers something sexy into their ear about their beauty.
Most men feel truly empowered when they feel what? Men feel empowered when they feel into their masculine power. In some societies, men have been encouraged to become more feminine and gentle with women... and that's wonderful in moderation, but they also love it when their partner worships them as a god. They love it when their partner provides a soft embrace, the chance to lead, the encouragement to be strong, reassurances of their worth... and whispers something sexy into their ear about how powerful and manly they are.
Unfortunately, after the lustful honeymoon period of a relationship, you suddenly fall into a routine. Life happens... and suddenly you start nitpicking each other. So ask yourself this honestly. Are you confident enough to say there is no situation in which you would cheat? Consider these two scenarios:
- Scenario one: You are a man constantly being nagged at home by your wife... constantly criticized for not providing or making decisions. Your home life has become miserable and you can't remember the last time your wife looked at you with adoring eyes, or even said something nice. You are miserable. You are on edge constantly that whatever she says to you next is probably a criticism. Suddenly at work, there's some fresh-eyed lovely woman who comments on how she loves your leadership or arms and you see the promise of someone who would hold you close at night, worship you like a god, and see you as special. You are starving for affection. Are you now tempted to cheat?
- Scenario two: You are a woman who is taken for granted by your husband. He barely makes eye contact, he treats you like a bag of potatoes, and you can't remember the last time he bought flowers, said something sweet, or kissed you with passion. Instead, he notices when you put on weight and doesn't listen to you. He doesn't feel like the man you met - he's too busy now to notice you. So you go out for salsa dancing and a few drinks with girlfriends and suddenly there is a nice-looking Latino guy on the dance floor swooning over your body and making promises to sweep you off your feet and worship your body and mind. You are starving for affection at home, but in the eyes of this man, you see someone who will make you feel alive. Are you tempted to cheat?
I've never cheated in my life, but if I had been in a long loveless period, I would absolutely think about cheating. Here's the thing though. We don't have to. We just have to have amazing communication. You can even read this page together and acknowledge that you feel emasculated and ignored. Once that crude reality settles in you might realize that you both are in some ways responsible, and you both can take a fabulous date night to reconnect. Stare into each other's eyes. Write down what you love about the other person. Well ahead of cheating (however you define cheating) your mature options are to improve communication to explain your needs, or to simply break up before doing something harmful to both of you.
If you acknowledge this basic truth at the start of a relationship, it's far less likely that either of you will cheat. I mean there is still a chance, but if you sense a drifting apart, either you will rise to the task of reconnecting deeper than ever before... or decide to part ways. And hey - if that's what's best, at least you've saved each other potentially years of misery and the extra heartbreak risk of someone cheating on the other, but doing something that you both have defined (I hope you've done this) as cheating on the other. Set your president for communication early!
This is my advice... I'm still single at the time of writing this, so take it or leave it, but I am proud that most of my recent relationships have ended beautifully - the most recent with of them with a beautiful parting ritual - and certainly without any suspected "foul play" because we just wouldn't do that to each other!
Sorry for being so heteronormative, but I'd love to hear your comments and ideas! It's not like I or my friend were the first ones to come up with this though, but I hope I've articulated it in a way that makes you think about your current or past relationships. Ask yourself:
- "How much did I feel them revered"?
- "What simple action tonight (flowers, a massage, a sexy night, a poem) might show them how much I care"?
- Overcoming lies and cheating - in case it's happened already.