There have been lots of responses to my Huffington Post piece “Why Men Need to Cheat” (at last count, 4,042 comments and a lot of responses throughout the web, including one by Chopper Papa), but I then I got an email from a reader who calls himself U.G. Gold. Mr. Gold, a self-described conservative (take that, Culture and Media Institute!), cc’d Dr. Eric Anderson as well, and noted “it’s a true insult to your research to totally dismiss it as a ‘liberal war on marriage.'”
Thank you, Mr. Gold, because it isn’t an attack on marriage or anything else; it is questioning whether monogamy (and you don’t have to be married to be monogamous or not) is working for couples when divorce rates are between 43 percent and 50 percent often because of infidelity.
So, here’s Mr. Gold’s response — I welcome comments (but I won’t approve any that attack the person and not the idea; that accomplished nothing to further the dialog):
Why Men Need to Cheat (Male Response)
I have two very close female friends who have recently divorced for the most part due to cheating husbands. One showed me Vicki Larson’s article yesterday which I found quite interesting but, it never really answered the question of “Why Men Cheat.” For those with heart conditions, bruised egos, low self-esteem, and/or are currently in a workplace which frowns upon screaming obscenities at the computer monitor followed by smashing your keyboard across your cubicle you may want to read this another time. It’s brutally honest.
My friend Clark Kellogg at CBS Sports told me some time ago – “always take away at least one thing from what every coach tells you.” I couldn’t agree more. If you take one thing away from this article for remainder of your wonderful life may it be the following: “A man is only as faithful as his next best option.”
I love sociology and my career has given me the opportunity to see massive amounts of information compiled into neat little data models. I admire sociologist Eric Anderson’s work on the subject and I will be sure to read his new book when it hits the shelves. However, I found his answers to Vicki’s questions “perplexing” because his solution for cheating men seemed to be, “let him have sex with other women every once in awhile and your relationship will be better.” Umm … no. I don’t recommend that, while it may work for the very bold, open relationships or the occasional threesome it’s typically setting you up for failure later. Trust me — I’m not only a client, I’m the former Open Relationship President.
I’ve always told the women I’m close to “don’t take advice from women when it comes to men.” Ninety percent of the time women completely wrong when it comes to males and the other 10 percent is usually just pure luck (even a broken clock is right twice a day). The exceptions I’ve found are the incomparable Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Stephanie Klein. Gay men can be an excellent resource too but, there’s slight slant to their advice, which is why I couldn’t quite grasp Dr. Anderson’s artful answers until further inspection. The real question is where the need to cheat comes from and there are 3 very simple responses to that question. Basically men are simple and for the most part stupid. We don’t need to be dissected and posed thought provoking philosophical questions to give meaningful answers.
A real-life courtroom tape went something like this:
Lawyer: Mr. Hobson, even though Mrs. WeinMaker was married to my client and your executive assistant – you ignored your own company policy and engaged in sexual intercourse in your own office. Mr. Hobson, can you explain why you had sex with Mrs. WeinMaker?
Mr. Hobson: She was naked.
Lawyer: Is there any other reason Mr. Hobson?
Mr. Hobson: She had big breasts.
(Now, to preface I’m only addressing long-term relationships/ marriages of people between the ages of 24-47; not past 47 because menopause starts to set in and that’s whole different animal).
3 Good Reasons Why Your Man Will Cheat
1. You’re built like a stack of dirty laundry.
Seriously, if you’ve been to the post office more times in the last six months than you’ve been to the gym there in may lay the problem. Let’s not kid ourselves – pounds lead to porn. If you’re looking in the mirror every morning and don’t like what you see, how do you think he’s feeling. I’m not saying you need to look like Jillian Michaels but, almost every time I watch Dr. Phil he’s got some monster-sized chick next to him crying with tissues saying “He doesn’t appreciate me like used too …” No! What he doesn’t appreciate is you making a second trip to that damn chocolate fountain at Golden Corral. Counselor Gary Neuman said it best on Oprah — “men like winning and you have to make him feel like a winner.” We do … not necessarily in the Charlie Sheen sense of “winning” nonetheless, we want to have a bigger, better trophy than the other guy. And no trophy is more important than his wife. You must remember you are not only representative of him at all times but a metaphysical extension of him and if you don’t feel or look good then the catalyst for his very existence is broken. Yes, it’s that deep.
2. You’re too tired to have sex.
Well … we started two wars, our financial system nearly collapsed, and everybody was broke for awhile because Hillary Clinton was too tired to have sex with Bill. This one is a no-brainer. And I don’t want to hear the complaining about “well he just doesn’t know how to get me hot anymore”. Listen if your man has to be an Ice Road Trucker and drive his fingers across the frozen tundra just to get you warmed up night after night then one day he’s going to drop his logs off somewhere easier to park. Get my drift. Now, I’m not saying you have to be a wanton Taiwanese sex slave either but, if you aren’t having sex at least once a week or the optimal twice a week then something is definitely wrong. I know after 10 years of marriage things die down but, if he’s making an effort then you need to be receptive as possible. If he’s not making an effort then, refer back to No. 1 above.
3. You’re married to a slut.
Yes. There are male sluts. Like this guy in Esquire magazine. He is a just a slut, not a man or a husband and I pity his poor wife. Now, if I can’t marry a slut, a stripper, or a former porn-star what makes you think you can? If you’re still reading this then you may either a) want to know if your current boyfriend/spouse is cheating or, b) want to know how to find one that won’t cheat. Easy… where did you find him? Did you find him in bar lost like a stray dog looking for water? Do you know how many women your man has been with? You should have some idea. Has he cheated on another girl in the past? Did he cheat to get with you? Do his friends make statements like “I never thought we’d get him to settle down.” Well then girlfriend, you may have Paris Hilton without the billion dollars.
In short, don’t give up on monogamy. There are still plenty of good men out there looking for just one good woman to take care of for the rest of their lives.
Best of Luck