Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. I am a man and I disagree with some parts of the article. Although in general men would think that they would scored when they bring someone home from a bar or a grocery store , in general they would later realize that she is a bad apple as well, which could stem from many reasons.
She could just be as arbitrary in flirting as the man does, she could be desperate, she could be on a rebound, she could be just as needing validation as the guy does. Answer is yes — my husband is good-looking and has been faithful for 17 years as have I although he is a big flirt. Good point, kaper. Incredibly well stated and articulate article.
I still desire the validation, but no longer actively look for it since I got married 10 years ago. What would you all say to the man who has cheated a few times over 17 years but has flirted with it alot. What would you say if this man is in a relationship that offers very little validation.
Sneak Peek: The Deep Confessions
Is that something I should be able to live with? Great article. But it is flawed, in at least one respect: it operates under the presumption that monogamy is natural and that faithfulness should be, by nature anyway, the rule. An appropriate article could explore the lack of security faithful men grew up with, which has led them to crave the certainty often associated with monogamy. Oh well. What post-feminism psychobabble… Sometimes people want sex for the sex or want variety for obvious reasons and not some grand, deep, Freudian drama.
I happen to be happily married and monogamous in my own case fortunately I have a great wife. I think the most important thing Schwyzer wrote here is that exclusive relationships are not for everyone. There are alternatives that may be better for some people than a monogamous marriage. Being exclusive can be challenging, and it comes with trade-offs that are worth it to some people and not worth it to others, depending on the individual.
One very critical element that I think has been missed in this discussion is the societal pressure for men to get married. Whether their preference is backed up by statistics or not, that puts a lot of pressure on aspiring men who, in their heart of hearts, might rather stay single. Excellent point here. Well, sort of tears them apart. I saw Bill Clinton on the Oprah show after he was President.
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The women in the audience absolutely adored him. Adultery causes divorce. I think Hugo makes a very good point about many men cheating in order to meet some internal need for validation. However, I see some natural limits on this explanation, because if we take this validation argument to its logical endpoint, then I wonder where the committed relationship fits into all this.
Hugo said that validation is a common motivation for new partners. People have sex for a variety of reasons that can change at any time.
5 Reasons Men Cheat—and How to Stay Faithful
Even within monogamous relationship, there are plenty of motives. I would say that the need for validation disappears when you gain a little self esteem and stop looking to other people for validation. You make a lot of good points here but the thing that hits me right between the eyes is the definition of cheating. We are conditioned from birth to believe that the only healthy kind of relationship is one that involves sexual monogamy. This conditioning has two sides. Dating at this age is tough enough, believe me! On the other hand, older men have an easier time.
Seems like it would balance out somewhat. My impression is that it is more inclusive and less competitive. My comments are based on my observations through my own personal experience. Think about it this way. If the men go into the swing scene to experience a variety of sexual partners and situations then there HAS to be women who they are persuing right? I remember that some of the research shows that while men want to start swinging, their wives often want to continue when the men want out.
It turns out that the women are simply more affiliative, and this applies to swinging also. You could be having fun with a lot of men, even younger and fitter and all of that.
Older men have NO easier time, trust me. Only the few dudes who are able to stay fit and hot when older will get many women… while older women, even when not that hot, will get many men wanting them. Ethical Slut asks a challenging question I look forward to answering at length. Like every lifestyle, it has its rewards and its costs, and we each need to do the cost-benefit analysis for our own lives and the lives of those we love.
Monogamy should be more about sexual health of course love and respect to. Hugh, your article was very thought provoking.
Growing Faithful Men
I admit I would have a hard time trusting someone who cheated in prior relationships. On the other hand, someone who has had only a little experience may feel deprived and want more when the opportunity arises. I dunno. I sleep with new women out of curiosity. Not because I need validation. In other words, to validate me — to make me feel valued again. Not bad, Hugo. The commodification part has no interest for me, nor does swinging. I do enjoy the buzz of an attraction, particularly at my age. Dude, I can empathize with your take on cheating having its roots in a need for validation, but this may not be the root cause- it may only be your experience as well as that of other men, but how many?
Mens testicles are small compared to their brains unlike lions for example. Lions are not monogamous. Humans are. Monogamy should be more about sexual health of course love and respect too. Great observations as usual sir! Do I detect some Bourdieu in there? I and a couple of other guys I know have a firm set of rules about this stuff.
What Your Brain Looks Like When You Cheat On Your Wife
Cheating is out. Not so fast. When marriage therapist M. Gary Neuman interviewed cheating men for his recent book, The Truth about Cheating , only eight cited sex as the main reason for their infidelity.
Forty-eight of them said emotional issues drove them to cheat. If sex was a factor, other problems were probably lurking. Knowing what makes men stray and how to squelch those urges can help keep you and your chosen one happy for the long haul. Tapping new research in genetics, economics, anthropology, and biology, as well as our experts' advice, we've developed this guide to the causes of infidelity—and what you can do to make sure the home fires blaze hot enough to keep you happy.
You're a Dirty Rat Well, not a rat, exactly, but a vole—a prairie vole. This small rodent is one of the few mammals that actually bond with their mates, and a vole's genetic traits give scientists clues about why humans stray from theirs. It turns out there's a switch inside the brain that controls the desire to form close ties. Emory University psychiatry professor Larry Young, Ph. In male voles, vasopressin helps keep the mate close and the competition far away.
Assuming that what's true for voles is also true for humans, vasopressin activates bonding centers in your brain, making you feel attached and protective. In women, oxytocin serves the same purpose. But according to scientists at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute, if you have a certain variation of the gene coding for one type of vasopressin receptor, you won't be as affectionate and cuddly as your mate would like you to be. The Karolinska study found that with this version of the gene, you're less likely to commit and twice as likely to report recent relationship problems.
Having the gene variant isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card, however. Your culture, childhood, and other life experiences play a large role in determining your behavior, Young says. Keep the faith: To ward off any such probabilities in your own relationship, increase your intimacy to boost bonding. As she responds with five of her own, you'll ignite the vasopressin bonding centers in your brain at least 10 times each day.
You're Not Risk-Averse Enough For many men, cheating is simply another decision, one with its own set of costs and benefits. Infidelity has uncertain and individual outcomes—you don't know how guilty you'll feel afterward, whether or not she'll catch you, or exactly what you'll lose in a divorce—so economists Edinaldo Tebaldi, Ph. Their study, published last year, reveals that men and women use drastically different decision-making processes. What's she thinking? A lot. Is he worth keeping, or is there someone out there that might be worth the risk of leaving?
Just how much money, love, companionship, security will I lose if I get caught spending my lunch hour in a seedy motel? It's about her relationship, her future, and the investment she might lose if she's caught. What are you thinking? Not much: Is there an opportunity, and will I get caught? Keep the faith: Make an informed decision by figuring out what you'd be losing now and in the future, Neuman says. Once you realize the risks, start sticking around the house.
More than half of the men Neuman interviewed spent time away from home before they cheated. While you're at home, do something few men do when they find their eyes roving: Face your spouse and admit to her that something's wrong. Once you know what's wrong and how you'll fix it, saving your marriage will replace thoughts of cheating.
You Don't Recognize Threats When they're surrounded in social situations by what researchers call "attractive alternatives," men tend to let their guard down too much. In a McGill University study, men and women who were presented with a virtual-reality assessment reacted very differently when they were asked to evaluate a group of photographs that included an image of an attractive person of the opposite sex.
Women avoided the photo, but men didn't. Asked to imagine an interaction with an attractive classmate of the opposite sex, women increased their thoughts of commitment and threat. Men drum roll didn't. The McGill researchers suspect that women strive to be protectors and gatekeepers of their relationships, or that they view threats to their relationships as personal. Men, on the other hand, tend to be more individualistic; they don't define themselves by their relationships as much.