Hey Chump Lady,
I discovered your blog in August and I read all your posts from the very beginning. Your blog literally opened my eyes and explained a lot of things I felt or suspected about cheaters but didn’t know how to explain.
My boyfriend noticed I read your blog religiously and the comments as well (which I think are really great because you read the stories of the people that have actually experienced everything you talk about). He thinks cheating is wrong and all but he also thinks there’s a “deeper reason” behind it all and cheaters aren’t necessarily bad people. He forwarded this article to me http://www.therapy-counseling.net/why-do-men-cheat/ I think a lot of it is rubbish and I’d like to tell him that but I think you’d do it a lot better.
Okay, before I tell you the article is rubbish, I just want to point out that you have a fundamental values schism with your boyfriend. You think cheating is wrong, your boyfriend thinks there might be good, understandable reasons for it (like a person just can’t really help it). Oh, but he’ll say it’s “wrong,” to seemingly align his values with yours. Yet he’s got an article ready to explain that really… it’s not that wrong.
And curiously, the article he has chosen only discusses why MEN cheat.
Huh. Funny dat. There’s no article on why cheating women “aren’t necessarily bad people.” It must be because their brains don’t have three times the capacity to think of sex. (One article nugget). Poor men. They must tip over from the weight of all that sex brain. I wonder if he’d be as understanding if you cheated on him? I mean, especially as you don’t have a biological imperative and all.
Z, I can’t help but wonder why you’re reading my site if your boyfriend (or a previous boyfriend) didn’t cheat on you. Was it this boyfriend? If it wasn’t this boyfriend, why would you choose a guy who’s not 100% on board with the Cheating Is Bad philosophy?
What makes a person a bad person? They do bad things. If cheating is bad, and you cheat, ergo that makes you a bad person.
I know, how simplistic of me. Now, I don’t think you’re always destined to be a Bad Person. Through your actions, over time, you could tip the scales toward being a Good Person again. But some bad actions, in some contexts, obliterate our other good qualities. People go to jail for killing someone. They don’t get lesser sentences because they hold the door open for their mom or love their kids. If you cheat in a relationship, that tends to eclipse your other finer qualities.
Now that balancing act — finer qualities versus infidelity — is what every chump struggles with. Reconcile or go? As my Chump Lady philosophy makes clear, I’m firmly in the camp of GO.
To be a unicorn, (a successful reconciler), you would have to be living a life of good actions to blot out your bad actions. A chump has to invest their time in that transformation, assuming it happens. That’s a lot of upfront costs. But the point is, a cheater would be having to DO things to regain trust. They can’t just fall back on shit happens, people cheat. To reconcile there has to be a basic understanding that cheating is shameful and “bad” of them. Otherwise, without that fundamental value, what is to keep a cheater from cheating again?
So if your boyfriend cheated, and he’s cool with that article — that’s a huge red flag. He’s not sorry. If he didn’t cheat, but doesn’t really think cheating is that big of a deal, and would like you to accept the premises of that article — I’d say he’s not the boyfriend for you if you value fidelity.
Oh… but you wanted me to debunk the article. Well Z, I don’t have a masters in psychology like Sophia Rinaldi (mine’s in African history, alas, I’ll never be a “life coach”) but Christ, at least I can write.
The reasons are not only sexual but often psychological – and that does not mean that he is stupid, but that his becoming as a man was sprinkled with unfortunate events.
Not as unfortunate as the word choice “sprinkle.”
I read the article Z, and it seems to me she’s saying men cheat for two reasons: A) They’re stupid and B) Their mommies made them this way.
Now, men can’t help being stupid, no they’re wired for stupidity as long as beautiful women are around according to Rinaldi.
Countless studies show decreased concentration capacity, reasoning and ability to make correct choices when a man is aroused by the image of a (beautiful) woman .
How men ever came up with suspension bridges and cathedrals and satellite stations is beyond me. Must be the gay men doing all that. Queer guys must be 100% faithful because they don’t get distracted by pretty girls. (Well, unless it’s Lady Gaga and she’s on tour or something.)
But it’s not only poor attention spans that make men cheat, it’s their powerful SEX BRAINS. Women don’t have those. We’re all about feelings. We want security. So, naturally women mustn’t cheat because we have powerful EMPATHY BRAINS. No heartless bitches we.
It is no longer a mystery man’s inclination to polygamy, scientifically documented and explained.
Ladies, I know, I am annoyed too by the scientific substantiations. I’m annoyed that the brain area dedicated to sex is three times larger in men than in women.
On the other hand, the brain area corresponding to “I feel what you feel” – the mirror neuron system – is bigger and more active in female brains.
Essentially men are dumb and horny, says Rinaldi.
However, under the spell of instinct and opportunity, cognitive skills are among the last male aptitudes.
Hear that you knuckle draggers? Cognitive skills are the least of your aptitudes. It’s a wonder you can tie your shoes. How do you ever manage?
But cheaters don’t just cheat because of their sex brains, nope. It might be their moms’ fault too.
Psychological reasons may have their roots in his childhood, when he was refused the primary love he needed, the love of his mother. This trauma can determine him to look in every woman that love which was unfulfilled in his childhood.
Didn’t shrinks shelf the cold mother theory with schizophrenia and autism? Now cold mommies are responsible for cheaters too? Is there no end to the perfidy of cold mommies? What fresh hell will they inflict on us next, with their girls’ nights out and their careers and shit? Wall Street bankers?
Throgmorton embezzled $8.3 million from the Standard pension fund but would like the Ethics Committee to understand that he was refused primary love by his mother.
Z, it’s not deep why cheaters cheat. They cheat because they can. Because they value getting their sexual kicks more than they value fidelity to you. That’s it. They aren’t stupid and their mommies didn’t put them up to it. Read all the bullshit psychology articles you want, it’s pretty common sense stuff. Cheaters cheat from entitlement. I hope this helps.
P.S. Reconsider the boyfriend. Seriously.