Why Did She Do It


The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy Is As Necessary As Love and Sex

Never waste jealousy on a real man: it is the imaginary man that supplants us all in the long run.

- George Bernard Shaw

by David M Buss, Free Press 260 pp US$25 reviewed by Lee Alan Dugatkin

"Jealousy did not arise from capitalism, patriarchy, culture, socialisation, media, character defects or neurosis," the author of this book contends.  Rather, it is "an adaptive emotion, forged over millions of years," one inexorably connected with long-term love.

Why do men have affairs?


Why do women have affairs, risking abandonment and sometimes violence?  Buss suggests some combination of five factors, each of which will probably offend some portion of his readership:

bulletA woman may seek the superior genes associated with men who have affairs.  (Presumably those men have affairs because they find themselves desired by many women?)
bulletShe may hope to produce a sexually alluring son.
bulletShe may want to establish a partnership with a male higher on the social hierarchy than her current partner.
bulletShe may seek a "back-up" mate should something happen to her partner.
bulletShe may hope for sexual gratification.

The theories are provocative and plausible, but, as Buss acknowledges, the data are weak or nonexistent (anecdotal and/or rational).  In his view, jealousy - unlike some adaptive behaviours rooted in the hunter-gatherer era - remains a positive force in the modern age.  "Properly used," he writes, "jealousy can enrich relationships, spark passion, and amplify commitment.

Of course, improperly used, it can bring about pain, violence, and, in extreme cases, death for one or more of the parties involved.

Should You Forgive and Forget?

by Patty Lamberti

We all know that half of all marriages end in divorce.  Here's a lesser known fact - 70% of all married men and 60% of all married women have had at least one affair.  There's no statistic on how many of these affairs actually caused a divorce.  But one thing is for sure - a couple, whether married or unmarried, can recover from an affair.  The question most people face after discovering an affair is "Do I want to forgive my partner or should I head for the door?"  Here's a series of questions to help you decide whether or not you should forgive and forget:

bulletDid your partner reveal the affair?  Did you find the incriminating evidence, or did your partner have the guts to tell you?  If your partner told you, it's a sign he or she is willing to accept responsibility for his or her actions.
bulletIs the affair over?  If the affair hasn't ended, or if your partner is wishy-washy about ending it, you can stop reading here.  You have a right to expect fidelity from your partner, and if he or she can't commit to that, say hasta la vista and find someone who can.
bulletHave you taken care of yourself first?  Before worrying about your relationship, take some time to strengthen yourself physically and emotionally.  Many victims of an affair have suffered illnesses brought on by the stress.  Make some quiet time for yourself.  Take your mind off the situation by watching a movie or reading a book.  Do things that will help you foster a positive self-image such as exercising and eating right.  Don't self medicate with alcohol: you'll feel better - but not for long.
bulletIs your partner sorry?  If your partner is expressing genuine remorse, it's a sign he or she is willing to put effort back into your relationship.  Unfortunately, it's common for the offending partner to not feel remorseful.  He or she feels that the affair was in part the other person's fault (we'll get to this).  But an apology is a helpful step in rebuilding a relationship.  Tell your partner you need to hear that he or she is sorry.
bulletCan you accept responsibility for your part in the affair?  At first glance, you seem like an innocent party.  After all, you didn't cheat.  But the reason affairs happen is because a partner isn't getting all they need from their relationship, so they look elsewhere.  Sucks doesn't it?  Look back and examine if you were really available, in all ways, for your lover.
bulletCan you lay down your weapons?  For some amount of time, there's no one answer as to just how much time, it's ok to show resentment and anger.  But you can't always throw the affair in your lover's face.  Your lover is human.  And humans make mistakes.  If you can't stop pulling out the swords of revenge and anger, you'll never move beyond the affair.
bulletAre you willing to rebuild the relationship?  Getting over this pain will be a helluva lot of work.  You have to love this person enough to forgive him or her.  A life with your partner must be worth the effort this will take.
bulletCan you work on communication skills?  Rebuilding = communicating.  The reason the affair occurred is because you and your partner weren't communicating.  Forget talking about the dishes and TV.  You need to start talking about what matters.  Can you talk about your needs?  Can you talk about your dreams?  Can you talk about how important it is to have fun together?  Can you talk about sex?  Can you talk about what your partner is going to have to do to rebuild your trust?  You also need to discuss why this happened.  Without yelling, explain your point of view and listen to your lover's.  Learn to communicate without criticising.

If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, then give it a shot.  If you answered no, the spirit to fight just isn't in your heart.  Say goodbye to your partner and start afresh.  Whichever decision you make, feel good about it.

Source: channels.netscape.com 11 July 2002 © Fun Online Corporation

Emotional Infidelity

by Linwood Slayton

infidelity: noun; 1. lack of belief in a religion; 2.a. unfaithfulness to a moral obligation: disloyalty; b. marital unfaithfulness or an instance of it.

Are you a woman who shares secrets with a male friend?  Are you the kind of man who reviews his weekend plans with a female co-worker?  Or do you go out for drinks with a colleague of the opposite sex?  If you are married and answer yes to any of these questions, then therapist M Gary Neuman has a word to describe your behaviour: "Unfaithful."

 Gary Neuman, a Miami Beach, Florida psychologist, has written a book entitled Emotional Infidelity.  He says that friendships between members of the opposite sex can harm marriages.  It is suggested that a friendship between members of the opposite sex must have 3 traits to be an infidelity:

  1. emotional intimacy that is greater than in the marriage;
  2. sexual tension; and,
  3. secrecy

The Internet has become a prime vehicle for fostering emotional infidelity in that it allows men and women to have emotional entanglements without physical contact - people who can share their most intimate feelings and desires facelessly but who, at the same time, are denying their spouses and/or partners the same intimacies.

It is usually the emotional intimacy that develops in affairs that devastates marriages, not the fact that one partner has had sex with another.  Whether that develops over the internet on from direct contact doesn't seem to matter.

In Internet liaisons, at least two of the three stated criterion are present: emotional intimacy and secrecy.  It seems that the real damage to marriages and committed relationships lies in the fact that the mate is not getting the level of intimacy that the "friend" is receiving.  That can be a difficult pill to swallow.

Does this suggest that couples should not have friends of the opposite sex outside of the marriage?  Not necessarily.  However, one should examine the true motivation and attraction that for an opposite sex friend.  The element of secrecy is a significant potential problem.  Does your mate know how close you are to your opposite sex friend(s)?  Do you share personal information about your life at home with him/her?  Should you?

Friendships become a problem when there's some attraction involved.  If you sense that chemistry - that's when it's time to put the walls up and avoid social situations that 'create more of a male-female situation'."

Words and denials notwithstanding, everyone knows when they feel that "something" for someone with whom they regularly interact.  Similarly, most people know and sense it when the "friend" feels more than just a platonic kinship.

There is nothing inherently wrong with being in a relationship and maintaining old friendships with tried and true old friends of both sexes.  The danger lies in those relationships that have been allowed to flourish and evolve and in which there is attraction present and a felt need to be secretive about the existence and intensity of the relationship.  Clearly, these are the relationships which are exclusive of one's mate and about which the mate also has a sense of uneasiness.

Linwood Slayton may be reached at linwoodslayton@hotmail.com

Source: pages.zdnet.com 11 March 2002 The Woodshed Vol 3 Number 10

Scruples Survey Finds Modern Women Are Liars

A survey looking at British morals has found that modern women lie, flatter and have affairs.  The National Scruples and Lies Survey found:

bullet94% of British women lie
bullet17% with long term partners have had an affair
bullet40% of those regret it.

The research, commissioned by That's Life! women's weekly magazine, says changes in traditional moral behaviour in the past 40 years have left women "totally confused".  The survey questioned 5,000 women with an average age of 38.

bullet32% said they would stay with their partner if he had a one-night stand
bullet28% would stay if they discovered he was a secret transvestite
bullet17% would stay if he announced he was gay
bullet76% told researchers they tell life-changing lies
bullet12% do so frequently
bullet94% of British women admit they lie
bullet34% tell "little white lies" most days
bullet51% admit to lying about their weight
bullet30% lie about their background
bullet29% lie about their salary
bullet93% lie to their friends
bullet91% lie to their parents
bullet90% lie to their partner
bullet83% lie to their employer
bullet53% would not tell their long term partner or husband that a baby was not his if they wanted to stay with him after a secret affair
bullet32% would pretend to use contraception like the Pill if they wanted to get pregnant but their partners did not want a child
bullet48% fantasise about other men during sex
bullet50% fake orgasms
bullet36% admitted to disloyally telling their friends about their man's sexual performance
bullet27% tell their partner the truth if they think he is hopeless in bed
bullet55% will lie to flatter him if he asks about his physique or looks

Women are also suspicious about their partners:

bullet46% admit to checking their pockets
bullet47% admit to reading their text messages
bullet27% admit to vhecking their mobile phone bill
bullet10% admit to following them


bullet23% of women would marry just for money

When asked what they would do for £1 million

bullet24% said they'd cut off their little finger
bullet34% would give up sex
bullet20% would sleep with a boss
bullet25% would be prepared to run naked down their local high street

Source: ananova.com Thursday 4 December 2003

Most Women Admit They Are Suspicious By Nature

by Sarah Womack

Nearly one woman in two has searched her husband's pockets or read his mobile telephone messages without his knowledge, according to a survey published today.  In the same way as Emma Thompson in Love Actually rifles through a jacket belonging to her husband, played by Alan Rickman, and discovers his looming infidelity, women admit they are suspicious by nature.  But if they had an affair and became pregnant 73% would not tell their husband that the baby was someone else's.

A poll of 5,000 women, entitled the National Scruples and Lies Survey, claims that most women have "warped morals".  Ironically, the more women lie, the more suspicious they become of their partner, it says.  Nearly 1/3 of women say if they wanted a baby and their partner did not, they would lie about using contraception.  A fifth have checked her husband or partner's emails and one in 10 has even followed him to find out what he is doing.  Only a quarter of women think that their husband or partner has done the same.

The survey was commissioned by That's Life magazine.  The average age of the women polled was 38.  70% of women admit that they get drunk at the office Christmas party, with a quarter flirting with their boss.

Sarah Womack is the Telegraph's Social Affairs Correspondent

Source: telegraph.co.uk 4 December 2003 © Telegraph Group Limited

Romantic Problems in Cyberspace

A Jordanian man divorced his wife after discovering that she was also his virtual girlfriend.  Bakr Melhem had been flirting with a women on an internet chat room for several months.  But, when they finally met up at a bus station, in Zarqa near Amman, he recognised her as his wife Sanaa.  Bakr Melhem immediately shouted the Arabic words for 'I divorce thee' three times.

The husband had assumed the online identity of Adnan, while his wife had described herself as an unmarried Muslim lady called Jamila whose cultural interests included reading.  Jordanian news agency Petra reports when the man uttered the Islamic words, effectively ending the marriage, the woman responded by calling him "a liar" before she fainted.

Source: ananova.com Tuesday 8 February 2005

See also:

bulletCo-workers: Pros and Cons (in the section on Working) - Working with co-workers who are all of the opposite sex increases the divorce rate by a startling 70%, compared with an office filled with co-workers of the same sex.  Whether the co-workers were single or married had no impact...
bulletTest of Faith: Anatomy of an Affair (in the section on Men) - Thinking of cheating?  Here's what to expect...

For articles on affair motivators, changing relationships, do-it-yourself psychotherapy, lies, insincerity, social graces, cosmetic surgery, roots of culture, self-deception, love, and reunions of lost relatives click the "Up" button below to take you to the Index page for this Relationships section.

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