by Nancy Travers,LCSW
It is not uncommon for a woman to worry about what her husband is doing while he is away from the home, especially when he is away for extended periods of time. Pop culture has no qualms about depicting a cheating husband to create a strong, independent heroine. The media coverage of recent scandals certainly hasn’t put anyone’s minds at ease. With all that we hear on the radio and see on television and films, it seems that almost every man is ready to cheat, and many of them take advantage of business trips to engage in extramarital affairs. But are women right to worry about their husbands while they’re away?
A recent Newsweek poll suggests that a staggering 21% of men want to cheat on their spouse! However, only 8% of the men polled admitted to acting on this desire.
This number is far from the majority that many women imagine, but does nothing to soothe the subconscious of women who are afraid that their husband is one of the 21% or 8%. Instead of dwelling on the numbers, women should explore the reason why their husband may want to have an extramarital affair.
- An uncomfortable Home Life: Many men who cheat are attempting to fill a void in their current lifestyle. As married life progresses, men may begin to notice changes in the relationship with their partner that they were not expecting. Often, women are charged with keeping up the home and the children; in between vacuuming floors, shuttling children to soccer practice, cooking dinner, and often a full-time job, many women simply do not have as much time for their husbands. This alone can make men feel neglected. However, this situation often continues to sour, as a wife may begin to nag her husband on select topics. She may also begin to neglect herself; many women find they do not have time to keep up their family and their appearance at the same time, further encouraging their husband’s roving eye.
- Sexual Incompatibility: After a certain amount of time in a relationship, it isn’t uncommon for either partner to feel dissatisfied with the physical aspects of their partnership. Many couples slip into a comfortable routine, with few surprises. Husbands may begin to feel that his emotional and physical needs are no longer being met, and may want to experience something new, different, or more exciting. Men may feel that seeking the company of another woman is easier than discussing the problem with his wife.
- Opportunity:Â A business trip, especially far away from home may provide the ideal chance for an extramarital affair. These trips provide reasons for a man to stay in a new city, in a hotel room by himself. Men may also find that there is easier access to female companionship than any other time. He may be able to take advantage of being with a female colleague, or even meeting women at a convention or the hotel bar. Often, men believe that the affairs that occur on these types of trips are safe, and they can easily get away with them.
- Evolution: Some scientists may even go as far as to explain that men are genetically programmed to cheat. Men have a driving desire “spread their seed,” and may feel compelled to seek out more than one sexual partner at the time. Even if they truly love their wife, they may enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
Women who are concerned that about their husband’s fidelity may want to take the opportunity to discuss their fears. Often, a serious discussion is enough to allay any fears that may exist in the relationship. Good communication may even uncover problems in your relationship that may have ultimately encouraged an extramarital affair. Knowing about these problems allows couples to begin addressing them. Some may be able to create a plan to deal with certain obstacles; others may require counseling for their unique situations.
Nancy Travers is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She specializes in all types of relationships; We all want them, We all need them; How to get em and Keep them. Nancy’s office is located at 2212 Dupont Dr., Suite I, Irvine, Ca. 92612.
For more information or to make an appointment, call 949-510- 9423 orÂ contact us.
copyright a division of Counseling Corner, Inc.
As seen in The Blade magazine June 2005.