Have you ever been cheated on? I haven’t (well at least not to my knowledge) but I’ve definitely had my insecure moments. I found myself particularly curious about the touchy subject only last week when I received a last minute invite to see Chris Rock make his Broadway debut in The Motherfucker with the Hat. It was there that I spent roughly two hours watching a play comprised of cursing, cheating, and lies. The whole plot, despite being twistedly hilarious, basically centers around deceit.
In the show, Chris Rock’s character cheats on his friend’s girlfriend just because he can and because he figures he won’t ever get caught. Meanwhile, his dejected wife tries to cheat on Rock with his friend because she feels emotionally disconnected from her own husband. These two examples pretty much sum up why both sexes end up doing the dirty with someone else.
Stage acting aside, this is a core relationship issue that is relevant to just about everyone at some point in life. CNN Health recently published an article by sex therapist Ian Kerner discussing this very topic and his findings are pretty much in line with the cheating characters in the play.
There is a common thread in all ten of Kerner’s top reasons why men cheat and that thread is sex. Men generally want more sex and more sexual variety. While some actively seek to fulfill these needs, others are simply opportunists and figure they won’t get caught in the act. Other reasons include peer pressure, ego embellishment, the “thrill of the chase” and sexual curiosity.
According to Kerner, women cheat for entirely different reasons, the most common being a need for emotional fulfillment, especially when dissatisfied with their mate. Other reasons range from a desire for male attention, to feeling neglect, excitement, all the way down to sheer boredom. Some women may not physically cheat on their partner or spouse but rather cheat emotionally, which is arguably just as bad.
I took a Psychology of Sex class back in college and I remember our professor explaining that the number one attraction factor between two people is proximity. Every time I tell this to my friends they immediately disagree, arguing that looks, personality, and similar interests are significantly more important to them than seeing their mate regularly. I then wonder to myself if they’ve ever been in a long-distance relationship and if so if they are still together today.
Many long-distance relationships don’t work because the couple is not in close proximity of each other. Sure, there are certainly couples that make it work despite the obstacles but more often than not, distance becomes the main roadblock in the relationship. It can also spark jealousy stemming from insecure feelings about what your partner is doing while you are a thousand miles apart.