Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Cheating

A caveat: I am totally unqualified to write this post. I'm not married. I've never been in a position to cheat on a spouse or a significant other. I've not been cheated upon, to my knowledge (see below for irony).

I've had friends and acquaintances over the years who have cheated, several, and several times for some. (Of no significance, I've always been amazed that the victim doesn't know, everyone else does. How does that happen? See above.)

I'm not talking about a relationship about to end, where one of the parties starts moving away from it. I'm talking about people in a long term relationship that don't live up to the rules that I think exist.

If you commit to someone, doesn't that require fidelity? As demonstrated by the current reports about Tiger Woods, apparently not.

Maybe it's a personality type. Thinking through the list of cheaters (it's not all that long), all of them are Type A's, aggressive, they'd be really upset if they were the victim of cheating.

From an Australian site:

"An American study by Tricia Orzeck, called Big-Five Personality Differences of Cheaters and Non-Cheaters, found general dissatisfaction, revenge, sexual incompatibility, boredom and insecurity were the main reasons people gave for cheating.

But Ms Orzeck also sees a strong link between personality and cheating behaviour.

People who have a distrust of others, are possessive and prone to jealousy, neurotic, immature or have low self-esteem are more likely to cheat on partners.

Those who are agreeable and conscientious within a relationship are more likely to be happy being in it.

'The results in this study suggest that cheaters may perceive themselves as having stronger intellect and stronger creativity compared to that of their partners, leading them to seek out partners that may be a better, that is, similar, match,' Ms Orzeck said.

'Due to this inflated image, cheaters may seek out partners who can meet them at a similar level of intellect and ... cheat as a way to satisfy this need.'"

I don't know, from my non-risk outlook, the whole thing just seems wrong. In case you haven't figured it out, I'm not very religious. But, I like things that come in tens, like the Bill of Rights. And there's something to be said for the Commandments: Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shall not covet your neighbor's wife.

4 comments:

Jeni said...

Good post, Dave. And, I agree with your closing statements.

Keith said...

In my 22 years of marriage to my wife, I can honestly say that I have never cheated. But I have many friends that are married that have either cheated themselves, or been cheated on. There were a few times when there were problems in the marriage where I was tempted to stray. But I just couldn't.

My take on it is this...
When you married, you took an oath to stay with that person for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, etc etc.
I take that seriously. If you want to play and stray, then don't get married.

The Curmudgeon said...

'The results in this study suggest that cheaters may perceive themselves as having stronger intellect and stronger creativity compared to that of their partners, leading them to seek out partners that may be a better, that is, similar, match,' Ms Orzeck said.

I think men generally -- biologically, even -- are inclined to want to scatter their genes as far and wide as possible. Since we are allegedly rational creatures, this manifests itself in a worry that, somehow, somewhere, we can do "better."

The honest man marries when he realizes he can't do better -- and she could, so he better get to the altar while the getting is good.

Sometimes, of course, the man makes a couple of millions and looks at what he has at home and thinks "I can do better." And, because of the aforementioned millions, some other woman thinks so, too. Thus the "trophy wife."

But I don't think these factors are necessarily at play in the case of In re: Woods.

Sometimes -- if I may get a little PG13 here -- sometimes opportunity knocks... and she has big knockers. I would bet that Mr. Woods has all sorts of opportunities presenting themselves. He appears to have availed himself of these opportunities on at least one occasion.

When I wrote about this -- before the San Diego waitress peddled her phone message to Us or We or Them or Whatever -- I got a little religious, too. I said the Lord's Prayer teaches us to ask, "Lead us not into temptation" -- because when temptation arrives, we're in big trouble.

I stand by the solution I offered in my post -- the hired shadow. If Mrs. Woods stays with Tiger after this, she may insist on this sort of thing.

Thomas said...

I read once that there is really only one sin: selfishness. That certainly applies to cheating.