Michael Wood is a good-looking, goal oriented, talented and independent 30-year-old man who is sure to have many admirers. He is also married for under three years and always seems to speak of his wife positively. According to him the relationship is going well. However, let’s take a look to his relationship checklist.
Why an Affair and not respectful relationships?
So why would he have an affair? When Wood was asked if he loved his wife, the immediate answer was yes but his answer was also in the affirmative when asked if he had an alternate relationship. According to Don-David Lusterman, PhD, a marriage and family therapist and author of Infidelity: A Survival Guide (New Harbinger Publications, Inc 1998), “Infidelity occurs when one member of a couple secretly violates the commitment to monogamy.”
During a relationship checklist when he was asked about the time he spends with the other woman, Wood replies, “I am happy in a place that feels secure, loved and I feel like I don’t want to leave the place I was meant to be,” which according to Lusterman’s definition, constitutes infidelity. He states that he does not love the other woman but he likes spending time with her. He says that since he has been married, he has had two other affairs in which there was sex, but he will always love his wife and that her needs come first. Is these examples respectful relationships?
On the Way to Divorce?
In the Virgin Islands, the divorce rates are rising. According to the Development Planning Unit (DPU) of the Government of the Virgin Islands, statistics from High Court Registry of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands show that the number of divorces have increased over a three year period from 53 in 2005, 78 in 2006 to 99 in 2007. While the numbers may seem small, the territories population is approximately 28,882 persons as of 2009 as shared by DPU. While information was not available to share on the causes of the divorces because of confidentiality constraints, it is pertinent to note the increases.
Could Wood also be on his way to a divorce was the next question in his relationship checklist? He said that after meeting his “friend” that he was attracted to her. After beginning a friendship with the lady, he started to develop feelings for her. He also noticed that he wanted to be close to her and also intimate with her. Despite these feelings, he is adamant that his marriage is fine. So why step out and not have healthy respectful relationships with both the women?
When asked if he could be satisfied by one woman, he said no. Wood also said that the cheating was not about sex or boredom and that maybe he has become greedy. Faithfulness in courting and marriage has decreased and even as we look at the icons around us, Tiger Woods, as a best example, fell prey to other women and jeopardized his marriage.
According to marriage coaching expert M. Gary Neuman in his article titled “Why Men Cheat” on Oprah.com, some men cheat because of an emotional disconnection or a lack of attention or appreciation at home. Wood did note that his wife is quite often preoccupied with other things and this may be the core reason that he has stepped into the arms of another woman who obviously has made him feel secured and loved.
According to Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW, a marriage and family therapist in Illinois in a WebMD article “Overcoming Infidelity”, “sometimes (an affair) is purely a case of bad judgment – a person may feel satisfied with their marriage, but a late night at the office with a co-worker and a couple of glasses of wine can lead to lack of impulse control. More commonly, it’s a search for an emotional connection – wanting someone to pay attention to you, flatter you, be attracted to you.”
Deny the Other Relationship
Only his wife could express her true thoughts on the matter. Of course, such an interview would not have ended well because he has not admitted to any wrongdoing. He says that he will always deny any infidelity even if she has strong evidence and information which may prove that he is cheating on her.
Can He Stop the Affair?
Moving forward towards his relationship checklist it is found while Wood feels that his wife and himself are not compatible and that he cannot be satisfied by one woman, he somehow thinks that more communication, having children and better relations would improve his chances of being faithful. He admits that he spends a lot of time out with his male friends hanging out and maybe less of that behavior would aid him in being more committed to his wife.
According to WebMD’s feature article on “Our Cheatin’ Hearts – Men and Monogamy: Fighting the Urge to Have an Extramarital Affair” written by Sean Elder, he quotes Steven Nock, PhD, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia who states that boredom increases the likelihood of a married person seeing the benefits in their marriage. While Wood is adamant that he is not bored and sex is not a problem at home, he still craves the attention of another woman so there must be other underlying factors that cause him to commit adultery even though having respectful relationships with both.
Wood may need to seek counseling from a licensed practitioner or from a religious figure to assist him with his infidelity issues but this will only work if he really wants to be faithful – which he clearly states that he is not ready for. His only reason for changing this bad habit may be if the other woman dumps him and he will surely find someone else to keep him cheating. Since he says he feels secure, loved and happy with the side relationship and will obviously deny if he gets caught in the act, this cheater will continue with both relationships. The relationship checklist may have more questions but so far it is enough to understand why Wood has an affair.
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