As a love columnist, a large percentage of my mail contains advice questions related to cheating. Readers want to know whether they should forgive a cheater, why did their partner cheat to begin with, can they prevent someone from cheating (no!) and most of all, will their guy cheat. With so many questions on adultery, I decided to call Dr. Ish Major, a "Today Show" contributor and infidelity expert.
Dr. Ish, the author of the popular advice guide "Little White Whys," is also the creator of the new phone app called "The Cheater Meter." The Cheater Meter was created to help the user gauge whether a man is a prospective cheater. The motto of the app, borrowed from the Will Smith movie "Hitch" is, "If he's stupid enough to cheat, the world should know he's dumb enough to get caught."
Dr. Ish created the Cheater Meter app because he says that women's biggest relationship fear is being cheated on. I asked him all about cheating and relationships. Check it out!
Abiola: How was the Cheater Meter developed?
Dr. Ish: The Cheater Meter is cool because it takes the results of years of studies on couples and relationships and pools that information into ten seemingly simple questions to give the user feedback. The questions are centered around traits that studies show people who cheat are more likely to have; that is to say they have a very high predictive value. Underscore the word predictive. The app helps women better predict which guy may or may not cheat depending on his score.
Abiola: The Cheater Meter sounds like it may be good to have in your personal bag of tricks. What has the reaction been?
Dr. Ish: Both men and women agree; it is highly accurate. The empowerment comes from now being armed with critical information and explanations (at the end of the app) as to why the questions are so meaningful. It's been causing quite the stir around the country so far!
Abiola: Anything that inspires conversation is a good thing. Does the Cheater Meter app work for men to investigate their women as well?
Dr. Ish: This first app's just for women to check out their men. I'm working on one for men but it's proving to be quite a bit more extensive…women are much more complicated to figure out!
Abiola: Yes, we certainly are. Dr . Ish , your next book will focus on cheating. Why do you feel people cheat?
Dr. Ish: I think people cheat for different reasons. Here's my Tic-Tac-Toe theory on cheating: Men cheat down and women typically cheat across. If you notice, women never cheat with a man who is 'less than' the man she already has. He is usually a man of similar or more means, similar or more attractiveness, similar or more agreeable temperament.
Women cheat with the idea that if (or when) the current relationship ends they will be able to smoothly transition to the next relationship with as little disruption as possible in the lifestyle to which they have become accustom. Women cheat with the idea that the next man will be the best man and as such be able to meet her needs better than or at least just as good as her current guy. Women typically cheat when they're ready to move on.
Abiola: Interesting. And men?
Dr. Ish: Men, however, cheat for entirely different reasons. Men cheat for sex... usually. It can also be for attention, adoration, to feel important or desired again, to know they still 'have it', whatever 'it' may be. But usually it's for sex; which means men routinely 'cheat down!' If you notice when men cheat it's almost never with a woman who's as attractive as the one he currently has. It's never with a woman who's as stable emotionally and or financially as the woman he currently has.
Abiola: That's absolutely true, Dr. Ish. As a psychiatrist, why do you think that is?
Dr. Ish: For a man, cheating is not about transitioning smoothly to anything because most men have no intention of ever seriously committing to a woman they cheat with. Cheating for men is about meeting a need! Period. Once that need is met he will be able to return home and focus on his daily routine; which includes his girlfriend, wife or family… and he hopes like heck they never find out!
Thanks, Dr. Ish. We look forward to your next book and we'll definitely be checking out the Cheater Meter. Cheaters, be warned...
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