John Edwards's former mistress Rielle Hunter is finally talking. And she has a lot to say, especially when it comes to why Edwards cheated on his wife Elizabeth.
Hunter, who has a young daughter with Edwards, told GQ this month, "Infidelity doesn't happen in healthy marriages. The break in the marriage happens before the infidelity. And that break happened, you know, two and a half decades before I got there. So the home was wrecked already. I was not the Home Wrecker."
If you've been a victim of cheating, you've undoubtedly wondered why and how did it happen to you. Counselor M. Gary Neuman surveyed 200 cheating and noncheating husbands to get at the real reasons behind men's infidelity. Check out more of his findings here.
48% of men rated emotional dissatisfaction as the primary reason they cheated.
The problem is that men are less likely than women to express these feelings, so you won't always know when your guy is in need of a little affirmation. "Most men consider it unmanly to ask for a pat on the back, which is why their emotional needs are often overlooked," Neuman says. "But you can create a marital culture of appreciation and thoughtfulness - and once you set the tone, he's likely to match it."
Couples Confess: What You Really Need for a Happy Marriage
66% of cheating men report feeling guilt during the affair.
The implications are a little scary: It isn't just uncaring jerks who cheat. In fact, 68 percent of cheaters never dreamed they'd be unfaithful, and almost all of them wished they hadn't done it, Neuman says.
Is Infidelity a Deal-Breaker or Is There Room for Forgiveness?
77% of cheating men have a good friend who cheated.
Hanging around friends who stray makes cheating seem normal and legitimizes it as a possibility. The message he's subconsciously telling himself: My friend is a good guy who happens to be cheating on his wife. I guess even the best of us do it. Build your social circle around happily married couples that share your values - it'll create an environment that supports marriage.
Common Affair Myths Revealed
40% of cheating men met the other woman at work.
"Oftentimes the woman he cheats with at the office is someone who praises him, looks up to him, and compliments his efforts," Neuman says. Luckily, there's a clear warning sign that your husband is getting a little too cozy with a colleague: If he praises or mentions the name of a female coworker more than he would a male counterpart, your antennae should go up - and it's time for the two of you to set boundaries about what is and isn't okay at work, Neuman says. Is it acceptable for him to work late if it's only him and her? Can they travel together to conferences? Have dinners out to discuss a project? Ask him what he'd feel comfortable with you doing with a male colleague.
Would Your Guy Cheat? Would You Know?
Only 12% of cheating men said their mistress was more physically attractive than their wife.
In other words, a man doesn't stray because he thinks he'll get better sex with a better-looking body. "In most cases, he's cheating to fill an emotional void," Neuman says. "He feels a connection with the other woman, and sex comes along for the ride." If you're worried about infidelity, focus on making your relationship more loving and connected, not on getting your body just right or mastering new sexual positions.
Is An Emotional Affair Cheating? Real Men and Women Answer
Only 6% of cheating men had sex with a woman after meeting her that same day or night.
Actually, 73 percent of men got to know the other woman for more than a month before they cheated. This means that you may have time to see the warning signs before infidelity occurs - you might even see it coming before he does. Keep an eye out for these common signals: He spends more time away from home, stops asking for sex, picks fights more frequently, or avoids your calls. Your gut reaction may be to confront him, but most men will deny even thinking about cheating - especially if nothing physical has occurred yet. Instead, Neuman suggests, take charge of what you can control - your own behavior - and take the lead in bringing your marriage to a better place.
Sex Secrets of Really Happy Couples
Why do you think people cheat? Do you ever think it's possible to forgive a cheater? How do you think couples can work together to avoid the possibility of cheating?
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.