Is He Simply Cut Out To Have Affairs? Could He Be A Natural-Born Cheat?
Here I explore why certain men seem destined to cheat
Reasons for the staggering rates of infidelity are varied but tend to fall into a few main categories. These include the opportunist who seizes the moment when, say, propositioned. Or the life-changing affair striking in middle-age, when people question their existing relationship and wander "is this it?"
But take a closer look at a cheat’s personality and some key things stand out. Taking men, those with certain personality characteristics seem more likely to have affairs. Of course not all men with the following characteristics will cheat - and many will be great partners despite such traits. However it's wise to be aware. Here are three key types to watch for:
Key personality traits: The world revolves around the self-centred man. His needs come before anyone else's. He looks to meet his needs and hates having them thwarted. Look back at his childhood and he was probably indulged by his parents.
Why will he have affairs? Because he often doesn't fully consider the implications of his behaviour. As his needs are the sole focus of his universe he’ll look to getting his sexual needs met when he wants even if by straying.
How to identify this type: He'll pay lip-service to your opinions and feelings. He talks about himself a lot. What he says doesn't match with what he does. For example, he says he'll ring you "later" but if something comes up you won't get the call. He’ll often do things for "the two of you" when on closer examination you find he gets most of the benefit. Like booking you a “special weekend away” but to a place with a golf course where he’ll spend all day!
A few tips to handle this type: 1/ It's helpful to indulge his self-centredness where you can (like allowing him to play golf!) but set your boundaries firmly elsewhere - like how much time he plays. 2/ When discussing an issue with him clearly re-state the case he's made back to him. That makes him feel you've really listened. Then state your case also in the clearest possible language. There's no point in beating around the bush with him! 3/ You’ve a right to make sure that time spent together is shared equally between his and your interests. However subtly keep him happy by giving him a good reason why he'd want to do X Y or Z (the things you like!) with you. 4/ Pull him up when he says he's going to, e.g., do something for you - this type need constant, but small, reminders that they’re sharing their universe with you!
Key personality traits: He’s determined and always looking to improve his lot. No matter what his occupation - from builder to banker - he aims for the top. He's highly motivated to perform to high standards and probably came from a family where you were judged by your achievements.
Why will he have affairs? He believes he’s entitled to reap the rewards of his efforts - what ever he sees those rewards to be, including chatting up someone he’s done a deal with! Working in a high-pressure environment can generate a fiery chemistry between colleagues that may get acted on - after hours. They’re often control freaks who feel entitled to control every thing - including controlling who they tell what to, and who they do what with!
How to identify this type: He sets the bar high, even between you two. He has strong expectations for how your relationship should function. He may try and control the relationship in various ways. He can be tricky and highly focused on every aspect of your lives.
A few tips to handle this type: 1/ Regularly "be spontaneous" about doing things so he starts to break his over-controlled ways. 2/ Occasionally arrange to pop in to his office for lunch, a chat, etc., giving you the chance to get to know his team. 3/ Suggest doing a de-stressing hobby so he learns that life is not all about high achievement. 4/ It can help to adopt some of his jargon from his office when discussing relationship issues between you.
Key personality traits: It's commonly accepted that men are better “compartmentalisers” then women. Work, home and pub rarely crossover! The compartmentaliser cheat is exceptionally good at this. What happens in one area of his life is treated as completely separate.
Why will he have affairs? Because he doesn't allow overlap in his life it's easy for him to develop a secret compartment in one area. He's less likely to feel guilty about cheating because he thinks nobody knows what goes on between the areas of his life.
How to identify this type: He doesn't discuss work with you and certainly doesn't introduce you to colleagues. It took forever to meet his friends/family. He shows little/no interest in your friends/family. When together you have his full attention but when apart you won't receive texts/e-mails.
A few tips to handle this type: 1/ Get creative in finding ways to mix up the areas of your lives. 2/ Make a point of inviting him to your office and asking to go to his. 3/ Break down his walls one at a time and show him how fun it is when, say, you get together with his family. 4/ To keep communication going throughout the day send him texts or e-mails occasionally that he needs to answer.
Published in The Express Newspaper