Monday, March 24, 2008

Why do men cheat?

Now that the dust has settled over the New York and New Jersey governors' offices, there is an abiding question that must be asked. Why do men cheat? Why is it necessary when so much is at stake that a man can risk it all -- his family, his job, and his station in life -- in order to act on an affair of the heart that on cursory examination seems tawdry and fleeting in substance? This obviously crosses all sexual preference lines. It matters not if the marriage or commitment is recent or long-standing. Given an opportunity to stray and frolic through Cupid's groves, man will literally jump at the chance, if he feels he can do so without getting caught. After all, there are repercussions to this behavior. Someone once suggested that men act impusively because of the ice cream factor, i.e. there are so many varieties of partners available that they want to sample them all. Perhaps that is the case for some, but speaking for myself, I don't think I could keep up with the demands of that many partners to make myself happy. To be sure there is a certain satisfaction that a man experiences -- a type of benevolent mastery over his lady or partner -- wherein he feels completed. Some men go to the extreme here demanding unreasonable accountablilty and obsessive behavior, which can lead to stalking. That is a very unhealthy relationship and I won't consider that in this discusson. However, I believe there may be an underlying reason as to why men feel the compulsion to cheat. It is not that they no longer love their partners, although a loveless marriage or commitment might act as a catalyst. Instead, I believe it is a way of dealing with their own mortality. By having multiple partners, a man considers that he has cheated death and in a bizarre fashion, he fancies himself as above other mortals, at least for the moment. Once past his dotage, man is as faithful as a lapdog, but given full use of his faculties and physical health, he will choose to act on his impulses. I'm not particularly proud of this behavior, but I do accept it as part of man's nature. As there are many who are attracted to "bad" boys, the tendency is to forgive these indiscretions and to somehow overlook the darker side of man's nature. Perhaps that is why Pat Boone was never seen as any great challenge to Elvis Presley or why John Travolta's portrayals of Tony Manero and Danny Zuko are still the rage today. I would welcome any comments.

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