Has a man ever cheated on you? In her book The 30-Day Love Detox, Dr. Wendy Walsh cites studies that show that over 60% of married men are unfaithful at some point, so odds are it’s likely you have.
Maybe you knew your man was a cheater but thought he’d be different with you. Perhaps you had your suspicions but buried them so you wouldn’t have to face them. Maybe his affair completely blindsided you. No matter how it unfolded, the consequences for you can be a devastating blow to your emotional well-being and self-confidence. Wouldn’t you have liked to have seen the signs before disaster struck?
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The Seven Deadly Signs of a Cheater
1. Sexual anxiety
You’d think a sexy stud would be the guy who’d stray the most. It’s the opposite, actually. Sexually healthy, confident men cheat less often than men who have sexual anxiety.
2. An avoidant attachment style
Men who shy away from emotional intimacy often have an attachment style that makes it difficult for them to have a rich sex life with the woman they love. So they seek sex without intimacy.
3. Less education
Men with higher levels of education and higher IQs are less likely to cheat. Simple as that.
4. No religious observation
Men who are observant are less likely to cheat because monogamy is woven into nearly every religious institution.
5. He makes a lot more money than you do
Wealthy men may have more opportunity for affairs. Some men are driven towards success out of insecurity, and infidelity makes them feel powerful.
6. He earns less than you do
This one is becoming more common — in 40% of households, women are the primary breadwinner. When their male-provider identity is threatened, some men assert themselves through sex.
7. He shows little empathy
According to one study, “men feel less guilt than women . . . this difference is particularly stark in the 40- to 50-year-old age group — one particularly vulnerable to the midlife crisis affair.”
If you’re dating or entering into a new relationship, look for these signs. Most likely, you won’t have to dig deep. The guy you’re getting to know will often tell you (literally tell you) who he is and what he’s capable of. Listen to him!
If your man has a string of angry ex-girlfriends, if he doesn’t feel much guilt, if he fears emotional intimacy, if he drives a flashy car and spends a lot of money on the first date, or if he wants things to be perfect — chances are, he’s a bad boy. Bad boys are more likely to exhibit one or more of the seven signs of cheating. So be aware, and beware.
The Five Dominant Man Traits
Now that you know what type of man to avoid, let’s focus on helping you spot the right commitment-oriented man. An excellent way to support your healthy instincts for a good relationship is to know what type of characteristics in a man you find most appealing. By knowing yourself and what you want and need, you’ll be able to choose a more compatible partner. Most men will lean toward one of the five dominant man traits listed below.
1. The Provider
This guy is obsessed with his work, making money, and taking care of business.
The upside: financial wealth.
The downside: he may not be as available as you’d like.
2. The Fixer
This guy knows how to fix everything.
The upside: you’ll never have to call a repairman.
The downside: he may not be the tidiest around the house or the chattiest at your office party.
3. The Thinker
This guy will do the New York Times crossword puzzle with you. He’ll talk for hours about culture and the news of the day.
The upside: your intellectual life will grow.
The downside: he may not be a good dancer and he may wear khakis.
4. The Caregiver
This guy’s priority isn’t providing a big house, or fixing the car, or discussing a new book — it’s taking care of you and your needs.
The upside: he’s a committed husband and a caring father.
The downside: you probably won’t live a life of luxury (unless you provide it).
5. The Metrosexual
This guy is savvy, hip, and fun. He’ll check out the latest club with you and probably go for a tan and a pedicure before you go.
The upside: he’s great at social functions and fun to be with.
The downside: his focus on appearance can be seen as “peacocking.”
How Men Fall in Love
One of the many fascinating things from The 30-Day Love Detox is how differently men and women fall in love. Dr. Walsh suggests that women fall in love when they feel they’ve met the right man — and they fall in love more quickly (thanks to oxytocin, the feel-good chemical released in women during sex).
Studies show that men fall in love not when they feel they’ve found the right woman, but when they’ve entered what Dr. Walsh calls a “state of readiness.” Age, income, job security, whether or not his friends are all getting married . . . those factors all have a significant impact on when a man falls in love.
So if he’s not committing, it could be that he’s not ready (listen to him — let him go), he’s not capable (he’s a bad boy — weed him out), or he’s simply not for you. That’s okay! Get to know yourself and what dominant man trait satisfies you most.
And if you’ve met someone you like, wait to have sex! Wait until at least 30 days of regular, committed contact. Wait until he has expressed affection for you. Wait until you’ve had a conversation about monogamy and what that means for both of you.
For more on how a detox can cleanse your relationship palate, check out The 30-Day Love Detox. It’s totally doable and very refreshing!
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