I’m trolling around the web the other day and came across an article that at first piqued my interest but then slowly devolved into making me pretty rootin’ tootin’ pissed off. So, please. Pull up a chair. I’ll tell you all about it and see what you think.
The article’s entitled, “18 kinds of women most likely to cheat on their mates.” Wow. Eighteen. Seems like an awful lot of categories, doesn’t it? How could a woman not fall into one or two (or more!) of them. Yowza. But before I delved into the list of reasons for supposed cheaters, I decided to look into who was making such bold declarations.
The author, it turns out, is Ruth Houston, who also has a website, infidelityadvice.com, although the website seems to be one and the same as her blog. Ruth touts herself as a New York-based “infidelity expert.” I don’t see any credentials per se relating to her expertise – other than having gone through the heartache of having a cheating spouse – but she states that she’s conducted “thousands” of interviews with cheaters and their victims and has spent over 19 years researching the topic. It’s unclear exactly what specific research she’s conducted, but I’m gonna go with an open mind and see what she has to say.
OK, so. To begin with, the article doesn’t state whether the categories are listed in order of importance, although I’m guessing not. If they were, the very first item on the list would likely include nearly every woman on the planet. Number one type of woman prone to cheat: those with close male friends.
Yes, you guessed it. In true Seinfeld-ian fashion, men and women apparently – according to Ruth – can’t be friends. Here’s what she says: “The relationship may be platonic at the beginning, but chances are, it won’t stay that way. The closer the woman is to her platonic male friend, the more likely it is that he will eventually end up becoming her lover – unless he’s gay.”
So in sum, we gals can’t keep our hands off our close male friends. I see. Hmmm. I guess I’d better warn my male friends that sooner or later I’ll be coming after them. The reason, according to Ruth, might be chalked up to any variety of them, including #3, having an excessive need for attention; #4, being materialistic and easily seduced by “jewelry, designer clothes, or luxurious vacations”; #7 being easily bored; or perhaps simply #16 having a big ego; or #17 low self esteem.
My goodness, these eighteen types of women likely to cheat certainly capture a giant portion of the female population. Ruth’s surely not suggesting we’re all just a bunch of cheaters. Is she?
On the flip side, she’s also written her 14 conclusions as to why husbands cheat and her 25 reasons why men cheat – which, frankly, mirror most of the husbandly excuses. But here’s the thing that started gettin’ me steamed. Aside from the rather denigrating “reasons” women are prone to cheat, the list for why men do it comes across as more of a justified excuse to demonstrate manliness. To wit: #6, he views cheating as a status symbol; #10, he couldn’t pass up a good opportunity; #11 he’s got a sense of entitlement. Other cited reasons for men dallying with others are because “we let them” (#5), or #12, they figure we’ll never find out because “we’re too stupid, naive, busy, or trusting.” Lovely.
To be clear, I’m not saying there’s no merit behind Ruth’s conclusions. I do think she makes fair points about both men and women’s proclivity to cheat and the reasons behind them. But she also makes pretty broad, sweeping conclusions that seems to have no basis in fact. Perhaps she spoke with a lot of people, but who knows in what capacity. Was it in group sessions or one-on-one? Were these supposed cheaters in therapy, were they part of a focus group? Who came up with the questions to delve into the reasons behind the infidelity? So much of her “research” is unknown that it does make me question how factually accurate it is, and whether we can put any stock into the results.
Would love to hear what your reaction is to these lists. Take a look and let us know. We at Lady Smut love your comments, and we always stay faithful to our readers.
Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her recent releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires. Look for her erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, coming soon from The Wild Rose Press.