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This past November, one of the most respected men in the history of the PGA was caught committing multiple acts of infidelity, on his wife, that almost seemed oxymoronic to his character. The nation was astir as rumors upon rumors about his secret sexual life apart from wife Elin were revealed, and all of the news stations wanted to get to the bottom of Woods’s unfaithful actions. While many fans continued praising his golf talent, they found themselves confused about the newly released secrets of their role model, and whether or not he was in fact role model material. Tiger after all was portrayed as a successful, hard-working character, dedicated to his golf game, and always improving (until his affair was released…) – so how could fans not look up to him?

Tiger, or “Cheetah” – as many people now refer to him, has gotten many of us wondering whom we can really trust. If such a well-established and admired name could fool us about his character, what mischief could the other men we admire be up to? Cheating, in today’s society, has become more prevalent than people may think, and Tiger’s recent scandal has opened it up as an appropriate topic of social conversation – making us all realize just how common it is. Statistics actually show that an estimated 50-70 percent of men cheat or have cheated on their partners. The question we’re all wondering though, is what really makes men cheat? …and why is it so common?

It’s not you, it’s him

First of all, let us tell you that it often has nothing to do with the partner being cheated on. She is not ugly, unworthy, or doing anything wrong; cheating really has everything to do with the cheater’s psychological state of being.  The cheating may not be the result of the relationship’s state, but could be more about the man himself, according to licensed professional counselor Linda McCune.

So, what’s the deal?

“Sometimes when people hit milestones (anything from graduating college and moving into the workforce to being in a committed relationship) they are more likely to cheat.” Some characteristics of male cheaters, according to msn.com’s, “Why Guys Cheat on Hot Women” are the following: “Guys in high-profile, powerful positions — such as celebrities, athletes, business executives, and politicians,” men whose fathers cheated on their partners, and men who are considered sex addicts. Aside from their egos controlling their actions, many guys also enjoy the “thrill” of cheating. “At some point, they can’t manage every aspect of their lives. They have to blow off some steam, so they say to themselves, ‘this is something I’m going to do for thrills or chills or fun. It’s kind of dangerous, and I’m not going to worry about it,’” says Texas psychologist Brian Gladue, who is based at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, according to Newsweek.com’s, “His Cheating Brain”. McCune says after a partner deals with the loss of someone close to him, maybe a sibling or parent, his stress may lead him to cheat and make irrational, out of character decisions. “Perfectly great people who generally may have never had a blemish on their record as far as moral failing or mistake, sometimes find themselves in relationships where they’re making not so great decisions,” McCune said.

But what if your man hasn’t hit a milestone or experienced a recent loss? McCune also notes that some men cheat for the validation that they’ve still “got it” and are still seen as desirable and attractive to others, which gives them a sense of power. “So many people cheat it’s a mistake to be too stereotypical – there are a lot of different reasons. If somebody is very narcissistic and not very sensitive to their partner in the first place – that certainly doesn’t help them to be faithful.”

You’re in Good Company

If you’ve been cheated on, trust us, you’re not alone – (in fact you’re far from it!). The following celebrity women have been involved in cheating scandals with their partners, according to Cosmopolitan.com:

  •             Sandra Bullock (cheated on by Jesse James)
  •             Jennifer Aniston (cheated on by Brad Pitt)
  •             Sienna Miller (cheated on by Jude Law)
  •             Reese Witherspoon (cheated on by Ryan Phillippe)
  •             Halle Berry (cheated on by Eric Benet)
  •             Sophia Bush (cheated on by Chad Michael Murray)
  •             Christie Brinkley (cheated on by Peter Cook)
  •             And the list goes on… and on… and on…

So, what now!?

McCune advises that if you “generally suspect your partner is cheating, it’s best to confront them in an open way. Too often, people start hacking into people’s e-mails, looking at phone records and snooping through texts.” After thinking things over, set down a time to talk without any distractions. It’s easy to be influenced by friends but go with your heart and make your relationship decision by yourself—everyone is different. Also, it’s best to have these conversations sooner rather than later.  HC’s very own “Real Live College Guy”, Chase Fraser, provides some more insight into why guys cheat here.
Linda McCune, Relationship Counselor

Halle Organ is a junior at Southern Methodist University, majoring in Convergence Journalism and minoring in both Business and Psychology. Though she goes to school in Dallas, Texas, Halle is originally from Hudson, Ohio. She is the Health & Fitness Co-Editor of SMU’s Daily Campus newspaper, with her best friend and fellow Her Campus writer, Marissa O’Connor. Halle is on the crew of the Daily Update, SMU-TV’s weekday morning, student run news broadcast. On campus, she is the president of LEAD: Leadership, Education, Activities and Development, and is a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. Halle’s interests include: Googling, Triple shot Caramel Light Frappuccinos, Skiing in sunny Colorado, accessorizing and dressing up, yoga, and sushi dates with friends. She looks forward to pursuing a journalism career when she graduates from SMU.
Marissa O’Connor is a junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where she’s majoring in Convergence Journalism with a double minor in Spanish and Corporate Communications/Publics Affairs. She is originally from Buffalo, New York and spent last summer interning at Time Warner’s 24-hour news station, YNN Buffalo. At SMU, Marissa is the Co-Editor of the Health & Fitness section of the Daily Campus with her best friend and fellow HC writer, Halle Organ. She also works on the Daily Update, the SMU student-run morning news broadcast and is an active member of Delta Delta Delta and the women’s club lacrosse team. Marissa enjoys running, sunny days, new places, bikram yoga, sundresses, iced coffee, and anything outdoors. After graduation Marissa plans to pursue a career in broadcast or magazine journalism.
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