Why Rich and Powerful People Cheat: Part 3

Celebrity couples are set-up to have affairs.

Posted May 22, 2011

In prior columns I considered two reasons why rich and powerful people cheat: their rarified lifestyle promotes extramarital affairs, and they have the same personal shortcomings as everyone else. Here let's zero in on the interplay of unique circumstances and common relationship dynamics that make affairs a particular problem for celebrity and wealthy couples. This is easiest to see if you consider the position of the wife of a powerful man. rich couple

On the one hand, you could be a trophy wife, pumping up your husband’s ego just like everyone else. Unfortunately, this hero worship increases the likelihood your hubby will have an affair, because you're feeding his dependence on getting adoration from other people. Moreover, This gets old quick. Nobody likes having sex with someone they constantly have to prop up emotionally. The more you feel expected to do it, the less you want to.

Perhaps you've heard the phrase, "In the home of every beautiful insecure woman (or man), there's a partner who doesn't want to have sex with her (or him)." If YOU were Charlie Sheen's partner and had to feed his ego, accept his narcissism, tolerate his insults, and swallow your pride, how long would your sexual desire and passion last?

On the other hand, you could be more of a solid person in yourself  (I’m inclined to give Maria Schriver and Elin Woods the benefit of the doubt). Your job is to let out some of the air in your husband’s head,  keep him grounded in reality, and hold him accountable for his responsibilities in your marriage and family. At best, you don’t seem like much fun, and at worst you are set up to look like a nagging bitch. Whereas other women are adoring, you are frustrated with your mate. Everyone else acts like they have no expectations for him, and light up when they’re around him. They are just happy to be in his presence and gladly go along with what ever HE wants to do.
You, in contrast, would like things you way some of the time. You also expect your husband to pick up his socks, take out the garbage, share childcare responsibility, and make you feel appreciated and important. It isn’t sufficient that he hire a stand-in to pick up his responsibilities. You want HIM to do them, You are also set up to look controlling, suspicious, and mistrusting, simply by fending off predatory women, who, in truth, ARE circling your man. You want your husband to account for his time and companions, although he accounts to no one else.
Put this all together, and you have conditions ripe for affairs. With far less provocation, opportunity, and encouragement, half to almost three quarters of all married partners end up having them. Certainly not all powerful and influential people have affairs.  There are always issues of individual decisions and personal responsibility. But between human frailties, grandiousity, insecurity, and feelings of entitlement, it’s understandable why and how these things happen.

Rich and powerful people can do a lot to grow themselves up, solidify their relationships, and reduce the likelihood of affairs--the same things we "commoners" have to do. "Ideas to Ponder" from my book, Intimacy & Desire, offer many core ideas to help this process. Subsequent articles in this blog will focus on "Ideas to Ponder."

"Intimacy & Desire" is now available in paperback. Visit DesireBook.com

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