5 Reasons men cheat and 4 signs your partner might be cheating

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PHOENIX – The recent revelation that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a member of his household staff has once again made the issue of cheating front-page news. As more and more details emerge about Schwarzenegger's “love child,” many people are wondering what makes men – especially successful men who seem to have it all – cheat on their wives.

Sex therapist and family-and-marriage counselor Michele Clarkson sat down with Tara Hitchcock to discuss the often-complicated issue.

“I think it’s important to define what cheating is,” Clarkson said. “Cheating is anything that breaches a contract within a relationship, so that can be from somebody texting sexy communications with someone to keeping a secret from a partner.”

What we in the Western culture call cheating is perfectly acceptable – even expected – behavior in other cultures. The definition of cheating depends on the individual couple.

According to Clarkson, cheating can stem from any number of things, including fear of intimacy, anger that goes unaddressed, low self esteem, lack of appreciation and emotional disconnects.

“It’s important for people to cultivate their relationships, just like you would a garden,” Clarkson explained.

Failure to do that could result in cheating by one or both parties.

“Oftentimes in marriages, we take one another for granted,” she said. “We really don’t appreciate one another.”

According to researchers, 60 percent of men will cheat at some point. Some people attribute that to biology. Others say it’s evolution. Still others say it’s simply a “desire for novelty.”

“What all researchers agree on is the fact that men are in control about making the decision to cheat or not,” Clarkson said.

There many signs that your spouse might be unfaithful.

A person who is cheating will often start spending more time away from home, including extra long work hours. In addition to less sex in the relationship, an unfaithful spouse might also avoid communication and be more critical of his or her partner.

Not only are these behaviors potential signs of cheating, Clarkson said they can also act as a trigger for conversations and actions to head off cheating before it begins.

“Men are emotional beings, just like we women are,” Clarkson said, referring to men’s need to feel appreciated. She said in a healthy relationship in which both sides feel appreciated and safe, there will be give and take back and forth.

For more information, visit www.micheleclarkson.com or call 480-600-1518.