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Sheri Stritof

Who is to Blame When a Husband is Unfaithful?

By March 12, 2008

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Question: Who is to blame when a husband is unfaithful?

  • The other woman
  • The wife
  • The husband

Answer: The husband!

I naively assumed that this was something that most people would agree on. I was wrong. Dr. Laura Schlessinger blames the wife when a husband cheats.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger: “When the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally, to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like her hero, he’s very susceptible to the charm of some other woman making him feel what he needs ... The cheating was his decision to repair what’s damaged and to feed himself where he’s starving. But, yes, I hold women responsible for tossing out perfectly good men by not treating them with the love and kindness and respect and attention they need."
Source: Mike Celizic, "Dr. Laura: Women share blame for cheating men", TodayShow.com, 3/11/2008.

Thankfully, there were those on the same show who disagreed with Schlessinger:

Helen Fisher, anthropologist: “I refuse to believe that this adultery is the wife’s fault."

Dina Matos, author: "This is absurd. It’s just like blaming a rape victim. And we see this all too often. It’s just insanity.”

Jeff Gardere, psychologist: "But the person who cheats is doing it for a very selfish reason. It’s a very selfish act.”

More Comments on Dr. Laura's Comments

Dr. Joy Browne: “Oh cripe. It turns out that when there’s adultery, men blame women. And women blame women. It’s just unthinkable.”
Source: Charity Vogel, "Was Spitzer just stupid -- or worse?", BuffaloNews.com, 3/12/08.

Ken Schram: "Here's my bottom line: Elliot Spitzer has no one to blame but himself. I don't care if his mommy and his wife did, or didn't, love him. He should have kept his pants zipped up. And Dr. Laura should do the same with her mouth."
Source: "Shut up, Dr. Laura", Schram on the Street, 3/13/08.

Ellen Goodman: "Of course this anthrobabble was not as bad as what came from Laura Schlessinger, the guiltmeistress of talk radio, who located the cause of infidelity entirely outside of the male body and onto the wife."
Source: "Standing behind the wronged wives", Boston.com, 3/13/08.

Shari Kane: "Excuse me? This drivel, coming from anyone, let alone a member of my own sex, sent me over the edge. Men cheat and women should accept the blame? What century are we in, anyway? ... Bottom line is....real men don't cheat. Real men either deal with the problem or cut their losses and get the heck out of Dodge."
Source: "Women at Fault for Men's Infidelity?", BaxterBulletin.com, 3/11/08.

Diane Sollee: "I guess the thought is she didn't bake enough pies or perform well enough in bed?? Or, maybe it's because she only gave the Gov three daughters, no sons? Puleeze! As Frank Pittman points out the performance or non-performance of the wife doesn't predict squat when it comes to infidelity. Pittman says to look, instead, at what a man was taught by his father and uncles (his tribe) about what it means to be a successful man. Is a successful man the one with the most stuff including a wife, kids and as many mistresses as he can afford and get away with? Or, is a real man one who is committed to his marriage, his family, his vows?"
Source: "Blame it on the Wife?", SmartMarriages.com, 3/13/08

Related:
     Why Spouses Cheat
     Warning Signs of Cheating Spouses
     Excuses for Cheating
     How to Cope When You've Learned Your Spouse is Unfaithful
     Why Political Wives Stand By Their Men
     Lewis Bishop and Laura Schlessinger Marriage Profile

Comments
March 13, 2008 at 11:47 am
(1) Robin says:

I feel to a degree that it is the wife’s fault, but on the same token I think that the male acts and or reacts to certain things a wife says or does, and these might be subliminal happenings that start to just push the wife away or the husband. It could be something very simple such as the wife expects the husband to say ” my honey you look beautiful today” for no reason. She goes through all the trouble to look nice/hot and her husband does not even notice, then she walks away saying to herself why bother. If she is into more sex than he is, and she touches him five in the morning signaling she might want to do it and he might get cranky with her since he is not really in the mood that early in the morning, that to can push the wife away leaving her to feel she has commited the ultimate sin. So now she will hesitate doing it again.

All in all it doesn’t matter what a wife looks like, she could be as gorgeous as a hollywood star, great shape, boobs what ever, and if a guy isn’t feeling his ego is being stroked all the time he’s out and running and usally for something younger.

When you have a wife who wants it more than the husband, that is a hard one because then she goes over board trying to build up his ego, and to him all she wants is sex, uggh what a no win situation.

March 13, 2008 at 12:26 pm
(2) Dan says:

You disagree with Dr. Laura because you didn’t read what she said or didn’t listen to her if you in fact did either. She isn’t “blaming” the wife, she’s demonstrating how some wives play a part in the unhappiness of their marriages. The wife that is always a nag and rejects intimacy with her husband is forcing a problem into the relationship. Cheating is the man’s fault. Being made unhappy enough to do something so despicable isn’t. Working out such problems only works when both parties are willing to make progress. You’ve seriously called your ability to counsel into doubt in my mind. I got what she meant, how is it you didn’t? You’re supposed to be the experts.

March 13, 2008 at 2:52 pm
(3) Sheri says:

Hi Dan,

There were several experts on the panel who disagreed with what Dr. Laura said. It’s true that one or the other spouse can be the main reason that a marriage ends.

However, that does not excuse a spouse making the decision to cheat. No man is “forced” to have an affair.

If a husband is that unhappy or “starved”, why not end the marriage first? Cheating is not only selfish, but in today’s world with HIV, it could be a death sentence for an unsuspecting spouse.

March 13, 2008 at 3:00 pm
(4) Sheri says:

Thanks for your comment, Robin.

I think the bottom line is that no one forces a spouse to have an affair. Being unfaithful is a selfish choice.

If after trying to save a marriage, a person is so unhappy that they can only find happiness by having an affair, then he or she should be honest and end the marriage before having an affair.

March 13, 2008 at 6:21 pm
(5) Ellie says:

In the past, women have been blamed for many things and it’s time we stopped blaming them solely for the infidelity of men. In the past we used to blame “the other woman,” claiming that somehow she “charmed” or “targeted” the husband and broke up a perfectly happy marriage. Now, we’re blaming the wife for a husband’s actions.
When are we going to look at a situation objectivley and say that we really don’t know what went on in the marriage. The fact is, the person who did go astray from the marriage is the person responsible for his actions. Marriage counseling is available and is less shameful than discovering a man has been associating with a prostitution ring for over a decade. Divorce is an honorable exit from a marriage regardless of the man’s position. If a man has been associating with a prostitution ring for over a decade, it is unlikely that his wife drove him to it. Ten years is a long time. Plus he had to be pretty deceitful to make sure he covered his tracks to look perfectly clean for ten years! It’s a long time to play the deceit game. If the wife were the cause for the husband to waver, there is no reason for him to punish her for ten years. There are noble ways to dealing with a failing marriage; hanging out with expensive prostitutes is not one.

March 13, 2008 at 9:06 pm
(6) Z says:

As a man, Im insulted. As a future husband Im insulted. If a man/woman goes out and cheat its their fault. When you are with someone married or not, you are suppose to express your feelings. If you feel that something is missing, you sit down with the person you are with and tell them what is going on. If you feel as if you cant do that, then your problem has already begun. Any relationship takes communication. I cant expect my wife to read my mind or vice versa. It’s funny how we can throw tantrums when we’re upset, but we cant express what we’re feeling otherwise. If you go to your spouse and tell them what you are feeling or express to them that you would like to try different things and they fail to comply…seek help TOGETHER. If that doesnt work and you feel as if you just cant take it anymore…you leave. Cheating only adds to the problem. How about finding out from your wife why she feels the way she do. Something could be going on with her and if you really love her, then her feelings become a priority over yours. Thats what you do in a relationship. You cant be selfish. If you are married…you are now 1 soul linked together. We have lost our way. Marriage just isnt marriage. Too many of us get married for all the wrong reasons. No one is basing it on love and mutual respect. We have become too selfish and self centered. Cheating is a very selfish act. You’re not thinking about the consequences, only the here and now. You dont think about how it will affect your family or in some cases, your career. Think outside your flesh.

March 14, 2008 at 2:08 am
(7) jeanlafittepirate says:

if the man is obscenely wealthy its
the other woman’s fault. she wants
to get in his wallet. if the man
is is mid-income he needs his examined.
if the man is poor, the wife probably
told to go out and make some money.

March 14, 2008 at 2:13 am
(8) jeanlafittepirate says:

i wrecked it. try again. if the
man is obscenely wealthy, its the
other woman’s fault. she wants
to get in his wallet, then get alimony and child support. if the man is
mid-income he needs his head examined.
if the man is poor, his wife probably
told him to get out there and make
some money the old-fashioned way, as
a gigolo. if he doesn’t she will.

March 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm
(9) Z says:

smh @Jean…with all due respect, you wrecked it both times. You cant blame the other woman. The man knows he’s married. If he steps outside his marriage, its his fault. If he gets the other woman pregnant, its his fault and he should pay child support. Stop passing blame and accept it.

March 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm
(10) jenny says:

My husband cheated on me. My last husband. It started the night before our wedding. He was a pig. I would have done anything to make our marriage work. I pushed the counciling, I made ALL of the consessions in the supposed partnership. He wanted his cake and to eat it too. The only good thing about being married to that swine is my perfect son, who I can raise to have a better sense of himself and how his actions affect others than his fathers family did. 5 years I tried to make our marriage work for the sake of our vows, and for our son and for 5 years no matter what we did, he went back to her. Not my fault or any other womans.

March 14, 2008 at 6:03 pm
(11) Robin says:

I have listened to Dr. Laura for many years. She clearly states that her advice and books only apply to decent men. This is not a black and white issue. There are many factors and degrees of blame in cheating. She is trying to point out that the way a woman treats her husband can affect whether he cheats or not. What is so revolutionary about that. My husband was in a previous marriage in which he was falsely accused of cheating for 16 years. He was not treated in a loving manner. He finally succumbed to someone who treated him in a tender way. Now he is treated with love and he worships the ground that I walk on. Some women treat their dogs better than they do their husbands. This a very onesided slam to Dr. Laura. Any of us could have our words taken out of context and twisted around. Have you read any of her books? It makes me wonder when you come down so hard on her. I’m thinking of canceling this subscription.

March 14, 2008 at 8:35 pm
(12) Sheri says:

I don’t believe that I took Dr. Laura’s words out of context or twisted them around. On other interviews, she has continued to defend what she said about wives needing to take responsibility for their cheating husbands. Yes, I’ve read her books and listen to her now and then on the radio and I am not one of her fans. If you find some marriage experts opinions that agree with her on this issue, I’ll post them, too.

March 15, 2008 at 12:00 pm
(13) Z says:

Robin feels that way because she was other woman. sad for you, but how do you know he wont do the same to you? You only have his version of the story. You were not in that house; therefore you have NO idea what the situation was. Maybe he gave her a reason to feel like he was cheating. Maybe they’ve been down that road before. You have no idea. You only know what he has told you and obviously he wanted something from you. Seems like you fell for his game, like most women do when they cheat with a married man. They go on and on about how so unhappy they are. How his wife dont understand him. She dont do this and she dont do that. Meanwhile, he’s out somewhere with you. That doesnt make you wonder, “why isnt he at home?” No, because you’re benefiting from it. There’s two sides to every story. You chose to believe him, because it got you what you wanted. You’re clinging to what Dr. Laura said, because it makes YOU feel better to pass the blame. Just remember that because you are with a “needy” man, now you have to constantly keep him happy, because if he becomes unhappy with you, he’s probably going to cheat again. And since you believe so strongly in what Dr. Laura has said, be willing to accept the fact that it was “your fault”. There isnt a need to cheat. Its about being man enough to walk away. He could have walked away from his wife BEFORE cheating with you. He ended up leaving anyway.

March 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm
(14) Robin says:

Excuse me Z, but I had to comment. One of the problems in life is that people take a few words and jump to conclusions. Why do you assume that I was the other woman? I never said I was. I met my husband after he was divorced, and after his wife ran off with a guy she met on the internet. My husband is one of the least “needy” people you will ever meet. His ex-wife has since admitted that she was unloving. They get along great now; they have a grown son in common.

My husband and I have about the best marriage you will ever see. We don’t have arguments. I don’t know why people say marriage is hard work. He is the most loving man I have ever met, and he says the same about me. He thinks I am the most beautiful, intelligent, and wonderful woman in the world. He loves my son like his own. I’ve never met a man with a bigger heart. He thinks that he has the best woman at home; why would he even look at another woman except out of curiosity. I admit he’s unusual. His mother and father have a similar relationship. I don’t exaggerate when I say that he worships the ground I walk on. Not many people have a marriage as good as ours. I don’t think 1 in a 1000 do.

P.S. The comment by Ken Schram borders on censorship. Read it again. I don’t know why he’s being used as an expert.

March 17, 2008 at 6:02 pm
(15) Z says:

Ok…Robin, you said this ok ” My husband was in a previous marriage in which he was falsely accused of cheating for 16 years. He was not treated in a loving manner. He finally succumbed to someone who treated him in a tender way. Now he is treated with love and he worships the ground that I walk on. ” That sounds to me like you were the other woman. Succumb means to give in to…leaving room to assume that he finally gave in to you. So if that’s not what you meant, you worded it wrong.

August 14, 2008 at 10:24 am
(16) Kim says:

AS I tell my children, “You’re in control of your own body.” What this means, is that: if you hot someone, you chose to hit them; if you yell at someone, you chose to yell at them; if you’re mean to someone, you chose to be mean to them. That doesn’t mean that someone isn’t responsible for their own behavior, as well, but you can’t blame someone else for YOUR CHOICE to hit, yell, or be mean. The same goes for the (big boy) man who cheats- if he chooses to have sex or any kind of sexual relations, or to even have an emotional affair with anyone other than his wife, then HE has chosen it. He might have a valid reason for being unhappy with his wife, and he might choose to cheat to replace that percieved injustice done by his wife, but he then CANNOT blame her for his choice. He can blame her for the hurt his feels, or whatever she IS validly responsible for. But, he can’t blame her for HIS response. I think that Dr. Laura is getting two things confused- she’s thinking “Well, the wife was not satisfying the husband as she should have been (which could be debatable, depending on what “should” means- that would depend on the couple, I would assume), therefore, since she was to blame for THAT hurt, when he chose to then respond as he chose, SHE was to blame for HIS response.” The thing is, that isn’t logical, and isn’t correct. She (the wife) is to blame for the pain she has caused (again, if we assume that she did in fact violate some part of her marital agreement with him), but she isn’t to blame for the response that he then chooses- that is all on him- that was HIS choice. People need to be responsible for their own bodies.

August 14, 2008 at 11:07 am
(17) Kim says:

I agree with you, Z.

“Ok…Robin, you said this ok ” My husband was in a previous marriage in which he was falsely accused of cheating for 16 years. He was not treated in a loving manner. He finally succumbed to someone who treated him in a tender way. Now he is treated with love and he worships the ground that I walk on. ” That sounds to me like you were the other woman. Succumb means to give in to…leaving room to assume that he finally gave in to you. So if that’s not what you meant, you worded it wrong.”

The fact is, Robin’s husband DID “finally subccumb” to another person for sex (other than his then-current wife), therefore, he DID cheat! The fact that he held off for all of 16 years, and was unfairly accused duing those years, doesn’t change the fact that he DID CHEAT in the end. I, personally, would not trust him- and I certainly wouldn’t base another relationship off of a beginning that was negative like that.
My ex-husband cheated on me, and I found it rather amusing that a while later, one of the women he cheated on me with was upset to find out that he (big surprise!) cheated on her with someone else! To me, that is pretty much a “no-brainer”. My current husband is wonderful, and part of why I love him is because of the fact that he never cheated on his ex-wife, and wouldn’t have even considered it- even with how much he was unhappy with her. She was not being a loving and attentive wife. Therefore, he did give her what she deserved: a chance to make it work (because, he DID commit to her, and she DID deserve a chance), and then he chose to divorce her. (And, she even cheated on him.) I love him for the fact that he didn’t cheapen himself or his marriage (and another woman) by cheating. He stayed true to his marriage, to the end. He ended it, when it was no longer a good thing for him. I once asked him (when we had been together for a bit) “Would you have flirted with me, if you had seen me (somewhere, where we had been previously, but didn’t know each other, then)?” He said “No- I was married.” This was a serious answer, too- he was serious. He is a male, so he may have noticed by beauty (I was in kick-butt shape, then!), but he wouldn’t have treated his wife and his marriage like that- even though he was miserable. Keep in mind too that in some states, physical cheating is a felony, punishable by jail time. It is certainly a civil issue- I know of one case where the “other woman” now pays child support to the ex-wife of her lover, as she was held partially responsible for the break-down of the marriage. That is certainly fitting- certainly, if you want to argue that the WIFE is responsible for the husband’s cheating, you have NO DEFENSE to disagree with the other woman being just as fully responsible- legally and otherwise! My ex (and his women) is very lucky, because my state is a felony state, and in fact would allow be to have pursued a civil case against him and his women lovers.I had planned on pursuing that, but I thought that it would be too much for me. However, I have to say that it would have been hilarious to see all those “ladies” staring each other (and him) down!

August 29, 2008 at 12:54 pm
(18) m says:

i know marriages, and not a few, where the husband is virtually starved for sex, attention, affection and everything else that a marriage is supposed to give him. when he tries to “express his feelings” or “discuss” this with his wife, she flies into hysteria and makes everything his fault. these husbands have absolutely no hope for understanding from their wives. yet, they do not want to leave their children and end the marriage. they just wait for death, literally. in your opinion, what should they do? are they at least allowed to look at porn and masturbate to satisfy their need of sex or is that a “fault” too?
in my opinion, i think it’s very unfair to make it harder for someone to do the right thing. doing the right thing is hard enough already in this world that we live in, why make it hard for your husband to remain faithful to you by not giving him what he needs? or make it hard for someone else to stay faithful to his spouse by displaying all you’ve got in a small tight dress or behaving seductively? so imho, it IS a man’s responsibility not to cheat, but some women are being very unfair by pressing men to the wall. this is very frustrating. just because men hold the greater responsibility here, and just because you can’t point your finger at them, doesn’t mean that women are responsibility-free.
my husband’s girlfriend, my kid’s mom and NOT a dr. laura fan :)

September 3, 2008 at 2:52 am
(19) Hendrick Wilson says:

Sheri & Bob,

First let me say I love your column. I archive every one of your emails and read them en masse every 6 to 8 months. So that’s why I am posting a comment at 2:30 in the morning to an article you’ve done 18 months ago.

I have to say that I am sick and tired to near anger of people belittling and bashing Dr. Laura Schlessinger for TELLING THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH!!! While I don’t believe that wives are TOTALLY to blame for a cheating husband, there must be SOME responsibility taken for it by the wife. When a man marries a woman he is basically signing a moral (and legal, remember adultery is grounds for divorce!!)obligation to have sex with only her for the REST OF HIS LIFE.

Now I’m gonna assume based on my reading of your column that you have a good understanding of men and how we are wired biologically. If a man promises to have sex with only one woman for the remainder of his existance and that woman refuses to have sex with him, then what do you propose a man do? Divorce? Ok, but the problem is that 95% of all marriages would end in divorce.

When I read Dr. Laura’s book “The proper care and feeding of husbands I had to fight back tears because I was thinking “OH MY GOD, finally there is a woman that UNDERSTANDS us!”

I just can’t understand why it is fine for a man to be EXPECTED to provide his wife with the emotional support she needs, but it seems to be such a crime for a woman to be expected to provide the PHYSICAL support that her husband needs. As experts in the field of marriage you two should be well aware of the emotional and psychological effect that a man’s desiribility and sexual acceptance from his wife has on him, as well as the toll in damage that can be done to both by being constanly rejected.

You are probably not going to agree with this, but I think wives in this country need to take a good long look in the mirror and try to figure out why the blame must go anywhere but on them. If women in this country want to be treated with the same respect and level of equality as men, then they need to be willing to take their lumps like men do, and step up to the plate and say “You know, maybe some of this WAS my fault.” I know there are plenty of men out there who just are gonna cheat no matter what’s going on at home but i’m not talking about them. They are a much smaller percentage than most people think. But I’m flat out sick of wives that deny their husbands night after night after week after week, and then when he can’t stand it anymore and seeks elsewhere what he is DENIED at home, then all of a sudden, the WOMAN IS THE VICTIM?!?!?! If so, then she is a victim of circumstances that SHE created.

As experts in the field you can’t deny that a sexless marriage is dysfunctional. And what percentage of dysfunctional marriages eventually end up with one or both partners cheating, would you say?

Please talk to your colleages and ask them to stop bashing Dr. Laura for stating what many in your field are afraid to say. If there wasn’t some truth to her opinion then her books wouldn’t sell the way they do. And you know who’s buying them? MEN. Because someone is finally listening to us.

Maybe the rest of these married women who were so ready to be a married woman but not ready to be a WIFE should start listening to us too. Then there would be no need for Dr. Laura. I just can’t stand this, for years there have been been thousands of books telling men how to be better husbands to their wives and ONE WOMAN finally stands up for us and our needs and the whole world seems to want to bring the sledge hammer down on her for speaking up for us. As if it’s a criminal act to write a book that dares suggest a woman is not already a perfect wife and actually has room for improvement. I’m not saying that wives should be barefoot and pregnant at home doing all the cooking, cleaning and what not, I’m not old school like that, but good Lord what’s the problem with taking care of your husbands needs? ESPECIALLY when he pledged not to get those needs met anywhere else?

Do you think we men FEEL like going to all those social parties that you drag us kicking and screaming to? Heck no. But we do it because we love our wives and we realize how important things like that are to them. So why can’t they do something for us that they might not feel like doing, that takes considerably less time and energy, for the sake of making us feel good. And people wonder why so many men cringe at the thought of marriage.

September 23, 2008 at 5:53 am
(20) C A Corkery says:

We have been married for 25 yrs, going out for nearly 28. Less than 6 mnths ago my husband fessed up to having a 14 mth affair with our real estate agent.

September 29, 2008 at 7:04 pm
(21) Cynthia says:

Hendrick Wilson wrote: “So why can’t they do something for us that they might not feel like doing, that takes considerably less time and energy, for the sake of making us feel good.”

Maybe your wife doesn’t feel like having sex with you exactly because you view it as something that should make *you* feel good. If you were to bother focusing on her pleasure–to learn what pleases her, she’d almost certainly want to have sex more often!!

November 21, 2008 at 10:22 am
(22) Caroline Smith says:

Oh God Greif !!!! What if you have treated your man like is everything,like succsessful,A hereo and all that other kind of jazz ? What if he has treated you nothing but a door mat ? Who’s fault is it then ? Still the wifes .

Wake up

November 25, 2008 at 1:58 pm
(23) Matt says:

I am a husband and father of two. I have been faithful to my wife for our entire marriage (over 11 years), I’m in my late 30′s and I have a strong sex drive, she could not care less. I have done everything I can do, I’ve pleaded my case, I am willing to do anything she wants to “help” her enjoy it. No go. I love her, I love my kids, I DON’T WANT TO BE WITH ANYONE ELSE!!! However, we have sex less than once a month and even then it is an icy cold “hurry up and get it done” encounter. Not satisfying in the slightest and in some ways worse than the repeated rejection I get. Trust me on this, I take very good care of myself, I haven’t “let myself go”. By her own words I’m a great father, husband and on top of bringing home a good paycheque, I help out around the house more than most. None of this matters. She has decided that what is most important to me (being wanted by my wife), is absolutely inconsequential. I am going to cheat, I have had opportunity in the past many times and turned it down (and wore that as a badge of honour), now I just feel silly for having done that. I only have 20 years left of a sex life and I have done everything I could be expected to do to not make this choice. Dr Laura does know what she’s talking about in some cases. There are good men out there that do everything they possibly can to avoid this and their wife not only doesn’t help but actually rubs their nose in it. There are women out there that know they have a good man who will remaing faithful and they use that against them by rejecting them and thinking they have no alternative. Not so. We all break eventually.

March 7, 2009 at 9:54 am
(24) denise says:

Robin get a grip.
I found out my husband was having a little fling last spring (’08) and let us review how this is my fault:

Hmm we a daughter
I work full time evenings in a lab
After work I would go to his work to pick him up and go home
I cook, clean, love him, try to make him smile, laugh, feel loved and am very attracted to him
I keep up my appearance
I take excellent care of our daughter
I listen to him
oh did i mention i also bust my a** full time?

and so i find an email from him to some girl telling her how feminine, sweet, soft, that when she kissed him she gave him wings and all sorts of other b.s.!!! she is all those things and what the hell am I, chopped liver? now i need some idiot like “Dr.” Laura. s(he has a PhD NOT in psychology. check it out her expertise? an early failed marriage) to tear her fellow in gender to shreds and let me know where I’ve gone wrong.

And then someone like Robin ::cough Kathy Lee cough:: to second that vitriole? all i can say is: Niiiiiice!

March 7, 2009 at 10:32 am
(25) denise says:

Hendrick,

I beg to differ with one of your statistics. The statement that: “but the problem is that 95% of all marriages would end in divorce.”

so based on this, you infer that 95% of all marriages are sexless. without sex. How did you come up with that figure? It’s absolutely absurd. I know many women through work and family and aquaintances and friends and I can safely saw out of all of them only ONE had a sexless marriage. That would make it more like 99% are marriages that experience sex and 1% that didn’t. And there were many reasons for the 1%.

And all those “social parties” your “dragged” to: are those the ONLY time you go out with your wife? I am going to speculate just like you and say: when do you and where do you go out with your wife? the movies, let’s go to dinner together once ina while? how about let’s take a peaceful walk together, want to go bowling saturday night? do you ever try that? hmm maybe you’ve been dragged to social parties as you claim, im sure clubed in the head and dragged by the hair, because it’s the ONLY “date” place you ever bother to go to with her.

Try making sex more about the both of you and less about you j***ing off and you might find a much more willing partner!

June 12, 2009 at 9:41 am
(26) Chelsea says:

Dr. Laura is right! My husband and I watched a show called “Cheaters” and all the husband wanted was more attention. He wanted to be whipped and beat during sex and that’s what he got from cheating with the other woman. Ladies, take Dr. Laura’s advice and give your husband the respect he craves – beat him and whip him. He will then feel more like a man and appreciate you for it.

July 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm
(27) Shawn Gilbert says:

It seems to me that everyone is playing the blame game. No one will be the one to stand up and say “hey, maybe I can do something to change my circumstances”. I am not a perfect man. I have never cheated, but have often thought of doing so. But ultimately I am closer to divorce than cheating. I have tried everything, except the one thing that will work, or the correct combination, and it still eludes me. I have four children with my wife, I want more than anything to keep them together. I love my wife sooo much, but I feel I can’t take it anymore.
I try to seduce my wife and it usually end up in my rejection and humiliation. I have tried everything from being the perfect husband, flowers and diner, to just being forcefull with her, nothing works. That’s not entirely true we have sex about once per month. And she orgasms fast and then she acts like its labor to wait for me.
I had my oldest daughther (from a previuos marriage) come over and my wife started an argument with her and was being very childish. The argument resulted in my oldest leaving and now she won’t come over anymore. She has done the same to all my friends. We have been together for over 17 years. I am just trying to hang on till my youngest is 18, she is only 8 right now, I have a long way to go.

August 24, 2009 at 9:23 pm
(28) Max says:

Hey Matt, I understand loud and clear and am right there with you. I’ve been with my wife for 19 years and we have two children. She simply does not initiate. Ever. We actually went for a whole year at one point a while back and I though I would go crazy. The rejection is awful and but the pity sex that she’ll give me if I beg is far worse and I end up wishing I had never done it. I love my kids and a love her too, I think. It’s hard to tell past all the resentment at this point. She is never romantic and never shows me the least bit of attention when it comes to sex. I’m still in my 30′s and athletic. I keep fit and don’t have a gut. I’m up for doing fun outdoor activities and like people and you know what? If I find my self in the right situation with an interested woman, I’m taking it. I’m done starving my self. I’ve tried everything I can think of to fix this part of my marriage, but she doesn’t want to talk about it. All she can give me is, “It’s not you, it’s me,” and that’s crap. If it’s her, then she need to put the effort in and that, she hasn’t done in over ten years. BTW, I’m a stay at home dad and raise the kids, clean the house, build the additions and fix everything under the roof. I’m not dead yet and dammit, I’m going to sleep with someone who enjoys sex as much as I do at least once before I die!

And a message to Z: Good luck with you marriage. I truly wish you all the best, but you have no idea what is to come yet. If your marriage goes the route of mine, you might have different thoughts when you get to my point in life. I know. I would have agreed with you when I was 20. Not so much today.

August 26, 2009 at 10:53 pm
(29) Peg says:

My husband loves Dr Laura and loves to throw her quotes at me…especially the one about it being my fault he cheats.

He’s thrilled to death that Dr Laura is freeing him of any responsibility for his selfish and destructive actions. He loves the whole “Proper care and feeding of husbands”. Hey Dr Laura, how about a book about the proper care and feeding of wives–oh wait, that might smack of feminism. She’s living in the 50′s when the “divorcee” was treated like a leper (she must be on the prowl) and yet the male counterpart, the divorced husband, is no big deal. Women suffered their husband’s infidelities because “boys will be boys”.

Adultery doesn’t just hurt the spouse, it hurts their children, their relatives and their friends.

Our sex life went down hill years ago because his gambling addiction took over most of his free time and kept him away at night. Coming home at 3:00am after losing thousand of dollars isn’t exactly a turn on for me. But somehow that was my fault, too. Classic— the addict always blames someone else for their addiction. We tried counseling, but he would quit as soon as the counselor didn’t agree with his actions. (We went to 3 together and he went to 1 on his own). He’s still gambling and still blaming me.

Now lets throw other women in the mix and he wonders why that doesn’t fuel my passion. Who wouldn’t want to make love to their husband after he’s been with god knows what?

The really sad part is my husband has made “sex” the end all be all…and he sucks at it. You’d think something he’s so focused on, he’d learn how to do better. But it has always been a quick and self centered act on his part…I would try and help out, but he would just get his feelings hurt (or blame me). So I would try and make the most of it (fake it) because I was to blame for taking too long. Note: For the poster who said his wife orgasmed right away and would be mad at him for taking too long…I think she was faking it. Women don’t orgasm quickly…they just don’t. Its sex 101. She just wasn’t enjoying it.

I hope Dr Laura never has to experience the pain of a cheating spouse. Men who cheat do it because they can…it doesn’t matter how perfect their wife is because its not about her meeting all his needs. Its all about their ego and selfishness. They are responsible for their actions…period! Otherwise, I would have cheated a long time ago, but I choose not to sink to that sleazy level. I choose to honor my vows because I made them before God, for better or worse. Someday, I hope to experience the better.

September 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm
(30) John Ball says:

I’m sorry, did Shari Kane really say “real men don’t cheat, they cut their losses or get out of Dodge?” What happens when Dodge includes their children and the core of their financial worth? If the wife is not taking her share of the obligations both to the husband and the house, the only viable option is to leave the house, leave the kids, and devote most of his salary to child support and alimony? That’s some serious leverage. I for one am tired of persons not taking responsibility for their actions or inactions, both men and women. Both parties owe it to the other to work together and be conscious of the other’s feelings, needs and preferences. If you refuse to do that, then don’t be surprised by the ramifications of your actions. I’m not condoning infidelity, I’m explaining the basis behind it. Two way street. Always has been, always will be.

October 6, 2009 at 11:12 am
(31) Charles says:

I some what agree with Dr. Shlessinger. Physical expression and closeness is a basic human need from birth. Yet after marriage , too often women neglect their husbands and the importance of the marital bed. Soon the children, the TV , the phone, the mall and the occasional triste with the shower massager become more important. Sexuality becomes a necessary duty rather than a shared experience to enhance the relationship. Women share equally in the blame for passively neglecting their marriages..so they reap what they sow.

February 24, 2010 at 11:08 am
(32) Jo says:

Hi I have read all your comments and noticed one big thing that is missing in all of this.I truly believe that whether a man or woman is unhappy to the point where there would consider an affair order to replace/fulfil what is missing in thier marriage should be held accountable for their actions in thier choice and reponse to that situation.I was married for nearly ten years and the relationship was quite a turbulent one from the outset.Personally the cause of this destructive behaviour was created by both parties as a result of immaturity and low self esteem issues.However,I am also now alot wiser and maturer now as a result and I have had to take a good long look at myself and my behaviour and deal with the issues within myself that was causing myself to act and behave in a destructive way,that was more of a painful process than my failed marriage. As much as this was a painful process, I do not regret meeting my husband because it has taught me alot about myself and I have had to deal with looking at my issues and sometimes destructive patterns of behaviour. I am ashamed to admit that at times I would lash out at my husband.Was that his fault?, did he deserve that kind of treatment,the answer to that is obviously no he didn’t and whether I was unhappy or not is besides the point,it was my response to how I was feeling and how I reacted to it in a negative way,surely I would be the one at fault here and therefore that applies to anyone whether it be a maritual affair,violence and abuse towards your partner,lying,the list is exhaustive.

Happiness comes from within as does self awareness and self respect and learning to love yourself is a must and omes first and foremost to stand any chance of using these tools to enable a person to cope better with making right choices for themselves whether it be a career,friends,family or personal relationships.To enable you to make the right choices in choosing a suitable mate that matches yourself and is mature enough to support and nuture your needs,whether that be emotional,physical,spiritual,wer’e all different and the key point in all of this is to be able to recognise this right from the outset and prevent alot of heartache and pain,not just for yourself but for other’s too.

Personally marriage should’not be about hard work or compromising,love in it’s purest form requires none of this or any expectations from another,expectations,leads to resentment,dissapointment and resentment which in turn then leads to anger and as we all know, anger and resentment comes in different shapes and disguises,all the total opposite to love in it’s purest form.Don’t shout at it,don’t abuse it or lie to it,don’t even try to change it,just wish it well and be on your merry way in the knowing that you will find it with someone if you truly d,believe you desreved to be loved because you are worthy of it,that’s love in it’s purest form,the only person you should be working on is yourself and on a daily basis in the hope that the person whom you chose to be with is doing the same thing.Anything less than this is not true love in it’s highest and purest form!!!!!!

August 27, 2010 at 6:41 pm
(33) divorcewow says:

I’ve been married for 3.5 years and recently found out that my husband has had a “relationship” with another woman for nearly 10 years, since his separation from his first wife. I was a great wife, attractive, sexy, always interested in sex, fun, adventurous, loving, cooking, permitting him time for golf, etc. His affair, which I recently discovered through emails (after 2.5 years of shady behaviors that didn’t add up) has been revealed when I am literally 9 months pregnant and 3 months before we were to relocate to a new city for my new job that eagerly wanted me to take. So, thinking back to the dating sex (hot, great) to married sex with him (sleepy), I guess the emails of him telling the other woman that he thinks about her before he goes to sleep are revealing. What did I do in this situation? He had a predisposition for this woman (who was married with kids and not always available) before me. I can’t compete. I filed for divorce under grounds of adultery (it could have been annulment if the truth had come out earlier), a week after finding out. What is there to save? Absolutely nothing but lies, right?

December 23, 2010 at 11:00 pm
(34) Jessica says:

I completely agree with Dr. Laura. What is missing from this article and also from some commentators is the other side of the story that Dr. Laura also presents. Here are some missing pieces to what Dr. Laura REALLY says if you listen to and read ALL of it:

1) Some women make very POOR choices when it comes to picking spouses. Many commentators to this article seemed to completely MISS this point. “I was the perfect wife, I did everything right, yet he cheated on me, sometimes repeatedly,” is the gist of many comments. Nowhere did I see: “I was afraid to hold out for a partner who would treat me well.” “I ignored the warning signs that I was marrying a narcissist.” “I was afraid to leave because I couldn’t imagine being alone.” I see ZERO responsibility-taking from the women who made poor choices in choosing a mate (at least from these commentators). Before I met my husband, I fell in love with and dated some real doozies. But I always took responsibility for my mistakes, took the time to learn from each and every relationship, and as a result I never made the same mistake twice. Each new guy that I dated – even when they were still all not so good – was an improvement on the last and/or a learning experience for me. As a result, I believe, I am very happily married to a wonderful man and wonderful human being. I am sad that the women who posted these things are not going to have such a good chance to have a good relationship if they haven’t yet been able to accept responsibility for CHOOSING to stay with a bad mate in the first place.

2) Dr. Laura is NOT talking about men who are narcissists/psychopaths or who have serious addictions. This is closely related to point 1 (because – why are YOU dating such a person?) but it is separate in the sense that you are NOT responsible for making them happy at home! You can’t! You can “DO” everything in the world to make them happy and they will still cheat because they have no real capacity to connect with people in the first place (based on recent brain scan research), so the particular advise about being more sensitive to your husband’s needs DOES NOT APPLY TO A NARCISSIST. Dr. Laura specifically states that in the intro to “the proper care and feeding of husbands” and she also applies this multiple times on her radio show when talking to women who are dating narcissists. The first question is: “Was he always a jerk?”

Yes, in some ways Dr. Laura’s advice may seem overly simplified (because a man is ALSO responsible for getting his emotional needs met and if he is not, leaving the woman he is with). But on the other hand, it brings to light a very often ignored truth. Women play a huge emotional role in the health of their marriages and often are partially responsible when their husband cheats after years and years of mistreatment. Yes it would be a LOT emotionally healthier for the husband to get a divorce and leave his spouse, but it would also be a LOT emotionally healthier for the wife to be sensitive to his needs. Dr. Laura never says that it is all the wife’s fault when a husband cheats…she is just pointing out the part of the fault that MAY belong to her.

Dr. Laura’s advice is SPOT ON. I am happily married to my husband, who told me when we were first dating that he knew of a lot of married men who were not having sex. He is a police officer so he works with a lot of guys of all ages. My husband was under the impression that NONE of these guys were having regular sex with their wives. Now perhaps the ones who were getting some weren’t talking about it. But that is just SAD. Fast forward 6 years and many of his co-workers are getting divorces. So many that we observed that they are “dropping like flies.” I started putting two and two together and it sure sounds like Dr. Laura is on to something! Probably in large part to Dr. Laura’s advice (I’ve been listening to her for so long I don’t honestly know how I would have behaved without having been influenced by her!)…I am very happily married. I think of sex as an important need for men, equivalent (more or less) to my husband listening to me. I also think about what kind of wife I am being and sometimes try to imagine what it would be like to be married to me. This gives me a great chance for self-reflection and sometimes stops me in the moment before I do something foolish (like nag over something that would bug the heck out of ME to be nagged about). Mmmmhmmm. We women sure can dish it out but can’t always take it! It’s time to treat our husbands the way that WE like to be treated. If you do, you won’t have to analyze whose fault it is when a man is cheating…because he won’t be. [And just a reminder...this does NOT apply to women who chose to be with a narcissist!]

January 21, 2011 at 1:43 am
(35) stacey says:

Jessica, your comment is well-written and right-on. I’ve also dated quite a few narcissists and sociopaths and believe me, nothing you do will ever turn them into a healthy partner. I’m so thankful that I did not end up marrying any of them even though I got very burned a few times.

I agree that we do reap the consequences of our choices. I know that there are cases/situations where people truly don’t know the person they are marrying. Some people can put on a good con act. However, when we do see those “red flags” and choose to proceed with the relationship then we are setting ourselves up to be victimized. I ignored many red flags in my dating experiences and payed dearly for doing that. After one too many “doozies,” I went into counseling to try to figure out why I was repeating the same mistakes over and over.

.

I don’t always agree with everything Dr. Laura says. Hypocrite or not, she makes alot of people angry ’cause she sometimes speaks the uncomfortable truth.

April 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm
(36) WTF says:

22 years of marriage
4 sons
I love to exercise, I’m in great shape-a personal trainer
Cook, Clean, pay bills, raise kids, NEVER disrespect my hubby
Sex daily for all 22 years
“other” kind of sex every day during my periods
Husband still had an affair.
Said I didn’t “initiate” it enough. I never had a chance to initiate it! We never went without it.
Bottom line was that of course sex with a new woman was more exciting then sex with the same woman every night for 22 years. Even a 3 time divorced woman with 40 pounds over me, and 3 kids of her own!
F you Dr. Laura!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm
(37) WTF says:

Oh Wait! I read more comments. Its still my fault because I chose to marry this man! Of course. Its my fault. At the wise age of 18 I married this 19 year old. Everyone probably thought we wouldn’t make it. Funny how we made it all the way to his 40 year old mid-life crisis.
But its my fault. I wasn’t mature and educated enough to make a sound choice of a husband back then. Stupid me.
Jessica- congrats to you for choosing a good mate. But lets not forget, my husband was faithful and kind for 22 years before this happened to us.

June 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm
(38) Andy John says:

I want to encourage all un-married men don’t make the same mistke I made believing marriage means sex. No, listen to many anti-man posts on this blog be very very careful whom you marry!!!!!! They can make you or break you.

I stayed in my sexless marriage for my two kids. Relationship is always a two-way street and you can be the best you can be and still have a horriable marriage. I beg you don’t make the same mistake I made. This is from my heart.

Andy

September 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm
(39) r says:

Wow! I can understand EVERYONE’S feelings and c
omments!

September 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm
(40) 41Married says:

So after 24 years with the man , married in 2007 , only to find out about an affair in 2008. Promised to be faithful, forgive and to find out again in 2011. She the same woman, she told me that she wasn’t a coworker., only to find out yes she was.

For years a woman was leaving message on the home machine about her day. I would ask him about the calls, always says ” I don’t know who that is”.

Now so mad, can’t sleep,eat or think. I not sure what to feel

Can anyone tell me what to do next ?

December 2, 2011 at 10:44 am
(41) AnonLady says:

Well I cheated because my live-in S.O. would not have sex with me despite many attempts to communicate my needs. He would rather play video games. I love him but I shouldn’t have to put up with that. He had it coming.

December 16, 2011 at 11:01 am
(42) Dot says:

For men who attribute their adultery to their wives”a fault, think again. For every unmet need you have , your wives have equally, if not, more unmet needs. Kudos to wives who choose to be faithful despite all odds

May 24, 2012 at 6:32 am
(43) Jim C says:

Jessica, you nailed it. How nice to hear a women not jump to the too often standard response “boys will be boys” nonsense. Husbands and wives have needs and we are now, thankfully, finally, discussing the needs of husbands!

Women, if you’re married to a jerk leave him or he’ll cheat, single ladies don’t marry those guys unless you like to be miserable.

OK, with that out of the way, wives please give your loving husbands the same respect, love, admiration and passionate sex you enticed them with in the beginning of your relationships, that’s what we want and deserve (remember we already eliminated the jerks from this formula). If you’re not initiating the sex start immediately. Initiation means a great deal to us, makes us feel really truly loved, wanted.

April 18, 2013 at 11:09 am
(44) (Valley Wildcat Fan) says:

You women out there, had better not listen to this woman or anyone who blames wives.
Once you find out he’s cheating, and if you opt to not divorce him, since he is cheating, anyway, don’t let him touch you sexually. Let him have her. Go on with your life sweetie, for the sake of your kids. When they are grown and move out, you need toeither kick his butt out, or let him stay and you just ignore his butt. Do not let him give you a disease. Don’t you cheat too. That is not good for you right now. Let the wheel of hard luck, roll around and catch up with him.

Women, do not spoil him, kiss up to him, look all dreamy eyed to him, giggle at him, wait on him hand and foot, tell him what you are always thinking, let him have all of your heart, let him see you totally naked, let him watch the babies come out, let his mom in the delivery room, entertain his parents’ rudeness, pick up after him, give up your career, fake orgasms to protect his fragile ego and little wee wee, brag on him, give up your friends-hobbies for him, lower your self esteem for him, stop loving and valuing yourself and lose your opinion …….
because all these things will give a man too much control over you, and if or when he ever gets to the stage of arrogance, narcissism,cheating, you would still have yourself.

I am not a man hater, but, I have studied the male-female relationship dynamic long and hard enough, that I can truly tell women exactly how a man works. Some of you have been brainwashed by many factors, such as the male media, anti women counselors, and men in general, who have told you that you are to blame for men’s sins. Now I want to help young vulnerable females and the older experienced females who should already know better, that men in general are not that in to us, and do not wish us any good. I Iove my gender, so there it is!! You can disagree, but in the meantime, watch, look, and listen to the things that men say and do. You will soon see what I just told you.

April 18, 2013 at 11:22 am
(45) Beryl(Wildcat fan) says:

To Jim C, and since husbands have roles too, tell the husbands to

Please give your wives, the same respect, love, admiration, and good sex just like you gave them with in the beginning of your relationships, that’s what women want too, and we deserve romance too. And Jim C, tell husbands that the reason that wives don”t initiate sex is the same reason you do not initiate conversations and chatting time that wives do. Jim, women are not men and since sex is you all’s want, more than ours, make it worth our while and stop just thrusting your genital and do some cudding and foreplay as well. What is it with all the thrusting. You all think you are doing good and your wife is counting the seconds til the discomfort is over!! We get bored with our husbands just like you get bored with us.

May 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm
(46) Suzy says:

This guy really needed another woman, beside his wife so badly. It appears self pleasure was out, and so was waiting for his wife to be in the mood, or talking with her about what’s going on.

Nobody put a gun to this guy’s befuddled head and said “cheat on your wife or you die!” I’m sure that could happen, but this is a different movie.

Why should the wife be blamed? That really irritates me to no end! I’ve been married to my husband for six years and lived together for six years before marriage. When we met, I was 37 and probably at the height of my sexuality, or so the books say!

In a few months I’ll be turning 50yo and I’m going through Menopause, or
peri-menopause, whatever they call it. I never thought Menopause would
be so hard to handle, and would affect my sex drive this much! However,
my husband understands. I know he does b/c we talk about it. We talk about a lot of things. It’s so important to keep the lines of communication open in a marriage!!

July 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm
(47) Morgen says:

I agree with Z and Jo…the underlining issue is communication and both partners being in a healthy state of mind. Not being co-dependent and childish saying “my wife ignores me, but instead of talking to her like an adult expressing my needs and wants I’ll just run to the first girl who feeds my ego” same goes for women. Sure it takes two to tango but one to step out the relationship. If you can’t express your true feelings to your spouse then you are a coward with personal issues and rather look for validation outside to avoid possible confrontation with your partner.

As individuals we go through emotions so yes love can be work sometimes nothing everything is rainbows and roses, but its when you have communication and honesty then you can lead a healthy life with self love and respect therefore being able to love another unconditionally. So if a man cheats and blames his wife, its projection for his negative actions. The husband has no respect for himself so therefore doesn’t respect his wife or marriage. Even those who are not married, the cheater is at fault because they stayed in a situation out of fear and selfishness by having their cake and eating it too. People love to quit when things get rough. I watched the man I spent 4 years with quit, lie, cheat, blame, resent me for his actions. And now he’s with one of the girls he on me with, she just reinforces his behavior, but if he can cheat with you he will cheat on you. My ex hasn’t changed and doesn’t want to get help or face his issues so now he’s her baggage to try to “fix” I tried to make it work but he wanted an easy way out all while trying to keep me in his life, as soon as I rejected being his doormat he turned on me and writes songs about me in a negative way.
The red flags are clear, he will never be in a healthy committed relationship until he has one with himself. Thanks for letting me tell my story

December 23, 2013 at 3:02 am
(48) rheewa says:

Yeah yeah Dr Laura offended all the womens libbers who would love to take over society..

Basically yeah the guy shouldn’t cheat and learn to talk whatever problems or lack of ‘love language’ that exist over with his spouse. But for the woman to refuse any responsibility whatsoever is just plain lame and naive, not to mention selfish.

Yeah men and women need to learn each others love language and learn to compensate for each other. It’s no single personas fault.

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