How To Stop A Man From Cheating

Last week, I randomly tweeted about a small pseudo-adventure that Drew Curtis and I had at a bar where we convinced a man not to cheat on his wife. I was asked about that event tonight - I didn't even give it a second thought at the time, but one of my readers was interested in the how and the why of it all. So, the story:

Drew was in Atlanta for a layover, and was crashing at my place. Usually when Drew comes into town (or when I go visit him), we have a nice dinner at someplace with steaks that don't resemble flip-flops - but this was late, and not many places serve past 10pm on weeknights here (unless, of course, you want the flip-flop).

But Drew was hungry, and is also always up for an adventure. So, on the way home from the airport, we stopped off at a place a few miles from my southside suburban home called simply Sports Cafe for a few brews and some wings. And while we were there, a young man whom neither of us had met before began chatting us up about the woman that wouldn't stop flirting with him, hoping to commiserate with us about just how hard it was to stay loyal to his wife with this "young hot ass wavin' in [his] face." He added that he'd never cheated before, but was seriously considering it.

I took this as a cry for help.

Now, Drew and I are both married, and are both fiercely loyal to our spouses, but it's one of those topics that - when discussed in the "guys in bars" dynamic, is approached with great delicacy. Too much adoration for the wife, and you're "pussywhipped" and "ball-less" and you lose face with the dudes you just met. Too much disdain - especially around people who already know better and have seen you completely "pussywhipped", and you lose face with your friends for putting on an act.

But I really didn't want this guy making a horrible mistake, so while Drew laughed and nodded, I proceeded to play the pragmatism card. You see, no man considering cheating on his wife is truly "in love" - this does not mean that he doesn't feel love for his wife, just that he's not IN love with her. And you can't convince someone to be in love, and if you have to remind them that they're supposed to be in love (and thus maintain fidelity), it's not actually love. So I just went with common sense.

"Say you did hit it with this chick," I said. "What's the best case scenario? You bust a nut for a night?"

"Yeah," he said, with a smile on his face.

"But then, you love your wife right? And we have to think about the worst case, which is she finds out."

"Oh man," he said, "That'd be pretty bad."

"Actually, that's not even the worst case. Worst case would be this chick you hit up tonight, she thinks she loves you, and starts begging you to leave your wife, which will absolutely guarantee your wife will find out... Now you have TWO women mad at you."

He thought for a moment. Drew smirked.

I continued. "I don't know about you, but I can't even handle my wife yelling at me about forgoing a salad to eat a steak... Imagine the fight when she finds out where you put YOUR steak."

Drew crept in with just four words: "And also, remember alimony."

And that's how we convinced the guy to go home to his betrothed.

In my life experience so far, I've found that people - typically men - cheat on their significant other mostly out of ego. The ego is satisfied by only two things - creation and conquest. Those who cannot create seek their self worth from others, usually from the opposite sex, and usually through sexual conquest. 

And if a man feels he's not attractive to his wife, rather than solve that problem with her (because, let's face it, it's really, really hard to have that kind of conversation with anyone, much less someone you don't love enough to stay loyal to), he'll just go out and start cavorting with women who'll pay him some mind.

Now MOST men, they won't go the next step. Knowing they've "still got it" is enough. But then again, most men are neanderthals incapable of thinking with both heads at the same time, and in every single instance of logic vs. natural instinct, nature will win every single time.