Does Everyone Cheat on Their Spouse?

This weekend, my mom, sister and I were at Disneyland. A Saturday in May at Disneyland is the worst day to choose to go to Disneyland–lines are long and the weather is warm.

Have no fear, though: my mom, sister and I have a game we play in line to keep us entertained. It’s where we people watch (usually my mom starts) and come up with a storyline for the chosen set of people’s lives based on something we notice about the group.

For example, we were in a long line for Space Mountain and there were two 50-ish year old couples in front of us. My mom spotted a rip in one of the men’s shorts, which he had crudely tried to fix with two safety pins. He did a poor job fixing the rip and we could see his chonies (underwear).

Based on that one observation and the body language of the couples in that mans group for the entire hour long wait, we concocted the following three scenarios.

Possible Scenario 1:

The man with the torn shorts is either newly divorced or widowed. He has no wife to notice that his underwear are showing in front of all of Disneyland, or at least in the lines for the rides.

Possible Scenario 2:

The man in the torn shorts just cheated on his wife. She’s pissed off at him, so she’s giving him the cold shoulder in line–and at home. This is why his pants weren’t fixed, or why he was able to wear them outside without anyone telling him to change.

Possible Scenario 3:

The wife of the man with the torn shorts just cheated on him and is trying to conceal it, but doing a poor job of it. Since she’s so preoccupied in her mind about her affair, she didn’t pay attention to his shorts in the morning and he made a crude attempt at fixing them.

This whole people watching guessing game really stemmed an entirely related conversation about cheating, mostly because you couldn’t tell the two couples were married to each other (we assume they were) as they were really cold to each other. My mom is at the age where a lot of her friends have had a spouse cheat on them or has had women flirting with my dad for months at a time, etc.

We argued all kinds of possibilities as to what makes married men and women (even happily married men and women) cheat on their spouses. We mostly focused on long time married couples. We never came up with a definitive answer, but a compilation of answers:

  1. Some people who cheat get married too young, before they’ve “sown their wild oats.”
  2. Maybe it’s genetic or learned behavior from a parent who cheated and got away with it.
  3. If a man or woman doesn’t cheat, they may have another hang up or flaw that’s almost unbearable to live with.

Do you have any theories as to why people cheat, even in long term or happy marriages?

Arnold Schwarzenegger  and Maria Shriver are getting a divorce because Arnold kept his secret “love child” from her for ten years. They were married about twenty five years ago. I’d consider that a long term marriage, and we (the public) and Maria are only now finding out. How is that possible? It was a child he had with someone in his own household staff!

The Post quoted Political consultant James Carville who “called it ‘stunning’ that this never bubbled up. “I would not be surprised if a lot of money changed hands,” he told [the Post].”

A lot of money? It takes a lot of money to shut the mouths of some people when its such a high profile relationship, but what keeps couples that have affairs who aren’t rich from talking? What’s the big deal about being honest? I know, I know, that’s the morally upstanding answer–Just Be Honest. But isn’t it time that people just be honest about wanting out of a marriage, instead of ruining it?