Comedian Chris Rock once famously said, “You’re only as faithful as your options.” If that is true, then it would stand to reason that successful men are less faithful, as they have more opportunities to cheat.
Just a quick look at recent news tells of the torrid affairs of prominent celebrities and politicians. What is especially surprising about these high-profile cheaters is that they engaged in the risky behavior, having to realize somewhere in the back of their minds that they could easily be caught or “outed” to a tabloid publication. After all, a successful investment banker who is relatively unknown to the public is less likely to attract attention when he’s out to dinner with someone other than his wife-but a well-known movie star or politician will always turn heads.
So, what are the factors that could lead successful men to cheat?
-Men with money are attractive to other women. Unfortunately there are women who prey on men and will hook up with someone with money, regardless of whether or not he is wearing a wedding ring. Men who are successful have more discretionary income with which to find and woo affair partners, and this is attractive to a woman who wants to be wined and dined.
-Men who have successful careers often have a little extra time on their hands, whether in the form of leisure time (like the stereotypical golf outing) or business trips. They are not punching the clock on an hourly salary. Business trips, especially, are fertile ground for infidelity.
-Men who are successful have many opportunities to tell their wives they are working late, they have a business dinner, or they have to work on the weekends. They can then use these opportunities for their extramarital activities.
-Men who are successful often have wives at home taking care of their homes and children. Thus, their partner often earns less than them, if they are earning anything at all. According to a study by the Singaporean paper Straits Times, these men are more likely to cheat.
-Men who are successful often let their good fortune go to their head. They may suffer from narcissistic personality disorder, making them feel invincible and above reproach, or they may suffer from a more temporary form of narcissism. Once you gain power and control at work, you want more-and the power having any woman you want is the next logical step. There is also a certain “control” to carrying on an illicit, secret affair without anyone else knowing.
So… was Chris Rock right? Are you only as faithful as your options? That may very well be so, since an MSNBC/iVillage “Lust, Love & Loyalty Survey” polled more than 70,000 adults and found that 32 percent of men making more than $300,000 a year reported cheating, compared with 21 percent of men who made less than $35,000 a year.
And, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley looked at a person’s rank in society (taking into account factors such as wealth, job prestige and education) and found that richer people were more likely to cheat, lie and break the law than those who were poorer.
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