Cheating is that inescapable occurrence in the relationship world. More than anything, it is a sign that there is a problem. For some, it may mean that the partner (male or female) are having some pure fidelity issues. In some cases, however, it is a telltale sign that the relationship has bigger complications to solve. Regardless of the reasoning, cheating has some serious reasoning behind it.

So, when I caught wind of the Lisa Belkin article “Why Petraeus and Other Powerful Men Cheat”, I was tickled. It wasn’t the fact that I didn’t agree with Belkin’s stance. More than anything, she didn’t take one. I wasn’t tickled by the subject matter sense it is serious. What gave me a laugh is that science isn’t seriously considered in the situation.

Bigger than anything, Anne LaMott questioned how men can risk their marriages, power, and exalted status for an easy lay.

My response: Oh? Oh.

Chocolate covered lie: powerful men work to use sex to their advantage. Yeah, I said it. It is time people throw their moral compasses out the window and start keeping it realer than Real World.

The Misunderstanding

What many people want to believe is that these men lack a moral compass or common sense. This would make sense in a purely logical fashion. It would be said that “oh, that man think he is on top of the world”. Or even better, I know many that would say “I don’t understand how men can do that”. For many people, it just doesn’t make sense.

It sure is a laundry list of these fellas……

That is because it shouldn’t make sense. Most of us are not in a position of power living by a different set of rules [1]. Many of us are not powerful with the adoration of millions, whether it is people or dead presidents. In addition, many of us may not be as competitive or seeking the adoration of many [2]. Therefore, the world of the rich and powerful isn’t one to truly understand.

The Research

If we took to some research, we would understand the disposition of powerful people. Researchers Joris Lammers, Diederik Stapel and Adam Galinsky ran a variety of experiments to see if those even temporarily placed in a position of authority would become moral hypocrites [3]. They wanted to see if common people, under the circumstances of wealth and power, would let “the power corrupt them”. Unsurprisingly, they found that the empowered subjects of their experiments eventually thought it was okay to lie, cheat and steal, as long as it got them what they wanted [4]. So, even regular folk would become irregular under the unpronounced influence of power.

The funny part is that it didn’t matter if it was men or women.

Yet, everyone wouldn’t do this. So, we have to dig deeper as to what causes this.

Not Makaveli, people. Machiavelli. The real Machiavelli.

Looking at it from a perspective of research, it can be a multitude of factors in causation with money and power. Larry Josephs, a professor of psychology at Adelphi University, noted that “it’s a combination of narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy” [5]. With the increased severity of these mentalities comes a greater the risk for sexual acting out. Another thing to consider is privilege: those that are used to it tend to live by a different set of rules [6]. Thus, there are serious reasons for these types of behaviors.

The Skinnier

I truly respect the perspectives of both Belkin and LaMott. However, we need to start realizing that there is always an explanation to most situations. This situation is no different. It takes a lot to control oneself when money and power comes into play. In retrospect, I wish they would have just considered reading up on it.

I’m not validating the actions of these people. Personally, I think they need to “keep their pants on”.

Still, a lot of things are transcribed by history and tend to repeat after the wash and rinse.

‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!


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