Add to the list of recent exposed cheaters NFL star and Today show correspondent Tiki Barber. He joins the likes of Tiger Woods, Jesse James, John Edwards – and these are just the people who’ve been exposed recently. Every time we turn around it seems someone larger than life is being brought down by confessions or allegations of infidelity. Barber announced he’s leaving his wife of 11 years (who’s eight months pregnant with twins, I might add!) for his 23-year-old mistress, a former NBC intern. It seems like the affair disease is spreading like an epidemic and I do believe infidelity and adultery can be treated like a disease, brought into the light, discussed and thereby hopefully rehabbing those who have faced it or succumbed to it. In fact, not long ago it was discovered that there’s a link between a specific gene and the way men bond to their partners, thereby making them less or more likely to be disposed to cheating.
The Infidelity Gene?
As I talk about in the book, Make up Don’t Break up, connecting infidelity to a gene, or labeling it as a disease does not give the perpetrator a free pass – it merely serves to help us better understand the cause and effect and to treat it effectively instead of continuing the trend of leaving devastated relationships in its wake. As we’ve seen, adultery is becoming an epidemic and is a disease similar to alcoholism – and it’s time to stop it. We need to stop glamorizing it, or – alternatively – bastardizing it, accept that it happens and move on. I believe that we CAN cure and forgive adultery (an idea I go into in-depth in my book by the same name.) Typically, those in the spotlight have high burn out rate and they’re looking to alleviate the pressure and stress, and nowadays with all of juggling so many things, it doesn’t take being a politician or an actor of a sports star to fall into the cycle of adultery. It feeds off what I call the biochemical craving for connection.
If you’re in the habit of not addressing your subconscious feelings, people often look instead for that next thrill-seeking high. The quest for this high becomes all-consuming even though to a rational mind the quest seems quite dangerous. Similar to alcoholics and other addicts, those who are dealing with the affair disease are frequently putting everything on the line for that next fix.
Of course there are other factors at work here – like if you grew up in a home where one of your parents was unfaithful, or if you move in circles where discreet infidelity is somewhat accepted. But some people must fight against infidelity like others fight against alcoholism or anger.
This doesn’t mean they get a free pass. The key is to acknowledge this about yourself and keep fighting it however you have to – through therapy, support groups or counseling.