Doctors Sylvia and Milton Gearing have been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1985 with compassion and professionalism.
The Gearings implement the latest in psychological research to stay at the cutting edge of their field and bring the most effective and life changing techniques to their clients.
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Cheating in America - Apr 28, 2008
Cheating in America
April 28, 2008
Dr. Sylvia Gearing, TXA 21 News
Infidelity continues to affect millions of Americans. A recent poll of over 70,000 Americans indicates that around fifty percent of us will stray at some point in our relationships. Here to tell us more about cheating and what to do if you have been betrayed is TXA 21 News Contributing Psychologist, Dr. Sylvia Gearing.
Q: These are devastating numbers. Why are they so high?
Dr. Sylvia: Americans are exhausted, overworked and "still at the office" most of the time. We long to have the relief of adventure. Affairs represent just that--new adventures with a "twist of the forbidden." Affairs are one big mirror for our ego. They don't require thinking, accountability or honesty. They show a complete lapse of integrity.
Q: Where do most affairs begin and under what circumstances?
Dr. Sylvia: Today's workplace is the most fertile breeding ground for affairs. Forty six percent of unfaithful wives and sixty two percent of unfaithful husbands have an affair with someone they met through their work. Remember that affairs begin in the mind and the office setting now offers an abundance of beautiful, interesting and attentive people whom we have to "think with". Very few activities are more captivating than working hard together to achieve common goals. The pressures of teamwork and shared deadlines lead to that adrenaline rush. Many of us misinterpret that "rush" as attraction.
Q: Can you have an affair even if you consider yourself happily married?
Dr. Sylvia: Infidelity has changed over the last ten years with more good people in good marriages straying. They unwittingly form deep, passionate connections before realizing that they've crossed the line from platonic friendship into romantic love. In one study, 82% of 200 unfaithful partners were described as "just a friend." But let's be honest, at some point you said "yes" when you should have said "no."
Q: Who cheats more--men or women?
Dr. Sylvia: Women cheat more. Specifically young women are more apt to stray. They confuse admiration with attraction and "back" into relationships without considering the consequences. In fact, with the high numbers of assertive alpha women, these statistics are likely to increase.
Q: Why do they cheat more?
Dr. Sylvia: There are several reasons:
Great Memories: Women have twice the emotional memory space in their brains when compared with men. Every grievance, disappointment and letdown is catalogued and stored. It is easy to indict a well meaning guy if you catalogue his every fault. Abandoning your marriage for the "next new guy" can then be appealing.
Unrealistic Expectations: Women in general refuse to settle for anything less than their soul mate. This is especially true of young women with an income. They expect flowers and moonlight and end up with mortgages and car payments.
Q: Does infidelity always lead to divorce?
No, cheating is not an automatic death knell for your marriage. However, according to this latest poll, cheating is responsible for around 54% of divorces. In the end, most unfaithful marriages want to stay in their marriages and work hard to revive them. Almost seventy percent of Americans don't want to lose their partner with men being a little more worried than women.
Q: What about workplace predators--those people who seem to pursue married partners?
These people are truly predators since they systematically and relentlessly target happily married people. It is if they have drawn up a "military plan" of attack and they are rabid in pursing that person. They are drawn only to the committed and hunt them with complements and affection.
Q: What is their primary motivation?
Dr. Sylvia: Primarily, they enjoy winning but they often lust after power. Most of the time, the target lover possesses some kind of position or possessions that are desirable. They will not stop until they acquire the target.
Q: What tips do you have for our viewers on what to look for?
Dr. Sylvia: They have several signs to look for:
Flattery and Admiration: If you are hearing enormous amounts of flattery and admiration, start to question the motivations. Flattery is the cornerstone of manipulation. The only thing flattery builds is trouble.
Emotional Intimacy: Entrusting your deepest secrets, hopes and dreams to this new partner is the beginning of disaster. Suddenly, you have invited a new person into a part of your life once reserved for your partner.
Secrecy and Exclusion: This is when the line is really crossed in the affair. Both parties know they are doing it and they chose to continue anyway.
The Flirtation with the Forbidden: Sexual chemistry flourishes in this kind of environment. Don't be misled--its an illusion.
Q: How do you defend yourself against an affair?
Dr. Sylvia: Remember, interest creates opportunity. Avoid risky situations with attractive or charming co-workers. Remember that just because you are attracted to someone, it doesn't mean you are married to the wrong person. There are attractive people on every street corner. Just don't get involved. You'll thank yourself in the end.