An affair has the destructive nature of a category 5 storm, wreaking havoc in its wake, while leaving a trail of devastated and broken families.
In The Affair, published by Jacana, authors Sue Hickey and Philippa Sklaar profile the various types of cheaters and delve into the psyche of both perpetrators and victims of infidelity.
Here are the four basic types of cheaters:
The narcissistic cheater
A narcissist is a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish. An estimated six percent of the world’s population fall into this group.
Apparently extreme narcissists will cheat, and in line with their personality they will do so over and over again.
Imagine being in a relationship with someone who needs constant attention and adoration.
These are the building blocks for new love, but it’s not sustainable in a stable, adult relationship.
They believe that the rules of monogamy don’t apply to them because of their failure to empathise with others.
And yes, you may ask yourself “why would anyone get involved with someone like that?”
At first glance they appear charming and say all the right things, deceiving you into thinking this is the perfect partner.
But once the relationship is past the honeymoon stage, boredom sets in and soon they’ll be on the lookout for the next new thing.
The warning signs:
1. Preoccupation with themselves
2. Struggle to show empathy for others
3. Feel no guilt about the consequences of cheating
4. Constant need for adulation
5. Think they are superior to others
The sexual predator
Otherwise known as a serial womaniser, the sexual predator needs to conquer women for sex and the thrill of every new sexual victory.
But don’t be under the illusion that this label applies to men only.
Women can also be sexual predators, seeking out new conquests and finding themselves constantly attracted to unavailable men.
She sees her conquest’s partner as being inferior to her and feels no shame declaring that other women are jealous of her.
The male predator uses money as his bait, while the female uses her sexual prowess to hook her victim.
Stuart, a “reformed” sexual predator, shares his advice in the book on how to spot a sexual predator.
1. You’re being played if he takes you to a restaurant and they know his name
2. Never drink shooters on a first date – it makes you vulnerable
3. He talks non-stop about himself and forgets to ask anything about you
4. Don’t have sex with him for about a month after you meet – he will lose interest because the sex takes centre stage and not the person
5. He wants to have sex in weird places because it’s the thrill of getting caught that excites him
The Romance addict
Romance addicts are addicted to the idea of love and not the person. They are consumed with feelings of love and the pain of longing.
Normally these types are serial cheaters with no sense of how their relationship will function in the real world. Instead they believe in the fantasy of spiritual connections and soul mates.
They see themselves as martyrs and resent their spouse and children for failing to understand the sacrifices they have made for true love.
It all comes crashing down when the object of their affection fails to telepathically understand their every need.
The warning signs:
1. Shows intense feelings of love
2. Addicted to the anticipation of a sexual relationship
3. Yearns for excitement and seduction
4. Lives in a world removed from reality
5. Shows no remorse for consequences or pain
The opportunistic cheater
If given the opportunity to cheat on your spouse with the guarantee of not getting caught, would you do it?
It’s a question that many might not answer honestly. Unfortunately it’s in our nature to cheat because the opportunity presents itself and the chances of facing the consequences are slim.
Most opportunistic cheaters blame the shortcomings of their relationship as the reason for them going astray. Examples of this are men claiming the sex is no longer exciting or women blaming the lack of emotional intimacy. They don’t want to yearn, they just want to be satisfied and fall carelessly into opportunities that present themselves.
They are unlikely to be a serial cheater, and unlike the other types, the issue is not a personality problem but a failure to commit.
The warning signs:
1. Blames shortcomings of marriage on partner
2. Doesn’t believe they’ll get caught out
3. Never has the initial intent to risk their marriage
4. Sees the affair as taking a break from real life
5. Knows their behaviour is a transgression
– Daily News