Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Addendum to Cheating Topic: Dr. Neuman Was on Oprah Today Again

This is an addendum to Part 2 of my BlogHer post on cheating men and how to save a marriage.

Women were outraged on today's Oprah show, saying Dr. Gary Neuman was blaming the woman, but he says most women who've read the book found it helpful and sent postiive emails, thanking him for his insight. Here are some highlights and clarification points.

Oprah: If you don't want the information don't accept it or the advice, she said.

Seething Audience Member: One woman said Oprah was being too easy on the men and making too many excuses. She thinks it's a matter of how you're raised and that if you strongly believe you don't cross the line to cheating, you won't do it.

Neuman: The main reason men cheat, according to his study of men, is they don't feel appreciated or admired at home and we should appreciate people even for doing what they're supposed to do, not just the extras.

Oprah: Remember how you were when you trying to catch him. The attention level and respect level was different, said Oprah. So, she thinks it's about looking at what you could have done differently, not about blaming yourself. I suppose she's thinking in terms of a future relationship or if you want to work through a relationship in crisis. She also stressed that we all want to be appreciated, even God, per The Color Purple.

Beyond Affairs women: These women said that they agree that wives must show appreciation to their husbands, but they didn't want it ignored that sometimes everything's okay at home, the men are being shown appreciation, and they still cheat. This is the group, I think, BarbD mentioned in her comments on this topic somewhere above.

Neuman: Also said men who cheat tend to have male friends who cheat. Uh huh. My ex's father was a serial cheater, and when my ex started having men he admired at work who I knew were on second wives who they seemed to have known before they left their first wives, I read the writing on the wall.

Key points from Neuman:

  1. He reminded viewers that this is not his first book, that his previous book on emotional infidelity took men to task soundly for failure to put effort into their marriages.
  2. He's working on a new book on why women cheat that will give men advice about how to save their marriages.
  3. The real reason his book bugs certain women like me, he suggested, is the horse has already left the barn so it's an issue of timing when a person hears information. You can't go to a woman whose spouse has had an affair with information about how to stop him from cheating or what she can do differently. It will sound like blame. He used the analogy of going to a person who's in the hospital after just having a heart attack. That's not the time to say, "Oh, well, if you had only exercised three times a week." How's that helpful?

So, I guess he's saying his book will only work for you if you're experiencing the following circumstances:

  1. If you want to work for a better marriage and your spouse has not had an affair or cheated
  2. If your spouse has had an affair and you want to work through it and keep your marriage
  3. If you're remarrying and don't want to repeat mistakes you may have made the first time around.

O.K. I'll buy that, which is why I downloaded the book free from Oprah. I'm not at a point to invest money in a book about saving a marriage. I don't want to get married again. ;-) But if I did, I'd quiz my intended first on whether he thinks the ball is mostly in my court for making the marriage work. How would he fail that test? He'd get huffy and protest my asking the question in the first place. Wrong response, dude.

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