By Ogova Ondego
Published February 10, 2017
It is Valentine’s Day, the time for celebrating love and romance. But you aren’t in the mood for any celebration. Because you suspect your man is cheating on you. But hey, did you know that the urge to stray is built into masculinity and that it is the male norm to be unfaithful? Did you also know that opportunity plays a crucial role in determining whether a man will cheat?
Men Who Can’t Be Faithful: The Ultimate Guide to Men’s Infidelity, a book by Carol Botwin, appears to be based on the theory of behavioural scientists who have maintained that the man who does not cheat is either timid or lacks the opportunity.
According to Botwin who is described as a renowned authority on sexuality and relationships, some of the opportunities that lead to men’s infidelity include: parties where people dress seductively, flirt with members the opposite sex and drink; when a man is traveling alone; when a man finds himself unexpectedly with an attractive woman, and; when an aggressive woman makes the first move. She says that men who have affairs because of a chance opportunity have not planned to be unfaithful and that they are victims of circumstances!
No matter how beautiful, romantic or intelligent a man’s partner is, after some time he leaves her as the desire for novelty is built into men. This books says that all heterosexual men fantasize about sex with other women and that it is every man’s dream to have sex with other women besides the one(s) he has. For many men, writes Botwin, “Womanizing is not even a choice. It is an addiction”. And this, she stresses, applies to all kinds of men – the religious and the irreligious, the rich and the poor, the young and the elderly and the highly educated and the illiterate.
Based on what the author describes as her personal experience, interviews and letters, this 294-page publication of Bantam Books tells women how to tell whether a man is cheating, why he is unfaithful, how they can handle the situation and then make their relationship “affair-proof” in future.
Botwin laments that infidelity among men is rampant and that it is a problem that concerns many, if not all women. She says she wrote Men who can’t be Faithful to provide hope to the many women who are hurt, puzzled and profoundly shaken by men who aren’t faithful.
Botwin says Men who can’t be Faithful is crafted from case histories and from her professional and personal experience as a woman who has often been cheated on, from letters written to her as well as scholarly papers and surveys and what is described as the best contemporary thinking among clinicians in the field of marriage therapy about infidelity. Botwin, whose other books are is Is There Sex after Marriage? and The Love Crisis, says that she also got information from interviews with men and women who confessed to her about what it feels like to cheat and to be cheated on.
Reading through this book, you cannot help noticing that Botwin appears to be quite sympathetic to male philandering. Besides contending that some men are hopelessly addicted to sex and that it is very hard to give up their habit, the author argues that “the increased number of unmarried women and their ratio to available men makes a certain man-sharing inevitable. There are not enough men to go around”.
Written in an engaging, easy flowing prose, this is recommended reading for everyone, irrespective of one’s gender, race or creed. It carries a subject and author index and thus acts as an easy reference manual on male sexuality. The book not only quotes from respected international scholarly journals like Psychology Today and American Journal of Sociology, but also lists other books for further reading on the subject under review.