Dr. Wendy Walsh: With so much media focus on cheating husbands lately, it's not surprising that one of my readers sent me a blog by Jennifer Van Laanen entitled, "What a Man Needs." She wanted my take on it. In the blog, Van Laanen -- a married, divorced and married again mother of three -- lays out a plan to help make a husband feel like a king, presumably so he won't stray. Her plan involves old-fashioned feminine wisdom: lots of sex and ego stroking.
But can those behaviors really stop a man from committing sexual betrayal? When I asked my male Facebook followers to give me tips on how their wives might prevent them from cheating, I got a different kind of answer. The most common response? "Some men cheat, and some men don't. Period." (Some guys, though, did take the time to make a case for "plenty of oral sex" --- just as insurance.)
I think everyone is right here. Some men are wired to be promiscuous; that wiring might have a psychological (ego) or biological component, or both. Swedish researchers recently identified an "infidelity gene," which they say is present in four out of every 10 men. This gene could explain why some men are more prone to stormy relationships and bond less strongly to their wives or girlfriends.
So: One way to prevent your husband from cheating? Choose carefully. And the best way to do that is to postpone having sex. A recent study out of the U.K. found that prolonging courtship by delaying sexual contact helps screen out the bad boys, thereby helping women identify the "good" guys -- a.k.a. the men who still care AFTER mating.
While a wife can't stop a cheater who is destined to wander, I maintain that she does have the power to drive a "non-cheater" into the arms of another woman. If his nest does not provide him with the nutrients he needs -- yes, to be babied a bit, and physically and mentally supported -- he might find those things elsewhere.
A nagging, demanding, critical wife can even make a good guy vulnerable to an affair. So, once you've chosen a good husband, take Van Laanen's advice and treat him like a king.