Maybe it's something in the water on the set of Two and a Half Men. On the heels of Ashton Kutcher stepping in to take over after Charlie Sheen left the show, news emerges that Ashton may have cheated on his wife Demi Moore (http://bit.ly/oN7VFH). Affairs are all-to-common with the rich, famous and powerful. Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil says if rumors of the affair are true, it's likely those three things that helped push Ashton to that decision. "With power comes a perceived need for risk-taking, and with more risk-taking comes even greater feelings of power. Obviously this feeds on itself in a dangerous playback loop," explains Dr. Bonnie.
That, coupled with the hectic work schedules of two A-listers in Hollywood can combine to produce feelings of stress, separation and loss. Reacting by seeking a temporary high helps to mitigate these feelings for a while - "this thrill-seeking behavior is self-reinforcing, but ultimately detrimental," says Dr. Bonnie.
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Although neither Ashton nor Demi have commented on these reports, a 23-year-old woman says she and Ashton slept together while he was visiting San Diego with friends - on Ashton and Demin's sixth wedding anniversary.
Even if the affair rumors are true, it's not too late for Ashton and Demi. "Ashton needs to be honest about what happened, before Demi reads or hears allegations from the media," cautions Dr. Bonnie. He should also keep in mind that "honesty can be cruelty" - he needs to find that line where he's not hiding anything, but without going into the gritty details which can be upsetting.
Dr. Bonnie lists several questions that should be asked and answered where unfaithfulness is involved: Who was it?; How long was the affair?; Who else knows about it?; Are you in love with them?; Are you going to leave them, or are you going to leave me? Questions beyond this can be too upsetting, but anything less can leave the betrayed party wondering what went on: "The less you tell, the more the betrayed will dwell," cautions Dr. Bonnie.
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Once the truth is on the table, the couple dealing with infidelity can make an educated decision how to proceed. "An affair doesn't have to signal the end of a relationship," argues Dr. Bonnie, "but all the facts need to be out in the open so the couple knows what they're working with and can move forward from there."
Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil (Dr. Bonnie) is a relationship expert who was named by Psychology Today as one of America’s best therapists, and by New York Magazine as one of New York City’s best therapists. She was recently honored with the 2011 New York Award in the Physicians category by the USCA "Best of Local Business Award. She is known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (adapted into a Lifetime movie starring actress Kate Jackson), Make Up Don’t Break Up, Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples (Revised edition Feb 2010, including DVD How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love for Singles and Couples) and winner of the NY Times Reader’s Choice award for best dating book 2010, Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, Staying Not Straying, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity (Making Money Sexy).