The Allure of the Nanny: Why Men Cheat With Domestic Workers

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housekeeper
Arnold Schwarzenegger is not the first man to cheat with an employee. What's behind the "nanny" appe

3. Taking a risk is exhilarating. Trouble is fun sometimes. The excitement of the forbidden can be erotic and edgy. But lots of things can entice us and we don’t have to pursue our every urge. As a higher brain function we have a super-ego that helps us control those thoughts. We also have control over our impulses. Why can’t these men keep their impulses in check? (Reminder – rape is never about sex. It’s only about power and violence.)

4. Cheating is about power and opportunity. Studies have shown that cheating may not be a symptom of a bad marriage. Most people cheat because of opportunity (leading marriage researcher John Gottman says this accounts for 80 percent of affairs). For example, Tiger Woods had opportunity—he was in a male-driven culture where the men around him either turned a blind eye to his affairs or they helped him procure the women for Tiger’s sexual liasons. Men like Tiger and Arnold, in power positions, have ample opportunity to cheat, much more then the average guy who travels in somewhat smaller circles. Maybe the average guy does it just as much, too, but we don’t hear about him on the nightly news.

Affairs happen because of opportunity, but they also happen more often in cultures that are not driven by financial desperation. Men of power have the freedom to pursue an affair because they don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. And they may even have an aggrandized sense of entitlement that comes with wealth and power. Perhaps infidelity comes naturally with privilege. Maybe the privileged and powerful feel they are so far above the normal rules of daily life that all of these “rules” about staying faithful just don’t apply. When people see they have the opportunity (an in-home worker) and power, the cards get stacked against fidelity. It's happened with Jude Law, with Arnold and with countless others.

5. We separate the good girl from the bad girl; the wife from the girlfriend, the servant from the master. We sexualize the bad girl, the girl on the side and the servant, while we tell jokes about the good girl and the wife who won’t put out. Wives are supposed to be the women who don’t cheat. And frankly, fidelity is expected in marriage from both men and women, at least on the surface.

For more info on Dr. Tammy Nelson go to www.drtammynelson.com. She is the author of What’s Eating You, Getting the Sex You Want and the upcoming The New Monogamy.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Tammy Nelson

Counselor/Therapist

Tammy Nelson, PhD, LPC http://www.drtammynelson.com/ email me at tammy@drtammynelson.com

Location: Ridgefield, CT
Credentials: LPC, PhD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Sex Therapy
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