I resist temptation. They may even be trying

I resist temptation. They may even be trying

I don’t know what hurtsmore: knowing he kissedsomeone else or the factthat he didn’t do a verygood job of covering histracks,” says Pam, a lawstudent at New YorkUniversity who learned of her boyfriend’sindiscretion from a well-meaning friend.When she confronted her guy,he told her he still loved her andit was “no big thing.” Pam isn’tso sure about that. “I thoughtwe were in a committedrelationship,” she says.

Infidelity comes in many forms,from a few stolen kisses or ane-mail romance to a full-blownaffair. But no matter how ithappens, it hurts if you’re theone who’s been cheated on.When it happens to you,chances are you’ll experience arange of emotions from anger tohurt to “Why me?”Your Cheatin’ HeartYour first question is likely to be, “Why did thishappen?”People cheat for many reasons, some of them morehurtful than others. They may be bored with therelationship or they may have fallen for someoneelse. Or maybe they simply can’t resist temptation.

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They may even be trying to make their partnerjealous.Gender plays a role, according to David M. Buss,Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the Universityof Texas at Austin and author of “The DangerousPassion” (Free Press, 2000). He studied the infidelitytrack records of thousands of young adults anddiscovered that men tend to cheat out of the desirefor sexual variety.

“They go for immediategratification,” says Buss, “especially if the risks arelow.” For example, if they don’t think they’re goingto get caught.Women, on the other hand, usually stray becausethey are “unhappy in the relationship and arelooking to see if they can do better on the matingmarket,” he says. He believes that the feminineimpulse to shop around may be a holdover from thecave days when the men folk were often killed offduring hunts and it paid to have a backup on deck.The only way to find out why your partner strayedis to ask. The answer, as well as his or herpost-cheating attitude (begging your forgivenessvs.

shrugging it off) will help you sort through yourtumbled emotions and decide whether to stand byyour philandering squeeze or shout, “Next!”

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