CBS News reports on Why Men Cheat

Why Do Men Cheat?
In Light Of Christie Brinkley’s Woes, Two Pundits Ponder Question

NEW YORK, July 20, 2006
Guests Stephen Perrine, Editor- in-Chief Best Life magazine and Nicole Beland, Deputy Editor, Women’s Health magazineStephen Perrine and Nicole Beland on The Early Show Thursday. (CBS/The Early Show)

(CBS) It’s the extramarital affair that has everybody talking.

Peter Cook, the husband of former supermodel Christie Brinkley, is accused of carrying on an affair with a 19-year-old named Diana Bianchi.

Brinkley and Cook are now separated, after 10 years of marriage.

And the question everyone’s asking is, “Why would anyone cheat on Christie Brinkley?” And that begs the more general question of what prompts men to cheat, period.

Stephen Perrine, editor in chief of BestLife magazine, and Nicole Beland, deputy editor of Women’s Health magazine, discussed it all on The Early Show Thursday with co-anchor Hannah Storm.

“Why,” Storm wanted to know, “would a man cheat on someone gorgeous like Christie Brinkley? It’s happened to … (other) beautiful, successful women (as well).”

“Successful, powerful women,” Perrine said. “And a lot of times, the guy is cheating with someone not quite so powerful, maybe less threatening. In this instance, it’s really interesting, because the first thing Cook did when he (allegedly) wanted to begin an affair with her was offer her a job, and created a position where he was in power.”

“So,” Storm followed up, “we’re saying that this is really not all about sex. In fact, it might be about ego?”

“I think,” Beland responded, “it’s not all about sex, although 80 percent of men who do cheat on their wives, they say it’s about sex. But I think it comes down to one thing, and that’s integrity. There are a lot of reasons why you might feel an urge to cheat on your spouse, but there’s one reason you don’t, and that’s because you have respect for your vows. … I think (men who cheat on their wives) have a weakness of character.”

“It’s definitely a little softness there in the moral core, absolutely,” Perrine agreed.

Cook is 47, Bianchi is 19 and Brinkley is 52, so Storm asked how age might be a factor.

“Again,” Perrine suggested, “I think it’s that power dynamic. An impressionable woman might worship you and think you’re great.”

“I don’t think it’s so much fear of getting old (on the man’s part),” Beland offered, “as much as it is about power. … I do think, when a man is very insecure, he doesn’t want to feel threatened, he wants to feel as if he’s in control, so he goes for a young woman, who’s more malleable.”



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