From the forthcoming book:
Adultery Case Histories
Why People Cheat on Their Partners.
Othniel Seiden, MD & Jane L. Bilett, PhD
Divergent interests, and disappointment that one partner hasn’t grown in the same directions
When a partner feels that he or she is intellectually or physically superior to one’s mate, stresses are bound to result. A woman whose job brings in more money or has greater status than her partner’s may lead to resentment from either, or both partners. Having to be saddled with someone who is not his or her social equal may well drive one to seek a new companion or lover in someone they perceive more their equal.
An affair helps them to endure life with a partner whom they don’t really respect. This often occurs when partners join while one is in college getting an education, and the other works to support them. The “educated” partner then might feel the less educated partner doesn’t fit into the social or professional crowd into which he or she now belongs. Interests, goals, needs of each may have changed and infidelity may be a consequence of drifting too far apart.
Donna C. – 32 – Economist – First Marriage:
“Tom and I met in undergrad, and fell in love, went steady, and got married as soon as we graduated. He got his degree in landscape design, while I got mine in economics. We agreed that I’d have to go on to get an advanced degree, and he agreed to go to work and support my education. I got my Masters, and a grant and fellowship to go on to a PhD, which I did.
“All this time Tom built up his landscape business to quite a success. When I finished my PhD I was offered a good position in a brokerage house as an analyst. There I rubbed elbows with executives, other economists, people who had more interests in my work than Tom did. I found his work uninteresting to me and he had no idea what my work was all about.
“I spent more and more time with my collogues who I had more common interests with, and before I knew it we were rubbing more than just elbows. There was one co-worker who took special interest in me and soon we were in a torrid affair. I very quickly discovered I had more in common with him than with Tom.
“After five or six months I asked Tom for a divorce. He didn’t seem too surprised. He didn’t know about the affair, but he recognized we had drifted far apart. Thankfully our divorce was amicable and handled through mediation.”