Jay-Z cheated on Beyonce. Tiger Woods cheated on Elin. Ernest Hemingway was notorious for both his luxury lifestyle and his philandering. It seems like everywhere you look, wealthy people are cheating on their spouses.
For many of us, it’s mind-boggling. Most of us would never cheat if we were dating a supermodel or a pop star. And yet, the rich and famous cheat all the damn time. Statistics even show that high-earning men are more likely to cheat on their partners than the average Joe.
Ask most trophy wives, and you’ll hear stories about how they caught their men cheating. So, what gives? Why is it so hard to find a man who is both wealthy and loyal to his spouse? Believe it or not, there are several factors at play that make this phenomenon happen…
A good friend of mine once said that the biggest predictor of cheating is the opportunity to do so–and he’s right. The more temptation a person faces, the more they will have to say no to it. Sadly, most people can only avoid being tempted for so much.
People are attracted to success, and wealth is a good display of it. Whether it’s out of hope for expensive gifts or the sheer status of dating a wealthy guy, most women find rich boys to be sexier.
As a result, wealthy men get approached far more often than the typical man. They also tend to attract more attractive women, which makes the temptation all the worse. After all, it’s way easier to say no to a random woman than it is to say no to a model.
Wealthy men take a lot of pride in providing well for their families. They often work hard to provide the best that money can buy for their partners, sometimes even going so far as to sacrifice their health or emotional wellbeing to do so.
Men who are very successful are often told they deserve praise, and regularly find themselves being given preferential treatment by others. They are told they deserve to have fun and let off steam. With a lot of these types of guys, that message of deserving gets turned into a justification for cheating.
These cheaters rarely ever think about the feelings of their mistresses, or even see them as people. Most wealthy men view their mistresses as a form of entertainment rather than a real romance. This is why a lot of high-income men justify their cheating by saying, “I work hard to provide for my family. This is my fun. I deserve to have my own outlet for fun.”
Multiple studies showed that people who are wealthy are less likely to be altruistic and more likely to be selfish. In other words, they put themselves first. Studies also showed that the very wealthy are less likely to be empathetic towards others, which means they won’t take others’ feelings into consideration.
Selfish people are less likely to care whether they hurt others, even if it hurts someone close to them. Since higher percentages of self-centered people exist in wealthy circles, it’s safe to say that cheating is more likely to occur with them.
Men really, really care about what women think of them. A shocking number of men choose their lifestyles based on getting validation from the ladies in their lives. When more ladies fool around with them, they tend to feel more attractive and validated.
So, how does this play into wealth? Many men who have extreme insecurities go into lucrative fields in order to become more attractive to women. When they go out and cheat, they do so to prove they “still got it” or to make themselves feel adequate.
In some cases, wealthy men cheat because they honestly don’t believe their wives married them due to attraction. This doesn’t excuse it, but it does give you a little perspective on what goes on in their minds. Sad, isn’t it?
Cultures can affect a person’s view on morality and relationships. To fit in with colleagues, we all have a tendency of picking up their habits and beliefs. We are who we hang out with. This is why people whose friends cheat are more likely to cheat on their partners.
In many industries like finance and entertainment, work culture tends to encourage decadence and status symbols. Sadly, some of those status symbols include relationships and torrid affairs. This leaves their partners in a precarious situation involving their loyalty.
Men who work in cultures that accept infidelity as “part of the lifestyle” are encouraged to cheat and are often rewarded for it by colleagues. When you have that kind of pressure on you, it’s easy to end up following the crowd.
People start to pursue status-worthy relationships, even if they would normally be disinterested in them. That’s why you see men date trophy wives who stay at home and why you hear of Wall Street financiers paying sugar babies on the side. Shockingly, many trophy wives know (and tacitly accept) the philandering as part of the cost of marrying rich.
Divorce is expensive for the average man, but it’s devastating to a wealthy man. It can even be financially ruinous, depending on how bad the court fees can become. A divorce can also wreck his reputation and make him undesirable in high-profile careers.
This means that divorce isn’t an option to some wealthy men. To preserve their wealth and status, many rich couples end up staying in relationships that should have ended years ago. There’s even a nickname for it: “golden handcuffs.”
With no way to split without consequences and no interest in reviving the relationship, wealthy men often turn to affairs to satisfy their needs for romance. Their wives will usually follow suit, too.
Out of all of the causes for infidelity, this has the most potential to become a more honest arrangement. Most couples who have this issue eventually agree on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to infidelity.