When the cat’s away, will the mouse play? I’ve been having a conversation with one of my Portuguese buddies about fidelity and its chances of survival in Las Vegas, the official Sin City where every taste is catered to. The issue was that this friend’s partner already has a reputation for being a party animal, which made it hard enough for her to relax on a regular night out, but now her partner was planning to light up Las Vegas with the boys.
Both the city’s and her boyfriend’s reputations bothered her, so she was especially worried that he would cheat. To try and settle the matter, she took to Twitter and asked a simple question: “Do all men cheat if they go to Vegas without their girlfriend?”
You can just imagine the kinds of responses she got. Among the crazy and the hurtful (she removed the tweet before long), these were some of the most common responses:
Misogynistic: some men came back with the bitter suggestion that all women tended to be b*tches who deserved to be fooled, while men deserved to have a little fun.
Preachy: some people suggested that “Love is about freedom. You should set your spouse completely free.”
Mirthful: many didn’t quite take the question seriously. They just replied with “LOL.” This might betray a rather skeptical attitude to fidelity, but the vagueness of response leaves that open to discussion.
All right, so what’s my take on this?
Just before I share my views in depth allow me to make an important disclaimer – I am in no way a marriage counselor or relationship guru. I am just a travel advisor. My thoughts do not belong to the category of universal truth.
So, let us discuss Vegas to begin with. The lady’s issue was: do all men cheat if they go Vegas without their girlfriend? In this case, my good friend did not explain the reason for her partner’s Vegas trip. It might be popularly known as the party capital, but this city has more than gambling, strippers and wild nights. You’ll find quite a few art galleries, museums, and business facilities in Las Vegas, as well as some awesome photography spots. So, is it possible that her boyfriend might have innocent intentions?
Well… I suppose that would depend on how many of you knew that there’s more to Sin City than its party potential. Then you have to ask the question, who among us would go to Vegas for art and culture? My guess is that less than 1% of us would even be interested in anything else the city has to offer, including its copious and world-renowned golf courses.
Nowadays, “Sin City” is not an easy title to cling on to, but Vegas is still recognized all over as the “entertainment capital of the world.” It has hundreds of unique hotels to fit every budget and intention, a multitude of Casinos – some of which are blatantly erotic – and a myriad of strip clubs and dive bars.
While I generally tend toward the “if you love someone, set them free”-notion, how much scope is there for freedom in a romantic relationship, where fidelity is an important part of the equation? You might set your partner free, but there’s still an expectation that he or she would not do anything to hurt you, even while having a good time.
It’s great that people have that much confidence in their partners, but Vegas doesn’t just mean strip clubs and escorts. Many things can go wrong in such a party-focused environment. Your partner could get excessively drunk, be drugged or lose all of his money in the casino. Your partner could decide to drive, despite being drunk. Your partner might not remember where he left his buddies, and the popular move, The Hangover, showed us all how something like that turns out.
So, what can you do?
The Hangover makes things look much more glamorous than they really are. A lot can go wrong during a weekend of partying, and while your partner might see it as an opportunity to loosen up and decompress, it might be in your interest to supervise this endeavor. So, don’t say “No” to your partner. Rather ask to go with him.
Now, it might be that your partner just really wants a weekend with friends, and your company is just not appreciated. I really don’t understand why your partner might not want you there. There might be some shady plans, or there might not. In my opinion, a mature, understanding and faithful partner would not reject his lady’s presence.
So, if you do think that your partner’s intentions are not quite innocent, here are some things to consider. There are many psychological factors that could play a role in infidelity. Here are ten of the most common factors:
1. Is He Lying?
It might be that your partner never intended to be monogamous, and has been lying the entire time. He might not recognize that a relationship entails a promise of loyalty, which requires something of a sacrifice in order to declare your dedication to the person you love.
2. Is He Feeling Inferior?
Inside, he might think that he is way too young, far too old, very fat, extremely thin, too, stupid, or anything really that might not be traditionally appealing. Your partner might make use of flirtation, porn, and adulterous sex to feel good about himself, to assure himself that he is, in fact, appealing, worthy, and “good enough.”
3. Is He Immature?
A cheating partner might be convinced that what you don’t know won’t kill you. He might imagine that he can hide it from you in your day-to-day interactions, or that you would never suspect such a cunning lover as he.
4. Is He Damaged?
The urge to find intimacy with another person might stem from trauma. Things like physical abuse, neglect, or sexual harassment can lead to trauma, which in turn can lead to erratic behavior. The pain he suffers might also make him hesitant to totally devote himself to one individual. Another explanation is that he might be trying to ‘self-medicate’ through sexual experience, so as to avoid the real issues at hand.
5. Does He Have Irrational Expectations?
Some people expect their partners to fulfill their each and every sexual and emotional need, 24/7 and without fail. With such a narcissistic and self-focused approach, he fails to understand that his partner has other concerns that will necessarily require her attention. Once she “fails” him, i.e. doesn’t cater to his every whim, he would feel justified to look for sexual fulfillment elsewhere.
6. Is He Bored To Death?
Your partner might feel like there’s more to life than a stable relationship, and might think that he deserves to experience ‘special’ things like calling in prostitutes, watching porn, or even having a fling.
7. Is He Unclear About Love?
He might think that limerence (the“dash” of early romance) is love. He doesn’t realize that in genuinely supportive romantic relationships, the very first, deep fascination is steadily substituted by more gratifying feelings of longer-term connection, trustworthiness, dedication, and also emotional intimacy.
8. Is He Addicted?
Addicts find it very difficult to break from alcohol or other substances that might lead to the abandonment of inhibitions. Needless to say, the abuse of such substances can negatively affect decision-making. He might also be addicted to sex, or have a compulsion to self-soothe’ through sex. This would allow him to distance himself from unpleasant feelings and dissociate from the discomfort of underlying mental problems.
9. Does He Wish To End It?
Some people are really terrible at confrontation. A cheating partner might be cheating because they don’t quite know how else to end a relationship. It could also be that the person does not want to be alone, and thus secures intimacy with another person before breaking off the relationship with the previous partner.
10. Does He Wish To Fit In?
In a party-setting like Vegas, it might be that peer-pressure wins out over common sense and fidelity. Your partner might fall prey to “laddish”-behaviour, in which he is so desperate to fit in that he will do whatever it takes to impress his male friends – even cheating.
These suggested psychological explanations were derived from a Psychiatrist’s website, but there are many more reasons that could be explored. If you think that your boyfriend is likely to be influenced by these factors, it might be better to confront the problem and discuss his trip to Vegas in a frank but understanding way.
In the end, you cannot control your partner. All you can do is trust that they have your best interests at heart, and wouldn’t hurt you for a bit of fun.