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Dads cheat because of mom's parenting choices

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Theory says helicopter parenting to blame

If you strive to be the perfect parent, are you driving him to an affair? Some think so. Read on to discover why.

A neighborhood in New York City is said to be the home of more cheating spouses than any other in the metropolis, according to user statistics gathered by Ashley Madison, an adultery-enabling dating website.

What's the deal?

What makes Park Slope, Brooklyn, a prime locale for cheating spouses? For one thing, it's a community that is known for helicopter parenting, where parents focus primarily on raising children — instead of, perhaps, on their relationships or marriages. The theory is, if a mother's daily life revolves around her child, her partner begins to feel left out, less important, and may reach outside the relationship for affection and sex.

A cop-out

Many parents we talked to thought this was completely absurd and simply a cop-out for those who have cheating hearts. "Cheating is wrong and there is no excuse for it," said Lisa, mom of three. Lois, from New York, agreed. "I don't think you can blame cheating on motherhood," she reported. "That is patently ridiculous. I do think that those things that we spend time on and work at are the things that generally work in our lives."

Kirk, a commenter on the NY Times article, shared, "Grow up, losers. Men cheat because they're messed up. Healthy, whole men not only don't need to cheat, they are able to place their behaviors within a large context, which makes cheating unattractive."

A grain of truth

Other parents felt that being over-involved in a child's life and competitive parenting in general do have a detrimental effect on a marriage. Sara, another commenter, explained, "Our marriages should be the number one priority because if Mom and Dad are not happy, the household cannot be a happy one. Moms and dads who live solely for their children are not raising good, healthy individuals. They are raising co-dependents."

Jack, a dad speaking on the subject, felt that the idea was right on. "What can happen in these cases is that Mom uses the kids as perfection objects to satisfy her own power and insecurity issues — and in so doing not only ignores Dad, but pushes him aside, and away from any family role, as if he were an interloper," he wrote. "An affair is probably the most normal response."

Why blame women?

It seems ridiculous to some people that women can be blamed for a partner's infidelity, but for some men (and websites) it's a perfectly rational explanation. Does hypercompetitive parenting and cheating really go hand-in-hand?

More on infidelity

Why people cheat: Understanding infidelity
Talking to your children about infidelity
Kids coping with infidelity

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