I had a guest on my TV show last Tuesday and we talked about long distance relationships. She made a comment that struck me and which is actually the basis of this post. She said people remain scared of long distance relationships because they are afraid that the person they are in a relationship with will use distance as an excuse to get involved with other people, but the truth is someone who you share the same residence with will cheat on you if they want to. I agree with her. In fact, husbands and wives who cheat often live in the same house. So perhaps distance isn’t really a huge factor among people that cheat.
This led me to looking at research into men and women who cheat. Were they born with it or is it something they acquire?
Researchers have found something they call a “love rat gene” that is partly responsible for cheating. So yes, you will not be too far from the truth if you say some people have the ‘roving eye’ gene. They were born with it 😦 . Researcher Justin Garcia said: ‘What we found was that individuals with a certain variant of the DRD4 gene were more likely to have a history of uncommitted sex, including one-night stands and acts of infidelity.
Well, the researchers say everyone has the genes. But just as some people are taller than others, some have a higher concentration of these genes which are also responsible for addictive behaviour like gambling. *sigh
Does this then mean that people with this strain of DRD4 (dopamine receptor D4 polymorphism) gene are victims who cannot control their urge to cheat? Should they be excused for their actions because it is in their blood?
Well, have you heard of people who overcame a gambling addiction? It is a long struggle which often involves some kind of therapy, but ultimately it can be overcome. In the same way, people with large ‘deposits’ of DRD4 may need help to overcome their addiction to cheating but they can overcome it.
Yet, the presence of this gene alone is not entirely responsible for cheating. Another research shows that when people’s emotional needs are not fulfilled by their partners then there is a higher possibility that cheating can take place. This might seem like just a female thing. You may be amazed to find out that a study shows that 48% of men rated emotional dissatisfaction as the primary reason they cheated. In fact, in that study only 12% of men said they cheated for sexual satisfaction.
Just imagine a situation where a man has a large dose of the DRD4 gene in him and while he is struggling to contend with that, the woman in his life does not give him emotional satisfaction. Certainly a recipe for disaster, isn’t it?
How then can people stop themselves from cheating?
Surely, there is nothing you can do about your genes but there are things you can control.
If you find that cheating gives you a high, then it just might be possible that it is DRD4 in action.
The first step would be to admit that you need help. Cheating may be in your genes but that does not mean that cheating is normal. Accept that you have a problem. Seek help.
Talk to a trusted friend about your problem. It may be a good idea not to make friends with other cheaters. Just as a tobacco addict may want to change his circle of friends if they all smoke, you may need to stop being friends with people who cheat.
Another thing would be to keep yourself off situations that could make you want to cheat. if you are a guy, you may want to keep away from a lady aside from your mate that you are strongly attracted to, or from situations that would leave you vulnerable. Same principle applies to ladies.
Do you know other things that can help a person overcome the cheating gene? Please feel free to share.