Cupid's Pulse Article: Why Do High-Powered Men Like Dan Marino Cheat?Cupid's Pulse Article: Why Do High-Powered Men Like Dan Marino Cheat?

By Lori Zaslow and Jennifer Zucher, founders of Project Soulmate

In light of the recent reveal that Dan Marino, CBS football commentator and Miami Dolphins’ quarterback legend, fathered a love child in 2005, we can’t help but wonder…

Why do high-powered men cheat on their wives and father love children without thinking they’ll get caught?

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It’s complicated and not a blanket statement issue. A lot of people (not just men) come into power and money, perhaps because they are very self-involved or are driven by a feeling of powerlessness – or they get sucked in by their ego and lose touch with their morals, especially in the heat moment. The entitlement that often stems from power and wealth triggers irresponsibility and lack of empathy for others who don’t have it that way.

People also make decisions about cheating in the moment, not considering the future. After all, it’s one of many exit strategies people take in relationships to avoid hurt, intimacy and struggle because it externally fills voids that their partners are not fulfilling. The person doing the cheating isn’t thinking about getting caught because they aren’t thinking about the future in that particular moment.

Some are just assholes. Some are sociopaths and enjoy it. Many think that they are above their vows, and they have either rationalized what they are doing and/or love the thrill of possibly getting caught. Some just make stupid, immature, out-of-control mistakes from emotional issues – and then fear the backlash of hurting their wives or losing control of their reputation, so they cover it up. Everyone is different.

Why do wives stay with their cheating husbands? And vice versa?

Some people stay with a cheating spouse because they still love their partner and feel that they can truly forgive them. Others don’t leave because they are afraid to be alone. Some stay to give their kids the illusion of a happy family; because with kids involved, they feel that there is more reason to fight for the relationship. Some have to stay financially. Then there are some partners who stay because they have cheated too.

Infidelity is a symptom of an underlying problem. When someone gets caught, there is an opportunity to dig deep and work though all the issues that need to be discussed  – trust being the first one, obviously!

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What damage will cheating have on the love child?

The love child will have his/her own issues with self-esteem, trust, role models and more, but no more damage than the other children involved. Anyone growing up with parents who don’t do what’s best for them can become hurt and resentful. Many follow in these footsteps, and many fall for these type of partners. Others swear off marriage completely.

Of course, those who go to therapy and keep working on themselves eventually can grow to be well-adjusted, happy adults in healthy relationships. But the relationship with the guilty parent often suffers long-term. Trust and abandonment will be the first of many damaging factors. The parent must clean up the mess of lies and have full disclosure to ever gain respect from the children. People forget that kids are very smart! Once you lose respect for a parent, it can change the way you view your life and your childhood – and the way you will potentially parent one day.

Even if you can forgive your partner for cheating, there are still repercussions, both immediate and in the future, that you both must face, especially if children are involved. Be sure to remember that as you work to recover from infidelity.

Lori Zaslow and Jennifer Zucher are the founders of Project Soulmate, Manhattan’s premier matchmaking service for elite singles. You can follow Project Soulmate on Twitter and Facebook.