In an interview with Barbara Walters, scheduled to air Friday on ABC's "20/20, Peter Cook claims he cheated on Christie Brinkley because he was seeking a connection he couldn’t find in their marriage.
Infidelity expert Ruth Houston, founder of www.InfidelityAdvice.com and the author of “Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs, says she felt compelled to speak out on the excuse Peter Cook uses to justify the affair that led to his divorce.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Peter Cook has latched onto the latest excuse that cheating husbands are using to justify their marital misbehavior,” says Houston, New York - based infidelity expert who is frequently called on by the media to comment on celebrity infidelity, and popular infidelity issues in the news.
Houston continues, “Cook has taken his cue from the controversial new infidelity book The Truth About Cheating – Why Men Stray and What You Can Do About It. He’s parroting the view espoused by author and marriage counselor Gary Neuman, that emotional dissatisfaction is the primary reason why men cheat. It’s easy to see why this excuse would appeal to a narcissist like Cook. Neuman’s theory is that men cheat because they feel unappreciated – because they don’t get enough praise, attention or ego -stroking from their wives.
Houston says that by latching onto this widely publicized, yet incorrect reason, for why men cheat, Cook, a confirmed narcissist, (based on the opinion of the court appointed psychiatrist in his divorce trial) undoubtedly saw this as yet another way to thrust himself into the spotlight.
Cook’s Search for an Emotional Connection
In his interview with Barbara Walters, Cook says, "I was seeking a connection I could not find in my own marriage. I think the emotional aspect of our lives had changed.” Houston questions the logic and the reasoning behind his statements, asking, “Are we to believe he found this emotional connection with a teenager less than half his age? Or that he found an emotional connection by spending $3600 a month on internet porn? “
When asked what he wanted, Cook said, “I wanted a little acknowledgement, a little attention, a little thank you every now and then for my efforts, for the amount of time I took to care for her and my family, for the wealth I was building.”
Houston, who closely followed the Brinkley-Cook trial and was interviewed about it several times, comments, “Let me remind you that these statements come from a man who had a successful architectural firm in the Hamptons, yet never paid for anything during the 10 years he was married to Christie Brinkley (Christie’s words, not mine) – a man who even charged the Mother’s Day flowers he bought her to his wife’s account.”
“This is the same man who gave his teenage mistress $15,000 for a down payment on a new car, paid her $300,000 in hush money after their affair was discovered, and hid hundreds of dollars beneath rocks and behind picture frames for his young lover to find. As for building wealth - who was he building this wealth for? His mistress?”
The “Blame Your Wife” Bandwagon
Says Houston, “Cook isn’t the only cheating husband to jump on the “Blame Your Wife” bandwagon. Since the publication of The Truth about Cheating and Neuman’s highly publicized interviews on Oprah, countless numbers of cheating men have used the new ‘emotional dissatisfaction excuse’ to justify their extramarital affairs to their wives.”
Houston says countless numbers of women have called or e-mailed since The Truth about Cheating came out, wanting to know if they were really to blame for their husbands’ infidelity. The inquiries reached the point where Houston felt the need to address their questions in a blog post entitled Are Wives to Blame When Their Husbands Cheat?
Problems with the Premise Behind The Truth about Cheating
Houston, who has been researching infidelity for the past 15 years, says, “Neuman is a highly respected psychotherapist and marriage counselor, but I have a problem with some of the information in his book. The Truth about Cheating, does contain some good advice for helping wives improve the quality of their marriages, but I think it has created more problems than it has solved.”
It is Houston’s feeling that in addition to providing cheating husbands with a new excuse – emotional dissatisfaction - to explain away their infidelity, The Truth about Cheating lays the blame for an affair squarely at the feet of a wife already traumatized by her husband’s infidelity. How so?
Houston explains, “In the book, and in his TV interviews, as well, Neuman promotes the idea that if a wife keeps her husband happy by constantly stroking his ego, giving him all the sex he wants, and catering to his every whim, he’s guaranteed not to cheat. There are two reasons this is far from being true :
1. Neuman’s Quick Action Program in The Truth about Cheating includes some excellent suggestions on how wives can strengthen and improve the quality of their marriages. But there is nothing a wife can do that is guaranteed 100% to keep her husband from having an affair. To say that certain behavior on the part of a wife will prevent her husband from cheating is to imply that it’s her fault if her husband has an affair.
2. Keeping your husband happy is not the answer to preventing an extramarital affair, because research has proven that happy husbands cheat too. Three separate studies published in medical journals this year found that even happily married husbands cheat on their wives, and that good marriages are also susceptible to extramarital affairs.
Houston concludes, “Although Neuman says his book is about empowering women rather than blaming them, that is not the message that’s being sent. You don’t empower a woman by making her feel it was her fault her husband had an affair. Nor do you empower women who are victims of infidelity by providing cheating husbands like Peter Cook with flimsy excuses to justify their affairs.”
Houston says some men are more likely to cheat than others. To find out if your husband is one of these potential cheaters, request a free copy of Houston’s 7-question Potential Cheater’s Quiz by emailing InfidelityInfo.gmail.com with Potential Cheater’s Quiz - ad in the subject line.
About Ruth Houston:
Infidelity expert Ruth Houston is the founder of www.InfidelityAdvice.com and the author of “Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs, “which lists practically every known sign of infidelity, including the subtle signs women usually overlook.
Frequently called on by the media to comment on infidelity issues in the news, Ruth has been quoted in “USA Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Cosmopolitan, the New York Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Houston Chronicle, the Toronto Sun, Maclean's, MSN Lifestyle, FoxNews.com, ABCNews.com, msnbc.com, Divorce360.com, iVillage, Reuters, AP, UPI and numerous other print and online media.
Ruth has been a guest on “The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox & Friends, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, NBC News, BBC, CBC, WCBS, ABC News, Fox News “and over 440 other radio and TV talk shows in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Caribbean.
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