Why Do Powerful Men Cheat?

July 3, 2013 by Katie Coates  
Published in Marriage

The recent case of former Army General David Petraeus and his affair with his much younger biographer, triathlete Paula Broadwell, has caused a stir in the US press and caused many people to question just what it is that makes powerful men cheat, whilst their female counterparts appear not to.

The former director of the CIA has been publicly vilified and the title of his biography, ‘All In: The Education of General David Petraeus ’, has become a national joke, but he’s certainly not the first high profile figure caught with his pants down. So when it comes to men, what is the connection between power and infidelity? Here are the top five reasons why powerful men cheat:

1. Means, Motive and Opportunity

Whilst most men do not have a team of staff behind them ready to aid and abet a desire to cheat, or a throng of subordinates only too happy to give them what they want, men in power do. Although an open secret at the time, today it’s well publicised that JFK’s serial cheating was carefully managed by White House staff, the Secret Service and the Whitehouse press corps.

2. The Power of Power

Though the idea of intimate relations with Patraeus, Silvio Berlusconi are any of the other recent philanderers of significant age and questionable looks may be abhorrent to most women, some do find power to be an enormous aphrodisiac, regardless of looks or age. Saturnine and saggy faced former president Lyndon Johnson purportedly had a buzzer installed in the Oval office to warn of his wife’s approach during illicit encounters and by all accounts Johnson was never short of offers.

3. Charm and Charisma

Powerful men often seem to have an indescribably magnetic quality which goes beyond age, looks or even personality. Cigar fan Bill Clinton was often described as disarmingly charming, whilst JFK’s incredible charisma was well documented. But whether powerful leaders become charismatic as a result of their power or vice versa is an oft debated subject.

4. Sense of Entitlement

There’s some argument to suggest that men of great power don’t believe the normal rules of society apply to them. Consider King Louis XIV’s assertion ‘I am the state’ or John Lennon’s opinion that the Beatles were ‘Bigger than Jesus’. Louis in fact was entitled to a mistress who was maintained and sanctioned by the state, so although he may have been incredibly arrogant, he was also right. Today’s modern term for this term of events may be ‘enabling’.

5. The Most Powerful Draw

Many powerful men appear to have a higher than average sex drive and an irresistible attraction to risk. Louis XIV was purported to be making love to his wife twice a day well into his 70s, notwithstanding his many mistresses. Gennifer Flowers, who had a long affair with Bill Clinton, reported the then president even convinced her to have intimate relations with him at in a Governor’s Mansion closet with wife Hilary in the next room, whilst Monica Lewinsky contests that Clinton called her nightly for phone sex during their affair.

But what about the women? Although there are a few famous female adulterers throughout history such as Catherine the Great of Russia whose many affairs are well documented,  there are very few contemporary women of power who have managed to amass an unfavourable reputation as a cheater. That’s not to say powerful women aren’t having affairs too. Rumours abound at the White House of Hilary Clinton’s affair with former advisor Vince Foster, whose suicide caused controversy in the US. However, to date there are very few rumours surrounding affairs and powerful women, but it’s impossible to say whether that’s because they cheat less or because they’re simply better at not getting caught!

Thanks for the info…

I always like to mention people or sources that helped me write an article, so here goes.

Thanks to www.maritalaffair.com for providing information from a recent unpublished survey they conducted.

Thanks to David Regus (Celebrity journalist) for his information on certain affairs.

Liked it

Tell us what you're thinking...

comments powered by Disqus