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CNN PRESENTS: Infidelity

Aired May 7, 2005 - 15:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR, CNN PRESENTS: Hello, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. CNN presents in a moment but first these top stories.
President Bush arrived in the Netherlands last hour. The second stop on his European trip. Tomorrow, he will remember the 60th anniversary of the allied victory in Europe in World War II. The ceremony will be held at a battlefield cemetery.

Earlier in Latvia, the president met with the leaders of the Baltic Republics. He praised their young democracies, and Mr. Bush said it was time to move beyond the past, and he made reference to the soviet annexation of the Baltic's at end of that war.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S: Once again when powerful governments negotiated the freedom of small nations was somehow expendable. Yet this attempt to sacrifice freedom for the stake of stability left a continent divided and unstable. The captivities of million in central and Eastern Europe will be remembered as one of the greatest wrongs of history.


WHITFIELD: The U.S. Embassy in Iraq says twin car bombings in the heart of Baghdad today killed at least 22 people. The explosions targeted a convoy of SUVs. Two American contractors are among the dead. And in western Iraq, a roadside bomb killed a U.S. marine during combat.

A helicopter pulled five climbers off of Mt. Everest today. They were stranded on the world's highest peak after an avalanche. The weather cleared enough to get the two Americans, two Canadians and a Sherpa off the mountain.

Tears cheers greeted Michael Aoun when he returned to Beirut today. The anti-senior leader has spent the last 14 exiled years in France. He returned to Lebanon less than two weeks after the last Syrian troops with drew from their country.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN Center in Atlanta. More news at bottom of the hour. CNN PRESENTS is next. Keeping you informed, CNN the most trusted name in news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're kissing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Client's husband was not acting like a married man whatsoever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fifty percent of all marriages had been touched by some type of infidelity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to do it again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the usual part of a marriage for a lot of marriage. It's the question of when you are going to cheat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had been working on projects with this guy. And you know I was attracted to him. And next thing I know, he was coming home with me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did he look like? I'd really like to know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The cheating, the interest in pornography. How much do you contribute that to the computer and.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot, it totally changed his personality.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did she react?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one is immune. Everyone is vulnerable.

AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR, CNN PRESENTS: To love and honor, the sacred vows of marriage. Vows often taken and as it turns out, vows often broken. Welcome to CNN PRESENTS, I'm Aaron Brown.

Between the Internet and changes in the work place, temptation is everywhere these days. And so it turns out is infidelity. Even as a society continues to condemn cheating publicly, in private, we are fooling around like never before. So what's going on out there? Why the hypocrisy? Could fidelity, monogamy be more myth than reality? CNN's Kathy Slobogin explores our cheating hearts as CNN PRESENTS: INFIDELITY.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I figure I better get dressed here in a second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our shirt his to get mixed up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love him. He's my best friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He loves me, loves me, loves me. We get to spend the rest of our lives together.

KATHY SLOBOGIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Brooke Pittman is minutes away from marrying her college sweetheart Chris Jeffs. They've known each other for ten years, but they're still nervous.

CHRIS JEFFS: We know there are going to be a lot of ups and downs. A lot of trials. Marriage is something you really have to work at.

SLOBOGIN: This is supposed to be for keeps. To honor and cherish till death do us part.

BROOKE PITTMAN: I think fidelities at the core of a marriage.

This ring, I the wed.

I have no doubt that Chris will be faithful to me the rest of his life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may now kiss the bride.

SLOBOGIN: But this fact, the odds are stacked against Chris and Brooke. Half of all marriages that start like this --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got a visual, got a visual.

SLOBOGIN: End up like this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was my client's husband with that girl. It looks like a long night together to me.


SLOBOGIN: Private investigator Brad Dalhoover (ph) is on the trail of a cheating husband.

BRAD DALHOOVER (ph), PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Our client doesn't have any actual proof.

They're kissing.

She has suspicions. He's become distant as she put it. Are you going to do it again for me? He's been staying at work late. Going out with friends.

SLOBOGIN: She has proof now.

DALHOOVER (ph): We documented blatant cheating activity tonight. We could take the video and put the video into a dictionary under cheating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you got over there.

DALHOOVER (ph): That was me personally; I would be at my attorney's office on Monday morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over by the car in the back of the car.

SLOBOGIN: And that's exactly where many scorned spouses go, 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. And adultery is one of the top reasons.

ATTORNEY JOHN MAYHUE (ph): It's something that we no longer look at as the unusual part of a marriage. It's the usual part a marriage for a lot of Americans. It's the question of when you're going to cheat?

SLOBOGIN: Divorce attorney John Mayhue (ph) has seen enough adultery in his 25-year career to convince him that monogamy and marriage is a myth.

MAYHUE (ph): I just don't think it exists anymore. Or if it does, it's the exception, not rule. In the old days, we could go to court. And we could say, your honor, this person has committed the offense of adultery. And we'd get most of the money, most of the property, and probably the kids. Today, when you go to court, and you say, "judge, this person has committed adultery." The judge says, "and, what else happened?"

SLOBOGIN: Fidelity, there's probably nothing we preach more and practice less.

DR. SHIRLEY GLASS: All the national surveys report that 90 percent of the people that they poll say that it's absolutely wrong to have extramarital intercourse. We know that probably 50 percent of all marriages have been touched by some type of fidelity.

SLOBOGIN: Dr. Shirley Glass says about a quarter of all married women and 45 percent of married men cheat at some time during their marriage.

GLASS: So many people act like they're shocked by it or disapproving and they engage in the behave themselves. As society, we're very hypocritical about it. We say it's wrong. And then we're fascinated by it.

SLOBOGIN: We condemn adultery.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE U.S: I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

SLOBOGIN: But we want all the details.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want me to stop, tell me now.

SLOBOGIN: We see it in movies and on TV. Sometimes even rooting for the cheaters. The largest national survey on infidelity found that middle-aged couples today cheated twice the rate of the generation before it.


SLOBOGIN: It may be our culture, which seems to condone cheating at the same time it condemns it, or the increase in men and women mixing in the workplace. Or maybe, as some argue, were simply hard- wired to cheat. Whatever the reason, its prevalence has some asking whether fidelity is even a realistic expectation for a marriage today.

JUDITH BRANDT: I would say that the vast majority of people cheat.

SLOBOGIN: Judith Brandt is having affairs with several married men. And considers herself an expert.

BRANDT: Don't get caught is rule number one, two, three, and four I think.

SLOBOGIN: Brandt has written a book on the art of affair management. It's called 'the 50-Mile Rule."

BRANDT: "The 50-Mile Rule" states that spouse and lovers should live at least 50 miles apart. And that their paths should never cross for any reason at any time.

SLOBOGIN: There are other rules, if you get caught --

BRANDT: The magic words of course, deny, deny, deny.

SLOBOGIN: Brandt, now singled was married herself for ten years before she became the other woman. She makes no apologizes. Here's a quote from her book.

"Let's face it, unless you have zero self-esteem or just plain odd, you don't want to have sex with the same person forever and ever you just don't."

BRANDT: And I stand by that statement. I just cannot imagine anyone truly having that desire.

SLOBOGIN: Brandt admits adultery is wrong. But she says it's better to stay in a marriage and cheat on the side if you have to rather than walk out on your spouse and children.

BRANDT: There's just smarter ways of going about this.

SLOBOGIN: Do you ever think about the wife?

BRANDT: No. Because there is another old adage that goes nobody misses a slice from a cut loaf, what she doesn't know won't hurt her.

SLOBOGIN: But what if she does know or finds out? Dr. Glass, who's counseled couples for 28 years, has seen the damage firsthand.

GLASS: The kind of trauma that I see that takes people months and years to get over that betrayal certainly doesn't convince me that infidelity is an acceptable thing in our society.

SLOBOGIN: Whether you think cheating is unacceptable or inevitable, there's no denying one new trend, women are catching up with men.

GLASS: The trend with married women is that more married women are having extramarital intercourse, and so it looks like that gap is closing.

SLOBOGIN: When we come back, the new hot zone for infidelity, the workplace.

GLASS: At one point I felt like I just wanted to go downtown and into an office park and put up a sign on every building that said "Danger zone men and women at work.?



SLOBOGIN: They met at work. She wasn't like anyone he'd ever met before.

JEFF LOVE: It was a love at first sight type thing.

HEATHER LOVE: Very little, very delicate.

SLOBOGIN: And he was a lot of fun.

H. LOVE: He actually played the guitar. That was a big turn-on. I thought that was really cool.

SLOBOGIN: Jeff and Heather Love both knew they were meant to marry, but the night he planned to pop the question at a fancy restaurant --

H. LOVE: He was so nervous to ask me that he waited until we got to the parking lot. And we're getting in the car and he knelt down and asked me.

SLOBOGIN: He knelt down?

H. LOVE: In the parking lot, in the dark.

SLOBOGIN: But after the wedding, the fun and the romance started to fade.

H. LOVE: He started getting into this, OK, I'm the responsible man, and, you know, our conversation shifted more from fun things to work and he was not quite as romantic. And I had a hard time about that.

J. LOVE: Work was driving my life at that point in time. This is Jeff. Going to catch up on the e-mail and the voice mail. I'll admit freely to anyone that I'm a complete workaholic.

SLOBOGIN: Jeff was traveling twenty days a month pushing Heather and their marriage to the back burner.

J. LOVE: I'm pretty much looking to cram as many meetings as I can into one or two-day time frame. Literally gone all week long, every week. This is Jeff. So work, work, and work. Make as much money as you can, put back as much money as you can and some day we'll have a happy life together.

SLOBOGIN: Did it ever occur to you that your wife might meet somebody else?

J. LOVE: Never even thought about it. I mean I really, I assumed at that point that we were both working for the same goal.

SLOBOGIN: But while Jeff was working for the future, Heather was drifting. After only eight months of marriage, she met someone else, at work.

H. LOVE: I had been working on projects with this guy. And I was attracted to him.

SLOBOGIN: What were you getting out of it?

H. LOVE: It felt very romantic. He was a very affectionate, very complimentary. He just made me feel very beautiful and very sexy, very smart. He was telling me all the things that I'd wanted to hear from Jeff.

SLOBOGIN: One night after they successfully landed a client together, Heather and the other man went out for a drink. Jeff was traveling.

H. LOVE: I remember thinking, you know I'm not going to go past this line and then the line just kept get ago you know, I remember him looking at me and saying, kiss me. And at first I said, no. And then he said it again. And I thought, OK. I could just kiss him. And then it just kind of snowballed from there. And then the next thing I know, he was coming home with me.

SLOBOGIN: Heather never meant for it to go that far. What the experts are calling the unintentional affair.

GLASS: They begin as friendships rather than as somebody eying somebody attractive and thinking, boy, I would like to have sex with that person.

SLOBOGIN: Dr. Shirley Glass calls the workplace the new danger zone for affairs. In her clinical practice, nearly half the women and 62 percent of the men who were unfaithful met their lover at work.

GLASS: And so what happens is they form this very deep emotional tie to somebody else with whom they share intellectual interest with whom they have exciting deadlines or they are working under the same kind of pressure. And somebody that they feel they have so much in common with.

SLOBOGIN: What makes these affairs so dangerous is that you don't realize what's happening. Dr. Glass calls it the coffee cup syndrome.

GLASS: Everyday they take their coffee break together. And at first they talk about the boss and about the other employees. And then once they cross that line and start talking about, oh I had a problem at home last night with my spouse, then they're creating this secret liaison.

SLOBOGIN: Heather felt guilt about her affair, but that didn't stop her. A few nights later, her husband called from the road.

J. LOVE: I'm calling her. Hey, I am worried. Where are you? What's going on? Not getting any calls back at all.

H. LOVE: I wasn't home. I wasn't returning his calls. I didn't want to give up the other relationship and I just didn't want to go back to the way that things were.

SLOBOGIN: Finally when Jeff got home, Heather met him at a nearby lake.

H. LOVE: I remember walking along the lake. And I just said, I'm not happy. I don't want to do this anymore.

J. LOVE: So now it starts to come up. I met someone. I'm in love with them. I'm leaving, right? You're devastated. I believed in this vow I took and I believed that it was going to be forever. I believed in my dream, right? So here I am thinking, did this person not, you know -- did she have her fingers crossed behind her back when she said, "I do"? What's going on here?

SLOBOGIN: Heather left Jeff. They didn't speak for three month. E-mail their only communication.

How did you get her back?

J. LOVE: Counseling, she finally started to talk to the counselor that I was working with.

SLOBOGIN: On her wedding anniversary, Heather ended the affair. Jeff welcomed her home but only under one condition.

J. LOVE: If we're going to work on this marriage then you're going to commit to work on this marriage, and then that guy is gone, period.

SLOBOGIN: Heather said she never talked to or saw the other man again.

H. LOVE: Did you ruin all of mommy's flowers, those are from daddy?

SLOBOGIN: It's been four years since the affair. Jeff and Heather now have a baby. Jeff spends more time with his family, less time on the road. So is the romance back in your marriage?

H. LOVE: Uh-huh. We go on dates. He'll do little things, like he'll go get the car washed before we go out. Or when he travels, sometimes he'll send me flowers, or he sent me a package from Victoria Secret.

SLOBOGIN: The affair is over. But for both of them, it's still there.

H. LOVE: I still feel remorse about them today. I hurt myself. I hurt my husband. I hurt his family.

J. LOVE: It's always in the back of my mind. This person could leave me at any point in time, right? I mean, I love her. I love her more now than a did then. But it's still back there. I think I will always have that fear.

SLOBOGIN: When CNN PRESENTS returns, adultery without ever leaving the house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Internet is a sexual smorgasbord. I call it an electronic bedroom.



SLOBOGIN: It's late. Your spouse is sleeping. And you want to play. You can meet anyone, be anyone, and go anywhere, all without ever leaving home.

DR. DAVID GREENFIELD: I call it an electronic bedroom. The Internet is a sexual smorgasbord. I mean, you can find anything, and if you have a particular fantasy or desire or fetish, something you've never even considered talking about with your spouse, you can find somebody that's into it online.

SLOBOGIN: Dr. David Greenfield specializes if addiction, and lately, he's spending a lot of time treating a new and addictive brand of adultery, what he calls crossing the line on line.

GREENFIELD: This is the perfect affair for a married person. Think about it. They don't have to go anywhere. They don't have to try to find a hotel room. They can suck you in. And you can end up in places, doing things and saying things that you might not ordinarily do. And you're playing with fire.

SLOBOGIN: Cyber cheating is the latest threat to marriage. In a survey, two-thirds of divorce attorneys said the Internet played a significant role in the divorces they handled. Take a look at any online dating service. They're supposed to be for singles. But the people who track these sites say half the visitors are actually married.

CHRISTINE: He was opening a Pandora's box. And by opening it, he got the taste, and he got a flavor, and he liked that taste.

SLOBOGIN: Christine, who asked that we not use her last name, says her marriage was destroyed by a computer. A marriage to a man she thought was perfect.

What did you see in him?

CHRISTINE: Blue eyes, He had the prettiest blue eyes. He was six foot. He was thin. And he could dance! I was 43 years old. I'd never been married. I waited because I wanted the perfect man. And I thought I had him. We're smearing cake all over each other.

SLOBOGIN: Her husband sold real estate, and installed a computer at home. At first, the hours online were reasonable. Then she says, it changed.

CHRISTINE: It was getting worse and worse. He'd spend longer times there. His personality would change. And I kept asking him, 'cause I'd see the e-mail addresses, and I said, what's in here? And he'd change the subject. He didn't want me to think about it. He'd go, that's no big deal.

SLOBOGIN: She believed him until the day she says she stumbled onto his other life.

CHRISTINE: My sister had sent me a picture of her on vacation and so I downloaded the picture and then I couldn't find it. And I said OK, I have downloaded it somewhere. Where is it? So, I started looking in the history. And I found pictures and it wasn't of my sister. There are pictures that he had downloaded. Women, housewives and they were so lewd and disgusting. They would make "Hustler" magazine look like Disney.

SLOBOGIN: She said her husband played down the pornography, denied he was cheating but her suspicions grew. Finally, she decided to beat him at his own game in cyberspace. The Internet is not only inspiring adulterers, it's providing a way to catch them. Software like Spector Pro is a kind of an electronic detector. You can actually spy on your spouse's e-mails, capture their conversation, keystroke by keystroke and that's exactly what Christine did.

CHRISTINE: I started tracking and opening up his e-mails and seeing what was in there and discovered what he was doing. He was going in to adult personal ads. He was asking for local loose women.

SLOBOGIN: When you saw what he was doing, what did you feel?

CHRISTINE: Anger, hurt, betrayal. I felt dirty. I was with a husband who was cheating on me. These were disgusting women that were out showing themselves to strangers. What do you look like? I'd really like to know.

SLOBOGIN: Christine kept copies of the conversations with other women. Then she went further. She became one of them.

CHRISTINE: I set up a new e-mail address. I put in everything phony. And I contacted him. I pretended I was pretty loose. And that I was looking for more fun. That the boyfriend I was with wasn't satisfying me. And his comment basically was, he wasn't being satisfied. He wanted to play. SLOBOGIN: Armed with her e-mails, Christine filed for divorce four years ago. Her husband wouldn't talk to us.

Cheating, the interest in pornography, how much of that do you contribute to the computer?

CHRISTINE: All of it. All of it. It totally changed his personality. It allowed him to do things that he wouldn't have to have anybody see him do. He could go into sites quietly secretively. He could look at things and he'd never have to tell anybody he did it.

SLOBOGIN: Although she doesn't have any proof, Christine suspects her husband actually met the other women in the flesh. But Dr. Greenfield says, even if he didn't, a cyber relationship maybe more of a threat to a marriage than the old-fashioned offline variety.

GREENFIELD: Yes, having sex outside your primary relationship can be damaging. But most relationships I find can survive a situation where that occurs.

CHRISTINE: Hi, it's Katie. You answered my personal ad a while ago.

GREENFIELD: What creates a lot of problems is when intimacy starts to build and now you have got a person developing an intimate relationship with someone online.

CHRISTINE: Here's how to get a hold of me.

SLOBOGIN: For Christine, there's a final chapter. And one with a happy ending . She has met someone new. Where did she meet him? You guessed it an online dating site.

When CNN PRESENTS returns is cheating in our genes?



JANE TOLLINI, ZOOKEEPER: We're going to be taking a train ride through the zoo. Animals practice exactly what we do, they just do it with a twist. I would say penguins are probably the most romantic animal in the zoo.

KATHY SLOBOGIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Penguins in love. They look innocent enough.

TOLLINI: They have a month of foreplay.

SLOBOGIN: But looks are deceiving, according to zookeeper, Jane Tollini.

TOLLINI: There's a penguin we named ?Joan Collins? who would literally sashay in front of the boroughs where are just sitting on their eggs and the males, you would watch them come out, and they go out, schtuk Joan in the hall and then pick up a palm frond and carry it back to the nest acting like, 'that's where I have been!?

SLOBOGIN: And penguins aren't only ones. It turns out, most animals are cheating on the side.

DAVID BARISH, ZOOLOGIST: I'd have to say a species that doesn't cheat is exceedingly rare.

SLOBOGIN: Zoologist David Barish and his wife, psychiatrist Judith Lipton, have studied monogamy in the animal kingdom. You may be surprised how little of it they found.

BARISH: I know of one species of animal that I can be fairly confident, in fact quite confident, is monogamous, and that is a flat worm that serves as a -- lives as a parasite in the intestines of fish.

SLOBOGIN: A flatworm? The symbol of monogamy? The amount of fooling around in the animal kingdom took biologists by surprised. It was the DNA that gave beasts away.

JUDITH LIPTON, PSYCHOLOGIST: It first came out when the scientists did DNA testing, particularly in birds. It was found that instead of ducks and geese mating for life, something like between, 10, 70 percent of the babies were fathered by somebody else. So it turns out that those lady ducks and geese were going out into the bushes and doing it with somebody else.

SLOBOGIN: You know those cute little mother birds sitting demurely on their nests? Scientists put radio transmitters on them and found out they were routinely sneaking off for a one night stand or actually more like a five-second stand.

BARISH: Lots of females were having lots of sexual partners. This was -- it really blew us away.

(on camera): So these birds are not a particularly good advertisement for monogamy?


SLOBOGIN (voice-over): Barish and Lipton published their findings in the book called the "Myth of Monogamy.? Myth, because monogamy is neither common nor particularly natural.

BARISH: What we're finding again, over and over again, is first of all that monogamy is exceedingly rare, and that it's not easy, and in that sense it doesn't come naturally.

SLOBOGIN: In fact, the desire to stray in both animals and humans may be deeply imprinted on our psyches, part of the instinct to survive. Anthropologist Helen Fisher.

HELEN FISHER, ANTHROPOLOGIST: And what Darwin said if you have four children and I have no children, you live on and I die out. So, who breeds, who reproduces, who passes their genes to the next generation survives. Men seem to have a tendency to sleep around with a lot of different women so that they can pass more of their genes into the next generation.

SLOBOGIN: And women?

FISHER: When a woman sleeps around, she can collect extra resources for the children that she has. So through millions of years of having genetic payoffs to both men and women, we evolved, whatever it is, in the male and female brain to be somewhat adulterous.

SLOBOGIN: But if adultery is a genetic booster, what about fidelity? Loyalty? What about marriage?

FISHER: We're in a pickle. We have a tremendous drive to form a pair bond and deeply attach to another human being. And we have the ability fall in love with others. And a restless heart. And each one of us in the middle of the night lies in bed and decides how we're going to cope with this.

SLOBOGIN: So is cheating in our genes? Can adulterous claim the sexual equivalent of the Twinkie defense? Their genes made them do it? That's not the conclusion Barish and Lipton have come to.

BARISH: I think the inclination for adultery is inevitable, but that's not the same thing as saying that the actual act upon it is inevitable.

LIPTON: Obviously we have animal natures, but we can do lots of things that animals can't, and among those are the capacity for monogamy.

TOLLINI: San Francisco zoo.

SLOBOGIN: The better lesson to be drawn from our four-footed friends, they say, is that a restless heart is perfectly normal.

BARISH: We should not be blindsided by our own behavior, our own inclinations and also, maybe to be a little less quick to say, my gosh, if I am looking twice at someone else who I find attractive that must mean I don't really love my partner.

LIPTON: So what we're advocating is that we listen to the neo cortex, the wonderful part of the brain that says, no, and it puts the brakes on the animal part of the brain.

BARISH: At the same time as we should lift ten our neo cortex, we should be aware that the animal part is there. You know, don't be surprised if you hear it growling in the background every once in a while.



ANNOUNCER: When CNN PRESENTS returns, is a happy marriage safe from infidelity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one is immune. Everyone is vulnerable. (END VIDEOTAPE)






SLOBOGIN: Janet and Tim had it all: Love, sex, even rock 'n' roll. They met 24 years ago, playing in a rock band.

JANET: Our song was a song called "Magic Man.? so we have a little inside joke. I call him my 'magic Man.? He still is. What can I say, you know, he still is.

TIM: So I get to hang around another day or two?

JANET: I think I'll keep you.

TIM: A year or two?

JANET: Or three or four or five or six?

SLOBOGIN: Married for 21 years, they seemed like the ideal couple.

TIM: Everything was perfect. In our marriage. We weren't fighting, sex was great. You know, I was happy.

SLOBOGIN: Until the unthinkable happened, until Tim had an affair.

JANET: Your whole life turns upside down, and you do literally feel like you're -- you're dying.

SLOBOGIN: This wasn't supposed to happen. They were happy in love. And a fare-proof marriage, right?

PEGGY VAUGHN, SUPPORT NETWORK LEADER: No one is immune. Everyone is vulnerable. I probably hear from over 100 people every week.

SLOBOGIN: Peggy Vaughn runs a support network for couples who've been hit by an affair. Couples like Janet and Tim.

VAUGHN: Unfortunately, it is extremely typical. They were a good couple, they never thought anything like this could happen to them and it was a total surprise to both of them that it happened.

SLOBOGIN: For Tim, it started at work with a subtle come-on from a co-worker. TIM: You know, it was like, ?I need you to do something for me.? ?OK, well, I will do anything for you.? ?Oh, really?? So that's what led to it.

SLOBOGIN: And so it began, the secret rendezvous, the stolen lunch hours.

SLOBOGIN (on camera): What was the positive side? I mean what you were getting out of it?

TIM: My ego stroked, attention. Just feeling like you're it, you know? And it's exciting.

SLOBOGIN (voice-over): Tim is not unusual. Infidelity expert, Shirley Glass, found in her survey that more than half the men who cheated were happily married. And the other woman is not usually the real attraction.

DR. SHIRLEY P. GLASS, INFIDELITY EXPERT: What the attraction is how I see myself in that other relationship. So when I look in your eyes, and I see what's reflected back, is this very attractive picture of me -- This image of me, as this wonderful person who's up on a pedestal.

SLOBOGIN (on camera): When the affair was going on, did you ever let yourself stop and think about how it would affect Janet if she fund out?

TIM: I really never did. So you tell yourself, well, I can get away with it. It's exciting, you know? I can do it. And then men tend to think that's OK.

SLOBOGIN (voice-over): But Janet suspected.

JANET: You notice behavior changes. He became more interested in how he looked, his appearance, his clothing, he -- you know? He also became more distant to me. Short tempered.

SLOBOGIN: After three months of us suspicion, Janet confronted Tim on their anniversary.

JANET: I was very calm, I said, ?You know, Tim, I really noticed that you seem so distant from me. It's not like you to be that way toward me.? I said, ?Whatever is going on, you know talk to me.? And he looked at me and he said, ?You know, you're right. You don't deserve this.? And I said, ?It's another woman, isn't it??

TIM: So I confessed. After that, I told Janet, you know, what had happened.

SLOBOGIN (on camera): How did she react?

TIM: She was hurt.

SLOBOGIN: Did you ever have any idea it would be like that? JANET: You begin to wonder, well, what's wrong with me? I must not look good enough. And then the humiliation of it in public, you know? I would avoid people. I would literally avoid someone that I knew who knew it. And it was horrible.

SLOBOGIN (voice-over): By now, you're probably thinking if a marriage like Tim and Janet's is vulnerable, what hope is there from monogamy? Which 90 percent of couples say they want. Peggy Vaughn says there is hope and she should know. Thirty-two years ago, she discovered her husband had, had more than a dozen affairs. She's still married to him, and she says what saved the couple is confronting the attraction to adultery head on.

VAUGHN: And that's where it becomes a little counterintuitive. A couple needs to talk about their attractions and their temptations. Then people will say, oh, that's too scary. That's too risky. But the real risk is in not doing it. It's not unless you're talking about it and thinking about it with your partner that you also focus on the negative, on the consequences.

JANET: Well see, 1979 is when we started the group.

SLOBOGIN: Janet and Tim are talking now. Taking nothing for granted. It took several years, but their marriage is on the mend. But Tim has a message for would-be adulterers: Try telling your teenage son why his mom is so unhappy.

TIM: What do you? You lie. You know, you tell. It's devastating for them. Because they lose -- they lose faith you. They -- you broke that trust, you know? That's dad. Dad's not going to do anything that's going to -- but dad did. That's hard.

JANET: You think you have got a great marriage. You think to yourself, no, not me. Nah. My wife would never do that to me. My husband wouldn't never do that to me. We love each other. It's a promise, but promises are broken, they get broken. Mine did. But it's OK now.



ANNOUNCER: When we return, surviving infidelity.

VAUGHN: Not only can a couple survive it, but they can actually build a stronger marriage than they had before.






SLOBOGIN (voice-over): To many young couple, infidelity is the unthinkable. So is serving it.

TIM: Happy birthday, baby.

JANET: I did think about leaving. In fact, we'd even talked about this, you know, if you ever did this to me, you know, that's it.

SLOBOGIN: But Janet didn't leave her husband after his affair. It took several years of painful honesty and of rebuilding trust, but the connection was still there.

JANET: The deep love, you know? We had a history together.

TIM: I love you.

JANET: Years of being with someone. I wasn't willing to let go of that. And even though he made a mistake, he was still Tim.

VAUGHN: Not only can a couple survive it, but they can actually build a stronger marriage than they had before. Now that sounds like blasphemy and I want to quickly categorize what I mean.

SLOBOGIN (on camera): You're not recommending an affairs.

VAUGHN: I'm not recommending it. Nobody in their right mind would choose to go through this in order to make their marriage better, but I think it's important to know that it's possible.


SLOBOGIN (voice-over): Heather and Jeff Love also came back from the brink of divorce with the help of an expert therapist, Dr. Bonnie Eager-While (PH).

BONNIE EAGER-WHILE, THERAPIST: She began not it take Jeff for granted. She began it see the warts on her lover's face, which is what always happens.

SLOBOGIN: Dr. While and other experts say the trick is getting people like Heather to see that in activation with a lover is bound to fade.

WHILE: The reason that adultery is so high is that we love to be in love, and we want to stay there forever. But, you do have to come down. So I'm asking people to have an affair with their own partner. Instead of having an affair with someone new because getting ready rid of a person doesn't get rid of your problem.

SLOBOGIN: But there are skeptics.

(on camera): The counselors who say that the anecdote in fidelity is communication, honesty, you know, fall back in love?

FRAN: Good luck, baby. Because once the stuff is gone, it's gone.


SLOBOGIN (voice-over): With affairs taking place in half of all marriages, Fran says we should simply accept the inevitable but manage it well.

FRAN: It's like keep your mouth shut, nobody wants to know and most of these things are blips in the road. They're kind of detours on the matrimonial highway that in the end, are probably going to mean nothing.

SLOBOGIN: But for all those restless souls who think there's something better out there, here's a sobering thought. 75 percent of those who marry their affair partner end up divorced. So when the grass looks greener, maybe we should look but not touch.

GLASS: If we're alive and breathing, and we will find other people attractive, and we need to find ways to protect our committed relationships.



GLASS: So we need more education to let young couples, who are committed to the marriages know that just because they've taken these vows and they think they're going to live together for the next 50 years that it isn't just going to happen.


AARON BROWN, HOST: It may come as no shock that a recent survey suggested that overweight men are less likely to cheat, but the reason why, may surprise you. It's not for a lack of opportunity, researchers found that heavy-set men are more faithful because they're less inclined to engage in risky sex. Indeed the survey concluded that men of average weight or more than twice as likely to be unfaithful to their partners as overweight men. And those who have a few extra pounds are also less likely to seek out prostitutes or call sex hotlines. A postscript.

That's it for this edition of CNN PRESENTS. I'm Aaron Brown. Thanks for joining us. And we'll see you next week.


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