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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.
Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.
The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (https://www.davidtianphd.com/blog/), is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/manupcommunity/) and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.
Connect with David Tian here:
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What To Think If Your Wife Cheats On You
David Tian Ph.D. reveals why a woman would cheat on a man.
David Tian Ph.D. explains what a transactional relationship is.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. discusses how you can understand a woman’s needs.
David Tian: Boom! Stop. In Episode 117 of Man Up, I answer the question of: What to think when your wife cheats on you.
Masculinity for the intelligent man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up!
Hey! It’s David Tian, Ph. D, and for the past ten years, I’ve been helping tens of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success in life and love. And here I am in beautiful Bali still, and this is Jimbaran. I’ll show you the sunset. Got to adjust a bit, but it’s a gorgeous sunset and it’s a beautiful beach. Jimbaran Beach. Beautiful, and it’s a nice breeze. It was humid. This is May, so it’s the beginning of the dry season, shoulder season. And you can see, there’s a beautiful pool. It’s harder to show off the pool from here, but it’s easy to show off this incredible sunset.
I wonder if I can do the sunset in the background. I wonder if I can do that. Oh yeah, actually. It’s not that dark. Okay, cool. So, I’m answering a question. This is going to be pretty quick. I read it just before pressing play, and I think it’ll be pretty quick. So let’s see, “Hi buddy, my name’s Billy. I was married for 18 years then had two kids who are now 3 and 8. I waited eight years to marry to make sure she was the one, then married for 10 years.” He’s 48 years old now, he says he’s a hard worker, provided for his family, gave his wife the best of the best. Then she started cheating on him, and he felt it in his heart and soon found out when she was pregnant with his second child.
Which, by the way, he had to get a DNA test to prove was his. He says that he broke down his morals, his standards and his pride and took her back, and then she did it again. I assume she did not get pregnant. So, they split and now he thinks he’s good-looking, and smart, and successful, charming and all that jazz and just wants to get 9s and 10s but has a hard time. He says he feels his ex wasted his prime. “I need your help. Thanks for your time, bro.” So, there you go.
Billy, 48, recovering from a woman who cheated on him. It’s tough, man. One of those things is, he feels like… And here’s his phrases. And the phrases are very interesting because it gives us a clue to his mindset here. He gave her the best of the best, that he was a hard worker and provided for his family. Well, here’s the deal. I mean, she clearly has a lot of issues of her own and is more culpable probably then you are in the cheating and the failed relationship. I hate calling things failed relationships, because as long as you learn from them, they’re not a failure. But the dissolution of the relationship or the marriage, she’s definitely more culpable. Well, if what you’re saying is accurate, true, then she’s definitely more culpable than you.
But saying that, “I gave her the best of the best, but she still cheated on me and left me” is actually not true. Because if you gave her… You might’ve given her the best of what you thought she wanted or what you wanted for her, but if you actually met her needs and desires, then she wouldn’t have cheated. I mean, she could still be a despicable human being, but even despicable psychopaths still have desires and needs. And as long as you’re meeting those, they will stay with you.
And maybe you don’t want to meet them because you don’t want them to stay with you. But the truth is, as human beings, we will stay with something that’s meeting our needs. It just turned out that her needs were being met better with another man. And those needs might be dysfunctional needs. It might be the need for approval and validation, ego gratification and other things that, in a healthy relationship, shouldn’t come first. But whatever the case is, she found her needs met better somewhere else.
And there are a lot of guys who – and I totally understand this – who feel like they gave so much in the relationship and yet she did this. Relationships aren’t done out of obligation. Unless she is a really evolved human being, where, like her feelings say no, like her feeling say, “I want something else. I want another guy.” And she says no to her feelings and she sticks with her commitment out of an obligation and a duty, that’s generally not the type of romance relationship that guys are searching for; where she wants something else, but she says no to her desires and stick out of obligation and duty to you. Not very romantic, or it’s not what most people think of as love.
So, it’s a commitment, so most people aren’t going to do that. And the thing is, even if it is a commitment, you don’t guilt people into it. A lot of dudes, a lot of nice guys, they feel like they earn a woman’s loyalty by giving out all of this emotion, like all this investment I mean. And this is what I was talking about in one of the earliest videos of Man Up, one of the first ten episodes, and I was talking about the different levels of love and attraction and commitment. The lowest level is going to be baby love, like need love. But then the second level is where most people are at. The second level is what I call transactional love. That is, “I’ll love you as long as you meet your obligations.”
So, it’s like a contract, it’s a conditional love. “I’ll love you as long you hold up your end of the bargain. I’ll love you as long as you…” But it makes sense, right? It makes sense, but you can tell how it’s not evolved. I mean, I gave lots of examples in the past and I’ll just give you another one right here. Imagine somebody’s giving away to charity and he says, “Look, I’ll give money to charity, but only if these kids write a thank you card by hand and thank me every 30 days.”
Versus somebody who gives anonymously to the same kids and says, “Look, I don’t want anything in return. I don’t even want people to know. I want no acknowledgement whatsoever. I just want to make sure the money gets to the right people.” You can see intuitively how that second person is at a more evolved level. And a lot of men and women in the modern world engaged in romantic relationships as a transaction. They say, “I’ll do this if you do that.” It’s conditional.
And because of that, it’s not actually as Hollywood fairytale romance as they think it is. It’s not the love that they think it is. And when they get burned because the other party didn’t keep up their contract… Well, too fucking bad, because you engaged in a contract. A contract is only good if you’re going to enforce it. So now, you got to enforce it. So, don’t cry when it turns out – when you engage in a contract and the other person didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. It’s transactional, so if they decide not to hold up their end of the bargain, they’re taking that risk. So now, the only recourse you have is to pull away.
Hopefully, a dad doesn’t love his little daughter transactionally. Like, “I’ll only love you, daughter, if you do your homework.” We hope that he’ll love her regardless. And even if she rebels against him. It’s getting really white behind me. I’m going to have to switch over here. So, I mean, if you’re engaging in transactional love, in a transactional relationship, don’t be bitter. I mean, you’re going to be bitter anyway because of the emotions. You’re going to feel cheated because you didn’t understand what you were getting into.
You didn’t understand that you were engaging in a transactional relationship, but you were and you are. And you just got burned; you played the wrong cards. You played the wrong hand.
A big part of this is, even if you are to engage in a new relationship, get a new relationship; if you were to take the same approach instead of loving unconditionally… And what’s that like? I mean, that’s asking a lot, right? But like, you know that you’re going to get involved, you’re going to stay involved as long as it makes sense for you. But that’s not going to stop your emotions; it’s not going to stop your love.
So, when you’re in a situation like that, then it’ll be a lot easier for you to understand her needs and meet her needs. So, her needs will be different from whatever you thought they were because you weren’t meeting them before, and that’s why it ended. The relationship ended because you weren’t actually meeting the needs that were important to her. You thought you were meeting other needs. And then you laid in on the guilt of contractual obligation, that she felt no longer necessary to uphold or just didn’t give a shit about the contract and the penalties of breaking the contract.
So, that’s the situation. Woah, I knew it. This thing is like full of termites. That’s so interesting. It’s like wild termites. Let me show you, see if you can see this. I don’t know if you see this. Holy crap. [LAUGHS] Alright, it’s cool. [LAUGHS] This is the wild. Alright, so let me see if you can see the beach from here. Okay, so that’s the harsh truth. When you engage in a transactional relationship and you get burned, this is what happens. So, when a guy’s like, “I gave her everything! I gave her everything and yet she still did this!” That’s a clue to the fact that he had engaged in such a transactional relationship, and she decided to break the contract, so to speak, and didn’t give a shit about the penalties, and now he’s bitter. So, that’s pretty much it.
If you want to escape the cycle of this sort of thing, of transactional relationships, of level two love, you’re going to have to pop up to level three or four, or even five which is where the self is subsumed into the relationship. Where it’s a lot more like… For dudes, a good analogy is the love of, not sexually, but emotionally the love of a dad for his daughter. She could rebel against him, she could hate him, she could lie to him and all this, but he still loves her and wants the best for her. But he’s not going to like it – get taken advantage of if she’s using his money or whatever like that, but he’s still going to love her.
And if that’s one of those relationships, you will be motivated to find the need that need to be met in that relationship. So, sort of a longer answer but I was referencing earlier videos. My arm is now getting tired holding this up. Oh man, I had a workout for the first time in four days, taking four days off of workout is like an eternity for me. So, it’s interesting, because once you get in the habit… I remember not that long ago, when working out was like a big deal. But once you get in the habit, it becomes something you miss because it’s your habit.
So, until next time, go to the private Facebook group, join the private Facebook group. I will see you in there. Until next time – I’ll show you the sunset, do you see the sunset?
Yeah, just Man Up! [LAUGHS]