Even in the holiday season, the news media thrive on streaming information – and gossip – about the exploits of high visibility couples. The general public has been well informed about the on-going splits of Hollywood couples, the infidelity of John Edwards, the visits to call girls by Eliot Spitzer. Polls report that approximately one-third of marriages have experienced an affair by one of the partners. How then do the other two-thirds resist the temptation to stray? As Paul Newman, married over 50 years to Joanne Woodward before he died, explained it, “I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?”
Recent research has identified some functions of the brain that make it easier to remain monogamous, particularly for women. When placed in a situation where an outside flirtation is possible, a subconscious alarm is set off and women react by not paying attention to the appealing threat. Instead, they express more commitment to their relationship. Men’s brains do not automatically protect their relationships in the same way but can be trained to do so by visualizing and planning how to avoid the enticement. Additional studies have shown that when strong love is at the forefront, it is harder for the brain to pay attention to, perceive and recall the appeal of an attractive outsider.
Are you ready to learn how to keep the romance alive in your relationship and keep you and your partner from straying? With physiology and love on your side, tune in this week for tips to make it easier for you and other Sandwiched Boomers to stay faithful.