Lance Armstrong, Spiral Dynamics & Infidelity

Thinking Systems in Infidelity

I don’t accept the commonly espoused opinion that infidelity is, at its core, caused by low self-esteem in the cheater. In my experience cheaters mostly demonstrate quite the opposite - and I might even suggest that often, cheaters can be rather revoltingly full of themselves. Infidelity and extra-marital affairs are, to my mind, the result of the cheater’s internal narrative - how their thinking about aspects of their lives is justified and then addressed by their behaviors.

When I say that infidelity is a venting behavior for a cheater’s issues, I am not talking about the sweet and fluffy issues that others may be referring to. I don’t mean low self-esteem, or ‘family of origin’ issues, or a cry for help. I mean that it is entirely possible for a cheater to be hateful, hurtful, selfish, or angry etc, and for THOSE to be the reasons for their cheating. It is entirely possible that arrogance, self-satisfaction, the high of risk-taking, or entitlement etc, are issues that could lead someone to choose infidelity.

This video discusses how Lance Armstrong ‘s behaviors and choices were driven by his system of thought, and addresses a concept that Linder calls “The Structure of Secondary Gain”. Lance Armstrong’s cheating (in both senses) gives me no sense that the man has low self-esteem - quite the contrary; I think the way he carried himself during the Oprah interview suggests that he is supremely confident and calculating.

Lance Armstrong epitomizes to me an example of why we should feel entirely disinclined to coddle those who have affairs and swaddle them in cotton and hugs in our efforts to ‘soothe’ their traumatic past issues. Perhaps it suits us to believe that cheating is the product of a disturbed past rather than a cognitive choice that doesn’t take the impact on us into account.

The ideas in this video can be used, I think, to help understand why people choose infidelity, despite the inevitable negative outcomes from that choice.

~ Wayfarer

What Makes Us Cheat?

It’s not the events, but rather the activated thinking systems….

By Steve Linder


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