In an interview scheduled to air on Friday on ABC's "20/20," Peter Cook claims he cheated on Christie because as he says, "I was seeking a connection I could not find in my own marriage."As an infidelity expert who is frequently called on by the media to comment on celebrity infidelity and other infidelity issues in the news, I feel compelled to speak out on this lame, but newly popular excuse that Peter Cook is using to justify the marital misbehavior that led to his divorce.
It doesn't surprise me that Peter Cook is trying to blame his ex-wife, Christie Brinkley for the extramarital affair that led to their divorce. He's latched onto the latest excuse that cheating husbands are using to blame their wives for their marital misbehavior.
Cook has taken his cue from the highly controversial new infidelity book The Truth About Cheating – Why Men Stray and What You Can Do About It. He's parroting the view espoused by author Gary Neuman, that emotional dissatisfaction is the primary reason men cheat.
Neuman's theory ( based on interviews with 100 cheating husbands) is that men cheat because they feel unappreciated – because they don't get enough praise, attention or ego stroking from their wives.
You can see why this excuse would appeal to a narcissist like Peter Cook.
By latching onto this newly introduced, widely publicized -- and highly erroneous -- reason for why men cheat, Cook, a confirmed narcissist, (the opinion of the court appointed psychiatrist in his divorce trial) undoubtedly saw this as yet another way to thrust himself into the spotlight which he so dearly loves.
Peter Cook's Search for an Emotional Connection
In his interview with Barbara Walters, Cook says he was seeking a connection he could not find in his marriage because the emotional aspect of their lives had changed. .Are we to believe he found this emotional connection with a teenager less than half his age? Or that he found it by spending $3600 a month on internet porn, or by broadcasting photos of himself masturbating all across the web?
When asked what he wanted, Cook replied that he wanted "a little acknowledgement, a little attention, a little thank you every now and then for my efforts, for the amount of time I took to care for her and my family, for the wealth I was building."
I followed the Brinkley-Cook trial very closely and was interviewed several times about it. Let me remind you that this statement comes from a man who owned a successful architectural firm in the Hamptons, yet never paid for anything during the 10 years he was married to Christie Brinkley ( her words, not mine) – a man who even charged the Mother's Day flowers he bought her to his wife's account.
Yet he could afford to give his teenage mistress $15,000 for a down payment on a new car, and pay her another $300,000 in hush money to keep quiet after their affair was discovered, not to mention the hundreds of dollars he hid beneath rocks and behind picture frames for his young lover to find. Whose wealth was he trying to build? His mistress's?
The "Blame Your Wife" Bandwagon
Cook is not the only cheating husband to jump on the " Blame Your Wife" bandwagon. Since the publication of the The Truth about Cheating and the author's two highly publicized interviews with Oprah, countless numbers of cheating men have latched on to this flimsy excuse of "emotional dissatisfaction" as justification for their affairs.
I can't even begin to tell you how many women have called or e-mailed me since The Truth about Cheating came out, wanting to know if they're to blame because their husbands had an affair. Of course the answer resounding "NO." But the inquiries finally reached the point where I had to address the questions asked by these concerned, distraught, and sometimes angry women in a post on my blog entitled Are Wives to Blame When Their Husbands Cheat?
Although Neuman's book, The Truth about Cheating, contains some valid suggestions on how women can strengthen and improve the quality of their marriages, the book seems to have created more problems than it has solved.