I don't usually watch Dr. Oz, but a lazy day off contributed to more TV time than normal. I only caught about half the show before I couldn't handle it any more and I switched channels. The topic does seem to be rather out of what I thought were his usual healthy lifestyle tips, however. Basically, the essence of the show was that men cheat for two main reasons: 1) they have a gene that predisposes them to it and 2) they don't feel appreciated at home.
The other crux of conversation was how a woman can tell if her man is lying to her, involving detection of various body language cues, and summed up by claiming that a woman's gut intuition is the best indication, putting responsibility for detection on her. My stomach wrenches literally even now when I think about it. I am surprised by my emotional reaction to this. Normally I can just shake these sorts of shows off my back.
I admit that I am particularly sensitive because of a relationship where I suspected cheating at various times over six years, and looked the other way because I believed that if I only gave him time and space, he would realize his errors on his own. I also believed strongly in making my man feel appreciated, and ripped myself to shreds trying to do just that, with the end result that nothing I gave was enough. He was convinced he was both underappreciated and worthless (a strange dichotomy!) and nothing I had to say on the subject mattered or was even heard by him. I faced many accusations of not being there enough, and so I'd try to "be there" more . . . until there was little "me" left in the "being there."
Add that his "gut intuition" was convinced I was cheating on him, despite his being horribly wrong—a gut intuition which eventually contributed wildly to the destruction of my marriage—and no wonder I have severe reactions to this idea of a suspicious and fact-checking relational climate.
At any rate, I don't normally post this sort of topic here, except that in struggling with this issue I came to something that I thought of some eternal worth.
I feel the Spirit brought to my mind Jacob's speech to his priesthood brethren. Perhaps there is something to the studies Dr. Oz quotes that roughly 54% of men cheat because they have a gene, because they are just naturally more prone to that behavior, (which also brought to mind the online outcry against the tendency of Conference talks to praise women's righteousness.) In verses 31-33, Jacob quotes the Lord as saying,
"For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people . . . because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands. And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people . . . shall come up unto me against the men of my people . . . For they shall not lead away captive the daughters of my people because of their tenderness, save I shall visit them with a sore curse, even unto destruction . . . ."
For nature is no excuse. This is just another iteration of argument that demonstrates the insidiousness of "my genes made me do it" approaches to human behavior. There are many people with a genetic predisposition to anger. This does not mean that murder is okay. And yet, so many people seem to believe that if they have a gene which predisposes them to promiscuity or a host of other traits, that somehow Nature's seal of approval justifies them. And yet, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that nature is unable to receive God . . . in fact, that nature is an enemy to God. Because of the Fall, nature leads to sorrow and sin, rather than lasting pleasure, eternal pleasure.
And, as I struggled with a surprisingly strong cacophony of emotions, I realized that this is part of Satan's great wedge driven between the genders and through families. After all, if most men are unfaithful, and if that is justified in their eyes, what is the point of having men at all? Why should women even bother with men other than on a very limited, physical basis, when their real, emotional needs are ignored and trampled to the ground by them? Why?
Because I have to believe God when He gave the priesthood to men. I have to believe that there are still men out there who honor Him and their priesthood. I cannot believe that God would give His authority to a people so wholly undeserving. There must be men who love Him the way I am learning to love Him—perhaps not perfectly, but wholeheartedly—men who seek the Lord and "take delight in approaching to God". Even if He never leads me to such a man in marriage in this life, I have met a few such men, men who do not look at scientific studies to excuse behavior, but lift their eyes to that Savior who gave them life. I know they exist, and for that, I am grateful. Further, I have to believe that God's promises to me regarding such a marriage will be kept. I may have no evidence of such a relationship for me, but I have faith.
And faith trumps Dr. Oz and all the studies in the world.