It used to be that people cheated because they couldn’t keep it in their pants, were unhappy in their relationships, or just bored with their partners. Well, that’s just part of the infidelity puzzle. Some doctors are saying that another factor can be genetics.
A few research studies, including the much-talked about 2014 study by Brendan P. Zietsch, a psychologist at the University of Queensland, Australia, showed that people who cheated had a certain variant of vasopressin, a hormone that is associated with attachment and bonding. The research shows that this might be one contributing genetic factor to infidelity.
Psychotherapy, sex therapy, and even spiritual work (whether it’s medication or faith-based), has long been the path to work on marriages plagued by infidelity. However, some prominent doctors, such as John Gray, PhD., author of Men Are from Mars, Women are From Venus, and Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, psychotherapist and author of Make Up, Don’t Break Up: Finding and Keeping Love, have also been using supplemental therapy to help their patients remain faithful. And, it’s working…for them. It should be noted, that it is a controversial practice with little to no scientific backing and not meant to be the “cure to infidelity.”
“Your brain chemicals can be changed to help stop an affair or not want an affair,” says Dr. Eaker Weil. “This really takes a little bit of the stigma and emotional pain out of an affair. I’m not excusing it, but I tell my patients, ‘Listen it’s not entirely in your control.’” Of course, you can’t blame cheating solely on your genes, which is why a combination of psychotherapy with supplements and lifestyle changes is really what the doctors’ are ordering here.
It’s not entirely unlike using St. John’s Wart to help with depression, valerian root to help with anxiety, and supplements to aid in your workouts.
The first step, though, is to find out if there is a chemical imbalance is at play here. ” Some M.D.s will do blood, urine, and/or saliva tests for adrenals, dopamine, serotonin, vasopressin, etc., to see if you do have a chemical imbalance and then can advise you on which supplements are needed to help balance any imbalances out,” she says.
The most impressive and fast acting supplement, according to both, is low dose lithium orotate, which is more commonly also used to treat a variety of issues, anxiety and depression. “It’s all natural and has no side effects. Within days most people notice improved mood, focus, motivation, and low stress. For maximum benefit it’s best combined with therapy along with vitamins B6, D3, K2 and Omega 3,” says Dr. Gray.
Dr. Eaker Weil says that the main reason lithium orotate is so powerful in her practice is because it stimulates oxytocin – the cuddle hormone that makes you feel safe and bonded. “It helps simmer down the vasopressin. I’ve seen it stop the craving for adultery in my practice,” she says. In her couples counseling, she prescribes this supplement to both partners to help them reconnect and reignite their bond. She uses it in conjunction with the prescription oxytocin pill.
Other supplements Gray and Eaker Weil have used include L-theanine, derived from tealeaves, and rhodiola. “Both help to calm and reduce stress, which balances you, grounds you, gives you clarity, and in turn helps with therapy and stopping the need for cheating. Rhodiola also helps with fatigue. We all know that stress and fatigue are contributing factors to infidelity,” says Eaker Weil.
It should be noted that, that “there is no scientific evidence to support treating people with medications or supplements to prevent infidelity,” as one expert in the field who wishes to remain anonymous points out.