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Why Peter Cook Blames Christie Brinkley for His Affair

Posted Oct 10 2008 1:16pm
In an interview with Barbara Walters, 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 frequently called on by the media to comment on celebrity infidelity and other infidelity issues in the news, I feel obligated 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 in the least that Peter Cook is trying to blame his ex-wife, Christie Brinkley for the affair he had, which led to their divorce.

He’s latched onto the latest excuse that cheating husbands are using to blame their wives for their extramarital affairs.

Cook has taken his cue straight 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 views of author and marriage counselor Gary Neuman, that emotional dissatisfaction is the main 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 completely incorrect reason (excuse) for why men cheat, Cook, a confirmed narcissist, (the opinion of the court appointed psychiatrist in his divorce trial) obviously saw this as way to thrust himself into the spotlight which he seems to love.

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. Does he really expect anyone 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 about it several times. Let’s not forget 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 ( Christie’s own words, not mine) – a man who even charged the Mother’s Day flowers he bought Christie to her account.

Yet this same man gave his teenage mistress $15,000 for a down payment on a new car, and paid her $300,000 in hush money to keep her mouth shut after their affair was discovered, and left cash gifts of hundreds of dollars at a time hidden underneath rocks and behind picture frames for his young lover to find. Exactly whose wealth was this cheater trying to build? Sounds like his mistress to me.

The “Blame Your Wife” Bandwagon

Cook isn’t the only cheating husband to jump on the “ Blame Your Wife” bandwagon. Since the publication of The Truth about Cheating and the author’s two highly publicized interviews with Oprah, numerous cheating men have latched on to this flimsy excuse of “emotional dissatisfaction” to justify their affairs.

So many of you called or e-mailed me since The Truth about Cheating came out, wanting to know if you were to blame for your husband’s affair, I wrote a special blog post to answer your questions and ease your minds. Click here to read this post entitled Are Wives to Blame When Their Husbands Cheat?

Neuman’s book, The Truth about Cheating, contains some valid suggestions on how women can strengthen and improve the quality of their marriages, but the book seems to have created more problems than it has solved.

Besides giving cheating husbands a new excuse – emotional dissatisfaction - to explain away their infidelity, Neuman implies that the wives of these cheaters are to blame their affairs. How so? By promoting the idea that if you keep your husband happy by constantly stroking his ego, giving him all the sex he wants, and catering to his every whim, he’s guaranteed not to cheat.

There are two problems with that:

1. While there are many things a you can do to improve the quality of your marriage, there is absolutely nothing you can do that will guarantee 100% that your husband will never cheat. By saying that certain behavior on your part will keep your husband from having an affair, is to imply that it’s your fault if your husband cheats. And that’s not true.

2. Keeping your husband happy is not the answer because happy husbands cheat too. Just this year there were three separate studies published in medical journals which found that happily married husbands still cheat on their wives, and that even good marriages are susceptible to affaairs. The article on my website, entitled Happy Husbands Cheat, Too, goes into more detail about this topic, and cites four infidelity studies that prove this point.

Neuman says his book is about empowering women rather than blaming them, but I have to disagree. That’s not the message that’s being sent. You don’t empower a woman by making her feel that it's her fault her husband had an affair. Nor do you empower women by providing men like Peter Cook with flimsy excuses to justify why they have extramarital affairs.

Some men are more likely to cheat than others. To find out if your husband is one of these potential cheaters, request a free copy of the 7-question PotentialCheater’s Quiz by e-mailing with Potential Cheater’s Quiz - b in the subject line.

For more information about infidelity, cheating husbands and extramarital affairs, visit

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