Today's Cheating Husbands

Vikki Stark is a marriage and family therapist. She's also a woman who was cheated on by her husband of 21 years. Now, she writes a book about her experiences, titled "Runaway Husbands" and gives us her take on the cheating husbands in our society -- Tiger Woods, John Edwards and Jesse James (Sandra Bullock's husband).

It all started while she was making a routine dinner for her husband of 21 years. That was when she learned he had been having a six-year affair.

Alarming, right? Even more for someone like Stark -- a marriage and family therapist who's counseled individuals on marital and divorce issues for 25 years.

"He decided to tell me about this on a Tuesday, three days before the launch party for my first book," says Stark. "He had been having the affair for six years, and he couldn't wait until Sunday to tell me?"

Stark's latest book, "Runaway Husbands," is a product of personal experience -- but its release coincides with what seems like daily news about men in the spotlight who cheat, despite their "perfect marriages."

We asked Stark to classify the most famous "Runaway Husbands" of the moment -- and asked whether there's any hope for relationship redemption . . .

"High on Sex": Tiger Woods
"He didn't have an affair -- he has a sexual compulsion," Stark says. He may have strayed, she says, because it's the nature of his identity. "He lives in an alternate reality. Everywhere he goes, someone says 'Is that your coffee cup? Can I keep it?' It's like he and God came from the same neighborhood." Woods had affairs, but his marriage has the best chance to survive. "There's less of a breach of intimacy because he hasn't fallen in love with just one woman."

Chance of redemption: [****] (Four hearts) "The Opportunist": John Edwards To the public, Edwards was the personification of the good, clean family man with the devoted, cancerridden wife, says Stark. He had a secret life to escape from the identity of being the "good guy." Stark guesses his thoughts were something like, "I've been a good husband, a good son and provider -- when is it my turn to be James Bond?" "His transgression is the worst of all three. He had a child with another woman. He exploited his wife and betrayed her." Chance of redemption: NO HEARTS! "Bad Like Me": Jesse James Because he wasn't able to express his "tough boy" personality in the shadow of America's sweetheart, Sandra Bullock, he feels a connection with the "tattoo girl" who looks up to him, Stark says. It's also a "hit to the ego" when the wife is the one in the public eye. "James is diminished by the power of Sandra's fame." On saving his marriage, Stark says, "The most damaging thing in affairs is lying. She's humiliated. He's got a lot of work to do."Chance of redemption: [***] (Three hearts) View Photos of Sandra Bullock
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