The Talker: Why do powerful people cheat on their spouses? - FOX 32 News Chicago

The Talker: Why do powerful people cheat on their spouses?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

If it were a movie script, it might be rejected as too far fetched. The scandal unfolding at America's top spy agencies is more like chapters in a bad soap opera, proving even highly respected people get themselves into low situations.

The military is all about discipline, so some might expect a four-star general to have more self control than the average Joe. David Petraus held a job at the CIA that literally required him to keep America's secrets secret, but, he also had to keep the secret that would have exposed his own lack of discipline: his affair.

The affair, with another highly successful former military member, Paul Broadwell, might have stayed hidden, but she also shared a lack of discipline to resist temptation and also to control her jealousy.

Broadwell, who is also married, is said to have sent harassing emails to Jill Kelley -- a Florida socialite who exchanged near-daily emails with Petraeus. Those emails are said not to be romantic in nature, but Kelley, who is married to a surgeon, was also emailing with another married four-star general.

The FBI uncovered 20,000 pages of emails and exchanges between Kelley and General John Allen, who leads our troops in Afghanistan. The pentagon says the exchanges were inappropriate. One senior official called them flirtatious.

Since the scandal leak, Patraeus has resigned and the future of everyone else involved is up in the air. We can all wonder why people with so much to lose might risk it all?

One study found the highest paid business executives are more likely to commit white collar crimes than lower paid workers with the same inside information.

One possible reason is a sense of power and entitlement that can come with success.

Another study found men who are financially dependent on their wives are more likely to cheat than those who aren't. One theory there is that men stray when they feel their masculinity is threatened and they have to prove themselves elsewhere.

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