Any mistake is not too big to be not forgiven in a relationship, but infidelity taints a relationship. It can scar the victim for life.
Although infidelity is not restricted to a particular gender, this section intends to focus on the signs of a cheating man.
Your friends notice
If you have friends who have reported about your partner with someone you have no idea about, it could be one of the signs of a cheating man. However, it is important to confront your partner and know the whole truth before arriving at any conclusion.
He rarely talks about his life outside of the home
Considering men who have affairs have a lot of fishy things going on in his life, they have little to disclose because they know the more they speak, the more they will be trapped in their web of lies. So, rather than fabricating stories, they prefer to stay silent.
So, what could be the top reasons why do people cheat in relationships? Why do people cheat on people they love? Can men be faithful?
There could be a lot of reasons why men cheat, depending on their circumstances, their intent, their sexual preferences, and many more.
If you are a victim who is contemplating reasons for infidelity in marriage, you could be perturbed and can have thoughts like, do all men cheat? Or do most men cheat?
It would be really unfair to label only men as cheaters. It’s not just men, but every human being has a strong desire for self-gratification.
But, if this need for self-gratification exceeds the love and intimacy a person is getting from a relationship, it can lead to infidelity.
Thestatistics confirm that men are more likely to cheat than women, but it’s far from revealing that all men cheat.
30 reasons why men cheat in relationships
Women might find themselves tormented by the questions, “Why does this happen? Why do married men cheat?”, “Why is he cheating?”
It is not just about fleeting flings. Many times, women find their husbands carrying on with long-standing affairs and wonder about reasons for cheating and seeking attention outside of marriage. “Why do people cheat in relationships?”
To their relief, 30 relationship experts answer this question below to help you understand reasons why guys cheat:
1. Men cheat due to lack of maturity
“Males, in general, will have a myriad of reasons why they engage in extramarital affairs. From my clinical experience, I have noticed a common theme of emotional immaturity with those that act on the emotional and physical aspects of cheating.
Lacking the maturity to invest the time, commitment, and energy to work through coreissues within their marital relationship is why men cheat. Well, at least some of them. Instead, these men often choose to engage in activities that are harmful to both their significant others, families, and themselves.
The scorching repercussions that often come with the aftermath of cheating in a relationship are not considered until after the fact.
Cheating men have a visible proclivity to be reckless. It would be helpful for men that are contemplating cheating to think long and hard if the affair is worth hurting or possibly losing the ones that they proclaim to love most.
Why men haveemotional affairs and not just physical is because of shame, this is why people cheat.
I know that sounds ironic and like a cart-horse dilemma since many people become ashamed after getting caught cheating. But cheating behaviors are very often triggered by shame.
I hate to be reductive and categorical, but what many men who have cheated have in common–both gay and straight–is some degree of shame about their desires for pleasure.
A cheating man is often someone plagued by a strong but hidden sense of shame about his sexual desires.
Many of them love and are deeply devoted to their partners, but over time they develop an intense fear of their desires being rejected.
The closer any of us gets to someone we love, the more familiar and familial the bond becomes, and therefore the more difficult it is to seek pleasure as individuals–especially when it comes to sex and romance–without potentially hurting the other person in some way, and feeling shame as a result.
Rather than risk the shame of exposing their desires and getting rejected, many men decide to have it both ways: a safe, secure, and loving relationship at home; and an exciting, liberating, sexual relationship elsewhere. This is the answer to the question, “why do men cheat.”
As a therapist, I help people navigate the challenging task of negotiating sexual needs with their partners rather than resort to cheating or unnecessary breakups. In many cases, couples decide to stay together as a result.
In some cases, frank and transparent dialogue about conflicting desires may lead to necessary separation.
“What to look out for in men cheating? Any signs of your man grappling with intimacy issues could be a red flag.
Men cheat because they have an intimacy disorder, whether they commit online cheating or in person.
They likely don’t knowhow to ask for intimacy (not JUST sex), or if they do ask, they don’t know how to do it in such a way that connects with the woman, which answers why do men lie and cheat.
So, the man then looks for a cheap substitute to soothe his needs and desires for intimacy.” Greg GriffinPastoral Counselor
5. Men cheat because they choose to
Nothing “makes” men cheat on their partners, men cheat because they choose to.
Cheating is a choice. He will either choose to do it or choose not to.
Cheating is the manifestation of unresolved issues not dealt with, a void that is unfulfilled, and the inability tofully commit to the relationship and his partner.
Husband cheating on wife is not something that happens. It is a choice that the husband has made. There is no justified explanation for why men cheat. Dr. Lawanda N. EvansCounselor
6. Men cheat due to selfishness
“On the surface, there are many reasons why men cheat.
Such as: “Grass is greener,” feeling desired, the thrill of the conquest, feeling trapped, unhappiness, etc. Underneath all those reasons and others, it is pretty simple, selfishness.- the selfishness that hampers commitment, the integrity of character, and honoring another above self.” Sean SearsPastoral Counselor
“While there are numerous stated reasons, one theme that runs through them for men is thelack of appreciation and attention.
Many men feel they work hard for their families. They internalize their emotions, and can feel they have been doing much and not receiving enough in return. This explains why men cheat.
The affair offers the opportunity to receive admiration, approval, new attention, seeing themselves anew in someone else’s eyes.” Robert TaibbiClinical social worker
8. Men seek love and attention
“There are a few reasons why do men cheat, but the one that sticks out for me is, men like attentiveness. In relationships, cheating rears its ugly head when there is a lack of feeling loved and appreciated.
Oftentimes, especially in our fast-paced rush, rush rush, society, couples get so busy that they forget to care for each other.
Conversations become centered on logistics, “who’s picking up the kids today,” “Don’t forget to sign the papers for the bank,” etc. Men, like the rest of us, seek love and attention.
If they feel ignored, bullied, or nagged at constantly, they will seek someone out who listens, stops and compliments them, and makes them feel good, as opposed to what they felt like with their own partner, a failure.
Men and emotional affairs go hand in hand when there is a lack of attention from the spouse.
Emotionally cheating on your partner is, nonetheless, a form of cheating.” Dana JulianSex Therapist
9. Men need their ego stroked
“The one most common reason is personal insecurity that creates a huge need to have their ego stroked.
Any new “conquest” gives them the illusion that they are the most wonderful, which is why men have affairs.
But because it’s based on external validation, the moment the new conquest complains about anything, the doubts are back with a vengeance, and he needs to look for a new conquest. This is why men cheat.
On the exterior, he looks secure and even arrogant. But it’s insecurity that drives him.” Ada GonzalezFamily Therapist
“Often men cheat on their wives because they have become disillusioned with their marriage.
They thought that once they were married, life would be great. They would be together with their spouse and be able to talk all they wanted and have sex when they wanted, and live in an unencumbered world together.
However, they begin to do life together with work, financial responsibilities, and having children. All of a sudden, the pleasure is gone.
It appears that everything is about work and taking care of other people and their needs. What about “my needs!” This is why married men cheat. Men become jealous of those little ones in the house who are consuming all of their spouse’s time and energy.
She doesn’t seem to want or desire him anymore. All she does is take care of the kids, running everywhere with them and not paying attention to him.
It is because they begin to look elsewhere for that person who will give them what they need, both – attentiveness and sexual admiration. They are under the assumption that another person can and will meet their needs and make them happy.
They believe that it is not up to them but up to someone else to make them feel loved and wanted. After all, “they deserve to be happy!” Debbie McfaddenCounselor
11. Men cheat if they have a sexual addiction
“There are numerous reasons why men commit infidelity. One trend we have witnessed over the past 20 years has been an increase in the number of men who have been diagnosed with sexual addiction.
They struggle to feel affirmed or desired, and this is the explanation for why do men cheat.
They often have feelings of weakness and inferiority, and nearly all of them struggle with the ability to emotionally bond with others.
Their inappropriate actions are driven by impulse and the inability to compartmentalize their behaviors.
Men who undergocounseling for sexual addiction learn why they abuse sex – including cheating – and with that insight can deal with past traumas and learn to emotionally connect with their spouse in a healthy way, therefore significantly reducing the likelihood of future infidelity.” Eddie CapparucciCounselor
Wife nags too much is trying to change him or is a “ball-buster”
Better sex with someone who understands them better
The chemistry is gone
From an evolutionary perspective– they weren’t designed to be monogamous
It’s just skin on skin– just sex, baby
Because they feel entitled/they can
At the end of the day, however, even if their spouse is intolerable at many levels, there are much better ways to address the issue.
The bottom line is that a wife can make a man cheat about as much as she can make him abuse alcohol or drugs– it doesn’t work this way.” David O. SaenzPsychologist
14. Men cheat because of the darkness in their hearts
“One of the most common reasons men cheat on their partners centers on darkness in their heart or mind, where factors including lust, pride, the enticements of an affair, and personal frustrations with their partner or life, in general, make them susceptible to being unfaithful.” Eric GomezCounselor
Intimacy can be a challenge, but if a man is not feeling fully “seen” in his relationship or not communicating his needs, it can leave him feeling empty, lonely, angry, and unappreciated.
He may then want to fulfill that need outside the relationship.
It’s his way of saying, “someone else sees me and my value and understands my needs, so I’m going to get what I need and want there instead.” Jake MyresMarriage and Family Therapist
18. Men cheat when there is a lack of admiration
The single most common reason is this.
I see why men look outside the relationship for companionship is a perceived lack of admiration and approval by their partner.
It is because they tend to base their sense of self on how the people in the room view them; the outside world serves as a mirror of self-worth. So if a man encounters disapproval, disdain, or disappointment at home, they internalize those emotions.
So when a person outside the relationship then provides a counter to those feelings, shows a different “reflection” to the man, the man is often drawn to that.
And seeing yourself in an encouraging light, well, that’s often very hard to resist.” Crystal RiceCounselor
19. Men cheat for ego inflation
“Why do happy people cheat?
I believe that some men cheat for ego inflation. It feels good to be considered desirable and attractive to others, unfortunately even outside of marriage.
The mindset of a cheating man is to feel powerful and alluring. This is sad but is the reason that tells why do men cheat.” K’hara MckinneyMarriage and Family therapist
20. Infidelity is a crime of opportunity
“While there are numerous reasons that could explain why do men cheat on their partners, one of the most common reasons is that it is a ‘crime’ of opportunity.
Infidelity does not necessarily signal something wrong in the relationship; rather, it reflects that being in a relationship is a daily choice.” Trey ColePsychologist
“While there are, of course, some men who are just entitled jerks, who don’t respect their partners and simply feel they can do whatever they want, my experience is that men cheat chiefly because they don’t feel valued.
This can come in many different forms, of course, based on the individual. Some men may feel devalued if their partners don’t talk with them,spend time with them, or participate in hobbies with them.
Others may feel devalued if their partners stop having regular sex with them. Or if their partners seem too busy with life, household, children, work, etc., to prioritize them.
But underlying all of that is a sense that the man does not matter, that he is not valued and that his partner no longer appreciates him.
This causes the men to seek attention elsewhere, and again in my experience, most often, it is first this seeking of attention from another (that is often referred to as an “emotional affair”) that then leads to sex later (in a “full-blown affair”).
So if you don’t prioritize your man, and don’t make him feel valued, then you shouldn’t be surprised when he seeks attention elsewhere.” Steven StewartCounselor
24. Men cheat when they can’t connect with themselves
“Why men cheat is because of their inability to emotionally connect to their wounded inner child who is searching to be nurtured and affirmed that they are enough and deserving of being loved simply due to their inherent worth and preciousness.
Since they struggle with this concept of worthiness, they continuously chase an unattainable goal and move from one person to the next.
I think this same concept applies to many women too.” Mark GloverCounselor
“Why men cheat is because they lack the very feeling that drew them into the long-term relationship they are in. The feeling of being adored, admired, and desired is the romantic ail that feels so intoxicating.
At around 6-18 months, it is not uncommon for the man to “fall off the pedestal” as reality sets in and life’s challenges become a priority.
People, not just men, by the way, miss this short and intense phase. This feeling, which plays upon self-esteem and early attachment deprivation, counteracts all insecurity and self-doubt.
It gets deeply rooted in the psyche and lives there waiting to be reactivated. While a long-term partner can provide other important feelings, it is nearly impossible to replicate this original insatiable desire.
Along comes a stranger, who may immediately activate this feeling.
Temptation in full swing can hit hard, especially when one is not being elevated by his partner on a regular basis.” Katherine MazzaPsychotherapist
Many people feel they’re the one doing most of the work in the relationship and that the work isn’t seen or rewarded.
When we feel like all our effort goes unacknowledged, and we don’t know how to give ourselves the love and admiration we need, we look outside.
A new lover tends to be adoring and focus on all our best qualities, and this delivers the approval we’re desperate for—approval that’s lacking from both our partner and ourselves.” Vicki BotnickCounselor and Psychotherapist
“There are no simple answers to this question as to why men cheat because each man has his own reasons, and each circumstance is different.
Also, there certainly are differences between a man who gets caught up in multiple affairs, porn addiction, cyber affairs, or sleeping with prostitutes and a man who falls in love with his co-worker.
The reasons forsex addiction are embedded in trauma, while often, men who have single affairs cite a lack of something they need in their primary relationships.
Sometimes they are missing passionate sex, but just as often, they report that they don’t feel seen or appreciated by their wives. Women get busy running the household, working at their own careers, and rearing the children.
At home, men report that they often feel neglected and taken for granted. In that state of loneliness, they become susceptible to the attention and adoration of someone new.
At work, they are looked up to, feel powerful and worthy, and may cultivate a relationship with a woman who notices that.” Mary Kay CocharoCouples Therapist
29. Modern romantic idea is the cause for infidelity
“Why men cheat is because they focus on the romantic idea, which is practically a setup for infidelity.
When a relationship inevitably loses its initial luster, it is not uncommon to long for the passion, sexual thrill, and idealized connection with another that was present when it began.
Those who understand and trust the evolution of love that exists in a truly committed relationship will rarely find themselves tempted to cheat.” Marcie ScrantonPsychotherapist
“Recent research shows that men and women cheat to about the same degree. The common reason why men cheat is to seek novelty.
The common reason women cheat is because of frustrations in their relationship.” Gerald SchoenewolfPsychoanalyst
Now that you know the various reasons why men cheat and lie, you must make an honest effort to take care of the critical aspects to save your marriage. Of course, you can do nothing if it is done deliberately by your husband to get rid of you or hurt you.
But in other cases, when you know that your husband is a great person, try to cultivate a deeper bond, friendship, and love. No man in his right mind would want to ruin a relationship that offers him all this and more.
These pieces of useful advice will help women identify the reasons why men cheat and perhaps give them some insight into how men think and what they can do to prevent them from cheating.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.