The statistics confirm that men are more likely to cheat than women, but it’s far from revealing that all men cheat.
Not all men are alike and not all of them cheat. However, psychologically, there are factors that make men cheat more than women do.
Women are extremely sensitive beings and it’s emotionally traumatic when men cheat on them.
They find themselves tormented by the questions, “Why does this happen, why do married men cheat?” , “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 their partner, “Why do married men have long-term affairs ?”, “Why do people cheat in relationships?”
To their relief 30 relationship experts answer this question below to help you understand why men cheat:
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 core issues 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 is 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.
Is your relationship really worth gambling with?
2. Men cheat when they are made to feel inadequate
Why do good husbands have affairs? The answer is – Shame.
Why men have emotional 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 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.
But openly negotiating sexual needs is better for everyone involved than deceiving your partner and breaking the mutually recognized rules of the relationship.
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.
Often times, especially in our fast pace 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.
Why do men cheat? 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 complaints about anything, the doubts are back with a vengeance and he needs to look for a new conquest, this is why men cheat.
In the exterior, he looks secure and even arrogant. But it’s insecurity what drives him.
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 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.
Why do men cheat?
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!”
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 undergo counseling 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I do not think that there is a common reason for why men cheat because everyone is unique and their situation is unique.
What happens in marriages to cause problems, such as an affair, is that people feel emotionally disconnected from their partner and do not know how to get their needs met in a healthy manner so they look for other ways to fulfill themselves.
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 cocktail 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.
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 for sex 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 our 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.
29. Modern romantic ideal is the cause for infidelity
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.