Men cheat. Women cheat. People cheat. It’s true. The question many of us have at Dating with Dignity is, why?
We’ve compiled a list of the REAL reasons why men cheat.
So what is the MAIN reason men cheat?
The answer may surprise you. Most women assume men cheat because of sexual attraction–but in fact, they don’t. According to studies of men who have cheated in serious relationships or marriages, they cheated because they were emotionally dissatisfied in their relationships. An overwhelming majority were feeling underappreciated and emotionally disconnected from their partner. This can be an underlying feeling that’s been happening over time, or it can be sudden.
This isn’t to say that sex doesn’t play a role AT ALL in men’s infidelity. Sex is an integral part of a healthy relationship, and for that reason if a guy is in an emotionally satisfying relationship that’s sexually deficient, it’s likely he’ll look for it elsewhere.
So how physical was it?
Of course, when someone engages in a physical affair they’re most likely attracted to them. However (and again somewhat surprisingly), in multiple studies almost 90% of men surveyed who had cheated did NOT describe the woman they cheated with as being more attractive than their partner.
When does it happen?
Another reason men cheat is to get affirmation that they’re still desirable to the opposite sex–and not the person they’re in a long-term relationship with. Harmless flirting is fine; but when a man is insecure enough about his waning mojo, he’ll seek out women outside of his relationship to confirm he still “has it.” (Of course there are also men who simply enjoy the art of sneaking around, and we hope you stay far away from that type of guy.)
And where do most men meet the women they have affairs with?
Many men who begin to feel underappreciated at home seek out admiration and respect in the workplace. Often these dalliances start out as emotional connections and then progress to the physical. When men have trouble talking with their partners or feel as though they’ve lost a spark in their relationship (mental, physical or otherwise), it’s easy to lean on female acquaintances and friends whom they’re around most often: from 9 to 5.
Other influences that cause men to cheat?
These include getting an extra thrill, being around friends who have also or are currently cheating on a spouse or partner, and feeling as though their partner has changed. If a man feels like his girlfriend or wife has become less caring or has stopped being romantic, it can cause him to seek affection from other women. If she’s vastly different from the girl he feels he fell in love with, he’ll want to find what he used to have with her…somewhere else.
Cheating sucks. The above reasons for why men cheat — if you can call them that — are simply justifications for disrespectful behavior. Hopefully if a man is feeling any of the above inadequacies, he’ll talk to his partner about it first.
So what are three ways you can reduce the likelihood your man turns into a cheater?
1. Don’t lose sight of your well-being/health
Being in a long-term relationship can create a sense of comfort, which is great! But make sure you don’t get too comfortable. For instance, don’t quit wearing make up altogether or make your daily uniform sweatpants and an old tee. Of course this is a completely appropriate outfit for a night in with your guy, but dressing up sometimes will help remind him of your femininity and beauty. Keep your fitness and diet regimen the same as when you two got together!
Just because you’re committed to each other, it doesn’t mean you should stop caring about your waistline or your overall general health. Keeping this up will also help keep your confidence up–and that’s one thing that all guys can agree is HOT.
2. Keep communication open
If you’ve found that something seems odd or missing, it may be time to open up the lines of communication, a la “Hey babe? I noticed we haven’t been doing our regular date night for the last few weeks. How do you feel about renewing that tradition?” This is an example of a nonconfrontational way to rejuvenate the romantic (and important) part of your relationship.
Accepting that you’re both “busy” or that maybe this is just a phase doesn’t cut it. Turn up the volume on your voice and say what you need to say. It’s better to step out of denial and into a solution so you can give your relationship a chance to change and grow over time.
3. Along with the emotional part of your relationship, keep the physical part fresh!
Don’t let your activities in the bedroom get stale. Sometimes it helps to remind yourself and your man how fiery your chemistry was at the start of your relationship. Reenact one of your first dates, plan a weekend away, or settle in for a “stay-cation.”
Some of the best advice I ever got way back when was this: Never go longer than three days (yes, THREE) without having sex with your partner. Sure, you’re tired. And yes, maybe the garlic from dinner makes you feel less than pretty. So what?! We promise that once you get into the groove, your mind will tune into your body and a connection will be established. Busy lives can’t get in the way of maintaining a physical connection. Fake it til you make it to help ensure you stay connected and happy!