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3. Intimacy. Men want a partner who will listen, who will volunteer information about their own lives and discoveries and someone who smiles and excitedly shares their hopes and dreams. Of course, men don't generally know how to communicate this. In their existing relationship the tendency is to think, "We're married, I know everything about you … " In their new relationship everything is new and exciting and learning about the new partner is initially easy and the feeling of intimate connection is created.
4. Feeling wanted. Everyone wants to feel wanted regardless of age, gender or occupation. Men are no different. And men tend to be socialized to provide security and strength as an expectation, rather than something to be appreciated for. As life moves along a man can often feel like his contribution is taken for granted and who he is, as opposed to what he can provide, becomes less important. In a new relationship suddenly he matters again.
5. Sex. Speaking of fun activities, men generally do want sex and the more the better. Sex is one way that men feel connected to their partner. Men also feel appreciated and wanted when they have sex with their partner. So for men, sex provides the first four items on our list plus physical pleasure that allows men to focus totally on the present moment. In a new relationship the sex tends to be a lot more frequent. At least initially!
So what's the answer?
When a man thinks about cheating it's likely that he's not happy about the relationship he's in and/or that something is missing. What also seems to happen is that men feel victimized by their relationship and believe they have no power to influence a change. "If only she would …" is often a refrain that many married men espouse and yet they say nothing to their partner. Or complain that when they try, she just doesn't listen.
Sure there's a part that the partner plays in all this but I'm talking about the male side of the equation and what the man can do to find what he's looking for within his relationship.
I see four main approaches being part of the cure:
1. Be brave. Speak up about what is concerning you or lacking in your relationship — regardless of the response that comes up from your partner. If you want something different in your relationship, you need to become courageous and communicate clearly. Then the possibility for creating something very different and special can exist.
2. Take responsibility. Be open and interested in what you are doing to contribute to the state of your relationship. And be willing to make your own changes.
3. Recognize the difference between feeling sexual and taking action. Sexual feelings, like all our other feelings, are not under our control. Acting on our sexual feelings is totally under our control. Don't use the "I just couldn't help myself" line to excuse your behavior.