Heartbreak, Sex

Why Do People Cheat? 6 Truths About Infidelity & Why Men Cheat

Photo: unsplash / Andre Tacuyan
Why Do People Cheat? 6 Truths About Infidelity & Why Men Cheat

Why do people cheat?

Research suggests the reasons why men cheat differ from those of women — and the sad truth about infidelity is that some men do choose to commit for life while others choose to stray.

Whether the affair happens in a committed relationship or a long-term marriage, it's hurtful. But, once marriage vows enter the picture, they may be more damaging. And, of course, the true definition of an affair is extra-marital.

RELATED: What Women Should Know About How Men Choose Affair Partners — According To 400 Men

Whatever the reason a man has an affair and whatever the state of your relationship or married life is, it’s important not to blame yourself if this happens to you.

You did not do anything to cause or deserve the affair and shouldn’t have to live with the guilt of something that happened to you, not by you.

Whether you suspect your spouse may be having an affair or you are currently dealing with the fallout of discovering you’ve been cheated on, it can be painful and tough to reconcile.

The first step is understanding possible answers to the question, "Why do men cheat?"

This can help you make sense of what happened (or is happening) so you can begin to move on with your life.

Here are 6 shocking but sad truths about why men cheat.

1. Men cheat when they want more attention.

When a guy has an affair, it’s often because they aren’t getting the attention they would like or feel they deserve from you, their spouse.

Although society traditionally assumes it is women who want lots of love, attention, physical affection, and emotional support, men need these things too.

For most men, attention often comes in the form of sex.

Sometimes, women withdraw from sex for various reasons — they're not feeling good about their bodies, are too wrapped up in work or kids, are feeling mistrustful due to relationship problems and issues, or (let’s be honest) simply out of plain and simple punishment.

Unfortunately, sex is a primary vehicle by which men feel loved and cared for and if they don’t get it, they are less likely to stay dedicated to the marriage.

2. Men cheat when they feel insecure.

When men feel insecure, perhaps due to the presence of other men or competing people (even their own children), they may stray.

If a man has an affair because he is feeling insecure, he is likely looking for validation from one of two sources: his new sexual partner or his current spouse, who will presumably freak out upon discovering the affair, thus proving that the man does matter.

This might not be mature, but it is a common reason why men cheat.

3. Men cheat when they lack morals.

Sometimes a man has an affair because he simply doesn’t see it as wrong.

If the man you’ve been married to has an affair and shows no remorse afterward, you may find yourself wondering how you didn’t see this before.

Sadly, women realize all too often that they didn’t know their partner as well as they’d thought when the man strays.

RELATED: The Counterintuitive Reason Happily Married Men Cheat On The Women They Love

4. Men cheat when they feel like they lack control.

A lack of control in their marriage is another common reason why men have affairs.

Marriages or relationships should be equal partnerships. When the balance of power is too out of whack, problems arise.

Sometimes, men have affairs just to prove that they still wield power in the relationship — power to cause hurt, disrupt the balance of marriage, or force issues that perhaps you have been ignoring.

This doesn’t make the affair your fault, but it is a reason.

5. Men cheat when they want to end the marriage.

When men just want the marriage to end but can’t do it themselves, they may cheat in order to force your hand.

This can be very painful because on top of an affair hurting your feelings and making you feel insecure, it can be very embarrassing, especially if joint members of your social group find out.

This is not a very honorable reason to have an affair (are any of them?), but men who do it are most likely uncommunicative and have trouble displaying their emotions, so you’re likely better off without them.

6. Men cheat when there is abuse in the current relationship.

Sometimes, men feel abused in their relationships. Perhaps, they feel like you are too loud, too nagging, too critical, too withholding, or too absent.

If so, they may seek the emotions they’re lacking from you in another woman.

While this does give you some responsibility for what has happened to your relationship, it still does not mean the affair was your fault so don't blame yourself!

Do all men cheat? Of course, not! And they aren’t the only ones guilty of affairs. Women stray, too, and their reasons for looking for romance outside a relationship are often quite similar.

This doesn’t make it right for either gender because affairs are hurtful and damaging.

If you think your spouse may be unfaithful, you have the right to talk to them about it.

The bottom line, though, is that when a man has an affair, they only have themselves to blame.

No matter their reasons for cheating, you did not cause the affair. Even if you haven’t acted as well as you might have in the relationship, the affair is still not your fault.

Never let him tell you it is.

However, if you want to save your relationship before or even after an affair, an open line of communication is always the best place to start. If you care about him, even if he hurt you, then his feelings and reasons should matter.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Your Husband Is Cheating On You, But Doesn’t Want A Divorce

Sean Jameson is a sex expert and the founder of the Bad Girl's Bible site, where he offers a powerful video tutorial on how to talk dirty to your man.