Why Do Men Cheat?

In my relationship work, this question is probably the one I hear most often. It is not an easy question to answer. The usual glib answer; "because they can", is really not good enough. People, particularly women, want to know the reason why men cheat, or more particularly, why their man cheated.

Different women have a different view as to what constitutes 'cheating'. For some women, for the man simply to look at another woman may be regarded as cheating, for other women it is being intimate with another person that constitutes 'cheating, and there are some women who appear able to accept flirting and even intimacy with another person but it is an emotional involvement that constitutes 'cheating'.

So let us try first to establish what is 'cheating' and what might be considered 'normal' behaviour in a man. First of all, there needs to be some degree of commitment and exclusivity between the two partners, furthermore, this commitment needs to be understood and agreed by both people. Without this there can be little question of 'cheating' on behalf of either party.

Obviously, marriage, engagement, living together would constitute a degree of commitment. Regularly dating for a period, may also be seen as constituting a commitment. It is here that the confusion starts to arise for a man may not feel he is committed to another person until he has said so to her, for the woman the simple fact that he dates her regularly may be seen as a sign of commitment.

It is where there is a disagreement as to the level of commitment involved, that most problems occur. The man may feel he is free to see another person without it being considered 'cheating' but the woman (his first partner) would be more likely to consider it cheating.

Also, there is a degree to which a man separates the physical act of lovemaking from the emotional attachment to another person. A man is able to perform the physical act without becoming emotionally attached to the woman. A man may often cite that a fling or an affair was 'purely physical' and that it does not mean that he is not now physically and emotionally attracted to his first partner. For a man, this is often true and is not simply an excuse. However, the woman is likely to view the situation differently.

Very often, a woman who suspects her man of cheating wants some evidence or proof of it. This is often to satisfy and corroborate her belief. However, the woman often has not thought through what she would do if the evidence became proof of her man's infidelity.

For the woman, proof of her man's cheating brings emotional hurt and anger. It will often also bring about feelings of distress, loss of self esteem and a feeling that she was to blame. This creates a dilemma for the woman; should she try to repair the relationship out of belief that somehow she has been to blame for his infidelity or should she end the relationship acting out of anger or emotional distress?

The emotional consequences of a man's cheating are not usually apparent to the man, certainly not prior to his act of cheating. It is only afterwards that a man may have some feelings of guilt. However, if he is not found out, then these may subside and the man comes to believe that he can get away with the cheating. Even so, if he tries to continue and to get away with his cheating, he still knows that at some point he is likely to be found out. At this point, it can become a contest, how far can he go without being found out?

To some men, having many partners is seen as a symbol of their status. Even when in a committed relationship, they may think they have a need to boost their status, esteem or ego by cheating. The loss of love, affection and support as a result of a simple thrill, does not occur to them until too late.

In their hearts and minds, men know that cheating is wrong, yet often their egos, their physical needs and, quite simply, the temptations overrule their hearts and minds.

So has this article answered the thorny question of why men cheat? Probably not. This is a complex issue and the causes or reasons will vary from instance to instance. No one can tell you unequivocally why your man may have cheated, not even your man himself.

In such circumstances what you, the two of you, have to decide is whether you want to repair the relationship or end it.

Douglas Woods is a qualified life coach, teacher and counsellor. You can read more about his work at http://www.dougwoods.com. He is also a contributor to Singlescene.net a website for single people.

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

It's one of the ways you can spot a woman... Read More

Relationship Arguments - 7 Ways to Heal Past Hurts

Q: I've read that you are never supposed to bring... Read More

Rekindling An Old Flame

Dr. Nancy Kalish, a psychology professor at California State University,... Read More

Relationship Advice for Women - Beyond the Happy Ending - Part 1 The Nothing Syndrome

We've all heard the stories. The princess finds her prince... Read More

Maybe Not Bones, But Hearts...And Worse: The Destructive Power of Simple Speech

Out of the blue, slap bang in the middle of... Read More

How To Tell If Someone You Meet In An Online Profile Or Advert Is Married/Partnered Or A Troll - 2

Troll Detection Made EasyDue to their overwhelming lack of social... Read More

The Sting of Infidelity Isnt that Bad! Right? Is it?

1. Sleepless nights are part of a victims' experience... Read More

Why Its Important to Stay in Contact with Your Friends when Youre in a Relationship

So often when we begin to enter into a new... Read More

The Narcissist and His Family

We are all members of a few families in our... Read More

Great Relationship Advice: The Ability to Apologize and Forgive

I'm sorry can be words that are much too easy... Read More

When Attracting Sexy Women, Remember... Time And Circumstance Change Everything

Many guys are just too intimidated and full of anxiety... Read More

Great Relationships: What to Do When You Have Drifted Apart

Picture, if you will, the following scene:A man and woman,... Read More

To Love Or To Be In Love

What is the basic difference between loving someone and being... Read More

Make Time for Your Relationship

"We don't have to wait till Valentine's Day to think... Read More

Relationship Advice: 10 Tips for a Blissful Relationship

1.Often in marriage, especially in the early years, there is... Read More

Playing the Part

A revelation came to me at the most unsuspecting time.... Read More

Its Your Fault I Had An Affair!

When you read it like that, out of context, you'd... Read More

8 Ways to Improve Your Long Distance Relationship

Couples in love may often find themselves having to live... Read More

How a Three Letter Word Kills Good Relationships

"You know, I really do love fish!" My friend... Read More

Dangerous Relationship?

I will in this article cover some of my own... Read More

Before Falling Truly and Madly in Love Ask Each Other 10 Pertinent Questions

Falling in love?aaahh what a wonderful experience the first flushes... Read More

Buying A Diamond For Your Special Person?

The first thing you want to consider when buying a... Read More

Why Anger is Essential to Healthy Relationships

Many of us have some very definite ideas about anger.... Read More

The Lies That Saved a Judges Life

What is empathy? Many people confuse empathy with sympathy, but... Read More

Real Solutions For Combatting Extreme Shyness

Most people experience some degree of shyness from time to... Read More

Women Are Not Aliens

One of the very worst mistakes a man can make... Read More

Passion Drought: Turning the Fizzle Back Into Sizzle In Your Relationship; Part 1

IntroductionMany gay men in both short and long-term relationships report... Read More

Reading Each Others Mind

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard... Read More

Relationship Advice: 6 Secrets for Great Relationships

The Law of ContentYou can get into trouble in a... Read More

5 Surefire Ways to Arouse Your Woman

As there are different types of women, there are different... Read More

How To (Wo)man Your Boundaries

The first time I ever heard "boundaries" mentioned, it was... Read More

You Have to Probe Deeper: Why First Impressions Are Dangerous

Do you remember when, as a small child at a... Read More

Lingerie Buying Advice For Guys

Buying lingerie for your lover can be one of the... Read More