5 Reasons Why Men Cheat

Today is Wednesday, my favorite day of the week because I get to talk with all of you about sex, marriage, men, and women. Woohoo!

Last week, I promised you a fascinating post asking the age old question: Why Do Men Cheat? I have a few theories, but just for fun (before we get into it), here is one answer from one of my all-time favorite movies:

Rose: Why do men chase women?
Johnny: Well, there’s a Bible story… God… God took a rib from Adam and made Eve. Now maybe men chase women to get the rib back. When God took the rib, he left a big hole there, where there used to be something. And the women have that. Now maybe, just maybe, a man isn’t complete as a man without a woman.
Rose: [frustrated] But why would a man need more than one woman?
Johnny: I don’t know. Maybe because he fears death.
[Rose looks up, eyes wide, suspicions confirmed]
Rose: That’s it! That’s the reason!
Johnny: I don’t know…
Rose: No! That’s it! Thank you! Thank you for answering my question!

Okay, now on a serious note, as much as 50% of men have admitted to having extramarital affairs and, even then, 81% of men refuse to admit to an affair, even if their wife asks the damning question.

I think men cheat for different reasons. I am not be so narrow-minded as to think that all men are the same and cheat for the exact same reasons. Nor is every marriage identical and marriage plays a huge role in fidelity…or infidelity, as it were.

#1. Men are creatures of variety. I have discussed this before and, whether you believe this is a before-the-fall or after-the-fall nature, men still crave a varying pool of women. Whether they give in to that desire is another question entirely.

#2. Men like sex, a lot. I do think that, many times, cheating occurs for the base reason of sexual gratification. They see. They want. They take. However,  I suspect this is not the case for most cheating men. There are other factors at play, perhaps, such as…

#3. Sex at home just ain’t what it used to be. If a man is not receiving a healthy dose of action at home, he might be more tempted to go and find sexual satisfaction elsewhere. Of course, the slowing of sex at home is not an excuse for a man to go and find other means. However, I am of the thinking that the more good sex at home, the less out-of-marriage sex outside the home.

#4. General dissatisfaction at home. Okay, this one covers a whole slew of reasons, but all valid ones. Perhaps he is bored. Perhaps his wife has neglected taking care of herself and is now a faint memory of the hot thing she used to be. Perhaps his wife commits one of the ultimate marriage sins and disrespects him consistently.

Disrespecting a man is like a repellent. Want to keep a man from you, be disrespectful. Want to continue to drive him away, possibly into the arms of another woman? Keep being disrespectful. Point is, any type of dissatisfaction in marriage can move from being a small problem–an annoyance even–to a full-blown affair. To quote When Harry Met Sally, “Marriages don’t break up on account of infidelity. It’s just a symptom that something else is wrong.”

#5. Forbidden fruit. I sort of hate that expression of “forbidden fruit,” but it gets the point across. We all, men and women both, like the thrill of having that which is forbidden and off-limits, that is, if we don’t know Christ. A man rooted in Christ is less likely to be pursuing or tempted by the “forbidden.” Instead, a man after God’s own heart, is more likely to resist temptation and pursue righteousness and, thus, an intact and monogamous marriage.

I’m sure there are dozens of other reasons why people believe men cheat. I acknowledge that there is plenty more room in this list. So have at it–what would you add to the list? Why do you personally think men commit adultery?

Pssst: Next Wednesday is Why Do Women Cheat, so check back. I’m no sexist, gotta cover both sides. Wink, wink.

post image here

28 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Men Cheat”

  1. i think there are much deeper reasons for this that actually are more to the source. i believe your five reasons help to point to something larger. i believe that the majority of men who cheat are lacking in such a huge way, in their hearts, that they are desperate for validation. anything to be validated and to get a sense of worth for themselves. a beautiful woman, saying yes, specifically to a you (in the man’s shoes for a moment) is as powerful as anything. so while men do like sex, and home-life may be lacking, i think that something is wounded within them and they look to women to validate them.

    why isn’t validation from their wife or girlfriend enough? because there is never enough validation… ever, if your heart is wounded.

    could go on and on in depth, and probably will in a post of my own sometime.

    thank you for this engaging post. i loved it, as a faithful husband :)

    1. Brad,
      I think a man’s need for “validation” is an excellent point.

      I could argue though that a lack of validation could fall under #4, as a general dissatisfaction.

      I think some men really can be wholly validated by their wives. I would prefer my own husband to find his worth and value in Christ, but he certainly finds worth in and from me, as well.

      My husband is not wounded though. He is as about as (annoyingly) healthy as it gets and it blesses me (the unhealthier one).

      At any rate, great addition to the conversation Brad. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment.

      1. it really is a conversation worth having over and over again. it is always an open discussion when i lead a mens retreat. thanks again for bringing it up :)

  2. As it turns out, women are cheating more and more these days, and mostly for the same reasons men are.

    I think the reasons you give are good, but there are so many reasone for infidelity… I would wrap it up in to simple concepts.

    Infidelity is the result of pure selfishness and/or a bad relationship.

    Selfishness shouldn’t be taken as bad as it sounds. We’re all selfish. We all need to feel needed, cherished, loved, supported, etc… When we don’t get these things from our spouse, we look elsewhere for them (which may be why some prioritize their careers over their marriages and families). We need to feel all those things for ourselves. That’s the justifiable selfishness. Of course, there is the kind of selfishness that completely disregards the relationship and other deals… and well, we know what that looks like.

    A bad relationship is a whole other series of thoughts that could span several blogs. I have much to say here, and yet this is probably not the venue. but you touched on it…

    1. Antwuan,

      I think selfishness is another excellent point. I would speculate that much of the heartache and pain caused in marriages is due to selfishness.

      I think divorce is an almost purely selfish act, for instance. While it seems selfishness is certainly to blame in many affairs, I don’t know that it is the sole source always.

      I think men are more susceptible to adultery, in that they more likely stumble into it (whereas women I think choose it more often). That being said, yes men are acting selfishly but I don’t know if that is the motivating factor.

      Great points though Antwuan. Thanks for sharing and commenting!

  3. I agree with Brad, for the most part, that it’s because of a bigger picture and that they’re not *whole* or, are broken.
    I also think some men cheat because they want to dominate and can’t. In a past relationship, I was abused. I took it for a lot of years, but one day I was just done, and I took that control back. I sought help for myself and for him, and we went to Domestic Violence therapy together … but in the end, he couldn’t *control* me anymore, so he went out and found someone he could.
    He broke her nose before he ever married her. 6 yrs later, he’s still controlling her and married to her.
    But yeah, so many many reasons that people in general cheat, it could be a lifetime blog.

    1. Ade,

      I think the idea of “dominance” is an interesting one, for sure.

      I guess whichever man was going out having an affair in an attempt to dominate would have to be pretty unhealthy, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally–such as the fellow you described.

      I’m sure that wanting to dominate women, does unfortunately, account for some number of affairs.

  4. This is from the article you posted…
    “No. 2, if you really think he is cheating—and he won’t admit to it—then you should look at his cell-phone records or his e-mail. The next thing going up the ladder is a GPS magnet that you can place on his car to see if he’s being honest about where he’s been. Another option is hiring [a private] investigator or asking him to take a lie-detector test.”

    Is this for real or a joke?

    1. I linked to that article because that is where I pulled that particular stat from…not because I agree with the article itself.

      As a married woman though, I will say that if I suspected my husband was having an affair, you better believe I would be checking his email and cellphone. No question.

      I don’t think I’d hire a P.I. or order up a lie detector test. And yes, I think that article is being serious…causing some poor women somewhere to be running around like crazy, paranoid, lunatics–suspicious of every little thing.

      Commonsense and wisdom, still need to reign, even in the face of infidelity.

      1. to back you up on that. if he is not cheating, then he has nothing to worry about. if he is, how can he really complain about a private investigator? or monitoring?

  5. The reason I hear most is rooted in the basic sin of selfishness.

    “She doesn’t satisfy ME”
    “I don’t love her anymore”
    “I need MY time”

    Sex can be used to manipulate men, but may backfire.

    Don’t forget what God has to say about it:

    Corinthians 7:4-5:
    The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

    Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that (B)Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

  6. Nicole,
    I have just recently come across your blog and I am LOVING it. I appreciate your perspective and your willingness to address issues that usually get ignored. Very thought provoking!

    This particular topic made me wonder how you or others would define cheating. Is there a hard set line or is cheating different relationship to relationship/person to person? Just as you spoke about defining sexual purity in an earlier post, does it make sense to define cheating as well?

    1. Hi Pheobe,

      Thanks so much for the kind words and for commenting.

      I think you raised a great question about defining adultery. I chose not to do so in this post, simply because I was focusing on the “why” not the “what” if you will.

      Also, I think within marriage, most couples know what it is that their spouse would disapprove of or be upset by, regardless of the cultural definition of “adultery.” I was just working under the assumption that married people reading this post would have in their own minds, those things which are permissible or not within their marriage.

      Although, I really like your question and it could prove to be an entire separate post all on its own. Hmmm…giving me some ideas.

      Thanks again for commenting. I hope to see more of you around here too.

  7. LOVE your #4. Thanks for talking about disrespect. I think we fear giving respect because we think it will make us lose power, when really sometimes the way we can “give” respect the most is by just not being “disrespectful.” You are right on in what you said!

    This was a sad stat to me. I’m hesitant about Newsweeks 50% figure. I’m learning when articles say, “some research says” they probably tried to find the most dramatic stat they could to have a shocking title. I think affairs are rampant among men and women, but I’m not sure it’s 50% high across the board. Who knows though…how many people are admitting to their secret affairs!

    It’s so hard to know what to believe with research these days! Anyways, glad Sarah told me about your blog!

    1. Hi Joy,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I dig your blog. It is so fun and fresh…lots of cool stuff for me to check out.

      I think disrespect in marriage (especially from wives directed at their husbands) is the root of many marital problems.

      I have seen marriages transformed as wives simply begin to understand this concept. Love it!

      Glad to make your acquaintance Joy and look forward to getting to know you more via the wonder of the Internet!

  8. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here Nicole! You seem to have covered the most common reasons I reckon. I did notice that they all refer to cheating in terms of sleeping with someone, which got me thinking… would you consider an inappropriately intimate emotional relationship with someone of the opposite sex to be cheating? If they’re as emotionally attached as they would be in a relationship, but not doing anything physically. I’m not sure which I’d find more painful, as a girlfriend/wife. Somehow I think I might find that more painful than my boyfriend/husband sleeping with another woman. Not sure why I think that, since I’ve never been in a serious relationship, let alone married! Anyway, just a thought…

    1. Rachel,
      Great question. Someone else commented and asked if I should have defined adultery in the actual post. I think emotional affairs are just as dangerous and potentially harmful to marriages. I think it very much depends on what lines are crossed within that emotional affair, as well.

      Exchanging sexual innuendos, for example, with someone other than your spouse can certainly constitute as adultery. I think maybe I should write a separate post addressing the question: “What is adultery?” That might be good. Whatdya think?

      1. Interesting that you mentioned sexual innuendoes, as I think that’s an area that so many people don’t see as an issue, and it can be much easier to fall with that, than with physical stuff. Definitely up for you writing a post on “What is adultery?” Go for it! :)

      2. Well, that was completely fu–ed up.
        “for the base reason of sexual pleasure”
        I suggest you dry up and blow away, if you think sexual pleasure is “Base”.
        What a NUN!!

        1. I said that men often cheat for the base reason of sexual gratification. I did not call sexual gratification “base.” Do you see the distinction? You don’t think men cheat for simple sexual gratification? Did you completely misread what I wrote? I’m not sure if you are being obtuse or really did not take time to read what was written…

          1. Talk about a half truth being a whole lie.
            I see the distinction that you are a liar.
            To call the REASON (sexual gratification) base is to call sexual gratification BASE!! The two statements are inseparable.
            A=B B=C A=C
            I misread nothing.
            I see THROUGH YOU, liar!!

  9. Men cheat because when ever things r wright,its kindness being took for granted.most women will cheat n hide it because the one there cheating with they realy dont wana b with.so they keep it hid n steda beaing a women theyd rather b a hore.kiss u sleep with him,take him out cook for u…its all bull shit thats y id rather b single..its better that way.the wrong girl.not women cause thats only for the real ones..will ruin a vreat man if u letem.me I woke up n flew..to eaches own…

  10. I think the main reason that men commit adultery is because he isn’t walking in a close relationship with Jesus.

    I was listening to Moody Radio and the preacher said that behind every act of sin is unbelief. He doesn’t believe that God sees the act, cares about the act, and more.

    Walking in a relationship with Jesus addresses those issues of lust (If a man lusts after a woman in his heart, then he’s already committed adultery), how a relationship should be (husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church), selfishness, etc.

  11. I have affairs with married men because my husband is very ill and I went many years without feeling wanted. The men I have seen feel the same…but their wives are not ill. Their wives nag, bore, disrespect, take advantage and down right hen peck their husbands. One told me it got so bad he has wet dreams at the age of 39! These men make me feel appreciated and wanted for my body. I want no gifts…no romance…just the same as them. Life is too short to miss out on living, feeling good, having ones body worshipped. I feel for men that cheat because they are labelled as scum of the Earth. Tbh…they absolutely love their wives as I love my husband…but…sometimes love is just not enough.

  12. It could sometimes be due to their wife committing infidelity first. Then as time goes on and the memories of what she did fester ever stronger in his mind, he finds himself thinking he should perhaps himself give in to such sinful actions.

  13. My husband use to be a big time cheat and i was curious of getting proofs about it for real then i saw recommendations about ELECTRONICSOLUTIONS44 @GMAIL .COM online and never hesitated to contact him, his a very good hacker and can help hack into any device, social networks including – Facebook, Twitter accounts, Snap chat messages and also any other social media sites. He asked me for some few information about my husband mobile device no personal info was asked for also, i provided it all to him and in less than 24 hours i was getting too see my husband text messages, call logs and as well as whats app messages as they come into his phone, i was able to get good and solid proof for my Antony to file a divorce, if you are having similar issues i would advice you contact ELECTRONICSOLUTIONS44 @GMAIL .COM tell him Leliah Bills referred you.

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