When it comes to men cheating on their partners, it can happen at any relationship stage. Statistics agree that around 20 percent of men are unfaithful in their marriages. This raises the question: why do men cheat? Can cheating be prevented? In the end, it’s not that complicated. There are tons of reasons why some men cheat, and in my never-ending quest to find answers, I have learned a great deal about why men have extramarital affairs.
Here are the 15 most common reasons why men cheat on their spouses.
This is top of the list because quite a large percentage of cheating happens because a partner is angry at the other.
Men are likely to cheat on a woman as a form of reprisal for her bad behavior. Or at least perceived bad behavior.
For example, if a man keeps letting his woman know that her actions get to him, but she refuses to improve that behavior, he may get angry and withdraw himself from her.
The aftermath of that resentment-induced withdrawal is usually cheating, as the perfect opportunity for emotional investment in another woman presents itself when a man is withdrawn from his spouse.
2. Low Self-Esteem
A lot of cheating also happens when a man has low self-esteem. Typical, a person who suffers from low self-esteem seeks ways to be validated by the world outside him.
He or she may dress in a way that seeks approval, speak in an ‘admirable’ way, show smartness, become too nice, and maybe even hurt themselves trying to be ‘liked.’
For too many men with low self-esteem, the perfect show of approval is seen in a woman’s willingness to sleep with them.
So, they go after these women, seeking that trickle of validation. A wife who invalidates her husband, even unconsciously, may be pushing him into the hands of another woman.
3. Boundary Problems
A lot of men have problems with establishing strong boundaries. This may be a result of many occurrences, but one of the most common reasons why people have problems setting boundaries is a people-pleasing mindset.
As mentioned earlier, people-pleasing is one of the many presentations of low self-esteem. It can make a person unable to say No. This means that the man who suffers a people-pleasing syndrome will be unable to say No to the women who hit on him.
Usually, these men hate themselves for a while after the deed has been done. Their wives may be able to pick on his guilt, as he will have random mood swings that suggest something has gone wrong.
Related: 5 Signs He Will Never Cheat on You
4. Sex Starvation
Men are sexual beings. This means they want to have sex; biologically, they are programmed to have as much sex as possible. Do you know that studies suggest that having healthy sex often can improve a man’s cardiac health and might reduce the risk of prostate cancer?
When sex-starved, many men have no other option but to cheat, even though they may really love their wives.
Women usually ask: how much sex is enough sex? Well, the answer is: as much sex as you can give is enough sex. Just make such he isn’t sex-starved.
I would describe resentment to be a silent but bubbling anger towards someone. While anger is pronounced, resentment is not—it just sits there, waiting for the right opportunity to stick its head out and strike.
Many men who cheat on their wives agree to harbor some form of resentment towards these women. They usually say stuff like:
“I don’t know; she just didn’t feel the same to me.”
“Something about her changed.”
“She got fat.”
All these are subtle ways of saying they resented their wives and took to cheating.
Related: Is My Boyfriend Cheating on Me?
6. They Feel Inadequate
Men also feel inadequate in relationships, especially men who have issues with communicating their feelings or ones who have problems with their self-esteem.
Feelings of inadequacy usually present behaviors such as:
—Avoiding home: men who feel they are not important to their spouses may avoid home for a while; they often stay at work for extended periods at the end of work days.
—Drinking: inadequate men usually drink a lot. They hang out with friends after work and down some bottles.
—Cheating: men who feel inadequate are going to seek a feeling of safety elsewhere eventually since they are not getting it at home.
This is usually the chief reason men cheat in relationships that have lasted quite a while.
Eventually, they may begin to feel neglected by their spouses. Neglect, in this case, means not being given the right amount of attention and love.
For men, neglect often produces deep feelings of inadequacy and its associated symptoms, explored earlier.
In this case, showering him with more love and attention may help keep his feelings in check, so he is not forced to seek out other alternatives outside the home.
A neglected man is a cheating man.
8. High Libido / Sexual Addiction
Some men have such a high libido. Many times, with these men, there is usually an underlying sexual addiction such as porn or masturbation, or even both.
Sexual addictions, like all addictions, are compulsive and drive a person to do what he wouldn’t naturally do had he been addiction free.
A man who is addicted to sex and porn may cheat on his spouse when the urge to have sex presents itself when she is unavailable.
He cheats, not because he does not love her (sometimes this is the case), but because he can’t control his urges.
Related: The Signs of a Cheating Husband
This is another common reason why men cheat. In fact, men who cheat because of distance are likely to dismiss it as unimportant or a ‘normal’ thing. “But she wasn’t around.”
A lot of control is demanded when one partner is away from the other for extended periods. In the absence of this control, cheating is bound to happen.
This is why many men are likely to cheat on business trips or when their wives visit family cities or countries away. It is a self-control problem.
10. The Perfect Opportunity
All cheating happens when the opportunity is perfect for allowing cheating. But not all cheating is planned. This goes on to prove that cheating is a problem of opportunity.
When the perfect opportunity presents itself—for example, a drinking party or some vacation where he sleeps in the room just beside his coworker—he might be inclined to cheat.
This kind of cheating is usually harder to find out because the man hides it perfectly. Since it had not been planned, there really is so little to hide. The only clues are usually a change in behavior and mood swings.
Men are lovers of adventure. When adventure seems to be lacking in their relationships, they may be inclined to cheat as a means to feel the thrill that new romance and love brings.
The truth remains that: a lot of thrill comes from having an affair. The wrongness of the affair makes it even more thrilling and adventurous.
You can attempt to keep a man from cheating on you by making sure your relationship is more thrilling and adventurous. When it gets boring, he will be inclined to seek excitement elsewhere.
(An affair that begins as a result of boredom may be sustained for longer periods, especially if the other woman is more sexual and exciting.)
While low self-esteem can lead to cheating, an over-bloated sense of self-worth, as seen in narcissism, can lead to cheating as well.
Typically, narcissistic men believe they can do not wrong. And should they see they’re wrong, they believe they can get away with it.
This feeling that they can get away with anything makes them cheat. Narcissists are quite great at gaslighting and manipulation, so should you catch them cheating on you, they will blame you for it and make you feel guilt you shouldn’t carry.
13. Trust Issues
This happens in two ways:
—He might cheat because he suspects you are: when a man doubts his woman’s fidelity but refuses to approach her about it, he might cheat as a form of reprisal.
It is not uncommon to hear men say things like: “Well, she may be cheating too, so I should cheat so as not to hurt so much.”
—He might cheat because you don’t trust him; because you constantly accuse him of cheating: this happens! Even though he may not be cheating, constantly accusing a man of cheating may drive a man actually to cheat.
A saying goes this way: what you focus on, you create more of.
14. He No Longer Finds You Attractive
Sometimes, a man cheats when he no longer finds his wife attractive sexually.
You can usually tell he is having an affair if he refuses to get intimate with you, but he still doesn’t seem affected by the lack of sex.
This, and extending periods of ‘emergency meetings.’
15. He has Fallen Out of Love
This is usually the final blow. Sorry, he does not love you anymore, so he cheats just because he can. It happens.
Men are sexual beings with quite a love for adventure. They are inclined to cheat when they feel their needs are not met. Most times, though, this has nothing to do with you.