While the reasons behind every affair might be different, every betrayal leaves behind pain and heartbreak. The experience of being cheated on is devastating and earth-shattering, particularly if you never saw it coming and have no idea why your partner would stray. For most people, it is too hard to fathom how this could have happened.
There are a myriad of reasons why people cheat — some people are bored, some people are lonely, and some people are just plain awful at monogamy. But generally speaking, there are a few reasons cited more than others of why people choose to stray. Those explanations, however, tend to differ based on gender.
Here are the common reasons why men tend to cheat:
He Feels Emasculated
One of the main reasons men cheat is because they feel emasculated. In today’s modern society, women do it all… and sometimes they do it better than their spouses, whether that means bringing home heftier paychecks or leaving them in the dust at the gym.
As much as modern man believes in the equal rights of women and wants to be open-minded, it can be difficult for him to find security and a sense of identity in this brave new world. Most men grew up in homes in which “father knew best.” Dad brought home the bacon, fixed the carburetor, chased the raccoon out of the attic, and hit a home run in the neighborhood pickup game. Nowadays, you’re just as likely to find Mom doing all those things… which is wonderful, but also a little confusing for a dad who suddenly has no role to play in the home.
In fact, in most homes, it can often seem like Mom has all the control. Women are so used to doing it all that it can be very difficult to let go of the reins and let their partners step up to the plate. Some moms barely even trust their spouses alone with the kids, assuming the house will burn down or the kids will go unfed if they aren’t there to micromanage Dad’s every move. Not only is this constant supervising time-consuming and draining for Mom, it’s downright destructive to Dad’s self-esteem. He used to be a tough, confident, independent man… now he can barely be trusted to stack the dishwasher!
All of this tends to make a man feel insecure, jaded, and unappreciated. Craving approval and respect, he may turn to an extramarital affair, in which he can find that appreciation and admiration he once had in his own marriage. (Note: This doesn’t make cheating “right” by any means. Yet it’s useful to look at the reasons behind infidelity, so couples can safeguard their relationships in the future).
He Isn’t Getting His Needs Met Inside the Bedroom
Men and women are equally sexual creatures, yet our relationship with our sexuality is different. Women love the pleasure of sex, but they also love the intimacy, the bonding, and the relationship that comes with it. Men do too, but the sex itself is of paramount importance. Sex not only feels good to men, it also validates them and completes them on a whole other level. For men, sex leads to intimacy (meaning cuddling, affection, nicknames, romance, etc.), so when sex isn’t there, they can suddenly feel distant and adrift in their relationship. Thus, when sex disappears from their marriage or becomes rare and uninteresting, men can take it as a personal blow. Their self-worth takes a major hit and they feel disconnected from their spouse, which makes them more likely to go astray. And all of a sudden the pretty woman from the office downstairs becomes that much more prevalent in his mind.
Here are the following reasons why women tend to cheat:
She Isn’t Getting Her Needs Met Outside the Bedroom
Now that you know men need sex to feel intimate, you might wonder if the same is true for women. Nope, it’s the complete opposite! Women tend to need intimacy before they can really enjoy sex, which means if she doesn’t get the kisses, cuddles, and romance, she is not going to be as likely to enjoy or crave sex with her partner. (It’s easy to see how this can become a vicious cycle. That’s why it’s so important for couples to keep the sex and intimacy cycle in mind when relating to one another.)
If a woman doesn’t get the affection and emotional intimacy she needs from her partner, she might look for it somewhere else, like from the cute neighbor who always laughs at her jokes or the Facebook friend who chats with her for hours. While men tend to look for sex appeal when they stray, women gravitate toward conversation, wit, connection, and romance. They want someone to make them feel special, just as their partner used to in the early days of their relationship.
She Feels Undesirable
Modern man has a tough row to hoe, but so does modern woman. She has to be everything to everyone. She has to be an amazing mom, a stellar employee, a PTA champion, a chef, a chauffeur, a Little League coach, etc. In this whirlwind of activity, it can be easy for her to lose track of her own needs and her own sense of self. Visits to the salon and the gym become nonexistent, and all of a sudden she ends up feeling like a sexless “Mom” machine, someone who is good only for providing juice boxes and making sure there are clean socks.
Of course, there is a sexual person buried deep inside of her, and it is longing to come out. That inner vixen is looking for an opportunity to be noticed, be desired, and be valued. Sometimes a woman can have a hard time finding a way to express that within her relationship, especially as she often wrongly believes that her partner just doesn’t think of her in a sexual way anymore. Consequently, she’ll start looking outside the home for that validation and special attention.
Man or woman, one thing is true: People cheat because they are looking to fill a void. They aren’t getting the love, attention, or sexual satisfaction that they need. This doesn’t give people a right to cheat, but it does explain some of their bad behavior. However, before you go astray, consider this: If you want romance and excitement, then create it within your relationship. Take the reins and plan a romantic weekend or surprise your partner with a bubble bath or massage. Make the effort to improve your bond rather than going outside your relationship for love and validation. If you look a little deeper, you might find that the love you were searching for has been right inside your own home all along!
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