Sep 112008
 

Marriage counselor Gary Neuman explains why men cheat (it’s not about being a prettier woman), and offers tips on building a strong relationship.

He also says women have a great deal of power in their marriages and relationships.

First, here are two interesting statistics about marital affairs, from Neuman’s book The Truth About Cheating:

  • 1 in 2.7 men will cheat, and most of their wives will never find about it.
  • 92% of men say that affairs aren’t primarily about sex.

Below is a summary of what Neuman told Oprah Winfrey about why men cheat.

For more detailed information on physical and emotional affairs in marriage, read The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It.

Why Men Cheat – Insights From a Marriage Counselor

Neuman says men cheat because of:

  • Loneliness in their relationship or marriage.
  • Affirmation from “the other woman.”
  • Not enough attention at home.

The women men cheat with make them feel valued, secure, and appreciated. “Men love to win,” says Neuman. “If you want to make men feel secure, make them feel like they’re winning.” The husbands who had affairs said that they felt like they couldn’t win at home or in their marriage.

In The Truth About Cheating, Neuman reports the results of a survey of marriage, marital affairs, and cheating spouses. He surveyed hundreds of husbands and wives to determine the real reasons men cheat. Neuman wrote the book because he saw the overwhelming devastation that happens in families, children, and relatives when men cheat on their wives.

If your husband cheated on you, you may find How to Trust Your Husband After an Affair – From Mourning to Healing helpful.

The Controversy in The Truth about Cheating

Oprah points out the controversy in this book: a lot of the onus for marital affairs seems to be on the women. “How come we have to be the ones to work it out or fix it?” she asks.

Neuman stresses that it’s not the wives’ fault and it’s not a blame game. He says that The Truth About Cheating is a book is about empowering women. “If you do certain things, you can lead your relationship to better place.”

Women think if they appreciate their partners or husbands too much, the men will stop doing wonderful or helpful things around the house or in the relationship. It’s just the opposite, says Neuman. Here’s more marriage advice from Neuman: the more you appreciate your husband, the more he’ll want to please you.

In fact, some marriage counselors believe that you should stay with a cheating husband. If you’re not sure what to do, read Is Your Marriage Over? 7 Signs Your Spouse is Leaving.

How Many Men Leave Their Wives For Prettier Women?

Almost none.

“I had a ton of mistresses, and none were prettier than my wife,” said one husband who cheated on his wife.

Neuman said that 88% of the men said that the other woman wasn’t better looking or in better shape than their wives. Remember that cheating on your spouse is NOT about sex.

Why Do Men Cheat on Women?

The number one reason why men cheat is that there’s an emotional disconnection in the relationship. Husbands or partners feel underappreciated, and report a lack of thoughtful gestures. They’re lonely in their marriages.

Men who cheat find women who make them feel alive, admired, and respected.

“Men are very emotional beings,” says Neuman. The stereotype is that men are unemotional beings, but Neuman says men are very emotional beings, they just express it differently.

Men want to feel like they’re pleasing their wives. If they get the message that they’re messing up, they feel insecure – and more likely to stray. Here’s Neuman’s marital advice to help you achieve your personal relationship goals: express how much you appreciate your spouse.

Most people find people to cheat with at work. A friendship or emotional relationship develops.

Some Husbands Will Cheat on Their Wives No Matter What

Neuman says that 12% of men will cheat no matter what the wife does. Neuman says that you know those cheating spouses because they have a lack of remorse, if he’s cavalier about it, there’s no way to heal the marriage.

Do Men Confess Their Affairs?

Only 7% told their wives without being asked that they had an affair. Neuman said that 55% of the men in his study still hadn’t told their wives about their affairs.

When wives do find out that men are having a marital affair, they know who the partner was cheating with. Usually, people talk about their romantic interests.

Signs to Look for Before He Cheats

Marriage cheating signs include:

  • Spend more time away from home
  • Less sex
  • Avoidance of contact (eg, he doesn’t answer his cell phone).
  • More critical of you

These signs of cheating in marriage are the same when he’s about to cheat, or when he’s already involved in a marital affair. Take Neuman’s marital advice if you want to achieve your personal relationship goals, and watch for these signs of cheating.

Do You Think Your Man is Cheating?

If you think he’s cheating, here are three ways to investigate…

“Go to cell phone records to find out whether he’s very involved with somebody,” says Neuman. “Put a GPS magnet on the bottom of his car, so you can see where his car has been. And, if you think he’s cheating but don’t believe what he says, ask him to take a lie detector test.”

“Lying in a relationship can be more hurtful than the affair itself – and it takes a lot to move past it,” said one woman whose husband cheated on her.

A final bit of marriage advice for men who cheat: “It’s best to come clean as early as possible,” says Neuman. “Be honest with your wife when you’re just beginning to get interested in someone else.”

Did your husband or boyfriend cheat on you? Read Can Trust Him After He Cheated? 5 Ways to Tell.

Relationship Help

Get Your Ex Back
Make your ex regret the breakup and start fresh.

Captivate Him So He’ll Never Want to Leave
Secrets for making a man fall in love with you.

Save Your Marriage
Help for relationships heading for separation or divorce.

About Me

quips tips love relationshipsI'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.

  114 Responses to “Why Do Men Cheat? Not Because the Other Woman is More Attractive”

  1. Reading this stuff really makes me crazy. I would never want to sit with this counsellor just based on his comments about why men cheat or women for that matter! People cheat because they have a character flaw! they think the grass is greener on the other side and it will be for awhile until the problems you experienced with the partner you cheated on re-occur because they will. Until you look in the mirror and stop blaming a woman for not giving you what you want or expect. What are you giving her? I am a 52 year old woman and if I had a man who was thoughtful and thought about me trust me the sex would be amazing!! So tired of hearing why men cheat and what they are not getting at home. Mr. counsellor you really need to look at what you are putting out there!! Hopefully you don’t have a daughter because I am pretty sure she would be disappointed in her daddy’s advise when her husband cheats on her.

  2. Men cheat for different reasons. Some men just want to feel loved outside their marriage, and other men have other reasons for cheating. My husband cheated and blamed my weight for it.

  3. @Kingsley…what a man is supposed to do is be a man and sit down and have a conversation with his wife!!!! That’s part of the problem!!!! How would you feel if the roles were reversed and she had cheated on you?!

  4. Different men cheat for different reasons. I cheated because my wife stopped being interested in sex after she had our children. What else is a man supposed to do, I feel terrible but I want to be healthy and active sexually.

  5. The man I was in love with cheated on me and I caught him. Of course he made it seem like I was the one messing around…go figure right? He did it because he didn’t care about my feelings or truly love me. Now since he sees that’s it over, he’s tried for the last 4 months to get me back. But it’s not happening, you don’t burn me the way he did and expect that we’ll ever get back together. I believe that’s just a part of someone’s make up man or a woman. I don’t think it’s all about, well men need sex more than women or women are emotional creatures. If two people are in a relationship and they aren’t happy they need to talk about what’s not working and either part ways or try to make it better. My grandmother was married to her late husband for 20 years and he truly loved her. Of course they had problems like every relationship does, but he didn’t cheat on her.

  6. A man should take responsibility for his infidelity and work to overcome it. Yes, your wife may or may not have turned her back on an aspect of your relationship that is important to you. However, it’s on you to work your way constructively to see that your needs are met. Cheating is not constructive.

    And it’s deceitful, selfish, and a whole host of negative and ugly things that lessons who you are as a person and what you’re attempting to be as a person.

    I don’t think any of the reasons a man cheats, in this article or in the posts below, are “wrong”. I just don’t see them as adequate justification. I cheated on my wife and empathize with many of the things expressed here as possible reasons. Cheating, however, doesn’t match up with what kind of man I want to be and what kind of person I actually am.

    There’s no way around that in my mind.

  7. I agree, John. I would phrase it a bit more strongly though. After all, we don’t say that someone’s failing to meet their partner’s desire for fidelity. They’re cheating, stealing, lying. Those are strong words, that strongly assign blame. One can fail for any number of reasons, not always their own fault.

    If a woman shuts off sexually and doesn’t see it as a problem and doesn’t try to fix it, she’s not just failing to meet her husbands sexual needs. She’s cheating her husband out of his sex life. She stealing years of his life that could otherwise be satisfying. And the promise of being not just his wife, but his lover was a lie.

    Above, I say wife and husband, but it could just as easily be the husband who’s shut down and not meeting the wife’s sexual needs.

    Maybe some people cheat because they’re assholes, narcissists, psychopaths or whatever. Most of us are just human.

  8. My husband had affair with Taiwanese waitress who worked near his office. He swears not sexual but there were so many absences he’s never accounted for and reasons at time (5) years ago didnt add up. I was having a hard time with two teens at time and felt very unsupported, he later admitted he felt he had lost control as head of house so was opting out and later moved out. I stay with him weekends now and we holiday together. He’s happier in his own place and I give him lots of living attention at weekends and cope with my daughter in the week. My faith (Christian) and kindness of female friends helped me through. Suicidal at one point but over it now and reasonably happy. Unfortunately left me with huge dislike of what i perceive as migrant gold diggers – the woman flirted so blatantly with him (I found the texts on his phone) Issues I still have to overcome still like trust too.

  9. I don’t completely agree with all the reasons the author provided. I cheat simply because I want more variety in my sex life. During my teenage years, I always liked having a different variety of women in my life.

    I love my wife, but I’m not cheating because I want a connection with other women. I’m sleeping with other women because I am sexually adventurous. My wife fulfills me emotionally, she does everything a good wife should. I just want the physical stuff with my mistresses.

    We all have our different reasons to cheat, but I can assure you a lot of men cheat because they want to have sex with a beautiful sexy girl. It’s all a part of fulfilling our sexual fantasies.

  10. My boyfriend of two years suddenly started to become mean and judgmental. He no longer stood my Shortcomings and would point them out even if he knew how much they would hurt me.
    This started when I was going through a phase of minor depression from other factors, non of which I told him about even when he asked. He even once told me how his pal(who he was cheating on me with) tells him that he has a big ego.
    As much as his cheating is not justified, I realized that I rarely appreciated him and his little deeds, something I knew used to make him feel good.

  11. Women wear the trousers in the relationship a man won’t cheat.

    Conformity/ domination.

    Biology and evo- drives are unseen and easy excuses. If you’re brain dead and lap up anything!!! The former throw the latter excuse of male biology into the pan. We live like fishes in a sea of conformity. Ask yourself the answer what’s right in front of you. Is he an ass? Why’s he being an ass? No answer needed.

    Anyway don’t change for assholes or read articles telling you it’s right to.

  12. Hm.. my boyfriend got meaner, stoppier, turned into an arse when I stopped ‘putting out’. Coincidentally the same time I became dependent on his salary. Was is that I stopped putting out? I thought so. I put out, didn’t change a thing!!
    No, it’s cos I lost my job and was dependent on him. Soon as i got my independence, the same paying job as him ( i’m 22 years younger than him and threatened to leave if he didn’t change back to the way he was and continue putting me on a pedestal). Men cheat because they can! and make excuses for that cheating for the same reason.

  13. I am a member of a popular website for spouses looking to have affairs. I have personally talked to hundreds of men cheating or looking to cheat on their wives and I do NOT entirely agree with this article. The reason I hear most often is that men wanting the excitement, the butterflies, and the anticipation that comes along with NEW relationships…and new sex. Most do NOT want to leave their wives and especially do not want to be separated from their children. No, cheating is not right, but in the big picture of things, it just does not really seem like a big deal to me as long as the cheating spouse keeps the family intact and happy in the meantime.

  14. There are exceptions to the rule – but the biological reality is that men need sex at a greater frequency than women do.

    For whatever reason, women tend to meet the frequency demands of men before getting married. But once married, women find less reason to have sex with their husbands. Unfortunately for women, a man’s sex drive does not “go away” once married. Men see sex as a means to solidify an emotional connection. To show love. But they also need it from a simple, biological standpoint. Thus, men can separate love and sex.

    Sex with another woman will not satisfy the emotional connection a man is looking for – but it can satisfy his biological needs. Typically a decent man will attempt to listen to the reasons for why his wife has decreased the frequency of sex. He will attempt to meet the demands of his wife (whether this means helping more with the kids, helping more around the house, being there more emotionally for his wife, etc.). The unfortunate reality is that most men are already doing their fair share of these things, but the wife apparently requires “more”. Ironically this results in the man pulling most, if not all of the weight in the marriage.

    Once this occurs, and sex (whether emotionally fulfilling or only biologically fulfilling), is still limited or inadequate – the man will feel that his wife is not living up to her end of the marriage. This places the man in a very hard spot. He doesn’t want to hurt her, or his family, or his marriage – but his wife is failing him. Is it really fair to expect that a husband should endure a wife that consistently fails him as a partner?

    At that point it is likely he will cheat.

  15. Found out my boyfriend is cheating AGAIN. I am so over it and good riddens. Woo-Wee looking forward to not having a man in my life and just taking care of me and my babies.

  16. Emma , I read your concerns dont waste one more hour or minute with the loser, just dont, you have a career, as you say looks intelligence, move on, and meet that man of your dreams who will appreciate you..I hope you have done this…:)

  17. What scares me most about men cheating on women is that alot of wives have no idea their husbands are cheating. Is it because they don’t see what’s in front of them, because they don’t want to see it, or because their husbands are so “good” at cheating on them?

    I’m less worried about why men cheat, and more worried about not knowing. I don’t think my husband would cheat, but neither do any wives whose husbands cheat…

  18. Wow! Men find ways to make excuses for all men to cheat. Clearly if a man isn’t happy in his relationship, he should just end it and save his partner the pain and suffering instead of lying and cheating just to satisfy his own needs. It’s selfish and unhealthy! Besides karmas a b*tch and so is he if he can’t bean enough to be honest. If you love someone you have to communicate with that person. You try to work your problems out. If there is nothing to work out, then end it! Simple as that. Nobody’s perfect but when you lie your just adding more fuel to the fire eventually you will get burnt! Don’t allow yourself to get cheated on, nor cheat yourself ouy of your own happiness.

  19. Why do men cheat? (Or women).. because they assume they can get away with it in a culture that allows it.

    Culture, upbringing and how that culture punishes or admonishes cheating, determines the amount of cheating. If there’s no set boundaries, men and women can and will cheat. It’s just whether it’s found out.

    Women – kKnow what you’re getting into… A guy way above your league is probably going to at least enjoy getting a lot of attention from other women, even if he doesn’t cheat.
    An older guy who picked you up from school/ college when you were super young (like 16), and he was won’t be looking past a sell by date or into lasting attributes of your personality. Same with any guy with a player history. If he sees women, no matter what as 2 dimensional, then his interest and the relationship won’t be 3D. Know them all by type.

    Of course, cheaters don’t mean that the relationship or that person is bad. They can be faithful, never stray as a look at another girl – but beat you around and treat you like crap. Conversely, you can both cheat, but have an otherwise perfect relationship. Be honest. Both of you have to want to commit to the relationship.

    A maintained relationship is about communication. That’s so true, whether it’s cheating, or the love is fading or you’re just gettin on each other’s nerves. Communicate, that’s how you maintain it.

  20. Most men cheat because they feel inadequate or not emotionally connected. Some women cheat for this very same reason.
    Rarely do people change permanently. It is in their nature to cheat and it is important to accept that.

    I find the only time a person understands is when you divorce them and take their assets, or make them pay high alimony, or if they are socially embarassed.

    But why reform that person? Just thank God u know and walk away.

  21. Hi im saane and i am recently married..got married last year in August and i have two boys…We met through high school and til now we are finaly married and i think this has been 4 or 5 years now that we’ve been together…i have really depress moments with him and i cant help iit anymore he cheated on me so many times but i still forgive him for everything..now i just cant live with iit beacuse i think he is doing it again when he goes to course..i am only 20 and hes 19 we both young parents…i dont kno what to do at times beacuse we always arugue..its not the smae anymore and i dont feel him loving me so much..i miss him when hes away and i love him to bits is just that i dont kno if he has an affair with somebody else…i always have these problems with him but just cnt seem to fix it….i was happy withi him from the start and now i dont kno what to do please help me…not only that but i always try to commit sucide but i cant beacuse i love my kids..I just wish i kno where he goes kos we both dont have cellphones to contct each other…i want more advise to keep my marriage stronger..

    Thanks x

  22. Hi My name is Gloria,am a 21years old and have been in a strong relationship with a guy who is 27 from the age of 17,recently i found out he gets cosy with other girls and flirts on face book with each of them wishing he could have an intimate relationship with them.I confronted him once and he really i mean really got pissed off.So i keep quiet and decided to ignore and continue with life.Second he chats with my pals secretly and pretends that they are just saying hi and apparently the same pals don’t call me as often as they do call him.so i talked to a psychologist who told me to try and indulge him in a soft/non-confrontaional conversation but he still gets angry and later tells me he loves and all the sweet words.Later today i was invited for a cocktail party by a friend so we went,he started looking at the women around and finally settled for one,so when i went to say hi to a couple of friends and turned my head i found him flirting with the girl as close as 2inches away,so when i was going back i decided to let them talk.So he felt funny and stood up to add some more drink to his cup and texted me like ‘what the hell are you trying?’i was like i let u guys mingle in a honest way,so a few minutes later he called his male friend to chat me up,but i was not in the mood of chatting,so i sipped my drink slowly.After a few minutes he came and sat next to me asking me why my mood has changed blah blah blah.Later on i stood and went to add some drink and found the same girl seating at my spot and my boyfriend pretending to walk to the gents.I went and just smiled at him,little to notice that his male friend was there next to my boyfriend whispering to his ear that he got her number but i aint sure.so i made a joke to see his reaction.and said ooh you got her number,he burst into anger and started shouting at me in front of people and commanding me to say bye and we left.I was easy i dint take when we were driving home so when we got there,he just told me this relationship will never succeed,i still kept quite.We got into the house he is not talking to me.A few minutes later he receives a call and walks out to answer,when he got back i asked him who are you speaking to?he lies says no one then says you always think am lying i was talking to my friend at 2.00am.So now we are not talking to each other.I love him so much but it seems i don’t satisfy him.

  23. Virtualist2k- I’m sorry, but that’s horrible. What makes you think it is okay to cheat? Ugh, people like you just disgust me. No concern for other peoples feelings, no disreguard whatsoever. I’m only 14 and I have more sense than you.

  24. Well my man cheated several times with several women.it hurt like hell and drove me insane.but.I rubbed his nose in it like the dog he was.I made him tell all family and friends the truth.even the fact that he got herpes…regretfully something I also have to live with now because of him.I also made sure most the women suffered.one he had to call her husband and inform the man that his wife was cheating …another wouldn’t answer her phone but when her mother did. I was. Inform her what a home wrecking slut she was and was sure to also inform the girls boyfriend of three years I then made sure to put my name first on everything he owns.and made sure his check was directly deposited in my account.that way if he wants to break my hear again ill break his wallet and his reputation.because of him I have some for the restrictions of my life for better or worse baby it your choice what they live once they screw you over.
    years.

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