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?
“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.
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I'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.