Why Men Cheat – It’s Not Because the Other Woman is Prettier
Marriage counselor Gary Neuman explains why men cheat – and it’s not because the other woman is sexier or smarter. Here’s a deep loo inside perspective of cheating in marriage.
In The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It, Gary Neuman shares what he learned after interviewing dozens of men who cheated on their wives. It’s a fascinating look into why men cheat, and how to prevent an affair. What’s the number one reason why men cheat? Ninety-two percent of men said it wasn’t primarily about the sex. According to Neuman, the majority of men who cheat say it’s because of emotional disconnection in their marriage. Specifically, they feel underappreciated.
“There is a lack of thoughtful gestures,” Neuman says. “Men are very emotional beings. They just don’t look like they are. Or they don’t seem like they are. Or they don’t tell you they are.” Below, this marriage counselor shares a surprising perspective of why men cheat, from both the husband’s and the wife’s perspective.
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If you suspect your husband is cheating, Neuman says there are quiet ways to investigate, such as looking at cell phone records or computer histories, or try using an automobile GPS tracking device if necessary. But first, find out if GPS tracking is legal in your state or province.
This marriage counsellor adds that women have a great deal of power in their marriages and relationships. 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.
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.
If you suspect an affair, read 5 Signs Your Husband is Cheating and Lying About It. It’s my most popular article on Blossom in Your Relationships (my other blog), which shows you that you’re not alone. If you suspect your husband is having an affair, Neuman recommends saying, simply, “Look. The fact [is] that I think you may be cheating. I’ll trust you at your word. I’ve got no choice. But there’s something wrong with us.”
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.
The Controversy in The Truth about Cheating
Oprah points out the controversy in this book: a lot of the blame for affairs in marriage seems to be on the women.
“How come women have to be the ones to work it out or fix it?” she asks.
Neuman stresses that it’s not the wives’ fault that men cheat, and it’s not a blame game. He claims The Truth About Cheating is a book is about empowering women.
“If you do certain things, you can lead your relationship to better place,” he says.
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.
You can lead your marriage to a better place if you are appreciative of your husband. Learning why men cheat isn’t just about stopping tragedy. It’s about building a much more mutually beneficial relationship. 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 because you’ve already hit rock bottom! If you’re not sure, read Start Fresh or Say Goodbye? 7 Signs Your Marriage is Over.
How many men leave their wives for women who are more attractive? Almost none.
“I had a many mistresses, and none were prettier than my wife,” said one husband who habitually cheated on his wife and yet wanted to stay married.
Neuman said 88% of the men said that the other woman wasn’t better looking or in better shape than their wives. Cheating on your spouse is NOT about sex.
Why Men Cheat
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 have affairs are cheating with 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 have a closer marriage: express how much you appreciate your spouse.
Most men find people to cheat with when they’re at work. A friendship or emotional relationship develops when they’re doing something they’re both passionate about or interested in.
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.
Warning Signs That a Man May Cheat
Possible advance signs of an affair 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 relationship goals, and watch for these signs of cheating.
In Connect to Love: The Keys to Transforming Your Relationship, Neuman’s shares what he learned about love and marriage after interviewing more than five hundred women. The book is filled with surprising information about love, sex, and marriage – it has the power to change your relationship. When it comes to sexual intimacy, for instance, wives who are satisfied with their marriages have sex more than twice as frequently than those who are dissatisfied.
Why One Man Cheated on His Wife
On the Oprah show, Brian and Anne said they never thought they’d be talking about why men cheat. They also didn’t know that it’s much easier than they thought for one spouse to have an affair in a marriage. Anne says Brian was never gone in the evenings, they were emotionally connected, and they had sex every night.
Yet, Brian was secretly having an affair on his lunch hour at work.
Slipping into a secret affair is surprisingly easy
“I was always under the belief that affairs happened to people in either bad marriages or where there’s no sex going on,” said Brian to marriage counselor Gary Neuman. “And because we had both of those things, I was really unaware of how easily I could slip into an affair.”
Brian says he started having his affair with a person who at first was just a friend. This is why the lines between emotional affairs and innocent friendships often get blurred. You develop a connection with them through some sort of common interest. You don’t choose to have an affair; it just happens.
Gary says most men meet the person they have an affair at work or through a hobby.
“It begins as an emotional relationship. There’s a friendship that develops. It’s not just looking for the sex,” says this marriage counselor. “We all have this picture of cheaters as the bad guys. They’re horrible, rotten, not nice. No, they can be nice people who get lost, who do the wrong thing. They can be your husband.”
Do You Think Your Husband is Cheating?
If you think he’s cheating, here are three ways to investigate…
“One, go to cell phone records to find out whether he’s very involved with somebody,” says Neuman. “Two, put a GPS magnet on the bottom of his car, so you can see where his car has been. And three, 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.”
An affair is definitely a warning sign of a bad relationship, but it doesn’t mean your marriage is over.
I welcome your thoughts on why men cheat, but I can’t offer advice or counseling. I hope your partner isn’t having an affair. If he is, I pray you have the strength to know what to do.
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