Here’s Why Men Cheat

You can explain why cheating happens, but that doesn’t stop it from being completely indefensible.

So, for the record, I don’t think cheating can ever be justified in a relationship (after all, if things are that broken or intolerable, you can always leave).

man looking at phone with jealous girlfriend

But it does pay to understand the psychological reasons that lead different men astray…

The truth is, there are several reasons why men have affairs in long-term relationships – knowing these reasons will tell you the difference between a guy who cheats once out of a moment of weakness, and a guy who is a total sociopath whom you should run from immediately.

At the end of this article, we’ll look at whether you should ever forgive cheating, and if you can save a relationship after a guy has been unfaithful.

First though…let’s get into the #1 reason why men cheat…

His Inability To Deal With Problems In The Relationship

man texting while girlfriend sleeps

We can psycho-analyse and dig into a guy’s childhood to figure out all the reasons he has warped views about relationships, but at the most basic level: his desire to sleep with another woman comes from an inability to deal with problems either in the relationship or with himself.

For some guys, they would rather sneak around and furtively get satisfied by another woman than simply admit they think a relationship is over.

This is a common reason why married men cheat. They can’t stomach the thought of either leaving or fixing a broken relationship so they seek out a ‘quick-fix’ by getting sex from another woman, hoping this will cover up their dissatisfaction.

But there are also those men who are so damaged or lacking in moral fibre that they will cheat no matter what – come rain or shine, they’ll find a way to have sex with other women, even in the good times – this is the “amoral sociopath”, the kind of man that you really need to watch out for:

Symptoms usually include:

  • a fundamental lack of respect for women
  • absence of empathy for other people’s feelings
  • pure pleasure-seeking behavior with no self-control

This kind of guy is the guy who cheats and doesn’t even feel like he’s doing anything wrong in the first place. If the first type of guy above cheats out of frustration, this guy does it simply for his own ego and gratification.

Self-Sabotage And Need For Validation

couple arguing

Other common reasons men cheat are insecurity (i.e. a constant need to feel validated by women) and self-sabotage (i.e. he thinks he’ll screw a relationship up anyway, so he decides to cheat before he gets hurt).

Of course, there is a big difference between the kind of cheating guy who goes on one-night stands to get his fix, and the kind of man who has a long-term affair with another woman.

The latter kind may be doing it because he’s one of the sociopaths mentioned in the previous section, or he may do it because there is something he feels is missing from his current relationship: usually for men is the need to feel physically desired and respected again by a woman he’s attracted to. By no means does this mean his cheating is justified, but it’s usually symptom of an unfulfilled need that he feels is missing from his wife/partner – while he might get love from his marriage, he may feel neglected physically or frustrated deep down, and look to another woman to help him feel like more of a man.

The point here is not to accept cheating as a part of life (because there are plenty of men out there who never cheat).

It’s simply to understand that can happen for MANY different reasons, and these will usually tell you a lot about the kind of man or relationship you have.

Should cheating ever be forgiven? That’s a personal decision.

It’s easy to advise a woman to leave a guy if she’s 25 and with a boyfriend who cheats on her every month with a different woman, but what about the couple who have been married for 20 years and face just one moment of unfaithfulness in their entire relationship? What about a husband has a one-month affair then comes to his senses?

These questions, like life, don’t always have simple answers, but whatever your decision: it always pays to understand why it happened in the first place.

Knowing the reasons will tell you (a) whether it’s likely to ever happen again, and (b) whether the relationship is worth saving. It can be a long road to repair a relationship broken by cheating, so it pays to look closely at what went wrong in the first place.

Free Guide

Copy & Paste These
"9 Texts No Man Can Resist"

10 Replies to “Here’s Why Men Cheat”

  • Hi! what makes a men stay with one women and says he loves her, and loves the other one ….what i am trying to say is my husband says he loves me and yet he is having an affair with the same women he dated before we got married ,he says he will end the relationship but he cant say when, but he will should i accept this or just let him be ,get out of this relationship cause i feel it draining

    1. Hi lerato,

      This looks like a pretty comfortable situation for HIM (neither for you, nor for that “other one”, though). All he needs to do to settle things is say both of you three simple words that act like a magic mantra or something. The question I want you to think about is who is in control and whether you want to give away so much power over your life to someone else? YOU should be the person in charge. Have self-respect and leave this situation. There are so many faithful guys in the world that can make you happy. No need to tolerate the parasite you are describing in your comment. Hopefully, my words resonate with you. Good luck!

  • I understand that people cheat, and it doesn’t necessarily make them a terrible person. But, what if you find yourself in a relationship with a married man? Do you try to forgive/forget? Do you try to worn his wife (with no intention to break them up for selfish reasons)? I recently found myself in this situation, and I’m feeling like a fool for having so much of my time and energy wasted by a married guy. How do I respond? Even though we’re not actually seeing each other anymore I’m finding it hard to just walk away with little closure. Anyone been in a similar situation?

      1. The first thing is your words that you’ ‘found’ yourself in a relationship with a married man. Did you know he was married at the start? What the truth of this is puts a whole different light on what you would have imagined as being fair outcome. Warn his wife? Well I was warned by one of my husbands many women twice. The first time I just didn’t believe her. Naive now as I look back. The second time was another woman in a text complete with photo evidence. Life changing moment. Then she hides and won’t talk to me. These events took place over a 17 year period and commenced when we’d been married 13 years with two little kids. My husband was a fool, a damaged man who it turns out has more emotional insecurities than there is room to list here. No excuse and if the truth be told I’ll probably never recover from his betrayal. I probably had to know as he was in a place of allowing this woman to blackmail him. But the pain of actually knowing. Indescribable. Think twice before you be that woman, even if your end goal isn’t to have her husband for yourself. There’s an honour among women that’s sadly lacking in these situations.

  • If you look at the many reasons posted accross the internet on why men cheat, you will find out that there are many, many, many different reasons and everyone has a different perspective on why. I found a really interesting one on I’m going to got with their reason.

  • It doesn’t matter why! the real questions are: is this situation acceptable to you? and how much time are you going to waste on a guy who lies and disrespects you? put yourself in his shoes. would you ever be capable of doing what he is doing? they don’t change, they just learn to hide it better. Please all of you reading this article read instead It saved my life and sanity!

  • We are in a 16 y relationship with two children under 11. I found out a year ago he has had multiple one night stands over a 10 yr period, he denied it for a year, turning it on me and lied repeatedly until he came clean over a couple of months. We have been to counseling and he has made a huge effort to change. But I still feel deceived, made a fool of me and broken. I don’t feel for him the way I use to. Is it likely that I’m going to get past the PAST.
    I am confident that if we didn’t have kids I would have left. I’m from a broken family and the thought of putting my kids through that breaks my heart. Any advise ?? Feeling stuck

  • People cheat because of a lack of character. Period. What you mentioned are excuses that people use to justify entitled, narcissistic and abusive behaviour (because cheating is abuse). People go through all kinds of ups and downs and uncomfortable feelings in relationships. Only those with poor character and a sense of entitlement betray. For further education on cheating, Chump Lady is a great blog that explains the cheating mindset in clear language.
    Let’s not make excuses for people who purposefully hurt others and destroy families.
    It’s also important to stress that the cheater is 100% responsible for his/her choices and it’s not because of anything that did or didn’t go on in the relationship. Believe me, many people who were betrayed didn’t feel valued etc in the relationship, but they didn’t manipulate and cheat. If they had character they tried to work on things…or they left. That’s what people with integrity do.

    I find most of Matthews advice spot on… But he really missed the mark on his comments on why people cheat. Let’s not be cheater apologists. That’s Esther Perel’‘s job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All-Time POPULAR Posts