Why Do Men Cheat?

“D-day” – commonly known as the day the allied troops landed on Normandy beaches, changing the entire course of WWII and the world as we know it. Fittingly, this is the term relationship counselors use to describe the day you find out your spouse has cheated.

On my D-day, I couldn’t make sense of anything. It was as if I had lost all ability to string logic together, and the only thought I was capable of forming was a single word.

Why?

If you want more sex, I am down. If you want variety of women, then buy me a fucking wig and call me Sandra. If you want to have your cake and eat it too, I’ll bake for you damnit. Don’t go down to prostitue candyland, my goodies are of much higher quality.

It plagued me for months, and it plagues some women for years. What in the hell is so wrong with me and my vagina that he needed twelve others to supplement? (Answer: Nothing. Your vagina is fine, and you should be glad that you don’t have thirteen.)

Saturday night, I met a cute boy. We talked intimately for at least ten minutes, and there was great chemistry happening. When he had to leave, he took out his phone. “Did you put your number in there?” he asked.

Something about his phrasing was very off to me. “No. You never asked me to.” I replied.

He said he wouldn’t ask, but he wanted it. I specified that he needed to ask.

Suddenly, his voice began to stutter. “I’m sorry,” he said “I went down a road that I shoudn’t have gone down. You are so beautiful, but I can’t ask for you number. You are amazing and I am so sorry.”

And then he was gone.

What is so wrong with me? I thought for the thousandth time. Being the appropriate level of drunk for an emotional breakdown, I started to cry in the middle of the bar. Then, after a pep talk from my dear friends Amanda and Hunter, it was clear: absolutely nothing was wrong with me. This man was spoken for by another woman.

So why did he risk whatever beautiful woman he has at home and step into this dangerous gray area?

From all of the lame excuses, counseling, and even the infidelity retreat I went to with my ex (romantic getaway, let me tell you), I have pieced together a top three list of why I think this happens. It may not apply to all cases, but there is a hopping bar scene and a cheater’s retreat full of men (and women) who prove me right.

Men cheat because:

…they like variety. A result of pure Darwinism. They are programmed to spread their seed around like fucking pixie dust. It doesn’t make sense to us females because let’s face it – who wants to be pregnant as many times as possible? Only that Duggar lady. No one else.

…they are bored. When porn became commonplace to my unemployed ex-husband, he needed a new hobby to practice while I was at work. Apparently, dating other women barely edged out crocheting. Oh, how I wish it had gone the other way. Think of all the sweaters I could have.

…they can.  “I didn’t think I would get caught.” That is what my ex told me over and over again when I asked him why. Funny how he thought he was smart enough to fool me for the rest of our lives, yet was dumb enough to save the receipt from a hotel room he paid for in cash. Once the gray area is entered, most people think they can get away with cheating. This is because in all truth, they already have. It’s pathetic, it’s terrible, and it’s true.

So how do we stop it? Role play as his third grade teacher? Make him a balloon animal so he doesn’t get bored? Microchip his ass?

As helpful and legitimate as these solutions are, it is my opinion that there is only one way to stop a man from cheating. Find a good one. A really, really good one.

But even if he cheats, know that in all likelihood, he would have cheated on anyone.

It’s not you, it’s him.

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39 thoughts on “Why Do Men Cheat?

  1. Amen, sister. Very, very, very true. Although, according to my ex his cheating was my fault because I wouldn’t sleep with him. And I wouldn’t sleep with him because he was an asshole–I won’t bore you will all the reasons. But at least he married her. And they’re getting divorced now. Why? She was caught cheating on him. The poetic justice.

    • Mine married his mistress (I mean “friend”.) but that was because she makes him a better person. I was the one he married because I was good in the sack… (Yes those were his words, and you probably have the same expression on your face as our marriage counselor did.) It’s not about sex, it’s about commitment, respect, and loyalty, either they’ll have it or they wont (and they’ll use yours against you)…. So bring on the really, really good ones, I have no desire for the rest!

    • Oh my lordy, what karma. Serves the bastard right.

      • Oh, it does. The sad thing is that they had a daughter who gets caught up in the divorce. And yes to Stephanie–the really, really good ones are worth waiting for, but sadly hard to find…

  2. ratiomale says:

    Yay, shout out!

    Also- insightful post.

  3. Yes, FANTASTIC!! 🙂

  4. Mandytownz says:

    Shout out!!!!

    Love you an insane amount lady! Also, literally dying about the “want your cake” line. Dying.

  5. thesecond says:

    Thirteen vaginas. Heh. Nice post.

    There’s a lot of reasons to cheat. You hit part of it. That guy who wouldn’t cheat with you? He felt guilty. Some guys feel guilt when they cheat, some don’t. Your husband apparantly didn’t when he cheated. Some people are born to cheat, perhaps from genetics, perhaps from upbringing, perhaps from their friends. Some people aren’t. That’s certainly true. And for your husband it was probably the main reason. But there are risk factors that can make a lot of men cheat.

    1. A shortage of sex. Common with career women, if you don’t fulfil his basic needs in a relationship he’ll break up with you, cheat on you, or get depressed.

    2. Regular offers of sex from young, beautiful women. If your husband works as a photographer for models or lectures for a university then he’s going to be much more at risk.

    3. Terrible sex. If you have trouble bringing him to orgasm that can cause serious relationship issues.

    4. Emotional or physical abuse can easily drive him into another vagina.

    5. Alcohol or drug use can make guys stupid, though of course you have to chose to get hammered in the company of attractive women.

    If you didn’t hit him or insult him, had a great sex life, and he wasn’t swimming in beautiful women or getting drunk or drugged up, it’s almost certainly him.

    How do you stop it? Ask if the guy has ever cheated in the past, and what he thinks of cheating. Serial cheaters cheat a lot. Were there any obvious warning signs like him cheating in the past that you saw?

    • Yes, I agree- there are other reasons. Those three were only the tip of the iceberg, but I really think to be a serial cheater, you need one of those.

      Trust me, there was no shortage of sex and I was the one who always wanted more. And he sat at home literally all day on the computer. The only offers of sex he got were after he made a dating profile. I do think alcohol could have caused the beginning of it. Then, once he cheated a couple of times “under the influence,” he figured out he could get away with it and made it a habit.

      Sad life.

      • brains says:

        alcohol does not cause people to cheat. think of alcohol as a key. think of the opportunity to cheat as being inside the locked room. if a man cheats while he is drunk, then the key opened the door. without the alcohol, he kept that door closed but had to make the effort. the drinks opened it, but he still had to make the choice to walk through it. it means that he always wanted to go in there but held himself back. once that key opened that door, he took steps forward and entered.

  6. kzackuslheureux says:

    Once again, you’re on the money. Hasn’t every girl known a cheater or two, in their day??? Women cheat to feel “pretty,” Maybe guys want to feel like the “mackerel.”
    But true, true, true, find a good one and don’t aim any lower.

    • It is so funny that you say that- all of the women at my cheater’s retreat who were unfaithful cheated for attention or revenge. With the men, it had nothing to do with their wives. It was pure selfishness on both counts.

      • Your way of bringing humor to a humorless situation is sooo admirable. Loving!!!! But wait… Back up… There’s such thing as a cheater’s retreat???

      • Oh, yes. There is a really amazing group of people who run the site affairrecovery.com and dedicate their lives to helping people recover from affairs, and hopefully stay together if the cheater is willing to change. The counselors are so wonderful and were very supportive of me every step of the way as I decided whether to stay or go. People flew in from everywhere for the retreat. You don’t realize how many people cheat until you hear all of their stories. It was a very emotional experience.

  7. Kim says:

    Very well put!!!

  8. zkhei says:

    I myself have never been cheated on, but some of my friends have gone through it. And it struck me while I was reading your concluding remarks that many of them didn’t realise that it wasn’t about whether they were good enough girlfriends, it was about him. The type of guy that he was: A fking dirt bag, no doubt.

    Treat yourself like a Queen and you’ll find your King 😉

  9. Lindsey says:

    My ex cheated on me with one woman that I know of, more than 3 years later they’re somehow still together (I love that they celebrate their anniversary – based on when they started sleeping together and we were very, very much still married). He’d just gotten his SECOND DUI and didn’t appreciate the fact that I was angry about it and how it would effect us in the future. So he got drunk on tequila shots and had sex with her in a bathroom and the rest is history. Once she told me that she hoped I got genital warts. She’s a classy lady.

    • Wow. Isn’t it funny when you go from a completely normal person to someone who could totally be on Jerry Springer?

      I cannot believe that scumbag and his little whoremonger. They deserve each other, and you deserve better. Stay strong!

      • Lindsey says:

        For real, I think we’d be best friends if we lived in the same city. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called her a whoremonger. Best. Word. Ever.

        It helps to know that she has terrible cankles AND once I made fun of her outfit and choice in hairstyle to him before I knew she was giving him head in a Mexican restaurant on a regular basis.

      • Cankles are the worst! As are people with poor taste in clothing. If that’s what he wants, more power to him. I hope he enjoys the venereal diseases.

  10. brains says:

    i don’t think all cheaters can be categorized, and i’m not suggesting that you have attempted to do so. i don’t think there’s a “gene.” i think it comes down to the same thing that causes bullying. learning and upbringing. cheating obviously is connected to relationships. the way we conduct ourselves in relationships is controlled by what kind of respect we lend to relationships, and the respect we lend is based on what we were taught about communicating, especially with parnters.

    i’ve had two long-term relationships. in one of them, the first one, i cheated after about 9 years in. she became physically and verbally abusive. i spent more and more time away from home to avoid it. i met someone in a similar situation, abused by her husband, and we gravitated to each other. it led to me divorcing, but that was going to happen anyway. the cheating and the divorce happened because our needs were not being met. she stopped working, which forced me to get a second job. she insisted i stopped playing weekend golf and/or tennis. she would never leave the house and became very unsociable. we used to go to parties and things together, but then she never wanted to go anywhere. just wanted to sit home, watch tv, and sleep. she wanted a big house, and i ended up with three jobs to pay for it while she sat around and did nothing. i tried to change that, but she grew violent when i tried to discuss making changes. you could say i should have waited until divorcing before getting into a relationship with someone else, but like i said, it would have happened anyway.

    second relationship was only about three years, but it was terrific. we talked. we understood each other, what we wanted and liked, what we didn’t want or didn’t like. without details, one day she made a suggestion about something sexually unusual. it sounded interesting to me, and i said, “let’s give it a shot.” it was nothing i had ever done before, but it showed me that this woman knew how to operate a relationship. she knew how to be upfront and say, “hey, what do you think about…?” and if she hadn’t said that, maybe she would have had an unsatisfied itch, and she would have found someone else to scratch it. and if i wasn’t willing to go along with it, then maybe she would have had every right to find someone else who was willing to try it. we weren’t breaking any laws or doing anything bi-sexual (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but part of why i was so thrilled about the relationship and committed to it was because we made sure we knew what page we were on, and we stayed on the page together. oddly enough, the reason that relationship ended was because after a while she did not want to continue the unusual thing that was initially her suggestion, but i was still very much into it. she felt that it was just a phase, just something to try, but she had caused me to feel like, “no, you started this, and i’m enjoying it, and i don’t want to stop it.” now, what she did wrong was break up with me without warning. what she should have done was say, “hey, it was fun, but i’m done. and we either have to stop doing that, or we have to stop our relationship.” but she didn’t do that. she just said, “g’bye.” that was wrong. i guess perhaps i’m causing people to think, “well what the hell were you doing? after all that set up, you gotta tell us?” and if someone wants to know, i’ll share that, if someone asks.

    we americans have a funny attitude about sex, and that’s probably causing more break ups than anything. i had a discussion with someone who was fired from a job because he sent an e-mail through the company e-mail system in which he talked about a woman he met and the sex he had with her. but a co-worker at the same company got into a fight with a co-worker, a physical fight, and nothing happened to him. that seems backwards to me. i can punch someone in the face and i’m okay, but if i talk about sex – in a private e-mail that nobody else sees except me, the guy i send it to, and the boss who snoops through company e-mail, then i would be gone. i don’t get that.

    • You know, I can see that some people get into relationships and their needs are not being met.

      However, I think that if you feel any desire to cheat, you should probably break up with that person. Sometimes, it’s not always easy and the cheating is what leads to the breakup. It’s almost easier to say “I cheated on you” and be done with it than try and explain all of your complicated relationship problems.

      Regardless, if you feel an overwhelming urge to cheat, it may be a sign that you shouldn’t be together.

      • brains says:

        yes, agree. however, if someone has an urge to cheat, then they should (but of course they won’t) ask themselves why. why do i have the urge to cheat? what am i not getting from him/her that i think i can get from someone else? sometimes, it’s just the “someone else.” the feeling that “i still got it! yay! i am the lion tamer! wheee! aren’t i wonderful?!”

        pathetic.

        however, the guy who wouldn’t ask for your number, hmmm. that’s interesting. i need to re-read that. my first instinct said that he wanted to be able to tell himself (or his wife/gf) that he never asked for your number, if the wife/gf ever to happen to see it. maybe it was a way of playing semantic games and saying that he didn’t know how it got in there. it was a weird kind of macho thing i guess.

        guys suck. i wish there was a third gender that i could claim to be.

      • Haha, yes. I was so baffled by him, but when I truly thought about the semantics, it made so much sense. He could justify TAKING my number and USING it, as long as he wasn’t the guilty one ASKING for it.

        Funny how people use those technicalities to justify.

      • brains says:

        you must have moments when you look in the mirror and say, “look at me. (i mean intellectually as well as physically) why is there not a line of men throwing themselves at me? promising the moon and a parking lot?” and you’d have every right to expect that and more.

        i was thinking of writing a book called “separation, divorce, and recovery.” it would examine IF someone should separate, WHY we separate, WHAT we can do to stay together, WHAT we should and shoudn’t do when it seems hopeless. HOW to divorce without wanting to kill each other, or actually doing it. WHAT to do before you start dating again, HOW to start dating again, and more and more.

        i’m sure there are many books about that, but i’m also sure – as those others are sure – that i could translate my real experiences as a worthy “how to” guide. and there would have to be the same chapters/sections with a female point of view to compare my thoughts.

        if i ever do that – provided none of your brilliant readers jump me for the idea – i’ll ask you to help with the female perspective.

        oh, also included would be a guide for people to figure out if their parnter is cheating on them. i have some really sneaky ways to figure it out. shhhh.

  11. food.life.zen. says:

    I find it very interesting that I completely misinterpreted the situation before you explained it.

    I was thinking along the lines of the guy was a player and was feeling guilty because you were too good to just be another girl he toyed with. No? Too much hope in Mankind?

    Also, never thought I would do such a thing but just finished reading “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” by Steve Harvey. I am not one to do much reading with everything else going on in life, but honestly was totally worth it. It will change the way you see every man.

    • I actually did read that book! You know, he has got a lot of insightful tips. I did skip the chapters on “how to introduce your kids to you new bf” as it doesn’t apply to me. What he said about men needing to be secure in what they do, who they are, and how much they make makes so much sense. My ex was not secure in these and it really shed some light on the situation for me.

      Also, it’s much easier for me to identify the “sport fishers” out there after reading that. I am not looking for anything serious myself, so I don’t mind, but I do like knowing up front whether anything serious will ever come of the situation and setting my expectations accordingly.

  12. AtPeace says:

    Read Sex at Dawn. I found it amazing, eye-opening, uncomfortable, fascinating, and paradigm-shifting.

  13. A friend once shared a quote with me: “A whore is a woman with a man’s morals”.

  14. Hoo Sze Ling says:

    Maybe the thrill is what really drives it. Sometimes after the relationship has settled, it is hard to recapture the excitement that was there in the beginning so this is one way around it. The thrill of having different lovers, keeping it under wraps and that feeling of “outsmarting” the main girlfriend could be driving the behaviour.

    May we should examine why some women LOVE this type of men and actually consider marriageable material. Men see women as two separate distinct groups: one type which they marry and the other which they screw around with for fun. Maybe women should start seeing men the same way too, and be a little smarter about their husband choices?

    • you know, it is much harder to categorize because with men, they determine if they’d like to marry or mess around with the girl. women can’t tell if the guy is messing around, because he is hiding it. i never had a clue

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