Men cheat for a variety of reasons.
Below is a laundry list of 25 reasons men cheat, based on my 17+ years of research on the topic of infidelity.
As an infidelity expert, I’ve interviewed somewhere between 8000 and 10,000 people about various aspects of infidelity (maybe more – I’ve lost count over the years) – men and women; infidelity victims and cheaters.
Below are 25 of the more common reasons men cheat. Bear in mind that some men cheat for several of the reasons on the list below.
And just so we’re clear, infidelity is wrong. None of these are valid reasons for cheating on your mate.
25 of the Many Reasons Why Men Cheat
1. Inability to say no. He attracts sexy women who come onto him, and he doesn’t know how to say “no.”See How Good Men End Up Cheating on their Mates.
2. To boost his ego – Infidelity is an ego boost for a man with low self esteem – especially if he’s less successful or earns less money than his.
3. Peer Pressure. He spends a lot of time in the company of people who cheat. His workmates, or close friends are cheating on their mates. So he succumbs to peer pressure and cheats to be part of the crowd. See Infidelity Traps - 12 Ways People Unintentionally Get Drawn into Cheating on Their Mates
4. To end the relationship. Sometime a cheating man will have what is called an “exit affair” because he wants end the marriage or relationship. Instead of manning up and telling you it’s over, he takes the coward’s way out, knowing that if you catch him cheating, you’ll leave him or kick him out.
5. Because you let him- He cheated before you let him get away with it. See If He’s Cheating, Take a Firm Stand.
6. He views it as a status symbol. Many men consider it a status symbol to be able to afford a mistress. He may view it as one of the trappings of success.
7. To satisfy his sexual orientation. If he’sgay or bisexual, he may cheat on you by having affairs with other men. See the free Same Sex Infidelity tip sheet.
8. To see what it’s like to have sex with someone else. Men who married young, or had limited sex experience before settling down, may cheat to see what they might have missed.
9. Because he knows he can get away with it. He cheated before and you didn’t find out, so he’s confident he can do it again. See 7 Steps to Catch a Cheating Mate .
10. Opportunistic sex. He was presented with an opportunity to cheat without the fear of getting caught, so he took advantage of the situation. See How Good Men End Up Cheating on their Mates
11. A Sense Of Entitlement. Many men feel they’re so rich, famous, handsome, sexy, charming or ____________ (you fill in the blank) that they are entitled to cheat because of who they are.
12. He figures you’ll never find out– He thinks you’re too stupid, too naïve, too busy, too in love with them, too trusting to find out, or even suspect that he’s having an affair. See Is He Cheating? Is She Cheating? –21 Ways You Can Tell
13. To prove his manhood. Some men think that the more women they have sex with, the more manly they are. They think cheating is a macho thing to do
14. The thrill of the chase. Some cheaters actually thrive on the excitement generated by a secret affair. They view all the ducking, dodging and sneaking around infidelity involves as a form of recreation, or a high-risk sport.
15. He’s a player. He’s a hardcore cheater for whom cheating is a way of life. He likes having lots of women and pitting one against the other. To him, it’s just a game.
16. He knows you’ll take him back. He knows you’ll never leave him. He cheated before and you didn’t hesitate to take him back without making him go through any changes or holding him accountable for his behavior. See When to Give Cheater a Second Chance.
17. Love. Some men cheat because they’re really in love with the other woman. It may have started out as a cyber affair, or an innocent friendship that became an emotional affair, which progressed to sexual infidelity. See Emotional Infidelity Usually Leads to Sexual Infidelity.
18. Poor role models If his father, uncles, or other male role models cheated, he may be subconsciously programmed to follow their example, considering infidelity to be the norm – especially if the female role models in his life tolerated the infidelity.
19. To participate in certain sex acts. Some men cheat to fulfill their sexual fantasies, or because they want kinky sex, or sex acts their wives or girlfriends won’t perform.
20. The influence of drugs or alcohol A great deal of infidelity ( especially one night stands) can be attributed to the influence drugs or alcohol, which can lower inhibitions, and impair good judgment, resulting in behavior the cheater may later regret. See Infidelity Traps - 12 Ways People Unintentionally Get Drawn into Cheating on Their Mates
21. Cultural reasons– He may come from a culture (Caribbean, certain European or Asian cultures) where it’s common for men to have mistresses.
22. To see if he’s still “got it.” Men in their 50’s and older sometimes cheat just to reaffirm their sexuality. They cheat to prove they can still attract and sexually satisfy another woman – usually one who is younger than their mate.
23. He knows you’ll put up with his cheating Some men cheat because they know their partner will look the other way - as long as they’re discreet, keep their infidelity low key, and avoid publicly embarrassing their mate. See Why Women Stay with Men Who Cheat.
24. Revenge. Though revenge cheating is more with women than with men, sometimes a man will cheat to get back a wife or girlfriend who cheated on him. See 3 types of Revenge Cheating or Retaliatory Affairs
25. Sex addiction– probably the only reason on this list that can halfway be excused because true sex addiction is a medical condition in which the cheater really can’t help himself. If he’s truly a sex addict, he needs to get professional help. But true sex addiction is not as common as men would have you believe. See Could Your Cheating Husband or Boyfriend be a Sex Addict Like Tiger Woods or Jesse James? Many cheating men use sex addiction as a cop-out AFTER they’ve been caught.
Other Reasons Why Men Cheat
This is by no means a complete list of the reasons why men cheat. Men cheat for other reasons, including the ones listed below:
- low moral values
- he doesn’t believe in monogamy
- because he thinks that all men cheat
- because he didn’t think you’d really care
- because he’s spoiled, selfish or inconsiderate and wants to have his own way
- because he wants to have his cake and eat it too
- just because he can
- he wants to make you jealous
- he’s a nonconformist who likes breaking rules
- to prove to himself or his friends that he’s smart enough to cheat without getting caught
As previously mentioned, many men may cheat for a combination of the reasons above.
Precautions You Can Take
Infidelity can strike anyone at anytime. No one is immune. See Will You Be the Next Woman to Become a Victim of Infidelity?
For ways to reduce the likelihood that he will cheat on you, see How Can I keep Him from Cheating on Me?
The best thing you can do is educate yourself about infidelity because you can’t afford to be the last one to know. See What a Betrayed Wife Stands to Lose by Being the Last to Know
The sooner you can spot the signs of an affair, or the early warning signs of impending infidelity, the better your chances are of short-circuiting the affair, getting your marriage or relationship back on track, or taking steps to minimize the damage infidelity can cause. See Is He Cheating? – Is She Cheating? – 21 Ways You Can Tell.
For practical advice from an infidelity expert on on spotting, understanding, or dealing with infidelity, visit www.NationalInfidelity.com , or see the list of articles below.
*** © copyright 2010 Ruth Houston All Rights Reserved.
Ruth Houston is a New York-based infidelity expert who is frequently called on by the media to comment on high profile infidelity and popular infidelity issues in the news. She is the founder of www.InfidelityAdvice.com, the author of Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs, and publishes the Infidelity News and Views blog. To interview infidelity expert Ruth Houston, or have her speak at your next event, call 718 592-6029 or e-mail InfidelityExpert@gmail.com
For practical advice on catching a cheater or dealing with infidelity, see the articles below:
Will You Be the Next Woman to Become a Victim of Infidelity?
Is He Cheating? Is She Cheating? –21 Ways You Can Tell (free tip sheet)
28 Ways to Stay Faithful to Your Mate (free tip sheet)