Sometimes good men, with the best intentions end up cheating
on their mates. Photo: ietockphoto.com / Daniel Laflor
How does something like this happen?
This article, part 1 of a 2-part series, will address a seldom-discussed aspect of infidelity: how even a “good man” with the best of intentions can succumb to infidelity, and end up cheating on his mate.
Part 2 – the companion article to this one, entitled How to Keep from Cheating on Your Wife, covers over 28 tips to help a man avoid infidelity, and make it easy for him to stay faithful to his mate.
This Article is NOT an Excuse for Infidelity
Let me start by saying that this article is not an excuse for infidelity. I firmly believe that there’s never any valid reason for any husband to cheat on his wife – or vice versa.
Infidelity is wrong, regardless of the circumstances under which it occurs.
Having said that, let’s look at some of the contributing factors that come into play when a “good “man ends up cheating on his wife - a man whose friends, family and associates would never expect such behavior from him – a man who” just doesn’t seem like the type.”
How does a man with a stellar reputation, a good marriage, a family, a beautiful wife, a successful career, excellent prospects for the future – a man who has everything in his favor – a man society would label “a good man” - how does such a man get caught up in infidelity?
Why Good Men Sometimes Cheat
According to statistics, 50% to 70% of men cheat on their mates.
My research of almost 16 years, which includes interviews with thousands of cheating men, from all walks of life, reveals that a significant percentage of that infidelity falls into the 5 categories below.
I coined the terms below (which are interchangeable, and may sometimes overlap) to describe infidelity in which the cheating man was not originally seeking to have an affair, or did not purposely set out to cheat on his wife.
• Opportunistic infidelity - he took advantage of an opportunity (or opportunities) that came his way where he knew he could easily cheat without getting caught.
• Situational infidelity - he allowed a situation to get to the point where he felt he had no choice but to cheat (peer pressure, alone with a woman who came on very strong or literally threw herself at him)
• Circumstantial infidelity - he found himself in circumstances that made it easy to cheat.
• Accidental infidelity – he cheated because he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol which impaired his judgment, and/or lowered his inhibitions.
• Unintentional infidelity – he did not set out to cheat, but allowed himself to get drawn into a situation where it was easier to cheat, than to stay faithful
On the other hand, the 3 terms below describe a different type of infidelity. These terms, may also overlap.
• premeditated infidelity – he intentionally set out to find someone with whom to cheat.
• willful infidelity – he considered the consequences of his infidelity beforehand, and cheated with full knowledge of what he was doing, and what he stood to lose.
• intentional infidelity – he had no qualms about cheating provided if he found himself in a position to do so.
How Some Cheating Men Could Have Stayed Faithful
Statistics indicate that the majority of men cheat on their mates. However after interviewing thousands of cheating men over the past 15 – 16 years, I’ve found that a large number of the men who cheated on their wives or girlfriends could have remained faithful if they’d done the following things:
• Establish some hard, fast rules for themselves, and their behavior with or around other women.
• Set up some checks and balances in their marriage/ relationship which make it difficult to cheat.
• Stop to consider the consequences of infidelity and all they stand to lose, regardless of whether they get caught.
• Learn to use the word “No”
• Put the same effort and energy into maintaining their marriage/relationship that they put into pursuing a relationship on the side
Dispelling Common Myths about Why Men Cheat
When a high profile man like Tiger Woods, David Letterman, Mark Sanford, or even the man next door cheats on his wife, people automatically assume he had marriage problems or his wife was somehow at fault. See the article Are Wives to Blame When Husbands Cheat?
Marital unhappiness is rarely a factor in why men cheat. See the article Happy Husbands Cheat, Too. Several recent infidelity studies published in respected medical journals bear that out.
Although there are always exceptions, infidelity studies make it clear that most men do not cheat because they are unhappy with their marriage or their mate.
Nor does a man cheat because of something his wife or girlfriend did or didn’t do.
For every cheating man who claims he cheated because of something his wife or girlfriend did or did not do, there are thousands, even millions of men out there whose wives or girlfriends did or didn’t do those very same things, yet these men remained faithful to their mates. See the article The Top 10 Reasons Why Men and Women Cheat
Regardless of what was or wasn’t going on in a cheating man’s marriage or relationship, the bottom line is that his cheating was a personal choice - a decision that he, and he alone, made. No one held a gun to his head and made him cheat
The saddest part of all this is that like Tiger Woods, most cheating men who get caught really have no desire to divorce their wives, dissolve a committed relationship, or leave their mates.
How to Keep from Cheating on Your Wife
The article you just read is part 1 of a 2-part series. The companion article to this one, How to Keep from Cheating on Your Wife, lists 28 tips - rules – guidelines – call them what you wish – that if followed, will make it easy for a husband to avoid infidelity, and remain faithful to his wife.
Be sure to bookmark this page, and/ or check back later to read Part 2
*** © copyright 2009 Ruth Houston
Ruth Houston is a New York-based infidelity expert who is frequently called on by the media to comment on infidelity issues in the news. She is the author of Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs, the founder of InfidelityAdvice.com and publishes the Infidelity News and Views blog .
For more information about infidelity, cheating husbands, and extramarital affairs, see:
The Top 10 Reasons Why Men and Women Cheat
Happy Husbands Cheat, Too
Why Politicians Cheat and What Their Wives Can Do
Is There a Gene That Makes Men Cheat?
Is He Cheating? - Is She Cheating? - 21 Ways You Can Tell (free tip sheet)