While the issue of infidelity spans both male and female behaviour, there can be no argument with the premise that a larger percentage of men cheat. The issue of female infidelity is admittedly a distinct creature deserving its own examination and I will give it individual attention in a subsequent article. When it comes to intimate relationships, however, men and cheating seem to fit almost like hand in glove. Admittedly, there should be no cookie-cutter approach to this cheating phenomenon. Mild statements like “men will be men” to the more anger-laced “all men are dogs”, point to a range of attitudes from belligerent acceptance to intense bitterness. Women, the world over, are not happy with this state of relationship-affairs; so while men continue to cheat, women also continue to ask why.
Although hesitant to admit this, some men cheat out of emotional neediness and an inability to handle negativity. The perpetuated image of the rational, logical, secure male is often based on fictitious social stereotypes. Because males from childhood are socialized to be less vocal about their feelings this results in an adult discomfort with articulating pain. When a man is faced with a challenge, instead of talking about it, he turns to what defines him, his sexuality, to seek comfort. When the source of this pain is perceived to be his wife, woman or home situation, he therefore looks for emotional solace in the arms of someone else who can give him the unconditional emotional support he craves. In literal terms this means finding a woman who will butter his ego and still give rip-roaring sex, while remaining silent about his flaws or mistakes. While sex becomes a natural outflow of this extra-marital emotional bonding, it was, however, never the primary motivator.
Then there are those who cheat because of an insatiable need for sexual variety. Such men believe in having their sexual needs met at all costs and will often assert, without apology, that their wives/women were unwilling or unable to keep them sexually satisfied. Their sexual complaints may include issues like a failure to perform oral sex, a refusal to perform anal sex, insufficient sexual episodes in the relationship, or even a lack of enthusiastic participation in various states of physical contortion.
For the wife who may be bending over backward to meet her spouse’s sexual needs but still finds herself the victim of infidelity, the issue is about more than just sexual quality. In fact, research confirms that a large percentage of cheaters continue to enjoy their sex lives at home; especially when such infidelity is a secret. Since male sex is often about the chase and the conquest, and not just the act of sex, some men cheat in an effort to re-create this preferred hunting scenario; in fact they often become serial cheaters who allow their lives to be overtaken by indiscipline.
Because They Can
Unfortunately, some men cheat because they are enabled by the women in their lives. Because women tend to be the nurturers in their relationships, this often influences them to take total responsibility for the health of the relationship. In this scenario, a man is absolved of his need to work just as hard as his wife, to keep their relationship thriving. The relationship then becomes lopsided and out of balance. There is no pressure therefore for a man to live out his vows or to practice relationship integrity. He knows that when it comes to the survival of the relationship, that his wife will be the one to make all the sacrifices. He knows that every time he slips and falls into the arms of another woman, he will be forgiven and welcomed back. The relationship may also be governed by financial or emotional dependence on the part of the woman. There can also be an unspoken but very real social expectation, which validates these philandering ways with an attitude which states that “men will be men”. Because he is not challenged to change, his cheating ways remain.
While these few reasons posed are not exhaustive by any means, they can provide a reference point for understanding why the men in our lives may cheat. The critical decision remains with the woman who must assess her own relationship and self-worth to determine whether or not she is willing to literally live with this continued state of affairs.