A famous German psychologist Erich Fromm wrote once: “Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.” In our article, we will talk about those of little faith – about men who cheat, their motivations, facts about cheaters, and their characteristics.
Why Are Men More Likely to Have Affairs?
How often may a woman ask this question or hear it from her friends, closest relatives, or family? Infidelity in relationships is a widespread phenomenon. Many scientists do researches to learn about the root causes and predispositions. But, the psychology of cheaters is a complex matter.
Step by step, we will shed light on this topic. But first, let’s make it clear what an affair is and what types of them experts distinguish.
6 of the Most Common Types of Affairs
If we consider the simplest definition of the word “affair” taken from the Cambridge dictionary, we get – “a sexual relationship, especially a secret one.” But does it always include a sexual component? We want to answer this question and single out the six most common types of affairs.
The first thing that comes to mind about infidelity is physical affairs. Many people treat sexual intercourse and kisses as a betrayal that is impossible to forgive. Going to bed with someone outside of marriage or relationships often leads to the end of the relationship.
According to General Social Survey data, around 20% of men had sexual relationships outside marriage compared to 13% of women reporting the same. GSS research states that despite a 40% increase in physical intimacy outside relationships among women in the last 20 years, the percentage of men’s infidelity remains higher.
For many people, an emotional affair is as damaging as the physical one, if not worse. Thinking about another person, distancing away from your partner, and not being honest can hurt as much as physical infidelity. When such an affair occurs, our emotional state, relationship expectations, and picture of the world shatter. According to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, 45% of men report having emotional affairs. Moreover, according to the survey, 48% of men claimed the main reason for their infidelity is emotional frustration.
A cyber affair is another type of infidelity many couples face in relationships. What kind of affair is that? Can we say that visiting a porn site is a cyber affair? Where is the line between innocent flirting and infidelity in an age when people’s views on relationships, marriage, or sex are so diverse?
Virtual relationships are attractive because they don’t require a strategy and financial costs or live communication.
Tracey Lickfelt, a Director of Outpatient Services for Centerstone, says that online affairs can be worse than physical ones. Due to the lack of responsibility, a cheating partner doesn’t realize the weight of the consequences.
Revenge affairs in romantic relationships happen because of another partner’s infidelity. The hurt woman seeks revenge to make the partner feel as much pain and disappointment. A revenge affair is a way to get rid of that humiliation another person made us feel.
A famous Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung considered the wish for revenge unconscious. He called it ‘the shadow.’ A cheated woman often does not admit the desire for revenge. Instead, she accuses her partner of emotional abuse, bullying, and ignoring to justify her wish for tit for tat. Of course, all these problems may exist in relationships. The partner’s neglect causes pain, and thus the desire to pay back appears.
Midlife Crisis Affair
The midlife crisis is a phenomenon that every man sooner or later encounters in their life. It often leads to a complete change of lifestyle. When a man reaches middle age, it’s time to reevaluate achievements, approach to life, and one’s own needs. Such a change in perspective may lead to the breakdown of marriage and family.
There is an idea in society that men are adventurers who always cheat. In reality, women choose to replace their husbands with younger lovers sometimes. The purpose of such a behavior is to prove themselves that the person is still able to seduce someone attractive and young.
Very few people are aware of this type of affair. Exit affairs happen when one of the partners cheats on another to get a divorce eventually. Such partners have their reasons for committing such infidelity. Many unfaithful men do not speak openly about their dissatisfaction with relationships. So, they are looking for alternative ways to say goodbye. They may also leave clues or evidence for their wives or girlfriends to find to make exposure easier.
What Are the Reasons Why Men Cheat on Their Wives?
It is a common misconception that the main reasons why men cheat are: lack of commitment, love, respect, boredom, and the need for variety. Today, according to sexologists, men cheat for reasons that have very little to do with it. The problem is more complex. Their affairs most often result from unrealistic expectations and emotional immaturity. Despite this, every woman should remember that a cheating man is responsible for infidelity, even though there may be some common triggers for both people in a couple. There are many psychological facts about cheating man, so keep reading.
Understanding the Motivation of a Cheating Man
What is the mindset of a cheating man, and why is such behavior so widespread among men? People tried to understand this phenomenon for years, hoping to find a pill against this so-called ‘disease.’ Everyone is capable of cheating. But many sexologists believe that loyalty is a matter of conscious choice. Here we want to focus on the causes/motives influencing men’s choice to stay loyal. So we could better understand the psychology of cheaters.
Being Not Satisfied and Fulfilled in Current Relationships
As simple as that. The first moment a man realizes that the current relationship does not bring that fulfillment and happiness can be a trigger to fill these gaps. It doesn’t mean that all men cheat as soon as they feel dissatisfied with their partner. It means if the relationship no longer brings happiness, there are higher chances of having an affair.
Feeling Bored or Dissatisfied with Life
The first months and years of relationships are full of new emotions, impressions, and expectations. When a man is dating a new woman, she is like an adventurous book to him with a twisting plot and unexpected turn of events. We tend to look at another person through the glasses of our expectations. With time men grasp that the reality is different and not as satisfying as at the beginning.
Need for External Approval or Attention
It is in human nature to look for validation from others. But it’s essential not to exaggerate with lust for attention or approval.
Men may seek too much validation or attention from others depending on their attachment style. One study found that emotional validation from mothers in childhood builds emotional awareness. It means that if a man did not get enough encouragement and approval as a kid, there is a higher chance of not being able to create a trusting and approving relationship.
The Opportunity or Temptation to Try with a Willing Partner
The opportunity or temptation to have an affair with a willing partner is another reason why guys cheat. If a man finds a potential partner for sex or flirting, the chances of having a love affair on the side increase. Especially when the initiative to have a fling comes from another woman.
Low Self-Esteem or Lack of It
Men whose self-esteem is low are dependent on validation from other people. The lack of adequate self-esteem can affect a man’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior patterns. In any case, such a negative attitude towards yourself is about missing self-respect. As a result – a lack of respect towards the chosen partner. Men want to prove they deserve better. That is why they’re looking for a love affair.
Feeling Uncapable of Dealing with Emotional or Psychological Problems
Men are more likely to avoid visiting professional psychologists or doctors. They have such a mindset that a strong man must deal with all problems alone. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to cope with emotional or psychological issues by yourself. Being incapable of sharing with the closest partner or wife makes men search for a solution in other women’s beds.
Self-Control Problems or Poor Decision-Making Skills
Infidelity is the outcome of men’s disability to control their sexual impulses. Moreover, poor decision-making skills correspond with low intelligence. That is why intelligent men cheat less.
Sexual Desire for Certain Women
It happens when a man is dating or marrying not 100% his type of woman. A man may believe that there are certain types of women for dating and having relationships, while other types are for fulfilling sexual needs.
Main Traits of a Cheating Man
Light flirting, looking for eye contact, and frequent texting on the phone are signs that many consider alarming. As soon as the worm of doubt creeps into consciousness, it becomes difficult for a person to control their jealousy, and they become hell-bent on spotting signs of cheating boyfriend. Overreacting is not desirable, but if you also do not wish to remain blindfolded, check for the following possible signs and traits that may indicate that your partner is on the path of infidelity.
Check if your partner possesses any of the signs of cheating husband mentioned below.
Men with narcissistic personalities are in love with an idealized image of themselves. And they are in love with this inflated self-image precisely because it allows them to escape a deep sense of insecurity. But maintaining their arrogance requires a lot of work, and this is where manipulation, infidelity, and toxicity in relationships come into play.
Poor Communication in Relationships
Cheating men are bad at communicating. They are trying to hide emotions and feelings, playing roles that help to overcome stress related to lying. Moreover, they don’t want to hear a woman or misinterpret her words or actions.
Ignoring the Consequences
Such men are often incapable of dealing with the negative consequences of their actions. Instead of having a deep, honest conversation, they prefer ignoring a problem by walking away.
Rationalizing or Justifying Actions
One of the signs he’s cheating is his habit of rationalizing or justifying his actions. He doesn’t want to spend his free evening with you? He will always find numerous reasons why he can’t do it. There are always reasons and explanations for his actions or the lack of them.
Having Low Self-Esteem
If he has low self-esteem, he will need more approval from people outside of your relationship. Such men can’t validate themselves. Thus they are looking for validation from other women.
Not Capable of Dealing with Conflicts or Stress
Men cheating on girlfriends or wives are not capable of dealing with conflicts. Stressful situations drive them crazy, and men may become more aggressive and impatient.
Tendencies to Thrill-Seeking Behavior
Men looking for sensations are more likely to get into a love affair. What can be more thrilling than sensual flirting or sexual intercourse with a new woman? In their opinion, the game is worth the candle.
Avoidant Attachment Communication Style
It is one of the most common characteristics of a cheating man. Due to the inability to build deep romantic relationships, such men distance themselves from a woman. Deep emotional connections are too frightening.
Need for External Approval or Attention
This trait is connected with low self-esteem. Such men need external validation from other women that helps eliminate the feeling of loneliness and worthlessness.
A man who manipulates develops an idea that a woman is a way of achieving personal goals. He is trying to control, criticize, or shame a partner. A woman in such relationships feels insecure and wrong.
Problems with Intimacy or Vulnerability
A cheating man may express no interest in sexual life within a couple. Having an affair may lead to a lack of sexual relationships or a desire to open up and express emotions and weaknesses.
Emotional Management Issues
Men who are having an affair have problems managing their emotions. These are the few outcomes of emotional management issues: unexpected outbursts of anger, loss of self-control when something goes wrong, and the desire to drink or use some medicine to change the emotional state.
Vague Personal Values or Morals
Loyalty is a choice and effort. It requires a solid system of values and beliefs about relationships. If a man’s values or morals are vague and changeable, infidelity is just a matter of time.
Difficulties with Establishing Boundaries
This pre-last characteristic is not so evident for many women, but those who cheat often do not know how to build their boundaries. Fear of rejection by the opposite sex often leads to the inability to say no.
Unfaithful men may be selfish and arrogant. They are too focused on their perception and opinion and often are blind to the needs of others. Such people find it burdensome to create long-term, meaningful relationships.
Fragile Masculinity or Poor Sexual Performance
When a man feels something threatens his gender identity, he can behave aggressively and inappropriately with women. Such a lack of confidence leads to insecurity about sexual performance as well.
What Is the Impact of Cheating on Relationships?
Cheating harms every aspect of a man’s life, including health or relationships with the outer world. There are many negative consequences. Get familiar with some of them.
Loss of Trust
There is a saying: once a cheater is always a cheater, though it doesn’t apply to all cases. Even though people make mistakes, cheating causes irreversible emotional damage to your partner. It’s a perplexing task to restore trust after infidelity.
Hard to Restore Reputation and Social Status
Infidelity damages the reputation and social status. Cheating is about being dishonest. A person lying in marriage or relationships can lie in other life situations.
Potential Legal Consequences
When married men cheat, divorce is just a question of time. Not every woman can forgive. That is why cheating often leads to divorce and, as a result, to legal consequences such as loss or dividing of property.
Losing Respect from the Closest People
The chances that the family or friends of a cheating man will know about the affair are very high. The closest people, including a wife, parents, or kids, may lose respect for good.
Difficulties with Career or Work Life
It is another consequence of adultery. Since men might have affairs at the workplace, it will eventually lead to disclosure.
Issues with Personal Integrity and Values
To succeed in life, one must have an inner strength that includes a set of values, morals, and beliefs. The act of cheating shatters the person’s integrity and value system.
Risk of Depression and Substance Abuse
Infidelity is also about humiliation which may lead to depression or substance abuse. The cheating disorder is similar to addiction. Therefore, one should treat it professionally. Otherwise, depression, anxiety, or alcohol misuse are guaranteed.
How Do Cheating Men Cover Their Affairs?
It is hard to guess what is inside the mind of a cheating husband. Luckily there are signs of how they cover their affairs. Check them out to find out if your husband is a cheater.
Deleting Phone Calls and Text Messages
Men often cover their infidelity by deleting text history or phone calls. Sometimes they rename callers as well. An unfaithful husband needs to control what a wife can see, so don’t be surprised if you see fragments of online conversations on his phone one day.
Creating Secret Email or Social Media Accounts
Fake email or social media accounts are the perfect tools to look for more affairs. Nowadays, technologies play a crucial role in finding numerous partners.
Using Code Words or Phrases to Communicate with Affair Partner
Cheating men are ingenious when finding a secret way to communicate with an affair woman. Pay attention to weird phrases or word combinations.
Destroying Evidence Such as Receipts or Gifts
Intentional destruction of evidence of buying presents for an affair partner is another way for cheaters to cover their tracks. Cheated women often notice that money disappears from the family bank account.
Justifying Their Behavior
Justifying is one of the self-defense mechanisms, aiming to deal with one’s actions' consequences. Such men try to explain this weird behavior, but their explanations sound inconsistent. A cheating man is fickle as the wind.
Questions About Cheating or Not Cheating for Your Man
The psychology of cheating man is complex and requires a comprehensive approach. If you want to know whether your partner or husband is cheating or not, ask some of the following questions:
- Why do you spend so much time on the phone?
- Is there a reason your attitude toward me changed?
- Is there anything in our relationship that bothers you?
- Do you cheat on me?
Remember to stay calm and respectful while having such a conversation.
FAQ about Cheating Men
How do cheaters feel about themselves? 🙋♂️
There are two possible states of a cheater: either fulfillment or disappointment. It depends on the cheater's personality and the ability to empathize.
How to know if someone is cheating on you?
There are various signs of cheating boyfriend or husband. The most common ones are changes in behavior, appearance, or attitude. To find out for sure, you may try to use spy apps.
How a guy acts after he cheated?
According to recent research, 68% of men feel guilty after having an affair. A woman may expect to get more attention or presents because a man will try to deal with that guilt.
Who cheats more in a relationship?
According to the General Social Survey, men are more likely to cheat in a relationship.
How common is cheating in marriage?
According to the latest survey, 25% of married men and 15% of married women have had an affair.
Why do men get angry when caught cheating?
Because men feel insecure when caught. It’s frustrating for them to take responsibility for such actions.
How to deal with a cheating boyfriend that you love?
We recommend visiting a professional psychologist. If it’s impossible, try to speak honestly about what happened and decide whether there is remorse from his side and whether you can forgive.
Is lying considered cheating in a relationship?
Lying may be a part of cheating, but it is not necessarily cheating itself. The psychology behind cheating and lying is complex, but there are some common reasons that are inherent in a cheater’s mindset, such as unfulfilling sex, dissatisfaction, high conflict, etc.
What makes a man cheat?
Dissatisfaction with his current relationships or thirst for new sensations makes a man cheat.
Why do serial cheaters want to stay married?
To protect themselves from public disapproval or save face at the workplace.
How to confront a cheating spouse with no proof?
Be ready to face your partner’s reaction, stay calm, and ask for an explanation. Try to speak about how you feel regarding his cheating.
Why Do Men Cheat On Their Wives? 🧑
In most cases, men cheat on their wives to feel new sensations and return back to the family. They also want to get away from family problems for a while and feel free.
What Does Cheating Say About A Person?
A tendency to infidelity is often indicative of the presence of destructive traits of a cheater, such as egoism, allowing insecurities to take over, and often a lack of respect for a partner. They may also fear commitment and act on a whim.
The Mindset Of A Cheating Man After Cheating: Does He Feel Any Guilt?
As studies show, most men feel guilty for what they have done, and this can manifest itself in a change in their behavior toward you. But can a cheating man change and be faithful even when feeling guilty? It is unlikely.
Why Is A Cheating Man So Selfish?
Selfishness is one but not always the only reason a person decides to cheat. People tend to primarily blame others for their unhappiness, not themselves, and take little time to analyze where their problems stem from.
How Do You Recognize the Mindset of a Cheating Man?
Getting inside the head of another person, even the closest one, and understanding the cheater mentality can be a daunting task. So, get ready to be patient and… observe.
- It is possible that you easily fell for the bait of his charm, have fun with him, and do not want to think about anything bad. But what if it does happen? Pay attention to how he behaves in stressful situations or when you need help and on whom he places responsibility for what is happening.
- You might also put up red flags for a man who behaves too pushy when it comes to sex.
- At the same time, psychological facts about cheating man include their propensity for confusing explanations and hiding information.
- Avoid men who, despite all attempts, cannot hide their bitterness and vengeance.
So, Can a Cheating Man Change and Be Faithful for Good?
Do most men cheat? Is a cheater always a cheater? Considering recent research, we may conclude that men are more likely to cheat than women. However, it does not mean that all men cheat. There are always exceptions to the rules. We believe people can change. One should remember that changes require effort, support, and the wish to change.