Why Men Cheat
Before I tackle such a potentially incendiary issue, let me preface this article by saying that I am not a relationship expert, rarely—if ever—get involved in people’s personal lives and don’t even put much stock in Dr. Phil, who in my opinion gets paid big bucks to give common sense advice—fortunately, the general lack of common sense out there in the world makes the good doctor highly marketable. I cannot speak on behalf of all men—as if that would even interest me in the slightest—and everything I mention should be taken with a sizable grain of salt.
That being said, I should also mention that yes, I have cheated on a girlfriend before. And yes, I’ve had a girlfriend cheat on me. So I feel like I have at least some experience with the subject and thus, also have something to offer. Whether my points are truly valid or not, I leave to you to decide.
Anyone who has been in a committed relationship will tell you that it isn’t easy. Relationships are hard work and require persistence, compromise, tolerance, patience, humor and an endless array of other skills and traits. When times get tough, our natural inclination may be to flee, to let things fall apart or simply to move on. And men are no exception.
Whether we actively search for a new mate, randomly encounter people who might suit us better or fall ass-backwards into another woman’s bed, some men cannot resist temptation and do the unthinkable: they cheat on their current love. It’s as common as a cold in the wintertime. But what causes men to do such a horrible thing?
The answers might surprise you.
The Big T
Although it is no excuse—and even though I have mentioned this numerous times in previous posts—testosterone makes men do some crazy, unpredictable and downright stupid things. And if anything sexual is involved, this phenomenon only intensifies. As soon as the blood starts rushing from the head above our shoulders to the little bald fellow below, any function of critical thought, empathy and conscience disappears, albeit temporarily. Yes, we know what we’re doing, but we just can’t summon the energy to consider consequences, at least not until the blood flow returns to our starving minds. And by then, it’s likely too late. We return to normal just in time to feel something very familiar: regret.
We all know that “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side,” but wouldn’t that also mean that it could be? It’s this question that sometimes impels men to cheat, often with a younger person who either doesn’t know better or doesn’t care. For men, any attention from a younger woman is cause for alarm because the odds simply aren’t with us.
We start to wonder if this might be our last chance to “hook up” with a sexy young thing, or if this new person might provide us with whatever might be missing in our current relationship. I can tell you from experience that neither of these seems to be the case. Unless you’re a complete asshole, you will likely draw some attention from a younger woman again. It could be later in life when you’re rich and the gold-diggers come out of the hills to take advantage of you, but it could definitely happen. As for filling the holes in your current relationship, it’s true that things could improve initially. But if you think you’ll ever find a relationship that doesn’t have its share of problems, you really are kidding yourself.
If I were giving advice, I would advise men to work hard on THIS RELATIONSHIP before pinning their hopes to some young flaky chick with little to no life experience. Thankfully, I’m not giving advice because honestly, this isn’t supposed to be a self-help blog.
Love those action flicks
I often hear women criticizing their men for being so interested in action movies and so annoyed by romantic comedies. Bear in mind this is simply an observation rather than some kind of comment on stereotypical gender roles. And I confess that I would rather watch an action movie, too. Nothing gets the adrenaline flowing like some edge-of-your-seat, white-knuckled adventure.
And sadly, this feeling may also lead men to cheat on their girlfriends.
When you’re in a “forbidden” relationship—and if you feel the slightest bit of guilt over what you’re doing—you go out of your way not to get caught. This might involve changing internet passwords, setting up hidden email accounts or even meeting a “secret lover” in another town. Even the nicest guys find ways to tap into their dark sides when they start to cover their tracks. It can be terrifying and nerve-wracking and extremely stressful, but you know what?
It can also be exciting and thrilling and entertaining. Sort of an action flick you can experience in real life. And that’s what makes it so bad.
As men and women age, many of them—maybe all of them—worry about their fading beauty and deteriorating physical appearance. Unfortunately, couples who age together do this, but add another layer: they start comparing their partners to other people they see in the world. To make matters worse, many couples who have been together for a substantial period of time start to lose their attraction to one another. Again, it takes hard work to move past these kinds of feelings when they bubble to the surface.
When these things happen to men—when they either realize they are no longer attractive to their mates or that there could be someone out there who does find them attractive—they might be more compelled to cheat. After all, it’s nice to hear that a woman appreciates the size of your business, or likes the way you look when you get out of the shower, or just wants to sit and gaze upon you with a huge smile on her face. These things feed men’s egos, to be sure, but they also make them feel young. And for anyone out there who knows what a drag it is to get older, this can be a dangerous temptation. We can never go back again, but we can try to relive those days. It’s just sad when “reliving the good old days” equates to cheating, you know?
As terrible as it is to say, perhaps the number one reason men cheat is simply because they can. Late nights at the office, out-of-town trips to conferences or even nights out with the guys can easily become secret liaisons with other women. What’s worse is that “getting away with it” isn’t all that difficult. Men have fewer private parts to wash, can cover up perfumes with layers of their own cologne and can pay cash at any motels they frequent. And unless their partners are suspicious and follow them—or pay someone else to follow them, which seems a little excessive for someone who’s only dating—men will likely never be caught. And eventually, the emotional distance growing between the couple will end the relationship anyway.
The picture I’ve painted of men is not a favorable one, so please remember these rules don’t apply to everyone. Granted, I will likely get some flak from men who think I’m either misrepresenting our gender or revealing too many of our “secrets,” but my intentions are good. I hope there are men out there who will curtail these types of behaviors—and stop giving us all such a bad name—but I also hope some women will find this enlightening. And with any luck, they will take the necessary steps to either save their relationships or to let these men go with fewer feelings of guilt, regret and heartbreak. Women aren’t perfect, either, but no one deserves to be miserable. Only through a deeper understanding of one another will men and women truly evolve into the people they each deserve to be with. And if I can play a part in this, all the better.
Be good to each other.
Posted on August 5, 2012, in Advice and other tips, Life, Perspectives and tagged advice, Cheat, Dr. Phil, gender, humor, Infidelity, life, men, musings, opinions, people, personal, perspectives, Relationships, sex, tips. Bookmark the permalink. 49 Comments.