Why do men cheat?

It's an age-old question: What makes a person in a marriage or committed relationship cheat? The real answer depends on whether you're talking about a woman or a man.

Cheating was one of the subjects Charles J. Orlando covered in interviews with 1,200+ women and 400+ men to write his book, "The Problem with Women… is Men." The results were fascinating and coincide with many other university-sponsored studies on infidelity. The sad truth is that being caught-albeit subconsciously-was evidently the long-term goal.

Women reported that they cheat mostly for emotional reasons, which highlights the contrast on how the genders identify the "reasons" for sex.

The top reasons are:

  • Lack of emotional intimacy
  • Marital or relationship unhappiness
  • Reaffirm her desirability
  • To re-experience feelings of romance
  • Loneliness
Of the men polled, 80 percent openly admitted to cheating largely for physical or sexual gratification with no emotional tie (the #1 answer). And for the men who were perceived as "powerful" or "influential" (executives, professional, politicians, etc.), the justifications amplify, and the reasons are (according to them) "justifiable", as they would set their own limits (or not, as it were).

Rounding out the top reasons men cheat included:

  • Just want to have sex or sexual variety
  • Presented with an opportunity to have sex, without getting immediately caught
  • Satisfy sexual curiosity about having sex with a particular person
  • The "thrill of the chase"
  • The desire to feel important or special (an ego boost)
However, in delving further into the mens' motivations, Orlando discovered that most of them men were "unable to get out of their relationships" prior to their infidelity, which translated into the simple fact that they lacked the skills/respect to maturely discuss their unhappiness with their significant other.

In short, they acknowledged that they were unhappy and looking for a way out… but they couldn't bring themselves to pull the trigger on the relationship. If they cheated and got caught (most long-term cheaters do end up getting caught), they were able to quickly turn the tables, telling their spouse how it was THEIR fault they cheated because [insert reason here: not enough sex, boredom, etc.].


  • Uber-Dominance (read: Control): As men, we don't feel we're doing our jobs unless we mark our territory by figuratively peeing on everything within a 1,000-foot radius. And it's a damn shame, too. By intimidating and/or outright bullying, men often alienate the very people they are attempting to lead.

  • Etiquette: Manners and gentlemanly conduct should be synonymous, but many of my brothers have missed this boat. Releasing a 15-second three-octave fart (in mixed company!)-one so foul it makes the dog leave the room-seems to be a standing goal with men of all ages, 9 to 90 (although I do not know how you would put that skill on a résumé). Men who systematically shun civilized behavior and imagine obnoxious behavior to be "a guy thing" or "what guys do," are perverting true masculinity.

  • Infidelity: Society has always quietly condoned men behaving like "studs" while remaining "happily married." This oxymoronical viewpoint is apparently spoken from the same side of the mouth that says a woman who sleeps with-or even just pursues-multiple partners is a slut, a whore, and a tramp. Obviously, men concoct these views; men that, if they had their way, would have women lie down as whores-catering to their every sexual whim-and rise in their post-coital afterglow as virgins.

  • Emotional Availability: It must be confusing to women as to why men don't openly relate to each other with any real emotion. Most men gloss over the seriousness or depth of their relationships, and use common defense mechanisms of various sorts-humor, denial, and anger. These ways of having superficial arm's-length relationships with male friends also bleed into their romantic relationships, and women experience the distance as the emotional disconnection it is.
DIVORCE STATS: Divorces in the domestic United States have been steadily on the rise.
  • 19.5 million adults have been divorced at least once.
  • 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce within five years.
  • Of the couples that last five years, only 50 percent make it to their 10th wedding anniversary
  • 80 percent of divorcees reference "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for separation.
And the children in these failed relationships are worse off. Broken (divorced) homes account for:
  • 63 percent of youth suicides
  • 90 percent of homeless/runaway children
  • 85 percent of children with behavior problems
  • 71 percent of high school dropouts
  • 85 percent of youths in prison
  • Over 50 percent of teen mothers
>> Buy this book on Amazon: The Problem with Women... is Men: The Evolution of a Man's Man to a Man of Higher Consciousness

>> Read the blog at www.theproblemwithwomenismen.com

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