Life is an absolute bliss when you first get married. You are in love with the person you have decided to walk down the aisle with, you absolutely adore each other’s company and they are your best friends. But sooner or later, a number of marriages fail because of a number of reasons. One of the main reasons behind a failed marriage is either of the spouses cheating on the other. But what compels a husband/wife to cheat on his/her spouse? Is it because they just can’t ‘keep it in their pants’ as the expression goes or is cheating a response to what is going on at home?
According to Dr. Jane Greer, New York-based marriage and sex therapist and author of How Could You Do This to Me? Learning to Trust After Betrayal there is never just one reason at play. Men may cheat because of a multitude of reason: “the thrill of the chase and conquest, a sexual addiction, [feeling that he’s] deprived or unhappy with the amount of sex they’re having with their partner, emotionally upset and feel their needs aren’t met by their partner,” are some reasons among many other that she describes.
Experts believe that there is usually two very clear types of cheating; either there is something wrong in the relationship or because there is the guy’s DNA to blame. Laurie Watson, sex therapist and host of the podcast Foreplay explains this as, “Cheating is a symptom generally of relational problems, and sometimes cheating is indicative of an individual’s problem,” and says, “The philandering guy who’s got a girlfriend at every hotel for business, that’s a different kind of cheating than the man who has an affair with his colleague.”
It could be because:
- There is something off in the relationship:
According to experts like Dr. Megan Fleming who is a licensed sex and relationship therapist, “Typically, if someone’s cheating, it’s because needs aren’t being met in a marriage or relationship.” These can be sexual as well as emotional needs. The common belief goes that men need sex to be satisfied but men are humans as well, and their emotional needs are just as important as a woman’s.
- Lack of communication:
The routine isn’t the only thing to blame when it comes to lack of communication. We believe that in this day and age, it is harder to sit down with your partner and have a heart-to-heart. While that is true, communication also depends on the kind of response your partner is giving. “It’s often a result of long-term chronic frustration with a non-responsive partner,” Watson says. “There’s a sensation of not wanting to live in a routine, rote life — they want some kind of excitement.”
- A woman’s appearance has nothing to do with it:
Often women believe that their partner cheater because they let go of themselves or because they are not pretty enough. Marriage counselor M. Gary Neuman when conducting surveys for his book The Truth About Cheating, found out that only 12 percent of the surveyed men said that the women they slept with more attractive than their spouses. In fact, it is a man’s own insecurities mostly which pave way to him cheating. Dr. Paulette Sherman, psychologist, author of Dating from the Inside Out and director of My Dating & Relationship School says, “Many men may start to feel old and worry that life and adventure is behind them. Because of that, they want a woman who will make them feel young and like they’re at their prime again.”
Here we have asked our readers to explain why they cheated on their wives.
- “I married a strong independent woman. She was the love of my life and I hers. Or so I thought, as soon as 6 months into our marriage, I felt being dictated around. She would tell me where we are going to invest out money, where we would settle down, how many kids we would have. So much so that one day, when I came back from office she popped open a bottle of champagne and said we were celebrating my new job. I was shocked. She’d already decided all by her own that I would leave my very well-paying job where I was in line for a promotion for something else. That night we had one of the biggest fights and for me, the romance began to fizzle out. And I cheated on her. I am not proud of it.”
- “I have always been a very private person. My wife didn’t realize that nor did she respect it. We got married only after 6 months of dating each other. 2 months into the marriage I overheard her discussing our sex life with her sister over the phone. I was standing close to the hall mirror and I don’t believe I’ve been redder in my life. I confronted her right then and she just laughed it off, ‘Oh, come on, that’s my sister, we share everything.’ Anyway, I made it very clear that our sex life was off the small talk list from now on. A few weeks later, we threw a little party at home for our close friends and one of our friends came and winked at me, ‘Good work, Alex.’ I looked over at my wife and she just giggled. Later when I asked her, turns out she had related our latest bedroom rendezvous to her friends in detail. Needless to say I was furious. She shushed me jokingly once I tried to tell her how much I absolutely hated her doing this. She continued doing this and pushed me away from her. I ended up cheating on her with an ex-girlfriend and we divorced shortly afterwards.”
- “My marriage fell apart but I know my wife didn’t have any role to play in that divorce. I got kicked out of my job and was unemployed for 8 months. In the beginning it was okay. I was hopeful and kept looking for new jobs. But watching my wife go to work every morning and being the sole earner bruised my ego beyond repair. I found escape in either drinking or other women. She found out soon enough. I can never forgive myself for that.”
- “I didn’t feel like my wife thought I was sexy anymore. In bed, she would joke about how I had let myself go while she still looks as good as ever. She would even pinch my ‘areas of trouble’ and talk about me going on a diet and how I should exercise more often. The problems started here for and I started feeling insecure in bed with her. At a work seminar, I met a woman and we got to talking. The way she looked at me and talked to me made me feel sexy again. And I cheated. Worst thing I ever did.”
- “I was never a priority for her. I’d come home after a long day at work and all I wanted was to sit down with her and just be with her. But she was always busy. We had no kids so I could never understand what else was so important that she couldn’t give me 10 minutes of her time. A few times, she would be leaving the house just as I would be entering. She’d give me a peck on the cheek, tell me that she is off with so and so friend and that dinner is in the microwave. I remember this one particular time when we talking about a serious career switch I was considering of making and she got a call from a friend. As soon as she hung, she told me she had to run out and go to a friend’s place to ‘cheer her up’ as she was a mess after her ugly divorce. And I remember I kept thinking, but what about me? I am not justifying her behavior for my cheating but I just couldn’t feel lonely any longer.”
- “I had a 3 month long affair with a woman who made me feel like I walked on air. She’d compliment me, build me up and be there emotionally. It wasn’t just sex. My wife and I had an amazing sex life, but I feel we had lost the deeper connection we had when we first got together. I felt guilty as hell and came clean to her soon. It wasn’t easy but we are working on it.”
Although such escapades almost always result in a divorce, but if couples have the will to make things better between themselves, a marriage can emerge even stronger than before. “Whether couples can move forward after an affair depends on their values and ability to forgive and rebuild trust,” Sherman says. “Are both people willing to learn from it, communicate openly, and not cheat again when in pain? …many couples do continue to work on their marriage after the affair and decide to go to couples therapy for help earning back trust, improving communication and intimacy, and creating a shared vision going forward. Others may see it as a deal-breaker and not want to continue trying.”
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