As American media outlets continue to dedicate an excessive amount of coverage to the scandalous affairs of public figures like Tiger Woods and David Letterman, you might find yourself asking: Why do men cheat?
The reasons why men cheat are as numerous and varied as the men themselves, but here are a few of the most universal:
Biology: This is one of the more commonly accepted reasons why men cheat. It’s an explanation that might seem overused, but the relationship between biology and infidelity cannot be ignored. In nature, males of a species are programmed to have as many offspring as possible, which typically means mating with as many partners as possible. Humans might seem more evolved than most of the animal kingdom, but we can’t completely escape our roots.
Fear of intimacy: When relationships with their significant others become too serious, some men choose unfaithfulness as an alternative to becoming vulnerable and connecting with their partners on a deeper level. In effect one of the reasons why men cheat is to keep their partner at a distance, at least in their own mind.
Sex: Most people who set out to determine why men cheat think that the answer is simple – sex. That’s certainly not always the case, but it is the answer in some situations. A man might turn to infidelity if A) Sex with his partner does not occur frequently enough to satisfy his sex drive, B) He is sexually adventurous and his partner is not equally exploratory, or C) He considers sex and love two separate entities (something men are much more adept at doing than women are), and does not feel that sex with someone else takes away from his emotional bond with his significant other.
Success: When men are successful in some way (earning a promotion at work, for example, or winning a competition of some kind), their testosterone levels increase. Augmented levels of testosterone lead to higher sex drives and more instances of promiscuity. In addition, because women are attracted to partners who are successful and possess a high-status in society, men in these situations typically find themselves approached by more interested women, and consequently surrounded by greater temptation than they usually experience.
Peer pressure: Another reason why men cheat. Spending time with friends who have been unfaithful may make cheating seem normal and acceptable. If a man holds his friend in high regard, he is likely to think of cheating as a more legitimate possibility, and not solely the province of losers and scumbags.
There are many varied reasons why men cheat. Gaining an understanding of these reasons puts you well on your way to developing insight into the complex motives behind infidelity. Understanding that infidelity is not necessarily the fault of the partner also goes along way in preventing the self-blame game. If your partner has been unfaithful, there is less of a chance that you will feel responsible if you understand the reasons why men cheat.