Why Do Men Have Affairs? A Family Therapist Reveals Common Causes
“See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.”
~ Robin Williams ~
Why?? Why did he do this to me? Why do men have affairs? – This was probably the second question I asked myself after finding out about my husband’s affair (The first was – With whom??!!).
I was sure that if I find out Why, I could predict or even prevent ever being cheated on again. I looked for the answer in many places: I interrogated a lot of men, read articles in women’s magazines and looked for cheating statistics – To finally find something that will make sense to me.
I finally found some logical answers in this article, written by a family therapist with 30 years of experience with troubled marriages of all kinds. I though his insights are worth sharing with you, so here they are:
Why Do Men Have Affairs (and Should I Blame Myself?)
The truth is that there is no single, simple “reason” people get involved in affairs. Human beings are complex creatures and we all have different “reasons” for acting the way we do.
I have seen a common set of themes come up over and over again that people who cheat use as a justification for acting the way they did. Here are some examples:
“I cheated because I wasn’t getting my needs met inside the marriage.”
People who say this are usually under the deluded notion that going outside the marriage is a legitimate answer. It isn’t ever legitimate for reasons I will explain in a moment.
“I did it for the thrill.”
Some people are thrill seekers who think they just can’t pass up the opportunity to get a thrill. The very fact that these people are doing something taboo – boosts the feeling that they are compelled to engage in the affair.
“I had the opportunity. What kind of man would I be if I turned down an opportunity for sex?
Some men think that they will not be considered a real man if they turn down a sexual invitation from someone attractive.
I did it because it made me feel like I was worth something again.
Some people have a low sense of self-esteem and get an increased sense of self-worth out of finding people who care about them. At its extreme end, this group perceives lust as a kind of caring, even if it lasts only one night. Included in this group are those who try to make more out of the outside relationship than was there.
My spouse wouldn’t fulfill my sexual desires.
This can be an issue of frequency, but would include those people with particular sexual fetishes that their spouse’s have problems with.
“My spouse no longer makes me feel special.”
This is probably self explanatory.
Will Knowing The Reason Prevent Future Infidelity?
What ever the reason men cheat, what ever the reason your spouse cheated, it comes down to this: It Doesn’t Matter!
Looking for rational reasons for “why do men have affairs” – Will NOT get you to the heart of the problem in your relationship. These are mostly excuses and justifications. The worst thing about these excuses is that many times it sounds like the injured spouse it at fault. It’s NOT your fault!
The whole point of marriage is to make it through problems together. Commitment means No Cheating even if you haven’t had sex for weeks, even if you are fighting for 2 weeks and even if you are not in love as you used to be. It means fidelity as long as you are together.
But – This doesn’t mean that the relationship is over and all hope is lost. It just means that it could be difficult, and without the right kind of help – Very difficult.
To get over the affair and achieve a better relationship than ever (YES!), the cheater has to take some necessary steps, and the injured spouse has to go through several steps for healing.
I have learned the hard way (and the long way…) that I can’t do this without professional help (and obsessive search for cheating statistics won’t help either…).
I hope you feel this post has helped you!:)
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