Thursday 10 February 2011

Sex: And the #1 reason why men cheat is...

All men are horny old toads. They can't keep it in their pants. Their wandering eye is without remorse. When the blood rushes from their head, their higher brain functions like morality, common sense and decency give way to unbridled lust, depravity and behaviour of the nefarious kind. Is it just something that is in our genes? This is where you chime in with, "Or is it just something that is in their jeans?"

In my blog Sex: The Coolidge Effect and why men are men, I discussed the biological basis for this desire of a man to spread his seed. However, we're not sheep and men are not rams. Or bulls or hamsters or any one of a number of animals that scientists have studied in an effort to amass some empirical data about behaviour which may be applicable to the human animal. Yes, there is a link but we have - let's hope - some cognitive abilities which would set us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.

Ay, there's the rub to coin a phrase. We are, it seems, just a tad more complex than a male in heat attempting to mount an available female. Yes, there is a question of sex (120 at last count for Tiger Woods) but it would seem according to various experts that man with his "absence makes the penis wander" might have other motivations than the simplicity of "If you get it up; I'll get it out".

About.Com: Why Do Men Cheat?
A marriage counselor for over 20 years, rabbi and author Gary Neuman conducted a two-year study involving 200 men -- 100 who cheated and 100 who remained faithful. His findings form the basis of his 2008 book The Truth About Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do To Prevent It.

What Neuman learned defies most commonly-held beliefs about why men cheat. Of the men surveyed:
  • 92% say it's not just about sex
  • 88% say the other woman isn't better looking or in better shape
  • 55% don't tell their wives or deny cheating even when confronted with evidence
  • 48% say cheating is about an emotional disconnection from their wives
  • 12% would cheat no matter what
What? It's not about sex? The other woman isn't hotter? Well, what happened to this notion of the horny old toad?

Oprah Winfrey with Gary Neuman - 2009
What's the number one reason men cheat? Ninety-two percent of men said it wasn't primarily about the sex. "The majority said it was an emotional disconnection, specifically a sense of feeling underappreciated. A lack of thoughtful gestures," Gary says. "Men are very emotional beings. They just don't look like that. Or they don't seem like that. Or they don't tell you that."

Josh says he cheated on his wife, Jennifer, because he felt underappreciated at home and started feeling insecure. "That insecurity was really the catalyst," he says. "I didn't feel comfortable going to the one person in the world I should be going to, which is my wife."

With daily worries like bills, children and chores, Gary says it's easy for couples to drift away from appreciating one another like they should. Gary says the other woman often makes the man feel better about himself. "[She] makes them feel different. Makes them feel appreciated, admired," he says. "Men look strong, look powerful and capable. But on the inside, they're insecure like everybody else. They're searching and looking for somebody to build them up to make them feel valued."

Men have a winning mentality, Gary says. Just think about how the men in your life act while watching their favorite sports teams. "They love to win," Gary says. "Does he have ownership in the team? It looks like that. But as long as they're in the game, even to the very end, they'll watch. Once it's a blowout and they know their team can't win, television goes off. And what a lot of men will say to me through this research is, 'I just felt like I couldn't win.' Now they might not have been great guys to live with, I'm not saying it's her fault, again. But if you want to secure your relationship and understand and have the knowledge of men, make them feel like they're winning with the things that they do for you."

Don't be afraid to praise your partner or tell him that you appreciate what he does, Gary says. "We get married because we want one person in the world to really think we're wonderful for doing all the things that we do. We all want the same thing," he says. "And the more we give it, the more we get it in return."

How often does a man cheat on his wife with a woman who's more attractive? Not as often as you may think. Gary found that 88 percent of the men surveyed said the other women were no better looking or in no better shape than their own wives.

For the first five years of his marriage, AJ says things were rocky with his wife, Janet. "We got to the point where we were really living in separate parts of the house. I went downstairs every time I came home from work," he says. "So when somebody else took an interest in me and was interested in what I did, interested in my job, interested in what I wear—you name it—before I had the self-awareness to understand my vulnerabilities and take responsibility, I liked it—even though it was the worst decision of my life."

Every couple will eventually face certain life changes, but Gary urges couples to think back about the interest they took in one another when they were first dating or newlyweds. "Everybody deserves that. Everybody wants that," Gary says. "Because it's not about the sex, what everyone's been made to believe. Anybody, no matter how you look, can be admiring and kind and warm and give you that extra little pump and that extra kindness and hang on your words."

3 Reasons Why Men Cheat | Understanding Adultery - May 2009
. .. the No1 reason may not be as you would expect:

1. Affection and Attention

No, the number one reason for men cheating is not simply sexual gratification, although it’s a generally held belief ... i.e., he just can’t keep it in his pants.

It’s all about affection and attention ... in simpler terms it’s about his ego, someone that makes him feel appreciated and desired.

Think back to when you were dating, how you hung on his every word, laughed at his jokes, were desperate to spend time with him and picked the fluff off his jacket .. he loved the attention and he felt appreciated.

During that phase of your relationship a supermodel could have danced in front of him naked begging for his attention and he would have rejected her, as he was getting all he needed from you.

Then life moves on, you have the kids to pick up from school, the house is a tip, the dog has thrown up in the kitchen, the mortgage is due and you can put the shelves up yourself without waiting 6 months for him to do it. He has suddenly become a spare part.

Along comes a very ordinary other woman, no beauty queen and not even very exciting. He just meets her in passing, he isn’t out looking for an affair, she just happens to cross his path, be that at work, in the supermarket or socially.

She laughs at his jokes, enjoys his conversation and comments on how well his shirt suits his colouring .. bingo, she pays him attention and he suddenly feels appreciated again and cheating suddenly doesn’t seem such a crime.

He commits adultery, not because he was looking for extra marital playtime but because he finds the attention, ego boost and affection he feels he’s lacking at home.

Hubpages: 10 reasons why men cheat
To boost their ego; sometimes, its not their spouse fault, they cheat just to boost their ego, just because it make them feel good. In this case, it doesn’t mean they don’t love their woman.

AskMen: Top 10: Reasons Why Men Cheat
Number 6: It boosts your ego
Nothing lifts the old self-esteem like discovering that other women still desire you sexually. When in long-term relationships, men may begin to question their sexual marketability, which will lead some of them to sow their clandestine wild oats. Once a man knows he can get back in the game, he'll return to his mate; or not.


While this wasn't the number one reason, it seems that nagging is certainly up there tied to reason number one. I guess if a guy looks elsewhere for an ego boost, we might assume that nagging doesn't fall into the category of building up self-confidence.

3 Reasons Why Men Cheat | Understanding Adultery - May 2009
3. Nagging, nagging, nagging and more nagging

Nagging is simply another word for criticism and you may be a Stepford wife in all other ways but if you’re a nag then your man is going to dread coming home and will find solace in the arms of another  .. a non-nagging other.

Most people can accept constructive criticism but when it begins to be nit-picking, nagging for the sake of it, then it would wear anyone down.

He simply can’t win, no matter how hard he tries to please you he gets nagged .. in other words told he is wrong constantly.

It’s not enough for you to say don’t leave your dirty football boots on the coffee table, you have to add “AND” then list a thousand other things he does that annoys you.

A man in this situation will actively seek peace, whether that is through a hobby, drinking or an affair. Adultery is an escape for him and cheating loses it’s fear .. anything is better than being constantly brow beaten.

AskMen: Top 10: Reasons Why Men Cheat
Number 4: Your girlfriend is a nag
Most men have experienced at least one woman who thrives on making him feel like crap. Constant nagging, fighting and squabbling in the right ratios is the best recipe for a headache. Cheating with another woman is a common escape from this domestic hell, and works better than aspirin.

Final Word
What? I have a final word? The final word? I doubt it. But I suppose that I could add that relationships are not the simplest thing in the world. Communication I'd say is important. I guess if you have communication, that could lead to understanding. And understanding could lead to... what? A good relationship? In any case, I offer no excuses for bad behaviour. But I am a good guy and maybe I'd just like to hear it once in a while.

3 Reasons Why Men Cheat | Understanding Adultery - May 2009
Some men will always cheat, they just have a “grass is always greener” mentality but a majority wouldn’t dream of it if they are happy and fulfilled at home.

Again, this is not just blaming the wife ... a relationship works both ways and when a man stops paying attention and making his wife feel sexy and attractive then it’s no big surprise she is rarely in the mood but we will look at that side of things in the next article.

For now ladies have a look at the three reasons men cheat and ask yourself honestly if you are guilty of any of them. It’s no shame to admit you are, I woke up one day and realised I had become a tremendous nag but like any problem, once you admit it you can do something about it.

On a final note ladies, don’t forgive affairs too easily. If I had added a number 4 to the list of reasons men cheat it would have been because they know they can creep round you until you forgive them again.

Understanding adultery is not rocket science, the 3 reasons why men cheat are symptoms of a bigger problem at home.


Wikipedia: M. Gary Neuman
M. Gary Neuman is a rabbi, licensed family counselor, Florida Supreme Court-certified family mediator, and founder of the Sandcastles Program Inc., a nationwide divorce therapy program for children. He is also author of The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It (Wiley), Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage (Crown), and Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way (Random House).

official web site: M. Gary Neuman

YouTube: Why Men Cheat (M. Gary Neuman) - Sep 2008
M. Gary Neuman, marriage counselor & author of The Truth About Cheating, reveals the real reasons why men cheat. Learn more about infidelity at


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