Infidelity is one of the most common and the most talked about issues in relationships. Both genders are known to be unfaithful in relationships but what’s most talked about is the male’s tendency to cheat. Here we will explore the reasons behind male infidelity, or simply why do men cheat, in order to understand their behaviour better and have a better insight into their psyche.
Defining Cheating, Adultery, and Infidelity
Cheating, adultery, and infidelity are different terms which all imply sexual betrayal, but have nuanced meanings. Cheating is when a partner goes against the relationship rules and begins a sexual relationship with someone other than their substantial other with no intention of ending the original relationship. Adultery is a term for a person in a relationship who has an intimate relationship with someone other than their spouse, and the act is legally punishable in some countries. Infidelity describes an overall act of betrayal in a relationship.
Types of Male Infidelity
When it comes to infidelity, there are two major types of behaviour, conscious and unconscious.
• Conscious male infidelity: This type of infidelity is when men consciously choose to cheat. This is seen as an act of betrayal, and a conscious choice to break the codes of conduct in a relationship.
• Unconscious male infidelity: This type of infidelity is when men display their unconscious need to feel desired, or to feel mostly certain ego needs that they are not capable of satisfying in the current relationship.
External Influences to Male Cheating
The environment and the situation play a big part in men’s propensity to cheat.
• Social media and society: Social media has broken the door to an infinite number of freedom for men as well as women. Social networking encourages people to meet, flirt and even begin sexual relationships with strangers, virtually or in person, making it easier to break the faithfulness expected in a relationship. On the other hand, a societal pressure acts as a catalyst to male infidelity which often causes men to prove that they are still attractive and desirable according to the social norms.
• Technology and lifestyle choices: Technological advancements and lifestyle choices provide men with easy access to temptation and resources such as social media apps and websites that facilitate extramarital relationships. With hectic lifestyles and the prevalence of communication technology, men have the feeling of living multiple lives, increasing the odds of indulging in relationships aside from their significant other.
Exploring the Reasons for Male Cheating
It is often difficult to put a finger on the exact motive for a man’s affair. Here is an exhaustive list of factors believed to influence male infidelity.
• Sexual gratification: Men attach more importance to physical aspects of a relationship as compared to women. Many men stay faithful to their partners even when they are not sexually satisfied but often, the feeling of being sexually neglected leads them to look elsewhere for physical gratification.
• Revenge: Men sometimes resort to cheating just to avenge the pain caused to them by their partners. This is normally the case when a man feels that he has earned the right to pay back his partner in the same coin by being unfaithful.
• Intimacy: The lack of physical as well as emotional connection in relationships is another common factor that leads to male infidelity. While some men fill this void by having extramarital relationships, some may look for intimacy through recreational activities such as watching pornography and indulging in other forms of cybersex.
• Excitement and adventure: Committed relationships often become dull, boring and predictable over time. This can lead to men wanting to break the monotony to experience adventure and excitement. In such scenarios, men look for sex partners outside their relationship to get the short-term rush of adrenaline.
• For love and attention: Many men are susceptible of getting into an extramarital affair for love and attention. This type of unfaithfulness normally stems from men not feeling loved and appreciated in their existing relationship.
• Poor understanding of marriage: Some men don’t understand the concept of marriage and think of the ceremonial vows as mere expressions of love and commitment. As a result, they may not take marital faithfulness as seriously as they should and choose to stray away.
Effective Strategies to Prevent Male Cheating
Though cheating is a complex behaviour to understand and attempt, there are several strategies that can prove helpful in preventing male infidelity.
• Honest communication: A better understanding of each other’s desires, needs, and expectations is essential for a successful relationship. Open and honest communication is a must between two partners, enabling them to create a foundation of trust, respect and security in their relationship.
• Open up about past experiences: Sharing experiences, both negative and positive, from one’s past life is an effective way of preventing male infidelity. Understanding the reasons and circumstances that lead to such experiences, along with their possible consequences, goes a long way in reassuring a man of his partner’s faithfulness.
• Talk about monogamy: Being in a monogamous relationship is a choice that couples need to make. Discussing the expectations and benefits of monogamy helps to make sure that both partners know what it means to commit to each other.
• Find healthy solutions to satisfy needs: The need for sexual gratification and feeling of being wanted accounted for the highest instances of male infidelity. To prevent this, couples should find healthy solutions to satisfy each other’s physical and emotional needs.
• Spend quality time together: Sometimes, cheating can occur when one isn’t feeling valued or taken serious in the relationship. To prevent this, couples should make sure to dedicate quality time to each other. Spontaneity and surprises can take even the dullest of relationships to the next level.
As we discussed, cheating is a complex and multi-dimensional problem in relationships. In this article, we focused on exploring the reasons behind male infidelity and various strategies that are effective in preventing it. While the factors may differ from one man to another, the strategies mentioned should prove helpful for couples in any relationship. Above all, it’s essential for couples to have honest conversations about their expectations and desires from the relationship in order to create a foundation of trust and respect.