An article about the rising rates of infidelity among newlyweds in the latest issue of Women’s Health Magazine carries a quote by me on one of the reasons for the increase in infidelity among newlywed couples: In many instances they’re trying to recapture the feelings or romance, the excitement, and the passion they felt when they were dating. Many of them look outside their marriage for these feelings, if they can’t resurrect them with their marriage mate.
But that reason is way down on the list of reasons why married men and married women cheat on their mates.
Below are the top 10 reasons cheating husbands and cheating wives use to justify their extramarital affairs. You will notice, as you compare the two lists, you will see that for cheating man, sex is the primary motivating factor. While for cheating women, the key factors are marital dissatisfaction and / or unmet emotional needs.
Top 10 Reasons Why Men Cheat
• more sex - the desire for a more active sex life • sexual variety - the desire for different types of sex or a particular sex act • opportunistic sex – he’s presented with an opportunity to have sex without getting caught • to satisfy his sexual curiosity about what it would be like to have sex with a particular person • to reaffirm his sexuality • a feeling of entitlement (the belief that it’s a man’s prerogative to cheat) • the “thrill of the chase” • ego embellishment - the desire to feel important or special • peer pressure • sexual addiction
Top 10 Reasons Why Women Cheat
• to fulfill an unmet need for emotional intimacy or a desire close emotional bond • dissatisfaction with her mate • dissatisfaction with her marriage or relationship • a desire for male attention • reaffirmation of her desirability as a woman • to re-capture the feelings of romance or passion • a desire to feel “special” • boredom or loneliness • feelings of neglect or being taken for granted • sexual excitement
The Bottom Line on Why Men and Women Cheat
Men tend to cheat largely for sexual reasons, while women cheat for emotional reasons. There are several studies on infidelity that bear that out. One study, in particular, found that 75% to 80% of the men who admitted to having extramarital affairs said that sex was the primary reason. Only 20% of the women who were having extramarital affairs said they cheated on their spouses for purely sexual reasons.
Of course, the reasons above are not the only reasons married men and women cheat on their mates. There are other reasons as well. But these were the reasons most frequently given by cheating husbands and cheating wives who were willing to discuss why they were having an extramarital affair.
Most Cheaters Never Get Caught
Studies indicate that most infidelity goes undetected. The majority of cheating spouses never get caught. In one study, 70% of married women and 54% of married men had no idea their spouse was having an extramarital affair. Another study found that 60% of the cheating spouses said their partner did not know about their affair.
But even undetected infidelity can take its toll on a marriage. So it’s to your advantage to familiarize yourself with the signs of infidelity. Knowing what to look for is the key. If more husbands and wives knew how to spot the signs of infidelity, more marriages could be saved. Early intervention can keep a budding affair from blossoming into a full blown romance. Early intervention can also prevent an affair already in progress from reaching the point of no return.”