Statistics show that couples should focus on how they can meet each other’s emotional needs. For example, 48% of men said the reason behind their affair is a result of emotional dissatisfaction. Only 8% of men had affairs due to sexual dissatisfaction in their current relationship. In my experience as a couples therapist, most women feel their partner has had an affair for sexual reasons, however that’s not generally true for most couples.
Here are some real reasons why men cheat:
He feels insecure– Men have insecurities just as much as women do. They feel like they aren’t good enough at times. They may be insecure about their body image, their bank account, or their sexual performance. They venture outside of the marriage sometimes because of these insecurities. They use flirtation and extramarital sex to make them feel better about themselves and boost their self esteem. They participate in these affairs to make themselves feel better. They want to feel desired and know that they are good enough.
Issues from the past– If he’s been abused in the past, whether it be sexually, emotionally or physically, he could be using sex as a way to self-medicate. His past issues make him unwilling or unable to fully commit to another person. Victims of abuse are not always comfortable with those close to them. Early experiences taught them that loved ones were not to be trusted and that safety and security is not reality. Years later, even when in a loving relationship, they still cannot erase those moments from their heads and fully embrace a loving partner.
Immaturity and unreasonable expectations– Some men may be narcissistic and immature. In these cases, they can’t understand why their partner is not meeting their needs. They think that as long as they don’t get caught they aren’t hurting anyone. He’s the type that is impulsive and does not like to take responsibility for his actions. There is a real entitlement with these type of men.
Addiction problems– When someone has addiction problems they tend to have trouble with compulsiveness and inability to make rational decisions. Since he has a habit of self medicating, he may use sex to feel better and to hide the psychological pain he is suffering.
Wants out– In a few cases, I have seen that a man is trying to send indirect messages to his current partner by going behind her back, secretly wanting to get caught or hoping she will catch the message. If he’s someone who hates to be alone then he’s going to continue to explore his opportunities until he finds someone to replace his current partner.
Most men who cheat end up feeling regret and guilt, so it’s important to remember that many men are not lacking a conscience, but rather are going through problems. There are steps both partners can take to help affair proof a relationship to. Couples need to come together and do their homework every day. Their priority needs to be constantly working on building a trustworthy and nurturing relationship. For more help or advice please book a Couples Therapy appointment or call in for free relationship advice on Dr.Stephanie’s Weekly Radio Show.