Recent studies on infidelity surveyed both cheating and non-cheating husbands to find out what drives men to cheat on their wives, and also researched what could have prevented men from cheating. The studies yielded results that many may find surprising.
While popular stereotypes indicate that for men, cheating is all about sex, recent studies indicate that up to 48% of men report emotional dissatisfaction as one of the main reasons for their infidelity.
In fact, only 8% of men report sexual dissatisfaction as a driving factor behind their infidelity. It appears men are emotional creatures too – in fact, to a way higher degree than what most of us thought. Studies show that men also crave the feeling of “being appreciated” by their wives, as well as receiving recognition for the efforts they’re investing into making the relationship work. But men definitely have a hard time expressing their feelings. Which is why many women have a hard time figuring out when their husbands and boyfriends are craving reassurance.
Our culture discourages men to express feelings in general, especially when it comes to emotional needs. It seems the culture we live in makes men feel guilty and “unmanly” for having emotions in the first place. But the research clearly indicates that a marriage in which men feel like their emotional needs are both recognized and fulfilled will make them a lot less likely to lie and resort to infidelity.
Studies also indicate that 66% of men who cheat feel guilty while engaging in infidelity.
This dispels the notion that only the “remorseless jerk” type of man cheats on his wife or girlfriend. As much as 68% of men who cheat never thought a day would come where they would feel the need to cheat. Recent studies show that most unfaithful men actually regret their infidelity, and wish they had never crossed that line. But they choose to “bury” those emotions during the affair. This is an alarming statistic to most married women because it implies that even if their husband promised he would never cheat (and fully meant it at the time), he’s still likely to end up cheating at some point during the relationship.
77% of cheating men report having a good friend who also cheats.
When men spend time with friends who are themselves unfaithful, it makes cheating seem a lot more normal and legitimate. Men’s subconscious actually plays a large role in this case. Men are subconsciously telling themselves that their friend, even though he may be cheating on his wife, is otherwise an all-around good guy, which leads them to conclude that “even the good guys cheat”.
40% of men who cheat report having met the other woman at work.
This brings us back to men and their deeply buried emotional needs. Research shows that in most cases, the women that men cheat with at the office are women who are vocal about looking up to them, noticing and praising them for their work and their efforts. This is why it’s so important that men feel like they’re being valued by their wives. In most cases, there are warning signs that a man is getting a little too close with a woman co-worker: if he mentions the name of a particular female coworker and speaks highly of her often, especially if he’s not doing the same for male colleagues, it’s usually a sign something is going on. That means it’s probably a good time to have a conversation about what is and isn’t ok in his interactions with women colleagues; is it ok for him to work late if only the two of them are there? Are business dinners and trips together off-limits?
Another popular misconception about cheating husbands is that they cheat because they find a woman to be more attractive than their actual partner. This is actually far from the truth.
Only 12% of cheating men said their mistress was more physically attractive than their wife.
Men don’t cheat because they think they’re likely to have better sex with a woman who’s more attractive than their wife or girlfriend. This also brings up the issue of men’s emotional needs. A man is a lot more likely to cheat if he has an emotional connection with another woman, and sex is just a by-product of that connection. Sex is clearly an important factor in any relationship, but an emotional connection is just as important.
Only 6% of cheating men had sex with a woman after meeting her that same day or night.
Another popular stereotype is the one about men and “one night stands”. Studies show that 73% of men got to know the woman they cheated on their wife or girlfriend with for over a month before any acts of infidelity began. Again, there are warning signs to look out for: him spending more time away from home, appearing to have a lower sex drive, being more irritable, avoiding your calls and generally seeming more unwilling to communicate. Most men will automatically deny even considering infidelity when confronted by their wife. Marriage counselors suggest the best way to address the issue is to try to “take charge of the situation” by adjusting your behavior in a way that’s more likely to bring your relationship to a more positive dynamic: giving him more attention, initiating sex more often and generally encouraging better communication between the two of you.