Monday, August 15, 2011

Stepping Out II: Top 6 Reasons Men Cheat

He's staying a way from home more often, sometimes late into the night, offering lame excuses. He avoids answering his phone when you're in his presence or takes his calls to another room. He begins to criticize you more and more, suddenly you picking up weight...or you need exercise and tighten up your act a little bit. And he avoids you like a bill collector. Your spidey senses tell you something ain't right...but he loves you, you have a family, everybody goes through difficult times, right?

Uh-uh...don't get it twisted. He's cheating...or he's about to start.

Even though cheating is an activity that I think is most closely associated with men, men cheat for many of the same reasons women do. Raise your hand if you generally view men as the primary aggressors and perpetrators of infidelity in relationships? Mine's up. I'll be the first to admit it. Because men tend to be such visual creatures, hound dogs if you will, we automatically assume that men cheat for shallow reasons--such as he can't get enough sex or the woman looks better than the one he has at home.

However, most people would be surprised to know that men cheat for reasons that are just as emotionally driven as women. Yes. They're human too. With feelings even. They have needs to be desired, appreciated, understood, and adored like any woman has. The only difference is that they are less likely to communicate these needs to their partner as a woman would be for fear of being perceived as weak or needy.

This is such an important point for women to understand because if our man cheats our minds automatically assume that we're somehow inadequate, too fat, not as pretty as her...or as we used to be, when nine time out of ten, he connected with someone else for emotional reasons that have nothing to do with sex or physical appearance, rather an emotional connection and a feeling that they are emotionally safe and secure--that they are man enough.

So, what are the main reasons men cheat. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Emotionally disconnected. What you say? Men need to feel emotionally connected to their spouse or significant other too? No way.

Yeah way!

When communication fails, the heart sails--for both women AND men. When men don't feel appreciated or understood or as if the women in their lives appreciate the effort their making, they will stray...especially when there's a woman in his ear telling him everything he needs to hear and more.

2. Sexual dissatisfaction. When your sex life isn't measuring up, a man will stray to find a way to fill the void. Biologically speaking, men generally have higher sex drives than women. Usually. Believe it or not, most men do not desire their women to be freaks in the bed (although it certainly doesn't hurt one little bit), but the biggest complaint most men have a bout sex is the frequency...not the variety. Most men want it often and that doesn't have to involve handcuffs and chandeliers. If they're not getting it frequently enough, they will find someone to take up the slack.

3. Insecurity. Men need to feel as if what they're doing to support their families or significant others is enough. They need to feel as if they're enough man for their women and enough father for their kids. When women nag, belittle, or berate their men, the men feel as if they're falling short of everyone's expectations, they lose the feeling of security in their position as head of the family or relationship and will seek to keep company with people who make them feel as if what they have to offer is enough.

4. Something new, Something different. Notice I didn't say something better. That is key. Sometimes people get too comfortable and too complacent in their home lives, and someone else may be offering something shiny and new...all the things they think they're missing at home. The grass always appears greener...(even if the water bill is higher).

5. Option meets Opportunity. Sometimes when men are feeling vulnerable and an opportunity presents itself in which they don't believe they'll get caught, they will go for it. The point here is that they are already feeling vulnerable. Maybe they had a early fight with the wife and late night at work, and the co-worker they've been flirting with just happens to be working late too. Maybe they're away on business and they happen upon a woman who wants as little from the encounter as he does. Whatever the reason, an opportunity presents itself and the offender doesn't believe he'll get caught.

6. Prize Outweighs the Punishment. When men are miserable and feeling angry or hurt about a situation at home, at some point, the reward from cheating becomes worth more to them than the risk that they'll get caught or lose their relationship with their wife or significant other. Unfortunately, if a man reaches this point, their probably won't be much turning back. Unlike for women, this usually isn't an exit strategy as much as it is a means to escape...and the long-term relationship is probably nearly over.

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