Why Men Cheat in Relationships
When both men and women are asked why do men cheat, the immediate responses are often,
- ...men cheat to get back in touch with their inner caveman.
- ...men cheat because they like to play with fire.
- ...men cheat out of boredom.
- ...men cheat because they want more sex than women do.
- ...men cheat because the wife always nagging.
- ...men cheat just because they can ...
These answers come mainly from Urban Myth, are they true, are there any facts to back them up?
Is Infidelity A Given?
How true is the idea put forward by men that 'It's our biological nature'?
Scientific research has taught us that there are three hormones inside our body that determine how monogamous we are: oxytocin, arginine vasopressin, and testosterone.
Oxytocin makes people want to stay together. It is the hormone that forges the bond between a mother and her new-born baby.
Arginine vasopressin supports the desire to support your mate or offspring, an important aspect of bonding between couples.
It's the receptors for these two hormones in the brain that determine us as monogamous.
Then there is Testosterone, associated with libido and sex drive, and also male characteristics such as muscular structure.
Testosterone conflicts with the bonding effects of Oxytocin in driving a person to seek more sexual partners, to be single-minded and to take risks. Men usually have up to ten times more of it than women.
Our brain makes constant, calculated guesses regarding the consequences of our actions. A high level of testosterone seems to influence our calculation in favour of the satisfaction of the immediate desire.
Does that mean men can blame their Testosterone level for the fact that they cheat? Absolutely not, although influenced, we still are responsible for deciding whether to act upon our impulse. So hormones are not the answer to why men cheat.
What other reasons do men have for cheating in relationships?
Many men have difficulty talking about their feelings, let alone showing them. Sometimes it can feel safer to meet with someone new than to speak up at home and perhaps jeopardise their long-term relationship.
Often men are cheating because they don't know how to be in a successful relationship. Instead of dealing with their hang-ups, like fear of connection or fear of intimacy, they entertain the idea that an affair remains superficial and, therefore, safe.
There are men who cheat because of their own feelings of loneliness, or suppressed anger. Instead of stepping up and addressing those issues they run away and hide.
It seems that cheating can be closely connected with men's inability to address issues in their lives.
Five Types of infidelity
It is recognised that there are a number of different types of infidelity. Each type of infidelity indcates a different cause of why men cheat:
- Opportunistic Infidelity – You have a partner but give in to the attraction you feel for someone else. Driven by lust in the moment, the time is right and usually a little risky. Many men specifically enjoy this type.
- Obligatory Infidelity – Based on the fear that not giving in to the sexual advances of the other person will result in rejection by them. This stems from the need for approval.
- Romantic Infidelity – You are lost because your relationship is petering out and you look for a replacement, look for affairs. To quote the legenday B.B. King, the 'thrill is gone'.
- Conflicted Romantic Infidelity – You have a strong sexual desire for several people at the same time, as well as being in a committed intimate relationship. You feel confused and that confiding in the intimate partner is not an option, unless you are in an 'open relationship'.
- Remembrance Infidelity – When you fall completely out of love with your current partner and want to get back to when you were in love.
Who Are You Really Cheating, Your Relationship?
Usually you are cheating yourself. Most infidelity involves pretence and lying to yourself. Personal honesty is key to preventing this. Don't promise to be anything that you are not. If you like hunting women, if that is you at your core, stay true to your word. Don't start creating false pretences by telling women you always want to be with them. Because you know you don't.
Remember you will always feel the pull of polarity. The decision to take it further, however, is always yours to make or not. Your Testosterone creates urges, it does not control you.