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Why Do Men Cheat? 14 Reasons Why He Could Be Unfaithful

He has you, so why would your man want to cheat on you with someone else?

As many women have discovered, suspecting or knowing for a fact that your man is cheating on you is an extremely stressful and miserable situation to find yourself in.

Often just as confusing is to have an attractive, unavailable man suddenly show an interest in cheating on his partner ... with you.

If this is your man, it is important to look at the whole picture as logically as is possible in such an emotional time. There is nothing to be gained from blaming yourself or giving yourself a hard time over it. Naturally, you are going to feel hurt and confused, so understanding his possible motives can help you see things more clearly.

At a Glance: Why Men Cheat

  • He has different values to you
  • He wants to end a relationship
  • He can't say 'no'
  • He wants to boost his ego
  • He's submitting to peer pressure
  • He enjoys the game
  • He's not satisfied by you
  • He gets away with cheating
  • He sees it as a status symbol
  • He was given the opportunity
  • He thinks it's acceptable
  • He has something to prove
  • He is seeking revenge
  • He's fallen in love with another

Cheating doesn't always mean that he wishes to end his current relationship. The question is, can you keep or form a meaningful relationship with someone who may potentially cheat again?

So why do some men cheat?

He Has Different Values

One of the greatest bonds in a relationship is shared values.

If his values regarding cheating are different to those of his partner, he might not even understand that she thinks cheating is wrong.

While she might assume the relationship is monogamous, he might honestly believe that all men cheat, or that she won't mind, or even that she will cheat also so it's okay.

Alternatively, he might just be someone who enjoys breaking the rules, or is naturally self centred.

If this is your man, make sure you are on the same page when it comes the rules in your relationship regarding cheating. That way he will know what you expect in the relationship, and you will both understand the boundaries.

He Wants To End a Relationship

Some men fear leaving a relationship before establishing a new one. It is surprising how many men met or knew their current partner while still in a relationship with a previous partner.

Meeting or knowing a women of course does not mean that he is cheating. However, sometimes rather than leave his partner and "risk it all", a man will fully establish his relationship with a new woman before leaving his current one. This is when cheating occurs.

He Can't Say 'No'

If he attracts a lot of attention from women, perhaps he finds it difficult to turn down an offer if one of them comes on to him.

Just as some people can't say 'no' to cheesecake, some men can't say 'no' to an attractive and willing woman.

You need to make sure that he is crystal clear about the consequences in your relationship if he submits to temptation from other women.

He Wants To Boost His Ego

An insecure man might feel more important, more successful, more desired and/or more loved by attracting the attention of other women. This can lead to affairs.

As his partner, if you see the signs of potential cheating, you could perhaps try addressing his self esteem issues, either by your own actions, or by helping him get professional help.

He Is Submitting to Peer Group Pressure

If a man hangs out with others who cheat, he might find himself wanting to conform or trying to complete. He might even feel competitive or be encouraged by his friends to be a player. This can also happen if a lot of his friends are single, or if his friends are jealous and want to ruin his relationship with you.

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Get to know his friends, and make sure you have established the ground rules with your man. You need to be able to trust him, and he needs to know what would betray that trust.

He Enjoys The Game

The thrill of the chase can lead to a man cheating if he's successful. He may yearn for the initial excitement of a new woman, rather than be happy in a secure relationship.

To some men, it's all a game. He could be a player, and be playing you as well as other women.

While sex addiction has recently been proved not to be a real condition, many men enjoy experimenting with lots of women rather than remain just with one.

If your man is cheating because it's all a game to him, you very likely need to reconsider your relationship with him. Unless you are content with sharing him, it will probably be a battle to keep him monogamous.

He Is Not Satisfied By You

If a man is not satisfied in his partner's bedroom, he might go looking elsewhere.

This is not necessarily his partner's fault. The man may be gay or bi-sexual. He might enjoy the kinky side of life, and even if he hasn't asked, he might assume his partner isn't into it. If he's inexperienced, he might be curious about other partners. Perhaps the sex just isn't that good.

Being aware of his feelings will often reveal whether or not he is enjoying you. It's important to communicate if you feel there might be problems in the bedroom, but remember, it's a very sensitive issue, so tread carefully. Sometimes it can help to seek counselling, as an outside opinion can be helpful.

He Gets Away With It

If a man cheats once and gets away with it, it can lead him to continue cheating. He can develop a sense of security in his activities if there are no consequences.

This might be because you allow him to cheat, or you don't leave him once you find out. Of course, you might not know!

He Sees Cheating as a Status Symbol

Some men think that being seen with different women makes him look successful and important. He might believe that having a mistress is an achievement. He will cheat to impress anyone who is looking.

This is not the man with whom to have a healthy relationship.

He Was Given The Opportunity

It's the scenario many women fear - the scheming secretary, the overnight work conference, the live-in maid or babysitter ... television is full of these stories.

A man can cheat because the opportunity is before him, and he gives in to temptation.

It's a question of trust. He needs to know the consequences if he ever betrays yours.

He Thinks It's Acceptable

In some cultures, it is perfectly normal for a man to have one or more mistresses, as well as a wife. He might not consider it cheating, or if he does, it's "acceptable cheating".

He might also feel entitled, believing himself to be more important than you and your needs.

Again, it comes down to communication about both of your sets of values, and understanding what each of you expects in the relationship.

He Has Something He Needs To Prove

An insecure man might cheat in order to prove to himself (or to others) that he is a real man, or that he "still has it".

The issue here is why he feels insecure. Professional counselling might help him overcome this problem, eliminating his perceived need to cheat.

He Is Getting Revenge

Have you cheated on him? As an act of revenge, he might actively seek to cheat on you also. Even if you are innocent, maybe you have been paying too much attention to someone else (inadvertently or deliberately). If he is jealous, he might try to pay you back by cheating on you.

This is a relationship in trouble. Acts of revenge can spiral out of control and cause everyone involved a lot of pain.

He Has Fallen In Love With Someone Else

For his partner, the saddest reason a man might cheat is that he has fallen in love with someone else. She might be unavailable for a relationship, or perhaps just hasn't got around to breaking up with you yet. Sometimes issues of the heart take us all by surprise.

In this situation, it's not you ... it's just life.

Moving Forward

How you react to a cheating partner is up to you. There are so many individual circumstances and situations, it's impossible to generalise.

The most important (and sometimes most difficult) move that you can make right now is to stop blaming yourself. So many women take cheating as a personal insult. They begin a devastated inner search as to what they could have done wrong or differently.

Even though it hurts, it's better to accept that what has happened is not your fault. Then you can start deciding whether or not your relationship should continue.

Women from all over the world have survived the ordeal, and so will you. It's time to start moving forward.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: I always quarrel with the guy who I am pregnant with. Now he has fallen for another woman and is claiming that I abuse him. What should I do? I feel like ending the relationship.

Answer: Your partner has told you that he has fallen for someone else and is claiming abuse, yet you are still together. This sounds like a complex situation based on a lack of communication between you both. As you now have a child to consider, I suggest that you and your partner go to a professional counselor to talk about everything and get advice. A good counselor will be able to help. Do it soon so you can enjoy your pregnancy and concentrate on a happier future.

Question: I’ve caught my boyfriend cheating on me several times. I’ve been in this relationship for 4 years. He later confronted me to stop investigating him to find evidence of his cheating act. I’m honestly pained. What should I do?

Answer: Statistics unfortunately show that a partner who cheats several times will rarely stop. It's concerning that not only is your boyfriend being unfaithful to you, but that he is now making you out to be the "bad guy" for not trusting him. My advice would be for you to seriously consider your reasons for remaining in this relationship. I understand that this must be extremely confusing and upsetting for you. Perhaps seeking face to face help from a professional would help you to get your thoughts and priorities in order.

Question: How do I, the wife, get over my husband's affair if he treated the other woman better, cooked for her, took her out on our wedding anniversary, and fell in love with the mistress?

Answer: No-one deserves to be put into such a miserable situation by such a selfish man. You may not be able to get over your husband's behavior, even if he is contrite and genuinely asking for forgiveness. This is why affairs are so dangerous. Trust is such an important part of a relationship, and once trust is abused it is almost impossible to trust again. If you honestly believe that your husband will be faithful from now on, both of you need to work on rebuilding your relationship from the ground up. You need to rekindle the feelings you had when you decided to marry and work positively to reinforce your relationship. If possible, getting professional advice from a marriage therapist will help. I hope that you can heal and that he has finally realized your worth.


Savannah on June 03, 2019:

Y should never get married if they know they gonna hurt the wife

A nony mouse on March 19, 2018:


In the case of rape, first world countries administer PREP to prevent HIV infection. There are now more sensitive methods of detecting infection than the old style seroconversion tests. Even where infection occurs, modern medicine can reduce viral load to levels that are undetectable (and probably unlikely to cause infection alone). Add in the fact that the partner could use condoms and if you really want a belt and braces approach, then a drug called Truvada has a prophylactic effect. So no need to cheat in that circumstance.

Jibaro on January 18, 2018:

Can you specifically tell me where did get the data to support your article? I want to see the scientific background behind your assertions. On the topic, there are a couple of good books that are based scientific research in Behavioral Biology and Sociology that just happened to be contrary to your article and I really want to know your sources to really research them.

How about a man wants to keep his marriage because it is for the best interest of the entire family but his wife is not capable of sexually and emotional support because she weights 600 lbs. or because she is ermanently bed ridden after an accident.

Or how about wife got HIV in a mug/rape incident and he can no longer have sex with her but loves her and will not abandon her.

Or how about a man sexually impotent that loves his wife and she loves him dearly and he allows her to be sexually satisfied by another man.

Tell about this situations. How do they fit on your scheme?

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