The most controversial news of the last several months has been the Ashley Madison hacker breach. The hackers made off with the personal information on millions of customers on the site.
Now, the Ashley Madison site is in business to provide a place for those seeking extramarital (and any kind, I suppose) affairs.
The criticism against Ashley Madison is that it's really not able to provide what it pretends to: willing female cheaters.
There was a lot of gloating going on after this hack. Mostly by people who feel: "Well, they shouldn't have been so stupid."
Some have even claimed that it's all "male stupidity" - since men are clearly ignorant brutes in search of a quick get-laid opportunity.
Are men simply getting what they deserve?
Let's get this out there right off the bat - Men are not the only "cheaters" in the dating and relationship game.
However, due to a man's higher sex drive, he's more likely to seek outside his relationship if his needs aren't getting met.
This unfortunately leads to a lot of misunderstandings - and a lot of unfortunate behavior.
Again, there have been criticisms of men that say we're "conditioned to make surreal efforts to obtain sex."
A pretty harsh indictment if you ask me.
However, just because women aren't using Ashley Madison doesn't mean that this is an exclusively male situation.
There are men and women everywhere that are unhappy with their relationships.
And there are so many other reasons why people decide to cheat on their partner:
- In a loveless or abusive marriage
- In an unhappy relationship
And maybe that's the real root of the problem here.
How do you keep your relationship happy enough that your partner isn't looking for something - or someone - else?
So let's explore the reasons why men cheat - and how a woman can "cheat-proof" her relationship.
Remember, what I'm about to talk about here may sound like justification - but it's not.
It's always easy to lash out and assign blame.
What takes much more effort on our part is to understand the reasoning, and patiently think about what we might do in their shoes.
I was being interviewed for a new program recently, and the interviewer brought up that most insidious of topics - how to keep a man faithful.
Now, I could go through all the cliche advice in the "dating guru playbook" of how to safeguard your relationship.
BUT - if you really want to know how to keep a guy from cheating, the best thing you can do is to look at the relationships where the man is completely faithful - where he has no desire to cheat.
What is SHE doing to keep him happy?
If you look closely - you'll notice it's more about what she's NOT doing. Let's go through a few of those things.
Why Do Men Cheat - Reason 1: He's not sexually satisfied
This reason is likely to make many women grit their teeth a bit. After all, sometimes it seems to always come down to a man's sex drive.
One woman at a talk I was giving said, "Why do we always have to please him on HIS schedule? Why can't he just wait? Or take care of himself?"
Well, coming from a man's point of view, let me explain why those are not realistic for many men.
Yes, he can wait for a better time, but a man is not biologically programmed for this kind of "convenient schedule" when it comes to his libido.
He can't "schedule" his sex drive. He often will feel the desire, and want to consummate it.
Now if he has to wait, that's fine.
But if he's asked to "take care of it himself," this means he's going to lose the intimacy he craves with you.
For a man, his sexual intimacy and his emotional intimacy are tied together. So if he has to "wait" for the right time a few too many times - he will start to feel disconnected from you.
Keep in mind that emotional intimacy for a man is a very risky proposition. Women can be emotionally open and intimate with many different people in their life.
Men will not take that chance with very many people in his own life.
Is this "justification" for cheating? No, that's not what it's meant to be.
Keep in mind, though, that the "justification" we give ourselves for cheating on our partner, or having an affair, is never logical or based on a detail as simple as sex.
I'll come back to this in a bit...
Why Do Men Cheat - Reason 2: He's not feeling like a MAN.
Some men get into relationships with a very unhealthy power balance in it. He doesn't "man up" when he should.
And as a result, a woman sees this passivity as weakness.
Very often she will take control of the relationship, since it doesn't appear that he's going to step up and take the wheel. But this further disables him, since he figures, why bother.
Not that this is an excuse for resignation, but men are more likely to want to "go with the flow" than "rock the boat" for the first obvious reason that he doesn't want to endanger his chances of getting sex.
While that may seem cowardly on the surface, it's where a man's head is at.
When a man feels emasculated, either because of his partner's slights and comments, or because he's afraid of his own ability to be intimate - he's going to seek some way to feel like a man again.
And who could blame him?
One of the most self-validating acts is to cheat with a woman that makes him feel virile.
Or even when he can prove to himself that he CAN have sex with another woman who finds him desirable.
It's unfortunate that the media only produces images and programming to support this belief that men can only be men by conquering many women.
It's not actually that simple, though.
Most men simply need to be allowed to believe that *his own definition* of masculinity is all that really matters. IF he can go inside himself and trust his own inner voice.
So be sure to validate his masculinity at every chance you get.
If he does something for you, acknowledge it and appreciate it - instead of looking at it as an attempt to demean you as a woman. (HINT: Men never do this.)
Which leads us to...
Why Do Men Cheat - Reason 3: He's not safe in the relationship.
This reason is one of the unknown secrets of happy relationships as well as unhappy ones.
A man needs to feel like he can open up to you without recourse or backlash. If he feels like he can't speak his mind without:
- Eye rolling
- Sarcastic comments
If he feels like any of those things will happen, he'll shut down. Go quiet.
So he has to feel like the woman in his life really "gets him" or he's going to pull away and grow more distant.
So you if you find yourself asking him what he's feeling, and he says "nothing," you may want to work to create a place of comfort for him.
The next time you talk with him about something, totally shut off your usual automatic responses - including your facial expressions and body language.
Keep your body open, and your emotions as well, to what he's saying. EVEN IF it might threaten you slightly.
Really let him feel safe to express himself.
He can't feel safe and open if he thinks you'll judge him or lash out at him for saying something you don't agree with, or makes you uncomfortable.
Which leads me to the next reason for why men cheat:
Why Do Men Cheat - Reason 4: He doesn't feel accepted
This one works hand in hand with his feeling safe. If a man doesn't feel like you accept him as he is, he's going to grow cold, become more distant, and pull away from you.
Men today don't feel very accepted by society at large.
All you hear today is the battle cry of "political correctness" and making everyone feel comfortable, but not about anything dealing with men.
And as a result, men are largely withdrawing from view, rather than get caught up in a battle we don't want to engage in.
One of the best ways a woman can make a man feel accepted is to simply tell him how you feel about who he is. Tell him you respect him for something, and then explain what it is.
In this day and age, it's almost never that you hear a woman celebrating her partner in her life. It's become more acceptable to hear complaints about masculine behavior.
Take a second and think about that yourself... when was the last time you heard a woman really express her admiration and acceptance of her man?
And next comes probably the most controversial reason that men cheat on women...
Why Do Men Cheat - Reason 5: He's a "Cheater"
The reality is that there are two basic reasons a man cheats.
One is that it's in his nature as a character flaw. He's got intimacy problems, unable to commit, mommy issues, whatever you care to label it.
However, what most women don't understand is that this is a very small percentage of men.
Really - it's small.
Most guys are not as shallow and completely stunted in their development as the media and other self-help books might make you think.
We're actually capable of intelligent thought and introspection, and not just dragging our knuckles on the ground.
The other basic reason a man cheats is... everything else.
Meaning, it's because he's unhappy and unfulfilled in his relationship.
These are the same two reasons a woman cheats.
The reasons that a man cheats is usually related to the same reasons women cheat - not getting our needs met. However, men's needs vary slightly - and in their priority.
The reality is that - unless there's a serious character flaw - we don't cheat on the relationship that's giving us what we want. It's seems like that should be common sense, but we don't usually look at it that way.
Because cheating feels like such a personal betrayal, the emotions are too highly charged for us to stop and say:
"Hey, wait a minute. Could *I* have something to do with the reasons why they did that?"
We immediately refuse to consider that it's possible.
Instead, we view the infidelity as a personal attack against us instead of the "cry for help" it sometimes is.
Keep that reason in your mind at all times - that men cheat on women most often because they are needing something they're not getting. Sometimes that's sex, but that's a simplistic view.
Men get much more out of sex than women often think - in spite of the fact that we may not seem to be as discriminating about it as women often are.
One thing you should keep in mind is this:
Many people will spend 12 years in school, and another 4 years in college, to learn the information they believe will get them success in life.
Yet fewer than 20% of people (much less, actually) will spend any time to discover the secrets of how to have a successful and happy relationship.
This is even more bizarre when you think that we will change careers more than 6 times in our lifetime - but we have no desire to do this in our love relationship.
What is the secret to making a man love you, respect you, and commit to you with all his heart?
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