the betrayal of affairs
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The Real Reasons Behind Your Husband’s Cheating

The reasons why men cheat and have affairs are not complex. Understanding them is key to preventing and ending cheating.

cheating man having affair pic
Why would a man who loves his wife have an affair and cheat on her?

When it comes to why men cheat and have affairs, women tend to have two problems. First, they tend to overthink the situation and come up with overly complicated answers. Secondly, they tend to believe the reasons their husbands give for why they cheated.

Cheating is not due to bad relationships

Most people do not have good insight into their own behavior, especially when it comes to doing bad things.

When pressed for an explanation, they either:

  1. Don’t know why, or
  2. don’t want to say why, or
  3. make a guess at why, or
  4. justify rather than try to figure out why.

Why is a criticism word that makes people defend or attack. It doesn’t uncover real reasons.

Reasonable explanations often do not fit the facts. Yet, women tend to be fooled by them again and again.

Most of the women I work with have husbands who blamed them or a bad relationship as their reason for cheating. Suppose you asked your husband, Why did you cheat? He may start by saying he doesn’t know, but if you press him more, he may say it’s because you did or didn’t do something or because your relationship was bad. If that makes sense to you, you may accept his reason although that reason will always be false.

Why would his reasonable explanation be false?

Let’s suppose he said that you were never available for him. It sounds plausible, especially if you were busy, but if that were the case, then why didn’t he talk to you about it before? Why didn’t he try to spend more time with you? Why didn’t he suggest you work together on it? Why didn’t he get advice from someone on how to fix the situation? And why did he cheat now if you have had the same pattern for years?

Even if your husband did all of those things, trying to make your relationship better, why didn’t he initiate a separation or a divorce to get you to work on things?

I stole food because I was hungry sounds reasonable until you discover a person had five other ways to get food without stealing.

Critical thinkers ask themselves, did he have better options available?

Given the multiple better alternatives available to men, cheating is not due to bad relationships. Bad relationships are just used as justification for cheating. Even in relationships that are really good, men will stretch to find a reason to blame you for their cheating, even if it makes little or no sense. Unfortunately, many women cling to the reason their husband gives and even apologize to him for driving him to cheating or an affair.

Even if he sincerely believes his reason, it doesn’t make it true. Many people have false beliefs (delusions) that they insist are correct even though they don’t fit the facts.

Facts don’t lie–people do.

No woman drives a man to an affair as long as he has other options available. And he always has other options available.

By the way, there never is justification for other relationship damaging behaviors either. No physical, verbal, or emotional abuse is ever justified because there are always better ways to improve the situation and because these behaviors always do harm.

Two wrongs don’t make a right is the opposite from what society teaches, but it is what God teaches. Nothing you have ever done will justify your husband cheating on you. Neither does anything he has ever done justify you cheating on him or mistreating him–no matter much you feel like it.

Feelings don’t justify destructive behavior.

Okay, so your husband didn’t really cheat because of anything you did or didn’t do. He might say that was the reason, but since he had many alternatives available, it wasn’t.

Many women have never learned the simple reason why men cheat. If you never learned it, it is time to learn it now…

All normal men are attracted to other women

From the time of puberty on, normal healthy boys are attracted to girls and that never stops. Even if they have a girlfriend or are married, they don’t stop being attracted to other women. It is a biological imperative that is not changed by beliefs or values. It is this way everywhere in the world.

The belief that men stop being attracted to other women when they get married is not supported by facts or the Bible. Wanting to believe otherwise will not change this.

Once you understand this basic biological fact, the lure of pornography and other women becomes easy to understand.

An analogy I like to use is a dog’s natural desire to eat meat. Even dogs who live in vegan homes will eat meat if given a chance. Even if your dog knows you don’t want him to eat meat, learns it is wrong to eat meat, and knows he is never to touch meat if available, he will still desire to eat meat. You can say that makes your dog bad if you want, but I just say that is the way dogs are. If you don’t like that about dogs, then don’t get one.

What is healthy and normal is not defined by what we want to believe. It is defined by the One who created us.

Being Christian or any other religion does not change men’s biology. The Bible has numerous examples of godly men cheating. King David is probably the most notable. I have heard many women say they thought their husband would never cheat because he is Christian.

Christians sin just like everyone else. The difference is that we are not condemned for our sins, but are saved by the blood of Christ, shed for us on the cross (e.g., Romans 5:9).

Why don’t all men cheat, then?

Biological urges alone do not determine our behaviors. If they did, we would all be in prison and there would be no one to mind the store. Men do not have to cheat or have affairs, even if they are attracted to other women. We resist doing many things that we want to do. We also do many things we don’t desire to. Self-discipline is responsible for both.

Poor self-discipline is the answer to many of the questions about why we do damaging things.

If, in addition to self-discipline, there would be bad consequences for doing something, we are far less likely to do it.

  • People with no self-discipline will do something bad, even if there are severe consequences. Abuse, addictions, broken relationships, and crime characterize such people who need to be locked up to protect others.
  • People with some self-discipline will do bad things if there are minimal bad consequences, but will do much better when there are severe consequences. This fits most people and is why we need laws (laws don’t stop people with no self-discipline).
  • People with good self-discipline are able to do good things even when bad ones are tempting. But, because no one has perfect self-discipline, bad consequences help them do even better.

We all have a sin nature to contend with, even if our sins are forgiven.

If your husband has no self-discipline, there is no way to prevent cheating. You probably need therapy to figure out why you married him in the first place. It is much more hopeful for men in the other two categories.

To put this succinctly…

The reasons most men don’t cheat are because of:

  1. Self-discipline, and
  2. anticipation of bad consequences, and
  3. a high risk of being caught.

Notice that none of these reasons is because they have wives who are meeting all their needs. Meeting all of his needs, which is impossible, still would not remove his desire for other women. Having a good relationship makes him less likely to cheat only if he anticipates he would be likely to lose you if he did.

Women who have very good relationships but poor boundaries are at high risk for their husbands cheating on them. That is because their husbands have little risk of losing them, even if the cheating is discovered. These men will be able to have their cake and eat it, too.

Opportunity also plays a role. If you never leave meat where your dog can get it, your dog will not eat meat. If a man has no opportunity to cheat, he won’t. The highest incidences of cheating are going to be among men who have the most opportunity, such as those who travel for work or who work with many women.

His desirability to other women also increases the availability of other women to him.

Current technology, coupled with increasing social acceptance of cheating, and a high rate of broken relationships, creates more opportunity for cheating than ever before.

What can you do to help prevent cheating?

If you are still single:

Before marriage, you can try to identify men who have not cheated before. Although all men have the potential to cheat, those who have already done so are far more likely to do it again. I won’t go so far as to say once a cheater always a cheater. But, I will say our inhibitions to doing something the second time are much lower than to doing something the first time. The third time is easier still.

You can also avoid dating men who have greater opportunity to cheat due to their professions. If you avoid dating such men, then you won’t be marrying one.

If you are married:

Once you are married, you can do two things. One is to be a valuable spouse who your husband would not want to lose. The other is to have good boundaries throughout your marriage so that he will know you are the kind of woman who does not tolerate disrespectful and damaging behaviors.

Women who criticize, complain, and argue are most likely to have spouses who cheat because they lower their value and they use conflict rather than secure action to deal with problems. If this sounds like you, I recommend you get my book on overcoming neediness immediately. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Which of these statements do you think your husband would endorse?

  1. If I cheated on my wife, she would divorce me.
  2. If I cheated on my wife, she might want to separate.
  3. If I cheated on my wife, she would get pretty upset, but she would never leave me.

Getting upset encourages bad behavior, while having good boundaries discourages bad behavior.

If your spouse is already cheating:

If your spouse is already cheating and you have done a good job being valuable, then you can make him choose between you and the other woman, or between you and other types of unfaithful behavior.

People will only give up something they value in order to keep something else they value even more and would otherwise lose.

If you are not more valuable to him than the other woman, you can either accept that he is going to continue to cheat, end your marriage, or become more valuable and then make him choose. Of course you could just have continuing conflict but that will only decrease your value and worsen the problem.

Marriage counseling is not helpful while cheating is occurring since it reassures men they are not going to lose their wives. Men will minimally work on their marriage while they are cheating because they are not motivated to stop cheating. Marriage counseling helps them to have their cake and eat it, too.

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Don’t expect the truth from men

Do not expect your husband to tell you that he desires other women. If he cheats or has an affair, don’t expect him to tell you it was because he wanted to and either thought he could get away with it or didn’t care about your relationship any more.

Two useless questions:

  1. Are you cheating on me? and,
  2. Why are you cheating on me?

Men who cheat are by definition being deceitful. People are not honest about their deception. You can instead learn to see the signs of cheating for yourself. You need to trust the evidence rather than the explanations.

Critical thinkers look for evidence and don’t simply believe what people say, regardless of how convincing the person sounds.

Unless you have proof of his cheating, do not confront him about it. Continue to work on becoming a valuable spouse. When his cheating becomes obvious you will then be in a good position to stop it. Confrontation without proof will fail.

I have all the details of how to prepare for a confrontation, and how to confront in my book, A Christian Guide to Preventing and Ending Men’s Affairs.

Whenever you have only one chance to get something right, preparation is the most important thing you can do.

I want to make sure you didn’t miss this…

You won’t stop his cheating by meeting his needs

The needs theory has been disproved many times over. Even if you meet all of your husband’s needs, he will continue to cheat unless he is given a forced choice between cheating and something more valuable.

Learning how to meet your husband’s needs, how to be desirable, and how to connect will make you more valuable and are definitely good things to do. However, you will never be able to do those things to such an extent that he will lose his desire to cheat. That is a biological truth you will not be able to alter.

No matter how well you treat your dog, he will still enjoy eating meat if it is available and there are no serious consequences for doing so.

If you prefer a restaurant example, you will never be able to improve a restaurant enough so that people will only want to eat there and not also go to other restaurants. The only way to make a person eat at one restaurant only is to give him a choice of eating at your restaurant only, or not being able to eat there at all. If you make him choose, then your restaurant had better be the more desirable one.

This is why you can’t end your husband’s affair by trying to meet his needs. You especially can’t end his affair by having sex with him. He will just take what you give him while continuing to cheat–making you feel like a fool.

Steps you can take now to help prevent cheating and affairs

Ending Men's Affairs
Get your copy today

Men cheat or have affairs because they are naturally attracted to other women, have the opportunity to cheat, and don’t fear losing anything more valuable if they do.

By making sure you are valuable to him and have good boundaries, you can prevent and end cheating, affairs, and other unfaithful behavior.

For thirty years I have been helping women do just that. You can get started by getting my book on preventing and ending men’s affairs or by getting my coaching package for ending a spouse’s affair. If you do, we will work on those aspects most important for your marriage so we can restore your relationship as soon as possible.

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