Why Men Cheat: 13 Psychological Reasons

Who I am
Robert Maurer


In this article we have reported the 13 psychological reasons why men cheat on their women.

We will analyze together excerpts from an interview with the American psychologist Robert Weiss

Robert Weiss, Ph.D., MSW, is an expert in the treatment of adult intimacy disorders and related addictions. He specifically studies sex/porn/relationship addictions along with drug/narcotic addiction. Weiss, a practicing clinical sexologist and psychotherapist, is frequently consulted as an expert by major media outlets, including CNN, HLN, MSNBC, OWN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times.

The psychological reasons why men cheat on their women

Weiss tells in an interview:

"After nearly thirty years of working with couples decimated by infidelity, I can say that men who cheat on their wives or girlfriends can be incredibly creative when trying to explain why."

[Yes, even women cheat. We will talk about it in another article]

“As a therapist, I find the motivations cheating men use to justify their actions fascinating, because almost all of these reasons imply that the betrayal was the only logical solution to their relationship or life problems. I often find myself thinking that sure, infidelity is an option, but only one of many. Wouldn't it be better to find a hobby or volunteer to make the world a better place, or talk to your counterpart about how you feel and how you could create a more satisfying relationship? Surely these choices would be better than lying and manipulating a woman he really cares about."

The excuses invented by men

But some men don't have this kind of insight. Then, when they are discovered, they downplay, rationalize, and justify their behavior with statements like:

  • All men want to have sex with other women. And when the opportunity arises, he seizes it.
  • It is a biological imperative for a man to have sex with as many women as possible. Why should it be any different?
  • If I had more (or better) sex at home, I wouldn't need to cheat.
  • I'm not doing anything most of my friends aren't doing. If you don't believe me, ask him.
  • If my wife hadn't gotten so fat, or if she had been nicer to me or more attentive, I wouldn't have even thought about looking elsewhere for care.
  • If my job wasn't so stressful, I wouldn't have to resort to online porn.
  • Betray? Really? I mean, who would compare a lap dance at a strip club to infidelity? That's what kids do for fun.
  • My dad looked at Playboy magazines and went to strip clubs, and it wasn't a big deal. Well, I have webcam chat and interactive sex. What is the difference?
  • I'm just sexting and flirting. Where is the problem? I don't know any of these women in person. It is only a game.

In the therapy industry, we have a name for this type of behavior: Denial. From the point of view of psychotherapy, denial is a series of lies and deceptions that people use to convince themselves that their behaviors are justifiable. Typically, each betrayal is supported by one or more rationalizations, each based on various falsehoods.

To an unbiased observer such as a therapist, an individual's denial of betrayal usually appears as sound as a house of cards, yet these men stubbornly insist that their logic is sound.

This, of course, begs the question: why? Why do men cheat? And why do they sometimes continue to cheat after being caught, even in the face of deeply unwanted consequences like divorce, loss of contact with parents, loss of social respect, and the like?

The psychological reasons why men cheat

The truth is that many dynamics can affect a man's decision to cheat. Usually, however, his choice to cheat is guided by one or more of the following factors:

  1. Immaturity: If he doesn't have a lot of experience in serious relationships, or if he doesn't fully understand that his actions will inevitably have consequences like hurting his partner, a guy might think it's okay to have sexual adventures. He can think of his commitment to monogamy as a jacket that he can put on or take off as he pleases, depending on the circumstances.
  2. concurrent issues: You may have problems with alcohol and/or drugs that affect your decision-making process, resulting in unpleasant sexual decisions. Or maybe he has a sex addiction, which he uses to numb himself and avoid real life.
  3. Insecurity: You may feel too old (or too young), not beautiful enough, not rich enough, not smart enough, etc. (An unbelievable number of male betrayals are related, at least in part, to midlife crises.) To strengthen his weak ego, he seeks validation from women other than his partner, using this spark of sexual interest to feel loved, desired, and worthy.
  4. It's over, version 1: You may want to end your current relationship. However, instead of just telling her partner that he is not happy with her and wants to break up with her, he cheats on her and then forces her to do his dirty work.
  5. It's over, version 2: You may want to end your current relationship, but not until you have another list. So it sets the stage for your next relationship while you're still in your first one.
  6. Lack of male social support.: You may have underestimated your need for supportive friendships with other men, expecting your partner to fully meet your social and emotional needs. And when he inevitably fails in that duty, he looks elsewhere for fulfillment.
  7. Confusion about the meaning of love.: You can misunderstand the difference between initial infatuation and long-term love, thinking that the intensity of the feelings one feels initially is the true meaning of love, and not understanding that in healthy and lasting relationships the intensity of the initial feeling the Infatuation is replaced over time by less intense, but ultimately more meaningful forms of connection.
  8. Child abuse: unresolved childhood trauma such as neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, etc. they can leave wounds that create attachment and intimacy problems, making them unable or unwilling to fully commit to another person. You could also use the excitement and distraction of sexual infidelity as a way to ease the pain of those old unhealed wounds.
  9. Selfishness: You may only care about yourself and no one else. Therefore, you can lie and keep secrets without remorse or regret, as long as you get what you want. It is possible that he never wanted to be monogamous. Instead of seeing his vow of loyalty as a sacrifice made for his relationship, he sees it as something to be avoided and avoided.
  10. sense of uniqueness: he could feel different and deserve something special, something more than other men. The usual rules don't apply to him, so he's free to reward himself outside of his primary relationship whenever he wants.
  11. unbridled momentum: You may not have even thought about cheating until suddenly an opportunity arises. So, without even thinking about what infidelity would bring to their relationship, she decided to go for it.
  12. unrealistic expectations: You may feel that your partner must satisfy your every whim and desire, sexual and otherwise, 24 hours a day, 24 days a week, regardless of how you feel at any given moment. He cannot understand that his partner has a life of his own, with thoughts, feelings and needs that do not always involve him. When his expectations are not met, he looks for external fulfillment.
  13. anger, revenge: could betray to take revenge. He is angry with her partner and wants to hurt her. In these cases, infidelity must be seen and known. The man doesn't bother lying or keeping his betrayal a secret, because he wants his partner to know.

For most men, multiple factors determine the choice of betrayal at the same time. And sometimes the reasons for a man's infidelity evolve with the changing circumstances of his life. Regardless of the real reasons why he cheated on him, he didn't have to. There are always other options: couples therapy, pursuing a hobby, being open and honest with your partner, and working to improve the relationship. In extreme cases, separation or divorce may also be considered. A man always has options that do not involve embarrassment and the possible ruin of his integrity and life that he and his better half have created. However, knowing why he cheated can help you avoid repeating the same behavior in the future.


We hope that this article on why men cheat has been useful to you. Of course, we will be delighted to hear from you. If you'd like us to also post an article on why women cheat, let us know in the comments below!

If you want to read other psychology articles, visit the corresponding section on Fervid Inspiration:

psychological health

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