Published on 01 Jul 2016 - Updated on 18 Oct 2022
Why do we cheat on those we love? Cheating in relationships is now-a-days more common than we would like to believe. Most of us cheat or get cheated upon at some point in our lives. We keep hearing things like, “Oh, this marriage will fall apart, half of them end in divorce”, “People do admit to cheating while in a loving relationship”. This only shows how our society has become immune to infidelity in a relationship. And thus, we become desensitized and pessimistic listening to these disheartening statements.
There are innumerable reasons why one of the partners (or both) may cheat in a committed relationship. These factors may include significant unresolved issues in a long-term relationship or marriage, difference in sex drive, personalities with a big disconnect or if one has been sexually abused as a kid.
Infidelity comes in different forms and is not just restricted to simply having sex with someone who is not your long-term partner. It is something to be aware of in any relationship. An emotional disconnect or under-appreciation from a partner may result to cheating. Women are more likely to get into a relationship with someone they have an affair with because they would want to end an unhappy relationship and get into another. Men would simply confess that they cheated.
So men and women both are guilty of cheating but it’s not necessarily for the same reasons. How does the behavior of men differ from that of women when it comes to infidelity? Has that changed over the past few years?
Here are things men look for when entering into an extramarital affair and it’s just not about sex!
- An emotional connect
Some people may find this a bit shocking but this indeed is the foremost thing that a person seeks in any relationship. As a relationship grows, the struggle to hold a power tends to become predominant. And when a man experiences that, he tends to go into his cave and becomes grumpy, distant and quiet making it difficult for him to connect emotionally with his partner. So when this man meets someone who accepts him for the “person he is”, it becomes easier for him to open up and connect with this new individual. After this ‘honeymoon’ phase gets over, his struggles to start all over again. So it’s a vicious circle! And men need to keep their power struggle in check!
A man starts to stray when appreciations don’t come his way and when the relationship involves a lot of criticism and blame (as most relationships do) or even contempt. And in such cases, they start looking for positive affirmations from others. Ensure your partner gets his/her share of compliments, and don't let those sound artificial or fake. Give simple but genuine compliments. And pamper a lot!
Men want someone who will listen to them, who will work with them to make a better life together and someone who will share their dreams and hopes. Men generally don’t know how to communicate such things, thus, in an existing relationship, they tend to think, “We’re married, so I know everything about you.” Learning new and exciting things about someone is easier when in a new relationship and an intimate connection is created instantly. So bring the ball of intimacy rolling in your bedroom!
- Feeling wanted
All of us want to feel wanted and loved and men are no different. As life moves on, a man can start to feel like he is being neglected or being taken for granted. He may feel that he matters only for what he provides and not for what he actually is. But in a new relationship, he feels wanted again. So put on that roleplay costume and make him feel desired!
We told you in the beginning that it wasn’t for sex anyway, but we didn’t mean that sex wasn’t involved. We believe that men do want sex, and the more, the better! Sex is one way that they feel connected to their partner, be it physically or emotionally. When they have sex with their partners, they feel wanted and appreciated. So basically, it provides all the four factors listed above along with obviously, physical pleasure that allows them focus on the present. In initial stages of a new relationship, there is definitely a lot of sex happening.
Like men, women also cheat on their partners for various reasons, after all, to err is human! It may be because of distance or past experiences where she’d been hurt before, that is making her to think that people inevitably hurt you. Analyze the behavior of your woman and look out for these tell-tale signs.
- Lack of attention
Some women seek a relationship where the man is willing to meet her every whim and fancy. If she's not getting this from her significant other, then it will just be a matter of time when she seeks it from another caring person - the attentive guy who feeds her emotional needs at her office or her hot gym trainer! In such cases, the affairs are usually emotional.
It feels awful when we’re cheated on and is a very difficult act to forgive. A woman feels deceived, hurt, sad, angry and violated which affects her self-esteem. This whole process negatively affects her relationship, behavior, mood and the ability to trust the person who cheated on her ever again. Some women may want to take revenge from that person by making them feel what they felt. And this, in turn, can make her the cheater.
- Bad sex
All women want to be needed and feel desired. They also want to get “real” orgasms during sex. If a woman is not getting enough sex or getting bad sex, unemotional sex, she may lose interest in the relationship all together and start looking elsewhere for some good sex! This may tempt her to seek emotional and sexual satisfaction somewhere else. So try to entice her and give her the pleasure she needs!
- Financial independence
When a woman is financially dependent on her husband or boyfriend, it naturally becomes difficult for her to speak up during arguments. She can’t leave the relationship because of the fear of being alone without any financial stability. This keeps her on a one-down status. Now that women are making good money, enjoy working, they don’t feel the need to stay in an unhappy relationship and they can leave it whenever they get a chance, for someone who makes them happy!
- Feeling under-appreciated
Every woman likes to please her man when in a relationship. Be it cooking a romantic dinner for the two, wearing sexy lingerie for him, and listening to her heart, she does these things for some love and appreciation from the man she loves. So what happens when she doesn’t get a "thank you, or I love you”? When she doesn’t even get a verbal acknowledgement, then she may act on "thank you" and "I love you" coming in from other directions. And you may lose the woman if you continue to take her for granted!
If you notice any of those behavioral changes, do act soon. There are a number of ways to spice up a relationship. Be sure of what you want. It’s time to make your old relationship lively and spirited again!