Why Men Cheat on Their Wives
Dear Monica, After being in a long-term failed marriage, I still do not understand why some men cheat and some are so loyal. I honored my vows. Why didn’t he? —M. D., Abington
When a spouse cheats there is not always a specific reason or event that causes them to stray. Many things can lead to infidelity. The important thing is to learn from your experience so you can move on successfully and try to identify personality traits to stay away from in future partners. Here are some warning signs to keep in mind as you move forward.
- Some people are just wired to cheat. They don’t care about right or wrong and are complete narcissists. For them there is no real cure. They can go to therapy, but since they believe that nothing is their fault, no progress will be made. They can cry and beg you for forgiveness, but the pattern will repeat over and over. Stay far away from those without any kind of conscience. Some warning signs: They are not close to their family, have no good friends, and have stepped on everybody at work to get to the top without one ounce of remorse.
- On a related note, social media is blamed for the rise in divorce rates. But I do not blame Facebook (or “Flingbook” as it is sometimes called). Sure, now you can put an ex-girlfriend’s name in the search bar and see what she is up to, but if that is your make up, you are going to find her or others no matter how easy or hard it is.
- In prior generations having a girlfriend on the side was more accepted than it is today. Women who are now in their 70s endured what women today in their 40s and 50s would not. Men who had fathers who kept a pied-à-terre in town had poor examples of marriage. They can either choose to follow in their fathers’ footsteps or evolve into better husbands, thus setting a right example for their children.
- Men who have been told by everyone around them—especially their mothers—that they are exceptional and god-like are likely to cheat. Usually doctors suffer from this syndrome. Although all mothers are proud of their sons, no one has more bragging rights then the woman who can say, “My son, the doctor.” Who can really blame these men? They are surrounded by patients who are eternally grateful to them, and by staff who drool over their every move. It is tough to bring them back to planet earth.
- Sometimes men do have a reason for straying. Let’s face it, there are plenty of women out there who close up shop once the kids are born. Sex is an important part of any relationship. Don’t be shocked when your actions produce reactions. If he is not getting at home, he is getting it somewhere. In this particular case, I would suggest that the woman take a long, hard look in the mirror.
Cheating does not always mean the end of a marriage. Couples do grow apart and sometimes need help coming back together. There are rare instances when someone makes a horrible mistake and it is truly a one-night stand. In these cases, I do believe in therapy before speed dialing a divorce attorney. It takes a lot of work with a marriage counselor and a high level of forgiveness. Trust is not easily rebuilt, but it can be done with a lot of introspection.
In the case where nothing will help, realize it is him—not you—and dump his ass. In this scenario, who ever gets him is not getting any treasure, just trash.