Why Do Men Cheat?

By Rabbi Shmuley

One of the most common causes of a failed marriage is cheating. So, it should be no surprise that many women ask themselves, “Why do men cheat?” Although it sounds like a complicated issue, the answer to the question might be simpler than you think.

Why do men cheat?

It’s a simple question. Why do men cheat? Women speculate about the answer, but even men have a hard time answering that question. In my book, The Broken American Male: And How to Fix Him, I explain the answer to the age-old question, “Why do men cheat?”

Although this book delves much deeper into the reasons for cheating, the message of the book is short. Men don’t cheat for sex. Instead, they cheat for affirmation. Men often feel like failures. To remedy that feeling, they cheat on their wives. They want an outsider to validate them.

Although many wives do validate their husbands, it’s not always enough. When you hear words of affirmation from your spouse, they can lose

page1image225887040

meaning. Some men feel that they are losers. By their logic, only a loser would marry them. Hearing positivity from their spouses doesn’t make them feel any better about themselves. They would rather hear them from a stranger. Although it sounds odd, a stranger’s words might make some men feel more worthy than his wife’s words.

MEN ARE CATHEDRALS

Here’s an an interesting metaphor for the psyche of men. Men are cathedrals. There are only two ways that you can keep a cathedral from falling down. First, you can use large supports in the middle of the building. In many cathedrals, this is the method the architect used. Secondly, you can use a flying buttress. This feature allows for more space in the cathedral. Instead of using supports that take up space, you use buttresses that make the interior more roomy. The buttresses support the structure from the exterior.

In the metaphor, some men use supports. Their wives are their supports, providing them with all the value that they need. When a man who relies on supports needs affirmation, he turns to his wife. She helps him to value himself and be the man that he wants to be. In those types of marriages, cheating is less common. The man doesn’t turn to others for value.

page2image225536832

However, men who rely on buttresses have less self-worth. They are empty on the inside. Instead of turning to his wife for support, he needs to go outside. Often, men in this type of relationship feel insignificant. No matter how much they achieve, it’s not enough. They get someone on the outside to raise them up. Usually, this means having an affair with someone.

POWERFUL MEN AND CHEATING

We see this phenomenon exhibited by several high-profile celebrities. For one, there was the whole scandal with Tiger Woods. Although Woods was one of the best golfers of his generation, he didn’t have enough self- worth. He turned to another woman for the support that he desperately mattered. Despite his many successes, it wasn’t enough for him.

Then there was Bill Clinton. Being the president of the United States was not enough of an achievement for him. He still felt insecure about himself. Despite the many risks, he still cheated on his wife. Now, with the MeToo Movement finally highlighting this prevalent trend, with over two hundred men, most of them married, being taken down for shameful sexual behavior. Many of these men were at the height of their careers and in seemingly stable relationships, but it still wasn’t enough.

page3image262960944

CAN YOU SAVE A MARRIAGE AFTER CHEATING OCCURS?

If your partner cheats on you, then you might think that your marriage is over. After all, the heartache of cheating can be difficult to handle. Although the chance at a life together after cheating might seem slim, there might be a way to save your marriage. It won’t be easy, but it is possible.

After cheating, many individuals rush to call it quits. However, marriage counseling might be the answer to your troubles. If your partner cheats on you, then there is a reason for it. You need to see a counselor to get to the root of the issue. After several sessions, you and your partner might determine the real issues behind the incident. Then, you and your partner can start fixing those issues.

No marriage is perfect, and no marriage is easy. If your partner cheats on you, if you still feel that there’s something worth saving, you need to work hard to overcome the incident. With some time and effort, you might be able to move past the incident. Then, your marriage could be stronger than ever. When you know that you made it through cheating, you know that you can make it through anything.