When the question, “Why do men cheat” is asked, there are various answers given. The answers run the gamut from plausible to laughable depending on whom the question is asked and how that person has been socialized, their worldview which shapes how they see the world and their place within it. It is a legitimate question asked by those who have suffered from the (forbidden) fruit produced from this selfish behavior. They deserve a legitimate answer. What follows are three common reasons that are given for why he cheats and more importantly, why she stays.
According to many, “Variety is the spice of life.” That takes on a different light when applied to cheating. Some men boast a “natural” penchant for variety. By natural, they mean innate, giving a pseudo-scientific spin to infidelity thereby justifying the behavior as an act of evolution. Multiple women are sought to feed this inherent “need.” Variety provides a great way to experience a more fulfilling life in a proper context which lends itself to outcomes that enrich an individual’s life and their significant other. Love provides the opportunity for two to experience the richness of its depths in a variety of ways within an exclusive union. It is foolish to assume or worse to make an excuse for cheating on the basis of a need for variety.
Another popular reason given by men for cheating is being unhappy in their current relationships. No one wants to be unhappy and no one has to be. There is always an opportunity to make a better, more suitable choice. The proper course of action, when a man wants to retain honor, would be to end one relationship then, pursue a more compatible partner to begin a new meaningful relationship with.
This path guarantees to leave a man’s honor intact if that is his desire. It should be apparent that men that use this excuse are not concerned with maintaining honor. No man concerned with honor, cheats. This reason, just as the last, is easily proven to be a weak selfish excuse. Cheating does not increase happiness in an unhappy relationship. Neither is that the intention of the perpetrator.
It’s Just Sex: It doesn’t mean anything
The only time a man argues, “It didn’t mean anything” is when he is the culprit. When a man is the victim of this type of betrayal, sex somehow is elevated to far more than a meaningless act of passion that is easily forgotten and forgiven. This is his excuse to lessen the impact and responsibility of his transgression. The damage done is not physical, like the act that caused it.
If it were only physical, it would be easy for a woman to overcome. The body is designed to heal itself. A breach of trust does not heal itself like a flesh wound. Those wounds which are hidden from plain sight are the hardest to heal especially when the damage occurs repeatedly.
Why She Stays
“Why does she stay?” Both the woman and the man have a ‘why’ that begs an answer, the woman even more so than the man. The cheating man benefits from his actions. That is not a justification of the appalling ignoble acts of men that abuse the privilege to love a woman. It’s merely a statement of an unfortunate fact. It’s too easy and over-simplifying to say that it’s a matter choice. That response is dismissive. It looks no further for an understanding of why someone would make a choice that offers them no benefit. Neither does it give a reason why a particular choice is made when better choices are available to make. Here are three reasons given that we will explore for understanding.
Fear of Being Alone
Atop the list of reasons women continue in relationships with cheating men is a fear of being alone according to some findings. One must question the truthfulness of this answer. I’m not suggesting that the woman that gives this response is lying at all. Instead, I would submit that her response is one heavily influenced by emotions that leave her distraught and in despair.
The effects of her emotional state are exacerbated when her experiences are repeated in one relationship after another. The real truth is that she doesn’t fear being alone as much as she fears the thought of rejection from another man that she has given her all to only to be made to feel inadequate. She would choose to feel alone in a relationship that offers her familiarity rather than one that offers her hope for a love that she has only dreamed of, but never known.
I Can Change Him
Recently, this reason surfaced in a couple of different conversations I was engaged in. These were the words spoken to me in one conversation. “We want the bad boys because we think we can change them.” This is a true mission of hope (lessness). The act of changing him is in fact an effort to save him. The “Savior’s Complex” is often misunderstood. A woman’s attempt to save her bad boy is primarily a means to show that she is worthy of his love.
If she can save him, she can establish that her value outweighs those of his other dalliances. Unfortunately, this is an exercise in futility. Indeed, she deserves the love and devotion of a man, but should never expect to find love with a man who cheats. He has a misunderstanding of his role as a man. Manhood is predicated on behavior. Just as a tree is known by its fruit, a man is known by his actions. A woman will never experience love from a man who disregards one of the very tenets upon which love is founded, trust.
He’s Just Being a Man
For authentic men across the world, this is probably the most heart-breaking but, also offensive response ever given. Authentic men take issue with this mischaracterization being associated with genuine manhood. The acceptance of this premise would seem to legitimize illegitimate behavior. That is just as much a contradiction as the behavior it seeks to explain. At the heart of this idea is a woman who only wants to make sense of that which is nonsense. She deserves better. Her heart only wants an explanation for the pain it must endure.
For the sake of clarity in the event it was missed, there are absolutely no justifiable reasons for a man to ever cheat on a woman. Infidelity is a deceitful act of cowardice and betrayal. Even when a woman accepts such degrading treatment, it never absolves a man of his responsibility for the harm he inflicts upon her and the subsequent damage that usually follows in succeeding relationships with the men that follow.
There are no good reasons for a woman to continue dating a man that demonstrates, his behavior, that he is a poor choice for a relationship. Her continued involvement with him will only serve to shape and contaminate her beliefs about men in general. Her beliefs about men will conform to her repeated negative experiences.
Why she stays should only be because she has been found by a man who loves her in the true essence of the word and shows in his deeds. In love, there is no separation between words and actions. One speaks no louder than the other. They are one. Cheating does not exist in this space.