The Real Reasons Why Men Cheat: 11 Most Common Causes

The True Reasons Why Men Cheat: 11 Most Common Causes

Why do men cheat

In this article, you will not only learn the reasons why men cheat but also:

  • The components in a relationship that make him start an affair or commit adultery.
  • What evolutionary need in men that causes them to cheat (it’s not what you think).
  • How a man’s ego can drive him into the arms of another woman.
  • Why it doesn’t have to mean that your husband or boyfriend doesn’t love you when he’s cheating on you.
  • And more…

The truth to why men commit adultery – even if the guy is happily in love in a perfect relationship…

why men cheat on youI always get a little scared when women ask me: “Why do men cheat on their wives or girlfriends?”

Simply because I know it’s quite a sensitive subject. The same is true when it comes to women looking for signs of a cheating man.

But of course, the most straightforward answer to the question – why a man cheats – is very simple, by saying:

“Because he’s an incredible jerk and a bastard.”

…And you know what? If that’s what your girlfriends tell you, it’s no big deal.

It’s their job to stand up for you and take your side 100%. Especially when you’re in a situation where he hurt you.

Then this is the only cause you want to hear why he was cheating on you.

But it’s not the true cause of why men commit adultery


I’m not here to be the nice guy and just tell you the things you want to hear. I’m assuming your family and friends will do this.

So if you’re still sad because your husband cheated on you, skip this article. It’s full of things you absolutely don’t want to hear.

But if you want to know the real reasons why your husband cheated on you, continue reading.

It’s not a pleasant truth, but at least it helps you to understand that it’s usually not your fault.

The real reasons why men cheat women

And why do men cheat on their wives or partners anyway?

Is it really true that men are unfaithful because they’re all bastards? 

If so, then there are a lot of bad people in the world.

Is the reason men cheat on their girlfriends because they don’t love their partner?

If so, why do they stay with their partner and not just break up with them?

Why do guys cheat if it’s so bad?

People always have strong opinions about the subject of why guys cheat and invariably think it’s hurtful.

Still, people often cheat on each other.

This is mainly because many of the reasons why your man is being unfaithful.

It is simply not as logical as you would hope.

Have your man cheated on you? Then read here about how to best deal with a cheating man.

OK, one last disclaimer: I don’t stick up for men who commit adultery or cheat on their wives/girlfriends.

I think it’s wrong. I’m just giving you more insight into the causes of cheating.

So let’s start with the 11 reasons why guys commit adultery.

Reason #1: Ego

EgoThis is perhaps the biggest reason why men cheat. Although people often think cheating is all about sex, the reality is different.

In the book The Truth About Cheating, relationship therapist Neuman writes that a survey of 200 cheating men shows that 48% of all men cheat because they’re emotionally dissatisfied.

Only 8% said it was purely about having intercourse with another woman.

When a guy feels he’s no longer the “hero” in a relationship, he becomes sensitive to the attention of other women. If he has the idea that:

  • you don’t find him attractive anymore,
  • you don’t want him anymore,
  • or that he has let you down,

then he can hardly resist the attention of a woman who’s into him.

…And I am not necessarily talking about narcissistic men who are bad for you. It also applies to very normal stable men.

Reason #2: Variation

VariationFor evolutionary and biological reasons, men are constantly focusing on finding as many bed partners as possible. That way, our DNA has the highest chance of survival.

Unlike women, it was actually beneficial for men to conceive a child with someone else. This allowed us to have another unknown person take care of our child so that we could reproduce with as little energy as possible.

I know this sounds a little distasteful, but it’s why men tend to cheat.

But are men really that weak?

Does the fact that we have this drive mean that we cannot control it?

It looks like there are a lot of men who aren’t able to do this.

Because every time you compare studies of what people think about cheating, and what people do, you find something amusing:

In more than 90% of all cases, people say they don’t think cheating is acceptable and that it’s terrible. Still, the number of people cheating is many, many times higher. Men also indicated (in Neuman’s book that was mentioned earlier) that they felt guilty in 66% of the cases.

Fun fact: women only feel guilty in 10% of the cases.

By the way, if you are asking yourself:

Does a happy man cheat?

Yes, even a happy man does cheat. And sometimes it’s simply because he wanted to have some variation.

I know that can be a tough pill to swallow.

But sometimes the truth is not very complicated.

Reason #3: Sex

SexAs I said before, sex is the reason why men cheat in about 8% of the cases. A man has a great need for intimacy. If he doesn’t see that need fulfilled over a longer period of time, he may start looking for it elsewhere.

It’s also possible that he’s cheating because his partner wants to do other things in bed, or doesn’t want to do things he wants to do.

(I can give you a few examples here, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.)

Some sexual desires are so strong that he can barely control them. That’s another reason why a man (who loves his wife and doesn’t want to leave her), can still cheat on her.

He may even sleep with a woman he finds less attractive than his partner. In fact, most times men tell me they see their mistress as less attractive than their partner.

Reason #4: The relationship is bad

Your sex life is dying

Is there a lot of fighting at home and things are not going well? That can drive a man crazy. If there are fights at home regularly that are not resolved the right way, a pattern can arise that make him want to escape the relationship.

That’s one of the most common signs of a failing relationship.

An affair with a woman who loves him offers him a temporary fantasy world, where he can escape the problems at home.

If you’re married or have a serious long term relationship with someone.. This may be the reason why he (your husband or boyfriend) is cheating on you.

And before you get angry…

I once heard a man say that his affair was the only reason his marriage had survived a crisis. He literally said:

“If I didn’t have someone helping me blow off steam during those months of tension and drama, our marriage would have ended long ago.”

(If you’re having an affair with a married man, make sure he doesn’t use you for this.)

Reason #5: Revenge


If you cheated on him, it’s a massive blow to a man’s ego. That impact is so severe that few men will ever recover from it.

They want to balance the score, so they don’t feel inferior. This can be the pure reason why he’s cheating on you.

It can continue long after your affair has ended. Especially if your man won’t forgive you for cheating on him, then he can do this for years.

What to do after this type of affair?

If the atmosphere is like this, it’s sometimes better to put an end to the relationship. If he keeps blaming you and can’t forgive you, it’s not going to last very long.

Reason #6: Alcohol

AlcoholAs psychiatrist Anjali Chhabria says:

“There may not be a direct connection, but there is definitely a psychological connection between drinking and cheating. Alcohol has often been used by individuals to reduce their fears, cope with their anxiety, and deal with their negative emotions leading to a temporary state of happiness.”

I’m not saying it’s a good excuse.

It’s no excuse at all for him to cheat on you.

But sometimes the reason men sleep with another woman is simply alcohol. In so many cases of it, there’s alcohol involved. Alcohol makes people more primitive, and their instincts play a more significant role.

Reason #7: Fear of commitment

He has a fear of commitment

If a man suffers from a fear of commitment, he can suddenly cheat because he wants to feel as if he’s single again. In that case, he might even unconsciously hope to get caught.

He’s crazy about you and doesn’t want to lose you, but because of his commitment phobia, he unconsciously sabotages the relationship.

It’s an incredibly unhealthy way of dealing with it. Men who do this often carry enormous emotional baggage. There’s little you can do in that case, except protecting and distancing yourself.

He will first have to solve his own issues before he can have a healthy relationship with a woman. It’s infinitely stupid that men do this, but unfortunately, it’s a reason that men cheat.

Reason #8: He’s in love with someone else

He is in love with someone elseOddly enough, this is one of the least common causes, while almost all women think this is the prime reason.

Just because he’s having an affair doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, or that he’s in love with someone else. It may happen that he really likes someone else better than you. But trust me, if that’s the case, he’ll break up and leave you.

You’ll almost immediately know how things are.

But fortunately, it doesn’t happen very often that guys have an affair because they have feelings for someone other than you.

Reason #9: His parents cheated on each other

His parents cheated on each other

This one is rare, but for the sake of mentioning everything, I don’t want to hold this one back.

A study by Texas Tech University shows that cheating is really a family thing.

Men who come from a family where his parents cheated (one or both), will be much more inclined to do the same later in life. That’s because they unconsciously see cheating as something normal.

Reason #10: He has unrealistic expectations of the relationship

Man has unrealistic expectations of the relationship

I’ve been through this a lot with guys I coach. They have the absurd expectation that all of their needs must be fulfilled in a relationship.

Not only does he expect his partner to support him emotionally in everything and to always be there for him, but he also expects the same on a physical level. Now, of course, this is impossible, as no partner can always fulfill all your needs. Still, a lot of men think that’s how it’s supposed to be.

So if you can’t live up to his unrealistic expectations, then he cheats on you because he thinks you’re failing him. That’s why he believes he has the right to fulfill his needs elsewhere. You’d better tell these guys to look for somebody else.

Tell him to go to his mistress and find out for himself that it’s impossible to stumble upon all of this in one woman. You can tell him ten times that his expectations are not realistic, but he’ll have to find that out for himself.

The main reason he cheats on you during your pregnancy

By the way, this is also one of the main reasons men cheat on you during your pregnancy.

It’s very sick, I know.

But if you pay less attention to him, he feels he has the right to look elsewhere.

Reason #11: He’s constantly being accused of it

Woman accuses man of cheatingThis is a really ironic one, but unfortunately, it’s widespread. Do you constantly suspect him of cheating on you? Then it’s much more likely that he’ll do it. Men who are in a relationship in which their girlfriend trusts them would rather not betray that trust.

If he feels that you suspect him of cheating anyway and you don’t trust him, why should he control himself when the opportunity arises?

A friend of mine once said:

“I never thought about getting involved with colleague X. But my girlfriend constantly accused me of having an affair. Nothing I said helped. I got the feeling that I might as well cheat, and strangely enough, then I started looking at colleague X through different eyes. It’s like she planted the idea in my head.”

So if you suspect your man of cheating on you, don’t continuously check or accuse him. There’s a good chance you’re encouraging him to cheat on you.

OK, now I know why my husband or boyfriend is cheating on me. What’s next?

Well, the first thing I’d advise you to do is to think carefully about what you want.

Are you considering forgiveness? Read this article.

Don’t listen to people who tell you that things were wrong in the relationship anyway.

Don’t listen to people who say he wouldn’t be cheating if he really loved you.

Because both sides are absolutely not true.

What matters now is finding out if there’s a future for your relationship after he cheated on you. Take your time to think for yourself.

Make a decision based on your feelings. Don’t worry about the judgment of the outside world, but think about yourself. Then, if you feel like you want to move on, just do it.


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3 thoughts on “The True Reasons Why Men Cheat: 11 Most Common Causes”

  1. This is a very well-written article. I will say, however, that reason number 11 is wrong. He was going to cheat with that woman anyway and is blaming his girlfriend, because he’s acting defensive. Yes, blaming someone for cheating when they haven’t thought about doing it harms the relationship. Also, there’s a higher likelihood of cheating in a bad relationship. But he specifically cheated with the woman his wife suspected, and I doubt it was her fault.

  2. The reason my husband us saying is #8.
    He fell in love with her.
    There isn’t many details I can find on this subject no matter where I search.
    We have very different personalities but that’s what I loved about us.
    The other woman was in an open relationship with only woman. So being with another man and a married one also means cheating.
    I met her few times. So I know a lot about her.
    He told her everything about our relationship problems and also about the hardships we have in having a baby… He was with her 3 times sexualy. She knew about me being pregnant before my parents knew! The affair was in June but they both try to remain friends as they both didn’t want to lose each other. When I was just finding our about having a heartbeat he told her there is nothing he wants more than being with her and having sex with her. And she told him that he is going to be a father and wants to be one so even if it is scary he has to pit that a top priority (and not saving our marrige) I discovef about it after my gut was screaming that something is wrong and I found out about it last month. It is so hard to deal with everything. So I might never have a realy reason to why it happen because he doesn’t know why. Or that he knows and doesn’t want to talk about it…. but…… I am so lost and feeling powerless

    1. Marble
      im sorry for your situation. 1st- don’t blame yourself for his actions. he is an adult who is fully aware & accountable for his choices & actions. 2nd- don’t allow your self worth to be decided by the actions or opinions of others. 3rd- its ok to feel like u hate him right now. woman are emotional creatures, its what also allows us to feel empathy. embrace that. allow yourself time to feel your emotions. suppression leads to depression. 4th- it will feel impossible, however you must forgive him so that you can move forward & live a healthy emotional & mental life. this in no means u have to forget. we are who we are because of life experiences. your anger & resentment towards him will consume you & affect every relationship you have, even with your child. this is why forgiveness is so important, and you don’t have to actually tell him you forgive him. that can be just your gift to yourself. i wish there was a step by step manual to help you through this however everyone’s journey is unique. life does exist after infidelity, only you can decide the quality of that life. everyone deserves to love & receive love in return in a way that is fulfilling to them. may you find peace in your mind, faith in your heart & strength in your will.

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Tim Veninga is a dating coach, relationship coach and social psychology bestseller author from the Netherlands.  He has been featured in media like Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Marie Claire & Elle.

Hi, I’m Tim Veninga. Since 2008 I’ve been coaching men and women to archieve succes and happiness in their love lives.

For years I’ve only been writing in Dutch, but in 2019 I started writing in English as well after many women asked for it.

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