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It's been called everything from having an "improper relationship" to having an "undercover lover" to having a "freak on the side." But whatever name it's given, it means one thing -- cheating. And relationship experts say men are doing it now more than ever.

In fact, experts estimate that nearly 75 percent of married men, or men involved in serious relationships, cheat. That means three men out of every four practice infidelity, if the numbers are to be believed. And maybe even more disturbing is the simultaneous collapse of the seven-year itch, the once-disreputable length of time it was thought to normally take a man to give into sexual temptation. Today, studies show that most men who cheat are doing it within the first three years of a relationship. Newspaper classifieds now are even speckled with personals that read: "MBM (Married Black Male) in search of a NSA (No Strings-Attached) relationship.

What's going on here? Why the recent surge in male infidelity? Relationship counselors say it can be attributed to many factors, but perhaps the overriding reason men are cheating at an alarming rate is because it's easier than ever before.

Long gone are the days when a man and his mistress communicated by calling each other's home, letting the telephone ring once and hanging up. With technological advances such as pagers, cell phones, voice mail and e-mail, a Brother with a cheating heart can carry on a side relationship without much fear of getting caught, virtually staying in touch with the other woman 24/7 without his partner ever having a clue. Add to that, the increased daily contact between men and women, according to all available statistics, and even men who were onetime scaredy-cats have turned into bold and brazen cheaters.

In his book, Never Satisfied: How & Why Men Cheat, Michael Baisden says the emergence of workplace diversity has made the job site the rendezvous hot spot of the '90s. "Women are on the job in record numbers, occupying every position from secretary to CEO," Baisden says. "This reality puts men and women in direct contact with one another on a daily basis. In the morning, they board crowded buses and trains together, and for eight long hours they work in cramped office spaces, brushing up against one another by accident, and by choice ... A cordial invitation to have a quick lunch passionately erupts into an indecent proposal to have a quickie for lunch."

But even with '90s-style changes in technology and the workplace environment, relationship counselors stress that the bottom line is the same today as it was yesterday: A man two-times for one reason -- because he wants to and some lack the impulse-control to suppress his wants. Experts say that unlike women -- who undoubtedly fantasize about extracurricular romance but are able to separate it from reality -- men are unable to distinguish between mental longings and physical transgressions, many times until it's too late. "To be faithful, a man ultimately has to deprive himself of something that he knows will feel good," says Ronn Elmore, an L.A. relationship therapist and author of How to Love a Black Woman. "Deprivation in a society that says, `If it feels good, do it,' is tough for most men."

This doesn't mean, by any means, that all Brothers cheat. There are solid men all around, as evident by the number of couples celebrating their 50-year wedding anniversaries in Jet and other Black newspapers.

But for the ones who do cheat, the reasons vary. For some men, cheating feeds the ego. For others, it feeds their illusions that a man's role is to conquer as many women as possible, and a woman's sole purpose in life is to please men. And still others creep because of its intoxicating effects, providing an adrenaline rush. But whether a man considers cheating mental therapy, role playing or more thrilling than bungy-jumping, "nothing justifies it, nothing makes cheating okay," says Darlene Powell Hopson, a clinical psychologist in Hartford, Conn., who co-authored the book, Friends, Lovers and Soulmates: A Guide to Better Relationships Between Black Men and Women, with her husband, Derek S. Hopson, also a clinical psychologist. "A man needs to deal with the underlying reasons why he cheats."

While men many times have the false impression that they cheat simply to have uncommitted sex, experts say the reasons run much deeper. The following, according to experts, are the real reasons men cheat:

Women Stand For It:

Men wouldn't cheat if women didn't let them. Women marry men who have cheated on them during courtship, even though relationship experts warn that a man who cheats on his fiancee, or even his girlfriend, will probably cheat on his wife. But the reality is that the world is filled with scores of lonely women looking for love. Men are well aware that the loneliness some women feel is so strong that they are willing to settle for a cheater, and write off his scurrilous ways as a simple case of "boys will be boys." At day's end, these women would rather lie down next to a cheater than no man at all.

Frustration Over Present Relationship:

It all sounded good at first -- sharing his life, his hopes, his dreams in an exciting relationship with one special lady. But soon after the newness wore off, his romantic visions of a wonderful future shifts to the realities of a problem-filled daily existence. The dishwasher's broken, the car needs a new transmission, work is a pain and the bill collectors are calling. Before long, most of their conversations consist of taking care of mundane tasks. He begins to feel like his partner is more critical of him, more argumentative, and does not give him the attention that he deserves.

So he eventually cheats, viewing it as a way to obtain the emotion that is no longer present in his current relationship. With his undercover lover, there is no stress, no pressure. They both work hard to satisfy each other mentally and physically. They share their shortcomings, and in time develop an emotional bond.

Thrill-seeking:

This man is bored and likes the novelty of being with another woman. So rather than put energy into rekindling the relationship he has with his partner, developing a hobby or engaging in something else that will give him an adrenaline rush, he looks for excitement in all the wrong places -- first and foremost, in-between the sheets. He usually has a series of affairs with different women, moving from one to another one when the novelty wears off.

Ego Boost:

The cheating game is filled with men looking for reassurance of their manhood from a woman other than the one he's involved with. He feels a lack of self-worth and self-esteem, and cheating provides a mental vacation, an escape from the responsibilities of his daily life. He has convinced himself that his cheating heart can cure his wallowing psyche.

Lacks Will Power:

Although men are generally thought of as the cheaters, infidelity is a two-way street, with more and more women partaking in -- and initiating -- the deed. Increasingly, women who don't want to be involved in a serious relationship are seeking out married men. And some men go along with a woman's advances because they don't want to be called "whipped" if they don't.

A Spiritual Emptiness:

Few religions condone a man having an intimate relationship with more than one woman. In fact, most refer to it as die ultimate sin. Forsaking all others is at the core of any spiritually based relationship. Therefore, experts say that a man who chooses to partake in one of the few acts that is strictly forbidden in most religious teachings hints at his lack of spirituality. With a religious foundation, a man will understand that perhaps the only thing strong enough to quell temptations raging inside of him is a strong spiritual base.

Climate Of Instant Gratification:

His personal values have become confused with society's "just-do-it" mentality. He thinks and acts in 30-second sound bites, with no thought about the repercussions of his actions. He sees no reason to rein in his feelings and desires. If he thinks a woman is attractive, he'll go after her, never letting a little thing like his present relationship stand in his way.

Seeking Revenge:

He's angry at something his partner said or did, and is looking to even the score, even if that means breaking the rules. In his mind, he feels cheating is a justified way to make the scales balanced again. For angry men, cheating provides a challenge. Although he figures his partner will never find out about it, simply knowing how much it would hurt her if she did is enough to satisfy most seething men.

Left Guard Down:

He has become sloopy in setting boundaries with female friends. Many times this situation occurs at work, when a friendship with a co-worker spills over into a sexual relationship. Many times, a woman's simple smile or bat of the eye can spur this transition. Before a man realms what's happening his impulses take over and he begins to equate his masculinity with his ability to satisfy a woman who has given a slight indication that she is interested.

So what happens after a man cheats? Experts say if his partner doesn't find out about transgressions, a man will most likely continue to do it. While there are numerous reasons why man cheats, one simple fact remains: Most men don't want to stop playing the cheating game, even though a cheater "must forever keep his lies straight," Baisden says, "because with one slip of the tongue, his world could come tumbling down around him."

When a cheater is finally unmasked and the stick of dynamite he's been secretly holding finally explodes, all trust in him is lost, and the message to the man's partner is painfully clear. Nothing is as personal as cheating.

But the first time a man is caught doesn't necessarily spell the end of his relationship with his significant other. Relationship therapists say that if a man is remorseful and his partner is forgiving, things can be patched up. "I've worked with couples who have deepened their marital bond because of infidelity," Hopson says. "The main thing is genuine remorse. Nothing justifies it, but it clearly can be forgiven."

Sometimes it means teaching a man how to be more assertive when dealing with aggressive women, other times it means finding constructive hobbies that will consume his idle mind. But, always, it means re-examining his present relationship to find out what areas need improving. A relationship counselor or clinical psychologist can help, but the real help has to come from the two people in the relationship. Continued hostility, resentment, or even physical confrontations and altercations are definite signs that it's time four the women to either accept his cheating ways or call it quits.

Experts say many women may be milling to forgive once, but that's it. "The old adage, `Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,' definitely applies," Elmore says.

COPYRIGHT 1998 Johnson Publishing Co.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group
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quote:
In fact, experts estimate that nearly 75 percent of married men, or men involved in serious relationships, cheat. That means three men out of every four practice infidelity, if the numbers are to be believed.


of course men (and women) cheat... but I'm not buying that figure without solid evidence to support it... I think that's way too high.

If it's accurate it shows a lot of people must be going into marriage and partnerships quite unprepared, and with very unrealistic expectations.
.
quote:
What's going on here? Why the recent surge in male infidelity?

Maybe we decided its time to start trying to catch up to the women. Frown

quote:
Experts say that unlike women -- who undoubtedly fantasize about extracurricular romance but are able to separate it from reality
What?!! Where are these women? I'll believe that when I meet one.

quote:
Men are well aware that the loneliness some women feel is so strong that they are willing to settle for a cheater, and write off his scurrilous ways as a simple case of "boys will be boys." At day's end, these women would rather lie down next to a cheater than no man at all.

But they would rather lie with no man at all than with a nice/good guy. Those guys are boring... sleep

quote:
Although men are generally thought of as the cheaters, infidelity is a two-way street, with more and more women partaking in -- and initiating -- the deed.

No way!!! Really??? Wow... I gotta lie down...

quote:
When a cheater is finally unmasked and the stick of dynamite he's been secretly holding finally explodes, all trust in him is lost, and the message to the man's partner is painfully clear. Nothing is as personal as cheating.

But of course, they will still go back for more. Well, you know what they say about voluntary victims... you can't save a person who doesn't want to be saved. sck
In todays society, its very difficult to get involved with someone WITHOUT KNOWINGthat they are already with someone. I have no problem dogging out men who cheat, but lets not forget "Ms Hot -to-Trot" who knew homeboy was with another woman and did'nt give a damn. He'll throw the ball, but it's up to her to catch it and vice versa.

Cheaters need to all be strung up by thier toes and treated to the PINATA EXPERIENCE.
I REALLY HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THIS SUBJECT. I THINK IN MY OPINION MEN CHEAT BECAUSE OF ONE REASON AND ONE REASON ONLY...UNHAPPINESS. THEY MAY HAVE THE NEED TO FEEL LIKE THEY STILL "GOT IT" AND STILL CAN GET ANOTHER "FINE YOUNG THING", AND I ALSO THINK AGE HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT.I ASKED MY COUSIN, MYGIL WHY HE CHEATED ON HIS WIFE, BEFORE THEY BROKE UP, AND GOT A DIVORCE, AND HE TOLD ME, BECAUSE HE WAS NOT HAPPY, AND THEIR LOVE LIFE WAS NOT LIKE IT WAS WHEN THEY FIRST GOT MARRIED. PEOPLE CHANGE. MY COUSIN IS 48 NOW, AND BACK THE HE WAS 36, MARRIED AT AGE 23. I THINK HE DIDN'T WANT TO GROW OLD WITH HIS WIFE, AND HAVE WHAT I CALL THE GOLDEN YEARS WITH HER. HE WANTED SOMETHING ELSE, AND HE FOUND IT A 25 YEAR OLD--"FINE YOUNG THING" AS THEY CALL IT. IT IS VERY SAD, BUT ALO OF MEN THINK THIS WAY.
Some men cheat... because they married hastily to begin with.... and did not truly love or at least did not give serious thought to the type of woman they were going to spend their life with.... and they feel trapped by their own decision....

The want to do right by their marriage.... try to keep it going.... but knowing there is no soul in the relationship.... and they feel unfulfilled....

And it has nothing to do with the quality, beauty, or goodness of their spouse.... it is simply that the two are ill fitted for one another....

This does happen.... and it's most unfortunate for the Wife.... because there is really nothing she can do... short of changing herself completely to please him... which won't happen and if it could he wouldn't want her....

But this is not an excuse to cheat....

Either he should be a man and tell her he doesn't love her and want her or tolerate her going to get "fulfilled"....

But, I just wanted to throw another perspective out there....

I think the case above is not the majority of cases....

I think most men cheat (this is my OPINION)... because they are too lazy to work through their marriages.... its too easy to get satisfaction elsewhere....


Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
Some men cheat... because they married hastily to begin with.... and did not truly love or at least did not give serious thought to the type of woman they were going to spend their life with.... and they feel trapped by their own decision....

This is also true for women.


quote:
This does happen.... and it's most unfortunate for the Wife.... because there is really nothing she can do... short of changing herself completely to please him... which won't happen and if it could he wouldn't want her....

This is also true for women.

quote:
Either he should be a man and tell her he doesn't love her and want her or tolerate her going to get "fulfilled"....

So, let me get this straight. If he cheats, then it's OK for her to cheat, and he should be OK with that? That's wonderfull... you screw me and I screw you and then we can be miserable together.

quote:
I think most men cheat (this is my OPINION)... because they are too lazy to work through their marriages.... its too easy to get satisfaction elsewhere....

I'm sorry Virtue, I'm not feeling that at all. I know that it's just your opinion, but this is just mine. Cheating does not provide satisfaction. Whatever the other person is looking for when they're cheating, they will not find. The negative consequences are always much farther reaching than their fifteen minutes of whatever it is.
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
This is also true for women.

You are right... I agree.. But the question was "Why Men Cheat?"


quote:
This is also true for women.
You are right.... I agree... But the question was "Why Men Cheat?"

quote:
So, let me get this straight. If he cheats, then it's OK for her to cheat, and he should be OK with that? That's wonderfull... you screw me and I screw you and then we can be miserable together.
Hmmmm.. Black Viking... I'm a little disappointed.... that was meant as sarcasm.... not as advice.... I was pointing out hypocrisy... I don't believe in cheating.... male or female....

quote:
I'm sorry Virtue, I'm not feeling that at all. I know that it's just your opinion, but this is just mine. Cheating does not provide satisfaction. Whatever the other person is looking for when they're cheating, they will not find. The negative consequences are always much farther reaching than their fifteen minutes of whatever it is.
I'm sure this happens..... but sometimes it does not... sometimes... the person does find what they are looking for.... life is not that neat.... and this can be even more painful... to know that someone is fulfilled without you..... For instance if a man is cheating because he is unfulfilled sexually by his Wife... He may find fulfillment elsewhere because his dissatisfaction was shallow..... But, BlackViking, I agree that probably for most cases fulfillment is illusory.....

Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by virtue:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
This is also true for women.

quote:
You are right... I agree.. But the question was "Why Men Cheat?"



quote:
This is also true for women.
You are right.... I agree... But the question was "Why Men Cheat?"

I assumed that if we're talking about why men cheat, then we are talking about things that are specific to men, rather than people in general.

quote:
So, let me get this straight. If he cheats, then it's OK for her to cheat, and he should be OK with that? That's wonderfull... you screw me and I screw you and then we can be miserable together.
quote:
Hmmmm.. Black Viking... I'm a little disappointed.... that was meant as sarcasm.... not as advice.... I was pointing out hypocrisy... I don't believe in cheating.... male or female....

I apologize. I didn't realize it was meant in sarcasm. Sort of funny, actually, because I'm such a sarcastic person. I should've caught it.

But, I will take a moment to defend my point. The reason I didn't catch the sarcasm right away is because I've known many women who feel that way, that there are different rules for each gender. They say things like, "If he even looks at another women he's in the dog house." And then they'll say, "Of course we should have our bad boys on the side."

My attack on your statement was unfair. I was projecting the hypocricy that I've expierienced on to your statement. But, do not doubt that hypocrisy lives on both sides of the fence. Wink
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I assumed that if we're talking about why men cheat, then we are talking about things that are specific to men, rather than people in general.
Cool.... point taken.... Smile

quote:
I apologize. I didn't realize it was meant in sarcasm. Sort of funny, actually, because I'm such a sarcastic person. I should've caught it.

But, I will take a moment to defend my point. The reason I didn't catch the sarcasm right away is because I've known many women who feel that way, that there are different rules for each gender. They say things like, "If he even looks at another women he's in the dog house." And then they'll say, "Of course we should have our bad boys on the side."

My attack on your statement was unfair. I was projecting the hypocricy that I've expierienced on to your statement. But, do not doubt that hypocrisy lives on both sides of the fence. Wink
Cool... tfro


Peace,
Virtue
I appreciate why cheating is taboo, but, oftentimes, I feel that it is inconsistent with human nature, since we naturally tend to crave variety in most facets of life (music, clothes, personalities, religion, hairstyles, politics, color contact lenses, sexual positions, food, modes of transportation, books, chat rooms, etc). But, whatever...

I think men (& women) cheat b'cuz of all of the things that you guys mentioned, but also b'cuz the novelty of a relationship eventually wears off.
We humans are naturally endowed with ways adapt and become immune to recurring stimuli; and when we become numb or desensitized to what was once exciting or interesting...we rid ourselves of ennui by seeking new stimulus elswhere.

Along with being constant seekers of new stimuli, it seem we're also creatures of habit...that is, until we encounter psychological distress.
For example when a couple establishes a certain degree of trust, it can give them comfort & familiarity (which is what many couples want), but it can also make things predictable & (you guessed it) boring. Boredom, in a relationship, is a form of psychological distress- pain; and like Virtue said - many Men (& Women) are too lazy/stupid/immature to revitalize their relationship, b'cuz it requires communication, psychological & behavioral evaluation/awareness/dicipline-in other words, it takes work...which is translated, by many men (& women), as MORE PAIN.

The mind of the adulterer (or adulteress), is good at self-deception & rationalizing aberant behavior, thereby, intensifying the allure of that "mysterious" stanger when compared to the seemingly all-too-predictable, unshakeably failthful, and aloof spouse. So, as creatures of habit & seekers of pleasure, many men (& women) will go through the motions of an unfulfilling relationship (habit), but alleviate this pain by cheating (pleasure).
My man and I have been together for 15 years when I found out that he cheated on me. I was very hurt 7 but after I got through all of that, I actually sat down and asked him why did he do it. He told me that he still loved me, but i just was not there. I worked all the time and he needed to feel like I still was interested. Women work alot of hours and also must clean, cook and care for children. I was hurt that he cheated but I could also understand that if I was not there for him....the next chick would!!!

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