Do you know someone whose marriage has been affected by infidelity? There is a good chance that you do and if you don’t they probably just haven’t opened up to you about it.

A study done by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy a few years ago revealed that 45% of married men admitted to having an affair. I find it to be both alarming and heartbreaking that nearly half of the married men that they poled admitted to cheating on their wives in one way or another. The number of women who have affairs was lower, but not by very much, at about 30-35% of married women.

So why do people cheat in relationships so often? Contrary to what many people believe feeling sexually unfulfilled is not the main reason that most people begin an affair. (Even for men.) Yes, there are certainly times when that’s the case or at least plays a part in a spouse cheating, however, there are often several other issues that ultimately contribute to an affair starting.

why men cheat

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The betrayal of the one who promised to love you forever will leave a woman questioning many things about herself and her relationship. Among those questions is “Does this mean that my husband doesn’t love me anymore?”

While finding out that your husband is cheating on you is sure to make you feel broken and unloved it does not mean that your husband has lost his love for you, or that your marriage has to come to an end.

I know it’s hard to believe, but many married men who cheat still love their wives, even though nothing about what they are doing is making their wives feel loved at all. If you have found out that your husband is involved with someone else, rest assured there is still hope that your marriage can be restored. However, it is important to understand why your husband has had an affair.

There are several reasons why men cheat on their wives, and it’s important to remember every situation is different.

Most of the time men begin affairs based on their insecurities and emotions in their marriages, not on the way you look or the things you didn't do in the bedroom. #ReasonsWhyMenCheat #cheatingmen #marriagehelp Click To Tweet

*Please keep in mind I am in no way excusing a husband who has had an affair, I am simply sharing a list of common reasons that men cheat on wives that they still love, and how they each played a part in my own husband’s affair.

Here are five reasons why men cheat:

Escape

For some men, becoming involved with another woman provides a nice escape from reality. When he is with his mistress, he doesn’t have to worry about finances, problems with kids, or any of the other issues he may be facing. Having an affair gives him the benefit of having a relationship without having to deal with the responsibilities in his “real life.”

In my marriage, my husband was feeling extremely anxious over our finances when he began his affair. He told me flat out that he liked spending time with the other woman because when he was with her he didn’t feel like a failure for not being able to provide for his family. Ironically, I never thought of him as a failure until I found out he was cheating!

Respect

Feeling respected is important to most men. Sometimes if a man is feeling disrespected at home by his wife and kids he will begin to look for it in other places. Likewise, a man who is constantly being treated disrespectfully at work by his boss may turn to a co-worker who gives him the respect he believes he deserves, leading to an affair.

I’d like to think that as a Christian wife, I have always been respectful of my husband, but I know that is not the truth. I have been known to raise my voice when I get upset with my husband. For years he told me it made him feel like I was treating him like a child. If I’m honest I never really did anything to stop talking to him that way before his affair.

Attention

As women, we like getting attention from our spouses and men are no different. Unfortunately, sometimes even when we mean well, life can creep in and steal some of our attention away from our spouse. Kids, work, and even commitments at church can come between couples if they are not careful. Sadly, sometimes this lack of attention from their wife can cause a man to look for it somewhere else.

This was a big problem in my marriage. We had just had a new baby when I found out about my husband’s affair. I was way more focused on my kids and their needs than my husband and his. I now realize that finding the right balance is really important.

Support

Men like to know that they have the support of their wives. Looking back this is a big issue my husband and I had in our marriage before his affair. I remember him once remarking that his other woman “supported all his ideas.” In my head, I was thinking, “Of course she does, she has nothing to lose if your business fails. If you lose your life savings it’s not her kids who will be going to bed hungry.”

It was easy for me to become defensive, but the more I thought about it, there were times that I could have been better at supporting him when he had good ideas or commenting on his not-so-great ideas more graciously.

Appreciation

Feeling appreciated is very important to most men. They need to know that their wives think they are valuable and are doing a good job as a husband and/or father. If they do not feel appreciated in their homes they may turn to someone who does appear to appreciate them.

When I was first married there were a lot of circumstances in my life that were a result of poor decisions that my husband made when he was younger. Although I tried my best not to hold them against him, I know there were times when he felt like I only saw the negative things he did, and never focused on the good. I have since learned to spend more time showing him that I appreciate the positive things about him, and less time bringing up things in the past that we cannot change anyway.

When you find out that your husband has had an affair you may be tempted to focus on every flaw you have and think that you are to blame for your husband’s actions, but this is NOT true! Yes, we all make mistakes, but it’s important to remember that nothing you have done or not done as a wife is an excuse for your husband’s cheating.

Infidelity hurts in many ways, but many marriages can get past it and be restored. I hope that you will be able to use the information in this post as a guide to identifying some of the things that may have led to your husband having an affair, and what you can both improve in your relationship to begin repairing your marriage.

Are you a wife who needs support to deal with your husband’s affair? You won’t want to miss our course “Healing the Heartbreak: Finding Hope In Christ When Your Marriage Falls Apart.”

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Meghan

I'm Meghan, a Christian Marriage Coach, Speaker, and Writer. I am passionate about helping others restore and revive their marriages.

2 Comments

Breon McNeil · November 19, 2023 at 6:16 pm

I had a fair on my wife and don’t even no why cause I have one of the best women that god put on this earth she is a real loving women she cares and love for me and my kids she is one of the greatest women I have ever meet in my 27 years of living

    Meghan · November 21, 2023 at 10:39 pm

    I’m so sorry. I know it’s difficult knowing you hurt someone you care about. Praying your marriage will be able to recover from this.

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