Why Do Men Cheat?: You Said it

"Cheating is one of the most selfish acts a person can commit, because despite the fact that they entered into a relationship with another person, they choose to act as though they are the only one whose feelings, needs, and desires matter." --iVillager nura_p

"Somehow we've become so convinced of what we're ENTITLED to that we have completely lost sight of what we are RESPONSIBLE for. It doesn't matter who gets hurt, as long as we get what we want." --iVillager juliewho

"I believe some people are so needy, they devour their spouse's love, and move on." --iVillager a2zx3

Not surprisingly, many of these beliefs are in keeping with expert opinion on the subject of cheating. Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., author of Make Up, Don't Break Up, offers six key reasons why men betray their partners through infidelity:

  1. Emotional emptiness.
  2. General dissatisfaction with the relationship.
  3. To avoid facing existing relationship problems.
  4. Fear of intimacy and commitment.
  5. To be seen and heard.
  6. Lack of physical attraction to partner.

So what can women do to keep their men from straying? Plenty, says Dr. Weil:

  1. Up the TLC: Comfort, touch, and compliment your spouse, so that he won't look elsewhere for soothing and bonding.
  2. Give him space: Men need scheduled time to disconnect from the relationship, says Dr. Weil. That may mean an hour alone in front of the computer, a golf outing, or simply time together without conversation. Give him space to do this so that he's ready to be there for you when you want his attention.
  3. Connect: Daily mini-connections, such as a kiss good-bye in the morning and a post-work greeting, are vitally important, according to Dr. Weil. Other simple events that bring you together - a nice meal or after-dinner walk -- will also allow you to reconnect on a regular basis.
  4. Restore the magic: Playing and having fun together will help maintain or restore the sizzle in your relationship. That may mean playing fun games, trying new activities or taking a class together, or simply vowing to spend an entire day thinking only positive thoughts about each other (no complaining allowed).
  5. Express yourselves: Help him to get in touch with his feelings, and make it safe for him to tell you how he really feels. For example, when you ask him a question such as, "Do you mind watching the kids today?" suggest that he visualize how he'll feel after you leave. Also, help him to get in touch with your emotions. But start small - discuss minor topics together before tackling major issues. If you overwhelm him with your feelings, his resulting physiological discomfort will cause him to retreat.
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