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Why do men cheat?

December 13th, 2012 Go to comments

cheatingAmong the reasons already known and which can cause a mild intellectual irritation are: because they want to, because they can, because they cannot help it …. Any woman, no matter how sexy and attractive is, can be cheated on at a point.

And still: why do men cheat?

Do they have any excuse, any pretext, an answer that is not impertinent that he could give to you so that you can alchemize your struggling in compassion?

The reasons are not only sexual but often psychological – and that does not mean that he is stupid, but that his becoming as a man was sprinkled with unfortunate events.

Sex means validation – of masculinity, of the seduction force, sex means power.

To have an affair is easy –  an affair is a relationship “purified” of the great expectations of love, is a relationship that requires only physical attraction and a tacit consent to adventure and duplicity.

It is no longer a mystery man’s inclination to polygamy, scientifically documented and explained.

Ladies, I know, I am annoyed too by the scientific substantiations. I’m annoyed that the brain area dedicated to sex is three times larger in men than in women.

I’m annoyed that the amygdala, the brain area responsible for warning signs, fear and risk is also larger in men, which makes them more alert to potential  “territorial” threats.

On the other hand, the brain area corresponding to “I feel what you feel” – the mirror neuron system – is bigger and more active in female brains.
That’s why  women are able to identify and to read her partner’s emotions by decoding facial expressions, tone of voice and other non-verbal clues.

As such, it pisses me off to know about him more than he knows himself and to have to explain that to him as well.

And even though a woman excels at lying to herself, same time a woman excels at decoding emotions much better than a man. These capabilities creates a cognitive paradox – the desire to not to be cheated on and blindness at signs of a promiscuous behavior on one hand, and the unconscious registration of the signals that tells you that your partner is a cheater on the other hand.

There are countless other differences that send men and women on two different psychological planets. No wonder that we forget these differences and that nothing can justify or alleviate the pain of being cheated, betrayed or lied.

There’s a whole controversy regarding the sharing of her own experiences by the psychologist . I disapprove this hypocrisy that surrounds many psychologists, as they would have not been touched by human troubles, relational accidents or by the everyday dramas.

So I confess that I went through all this, that I was cheated and that I know what it means to have your whole world  collapsing wondering “How was this possible?”. Or to feel that no matter how smart you are, how special and feminine, same mundane dramas happen to you that you thought happens to everybody else, but you.

To understand why men cheat is a form of consolation. The study of the whereabouts of the male psyche brought me a form of tolerance and understanding with which I struggle sometimes but which brings healing.

Women’s need for security is seriously threatened when she learns that her partner is cheating on her. If the man would ask himself, before hand of course, if that affair is worth jeopardizing the love relationship he has, if an hour of pleasure is worth the pain caused to the woman he loves if she were to know, things would  be different.

However, under the spell of instinct and opportunity, cognitive skills are among the last male aptitudes.

Countless studies show decreased concentration capacity, reasoning and ability to make correct choices when a man is aroused by the image of a (beautiful) woman .

The need for novelty is yet, a need which is profound ignored by both sexes. Even though for both men and women, fulfillment recipe involves as well experiencing the new, they fail to bring novelty in relationship.

We need the certainty and the stability of a relationship, but we also need the adrenaline, the newness and the mystery of unknown.

The psychological reasons that explains why a man is cheating are even more interesting. Of course, “interesting” sounds offensive to a woman who is betrayed, but sometimes, understanding brings comfort. Forgiveness is a hard word to utter when confronted with the situation, but understanding brings at least the relief that is not your fault, or at least not only yours …

Psychological reasons may have their roots in his childhood, when he was refused the primary love he needed, the love of his mother. This trauma can determine him to look in every woman that love which was unfulfilled in his childhood.

Combined with the sexual instinct, a Don Juan-type personality is born, which is in a perpetual conquest, seeking for something unknown to himself, unable to develop a healthy attachment in a relationship for fear of not going through the same loss suffered as a child.

Another psychological reason why men cheat is the uncertainty of their masculinity, which can be augmented by reproaches made by his partner.

In many relationships, the partners want to change one another. That is the reason of little or big arguments, quarrels, forgetting to appreciate the qualities that attracted you in the first place.

It’s a whole art to know how to argue, to complain or to determine change in your partner without him feeling hurt, manipulated or not good enough for you.

When the partner forgets to appreciate and express admiration for the loved one, a vicious circle is created, in which each of them will seek validation and reaffirmation outside of the relationship.

There are healthy crises and there are destructive crises in a relationship. A relationship goes through different stages from her formation to maturity and always requires communication, negotiation, recreation of the magic, personal development, reassessment of the ideals and needs of each.

As we become more complex, as we know ourselves better, the more we are caught to do, to have and to be in so many roles, the harder it becomes to maintain a harmonious relationship, full of savour, which gives you comfort and passion, which makes you feel like you can climb the Himalayas and you can raise kids with him too.

When the man – or woman is cheating, they are actually cheating on themselves, getting deeper into a  decision-making crisis, compensating for shortcomings within themselves or relationship.

Why do men cheat? Why is anyone cheating?

Because we are frail, ignorant, fearful, because there is a dark side of our existence that we do not know or do not want to acknowledge and to heal. Because we are populated by conflicting desires, because it is difficult to live at the height of our ideal self or idealized image the partner has about us.

And without the great illusions that we have in a relationship, without the crazy belief that this time will be different, without the courage to dive in a love as if you were never disappointed before, life will always be less than what it can be, more dry, more cynical and poorer.

What happened to me in the end? I became a better psychologist : )


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