why men cheat

Why Do Men Cheat?

In my opinion, the best movie about Vietnam is We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson. He plays lieutenant colonel Hal Moore who commanded the first major battle of that war known as the Battle of Ia Drang. Surrounded and facing overwhelming odds, Moore and his soldiers withstood the onslaught for a week. One of the things Moore credits as a reason for the success was the love and devotion the soldiers had for one another. However, equally as important, was Moore’s consistent studying of the battlefield and knowledge of his enemy. He knew their strategies and the angles they would take to attack. This enabled him to position his forces in places that gave the greatest chance of victory.

In marriage, it is important to have love and devotion to one another. However, it is also equally important to know the temptations and pitfalls that attack marriage. One of the biggest enemies of marriage is infidelity. Knowing this enemy inside and out will help us remain faithful. Last week, we discussed why women cheat. Today we answer why men cheat.

Note: These are reasons, not justifications. Cheating is never justifiable under any circumstances.

Unfulfilled Emotional Needs

This seems to be the top reason. Most men who cheat consistently have expressed feeling disconnected from their wives. Men and women were both created for relationships. The need for emotional connection is innate in all of us, man or woman. However, physical affection and sex is an important way for men to feel emotionally connected with their wives. When that isn’t happening, it is easy for men to become withdrawn. When husbands emotionally drift from their wives, other connections will act like gravity.

Win Early: Work tirelessly to connect with your wife. When you feel yourself drifting, do whatever it takes to keep your feet secured in your marriage. Go out on dates, talk, find something new to experience together. Never stop, ever. 

The Thrill, Insecurity, and Ego

There are many men that simply love the excitement of the chase. The feeling of meeting a challenge and winning her over. It makes them feel powerful and attractive. This feeling is particularly enticing when a man feels neglected by his wife. A neglected man will feel rejected and insecure with a bruised ego. As a result, they go hunting to regain the sense of power and self-confidence they have lost.

Win Early: True power cannot be attained by the affirmation of others. The greatest and most challenging test for any man is to romance and pursue the same woman for a lifetime. Wake up every day and ask the question, “How can I win my wife today?”


Being a husband and father is stressful. A man may love his wife, but there are now obligations to fulfill. The single life was carefree, but also lonely. They would rather not lose their wife but want a distraction from the pressure that comes with responsibility. They are looking for a quick return to the carefree days with the security of a spouse intact.

Win Early: Stay in the game. Stop the temptation the moment the thought enters your mind, rather than cradling it. When you find yourself looking for distractions, do the opposite. Embrace your responsibilities or you may lose them.   

Sexual Addiction

There are women that have this problem, but mainly men. The exact cause is unknown but can involve both a chemical and/or psychological reason. These men consistently engage in sexual behavior (including viewing porn or participating in chat rooms) that brings negative outcomes. Despite the negative effects in their lives, they do not stop.

Win Early: Get treatment immediately. This can be overcome with medical treatment, psychological therapy, or support groups — perhaps all three. 

Sound Off

How do you remain faithful to your wife?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

  • LivingForMyKids

    Because they can and feel entitled to, that’s why. And can’t we all find justifications if we want to for our behavior and lack of loyalty and commitment to our marriage and vows.
    ~Betrayed after 25 yrs

    • BJ_Foster

      Sorry to hear this.

      • LivingForMyKids

        Actually, he allowed himself to get emotionally close and start sharing with a female employee. She confided on how unhappy she was in her marriage, then I feel he needed to match her stories and it snowballed from there. She befriended our daughter and even myself finding out about him. I thought they were friends and we were married, so was she..had no idea that either of us were having issues. She was telling him all the right things and made him feel they are like twins, they just get each other.
        He just let himself get too involved. She is and continues to tell him all the perfect things and I think he tries to match her stories as well. Even though neither of them are divorced they have been getting together and involving both set of children (11 & younger). I am really not OK with her being allowed to manipulate our son. But honestly I guess her morals and character are not any worse than that of his father.
        When he left he claimed that “he needed to be happy” and wasn’t fully honest with our kids (20, 18 & 11). Has always and still continues to claim that either of them have done nothing wrong..and he didn’t have a choice…wasn’t looking for this it “just happened” Unfortunately, I am not of that same line of thinking. I do believe that you choose the relationships you nurture and hold dear to you. You make those your priority. Also by keeping good friends that are of good moral character and have high values for marriage and family. That helps with “you are or become who you hang with”
        I pray and would never want any spouse or child to go through what I have or what we are putting our children through.

        • BJ_Foster

          Prayed for you, your kids, and the situation with your husband this morning. I’m sorry you are all experiencing something so hurtful.

          • LivingForMyKids

            The hardest part is still him trying to put blame back on me. Telling me I never said “I love you and I want our marriage to work.” I tried for ten months until she moved out. Knowing the whole time he was still in contact with her and meeting with her. Her husband met with him 3 times asking him to leave his wife alone and end it. I wanted him to either stay or leave on his own choice. I have found out more and know that he is way beyond being honest. I stuck with his story of needing to be happy when he finally did leave and told our children that I loved him too and wanted him to be happy as well. Not sure that was the right thing, maybe should have been more honest that he was leaving to be with her. They had planned and assured each other that leaving was doing the right thing. Her husband was not meeting her financial needs.
            His lack of being there for our youngest who is only 11 hurts me. He is more than happy when he can be in public like the dutiful father or when they can be a blended family. Our divorce finalized in June shortly after the 90 day mandatory waiting period, I just needed things done. My father has been very ill and my situation caused him additional stress. Unfortunately he passed away last week. My Dad wouldn’t let anyone say how bad he was because he knew that my son needed me with him at the 4H Fair events, his father came for a couple hours the first day. But this was my fault as well. I was able to finish stuff with my son and drive the 4 hours to get to my parents, but wasn’t able to talk to him before he was gone.
            Just more to test and see how strong or much I can take. Our daughter (18 yrs) has decided that her Dad has been lying to her and not sure she can trust me then either. But financially he has been buying our kids quite a few things, which I am not even going to try and compete with. My ex still claims they are friends and when together at 1 & 2 am they are watching movies and he is helping her with her disease. When I find out the truth I will be sorry. I just don’t know where two people destroying their marriages, children’s lives and spouses has ever been a cure for anything.
            I may not have a “friend” and I do get lonely, but I am going to be just fine and I can meet my own financial needs. Being available for our children and now helping my Mom get relocated closer to me and my siblings is where my priorities are. Thanks to you and George both for your thoughts and prayers.

          • Kaleigh

            I too am so sorry to hear your story. I can’t imagine how you feel but I am praying for you. I’m praying Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified for the Lord your God goes with you; He will NEVER leave you or forsake you.

          • LivingForMyKids

            Thanks. I just feel lonely, especially at night. I’m not ready to even entertain the thought of a friend. But think at times it would be nice just to have someone to text or talk with. Need to be able to talk without bringing up the pain & hurt.

          • Kaleigh

            I know…I think talking through things will be part of the healing process. Have you ever thought about reaching out to a trusted friend or maybe even a counselor? Below is a great link where you can find a Christian counselor in your area – http://www.aacc.net/resources/find-a-counselor/ I will continue to pray for you!

          • LivingForMyKids

            The best advice that I was told but didn’t take I heard again on a Focus on the Family Sunday broadcast on when your spouse says “I don’t love you.” The feelings they talked about was spot on with how I felt. My actions were to give him time and I can empathize with some of his feeling, but ultimately he made and continued to make choices that there is no way to repair or save our marriage and family.
            Our divorce was final in June and unfortunately my father passed away on Aug 6th. I feel very guilty for the extra stress that my separation and divorce has caused my parents. They truly loved him and thought he walked on water. The old him was a really great and caring husband, but I know that person isn’t who he claimed to be or is not who he wants to be anymore. I struggle with my kids (21, 18 and 11) in what or how much I should say. I don’t want them to think I’m trying to make their father look bad. At the same time, want them to understand that in marriage and life there are things that you shouldn’t do. Character and integrity, those things when you think no one is watching are important.
            He is very angry and can’t even text or talk about issues that involve our kids right now. But sent a text wanting to do things as a family for the sake of our kids. But he has been with his friend and continues to be, even though she is still married. Claiming they have and are doing nothing wrong, because she is separated and moved out on her family the same time he did. I am lonely and miss having someone around especially after kids go to bed, but find that I’m at peace.

          • Kaleigh

            I’m so sorry to hear about your dad passing away. It seems like it’s been a really hard summer for your family and I truly am so sorry. I don’t know exactly how you feel but I do know what it’s like to feel lonely. Do you like to read?

          • LivingForMyKids

            I don’t read much, but listen to podcasts at night when I can’t sleep. I listen to Joel Olsteen and other things to help with my confidence and suggestions on how to help children through divorce.

          • Amy

            I am so sorry to hear about this painful season of your life. I hope and pray these resources and Scripture will provide some comfort particularly at night. Please don’t lose hope because when our Hope is God we can believe: “…hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5 (NASB). (You can begin with verse 1.)



        • George

          your story grieves me – prayers lifted up for you all.

  • P.j. Diss

    I am a big fan of APD and Family Minute. I was surprised at how different the tone was between the email that accompanied the article and the article itself. I felt like the email put a heavier load on the wife, while the article was spot on that we as men need to work on pursuing our wives and a Godly marriage. This is not a negative criticism just a heads up on how someone might think if they only read the email portion. Thanks for all you guys do!

  • ChrisandAnne Cannon

    I was unfaithful to my wife. I resigned my role as senior pastor of the church that I started, almost ending my marriage and definitely ending many friendships. Your understanding of why men do what I did is spot on. I now meet with men who are in recovery on a regular basis, and can also vouch for your “Win Early” tips. Advice: stay faithful. The pain, devastation and damage are far greater than anyone can imagine.

    • BJ_Foster

      Thanks Chris. Sounds like it has been a painful road for you and your wife. I’m glad you are in a better place now.

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Huddle up with you wife and ask, “How can we avoid these pitfalls?”

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