Why Married Men Cheat

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In researching my previous article, Why Married Women Cheat, I found that the reasons for infidelity are multi-factorial.  Female cheating is not purely sexual but hinders more on psychological shortcomings and unfulfilled emotional needs.   Men are not dissimilar.  M.Gary Neuman decided to do research from a man’s perspective in his book, The Truth About Cheating. He interviewed faithful and unfaithful guys- this is what he found:

  • 48% of men rated emotional dissatisfaction as the primary reason they cheated – So much for the notion that men are all about sex, in fact, only 8% of men said that sexual dissatisfaction was the main factor their infidelity.
  • 66% of cheating men report feeling guilt during the affair- Even nice guys cheat. In fact, 68 percent of cheaters never dreamed they’d be unfaithful, and almost all of them wished they hadn’t done it.
  • 77% of cheating men have a good friend who cheated- Some guys rationalize cheating if others are doing it. Build your social circle around happily married couples that share your values. It will create an environment that supports marriage.
  • 40% of cheating men met the other woman at work – If he praises or mentions the name of a female coworker more than he would a male counterpart, your antennae should go up — and it’s time for the two of you to set boundaries about what is and isn’t okay at work.
  • 12% of cheating men said their mistress was more physically attractive than their wife- “In most cases, he’s cheating to fill an emotional void,” Neuman says. “He feels a connection with the other woman, and sex comes along for the ride.”
  • Only 6% of cheating men had sex with a woman after meeting her that same day or night – 73% of men stated that they knew the women a month or more before starting the affair. This would indicate that wives might see it coming before he does.


Researchers agree that men cheat more than women. In Alfred Kinsey’s, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, he found that 50% of married men cheated. In 1953 he found that 26 % of woman cheat. Both those numbers have gone up since the 50s. In a 1991 study, sex researcher Shere Hite found that 70 percent of married women have cheated on their partners; a 1993 follow-up study found that 72 percent of married men have as well. According to a 2004 University of Chicago study, 25 percent of married men have had at least one extramarital affair. In 2010 a study by The Kinsey Institute found that 66% of married mean cheat. There are currently 12 million members looking for extramarital intimacy on web site AshleyMadison.com (tagline: “Life is short. Have an affair.”).

The numbers vary per researcher but we know that getting cheated on is a reality. So what do we do?  Here are some signs he maybe be straying: he spends more time away from home, stops asking for sex, picks fights more frequently, or avoids your calls.  The wrong thing to do is get jealous and/or confront him before direct proof. If he is faithful and you overreact you could further the divide.  Instead control the only thing you can, your behavior. Be an advocate for your marriage.  Show your appreciation for him, plan dates and offer sex. (Sexual excitement ends with a release of oxytocin which elicits feeling of closeness)  Neuman says. “And be open about how you feel about what’s going on between the two of you (again, without mentioning any third parties). Try”, ‘I think we’ve started to lose something important in our marriage, and I don’t want it to disappear.’ If he has definitely cheated and you can move on do it! Humans are highly sexual creatures and make mistakes. He is in fact fighting millions of years of built in instinctual drives and nature is a powerful adversary. Percentages show he probably still loves you. If the marriage is worth saving create a space for him return, give him an opportunity to come back and restore what you have lost.

Author: drmaxmccullen

When Max McCullen first read Alfred Kinsey’s landmark book, Sexual Behavior In the Human Male, he began contemplating why so little is known about human sexuality. Since its publication in 1948 that body of knowledge has grown marginally. Why do we think about sex all the time? How much does sex really influence our behavior? And why do we still know so little about it? He completed undergraduate studies at University of the Pacific and The University of London and then his research led him to the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. IASHS was founded by Kinsey’s research assistant, Wardell Pomeroy. His initial curiosity soon evolved into a passion, which drove him to acquire his Doctorate of Education in Human Sexuality and Gender Studies. In 2004 Dr. Max began working for GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK), one of the largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide. This experience contributed to his understanding of medical treatments for male sexual dysfunction. He became familiar with how Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis function on a biological level and their social implications. His expertise naturally transitioned into him working with some of the most prestigious Urology offices in Southern California. These doctors and passionate medical personal, illustrated firsthand the impact treatment of male sexual dysfunction can have on patient care and their overall well being. This experience made him yearn for more direct contact with patients in a clinical setting. So after GSK he worked with Boston Medical Group (BMG), an international, clinic based organization, comprised of board certified Urologists and other specialties. BMG focuses on low libido, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and testosterone replacement therapy. With BMG, Dr. Max was not only their spokesperson doing radio interviews and lecturing but worked as the physician liaison connecting patients with doctors for treatment. He also worked as a consultant for University Specialty Urologicals, based in San Diego, meeting with Urologists all over the west coast to train them on various treatments for men and women's sexual health issues, including hormone replacement therapy. During this time he also hosted online webinars for patients with questions; he also has a written and video blog series and does private consultation for patients. Dr. Max McCullen brings a historical knowledge of the human sexuality field together with the reailties of living in a digital age. “The issues that confronted our elders in the 50’s and 60’s are different today - but no more impactful. Where they were learning about their sexuality and beginning to embark into the sexual revolution we are over exposed to the commodification of sex. This makes the navigation of sex and emotional intimacy difficult” Dr. Max McCullen

One thought on “Why Married Men Cheat

  1. Pingback: BETROTHAL W/ BOOTY? A discussion of Sex and Marriage |

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