What are the factors that lead to an affair?
Believe it or not, it’s not about SEX, and it’s not about Physical Attraction to the other woman. For many men who have cheated their wives or mates were far MORE attractive than the other woman, and their husbands found their wives more sexually satisfying, too.
So, why do men cheat and what makes a man unfaithful?
Affairs are usually the result of one single factor, but can be the accumulation of many. For most an affair was a way of meeting a certain emotional need that their partners were not providing. Although, there are often other factors as well, such as boredom; the desire to punish one’s partner; excitement, risk, or challenge; and even ‘power’ to name a few.
Usually, if a man is having, or contemplating having, an affair, he is using it as a way to fill an emotional void he feels in his current relationship with his mate. Most underlying causes of infidelity are based on the person (who is doing the cheating) seeking certain needs that were lacking in their relationships.
Believe, it or not, when it comes to relationships, men have needs too.
What are these needs that men have?
Men, just like women, seek certain emotional needs. These may be different needs than the ones we feel, but just as important to their fulfillment as our needs being fulfilled are important to us. What are a man’s needs?
Face it, women like affection and men like sex. A man is feeling his most free to give love for a woman when he is engaged in sex with her. It is one of the few times he can relax and feel love without the expectations of having to ‘pay’ for it. What I mean when I say ‘pay’ for it is when a man says I love you, or feels love, he also feels the tremendous burden of what those words mean to him. He must now provide for her. Keep her happy and secure. Provide a safe home to which they may raise a family. Seek steady and financially secure employment. Seek her approval on every single plan before putting it into action. Yes, when a man says “I Love You” his insides turn with fear and worry about being able to provide all those I just mentioned. Love to woman often means security. Love to a man often means work! When a man is having sex with a woman he is allowed to feel his love for her free of all the ‘work’ that comes with the word love. He can open himself up and feel not being taken, drained, or pressured to provide… but experience the pure joy of mutual giving and taking with no other reason than loving bliss. Men cheat when they feel pressured at home.
A man also seeks in his mate a buddy or a pal:
This is when he feels his needs for acceptance being taken care of. A man wants his woman to be his best friend, his pal. He wants her to share an interest in his activities. This, in turn, makes him feel you are showing an interest in him! If he wants to golf, or fish, and you show no interest at all in joining him, he feels like his likes are unacceptable to you. Like you somehow don’t approve of him or have interests in him. When you join him you provide his need for you to be interested, and accepting of him. He feels attractive, comfortable, and secure. He feels validated and understood (Hence the good old adultery line “She doesn’t understand me!”) By joining in his hobbies and activities you are showing him you are interested in him and accept everything about him, and that you trust him to make you happy. A man may be unfaithful if his partner doesn’t share the same interests.
Not finding his mate physically attractive:
Oh, OUCH! This one hurts, but it is true. Men are definitely creatures of visual stimulation. Note the marketable comparison in the amount of men’s ‘girlie’ magazines (they are meant to tantalize, tease, and whet the appetite) as compared to women’s ‘boyie’ magazines. Women sometimes forget this need because they don’t have the same visual needs. Women feel love, and that bond excites them. Men see it! Men may cheat because they fall victim to their own basic animal desires. This type of unfaithful man hasn’t any involvement, attachment or commitment to the other woman, but that doesn’t mean that it hurts his partner any less.
Unhappy or dysfunctional home life:
Calm surroundings, happy kids, dinner on the stove and a loving wife welcoming him with open arms makes a man feel appreciated and rewarded for all his hard work that he does to provide for his family. He feels acknowledged, appreciated, and compensated by a happy, grateful family. He is not a failure!
An unhappy wife, messy home, and unruly children can somehow be turned around as proof to him that as a man he is a failure. He feels lack of admiration and sees no praise for his accomplishments or talents. Wow! Men are such work, and now we have to tell them they are great too? Yes, men need, I mean NEED the approval and admiration of their mates. He wants to be reassured that she thinks he is great. A master mechanic, a tower of strength, a sex god! A great provider, and the hardest working man in the world! Many women don’t understand that by not providing good care at home she is disrespecting the gift he has given her, and, in a sense, giving him the impression that he is not a good provider. She may wonder why men cheat, but hasn’t the foresight to see that she made him feel unappreciated and like a failure when she failed to provide to him a good and balanced home life.
Basically, if a man is continuously lacking in any of these above needs for any length of time, he may subconsciously fall prey to getting them met ‘outside’ of the relationship. What might at first had started out as an innocent lunch meet at the office with a co-worker, could eventually evolve into a relationship when he sees his emotional needs being taken care of by this other woman (who may not even be aware she is doing it!). That is not to say he set out to cheat. Most cheaters weren’t even consciously aware they were getting involved with another woman until they were already involved. They got caught in getting their needs met and completely were unaware of the outcome.
Yes, his affair with another woman can definitely lead to love for her and his mate may eventually lose him to this other woman. This is because, as the man becomes more comfortable with his lover, the void and distance subsequently placed in his marriage begin to grow. His mate and he eventually lose all but passing everyday communication…creating an even larger emotional distance. This distance just more confirms his victim status and lack of satisfaction with his mate and paves the way to enhance an even more open communication between the other woman and him, resulting in more a feeling of fulfillment with her over his mate. As he becomes closer to getting his emotional needs met with his new lover and less with his mate the tables turn and he begins to fall in love with the other woman and feels less and less love for his mate. This doesn’t always necessarily mean he will choose the other women over his mate–as men tend to be motivated out of guilt. This feeling of guilt may make many men remain with their mate, while still seeing his lover on the side, simply out of guilt of leaving her, hurting her, or the pain he is causing his family and his children. Many men stay in unhappy marriages, not because of obligation, or love for their mates, but rather out of guilt or feelings of shame.
SIGNS THAT HE IS HAVING AN AFFAIR
There are certain signs men give when they are having an affair. But even before we discuss these signs of an affair let me just say this. If you have a history of special emotional insecurities, such as a very low self-esteem, overly strong feelings of mistrust in men, or issues with jealousy and insecurity, then suspecting your mate of having an affair may just be a result of your own issues and insecurities and less likely of his really having an affair. However, let me say this, if you are a relatively secure woman, who is generally trusting, non jealous, and have had a relatively satisfactory amount of security in your relationship with your mate and you find that you are suddenly and repeatedly dismissing ‘clues’ of an affair, or if you have been lately trying too hard to convince yourself that he would never have an affair, then odds are that he is having an affair. Women need to trust their intuitions and ‘gut feelings’. If we are basically confident, self-assured women, with no past history of insecurities, overt jealousy, or mistrust issues, and we suddenly start to wonder, well…figure it out for yourself, SOMETHING had to place that doubt or perception of uneasiness in our minds, and most likely it wasn’t us.
Some of the first signs of an affair is a subtle change in your partner’s behavior. You sense that “something is different” in the relationship.Your mate becomes emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable. He is no longer as supportive as he once was, and you may feel as if he is pulling away. Could he have a secret?
Just like the signs of cancer, a mate having an affair will display changes in his normal patterns of behavior. He is suddenly spending more time away from you or your home. His demeanor has changed as he begins to pay more attention to his appearance. He may even begin an exercise regimen, purchase new clothes, comb his hair in a different way, or even buy a flashier car. He begins more and more to be less attentive to you, and he may either become more or less interested in sex. His character changes. All of sudden a man who was the life of the party becomes quiet–or an introvert suddenly becomes more outgoing and sociable. He may make subtle referrals or comments about dreams of what he wants to accomplish in his future where in the past he was content with his standing in life. He may become disagreeable, short-tempered, vague, or easily distracted. He may seem to be daydreaming.
Written by Tigress Luv
This post originally appeared on Breakups.org
Printed with permission