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Cheating Husbands

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As the old Cole Porter tune goes - Birds do it. Bees do it. Heck, even Tiger Woods did it. They fall in love - or lust - just not always with their mate. Actually, birds tend to be more socially monogamous – think of swans who stay with the same mate for life - than mammals which apparently have only a 3% fidelity rate. The only truly monogamous mammals in the animal kingdom are apparently gibbons, wolves and the Australian shingleback skink.(1)

So that brings us to the top of the mammal chain – humans.

Most studies will tell you a married man is typically more inclined to cheat on his wife than the other way around - even in a changing world where marital infidelity is less and less frowned upon. Recent research done by the National Centre for Marriage and Family shows that disapproval levels of affairs have indeed fallen for the first time in 50 years.(2)

And while men cheat more than women, the Institute of Family Studies survey data shows marital indiscretion varies by age and in fact, by the time they reach middle age, the rates of infidelity for both sexes increase.(3)

Sex and the Married Man (ahem…husband)

Overall, men still outnumber women in the adultery game. So, why do they do it? If you look to some noted US therapists - such as Daniel Dashnow and Robert Weiss – the reasons are pretty extensive. From immaturity, insecurity and selfishness to stronger sexual impulses, emotional vulnerability and the need for validation, their research is a virtual laundry list of everything that ails the human male psyche.(4)(5) And there's more. In her recent post for Slice, blogger Suzy Alexandre rounded up a slew of therapists (including Dashnow and Weiss) for her article 'Why Do Men Cheat' to identify other key considerations, including feelings of neglect, resentment, disappointment, boredom, financial inadequacy, and oh yes, the sheer novelty and excitement of that which is forbidden.(6) Geez - So much for women being more in tune with their emotions than men.

However, other scientific research indicates more nuanced reasons for infidelity. In the March 4, 2018 issue of the The Conversation, author Gerry Karantzas cites a 5,000 person survey done by UK groups Relate and Relationships Scotland that found 33% of respondents have had a partner cheat on them – and a further 9% suspected their spouse of cheating but had no proof.(7)

The major reasons for having an affair? For men, lack of communication (68%), stress (63%), sexual dysfunction with their current partner (44%), lack of emotional intimacy (38%) and fatigue/chronic tiredness (31%) ranked the highest. Compare that to the top 5 reasons for women who were surveyed - lack of communication (75%), tiredness (32%), history with abuse (26%) and a lack of interest in sex with their current partner (23%).(7) Sounds like unfaithful men and women in the United Kingdom have a lot more in common than they realize?

But Is It Cheating?

Let's face it. Not all men cheat, but those who do fool around will pursue discreet encounters in a variety of ways. And interestingly, the perceptions of what it means to cheat often vary according to one's age – as borne out by the UK study where respondents were asked to rank activities such as flirting, sexting, viewing pornography and affairs on the adultery scale. For instance, 41% of those under 25 years of age felt 'flirting' could be considered cheating and yet when it came to watching porn alone, only 9% them thought it cheating compared to 30% for those over 65 years.(7)

According to Sheri Stritof at verywellmind.com, not all infidelity involves sex. An extramarital affair is usually defined as a romantic or emotional relationship with someone other than your spouse or partner. Stritof argues that sex may or may not be part of the equation, particularly in today's cyber world when some people may never even meet their other half. She goes on to classify the different types of affairs:

  • Romantic – Also known as an 'affair of the heart' which also falls into the category of limerence or love sickness.(8)
  • Casual – A relationship based on physical (and sometimes emotional) attraction without the expectation of anything more formalized.
  • Emotional – While not physical in nature, a platonic or emotional affair can lead to sexual intimacy.
  • Cyber – An affair with sexual and/or emotional overtones that occurs online usually through dating apps, chat rooms, webcam, e-mail or text.
  • Sanctioned – These types of affairs fall within the 'open marriage' concept where a married couple agree to extramarital relationships based on defined parameters. These types of relationships can be defined as swinging, married dating, polyamory or menage a trois.(9)

It would seem in today's technologically diverse universe, having an affair can mean different things to different people. So by extension, does that make it more socially acceptable? Let's take a closer look at Stritof's classifications and you be the judge of where your passions lie.

Romantic Trysts

Are you someone who needs the euphoric rush of instant attraction, or as some would call 'love at first sight?' Has the romance gone out of your current relationship and you now find yourself in a sexless marriage? Or maybe it was never really there to begin with? Remember, people marry for a whole host of reasons - in fact, up until the last few hundred years, marriage was rarely about romantic love and more about social responsibility, family obligations, economic security and way back when, sheer survival.

As Mark Manson so aptly puts it in his cheeky blog rant,'A Brief History of Romantic Love and Why It Sucks,' "As humans, we instinctively develop a loyalty and affection for those who show us the most loyalty and affection. This is all love really is: an irrational degree of loyalty and affection for another person — to the point that we’d come to harm or even die for that person. It may sound insane, but it’s these symbiotic warm fuzzies that kept the species relying on one another long enough to survive the savannas and populate the planet and invent Netflix."(10)

But do love for your spouse and contentment with your marriage equate to romantic love? And would your current relationship continue to work if it did?

The Casual Fling

So you're a married man but are still curious to know what it would be like to be with another woman – or perhaps, another man – with no strings attached? Then, you're strictly into casual hook-up territory – married but looking for something different to explore without the responsibilities a day-to-day relationship brings. And while it's casual in nature, remember there are some ground rules to keeping it that way. According to Sarah Summer of LovePanky some of these include:

  • Be completely honest with your expectations of the relationship.
  • Keep you emotions in check – Don't confuse physical attraction with love. Sure emotions will play into your relationship, but anything more can escalate the relationship to something than you are looking for.
  • Don't be controlled or manipulated by agreeing to whatever the other person wants in order to see you.
  • Set parameters on how to communicate, when and where to meet and always be truthful about your feelings.(11)

Just Friends

If you are more comfortable embarking on an emotional or platonic friendship first, don't be surprised if a physical relationship does follow. It's become what we now call 'Friends with Benefits' and differs from the casual fling because you've come to know and trust that person as a friend first and not as a sexual partner. But that doesn't mean things can't get messy emotionally if you don't set some ground rules. Once again, simple communication can go a long way. According to relationship expert Dr. Emily Morse and host of the 'Sex With Emily' podcast, "be as transparent as possible, open to compromises, and never be judgmental or make the relationship one-sided. Have the conversation in a neutral environment and always come from a place of honesty and care."(12)

Cyber Sex Only Please

In today's inter-connected virtual world, intimate relationships can be a click or swipe away. Whether they are secured through dating apps, chat rooms, sexting, videocams or e-mail, these affairs can be just as explosive and sensually satisfying as physical ones. And while you don't have to be in the same room these days to elicit explosive sexual desire, there are drawbacks to finding that right person when connections are based on filters and algorithms alone.

Open Marriage

The concept of open marriage can include terms such as married dating, bisexual experimentation, swinging, or polyamory, but it shouldn't be confused with an 'anything goes' arrangement. Those in successful open marriages will say it works because both partners agree on shared expectations and develop basic ground rules for outside relationships. Not everyone swears by them, however, many couples feel the honesty and communication that accompanies these kinds of dalliances have enhanced their marriage.(13)

Where Does One Go From Here?

Each one of us knows our needs and marital circumstances better than anyone and that's why AshleyMadison.com (and its married dating apps) is here to help those interested direct those desires and achieve their ultimate affair fantasies. Why wade through the plethora of classified ads, online escort services, and dating apps when you can easily find that right person from one discreet and reliable source? If you are at all curious of what you can achieve, start your profile today and just imagine the endless romantic possibilities you'll have.

Join millions of members and explore the possibilities today.

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