Have an Affair with a Married Man

No, they are not all scummy pigs, in fact, many are distinguished, charming, sweet and proud men who are lonely, misunderstood and in need of companionship. It doesn’t help that the majority of cultures and social constructs paint these men as pure evil when in fact we should be wondering if a cultural status quo is for everyone. For a growing number of married people, the answer is NO!

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To Stray or Not to Stray? The Married Man Dilemma

The average married man has more access to infidelity than they even know. With the ability to find an affair partner on dating apps, social media and more, the conversation about infidelity is evolving.

Traditionally, the mere thought of infidelity in a social context would be met with a chorus of disgust and disdain. The barrage of shame came in age-old arguments like ‘men are wired differently with their biology’ and straying is an unbeatable force that intrinsically draws sperm towards the direction of new DNA farms, A.K.A warm human bodies. Isn’t pseudo-science magical?

Yes, men do feel a need to spread their seed, and temptation is a huge biological factor, but is it really some mysterious force that possesses men to lose all control over their decision-making faculties? On the one hand, modern psychology is saying that when men have an affair, they are pursuing it because it’s a natural part of being human. According to psychology professor Lucia O'Sullivan, infidelity research at the University of New Brunswick is challenging the very core of monogamy as a hijacking of basic human instinct.

"Monogamy fights our natural instincts. We're drawn to people who are pretty in some way, who are appealing. Our brain lights up, our pupils dilate – everything."1

On the other hand, there are also deeper emotional roots for men who stray, and this is the part of the conversation where the average man might be tempted to say “feelings? Bury that stuff deep down, bro!” Laurel Steinberg, PhD, is a relationship therapist and professor of psychology at Columbia University, and points to a few emotional issues in a man’s current relationship that could act as no-brainer triggers for infidelity.

“If he’s feeling lonely within his relationship, emasculated in some way, or angry with his partner.”2

Without further adieu, let’s explore different potential possibilities for why men pursue a non-monogamous experience, both physical and emotional, which don’t happen to solely fall under the general and generic “all men are pigs” category. Although keep in mind, for the sake of all nuanced arguments, there are many men who are also pigs.


6 reasons a married man would have an affair

1. Alpha Males have to go for it

Let’s start directly with the physically appealing aspects of extramarital affairs, this includes the undeniable chase that men associate with the idea of being the hunter. This ingrained attribute is increased tenfold if the man has a predisposition to chasing the alpha male status. In his documentary, director Marc de Guerre takes an in-depth look at the predisposition of high powered alpha male behavior as it relates to and translates to sexual promiscuity. The argument is that the same high stakes, high risk, high reward attitude that leads this personality type to have success in business and other avenues of life is the same wiring that leads to the pursuit of married women and extramarital adventure.

According to Dr. John Gray, best selling author and psychologist, alpha males are threatened by the chemical affects of monogamy just as much as the physical and psychological ones. "With oxytocin and alpha men, as the women's stress level goes down when she gets oxytocin from a loving monogamous relationship, the man's testosterone level is going down, so he's getting more stressed and more inclined to seek out a discreet connection to push it back up again. The concept is that intimacy can lower a man's sexual drive."3

2. The lust is dead in the marriage

We’ve heard the lectures of superstar psychologist Esther Perel by now, just do a quick YouTube search if you haven’t. She’s famous for saying that even couples who are in the happiest marriages are still as likely to stray as anybody. Perel wrote in the Atlantic, “infidelity today isn’t just a violation of trust; it’s a shattering of the grand ambition of romantic love.”4

This brings up the argument that love and lust play on different teams in the mind of a man having an affair. This is an argument that Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s reaffirms in his 2008 book “The Broken American Male: And How to Fix Him. In an interview with ‘Big Think,’ Boteach suggests dealing with the problem of faded lust proactively or be prepared to stray.

"Lust is where you want that person and that’s why you’re there. And that has to be the primary reason that we go into marriage and that we stay in marriage. And I maintain passionately that the passion need not be lost, that this idea that there’s a transition in marriage from lust to love, that when you’re single you can’t keep your hands off of each other. But it slowly migrates into this partnership, such a cold commercial expression. That it slowly migrates into this partnership. I – that’s balderdash. It’s a defeatist approach to marriage."5

3. Live up the ‘Ladies man’ potential

We all want to know that we’ve reached our potential, and sometimes the best way to do that as we age is to get affirmation of good looks and irresistible attraction through the fruition of an extramarital affair. In other words, everyone wants to feel desirable during the peak of their powers, and perhaps a man that married too young and wasn’t quite fulfilled in his sexual potential might need to know for sure.

Rori Sassoon is the co-founder of an upscale dating site and a New York based relationship expert. In her counselling experience, she points to men who have affairs who need to feel like they achieved everything they needed to sexually, before it’s too late. “Then mid-life happens and they’ve only had one partner or maybe two, but a man wants to feel like he’s got it. He’s gotten better looking and more successful, so he goes after other women.”6

4. The Wife isn’t showing love

We’ve all been guilty of taking things for granted, and marriage is no exception. As the years go by and the honeymoon phase is a distant memory, there needs to be a spark that can keep every married man satisfied with his home life. When the wife is lacking in her support of her man, you can’t blame a guy for looking elsewhere.

According to matchmaker, author and speaker Marla Martenson, men can have affairs because they are human and humans appreciate when they are shown special attention. “Guys stray because of the way the other woman makes them feel,” she says. “Many women jump to the conclusion that a man has an affair because he finds a younger, hotter woman that he cannot resist. But the fact is, often in relationships, couples start taking each other for granted, forgetting to complement each other or make each other feel special. If you aren't making your man feel special, make an effort before someone else does.”7

This is the emotional disconnection argument that nobody seems to want to talk about. M. Gary Neuman, a marriage counselor, is one of the people that is very happy to talk about it. Neuman conducted a 2009 study where 92% of the men surveyed claimed they strayed because of disconnection. “The majority said it was an emotional disconnection, specifically a sense of feeling under-appreciated. A lack of thoughtful gestures.”8

5. Divorce is imminent

Sometimes we can see the writing on the wall from a mile away. Relationships fail and opportunities for discreet connections happen to arise, so why not just go with it and have an affair?

Detroit based Psychologist, Dr. Antonio Borrello says the affair is only a symptom of the failing relationship’s problems and that by the time it gets to the point of infidelity, the marriage already has a plethora of deeply rooted issues.

“When a man leaves his marriage because of infidelity it’s almost impossible to know how much of the decision can be chalked up to the affair and how much should be attributed to other factors in the relationship.”9

Kristen Mark, PhD., director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at the University of Kentucky says infidelity is just a way to spearhead a necessary life change. “Having that impetus is necessary for some people to get out relationships that they find difficult to get out of.”10

6. No more settling for societal standards

When men get married early because of expectations in their social and family circles, the odds of marrying for stability are high and once children and mundane routine get involved, there’s a chance depression kicks in as well. Add to this, the fact that men may mature to have completely different ideals and opinions about all walks of life, like say for instance a curiosity or belief in exploring the merits of open marriage or polyamorous dating. These men might feel incredibly isolated from their wives and inner circle for fear of ridicule or conflict. Take for instance From politics to religion to monogamy and everything in between, men might simply be seeking a like-minded connection.

Eric Anderson is a sociologist at England’s University of Winchester and author of the provocative new book, The Monogamy Gap. One of his many ‘anti-monogamy’ arguments is that living a life based on opposite belief systems creates an environment for bitterness. “Not only is it failing them, but it’s a ‘socially compelled sexual incarceration’ that can lead to a life of anger and contempt.”11

By joining a married dating app, married men who are deeply lonely have a new lease on the excitement that comes from what they believe is a natural part of life, and sometimes men might actually fall in love, dare we say. But overall, discretion that comes from an affair-dating community might be the number one key to actually pursuing the affair with a hush and keeping their marriage in tact. Simply put, discretion is the only choice.

Ashley Madison’s married dating platform is built with absolute discretion at the core of its adult dating user experiences for both online and mobile. It’s one of the reasons why this particular conversation is starting to change. Join millions of members who are part of it.

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