Why Men Cheat – What Psychology Says About It

by Gideon Hanekom
November 25, 2022

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Every woman at one point in her life has wondered why men cheat. It is probably the biggest relationship question out there since it is one of the most painful things. The more you invest in a relationship, the more it hurts when a man breaks your trust. So why does this happen, and is it your fault?

What is Considered Cheating?

Cheating or infidelity is when one partner gets emotionally or physically involved with a person other than their partner. This is usually kept secret from the partner to preserve their relationship.

People are under the false impression that only acts of physical intimacy are considered cheating.

However, that is not precisely the truth.

Anything you and your partner think sacred, things your partner trusts you only do with them, comes under the scope of cheating.

Flirting and building emotional connections also fall into the realm of cheating.

Why Men Cheat

Types of Cheating

Cheating is much more complex than you may have previously thought.

There are several different types of cheating. You may find a situation in which more than one type of infidelity is overlapping or not.

I’ve outlined them here for you:

1.     Physical Infidelity

Physical infidelity is sleeping with someone else, the most infamous type of cheating. It is not exclusive to just sex. Kissing, hugging, cuddling, and anything you would only do to your partner counts as physical infidelity.

2.     Cyber Infidelity

More and more couples are meeting online via social media or dating apps. Using a dating app to match with other people and build cyber relationships is another type of cheating.

This can either lead to a physical relationship with these online partners, involve sexting, or be limited to online flirting.

3.     Emotional Infidelity

Forming a deep emotional connection with someone other than your partner is also cheating.

While women find physical infidelity very insulting and painful, this type of cheating is what women feel is more threatening.

4.     Financial Infidelity

Do you like it when your partner showers you with gifts and perks? What if he was doing that with other women?

There’s a growing trend where men keep younger women as sugar babies and become their sugar daddies.

They give them extravagant gifts and money in exchange for spending time with them or being seen with them publically.

Even though this does not involve physical or emotional attachment, it is also a type of cheating.

Why Men Cheat

Why Men Cheat

The age-old question. Ever since monogamy existed, so did cheating. Why do men cheat?

Let’s find out.**

Low Self-Esteem or Emasculation

A confident man has no issue staying happy with one woman. Some men measure their self-worth by how many women they can have.

A man with low self-worth might look for confidence by engaging with other women.

Another reason they may feel low self-esteem is because they might feel emasculated by you.

Nowadays, women earn nearly as much, if not more, than men. They are more independent and skilled.

This may make your guy feel overshadowed.

Is that your fault?

No, your partner’s insecurity and shortcomings are not your problems. It is something they need to fix on their own.

However, some men will start an affair instead of resolving these issues within themselves.

Cheating on you may be one way they would feel like the top dog in the relationship. This commonly happens in relationships where men are not the sole provider.

Lack of Commitment

To some men, life is like a game, and you’re a point on the scoreboard.

They entered the relationship not looking for anything serious and kept that nonchalant attitude throughout the relationship.

If a man has issues committing to you, they are very likely involved or want to be involved with other women.

Is it your fault?

Well, a predator doesn’t advertise his presence to the prey.

If a man wants you, they will become what you want to get you.

They may put up the front of a committed guy while being a cheating Casanova with no intentions for a concrete relationship.

That’s why separating the wheat from the chaff is vital before getting into a relationship.

Learning more about a guy before investing in a relationship would be best.

If this “love conman” was too good of a performer and you were caught in his spell too long, don’t worry.

You can still cut your losses and leave. Without commitment, there is no real relationship.

Low Will Power

Men are hunters.

If a woman flirts with them, their primal instincts are engaged.

If they allow it to continue, it would most definitely lead to something more.

If a man has low willpower and jumps at every opportunity, he will cheat on you.

This is not to say that men are designed to cheat.

They can stop themselves, and not doing so is a conscious decision.

They must question themselves if a moment of pleasure is worth throwing years of work in a loving relationship away.

If they continue to cheat after considering that, it’s unfortunate.

They are Unhappy

Is the spark in the relationship gone?

Have they stopped loving you?

Do they want something else?

If a man is truly no longer happy in a relationship, they may resort to cheating, especially if they feel powerless to leave.

However, one could argue that it’s a coward’s move.

Instead of remaining comfortable in a relationship that no longer fulfils them while cheating on their partner, they should end things gracefully.

Maybe you are friends with all his friends, his parents and family love you, or rent is hard to pay while living alone.

However, none of these reasons is worth dragging on a relationship you no longer wish to be in.

Not only that, but to cheat on a partner who is earnestly in love with you is even more despicable.

It is better to break someone’s heart by ending a relationship instead of breaking their trust and cheating on them.

If someone says they were unhappy in a relationship that led to them cheating, know it was their choice not to end things.

It is not your fault any of this happened.

There may have been ways to fix his issues and improve the relationship.

You could easily judge his priorities if he opted to cheat on you instead of trying.


If a man cheats on you, don’t be too quick to blame yourself.

He may be insecure, bored, lack resolve, lack commitment, or something else entirely.

In most cases, however, none of those shortcomings is your fault, as no one deserves to be deceived in a love relationship.


**Infidelity is highly complex and not always as simple as the abovementioned reasons. I have found Dr Esther Perel’s work on cheating very informative and encourage you to go check it out.

About the author 

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a renowned relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website shares valuable insights on creating healthy relationships life. Gideon holds a Master's degree in theological studies and transitioned into professional counseling more than a decade ago. In addition, he since completed post-graduate studies in Psychology at Massey University. With over seventeen years of marriage to his wife and two children, Gideon brings both professional and personal experience to his relationship advice. His articles have been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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