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Why Do Men Cheat on Their Loved Ones and What They Actually Think

Why Do Men Cheat on Their Loved Ones and What They Actually Think

Now, now, before you get all “woman cheat too” and “this is a sexist subject” on me, I must disclose the fact that I agree with you. But statistically and historically, women have been asking the question, “why do men cheat?” since the beginning of the ages, apparently to no avail.

Are men more likely to cheat? Well, sadly, the answer is yes. But perhaps we can try to better understand this occurrence before we crucify the male species for their shortcomings.

Statistically speaking, men do cheat more than women. But not as many men as you may think.

It all comes down to the numbers. This whole topic is a hard pill to swallow, but rest assured, it actually isn’t as bad as you may predict. Now this all breaks down to a matter of relativity, what do you consider cheating? If you break it down on a purely physical and emotional level (leaving out the multitude of complications that arise from the internet) the statistics aren’t as bad as you may think!

According to data derived from the National Opinion Research Center, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Rutgers University, and a selection of other credible sources, what we feared remains to be true;[1] men do cheat more. But not by much.

In the data allotted, it has been found that:

An astonishingly low number of men in committed relationships admit to cheating.

Only 21% admit to doing so. Much lower than you thought, huh? Well you must consider that this is a matter of good will. Most cheaters will never admit to doing so, and if they do they’re either not afraid of being caught or have already informed their partners.

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Most men would consider cheating if they thought that they would not get caught.

At 76% this rate is alarmingly high, but then again we’re only considering the imagination at work. The classic cliché, “you can look, but don’t touch” is the pinnacle of this point.

Cheating does not always stem from unhealthy relationships.

56% of the men who admitted to cheating also reported being content in their current relationships, and this was not a factor for their decision to cheat.

Monogamy, are we as humans meant to stay with one mate for life?

Sorry to break it to some of you die-hard romantics, but most experts say no. Only 3-5% of the remaining 5,000 mammals living on planet Earth (including humans) spend the entirety of their lives with solely one mate.

From an evolutionary perspective, men are more likely to engage in what is known as extramarital sex, for the purpose of “spreading their seed” and producing as much offspring as is naturally possible. Our closest ancestors the primates practice this form of mating, where the strongest male gets first choice of his supple mates. This plays into the ideal that men tend to experience more emotions of threatened territory or ego, rather than affection and intimacy.

Expert Jane Lancaster, an evolutionary anthropologist from the University of New Mexico believes that the monogamous partnership between men and women is only for the good of the offspring.

“The human species has evolved to make commitments between males and females in regards to raising their offspring, so this is a bond. However that bond can fit into all kinds of marriage patterns – polygyny, single parenthood, monogamy.”

How do you know if your man is cheating?

There are a few tell-tale signs to know if your man is sniffing around where he shouldn’t be. I’ve got to tell you, if you’re having suspicions and feel a need to dig; you’re probably right and need to realize you deserve better. But these are a few sure-fire ways to know.

  • He won’t show you his phone. It’s not even that he doesn’t give you his password. It might just be an indication that he feels the need to lock it around you. And if he seems to get antsy if you hold it a bit too long while scrolling for pictures, then you know something’s up.
  • Sudden change in interest. It seems that out of nowhere he’s distracted, and is creating some distance between you. There’s a possibility someone else may have caught his attention. Go with your gut instinct, it’s usually right.
  • You catch him lying. About where he’s been or who he was with. Unless he’s planning a surprise party for you, he has no reason to be sneaky.
  • He accuses you. This behavior is definitely a red flag if it starts out of nowhere. People only suspect what they themselves would do.
  • He clears his browser history. There are many few good reasons to do this. Maybe he’s just into weird porn? But that just opens a whole other can of worms.
  • He’s glued to his phone. Or the internet in general. How can anything in the virtual world be at all interesting when his QUEEN is sitting just next to him?

There is no good reason to cheat, but everyone has their reasons.

A quick refresh: there’s an unsettling array of reasons why men go out and cheat. And none of them are good reasons. But in the moment, they may feel justifiable to the individual. Perhaps if we could gain a better grasp on this fluke in human behavior, we can cope with it better when it happens to us. So why do men cheat?

    1. The Illusion of Variety

    As soon as you sign online you’re prompted with ads to “Meet Singles in Your Area” or the newest dating app. Perhaps they’re a social media guru, with hordes of literal followers worshiping their every move. There is an abundance of supposed variety on the internet. Because of this no man feels that he has to settle, and his next “Tinderella” is about to slide in his DM’s.

    2. He’s A Puddle of Insecurity

    He has something to prove. Mainly to himself. He doesn’t feel attractive. Or perhaps he’s been out of the dating game so long he needs to feel like “he’s still got it.”

    3. Boredom

    He feels like he needs something more sexually from his partner that they’re just not capable of giving. Or perhaps the relationship has hit a lull and the sex drive just isn’t kicking into gear. This is his way of pulling away in hopes that it will spice things up again, even if it’s only on his end.

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    4. Deviancy

    Some people are just into weird things. However they came to acquire their quirky little fetish, they may feel that it’s just too weird for their partner. Instead of freaking them out, they act out their fantasies on paid company, or someone easy who doesn’t mind turning up the intensity.

    5. They’re a F*** Boy

    Pardon my language, but it has to be said. This turn of phrase has become alarmingly common in our hook up culture; and is somewhat encouraged. A F*** Boy is someone who does not intend on committing, and relishes in playing on people’s emotions to achieve sexual gratification.

    They typically have a rotation of sexual partners, ranked in order of their appeal. These people are toxic. Stay away.

    6. Immaturity

    They have not yet reached a point where they prioritize honestly and loyalty. There’s a chance they never will.

    7. Damaged

    Whatever it is that hurt them, be it abuse during upbringing, or a bad relationship experience, they numb the pain with sexual gratification. They will never allow themselves to fully trust another individual, and therefore they cannot fully commit to them.

    8. Skewed Concept of Love

    They have not yet deciphered the different between being infatuated and being in-love. During the infatuation period everything the person does and says is intoxicating, exciting, and romantic. After a while the chemicals and hormones start to die down, and what you’re left with is raw intimacy. Many can’t hack it when it gets real, so they look for the idealistic romance elsewhere.

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    9. Addiction

    They actually suffer from addiction. Perhaps they cheat when they are under the influence of their poison of choice, and quite literally cannot control their actions. Or maybe they do have their addiction under control, but use sex as a form of release. Sex itself can be an addiction.

    10. He’s Leaving You

    Maybe he’s not ready to leave yet, but he’s testing the waters; testing to see what’s out there. Some men have a real issue with being alone, so they like to have something on the back-burner to make the transition a bit more smooth.

    11. Revenge

    He’s mad at you for something, whatever it may be. And now you’re going to pay. He’s rectifying the situation by throwing away his relationship. Hey, whatever works.

    Should you stay, or should you go?

    Girl, do I even have to tell you? Dump him! I know, he’s damaged. I know, you want to fix him. I know, no one understands how he acts when it’s just you two alone. I’ve heard it all. I’ve said it all. But if you absolutely insist on going through the motions and giving this scrub another chance, here are a few suggestions:

    • Therapy. If you are absolutely, positively intent on saving this relationship, then this is your best bet. In this environment, you can have an expert mediate and interpret what you expose during your sessions and how it effects your relationship. If both participants are willing to work for it, the relationship can be saved.
    • Take a Break. Obviously he doesn’t appreciate what he has, so show him what he’s losing! Take a break to explore yourself, heal, discover your self-worth, and take a look around if you know what I mean. Once he realizes he can’t live without you he’ll come crawling right back. But the question is, will you want him?
    • Hall Pass. It’s only fair right? For the majority, this method probably won’t save your relationship. But for some it’s just the ticket! You deserve a free pass to even the scale.

    Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

    Reference

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    Jenn Beach

    Traveling vagabond, writer, & plant-based food enthusiast.

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    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

    Posture

    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

    Facial Expressions

    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

    2. Relax Your Face

    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

    3. Smile More

    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

    4. Hand Gestures

    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

    5. Enhance Your Handshake

    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

    Final Takeaways

    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

    Reference

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