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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

    More by this author

    Jenn Beach

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

    How We Are Confusing Self-Love with Narcissism In This Generation How Traveling Can Drastically Improve Your Interpersonal Skills 10 Best Lumbar Support Cushions That All Desk Workers Need One Small Action Separates Success From Mediocrity. How Not To Turn Meaningful Discussions Into Arguments By Keeping This 1 Thing In Mind.

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    Last Updated on March 30, 2020

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

    Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

    You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

    This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

    What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

    According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

    Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

    There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

    How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

    When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

    Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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    1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

    One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

    The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

    Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

    2. Be Honest

    A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

    If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

    On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

    Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

    3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

    Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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    If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

    4. Succeed at Something

    When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

    Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

    5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

    Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

    Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

    If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

    If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

    Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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    6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

    Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

    You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

    On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

    You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

    7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

    Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

    Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

    Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

    When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

    Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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    In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

    Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

    It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

    Final Thoughts

    When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

    The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

    Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

    Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

    Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

    More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

    Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
    [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
    [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
    [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
    [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
    [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
    [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
    [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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