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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 October 22, 2020

    8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

    8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

    How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

    Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

    When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

    Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

    What Makes People Poor Listeners?

    Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

    1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

    Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

    Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

    It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

    2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

    This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

    Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

    3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

    It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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    I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

    If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

    4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

    While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

    To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

    My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

    Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

    Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

    How To Be a Better Listener

    For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

    1. Pay Attention

    A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

    According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

    As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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    I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

    2. Use Positive Body Language

    You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

    A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

    People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

    But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

    According to Alan Gurney,[2]

    “An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

    Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

    3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

    I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

    Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

    Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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    Be polite and wait your turn!

    4. Ask Questions

    Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

    5. Just Listen

    This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

    I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

    I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

    6. Remember and Follow Up

    Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

    For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

    According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

    It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

    7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

    If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

    Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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    Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

    Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

    NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

    1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
    2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

    8. Maintain Eye Contact

    When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

    Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

    By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

    Final Thoughts

    Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

    You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

    And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

    More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
    [2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
    [3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
    [4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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