Infidelity can have a detrimental effect on a committed relationship. Not only is there a high chance that the relationship might end, but it also leaves the person who had been cheated on with a number of issues – from self-esteem and mental health problems to the practical issues of dealing with the aftermath.
Once a cheater betrays their partner’s trust, the relationship inevitably changes. Even before they get caught, the days of their relationship as it once was are numbered. Some people are able to forgive an affair, but it leaves its mark on all relationships, regardless of the outcome.
Between men and women, men are more likely to cheat on their long-term relationship partners. Here are the common reasons 3 types of men have affairs, as well as tips on recognizing the signs when it’s happening.
Which 3 Types Of Men Have Affairs?
Do all men cheat? More accurately, would all men cheat, given the opportunity?
According to a General Social Survey and analysis of demographics of infidelity in the USA, married men are more likely than married women to cheat, but the gap isn’t as wide as you’d think: 20% of men and 13% of women reported that they’d had extramarital affairs.
Even assuming that some men lied and didn’t admit to unfaithfulness in the above-mentioned survey, it still doesn’t mean that all men cheat.
In fact, only 3 types of men have affairs: men who feel unloved and are afraid of leaving their wives, narcissists, and immature men who want to have it both ways.
Things are more complex than that, of course, so let’s take a closer look at these 3 types of men who have affairs.
1. The neglected coward
Calling him a coward might be harsh, but it’s not as bad as him cheating on his wife. This type of cheater is usually a married man who has become disconnected from his wife but doesn’t have the courage to end the relationship or work on repairing it.
Things aren’t always black and white. A man in an unhappy relationship isn’t the only person to blame for the things that aren’t working.
However, he had intimacy issues and chose to deal with the problems in his relationship by betraying his partner when other solutions could have led to different outcomes.
The problem with these other solutions, such as confronting his partner and openly communicating, is much more difficult. It requires emotional vulnerability and effort. It’s far easier to start over and look for closeness elsewhere, potentially forcing the relationship to end.
So what happens here? These are the stages he goes through.
• Something is missing from his relationship and his marriage. Life happened, and he and his wife drifted apart. The amount of love and affection he used to get from his wife has faded with time.
• His wife isn’t who she used to be. She’s not as loving, as caring, or as sexy as she once was. She doesn’t give him the attention he needs. He feels like she no longer cares about his emotional and sexual needs or what’s going on with him.
• The lack of emotional and sexual intimacy makes him feel resentment towards his wife and become disillusioned with his marriage.
• He misses being desired. He wishes his wife would meet his needs, but he’s afraid to talk to her. Maybe she’s a nag or a bully, or she’s kind and sweet. Either way, he’s unhappy with her and fantasizes about someone else .
• He decides to turn to affairs to fulfill his needs. He’s looking for someone who seems interested in him as a person. He wants validation. He needs his ego stroked and for his sex life to become more exciting.
• The marriage is crumbling. Instead of communicating with his partner and working on his relationship or, if they can’t work out, ending things, he decides to cheat. When he’s caught, it’s over.
• It’s much easier to cheat to end his relationships instead of dealing with the issues directly. Even if they stay together, they won’t be the same married couple they were before he had an affair.
This kind of behavior is the same as giving up on the marriage without informing his wife, with the addition of hurting her and betraying her trust.
2. The opportunistic narcissist
In a nutshell, narcissists are people who are so selfish that they completely disregard other people’s importance. This doesn’t mean that they’re unaware of other people’s needs and feelings, only that they’re completely irrelevant to them unless they can be used.
A person with narcissistic personality disorder feels entitled – to admiration and attention, to things and people – and he gets upset when he doesn’t get what he believes he deserves.
Manipulating and harming others comes naturally to him. He doesn’t think about the impact of his behavior on other people – because other people aren’t important.
This leads to behaviors that hurt his partner, and he doesn’t see what the problem is.
He’s capable of emotional compartmentalization and separates love from sex. In his case, separating love and sex doesn’t mean that he can have sex with people he doesn’t love, which isn’t a problematic behavior in itself – it’s that he considers sex completely inconsequential.
How does this apply to cheating?
• He doesn’t consider sex a matter of consequence and doesn’t get why his partner would take his cheating to heart. He’s capable of having sex with anyone without feeling anything, not only about the person but also the repercussions.
For example, he wouldn’t understand why his one-night stand might hurt his primary relationship any more than simply having a conversation with another woman would. This doesn’t excuse him – he still knows it’s wrong, but he simply doesn’t care.
• Sex in the affair means nothing to him – it just happens. When he sees an opportunity, he takes it. If a woman is open to his sexual advances, he sees no reason he shouldn’t pursue an encounter or affair with her. It’s just sex, after all, and instead of being a big deal, it’s simply available.
This might also lead to sex addiction.
• Because sex is such a casual thing for him, he underestimates how much he can hurt his partner with his behavior. His lack of empathy for others and his detached, opportunistic approach to sex can lead to him cheating with multiple partners.
When he’s involved in several affairs, he’s using the women he’s cheating with to meet his needs without considering theirs. He needs constant attention from women , and he picks what he likes from each of them, creating a tailor-made relationship.
• Even though he has no moral qualms about hurting his partner with his behavior, this kind of adulterer is still aware that it is wrong and that it will have certain consequences. He has no remorse, but instead, he gets a rush from behaving badly.
He sees himself as a thrill-seeker, and the risk of getting caught makes him enjoy his affair even more. He likes it that he could get caught, but the fact that it’s a chance to screw up his whole life doesn’t matter to him.
3. The immature mama’s boy
This kind of cheater is in a relationship or marriage with someone he doesn’t see as a partner but as a caretaker. In a way, he sees his wife as his mom, and he doesn’t have the maturity to work on his problems.
He wants to have it both ways: a stable relationship at home with someone to take care of him and an exciting relationship outside of his marriage. For this reason, he acts like a teenager or, more accurately, an immature mama’s boy .
• He says he’s in love with his wife, but he really likes the convenience and what he gets from her. He behaves like an adolescent: he’s looking for independence, but he still wants his “mom” (his wife) to take care of him at home.
He enjoys the sneaking around that comes with cheating – he sees it as rebelling against the rules that his mom-wife has imposed. All the effort and plotting necessary to have a secret affair give him the thrill of getting away with something.
• To him, cheating is also a way of taking control. Because he sees his wife as someone responsible for him who does so much for him, making a decision without her feels like he’s in charge. He’s seeking validation and trying to increase his self-esteem by proving that he exists outside of his marriage.
• He doesn’t like his daily life. He might be married to a wife who makes him feel inadequate, or he simply sees her that way because he doesn’t like that she reacts when he behaves in an immature way.
• If his partner has a low sex drive or isn’t interested in sex as much as him, he might end up feeling sexual frustration that he seeks to deal with outside of the marriage. Instead of talking to his wife and trying to solve this problem, he decides to cheat.
• He’s another kind of cheater who compartmentalizes his sex life. He separates people into those he loves and those he has sex with, or more accurately, he thinks that there’s ‘wife sex’ and ‘lover sex,’ or believes that his wife is for love, and his affair partner is for sex.
He judges people by their sexual behavior, and he’s ashamed of some of his desires. Because he doesn’t want to be married to a woman who does certain things and behaves in a certain way, he’d never talk to his partner about his desires or ask her to fulfill them.
This leads to boring and unsatisfying sex with his wife. Add to it that he sees his wife every day in a variety of less-than-sexy contexts, and his relationship with his affair partner seems like having a cheat meal while on a diet.
The woman he’s cheating with seems like a glamorous, sexual being who wears lingerie and perfume and is willing to do that thing he’d never ask his wife to. Sex with her is great because of his lack of inhibitions with the added aspect of fantasy and transgression.
What Are The Warning Signs Of A Cheater?
Men who have affairs exhibit a lot of red flags and signs that can be easily overlooked. Sometimes the person who’s being cheated on subconsciously turns a blind eye and plays ignorant on purpose.
Keeping up with an affair isn’t simple – trying to keep it hidden means lots of acting, strategizing, and remembering to keep his story straight. Still, when you don’t want something to be true, it becomes easy to ignore the warning signs that he’s cheating.
When a man displays several of the following signs, there’s a chance that he’s engaging in an affair.
• Lack of interest in sex. If he’s suddenly less interested or not interested in sex with his wife at all, it can mean that he’s getting what he needs elsewhere.
• Different sexual behavior. When you do have sex, he does things he’s never done before, even if he’s not usually the experimental type.
• Suspicious phone use. Some examples are: hiding his phone, always keeping it on silent, not answering when you’re around, always texting, being unable to reach him on the phone at certain times, change in use of social media apps, and receiving calls he says are from the wrong number, etc.
• Suspicious computer use. He might hide his computer use, shut down the computer or minimize a window when you come close, use the computer late at night while you sleep, clear his browser history, stop using shared devices, etc.
• Sudden interest in his appearance. If he starts dressing better or wearing cologne, gets a new hairstyle, starts working out, or goes on a diet, it might be a warning sign that he’s cheating on you and wants to look better for his affair partner.
• Works longer hours, but when you ask him about how things are at work, he only has vague answers.
• Starts going out with friends. If he says that he’s meeting friends more often than he used to, he might not be meeting them at all.
• Suddenly can’t account for his time. He might pick up new hobbies or interests that require his time but doesn’t want to talk about it.
• Suspicious money issues. He suddenly spends more money but doesn’t talk about it, or he stops making plans that would require you to spend a higher amount of money, such as going on vacation together.
• You stop doing things together. You don’t hang out, visit other people together, or spend time with family. You feel like he avoids you.
• You know he lies to you. He obviously lies or acts secretive. He’s anxious when you ask him questions.
• He behaves oddly. Something is off in his behavior. He’s negative, defensive, distant, and critical. He picks fights and has mood swings.
• Gaslighting. He gets angry if you ask him about cheating. He tells you you’re imagining things, or he accuses you of cheating.
• Your gut feeling says he’s cheating. Even if you don’t acknowledge the things you’ve noticed out loud, if you pick up suspicious changes in his everyday behavior, your intuition will tell you that something is going on. Trust your instincts.
Why Do Guys Cheat Even If They Love You?
The only real answer is because they choose to.
There can be a million excuses he might use for cheating, a million ways to justify why it was the only thing he could do, but none of them are the real reason. There are many underlying causes that can lead to cheating, but in the end, people cheat because they choose to do it.
He might claim that he’s not built for monogamy, that he has mental issues that caused it, or it was in the heat of the moment. Yes, there’s always a problem with the relationship or a problem with the person that leads to cheating, but the reason men have affairs is simple: because they decide to cheat, and they do it.
The fact is that most men don’t stop cheating because they feel guilty or because they don’t want to be that person anymore but because they get caught tells you everything you need to know about what men in affairs really think about cheating.
Men who don’t cheat are men who have chosen not to cheat. Instead, they deal with the problems that cheaters claim are what lead them to having affairs in emotionally mature and productive ways that don’t cause their wives pain.
What Are The Different Types Of Affairs?
Different types of affairs exist because people look for different things outside of their primary relationships. There are things that some people don’t even consider cheating, while they can cause heartbreak in others. Here are some different types of cheating that people engage in.
1. The emotional affair
An emotional affair lacks sexual intimacy but involves an emotional connection with another person. It can develop between co-workers, friends, or acquaintances, and in time, it can create lasting damage to the relationship with the partner being cheated on.
At first, it can be justified as being ‘just friends,’ but the emotional intimacy involved in this kind of relationship often oversteps the boundaries of friendship. When he’s closer and more fond of his ‘just friend’ than his wife, it counts as cheating , and it can’t be denied that it’s an affair.
2. The romantic affair
A romantic affair can develop from an emotional affair or because a man enters a romantic and sexual relationship with another woman. It’s a love affair that would be considered normal if he didn’t have a wife who he is knowingly hurting by being in another relationship.
He can try to justify it by blaming it on the magic of falling in love or claiming that his wife doesn’t understand him as much as the other woman. This type of affair often lasts for a long time and can be on and off.
3. The casual sex affair
A purely sexual relationship, like a fling or a one-night-stand, rarely happens once. A man who cheats on his wife in this way often develops a pattern of behavior and keeps engaging in this kind of affair.
In many cases, there are no problems in his marriage, but the reason he engages in extramarital sex is because he has an opportunity and takes it. He sometimes regrets these affairs and tries to stop, but in the end, he returns to them.
4. The ‘mistress’ affair
This is the affair when a man wants to both stay married and continue his affair for a long time. When a man wants to be in relationships with both his wife and affair partner, he’ll jump through hoops to keep his affair hidden.
He wants all the benefits that both of these relationships offer. His affair partner doesn’t understand that he’s using her . She often believes that he’ll eventually leave his wife, but if forced to choose, he’ll stay with his wife.
5. The ‘make a point’ affair
This is the kind of affair where the cheater wants to achieve something by having an affair. One of the reasons could be to get even or exact revenge on his wife if she cheated on him.
Another situation is if he’s trying to get caught and cause the end of his marriage. If he doesn’t have the courage to leave his wife, he might get her to leave him by cheating on her and making it easy for her to find out.
It’s All About Choices
Men cheat more than women, but it’s not true that every man would cheat on his wife if there were no consequences. Usually, it all comes down to the ability and maturity to deal with problems in a way that isn’t hurtful to his partner.
Cheating says a lot about a person. Usually, 3 types of men have affairs: all three are incapable of dealing with relationship issues, so they resort to cheating as a way to get their needs met.
Still, relationships aren’t simple, and the problems are rarely only one person’s fault. The blame for cheating, however, lies only on the person who chose to do it.