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Why Do Men Cheat - What You Need To Know

Is My Boyfriend Cheating | By: Katie Lister

May 13, 2024

Does it mean a man does not love me when he cheats? Why do men cheat? What makes men cheat on women they love? Why do people cheat? You are in the right place if you have these and other questions.

Hi, my name is Katie Lister. I am a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of Growth Gals. I lead personal development groups and coach women to live their best lives authentically. Growth Gals is more than just a platform; it’s a supportive community where women can connect with like-minded individuals, learn, and support one another.

It is so important that women have safe spaces to discuss various topics related to everyday issues that affect their lives, such as mental health challenges, navigating relationships, and self-improvement. This is what GG is all about. If you are especially curious about why men cheat, this article will tell you everything you need to know.

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Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Group Facilitator, Life Coach, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

Types of Cheating

Before we delve into why married men cheat, what is cheating? When most people talk about infidelity, they only think of sexual infidelity. Cheating means breaking any emotional or romantic agreements made while in a committed relationship with another person. Here are the different types of cheating:

Sexual infidelity

Sexual infidelity is the most common type of cheating. Cheating is when you have an agreement about sexual exclusivity, and you sleep with someone else. It includes everything from physical sex hookups or one-night stands to long-term sexual affairs.

Some people have open relationships where they agree to have sex with other people, but on condition, they use barriers. If one partner has a sexual encounter with another person without the agreed barrier, that is also a form of cheating.

Emotional infidelity

Emotional infidelity is when one partner has an emotional affair with another person other than their significant other. The cheater makes someone else their close confidant, and they stop confiding in their partner. This act makes the other partner feel unworthy, lowering their confidence and self-esteem.

Cyber infidelity

Before the internet, you could only cheat via physical meetings. If you had to call someone, it was via a landline, which was inconvenient for either party. Social media has made life a lot easier. Two people can cheat without meeting via voice or video calls and text messages.

The two may never meet or know anything about each other except what they share, which makes it a dangerous form of cheating. Numerous people have met people online who have lied to them about their identity and scammed them (catfishing). This form of cheating is equally heartbreaking to the other partner and can lead to a breakup.


It’s normal for people to fantasize briefly about an attractive person. However, allowing yourself to over-fantasize and think of taking action toward these fantasies is cheating. Spending hours thinking of this person may eventually lead you towards acting on the fantasy. For instance, fantasizing about a co-worker and finding excuses to talk to them multiple times daily.

I suspect my husband is cheating but have no proof, what can i do? This article has all the answers. 

Physical cheating without sex

Kissing or fondling someone else who is not your partner, even without sex, is cheating. Not having sex does not negate the betrayal and hurt it causes the other partner. Relationships have different dynamics, and what you consider cheating in one relationship may be okay in another.  Partners need to have an honest discussion with their partners and decide what constitutes cheating.


Micro-cheating is having inappropriate affairs or connections while in a committed relationship. While such an emotional connection may seem harmless, it causes a lot of harm to long-term relationships. Some forms of micro-cheating involve flirting, keeping an active dating site profile, or stalking exes on social media.

Why do Married Men Cheat?

In marriages, women cheat, too, but the percentage of married men who cheat is higher. Men cheat for various reasons, and sometimes just because they can. Here are the possible reasons why men cheat:

Sexual desire

Sexual desire or lust is the most common reason why men cheat. A cheating husband has no self-control or discipline and will always fall into temptation. Cheaters who allow lust to control them do not consider the consequences, and they live for the moment and the thrill of a sexual escapade.

Some impulse cheaters may suffer from a disorder like impulse control disorder and are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior.

They are unhappy

A cheater may cheat because they are unhappy and lack the emotional intimacy they crave in their primary relationship. A man may not want to initiate a breakup/ divorce and may use infidelity as an excuse to leave their current relationship.

Sex addiction

Your partner may have a sex addiction. Signs of sexual addiction include multiple affairs, pornography addiction, and compulsive masturbation. Men struggling with sex addiction find it challenging to stop seeking out sexual encounters, even when it means being unfaithful.

The man may experience deep feelings of shame about the behavior but still feel compelled to continue, even if he is in a committed relationship. Overcoming sex addiction requires the assistance of a mental health professional.

Low self-esteem

A man may cheat due to low self-esteem, seeking to feel desirable and in control. Cheating may make him feel like he has other options. Many cheaters feel unworthy, and insecurity can lead to cheating as a way of feeling more powerful. A man who blames his partner for not working on herself may be projecting his feelings of inferiority onto her.


Narcissism may contribute to a man cheating. A man with narcissistic tendencies may believe he’s entitled to have an affair. If he refuses to take responsibility for cheating or shows little remorse, he likely has some narcissistic traits or is living with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Under the bravado, narcissists have a deep need for validation and low self-worth. They need multiple affairs to fulfill their need for external validation.

Selfishness and lack of respect

Some men are selfish and feel they deserve more than they are getting, so they cheat to get what they think they deserve. Their immaturity and lack of respect for their partners mean they only care about their own needs.

Do you have a gut feeling he is cheating but no proof? This article can help. 

Lack of love

Your partner may cheat due to a lack of love and unmet needs. He may fall out of love with you and crave a more intimate relationship. If he feels bound to the relationship because of obligations, he will not leave but look for the love he desires from someone else.

Measures to Take With a Cheating Man

With infidelity, the level of hurt and betrayal is astronomical. What can you do about a cheating partner?


Remember that his cheating is not your fault. Self-love and care are the best ways to start healing from the hurt.  Even when you only want to lie in bed and wallow in self-pity, take care of yourself by exercising and eating healthy. With good physical and mental health, you have the fortitude to navigate the situation. If you are religious, you can find solace in God and pray to find a way forward.

Get support

Seek support from your family members or close friends. If you are dealing with a narcissist, he may gaslight you and try to make you look crazy, and you need support from close allies.

Seek therapy

Seek professional therapy for your mental well-being. A therapist will help you find ways to cope with the situation while you decide which route to take, especially if you are undergoing narcissistic abuse. If it’s the first time he has cheated, you may choose to forgive and rebuild, or you may decide to leave. A therapist will help you formulate a sensible plan for everyone, especially if children are involved.

Go for marital therapy

If you are willing to move on, and your partner is remorseful, seek marital counselling from relationship experts. Rebuilding trust post-infidelity is extremely difficult and needs time and hard work to get past the hurt. You hold the cards to your happiness; at the end of the day, you must decide whether to stay or leave.

Why Men Cheat: How Growth Gals Can Help You

Our aim at Growth Gals is to inspire women to reach their full potential. We also strive to create positive change by giving women the resources to discover their true selves and expand their knowledge base on various issues, such as emotional intelligence and mental health.

Growth Gals helps women overcome obstacles and make informed decisions. We also help them connect with others with similar values and experiences. Subscribe to the Growth Gals newsletter to access helpful guides and resources for women. Learn more about how we can support you and help you learn more about why men cheat by signing up below or contacting us directly.

Why Men Cheat: Conclusion

Good men cheat on good women all the time, even when they have a great sex life at home. Infidelity causes a lot of harm to relationships and sometimes ends them for good. Sexual, non-sexual, emotional, cyber, and micro-cheating are all forms of infidelity. 

A man can cheat to fulfill a sexual desire or fantasy, a lack of love and respect for his partner, or selfishness, amongst other reasons.  When a man cheats, it is up to you to decide what you want to do. If he is remorseful and ready to rebuild, seek marital therapy. Seek support from your family, friends, and professional therapy. If your partner is a narcissist, you will need the support and formulate an exit plan.

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