Surviving Infidelity

Man playing with his ring wondering, “Why do married men cheat and still stay married?”

Be prepared, these reasons may infuriate you or produce feelings of empathy.

It’s a common question today that seems to go hand-in-hand with the questions about respect between the genders that we’re still struggling with as a society: Why do married men cheat and still stay married?

In my years working as a divorce coach, I’ve met several men who fall into this category. These men have a paramour that their wife doesn’t know about. And these men choose to stay married despite their infidelity and the fact that something must obviously be missing from their marriages.

What I’ve discovered is that there are three main reasons why married men say they cheat and yet remain married:

  1. Some unfaithful men still love their wives and yet need something more.

    The something more they crave could be excitement, support, sex or any other need that they believe their wives are just not able to provide.

    In some cases, they have asked their wives for what they need. And for some reason, these men – either correctly or incorrectly – believe their wives have denied their requests.

    In other cases, the men have not asked their wives. And the reason they haven’t usually has to do with pre-judging their wives coupled with a fear of being judged and denied their needs in an unpleasant way.

  2. Other men are afraid to hurt their wives.

    Each and every one of the men I’ve met who fall into this category realize that if their wife discovered their infidelity that she would be very hurt. And so, they are reluctant to admit to their affair because they believe it would cause their wife unnecessary pain.

  3. They don’t want to deal with the financial implications of divorce.

    These men fear that their wives will divorce them when news of their infidelity is revealed. So, rather than come clean, they choose to continue having a relationship on the side.

Are these good reasons for why married men cheat and stay married? It’s not my job to pass judgement and it’s not the purpose of this article either.

The fact is that the men in this situation consistently give these reasons for why they do what they do instead of coming clean and dealing directly with their spouses about the repercussions of their choices.

What I think these reasons point out is a serious breakdown in communication between the couples. And I believe this reflects the miscommunication and lack of respect between genders (and gender orientation) that is sadly still prevalent in our society.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach. I help people make it through their divorce journey and create a happy post-divorce life. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. If you’re interested in taking the first step toward working with me, you can schedule an introductory private coaching session.

Looking for more information about the repercussions of cheating? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Surviving Infidelity.

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