Numerous infidelity studies, surveys and polls have found that the reasons why men cheat differ from the reasons why women cheat. Each gender has different motivations for getting involved in an affair.
Sexual vs Emotional Reasons for Infidelity
Below are the top 10 reasons cheating husbands and cheating wives use to justify their extramarital affairs. You will notice, as you compare the two lists, that for cheating men, sex is the primary motivating factor. For cheating women, the key factors are marital dissatisfaction and / or unmet emotional needs.
Top 10 Reasons Why Men Cheat
• more sex - the desire for a more active sex life
• sexual variety - the desire for different types of sex or a particular sex act
• opportunistic sex – he’s presented with an opportunity to have sex without getting caught
• to satisfy his sexual curiosity about having sex with a particular person
• to reaffirm his sexuality
• a feeling of entitlement (the belief that it’s a man’s prerogative to cheat)
• the “thrill of the chase”
• ego embellishment - the desire to feel important or special
• peer pressure
• sexual addiction
Top 10 Reasons Why Women Cheat
• to fulfill an unmet need for emotional intimacy or a desire close emotional bond
• dissatisfaction with her mate
• dissatisfaction with her marriage or relationship
• a desire for male attention
• reaffirmation of her desirability as a woman
• to re-capture the feelings of romance or passion
• a desire to feel “special”
• boredom or loneliness
• feelings of neglect or being taken for granted
• sexual excitement
The Bottom Line on Why Men and Women Cheat
Men tend to cheat largely for sexual reasons, while women cheat for emotional reasons. There are several infidelity studies that bear that out. One study, in particular, found that 75% to 80% of the men who admitted to having extramarital affairs said that sex was the primary reason. Yet, only 20% of the women who were having extramarital affairs said they cheated on their spouses for purely sexual reasons.
Of course, the reasons above are not the only reasons why married men and women cheat on their mates. There are other reasons as well. But these are the reasons most frequently cited in by cheating husbands and cheating wives who participated in studies on why men and women cheat.