Monday, June 8, 2009

Why Men Cheat - pt 2

Ever wonder why exactly husbands cheat? I offer the following statistics from M. Gary Neuman's research with a diverse population of 25,000 men from 48 states. You can learn more in his book "The Truth About Cheating."

If you missed part one of this series, check it out here or scroll down.

Again I want to start with this quote: "Of the men who cheated, 69% never thought it was even a possibility they would cheat on their wives." In other words, most of these men were in love with the woman they married and never planned to stray.

Let me also begin with the caveat that cheating is a sin - their sin, not their wives' sin. Nonetheless, I think it is helpful to hear what they had to say about going from a guy who never expected to cheat, to one who did.

Forty percent of the men cited sexual dissatisfaction as a reason for their infidelity - though only 8% said that was the main reason they cheated. When asked about the sexual dissatisfaction within their marriage that contributed to their choice to go elsewhere, they're responded like this:

  • 48% said Sex with my wife was too infrequent.

  • 26% said Sex with my wife was unsatisfying.

  • 15% said My wife had significantly neglected her appearance.

  • 11% said Other.

Maybe you looked at that "too infrequent" answer topping the list, and thought, "Uh huh, just as I suspected. He is insatiable!" But hang on Bessie, we'll get to that topic for sure. Let's start off looking at the other responses first.

26% said sex with their wife was unsatisfying - which is kinda brutal to read, right? Are you wondering if your husband would describe sex with you as "unsatisfying?"

Now, I imagine some of these men may have developed unrealistic ideas about sex -from the media, bragging/lying friends, pornography, etc. That kind of thing can taint a perfectly good sex life. And I would not recommend a wife engage in deviant sexual behavior to please her husband.

But for others, I imagine their frustration was while their wives were tolerant about participating in sex, they weren't really interested. Continual lack of interest - even though it may just be that you are tired - weighs on him. He (like you I suspect) wants to feel desired.

In fact, Shauti Feldman's research with 1000 men revealed that when a husband feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his wife is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow also rejecting him as a whole - a husband, provider and man. Illogical? Yes! However, as a woman, you know all too well that emotions and insecurities feel real whether they are logical or not.

The flip side of this, according to Jim Burns, is "when men feel their wives desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into every other area of his life." As I read this I thought, "Wow, that is quite a gift a wife can give - and it benefits her ultimately too." ... not really something we should be totally indifferent about when we've pledged our life before God to be his help-meet. I'm just saying.

Maybe you're protesting, "But he doesn't make it fun for me, and it's hard to get real interested in it. There is no romance to it." I once heard a comedienne comment that she liked to talk during sex. She said she mostly said things like, "Beige ... I think I'll paint the ceiling beige." It was funny, and yet sad.

Chances are, he wants to help you with upping your interest but isn't sure how. Jim and Shaunti both reveal that most men want to romance you and sweep you off your feet but they feel inadequate to do so (they hate to feel inadequate by the way). Jim writes, "Men want to be romantic, but they just doubt their ability to pull it off. They are plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high." So maybe we can convince them that their risk of failure is not as high as they think?

And for a percentage of the 26%, I imagine their wives are just uncomfortable sexually. Maybe they really are "bad in bed" as the saying goes. They may feel uneasy, tentative, awkward, unsure of themselves or how to do this. But this is something that can be changed if she is willing to work on it - it's a learning curve. This is something the two can work on together even. There are many helpful books on the subject- look here to find some highly rated ones from Christian authors.

Or, some of these wives may be struggling after experiencing prior sexual abuse - which breaks my heart. The good news is there are churches and counselors available to help a gal sort this awful experience out.

Let me once again put this in perspective, the vast majority of these cheating husbands did not stray because sex with their wives wasn't thrilling. (Only 26% of the 40% of men who cited sexual dissatisfaction said this.) So I do NOT want you to read this and feel you must transform yourself into a Victoria's Secret vixen to keep your man (more on that later this week).

If you're up for discussing this - which means either you are brave, or know how to use the anonymous comment option :) - feel free to post a comment or question.

PS. If you're at the magazine rack, check out the article called "Vanilla Sex" in Best You magazine this month.
PSS. Is that not the coolest looking bed in the photo?!


  1. AnonymousJune 09, 2009

    Thanks so much for posting these and doing this series. It's very interesting to see.

  2. Man, I feel like it always comes down to meeting in the middle. Why is it so hard for a wife to say "Okay, I'll be better about showing true interest in this", and why is it so hard for a man to think "Okay, I'll be better about showing you non-sexual affection as well" and then she walks his way a little bit, he walks her way a little bit, and everyone meets in the middle.

    Also, YES, that is the most awesome bed in the world, ever, ever, ever. Who wouldn't want to romp around in taht more frequently? ;)

  3. Andy - for the low, low price of just $15,000 that bed can be yours!

  4. AnonymousJune 09, 2009

    These past few posts have been pretty helpful for me. Thanks for writing about these specific issues. It has helped me to think a little more about how I treat my hubby!

  5. LOVE that bed!

    Actually, on that note, one of the best bits of advice we ever heard at a marriage retreat actually had to do with letting the wife decorate the bedroom to suit her tastes. The speaker's logic? "Men, if she's not happy there, you won't be either." It never hurts the cause to create a place where you feel more romantic/sexy/relaxed yourself. Colors, textures, lighting, whatever, all contribute to "that lovin' feeling."

  6. Well, this is interesting but it doesn't address the women who participate in the adultery with these husbands. In my counselling I'm finding married women with wander lust as much as married men. The Bible is so very clear on adultery. I recall Jamie Buckingham the pastor who began Charisma magazine with a simple xerox church bulletin! wrote on his adultery as married pastor husband of 4. His honest confession didn't line up with your research. He and his wife came to the church ... he wasn't caught by man, but God. The Baptist church near my home kicked them to the curb and the rest is history and how God blessed them.

    But Jamie said no one falls into adultery: they jump in. The only sin God uses one strong word for the temptation: FLEE.

    Jamie said to leave the choir if you are keenly looking forward to someone of the opposite sex that sings. Quit your job if someone in the office is getting your attention.

    Husbands, wives...either one: get help, get away from the temptation...we are all tempted; FLEE the one who is ringing your bell. FLEE....then get real with your mate and get some objective help.

    Today I have to say I'm seeing as many mothers and wives wandering as husband/fathers.

    The cost of adultery in pain and real loss cannot be tallied because it runs down through the whole family and friend circle.

    Keep writing...but know it isn't just the men in my counselling world.

  7. One phrase a speaker at our church's women's retreat said is "Your husband didn't marry you to have a best friend. Part of the reason he married you was to have sex. He needs to have sex. Who do you want him to have sex with?"

    Again, this is not excusing men who have affairs. No matter how their wife treats them, an affair is still a sin.

    But we need to honour and meet the needs of our husbands, and one of those needs is sex - pure and simple. And it can't be done out of a duty attitude - certainly not regularly!

    I think affairs are also simply a product of the Slow Fade talked about in the Casting Crowns song. I wrote a post about exactly this just this week.

  8. AnonymousJune 12, 2009

    I am a bald, pudgy middle aged guy whose wife somehow makes me believe after nearly 30 years that I am the only man in the world. I had never thought of it before, but a great deal of my confidence and the success it has driven in my professional career is the desire and respect I get from her. I think you are on to something.

  9. AnonymousJune 23, 2009

    My husband and I have the "opposite" relationship. I want the sex, and he doesn't. He loves to cuddle, but after having 4 kids cling to me all day, I just want the sex and go to sleep. I have to make a conscience effort to "snuggle" with him because that's his "love language". I just wish he would do the same for me.

  10. AnonymousJune 23, 2009

    How are you supposed to make yourself want to have sex with a mate who acts controlling, manipulative, and mean?

  11. Hi,
    I keep reading all these comments on how much the man wants sex and how much they need sex. BUT my husband has not touched me in over a year! I ask him about it, it turns into such an argument he walks out of the room. He says he is not having an affair. I want to believe him but even in your list of comments the 'man wants sex'. I really do not know what to do, what to think. The last time I brought it up he got so furious that he shouted a very hurtful rude remark "all you want is ...." It's not the act itself that I'm wanting it is the assurance that he is not having an affair or that he still finds me attractive. I believe he is getting satified somewhere. I only pray he would be honest with me. At least talk with me about it ~ SOMETHING!

  12. After reading todays Proverbs 31 prayer, I believe God spoke to me through it. Here is the sentence that has reverberated in me since I read today's prayer: SO I LAY DOWN MY QUEST FOR SEEKING ANSWERS FROM THE WORD AND EXCHANGE IT FOR YOUR SIMPLE AND GLORIOUS TRUTH.
    Thank you for being a vessel for our Lord.

  13. ME again! My previous post should have read: not seek answers from the worLd not word. Sorry my typing error.

  14. I am a male who does all the cleaning cooking and most of the child wife never eats and sleeps until noon.I always want sex but never get any.I worked but had to leave my job to take care of our house.i am retired from the military and with just a pension,i barely get us through.i just chalk it up to the fact that most north american women are selfish and lazy.i am slowly becoming bitter about this.I get hit on a lot because i am attractive and clean,and these women say things like,"i can tell u do not get any"i smile and act like they are joking.inside is a very deep cut filled with rejection.


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