Guest Article by Katie Lersch
From my own experience and from a lot of research and counseling, I know first hand this is among the most common questions asked by wives whose husbands have cheated.
There are many emotions that bring about this question. It takes a lot of personal work and introspection for a woman to plow through the pain and betrayal of the affair to put her heart and trust on the line again. This leaves her feeling vulnerable and afraid that, down the road, even after all of this hard work, emotional pain, and vulnerability, her husband will cheat again and her heart and trust will be shattered beyond repair. This article will help you understand why men cheat so you can prevent another affair as well as tell you the characteristics of men who are less likely cheat again.
Understanding Why Husbands Cheat To Prevent It From Happening Again: When confronted, men will often offer up many vague meaningless reasons why the affair happened, like “it’s not me, it’s you,” or “I don’t know, it just happened,” or “It didn’t mean anything at all to me.”
Here is the story that statistics tell. In a recent study of husbands who had cheated, statistics showed that a whopping 77% of cheating husbands also had friends who had cheated on their own wives. And, over 40% of husbands who had cheated met “the other woman” at work. Very interestingly, only 12% of men said that the mistress is prettier than their wives.
These statistics point to an affair or cheating being at least somewhat due to a dangerous set of troubling, contributive circumstances. Obviously, it makes a whole lot of sense to encourage your husband to develop close friendships with happily married men. But, there are many men with player friends who are employed in an office full of women who are faithful. So, what is the difference between husbands who cheat and husbands who don’t?
Well, let’s look at the concrete reasons men often give about the affair. About 50% of men in the aforementioned infidelity study said they cheated because of “emotional dissatisfaction.” This means that they felt their wives didn’t appreciate or support them – or that the wife wasn’t making the husband’s emotional needs a high enough priority. And of course, in many cases there was a coworker in the office who was more than willing to look up the husband with adoring eyes and shower him with praise, affection, and attention.
Now, even as I write this I realize that it is brutally unfair. Wives often also don’t get all their needs met and are often under appreciated and under praised, but we don’t go out and cheat. We don’t make devastating decisions that will shatter our marriage.
This is all true, but also understand that in the same study, almost 70% of them men felt “extreme guilt” about and were “just sick over the affair” – after it had happened and it was too late to take it back.
Many men who cheat never dreamed that they would and never intended to. I’m not minimizing the affair, but they had incredibly bad impulse control and decision making skills at an incredibly horribly bad time.
With all of these things in mind, it’s absolutely vital that you pinpoint exactly which factors lead to your husband’s affair and why. You may have to play detective here and read between the lines. Men can sometimes be just awful at understanding and articulating what they are really feeling and why they act the way that they do.
I can tell you though from personal experience and from research that many men cheat because of how they feel about themselves. Yes, themselves, not you.
This is so unfortunate because we beat ourselves up thinking we weren’t pretty enough, young enough, or sexy enough when really this isn’t at all true. I’ll explain.
A man will generally fall in love with a woman because she makes him feel attractive, alluring, strong, competent, smart, and desirable. Great feelings we all want, right?
When a couple are dating, they lavish lots of time and attention onto one another and the result is an intimate, loving relationship in which both parties are feeling like the king of the world.
But, life happens. We may have children. We may have jobs and obligations which demand more of our time. This is completely understandable and it’s also common to assume our husbands will understand this as they see us struggling to get everything done and to be everything to every one. The problem is that often they don’t. What they see instead is a scattered, divided wife and as a result, they no longer feel competent, intelligent, desirable, etc. So, whether it is fair or not, this can be a let down to your husband and can leave your marriage vulnerable.
So, Is My Husband Going To Cheat Again, Or Not?: I don’t know that anyone can answer this question for sure. Most husbands truly don’t plan to cheat again.
I can also tell you what are good indications that a husband likely won’t cheat again. The husbands who are least likely to have another affair are the ones who are genuinely sorry. These guys are often willing to discuss the affair and why it happened as often is as needed to help the wife heal. They also are willing to be forthcoming about their whereabouts, feelings, and intentions. They are honest with you about why the affair happened and what can be done to prevent it as well as to change the behaviors and dangerous circumstances that contributed to it.
Finally, husbands who won’t likely cheat again are those who are willing to commit to working on the marriage and learning new ways to communicate and work through problems so that the affair can actually be a wake up call that will make the marriage stronger in the end.
About the Author
I struggled greatly with whether my husband would cheat again after his affair. But after much introspection and hard work, I finally learned that forgiveness, and believing him, was possible. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, our marriage is stronger than ever. You can read my very personal story and struggles on my blog at http://saving-my-marriage-after-the-affair.blogspot.com/
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