You hear about it every day. Whether it is a top-notch athlete, celebrity or the guy down the block, men who cheat on their wives are all too common. The affairs can last for a single night or years. The result, no matter the duration, can have a devastating effect on marriage. Wives who find out become distrustful, often bitter and most assuredly hurt. Men may become distant and reproachful if found out and seek to justify their behavior. Some marriages can endure despite cheating, but others flounder. Married men and infidelity is a complicated subject.
Although intercourse and oral sex are almost universally accepted as types of cheating, there are other behaviors commonly classified as infidelity. Many people believe kissing or caressing a woman romantically that is not your wife is an act of cheating. Even relationships involving no physicality whatsoever, including phone and cyber sex, are often regarded as infidelity. There are even some who believe cheating occurs anytime a man has a close (even platonic) relationship with another woman.
There are many reasons why men cheat on their wives. Although it is logical to assume men have affairs for the sexual experience, a Newsweek article "How to Keep Men From Cheating" reports that more men claim they cheat because of an emotional disconnect with their wives. This distance propels the man to seek a connection with another woman. Newsweek further contends that men experience this distancing from their wives when they fail to be appreciated by them. A man wants his actions to be acknowledged by his woman, and when he feels he is not receiving his due, he becomes frustrated and is more likely to cheat. Other reasons include boredom, revenge and the desire to feel more vibrant.
Men who cheat often leave clues. Aside from the classic lipstick on the collar, women today often discover a husband's affair through information stored on his cell phone or on his computer. Sometimes a wife can even find little slips of paper with phone numbers but no names on them. Behavior indications of cheating include distancing, lack of interest in sex with her, giving of gifts for no reason and becoming more careful regarding hygiene and appearance. The man may also hide evidence such as keeping his cell phone and various bills out of sight.
The effects of cheating can be extreme. Men can lose their wives and family following a sexual affair. The emotional effects can be overwhelming. A wife, even one who forgives her husband, will often find it very difficult to regain trust. Wives will often experience bitterness, jealously, anger, resentment and depression following catching their husband cheating. Men often continue to feel guilt, become resentful and depressed as well following an affair. Some marriages end following cheating, while others continue under a cloud if the infidelity and its aftermath are not death with effectively.
Besides the emotional effects of cheating, there can be physical consequences as well. A man may contract a sexually transmitted disease from another woman, which he may in turn pass along to his wife. Anyone who strays from a monogamous relationship should be tested for STDs. Any woman who suspects her husband of cheating should contact her physician for testing as well.
Lisa Mooney has been a professional writer for more than 18 years. She has worked with various clients including many Fortune 500 companies such as Pinkerton Inc. She has written for many publications including Woman's World, Boy's Life and Dark Horizons. Mooney holds bachelor's degrees in both English and biology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.