While at work one day, I was asked by a co-worker why a man would drive 6 hours to visit them just for sexual intercourse. Of course she didn’t like the answer where I explained it was probably hiding from his wife or girlfriend that he was being unfaithful. Men do some pretty strange things in the name of sex, chiefly flushing good relationships down the drain. It seems a little unfair, but there are some fairly practical reasons for this. Let’s break down some of the most common reasons for infidelity in men.
Despite our best efforts, we as humans are still animals. The ultimate goal of any animal species is as follows: “Ensure the survival of your genetic code at any cost.” This means that regardless of if we want to or not, we have a genetic desire to mate and produce healthy offspring. But not just mate, we want to ensure survival so our desire is to spread our genetic code to as many offspring as possible. This means multiple mates over our lifetime.
Think about this for just one moment; as a society we desire those that are physically fit or those who have a strong list of resources. Both of these traits raise the chances of a healthy offspring. So for a man, and not as an excuse, the desire to reproduce with as many mates as possible isn’t really a choice but a genetic predisposition. The desire to reproduce makes a man alive, but their desire to stay with one mate makes him civilized.
One theory that will always be debated is the affects environment has over a man’s likelihood to be unfaithful. For instance, those men who are born into single parent families or those men who grew up without moral structure through religion or afterschool activities, may be more likely to be unfaithful than those who had both parents and a strong moral upbringing. Or perhaps those who grew up in homes where both parents were together and they witnessed their fathers or mothers being unfaithful might have a greater chance in following their parent’s example.
Since men are already genetically pushed to mate with multiple people, it wouldn’t take much of a nudge to get a man to psychologically grow into believing that it is acceptable behavior despite the idea that society believes it is wrong. While I have no data to back this up, it is well documented that people do follow the example of their parents thus environment can and will play a huge factor in the infidelity of men.
If Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus is right, then men are poor at resolving conflict in a relationship. This means that if the relationship is having problems they have the desire to fix it without talking about the problem. Since most issues of infidelity occur between couples who have common communication problems, a man’s desire to fix a relationship may become so overwhelming that he seeks a third partner to “broaden his horizons.”
We’ve seen it multiple times where men stay in contact with old girlfriends or flirting with women when they are in a relationship. If men are always trying to “fix” things then it makes a lot of sense that they are also have an escape plan in mind. If they can’t resolve conflict in their current relationship there is always opportunity to seek one that has a better chance the second time around.
While this might sound odd to women, men equate physical attention to their mate’s appreciation of them. Men who aren’t being satisfied physically often are afraid that their partners have grown unhappy with them and will seek sexual appreciation from other people. Men who are less confident in themselves might be more likely to have higher sexual need then those who are fairly self-assured.
Women have a desire for connection and men have an innate desire for independence. As a couple, you should act has three separate entities; Him, Her and Us. Both partners must learn to exist and grow as an individual outside of the relationship. But at the same time couples must learn to share certain experiences and problems with each other. Men who feel they are not allowed to grow as an individual or feel their freedom threatened will go through great lengths to assert their role as an independent.
How to Prevent:
They say that a love of a child is unconditional, but love of your spouse (or significant other) is very much conditional love. Part of the marriage ceremony is establishing a set of vows and conditions in which you promise to enter a life of monogamy. As a couple it is important to set boundaries in a frank and honest discussion. A list of expectations should be set early in any relationship as to the nature of that relationship. Couples who do not discuss their ideas of fidelity upfront are technically allowing their partner to decide on their own terms what is acceptable.
Once ground rules have been established it is important for the partner of the man to understand the following things; Men are genetically drawn to mate multiple times, Men won’t discuss concerns with sexual frustration, and men with poor moral upbringing may not have the skills required to stay faithful. Treat men as if you are treating a child. Reward positive behavior by giving them compliments and building their self confidence. Punish negative behavior with frank and open discussion but remember sex is like food or water, so do not be neglectful.
Also, remember it is the chase that is the thrill not the prize. So insist on keeping behavior that mimics the courting process. Go on dates regularly, try new things out, and engage in hobbies together. Most important, enjoy each other physically. Men who get their desires taken care of at home aren’t looking for satisfaction elsewhere.
1The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating By David M. Buss
2Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus By Dr. John Gray
3You Just Don’t Understand: Men and Women in conversations by Deborah Tannen