There are a multitude of reasons as to why men cheat on their partners. Some would argue that it is a socially learnt behaviour; others would suggest that it is a lack of self-control or that there is something wrong within their current relationship that drives a man into the arms of another woman! Does it relate to some gender specific behaviour that goes all the way back to the cave man? Or is it simply a case of having your cake and eating it too?
Whatever the reason, from a moral perspective does it really matter? Is there really a valid reason for betraying someone you love, someone that has invested into you? The real and honest answer is no.
Ultimately it comes down to one’s ego. It’s about arrogance and taking advantage of a woman’s vulnerability that really should be respected and treasured. A woman’s heart is the most precious gift in the world…bar none! Men covert their weakness’s through behaviour that hides that weakness. In other words, we use the control of another person’s vulnerability to offset our own weakness or vulnerability. There is also a huge deep-rooted problem with the way women are portrayed in the western world. We objectify women through how they look, there is also the problem that men see women as an easy target, and every time we sway another woman into the cot it reaffirms our thoughts of how easy that was, and, I got away with it! Its a self fulfilling prophecy! This I believe is all socially constructed; moreover, men learn this from their childhood through into their adult life because the objectification of women is all around them, all the time.
Even the subtlest slights of women being ‘perceived’ as the weaker sex turn into psychological snowballs over time if left unchecked. It certainly paints a fairly bleak picture, particularly if you live in a country where women a vilified by their gender, race and religion all in one. Think about it, when we want to label someone as weak we say things like, “don’t be such a girl”, or, “your carrying on like an old woman”. These are exactly the type of comments that continually reinforce to boys/men that women are easy targets, and are the weaker sex. The word opportunistic comes to mind…
Some men like the thrill of the chase, it ignites something within that may have been laying dormant in their current relationship, it allows them to feel that they are still attractive to others, that we, “still have it”. In some ways it is also a little bit of a game, “can I get away with it!” Men who are players spend most of their time perfecting their tradecraft. Even if it is a short lived rush that is followed up with endless guilt and shame. Just so we are clear, players do not feel shame, certainly not in the short run.
So, will he ever change?
Yes, absolutely…although many would argue that a leopard never changes its spots, I disagree. People just need the right motivation; the right push at the right time. I can see the comments, ‘why don’t men just want to be loyal because its the right thing to do’? Plain and simple, it’s because we think we can get away with it and its gives our ego a boost. And that’s regardless of whether she is a good shag or not! Peter Pan syndrome all over! How very very sad….the term man is a very loose one!
It’s a bloody hard lesson to learn lads. Don’t go telling girls you love them if you don’t. There is a massive gap between having friends with benefits if both parties’ agree, to sleeping with a girl and lying to her face. Trust me, the truth always come out, don’t kid yourself and don’t think that you will outsmart the universe. Girls invest, girls trust, and girls go all in….a real man has the fortitude to speak up if he is no longer in love rather than just shagging another. A real man faces his own weaknesses and imperfections by accepting and embracing another’s perfect imperfections (great line thanks to John Legend). A real man will not want to fool a girl he supposedly loves, and a real man will not want for another, not now, and not ever….
Do men feel any guilt?
Well that depends on what the motivation is. If say, we are in a relationship that is dying a slow death, the shame or guilt we might feel by sleeping with another woman is far less than if we are actually in love with our partner and just had a brain explosion by shagging another woman. In the latter it then turns into I will worry about it if she finds out, but feel like complete crap for what I have done. For the former, we move on fairly quickly and it confirms to us its time to go. It’s all quite physical, and definitely the small head thinking for the big one. For some men, women are such objects of desire that they simply cannot help themselves and for all the reasons above wind up in another women’s bed regardless of how good their current girl is. If there is any comfort here girls, you should realise that if you are with a man like that then it has little to do with you, the honest truth is its actually all about that mans particular weakness and his unwillingness to be honest with himself. Aka Peter Pan…
But how can he say he loves me and then go and sleep with another woman? Because for men who haven’t matured yet, those words carry no ‘real’ value, actions speak louder than words, and some men take half a lifetime to mature when it comes to relationships. The sad part being the broken hearts left behind in the process.
Girls, if you want to test a man’s love for you, the only way is to see some action. Any mug can Google some nice words and scribble them on a card. Make sure you meet his mates, this will tell you allot about what type of influence he is getting and what type of social expectations are alive in his peer group. Ignore most of the dribble if he is full of booze, most of what men say when drunk is all about getting laid.
When my marriage failed it took me some time to be honest with myself. It took some really difficult conversations with friends, with my ex-wife, and my family to get to the point of acceptance of why my marriage broke down. I had not been unfaithful, but I not put her first, and I was too arrogant to understand why!
How do I know?
Probably the most important question….How do I tell if that guy I like will cheat on me?
My experience tells me that a women’s gut felling is right most of the time. Trust your gut over your girlfriends! When women do nothing but listen to the opinions of their girlfriends it drives men crazy. It shows us that you don’t have the guts to make your own decisions without the blessing of your friends. I could be way off the mark here, but that is the perception, and in the love game perception plays a huge role in how we ‘think’ how our partner feels about us. Manage your message, and don’t try and please others all the time.
I cheated on a girlfriend in my late teens, I broke her heart, I ended a relationship because I couldn’t control myself. My weakness was used against the weakness of another….piss poor form really. My ex-wife regularly reminds me of when our daughter was born I would learn the hard way of what the collateral damage of breaking a girls heart is. You know what, she is absolutely right! Chances are I won’t even be there when the first boy turns up to take her out. I miss so much of the day to day of my kids growing, simple things like kissing them goodnight, doing homework…don’t make the same mistake lads, you get one shot at this life, and a piece of ass just isn’t worth it if you have a loving girl at home. Get out of the pub and go home, it really is that simple…
When does it start?
Men who are players are complete opportunists. Like I said above, they are continually honing their skills in picking up women. They are the type that relishes the social elevation by their peers of being the guy who can get any girl. They love that their mates will come to them for advise on the where, who, and how’s to get that girl. That’s all fine and well if it’s being used to snare a girl if you are single. It’s the flip side that makes it add to this social perception that woman are an easy target and a way of proving your manliness!
Guys like me leave a trail of destruction behind in relationships, we make huge mistakes along the way and watch several girls who were potentially, ‘the one’ leave our lives because we cannot control ourselves. I am eternally grateful for my life now, but I do wish I had have done the right thing by my very first girlfriend way back. She deserved better, and I was not man enough to be that for her….
Last words of wisdom lads, it takes far more guts and manliness to leave a relationship that you are no longer invested in, than to just shag another woman knowing that will make your current partner leave you. Its called being gutless… Leave with respect and integrity, it is those qualities that you will want for the partner of your daughter one day.
Photography by Steven Markham Photography