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Why Do Men Cheat?

Three Reasons Why Men (And Women) End Up Cheating

And An "Action" Plan To Keep Your Relationship Strong!

June 14th, 2012

By MD, Chief Medical Officer, BodylogicMD

Awful as it is, men and women sometimes cheat on their partners. While this action isn't condonable, it is explainable, and can be better understood. In my experience, there are three different categories for the reasons that men (and women) cheat:

Reason #1: Adrenaline And Thrill Seeking Behavior.

Cheating drives up levels of feel-good brain chemicals like dopamine. This is the same brain chemical that gets triggered when people take certain street drugs like cocaine. Dopamine is related to the reward center of the brain.

We all like adventure and challenges and testosterone-driven men are even more likely to seek out these experiences.

Reason #2: Problems with the spouse.

The ones that men report most frequently are:

a. Partner has physically let themselves go.

b. Nagging - some say cheating is an escape from the nagging partner at home.

c. Partner has low sex drive and doesn't want to have sex, has sex infrequently, or won't engage in certain sex acts they used to.

d. They feel like their needs are unimportant or "last on the list" or that they is misunderstood by their partner.

Reason #3: Men are biologically programmed for variety

...As in to plant his seed in as many women as possible to increase his likelihood of propagating his genes. This is the argument that we aren't meant to be monogamous, BUT and this is a big but... There is a lot of research out there that argues against this and that we are meant to be monogamous despite this biological instinct.

When we have sex, we release a very powerful hormone called oxytocin. This is the "cuddle hormone". It is an extremely powerful bonding hormone that bonds us to our mate. It is an extreme "feel good/love hormone" that triggers closeness and attachment to our mate.

This seems to argue against the need for variety and that boredom is the sole reason that men cheat.

Do Women Cheat For Different Reasons?

Although you may have heard that women cheat for different reasons, I don't think they are very different at all. Scientists say that our relationships are becoming more androgynous all together.

What does this mean? In many areas, women are taking on traditional male roles, and vice versa. As a result, women seem to be coming up against the same challenges as men.

Tips To Keep A Relationship Together

Keeping all this in mind, here are some good tips for helping to keep your relationship together and strong!

First of all, seek adventure and challenge together. Take up fun new activities to up the dopamine. My husband and I just went car racing.

Take up bungee jumping, skiing, sky diving, scuba, or other adventurous activities with your mate to keep the adrenaline high and the adventure-seeking behavior with others low.

Work On Yourself: Get More Energy, Have More Sex, Create A Virtuous Cycle

Remember to work on yourself. Keep yourself healthy by exercising, eating healthy foods and managing stress. Doing so will increase your energy, self-esteem and sex drive. When you are happier, your spouse is happier.

When you have more sex, you have more oxytocin (the bonding hormone) to go around, which will cause your partner to be more attached to you.

Variety and Novelty Is Proven To Help

Finally, do new things together. One of my patients, a famous actress, tells me that she has some very intricate love games she plays with her husband. Roleplaying in high gear! She will pretend to be another woman, to the extreme even of wearing different clothes, wigs, accent, the whole deal.

We don't all need to go that far, but to deal with the issue of variety... we all respond to novel stimuli with a positive response, again because of influences of hormones and brain chemistry.

We need to do new things, we can roleplay or just read some erotic literature which can spark some fun fantasies, share and act out some fantasies that both partners feel good about, introduce new positions and anything else that is new will help with the need for variety. Sex certainly does not have to be boring if we inject a little creativity into it!!


1. What else can I do to prevent cheating in my relationship?

Don't be a ball and chain! Make it easy for your partner to go out and do things with their friends. Guys doing things with the guys is a good thing. Guys like to do some of those dopamine raising activities together, like go out a play a game of tackle football, pump iron at the gym together and generally do guy stuff.

If they are getting their adrenaline boost with their buddies it's less likely they'll look elsewhere for it. For women, they frequently feel like their partners don't listen to them. If they spend time with their girlfriends, that is mostly what girlfriends do - listen to each others problems.

If partners are finding satisfaction and intimacy with their friendships in ways that they may not be in their relationship, they will be less likely to go out and search for ways to fill the gap by cheating.

2. What can I do to spark up my sex drive and have a great sack session with my partner?

I tell my patients to try having sex after a workout, especially after strength training. Strength training boosts levels of Testosterone. Higher testosterone levels will help increase arousal, this translates to a stiffer erection for men and more natural lubrication for women.

Higher testosterone levels will also heighten sensitivity and shorten time to orgasm in men and women. Try some hot and sweaty sex with your partner, you'll be glad you did!

(PEERtrainer Note: If you have questions for Dr. Jen, please ask in the comments section below. And if you want to be alerted the next time we publish an article by her, please make sure to get on our email list in the field below:)

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