Why do men cheat? Let me begin by saying not all men cheat. According to MSNBC survey conducted in February of this year of 70,000 adults, 44 % of married men and 36% of married women admitted to being unfaithful. Although these numbers are alarmingly high, they do not reflect all. 56% of the men surveyed indicated that they kept their commitment to their relationships.
Because there is high percent of men who are unfaithful, women everywhere want to know why men cheat. This question has been presented to me at just about every speaking engagement or book signing I have attended. These women believe that if a man has a good woman at home that is taking care of his needs, there is no need for him to look anywhere else. Unfortunately this is not the case. The reason behind why men cheat is much deeper and internal.
To get a better understanding of the factors that impact why men cheat, picture a man running a marathon. At some point in the race, the man will hit what runners call the wall. The wall is a point in the runners psyche where his body begins to rebel against him. His mind, body, kidney, liver, feet, legs, and all other connected body parts scream at him that he cannot go any further. What he sees, feels, and touches tells him that he cannot finish the race. Despite all of theses things, the man finishes the race because his heart compels him to do so. What is in a man’s heart overrides what he sees and feels. The heart has the final impact on what a man will say or do.
The heart of a man is the key because cheating comes from the heart. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Mathew 15:19). Men that are unfaithful act out what is in their heart. You cannot make a man cheat. Cheating is the symptom. It reflects the spiritual condition of the heart. Internal desire determines external behavior. What is in a man’s heart will determine his course of actions. His biggest problems are within him.
No woman should ever take reasonability for a man’s unfaithfulness. A man with a cheating heart will cheat regardless of whom he is with. It is the condition of his heart and not her actions that control and dictate his actions. Men have often blamed their wives or girlfriends for their unfaithfulness, citing such excuses as, “She doesn’t satisfy me sexually anymore,” or “She has gained too much weight.” They try to lead us to believe that the source of their problem is outside of them. This is not true. Like a man running a marathon, outside influences may impact his actions, but they do not control them. What is in his heart will be the final determination. A man cheats because it is in his heart to do so.
Unfaithful men need to consider the long term consequences of their actions. Cheating, like death and war, takes no prisoners, leaving whomever it touches, including families, neighborhoods, and communities devastated. When relationships suffer, we are all lessened in some way. The church, work environment, and family structure are all also impacted. Cheating tears at the fabric of our society and diminishes the heart and creativity of the injured person. Unfaithfulness creates a battleground within the relationship, and it causes a tear in the esteem of the wounded partner. With these devastating negative impacts in mind, why would a man ever cheat?
Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. For questions, comments or more information, go to www.tlhouston.com.