Why? Why do black men really cheat? And why do they sometimes continue cheating after they’re caught, even in the face of profoundly unwanted consequences like divorce, loss of parental contact, loss of social standing, and the like?
The truth is that all sorts of dynamics can play into a man’s decision to engage in infidelity. Generally, though, his choice to cheat is driven by one or more of the following factors:
- Immaturity: If he does not have a lot of experience in committed relationships, or if he doesn’t fully understand that his actions will inevitably have consequences like hurting his partner, he may think it is fine to have sexual adventures. He might think of his commitment to monogamy as a jacket that he can put on or take off as he pleases, depending on the circumstances. You can boil most infidelity down to this reason alone. Cheating in and of itself is an immature act, no matter the reason. So if you find that your man is immature, it’s likely that he possesses the capability to cheat.
- Co-occurring Issues: He may have an ongoing problem with alcohol and, or, drugs that affect his decision-making, resulting in regrettable sexual decisions. Or maybe he has a problem like sexual addiction, meaning he compulsively engages in sexual fantasies and behaviors as a way to numb out and avoid life.
- Insecurity: He may feel as if he is too old (or too young), not handsome enough, not rich enough, not smart enough, etc. (An astonishing amount of male cheating is linked, at least in part, to a mid-life crisis.) To bolster his flagging ego, he seeks validation from women other than his mate, using this sextracurricular spark of interest to feel wanted, desired, and worthy.
- It’s Over, Version 1: He may want to end his current relationship. However, instead of just telling his partner that he’s unhappy and wants to break things off, he cheats and then forces her to do the dirty work.
- It’s Over, Version 2: He may want to end his current relationship, but not until he’s got another one lined up. So he sets the stage for his next relationship while still in the first one.
- Lack of Intimacy : This could mean anything from kissing to more sexual activity. It’s normal for every relationship to decline in intimacy overtime, especially in a long term marriage. There are many reasons why this could be the case and it’s probably not even your fault. But many men have admitted this to be the #1 reason why they seek another woman (or man) on the side.
- Attraction Gone: While this is one of the most disgusting reasons why one would cheat, unfortunately, it’s a common one that’s been reported. This is particularly true for shallow men. Thing is, we’re all going to get less attractive as we age. So this would be outside of your control no matter what. You can always prolong it by staying healthy and exercising. That is why I say it’s better to avoid selecting a partner who is more focused on your looks rather than your personality..
- Childhood Abuse: He may be reenacting or latently responding to unresolved childhood trauma—neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, etc. In such cases, his childhood wounds have created attachment and intimacy issues that leave him unable or unwilling to fully commit to one person. He might also be using the excitement and distraction of sexual infidelity as a way to self-soothe the pain of these old, unhealed wounds.
- Selfishness: It’s possible that his primary consideration is for himself and himself alone. He can therefore lie and keep secrets without remorse or regret, as long as it gets him what he wants. It’s possible he never intended to be monogamous. Rather than seeing his vow of monogamy as a sacrifice made to and for his relationship, he views it as something to be avoided and worked around.
- Addiction: While it’s not something most people can admit to, it’s a real thing. Just like anything else that releases dopamine through the body, sex can become an addiction for both men and women. And if you aren’t there to satisfy that urge, or if you don’t want to at the moment, they’ll find someone else to do it with. Who it’s with doesn’t matter in the mind of a sex addict. They just need the release. That’s why there are many other ways they cope with this sort of thing. However, some just can’t replace the feeling of being with another human.
- Ego: If a man feels insecure about himself, he’ll seek validation. Cheating is one way men do this. If they can see that other women still want them, it gives them a slight ego boost. That’s enough of a reason for some men. There’s a lot of reasons why men could become insecure about themselves but again, don’t take this is as a justifiable reason for cheating.
- Unrealistic Expectations: He may feel that his partner should meet his every whim and desire, sexual and otherwise, 24/7, regardless of how she feels at any particular moment. He fails to understand that she has a life of her own, with thoughts and feelings and needs that don’t always involve him. When his expectations are not met, he seeks external fulfillment.
- Anger, Revenge: While many men consider women to be petty, they can be so just as often. They’ll use another woman to get back at you for something you probably did a couple years ago. That something could be anything from finding out that maybe you cheated in the past, to something they found plain ol’ “disrespectful.” In such cases, the infidelity is meant to be seen and known. The man does not bother to lie or keep secrets about his cheating, because he wants his partner to know about it.
- Easy Access: Technology has made the access for sexual indiscretions 1,000% easier for a man to venture out.
For most men, no single factor drives the decision to cheat. And sometimes a man’s reasons for infidelity evolve as his life circumstances change. Regardless of his true reasons for cheating, he didn’t have to do it. A man always has choices that don’t involve degrading and potentially ruining his integrity and the life he and his significant other have created. Still, knowing why he cheated can be helpful in terms of not repeating the behavior in the future.