Why Do Married Men Cheat and Stay Married?


Many people are horrified at the thought that their spouse or partner would cheat on them despite being in a committed relationship. They view it as a death sentence for the relationship and decide that, should it ever happen to them, that things would be ended then and there. Others swear that it will never happen and will refuse to acknowledge the idea of it being possible.

Unfortunately, it does happen and all parties involved are forced to deal with the consequences of the situation. What doesn’t always happen, however, is that married men sometimes stay married after an affair. It’s not completely unusual, but such cases tend to stand out. Here are a few theories as to why married men cheat and stay married.

Their Reason for Cheating In the First Place

Understanding why married men stay married after cheating often deals with why they cheated. Most men choose to consciously cheat because there is something missing from their marriage that they are able to find through an affair. Perhaps the excitement wasn’t there anymore at home and they had become bored. Maybe they no longer have sex with their spouse but still, have a sex drive. In some cases, there are things that they are interested in, either sexually or in general, that their spouse isn’t so they go in search of someone who is. There are also instances of men who married young—late teens or early twenties—who feel like they missed out on when they settled down. Often, the one thing that was unfulfilled in their married life but satisfied by cheating is vastly outweighed by everything else in their marriage.

Their Wives Don’t Know

One of the big reasons why affairs often lead to the end of a marriage is because the wife has found out about it. Whether a wife knows or doesn’t know about an affair can impact the continuation of the marriage. In cases where a man’s wife doesn’t know about his cheating, it is often because he has gone to great lengths to ensure she doesn’t find out. Some men are good at hiding it and don’t feel guilty about not telling their wives. Occasionally, some married men who cheat do not reveal their actions to the wives or families until very late in life or possibly only in the event of the death of themselves or their wives. There may also be instances where a wife does not know for certain that her husband is having an affair and won’t end their marriage based on a lack of evidence or unjustified paranoia.

Family or Religious Expectations

Many people are familiar with the concept of a couple staying together for the sake of their children or their family as a whole. Especially in cases where there are very young children involved, familial expectations can have a significant impact on a couple’s decision to stay together after cheating. There may also be cultural or religious expectations and restrictions that prevent the divorce from being an option. As commonplace as divorce may be, there still is some stigma in regards to a married couple divorcing that remains across all religions and creeds to some degree. In some instances, getting a divorce may be viewed as worse than the cheating that caused it, regardless of who is involved.

It Was a Rare or One-time Event

An instance of cheating by a married man does not always mean that it was a long and torrid affair that lasted for weeks, months, or years. It’s not always going to be something equivalent to a storyline on a television drama. Often, it may have been a one-time event that was tied to specific circumstances. For such instances, he may acknowledge what he did and that it was wrong fairly quickly. He owns up to it with his wife, faces the consequences, and tries to avoid doing it again. The marriage and relationship between the cheating husband and his wife are strong enough to handle the situation. It’s not the end of the world or even the end of the marriage necessarily.

They Choose To Work Through It

Usually, with any of the reasons previously listed, many couples will choose to try and work through an instance of cheating or an affair before calling it quits on their marriage. This often includes counseling to determine why it happened and what options are available now that it has. Working through the situation with the assistance of a professional can also help prevent it from happening again and assist a couple’s children from dealing with it if they have found out about it. Even in cases where the marriage is clearly over, regardless of the extent of the cheating and other factors involved, attempting to work through it is still done to ensure that the situation is properly addressed and to provide closure.

Did YOU know?

1) Only 9 percent of women and 2 percent of men found a relationship at a bar or club

2) 38% of singles are using online dating

3) One in six marriages now begin online