Why Men Women Cheat

Women's Dating

Why Men and Women Cheat

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

See full bio »

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

Self-report studies have found that nearly 60 percent of men cheat on their spouses (and that’s just the men with the guts to admit it!) Women cheat too, but far less than men. And most men and women cheat for different reasons.

Regardless, these reasons are sometimes unforgivable when trying to repair a relationship tainted by infidelity. But for a fortunate few, such an act of betrayal can be a unique opportunity to grow closer through the work of forgiveness and repair.

Men and women cheat for different reasons.

Research shows that women most often cheat in hopes of finding a better partner or relationship, not just to have an exciting slap-and-tickle.

When women aren’t receiving the emotional attention they crave from their man, they may decide to go find it elsewhere, usually from another man. Because women more often intermingle love and sex, even a stand-alone sexual relationship can lead to love.

Then there’s the occasional housewife who’s just looking for a short fling with the pool guy. But her underlying motive most likely comes from an unfulfilling relationship with her husband.

Men, on the other hand, cheat for very different reasons. For instance, some men use cheating to keep an emotional distance between themselves and a woman’s heart. Men who are more frightened of emotional intimacy than women sometimes distract themselves by getting busy — but not too close — with other women.


“While no reason for cheating is a good one, the best thing

you can do is be aware of why men and women cheat.”

There are reasons men cheat that have emotional roots.

Some men cheat because they don’t feel as much guilt as women do. One study revealed that men feel less guilt than women, so while they’re out wining and dining other women, it’s not likely that they have their partner in the back of their minds.

Some men — though not all — find it harder to empathize than women, which is one of the reasons they feel less guilt.

There’s even a gene that researchers say predisposes a few men to stormy relationships and chronic infidelity. Men with this gene get an extraordinary dopamine rush when having uncommitted sex.

Sexual dysfunction is another contributor.

While it sounds counterintuitive, sexually insecure men tend to be more likely to wander from their partner. They may cheat because they’re embarrassed, ashamed, or because they think a new partner will solve their problem.

The last man to cheat is a poor one with a wife breadwinner.

Researchers found that men are five times more likely to cheat on their spouse when they are financially dependent on them. This is most likely due to the threat to their male identity as a provider and protector.

In this case, men may go looking for a woman who fuels their male identity, perhaps a woman who’s not too independent.

While no reason for cheating is a good one, the best thing you can do is be aware of why men and women cheat. Then give a hard look at yourself and put in the effort necessary to be a loyal partner.

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.