Why do men cheat?

So I’m listening to the radio, and the announcer starts talking about Eliot Spitzer’s resignation and Dr. Laura’s panel discussion of said resignation, and the question comes up: Why do men cheat?  This is what Dr. Laura had to say:

“Men need validation.  When they come into the world they are born of women and getting their validation from mommy is the beginning of needing it from a woman.  And when the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like a hero, he’s very susceptible to the charms of some other woman making him feel what he needs.  And these days women don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how they can give a man what they need.”  (more of her discussion here)

Flat on it’s face, this looks like Dr. Laura is saying that Eliot Spitzer was driven to cheat because his wife didn’t adore him enough.  Because he didn’t have enough “validation.”  The man was the Governor of New York, he was coming down from a very successful career as Attorney General, and his name was bantered around as a possible Vice Presidential candidate.   He lives in a mansion.  He has countless aides.  His wife looks like a mature Jennifer Aniston, with the body of a twenty year old.  She’s given him beautiful children.  Why wouldn’t he feel validated?

I’m not being glib.  I’m serious.  If he had all of that and still carried a fragile ego, there was far more wrong with him than could be cured by his wife saying, “hey, hot stuff, you’re my hero.”  Maybe she did tell him that, and he disbelieved her.  I’m not saying that wives shouldn’t adore and prop up their husbands, they should.  I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have sex until his eyes roll back in his head.  If the relationship is good, go for it.  Have fun.

If the relationship is bad, though, can you really just point to the wife and accuse her of not taking good enough care of her man’s ego?

What about all of the men that never adore their wives?  What about all of the men who never say, “hey, babe, you’re my hero?”  See, I’ve seen what goes down this road, and when a woman cheats she’s accused of not being grateful enough for the husband God gave her.  When the man cheats, it’s because the woman isn’t grateful enough for the man God gave her.  It’s very, very rarely made about the man not being grateful enough for his wife.  If she was withholding sex, what if it was because of him?  Because of how he treated her?  Because of HIS innatention?  What if he wasn’t willing to put in the work to romance her?  What if it was, to put it simply, easier for him to pay a hooker to @#$% off his @#$% than to have a good relationship with the mother of his children?

What if he cheated because he would RATHER CHEAT?

In all of these discussions of why men do what they do, people rarely say, “because they take the shortest route to fulfillment.”

In America these days we’re used to instant gratification.  We have macaroni that you pop in the microwave (no boiling necessary!) we can pick up our entire Easter feast from the local Wal-Mart, we don’t even make our own gift baskets anymore.  That which we need we buy, and that which we can’t buy we tend to do without.  Personal thought and detail are a luxury, and most people are so burnt out on “work” that they fail to work on the things that really matter.  The reason so many relationships fail is because we have the wrong priorities.  If Eliot Spitzer’s priority was a healthy relationship with his wife, I doubt he’d be paying $4300 to a hooker.

I’d say he strayed because he wanted his @#$% to be @#$%ed to all @#$@ by a hot young girl.

I think it’s that simple.


21 thoughts on “Why do men cheat?

  1. “Dr.” Laura also missed a key point – Spitzer was doing a whore! Her idea of validation might have carried some weight if he’d kept a mistress, but using whores is not something men do for any sort of “validation.”

    Using a whore is an implicit admission that a man can’t get a woman through any other means, or at least a woman who will perform the acts he desires and demand.

  2. Shush,

    I’m about the last person to understand men and yes, maybe there are reasons distinctly testosterone based that cause someone of the male persuasion to cheat but I tend to think the reasons are more about being human than being a particular gender. While the numbers might not be the same there are plenty of married women who cheat (and gay men and gay women). Instant gratification yes. The adrenaline rush that comes with infidelity yes. But bottom line for me, is it’s a character thing. Either someone is trustworthy, faithful, and honors the vows they made to another human being and to God or they do not. There are just too many incredible men in the world who remain faithful to their wives to allow the knuckleheads out there messing things up to cast shadows on all the boys.

  3. Well ladies im here to help on this subject.I have never cheated,I cant say i have never thought of it.Its really a will power thing.See woman love to have all the attention and so do men,but we seem to take the back seat and put your feeling up first(because we love you guys).Women seem to forget that we also need attention.Its not just sex either,for instance I love when my girl just sits with me and watches tv,you know something you guys dont watch.The lack of understanding women is a big reason.I dont know everything about women but I know that a drop of a hat you can change feelings,moods and opinions.And men dont get it because we are less emotional(most are).All I can say is if you think he is cheating first sign is he suspects you of cheating!If you dont want your man to cheat just show him some attention and when you are finally in the mood,make it fun because lame sex is just plain boring! Good luck

  4. I’d say he strayed because he wanted his @#$% to be @#$%ed to all @#$@ by a hot young girl.

    I think it’s that simple.

    Well that’s how it sorta is. But it’s more than that, it’s biology, it’s a man’s biological emparative to create offspring and protect that offspring. It is a woman’s imperative to seek out a safe haven to rear that offspring.

    In our modern world that means marriage is the easiest course to fulfilling those imperatives, but there’s still the drive to have sex, some can control that desire and some can’t, so they lust after someone else.

    Personally I don’t see what the big deal is, yeah prostitution is illegal, (which I don’t think it should be but that’s another arguement) but why is this an issue for all of us? This is an issue between whats-his-name and his wife and perhaps his kids. What do we have to do with it? What does the government? What do his coworkers? Yes he did something illegal, so he deserves to be punished according to the law because he’s a servant of the people charged with upholding the law, but he didn’t, he broke it and that’s the only thing that should be an issue.

    Not sex, sex is not important! If he was having sex with animals or small children then it’s an issue, but all he’s doing is carrying out a NATURAL urge, is it a betrayal to his wife? Absolutely ~ unless of course she gave her permission, but again it doesn’t matter because it’s not our business!

    Does who I sleep with effect how I do my job? Perhaps so if the person I’m sleeping with is related to work, which is why you don’t dip your pen in the company ink. But except in that limited circumstance not really, so what’s the big deal? Guy did something illegal, and is getting punished and hounded a LOT more than the crime should typically be worth, but hey the primaries are boring right now.

    Sorry shush, not really ranting at you, just this overall thing, I like sex and hate it when something so fun gets so stigmatized. I think people need to accept it as a fact of life and quit making such a big deal.

  5. It IS that simple.
    They want it, they aint getting it at home (for whatever reason) they take it, from the first doe-eyed girl who looks their way, or they pay for it.

  6. Jonolan: very insightful. Had the affair contained an emotional component that excuse would be more palatable. Paying $4300 for “validation” is a bit weak!

    Anita: It truly does boil down to character, and unfortunately the American people have lost yet ANOTHER man they once looked to as a pillar of morality.

    trueman: It’s always good to hear there’s a man out there that cares about his women!

    Tony: The reason this is such a particularly big deal is because Spitzer has investigated and prosecuted people for similar offenses, and if he ENFORCES the laws, one should only expect that he would uphold them! Had he, at any point in his career, stated that he is okay with prostitution people might not be so up in arms.

    Krislinatin: Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it!

    lossofsight: I can’t profess to be an expert on Spitzer’s career, but the largest prostitution sting that I know of his playing a role in, the women in question were practically slave labor, ill treated and poorly paid. In his favor, at least one can say he reimbursed his whores well for their services. To be honest, though, it doesn’t make me like him more. He’s still a hypocrite.

  7. Ok Im gonna cheat here and Im going to cut and paste a comment I made on Psychscribe’s blog about this same subject.

    Very interestingly this is a subject that maybe I can add to from a psychological view.

    In my circle of close friends, none of us grew up with money, yet all of us ended up being what most would call rich. Some ended up OH MY GOD rich. Especially with the Dot.Com industry.

    My girlfriend, who is also studying to be a therapist (the tree) and I had a discussion about the changes in us all since becoming rich/wealthy psychologically. And to be honest, in some ways the change for some of us wasn’t good.

    When you get to the point in wealth where you can literally afford anything, where you can buy anything, you start testing your own boundaries. Shopping and buying after a while becomes boring so you start seeking the next thrill to fill your life.

    For many people they go for extreme sports. Yet others start dabbling in extreme sex. The use of prostitutes, all kinds of extreme sexual activities that just gets more and more extreme as time goes on. They never become satisfied.. its like women who are shopaholics. They can never buy enough.

    When you get to the point in life where you are rich enough where you can literally can have someone murdered for your viewing pleasure it does something to you inside. It twists you. Unless you are extremely healthy mentally, You get that God complex. That Im invicible. I can do anything I want. Soon though, everything becomes boring.

    Alot of our executive husbands use prostitutes and other things not because they arent happy with their wives… simply because …. THEY CAN.

    This is such a sad sad sad subject…

    Just thought I would put my two cents worth in.

  8. Dr Laura is so full of….well…you know. Why is she STILL talking? That woman is delusional.

    Anyway, I’m with Anita. Gender has nothing to do with this. People cheat because they can. he’s in a position of great power in NY, he probably feels he is invincible, in many ways. He really thought that he could get away with it.

    People also cheat because there is something fundamentally wrong in their relationship and they are looking outside of the relationship for a solution. But I dunno…I think this instance, it was the power issue. He did it because he’s an a**hole.

  9. I wouldn’t rely on sensationalistic second-hand accounts. Did you actually see the video? The whole video? Did you watch and listen carefully? Dr. Laura was not excusing Spitzer, who is probably a malignant narcissist.

    She was talking about “in general” – Dr. Laura says that ***IF*** you choose a GOOD man ***AND*** you treat him right, he will not stray. Nowhere does she excuse men for their decisions to commit adultery. However, she recognizes that if a wife isn’t living by her marital vows (which are more than just “forsaking all others”), THEN a man is more likely not to live by his, either.

    You don’t have to like her or agree with her, but is it a good idea to spread false witness?

  10. I wasn’t “spreading false witness”- I linked to Dr. Laura’s ENTIRE blog piece about it.

    I realize she was making a gross generalization. In my post I didn’t say, “THIS IS WHAT SHE’S SAYING AND IT’S SO WRONG.” I said, “wait a minute, this is what it sounds like she’s saying”, and that IS what it sounds like. I realize she’s making a statement about a larger truth- men stray because there is something they want/need that can be gotten by straying. My response to that is that that is taking the easy route- they could get validation and praise by treating their wives well, too. If my husband is good to me I will be good to him- if he treats me poorly it’s unfair to say that I could cure that solely by my own actions.

    A marriage has two people. They BOTH need to be committed. They BOTH need to be good to each other. It doesn’t SOLELY rely on the wife.

  11. You know alot of this “why do men cheat” discussion is pointless, even Dr. Laura’s (PHd in Physiology) take. Men (and the ladies) cheat for many reasons. My guess for why Spitzer would cheat with prostitute is that Eliot was into some sort of kink that his wife didn’t like or he was afraid to tell her about. This seems to be a popular reason for cheating by visiting whores. If you ask them to perform a certain service, how can they decline? You’re paying right.

    You shouldn’t be afraid to tell your spouse what you’d like to try, you never know she/he might be into as well. Like if you want to have 3way with the third being a midget (this is hypothetical, not my fantasy). Well, you spouse might want the same thing. Hell, you spouse might even be a midget.

    Put simply, you and your spouse were drawn together by you common likes and dislikes. So why wouldn’t that be true in the bedroom as well? Communication folks.

    PS – if there are any midgets on this board please email me at politiporn@yahoo.com

  12. politiP: It’s more polite to call them “little people.” Please, have some decorum. This is a sophisticated blog.

    *leaves so no one hears her laughing*

  13. I apologize if my comments offended anyone, particularly anyone 4’10” or shorter.

    Actually, I should know better, my wife and I love the TLC show Little People, Big World. We watch it all the time and love that family.

  14. OK, now I am officially aggrivated! Being accused of False Witness!!!!! On a blog?? What are we in the bloody middle ages? Who are you to begin to judge the actions or interpret the intentions of another person? I don’t care that you have apologized. This type of behaviour is unacceptable.

    You should be ashamed of yourself. It is you holier than thou Christians that give Christians a bad name. You are the first ones to cast the stones. You are the ones with the gaping log in your own eye whilst there is only a splinter in the eye of your brother.

    People, please try and remember to be real. Shush writes about real things each day. Accusing her of False witness is such a heinous cruel thing.

    Im disgusted….and I have nothing else to say.

  15. This is what I said to Cimmy, more or less:

    It’s like someone who says “Cookies are bad!” and then proceeds to get caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

    I couldn’t give a lab rat’s furry white butt about the “cheat” factor. Y’know, rag on me about this if you want, but after Dr. Laura was on FOX News about it, they talked to Newt Gingrich, and y’know, he thought it was weird the Gov. knew the risks of getting caught, and expressed great sympathy for his poor wife. Stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

    See, he went out and busted prostitution rings, and then we find out he’s a freaking hypocrite because not only did he partake like some corrupt cop, he partook in LARGE AMOUNTS. So, what is it, Gov. Spitzer? Do you want to bring prostitution down, or do you want to support it?

    My favorite Independent columnist basically said his wife needed to coldclock slap him in the face. Apparently, Mrs. Spitzer is a professional woman and she shouldn’t have to swallow that crap and do the “stand by your man” routine. He didn’t just mess up, he messed up BIG TIME and she’d have every right to just say “I don’t tolerate what he did, at all.”

  16. “…she shouldn’t have to swallow that crap and do the “stand by your man” routine. He didn’t just mess up, he messed up BIG TIME and she’d have every right to just say “I don’t tolerate what he did, at all.”


  17. Ken: Thanks for the apology. It means a lot that you would do that.
    Amber: You are wonderful. Firey- but wonderful! 😀
    Jaklumen: THE HYPOCRISY THE HYPOCRISY! As I said before, the prostitution cases I know of Spitzer handling were ones where the women were treated badly- so perhaps it’s not hypocrisy when you pay your whore up front? I don’t know. It’s all just so ridiculous.
    Jaklumen & e2c: I think she should have stood there in an insanely sexy dress and said, “this is what he cheated on. Is he STUPID?” Why the conservative outfit, the down-turned eyes, as if she was somehow guilty as well? Why didn’t she hold her own press conference and say, “yes, he’s a self involved idiot.” Or, if she knew and didn’t care, why didn’t she say, “I know he pays whores, it gives me one less thing to think about at the end of the day.”


    and- everyone else whose comments I didn’t respond to personally: sorry! In a perfect world I’d be able to think of and write something to each of you, but I haven’t had my coffee yet. Forgive me?

  18. Men like this cheat just like a heroin addict needs a hit. They’ve come to depend on the high that comes from partaking in activities like this. If you were to look at an open book of his history, you’d most likely find that this isn’t an isolated incident. Maybe he was abused as a kid or has a power trip that makes him a controlling person; who knows? You could make a list of politicians, clergy, big business leaders; some of whom have chosen to take the chance on not getting caught even though it means they could lose everything.

    It is the ultimate act of selfishness. It doesn’t have anything to do with a person’s gender. Anyone from highly moral to lowly evil have partaken in it. The choice to do it ultimately comes down to; have I built high enough hedges around my marriage to not be tempted by it. Billy Graham was the originator of the accountability partner before it became popular. He wouldn’t even ride in an elevator with a woman other than his wife without a male friend present.

    I’d recommend reading Yerkovich’s book How We Love; especially the chapter on vacillators. Very eye opening.

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