Adultery, even when frowned upon, is in fact very common. Men, especially, have a bad reputation regarding cheating in a relationship. Studies have suggested that around 20% of married men cheat, a higher count in contrast to 13% of women. This raises a lot of questions in one’s mind, like “Why do men cheat on their wives?” or “Do married men miss their mistresses?”
To answer these questions and more, I talked to Aditi Ghatole, a queer affirmative mental health counselor who specializes in LGBTQ and closeted counseling as well as counseling regarding separation and divorce, extramarital affairs, breakups, abusive relationships, compatibility issues, and financial conflicts.
Why Do Married Men Have Mistresses?
Like the study mentioned above found, men are more prone to straying in a relationship. So understanding why they cheat is important to understand this concern further. Aditi adds, “The way and reasons men and women cheat in a cisgender, heterosexual relationship differs. Men are mostly seen cheating because they want sexual fulfillment and women mostly cheat because of emotional neglect.”
A survey by Haywood Hunt & Associates Inc Investigation Services validates the same. They found that 44% of men who cheated said they do it because they wanted more sex while 40% of men said they wanted more variety in sex.
A Quora user, who has had two ongoing relationships with married men, states, “I was in my early 20s and he was much older. For him, I think it was mostly wanting to have a sexual partner who would indulge some of his kinkier desires. My other relationship started when we were both about age 50. His problem was that his wife just wasn’t into sex anymore, and he was a really sexual guy who wanted and needed it.”
People cheat with multiple mistresses for different reasons, because relationships and people are complex. Financial reasons also come into play in this complexity. The American Sociological Association (ASA) noted that 15% of men who are financially dependent on their spouse will cheat. They also noted that young men are more likely to cheat if there is a financial earning discrepancy and men are least likely to cheat if they earn at least 70% of the household income.
Related Reading: 9 Reasons Cheating Husbands Stay Married
Do Men Love Their Long-Term Mistress?
I asked Aditi if married men truly love their long-term mistresses. She said, “As far as love is concerned, we are truly capable of loving more than one person, thus polyamory exists.”
I think it also depends on what love is for you, what is your love language and how you differentiate between getting a need met and loving another person. As often perceived, love is beyond feel-good emotions, love is beyond sex, and love is beyond having a good time. It is about wanting the best for them, wanting to provide for them, and wanting them to be happy in their lives. It’s important then to define what love and lust mean to the individual.
As I was browsing to further understand if married men can love their long-term paramour, I stumbled upon an anonymous Quora user who says, “I love mine (mistress), and I hate that label. There are so many things in my life that remind me of her when I see them, she is part of the fabric of my life now. I absolutely love her.”
The bottom line seems to be that it is absolutely a possibility for a man to continue loving his long-term mistress in his long-term extramarital affair. Aditi also mentions something important. She says, “In any case, cheating is still a violation of trust, whether it is a monogamous or a polyamory setup.”
6 Reasons Married Men Miss Their Mistresses
Why do married men miss their mistresses? Whether they are looking for love, an escape, or simply enjoying attention and excitement, there are a lot of reasons that married men might cheat on their wives and miss their lovers.
A study that aimed to investigate the factors that elicit and inhibit men’s sexual desire in long-term heterosexual relationships found that men’s sexual desire may be more complex and relational than we are led to believe. The six factors that elicit and inhibit men’s sexual desires are:
- Feeling desired
- Exciting and unexpected sexual encounters
- Intimate communication
- Physical ailments and negative health characteristics
- Lack of emotional connection with a partner
If any or more of these conditions were fulfilled outside the marriage, then naturally, married men miss their mistresses even after ending the affair. If you are wondering why a married man misses his mistress(es), below are some probable explanations.
1. Married men miss their mistress because they miss the sex
For some men, having an affair with multiple mistresses is often about sex and might not be for love or companionship. It’s the unmet sexual needs, may be an effect of a sexless marriage that has them stray from their marriage vows. Aditi adds, “Conversations around intimacy might not happen in the marriage. Sexual desires, kinks, and comfort is not discussed as freely because of shame attached to desire in general.”
The other woman (or women) often provides what these men are missing, with the agreement of no strings attached, in the beginning at least, . She can provide the physical intimacy that he misses and he can fulfill his desires on his terms.
2. They miss the thrill of having an affair
We ask Aditi: Why do married men miss their mistresses? She says, “When the rules of monogamy are diluted, there’s a thrill in short-lived intimacy.” It is true, an affair brings with it excitement and adventure, such is the anatomy of an affair. There’s an intensity in the relationship they share with their mistress that might be missing from their marriage.
Men who cheat frequently long for what their marriage can’t provide them. When a mistress comes into the picture, she is able to provide that missing piece. There’s a sense of sensuality and fascination in the act of infidelity because it is basically an escape from reality. The risk makes the thrill more real and that may be one of the reasons that a married man misses his mistress.
3. They miss the flattery and the validation
Men may commit infidelity because they crave the attention and flattery that might be missing in the marriage. This is very common because we don’t know how to give someone attention in a relationship. Men who need to reassure their masculinity think a mistress is what they need. They might want to hear words of affirmation, a need that might be overlooked by the wife who’s burned out from managing the household and taking care of the marriage.
4. Why do married men miss their mistresses? They miss the attention
If you are with such a person and keep wondering why “a married man keeps coming back to me”, this could be one of the reasons. It’s obvious that he would miss anyone who provides him with the kind of attention he has been longing for. When he’s with his mistress, they both get each other’s undivided time after all.
Roberto, who has been married for the last 10 years and is having an affair for the last 6 months, says, “I just felt like I wasn’t there in my marriage. Like I was physically present but I was invisible to my wife. She worked hard and often forgot that I existed. I felt seen again in my affair. Maybe that’s why I betrayed my marriage and the reason I had the extramarital affair so that I can feel seen again.”
Related Reading: What Happens Before, During, And After Cheating In A Marriage
5. They miss having their unmet needs fulfilled
Aditi mentions, “Cheating happens when one wants to seek more stimulation – be it emotional, intellectual, sexual, moral, or philosophical – something that is missing from their current relationship.”
There could be many unmet needs that the man gets fulfilled by his mistress(es). This can be one of the reasons they miss their paramour every now and then. Most of the time, our unmet needs are caused by a lack of understanding of our specific needs and an inability or lack of communication in a relationship.
6. They miss feeling desired
Rachel, who has been in a relationship with a married man for the last 6 months, shares, “A married man keeps coming back to me even after I have had conversations with him about how this won’t work out. He said he didn’t feel desired in his marriage.”
A study done by Murray and Brotto found that feeling desired was very important to heterosexual men in intimate relationships. There are several ways in which they felt desired, out of which many fell outside of traditional roles such as romantic, non-sexual touch, and having women initiate sexual activity. This suggests that the traditional sexual ideas for heterosexual men may not be accurate for all men’s sexual experiences.
So it is possible that a married man might feel unappreciated and undesired by his wife. The day-to-day reality of life can make the spark between them fizzle out too. In such instances, having a mistress is a way to get some of that lost passion and specific intimacy in his life, even when it includes emotional and practical risks.
7 Signs A Man Misses His Mistress
We don’t condone infidelity, but now that we’ve read about the reasons men get into affairs, it’s quite understandable why they would miss their lovers. Here are some signs a man misses his mistress.
1. He reaches out to her frequently
If a man is blowing up his mistress’ DMs or calling her more than usual, that is a sure sign that he misses her. Another sign is if he answers her texts or calls instantly. He is clearly desperate to be with his other woman if he always makes himself available for her. This is a sign that he misses you, his mistress and wants you back.
2. He wants to meet her more often
It’s a sign he misses his mistress if he goes out of his way to be there for her and makes time to see her despite his busy schedule. When he sees her, he does nice things for her and takes part in her interests, even if they’re different from his.
3. He gives her thoughtful gifts
If he gives her thoughtful gifts and gives attention to what she likes in order to make her smile, then he definitely misses his mistress. He is making efforts and is going out of his way to buy gifts that have emotional significance for her.
Related Reading: 16 Sentimental Gifts For Your Boyfriend That Will Melt His Heart
4. He shows up for her
If he shows up for her every now and then when she least expects it, then it’s a strong sign that the man misses his mistress. If he waits outside her office or shows up for her doctor’s appointment without her having to ask, then he surely misses her. This indicates that he isn’t able to stay apart for long. This shows that he likes her but is hiding it.
5. He talks about her
This can be tricky because a mistress is mostly a secret that he keeps and that is a complication of having an affair with a married man. But if he can’t stop mentioning her in one way or another to maybe his friends or co-workers, then that’s a telltale sign that the married man is missing his mistress. When he bumps into their mutual friend, he asks about her or keeps mentioning her name.
6. He is more expressive about his feelings for her
Maybe he sends her more DMS on Instagram with things that resonate with his feelings for her. He may not be vulnerable about his emotions and thoughts with his spouse, but he is completely open with his lover. This is one of the ways to tell that a married man misses his mistress. He is trying to convey how much he is thinking about her and is missing her even when for men, it’s difficult to express emotions.
7. He talks about random stuff to keep the conversation going
If he talks about random things with his mistress to extend her time with him, then it’s a sign he misses her more than he lets her believe. When a married man is chatting, texting, or calling you and doesn’t want your conversation to end, it usually means that he is interested in you and is missing you a lot.
- Studies have suggested that around 20% of married men cheat, a higher count in contrast to 13% of women
- People cheat for different reasons because relationships and people are complex
- It is absolutely a possibility that a man starts to love his long-term mistress
- Here’s why a married man misses his mistress: he misses the sex, the flattery, the attention, feeling desired, the thrill that an affair brings with it, or the fulfillment of unmet needs
- If a married man reaches out to his mistress frequently, expresses his emotions, shows up for her, and talks about her often, then these are some of the signs that he misses her
Cheating is never the solution and the effects of cheating in a relationship can be that both partners feel confused, angry, and stricken with grief in a marriage. Divorce rates also tend to be high after an affair has taken place. Studies indicate about 40% of such marriages end in divorce, with many spouses noting a feeling of betrayal. If a married person has cheated, it’s important to take some time to think about the best choice ahead: ending the marriage or preserving it.
Aditi says, “Married men mostly cheat because they want sexual fulfillment and intimacy. We look at cheating as an issue because we live in a cisgender heterosexual world that values monogamy and upholds the binaries.” This is one of the biggest reasons a married man cheats. Difficulty in communication, the difference in the need for intimacy, fear of judgment, etc. might be other reasons men seek relationships outside of marriage.
We ask our expert, Aditi. She says, “As far as love is concerned, we are truly capable of loving more than one person, thus polyamory exists. But cheating is still a violation of trust, whether it is a monogamous or a polyamory setup.”