Many say, ‘I am a one-woman man’, but how many of them are able to fulfil this promise till eternity? With temptations like adultery and infidelity, extramarital affairs are eroding countless couple relationships, just like a termite. A hard-hitting reality of Indian society, an extramarital affair sees no young or old, rich or poor. It just attacks the vulnerabilities in a couple’s life and puts their marriage at risk. But if you think all extramarital affairs result from a common temptation, then you might be wrong.
While some blame it on the astrological influence (yes, that too!) the fact is, infidelity is very common in middle-aged married men.
12 Reasons why men have extramarital affairs
There are many reasons why men engage in cheating their spouse. While some blame it on the astrological influence (yes, that too!) the fact is, infidelity is very common in middle-aged married men. Infamously known as the mid-life crisis, many men seek external sources of emotional and sexual pleasure. Some affairs generally start as emotional affairs, and men do not even count them as cheating. Let us look at some of the breeding grounds that push many men towards extramarital affairs in our country.
1. Think early marriage was a ‘mistake’
Many men who marry in their early 20s feel that they committed to a marriage too soon. Due to lack of experience in life and family responsibilities, many of them regret missing all the fun in life. To ‘undo’ this mistake, many of the young men may indulge in an extramarital affair to bring excitement and fun to their life. As they are more settled financially and socially by the time they hit their mid 30s, they indulge in extramarital affairs and add a zing to their otherwise dull life.
2. Married due to family influence
Many of the Indian men who agree for an arranged match marry without knowing the potential life partner end up looking for love outside their marriages. Basically, they ‘compromise’ due to family or societal pressures. This ‘choice of life partner’ is a potential ‘life gamble’ which may or may not work for such men. Maybe they are all too consumed with their own thoughts to match the energy of the spouse. In other cases, the wife may turn out to be a nagging partner who fails to understand them. This lack of dissatisfaction and unhappiness in marriage opens up doors for infidelity in men. They might find themselves immediately attracted to someone who could be a better match than their current spouse and cheat on them. It often starts as innocent flirting, graduating to an emotional affair and finally ending up as a full fledged extramarital affair.
3. Entry of an ‘ex’ in life
Entry of an old flame or an ‘ex’ in life could definitely trigger an extramarital affair in an already disconnected couple. Many men feel an ex could fill the emotional void and may feel tempted to rekindle the long-lost romance and happiness in their lives. Most men and women who have been through a relationship at one point of a time feel immediately attracted to each other when they meet after some years. The toll of boring everyday life and the mid-life crisis plays it’s part and they feel drawn. This could be a potent reason for men to cheat on their spouse, even when their married life is sailing smoothly.
4. Don’t feel valued in marriage
A marriage is successful only when both the partners are valued for their individual strengths. But often, it has been observed that a woman is too consumed in balancing her personal and professional responsibilities. In such situations, she may neglect or ignore her partner or may take him for granted. Or she may unconsciously turn him down or devalue his opinions on a regular basis. This continuous pattern may obstruct the quality communication between the couple. Already dejected, such a man may look for ‘appreciation and acceptance’ from a close friend of the opposite sex and give in to the temptations of an emotional affair.
5. An escape from a life of boredom
Adultery in men is of different sorts. Some men simply engage in an extramarital relationship out of pure boredom and the mundane nature of their married life. Life with wife and kids become ‘smooth’, predictable and the pure risk of an affair sparks new spirit in them. This could bring adventure in a dull and bland life and is an easy escape for such individuals. Many men feel alive after having an affair, and the need to keep it as a naughty secret is what they thrive on.
6. Commitment-free satisfaction of sexual desires
Men who are sexually starved look for consensual married women to fulfil their sexual desires. The lack of action in bed often drives them to get involved in adultery. Especially after children, many couples refrain from sex in marriage. This leads to physical dissatisfaction in marriage and prompts men to get involved in a commitment-free extramarital affair. There are a number of online adult dating sites, where married men post their requirements for getting involved with someone strictly in a ‘no-strings-attached’ (NSA) physical relationship. Some married men are charmers and woo single women, while some get into physical relationships with married women to avoid complications.
7. Miss the spice in sex life
Often, a man’s parameter of a successful marriage lies in sex and intimacy. It gives him self-worth and opens up ways to communicate and bond with his wife. But if the husband and the wife are not on the same page, then intimacy can tempt him to fulfil his physical needs outside the marriage. This could be purely physical or emotional, depending on the man’s needs. In the first instance, it is obvious that a married man is not looking for any kind of long-term relationship, but his need to get involved in infidelity is mostly due to the need to spice up his sexual life easily. But in other cases, there are married men who post their requirement of getting emotionally engaged with someone out of marriage. The lack of emotional connection between a husband and wife often opens up situations wherein the man seeks emotional support and friendship from someone else.
8. Seek intellectual stimulation with the ‘other woman’
Difference in professions between the husband and the wife often opens up scope for extramarital affairs. In most cases, a professional man married to a housewife does not get emotional and intellectual stimulation while talking to his spouse. For that reason, he seeks someone from his work or similar background to gain emotional fulfilment. However, in a majority of such cases, the relationships are not restricted to just emotional exchange; rather it turns out to be more physical in nature.
9. Derive motivation at work
Nowadays, such extramarital affairs are very common among corporate men. They give them energy at work and they often get seriously involved with their affairs. They arrange tours and trips with the person they are involved with, while balancing the commitments at home. Many rich businessmen often seek bold secretaries and assistants with the motive of adultery. In such cases, the employers enter into a pre-agreed contract with the chosen employee on the basis of mutual benefits. However, these kinds of affairs are mostly physical and they hardly contain any emotional element. Also, such ‘workplace affairs’ with a much younger woman may put such bosses in a more vulnerable position where they may be accused of sexual harassment.
10. Disagreements on core value and priorities
Arguments are a part of any couple’s life. But in tough situations, these arguments might expose some serious compatibility issues. Different expectations from life and clashing core values can put a dent in the marriage. In many cases, such continuous disagreements make a marriage toxic for a couple. Over time, differences become so huge that a couple finds it impossible to agree on basic, everyday decisions. Such irreconcilable differences and daily bickering could prompt a man to be in an extramarital affair for emotional support. A woman who lends an ear to such a man gets all his attention and love, and slowly they develop an intimate bond.
11. Need something new to divert the mid-life crisis
Getting attention and admiration from a young woman boosts confidence and self-worth in an ageing man. In family life, he often feels like he is ‘taken for granted’ by his wife and children. Doing so much for the family, and not getting anything in return could sow the seeds of dissatisfaction in life. In this phase, if a potentially younger woman acknowledges his strengths, life-experience and maturity, he may love the attention and give in to the temptation to get rid of the mid-life crisis. So, this irresistible chemistry could lead to an intense affair. In many situations, he can be a ‘sugar daddy’ for such a lady and can help her making important decisions in life. Some men also have affairs purely for career advancement, especially if their superior is a lady.
12. Get validation in life
Men are always driven towards younger and beautiful women. Dating a younger woman could be a big boost to his self-worth against spending a dull life with an ageing spouse who is not concerned about her looks and self-image. This new company may make him feel special and may draw him into a hot and happening affair. The thrill and excitement helps break the monotony of life for men and they feel happy and elated.
In the words of Chuck Swindoll, an extramarital affair starts in the head, long before it ends up in the bed. These potential triggers can tempt many Indian men to cheat on their wives.
In these situations, we may introduce men to the truth of the moment. Adultery may seem like an easy escape from a troubled marriage, but in reality, it will increase the complications in your life. Instead of landing in an extramarital affair and complicating relationship equations, why not address the actual problems in your marriage?
Our Bonobology relationship counsellors also agree that instead of suffering alone in the marriage, a man must talk to his wife, address the relationship problems and resolve to improve the quality of life. Isn’t that an easy way to get rid of many marital problems? You can also share your perspective on how to prevent extramarital affairs and divorces with a little wisdom in life.