Straight From His Mouth: Why Does It Take So Much Work For Men Not To Cheat?

73 comments
December 24, 2012 ‐ By WisdomIsMisery
Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Is it really work not to cheat?

My coworker has a friend whose husband told his wife he will not go to dinner or for drinks when he’s on business trips if the crowd is mostly women because it’s too much temptation.

Another guy friend has a similar rule. In the work plac,e he won’t ever go to lunch with women and they basically have the mindset that every day is a battle or there’s always an opportunity to cheat so they won’t put themselves in those situations, even ones that seem harmless for most people.

Like the relationship statuses of so many people on Facebook, the answer to this question is, “it’s complicated.” Since this is the Internet, I must open with an obligatory statement of fact: “cheating is wrong,” and yet people cheat every day. Even conservative estimates suggest at least 20 percent of men and 15 percent of women will cheat during the course of their marriage. While this still means that between 80 to 85 percent of married people are faithful, why is it so difficult for men like the ones described above not to cheat?

Well, when it comes to cheating, there are three types of men…

1. The Faithful Man – As the name suggest, the Faithful Man resists all temptations to cheat. This type of man has rarely, if ever, cheated on any girl. Remaining faithful is a natural part of his character. He may be morally sound, stubborn, or simply a man of his word; but whatever his justification, this man finds it easier to remain faithful than to cheat. This is not to suggest he is is perfect. In fact, he might entertain the idea of stepping outside of his relationship like most normal people; however, he never lets these mental lapses or weaknesses of character manifest themselves in reality. For him, honoring the commitment of his relationship is what’s most important.

2. The Selective Cheater – The Selective Cheater is faithful, for the most part. His past is usually checkered with opportunities to cheat – some of which he chose to entertain, others he passed up. There is usually no rhyme or reason for why the Selective Cheater strays, but it’s usually coupled with the fact that he can get away with it and other women likely provide something the current woman in his life doesn’t – whether it’s love, sex, companionship or some other arbitrary void his current love interest isn’t completely satisfying. The Selective Cheater is generally passive in his cheating habit, usually preferring to choose whether to cheat as the various opportunities naturally arise rather than aggressively pursuing other women outside of his relationship. Because cheating doesn’t define him or his happiness, there are usually long stretches where he’s completely faithful.

3. The Compulsive Cheater – Unlike the Selective Cheater, the Compulsive Cheater often feels like he can’t control himself. As such, he is usually careless in his actions and cheats with a large number of women regardless of the impact it might have on his current relationship. It’s not that he doesn’t care about the woman (or women) in his life – although it’s possible he does not – but he is more likely drawn to cheating as most others are drawn to any number of destructive habits. In his case, cheating is like a drug. The highs, lows, peaks, and valleys of cheating, sneaking around, and getting caught or almost getting caught sustain him. He can break his addiction, usually temporarily, but it isn’t easy. In order to change, he has to want to do so himself; otherwise, as with most addictions, he frequently relapses.

Taking a guess, it seems like the men mentioned in the reader’s question are types 2 or 3. It’s also possible they’re both type 1 now, but they have been or can relate to the lifestyle of the other types from when they were younger. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, seeing as how both men recognize their character flaws and have taken proactive steps to avoid temptation on behalf of themselves and their relationship. Avoiding temptation is not the same as admitting defeat. For example, if you’re a former chain smoker, avoiding smokers isn’t an admittance of failure; it’s simply a recognition that it’s easier to resist temptation when it’s not right in front of your face. I see nothing wrong with these men, or any man, avoiding situations that make them uncomfortable. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”

I’d be remiss not to end this post without pointing out that some women are just as drawn to men in relationships as some men in relationships are drawn to cheating. This isn’t to say men can’t be faithful when confronted by women who knowingly or unknowingly tempt them; but why test your resolve when you can avoid the situation completely, especially if you know you’ve fallen victim to similar invitations before? I’m sure most men would prefer their wife be upset with them for avoiding the temptation of other women rather than welcoming it and failing to draw the line before it’s too late. At the end of the day, better safe than sorry.

Is it really difficult for men not to cheat? Is it any easier for women to remain faithful? Is there anything uniquely different between what men and women face when trying not to cheat?

WisdomIsMisery aka WIM uses his background as an internal auditor to provide objective, yet opinionated, qualitative and quantitative analysis on life, love, and everything in between. As a Scorpio, many women wish death on WIM and some have attempted to hasten its arrival. WIM is not a model, a model citizen, or a role model. See more of WIM on his weekly write-ups for SBM and on Twitter @WisdomIsMisery.

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  • Kath

    Women would fall into all three categories as well. It really doesn’t take any real effort NOT to cheat. It just depends on selfish/selflessness and how you perceive the opposite sex.

  • Pivyque

    Some women are willing to share and still be faithful to that man. I think, if anything, women appreciate honesty. If he is being honest and safe about handling his business, there are plenty women that won’t trip about it. I mean, there are men that are creeping and THINK their lady doesn’t know about it because she overlooks it. I figure, if a woman is willing to do that, then there have to be plenty out there willing to deal with a man that is honest about it.

  • Lboogie

    Lots of good points, but in order for a man/woman to be honest with someone else they need to be honest with themselves first. I think it’s more of the wants to have cake and eat it too thing…they want the security of having a significant other and the comfort of a relationship, but don’t want to take responsibility and work at the commitment that comes with it. If they can get away with it then why wouldn’t they continue to do it be it a man or a woman who is the cheater? By being upfront with self first to say, “you know what I can’t be in a monogamous relationship right now” and then being honest with the other person about this fact affords the other person the opportunity to make an informed decision if monogamy is a deal breaker or not. Some people feel that monogamy isn’t the most important thing and will accept it. I have in the past, but I don’t fall for that BS of all men cheat and the sooner we women realize this the easier it will be…F That….that’s a cop out and again us women staying on the clearance rack just to be with a man for the sake of “it’s just their nature”. I don’t like to get up as early as I do to go to work in the morning. I’m not a morning person and it is not in my genetic makeup so should my employer just forgive me for that and allow me to be late all the time because it’s just my nature? No, I have to work at it. Make it a habit because my career is important to me, not to mention I got bills to pay. So I think if a man or woman really wants to be with a person in a relationship they will work at the relationship and being faithful because it is important to them at that point not to hurt the person they love. JMO

    • Pivyque

      Well said! When I was dating, I was always clear that we were casually dating/not exclusive.

  • Pria

    I think the types of cheaters laid out above apply not just to men but to women as well. I know some women who give it out with a triple coupon, legs stay open more than 7-11 and they have husbands/boyfriends. I think these types of articles wouldnt be so necessary if people were honest at the door about what they want. If your the type of person who likes to eat off all the trees in the orchard and not just one then say up front thats what you want. Don’t make the decision for the other person and not give them a say in what they want to deal with. Now that being said, if someone is telling you this at the door LISTEN. If everyone stopped believing they can re-raise an adult into what they want them to be then some things just wouldnt even be a conversation.

    • Ms_Mara

      You said a mouthful there. I agree with every word!

  • Nope

    When a woman’s perception of her own awesomeness and the man’s perception of her awesomeness don’t align.

  • Bey

    3 and 2 is why HIV and herpes is so high in the AA community. This is how 1 man can infect 20 women. Your body is a temple treat it that way men and women. Playing with someones emotions and heart can get you killed, a man just killed another man for sleeping with his wife, u never know the person’s partner until the truth comes out. I would have my uncle here if he didn’t go sleeping with some man’s wife and got killed. Humans are dangerous dont play games with humans

  • Cogito

    Because monogamy is not natural, it’s taught, learned and expected of us. That which is natural does not require conscious thought to comply with it’s mandate. This doesn’t mean that I don’t see and understand the utility and purpose of monogamy, but on a base instinctive level, it is not natural. And whether we agree with it or not, people are self preservationist first and foremost and as such, act instinctively on their own PERCEIVE interest, wants and needs first. And althought this issue is alway discussed from a woman’s point of view as the victim of some man’s betrayal; wpmen are not exempt from as perpertrators. I’ve personally had been proposition by tons of women who were supossedly in committed relationships and marrages.

    • Pivyque

      Smh. That is sad. I have seen a few women that were engaged/married that would approach other men. I like to be optimistic by thinking they have an open relationship lol

      • Cogito

        The old “glass is half full” view huh? lol We men tend to be dimissive of women as being “monogamously challenged” because we need to believe that we will suffice for all of a woman’s masculine needs, as well as our being conditioned to view women as the repository of virtue and moral decency, but unfortunately this belief has suffered in recent years.

        • Angela Davies

          I agree with this.Many men live with false perceptions.Whether man or woman,we all are human.Any man who thinks their woman can have one man meet all her desires wholeheartedly is wrong and delusional.Why do men need to feel they suffice for their partner but women not?The truth is we are the same–human.We all share the same sentiments,the difference in the sexes is in the way we execute.You fantasize,wish and lust and so does she.The thoughts of women being of virtue and moral decency is not because we are indeed the innocent sex to them,if men felt that way about all of us they wouldn’t conduct themselves the way they do.All this ‘women should be ladies’ is a stigma placed on us by men disguised as a compliment.It’s to keep us docile and in compliance out of fear of being labeled anything otherwise.Hoes are made out to be something we as woman should never long for,but yet men long for them theirselves.That is not a coincidence.The divide and conquer tactic.If men are natural cheaters and woman naturally monogamous then who are they sleeping with?All this hogwash men spew about them cheating is to scare women from doing what they do because they know how much it would hurt when they got dished out what they’ve been serving up themselves.Men are more sensitive than women.Mostly everything men claim is true about themseves is to either protect their ego,feed their ego or distract us from holding them accountable for their actions…

          • Cogito

            Well, in fairness to we men, false and misleading perceptions extend beyond our masculine borders and into female “apache” territory as well. We are all raised and conditioned on a steady diet of propaganda designed to contrain our behavior and to dictate our gender functions and roles in society. Female infidelity and men’s need to stigimatize the very thought of it derived from both the masculine ego that see women as possessions and the need to not question paternity of our progeny.
            Women have been programmed to believe that this chemical reaction that takes place in the brain that we refer to as “love” is a panacea to every romantic and social problem, dismissing the biological reality that we are driven by a more visceral instinct that oftentimes transcends love. I have never suffered any delusions about women in their propensity to share their love with someone other than the one she commits to. Whether it be an need to feel an emotional need or an physical sexual void or any other number of pretext; I’ve seen their work. But much like the case with men, women must suffer the social consequences of breaching these societal precepts.

            • UmmYeahOK

              Exceptionally well said and very TRUE.

        • Pivyque

          My husband does suffice for all of my “masculine needs” as you put it. lol My question is, why do people think that one person is supposed to provide everything they need in life? I have hobbies that my husband isn’t interested in and that’s what friends are for. Being monogamous doesn’t mean that you can’t have friends and family to share your life with as well.

          • Cogito

            Your question almost sounded rhetorical, but I’ll take a stab at it anyways. The ideal that we should find reposed in one person all the things we want or need is one of the mythogenic points marketed to us to sell the utopian benefits that we will find in monogamy.

            Society has a vested interest in monogamy because it undergirths the stability of families, which is the oldest human instutition with an organizational structure, so through tradition, it is markets to us “one man and one woman” as the mythical panacea to all of our romantic problems; and implicitly discouraging interactions of any types with the opposite sex that may shine a disproving light upon this belief.

            It however, places an unrealistic expectation and burden upon the respective members in a marriage because people oftentimes declare their partner defective because they don’t feel this magic or they resent having to out source to others responsibility for things that they have been conditioned to believe should be present in house; unfairly coloring their perception of their significant other.

            However, in defense of Monogamy, this outsourcing can and does often lay the ground work for emotional infidelity which of course, is the antecedent to sexual infidelity, so it is wise to self manage against this possibility as well.

            • Pivyque

              Lol it was rhetorical, but I get what you are saying. I just think that, in addition to teaching monogamy, we should be teaching people to learn how to keep themselves happy. Placing the expectation on someone else to make, and keep, you happy is unrealistic. I expect my husband to do certain things, but my overall happiness is not tied to him. Of course, he can upset me from time to time, but my overall happiness is tied to me.

              • Cogito

                Well you my dear possess a beautiful understanding of the necessary balance that is imperative to successful, long term relationships. Being responsible for the maintenance of your happiness is a necessary ingredient in this process; it engenders synergy and leaves a healthy emotional balance in your partners account which they are able to spend addressing some of their own needs.

                I’ve always defined an “INDEPENDENT WOMAN” as a woman who doesn’t feel the need to burden me with her every issue or insecurity and respects the fact that I can’t spend all of my energies emotionally and spiritually feeding her to the exclusion of feeding myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no egalitarian in this sense and will tip the scale in favor of my woman, but simply ask that she not abuse the priviledge. A woman who understands that I can embellish her happiness but it is she who is responsible for it’s core and that when she does not do this, she puts an unfair strain on the relationship.

                And in the spirit of Brother unity, as well as spirit of Tit for Tat, I’m reasonably sure you periodically work his nerves as well……lol! But he, like you knows his happiness is tied to his baby!

                • Pivyque

                  Lol yeah, i’m sure I work his nerves a little more often! He’ll be alright tho lol

                  • Cogito

                    Yeah, he does seem to be in pretty good hands and I’m pretty sure he’s aware of it. And don’t tell him I said it, but we men need our women to work our nerves periodically so that we have something to complain about! Our suffering is redemptive…lol!

  • Kaori

    Socialization.

  • Kaori

    Socialization.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

    Maybe men and women aren’t meant to just be with one person. Being monogomous and the feeling of not wanting to share your mate, is all influenced by society. It’s not natural. Monogomy is a cultural norm imposed on us. So the people who get upset are being influenced by western culture.

    • Ms_Mara

      I’m resigning myself to believe this more and more as time passes.

    • Miss Anonymous

      Well then they shouldnt get sad or depressed if they catch a incurable STD then.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

        You can catch an std by sleeping with one person. And sleep with 100 people and never get it. Protection and sexual education is key.

        • Miss Anonymous

          No I know that when sleeping with multiple people the question “when was your last std test and can I see the results?” doesnt pop up. A simple “you clean?’ is what is asked before hopping into the bed unprotected or even my favorite “just let me put the head in”. I even know a dude who brags about screwing a girl unprotected who had HIV and he didnt catch it like it is a amazing feat.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

            So you do agree with me protection and sexual education is key. Also an open dialogue with your partner(s) which I forgot to mention.

            • Miss Anonymous

              Yes. Bingo, where are >>>here<<<. Just say "yo I want to do you and others" why lie and hold back stuff when you can be upfront from the start. Also why not get tested together, heck do the at home HIV test together.

              • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

                Well like I said before if polygomy/open relationships became the norm that problem would go away. Also the stigma if a woman has a certain number of partners, she is deemed as undesirable. Not summing up woman by their vaginas and how they choose to use it would be a great start. Both men and women are guilty of this.

            • Pivyque

              Yep! I agree!

        • Miss Anonymous

          I know you can catch a std by sleeping with one person, my point is that if lets say we are together and you say “I love you Miss A and only want to be with you” but you are in other relationships with others without telling me. Now tell the truth, how hard is saying “I want to date you and other women too” Pretty simple isnt it? Why put up the facade of only wanting one person when its not what you truly want. The other person will either A) leave or B) stay. Dont even get me started on the double standard on when a woman cheats.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

            Usually At least in america a relationship is already assumed to be monogomous, unless otherwise indicated. And please note being in an open relationship isn’t the same as just cheating behind someone’s back. If open relationships were seen as normal with less of a stigma, all of that would go away.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

        You can catch an std by sleeping with one person. And sleep with 100 people and never get it. Protection and sexual education is key.

    • Pivyque

      I don’t think me not wanting to share my husband is influenced by society. When I was little, I didn’t want to share my family. lol Some people are just like that. Monogamy is a personal choice, but a person should always be upfront about it with their partner(s).

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JAI4SRENU2A5WKRTELXXYJPDSI Kayla

        Some people are more geared towards monogomy than others. You would obviously be one of them. Doesn’t make you better or them worse.

        • Pivyque

          Yeah, that was the point that I was making. I have always been this way, but I understand that some people aren’t. I don’t see anything wrong with people not being monogamous. I just feel like (monogamous or not) they should be open with their partner(s) about it.

  • Mike

    Well, in high school, I had a couple girlfriends that were interchangeable. Once I met my wife, I was so into her that I never thought about being with other women. It’s not hard for me to be faithful because women have never been my weakness. NO OFFENSE LADIES, but p***y is and will always be easy to come by. My wife is worth more than that.

    • Kaori

      I’m only offended when people view a woman’s vagina as a thing; a separate part of a woman.

      • Mike

        Then, I am glad that you aren’t offended.

  • May Rain

    If everyone was honest (like they’re supposed to be), the ones that cheat wouldn’t be in relationships. Why get in one to begin with if you know it’s going to be some sort of physical or emotional battle for you? We should just cast them off as one of the undesirables and keep it movin! Men never change, hence why they should be branded as such.

    • Mike

      Men change when they are ready to. When I was young, I had a few girls that I would deal with whenever I had some free time. I was planning on being a bachelor for life. Then, I met my wife and all that other stuff is history.

    • Miss Anonymous

      I agree thats my point, Why go through all the lies and hardships when you want to date multiple people? Just say “I want to be with you and other women/men” and the other person is going to say yay or nay.

      • Cinnamon71

        I agree it does sound simple enough. Unfortunately, that would be too hard to do when a lot of men just want to “hit it and quit it”. If they were open and honest like that, the “variety” they crave would probably drop exponentially.

      • Nope

        A lot of men do say this, but a lot of times women only hear what they want to here.

        • Pivyque

          That is true, but I will say they only remember what they want to remember. A friend of mine was dating a guy that said they were just casually dating and not exclusive. She somehow forgot about that when they started having sex. So, when we saw him out with someone else, she was calling him all sorts of names. I was like…I thought you two weren’t exclusive. Lol Her reasoning was that if they had sex, that automatically made them exclusive. No ma’am.

        • UmmYeahOK

          I have to disagree. Most men will not be that upfront and those who are usually don’t say it in no uncertain terms. Women will twist “I’m not looking for a relationship” into “I’m not looking for a relationship at this very moment, but there’s hope”, when in reality, the guy means “I will never want a relationship with YOU and I WILL be seeing/sexing as many other women until you get tired of it and leave me alone.” Men need to be brutally honest because there ARE women who are down with whatever. Men won’t be that honest because brutal honesty won’t get you the @ss all the time, so they lie instead.

        • Kath

          True. Off topic: Same can be said about a man who’s in the ‘friend zone’ and you give every indication that he will never get that chance but he deciphers everything else, except the fact that he’ll never get that chance with YOU. Many people seem to have selective intuition.

  • Herm Cain

    All men cheat ladies the sooner you accept it and deal with it the better off you’ll be me personally I cheat respectfully lol let my lady tell it I’ve never stepped out and that’s how it should be a man is faithful as his options the idea of marital bliss is not something we fantasize about and for life is too long I don’t want the same food everyday I’m not wearing the same clothes everyday I don’t want the same p***y everyday

    • Complex

      Speak for yourself. You are not every man and trust that your women is doing it to . The vanity of men s amazing

      • Herm Cain

        If he can get her he can have her my priorities are god family finances I’ve never made women a priority ever

        • Just saying!!

          So your problems are much deeper than I thought lol

        • afroveda

          I don’t understand how you can say God is a priority but being faithful to your wife (who you made a vow to before God) isn’t.

    • Mike

      New p***y ain’t better than loyal p****y. My wife holds it down and puts it down. We’ve been together for 9 years and I still can’t get enough of how she feels.

      • Herm Cain

        If it works for you brother best of luck for me a lifetime with one woman is misery and while loyal p***y is the best that s**t gets old to

        • DivaD

          Yesss Stupid men like you are always thinking in the present. When you are 65 with wrinkly balls no one will sleep with you…you will wish you regret not having someone to share all those precious moments with. Sex is physical but true love and loyalty is so much better

          • Cogito

            Do you really believe that in these times of abolute moral collapse and chicks dishing it out on the first date? The sentiment is nice, but the reality is that in these contemporary times, there is no scarcity of available women for any man, be he young or old. Desperate, lonely women, willing to compromise are abundant in supply; It’s the ugly reality of our times.

          • Sunshinegirl

            I concur. The wrinkly balls was just too much! I’m lmao-ing literally!!

          • Me

            DEAD at wrinkly balls

        • Pivyque

          Dang! Misery? lol Just find a lady that wants an open relationship. That way, you won’t have to creep. There are a lot of women that would be happy with that arrangement.

        • http://www.facebook.com/hawa.bond Hawa JerseyShore Bond

          Why lie to get what you want? There are plenty of women open to having an open relationship. For me, the issue of cheating was never about sex. It’s about the lying and betrayal involved with misleading somebody you (claim to ) love ON PURPOSE. I have a problem with men who can’t be honest…

          • Miss Anonymous

            ^this right here. +1

        • ………..

          OH please and being with the same man doesn’t????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Pivyque

            Not for me…

        • Pivyque

          That’s why you have to have good communication. You guys can mix it up if it starts to feel old.

        • Mike

          Thanks man. Misery is a strong word lol I get where you are coming from. A few of my friends have that mentality, but i’m a strong believer in karma and I wouldn’t want her messing around on me.

      • Kaori

        And then, on the other hand, you refer to women as p*ssy.

        • Pivyque

          So, the statement he made about being a faithful husband is overlooked by the fact that he referred to women as p***y? He seems to be crazy about his wife, so I guess it doesn’t matter to him how he refers to other women. Maybe he doesn’t have that level of respect for women in general as he does for his wife. It’s sad if that’s the case but it’s not uncommon.

          • Kaori

            Him referring to women as ‘p*ssy’ is more relevant to me than whether or not her is faithful to his wife.

            • Pivyque

              Very true. However, him being faithful to his wife is more relevant to this article and to the discussion, but I get what you are saying.

        • Mike

          Maybe you are offended. Allow me to explain, I am not referring to women as p***y. I am referring to vagina as p***y. I understand that a vagina is not a separate thing from a woman. However, when that is all a man wants from a woman, that is what is focused on. I am assuming that Herm Cain only wants vagina, also known as p***y, from these women because he is already in an actual relationship with his lady. I hope this has cleared what ever issue you have with my statements. If not, oh well.

      • Kaori

        And then, on the other hand, you refer to women as p*ssy.

    • Kath

      Lol.. you’re such a wanna be. You’re no adult little boy, get back to class already!

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