Noel Biderman, the founder of AshleyMadison.com – a site for married people seeking affairs – put a book out in 2014 called “First Bump.” The premise behind the book? Most men begin to cheat during or right after their wives’ pregnancies. There isn’t any hard data on how common infidelity during pregnancy is, but the man who created a business catering to philanderers probably knows a thing or two about its frequency. Celebrities have also given us some indication of how common it is for a man to wander outside the marriage when his partner is expecting.
What is it about pregnancy that drives men to cheat? Here are two interesting facts that don’t quite add up: one study found that, on average, men who cheat do so around year 11 of marriage. However, research also finds that, on average, couples wait three years after getting married to have kids. That three-year mark of making a baby doesn’t quite contend with that 11-year mark when men get the itch to cheat. So why the rise in infidelity during that very specific time of expecting a little one? What makes men break the norm of cheating behaviors, and stray, right then? To get some insight, we spoke with Shadeen Francis, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and sex and relationship therapist. Francis is a founding expert on Doyoumined.com, a self-help platform where users can find emotional wellness coaching, on-demand. Here’s what she shared about why men cheat on their pregnant wives.