Straight From His Mouth: Can Unfaithful Men Genuinely Love Their Wife And Family?

September 9, 2013  |  

Q: Is it possible to love your spouse and family, but still constantly need an outside sexual outlet?

A question as old as time, do unfaithful men really love their spouses and family? As usual, it depends, but in most cases, I would say yes. Some would argue that if a man truly loves his wife, then it would be impossible for him to cheat. For a number of reasons, I disagree.

I think we can all agree that cheating, if caught, causes pain to the person you love. However, no one can honestly sit here today and claim they have never hurt someone they loved or that loved them. We hurt people we love all the time—through lying, cheating, or merely failing to live up to their expectations of us. To say you have never hurt someone you love, purposefully or accidently, is disingenuous. The difference between cheating and many other categories that might cause pain for our loved ones is that cheating is one of the few well within our control. Let me state this plainly, in 99.8% of cases, cheating is a conscious choice.

So, how can a man knowingly commit an act he knows will hurt the woman he claims to love?

That’s easy: he is selfish or lacks respect for the relationship. Many have argued on this very site and abroad whether monogamy is natural. I don’t know why this is such a frequent debate. Whether monogamy is natural or not is completely irrelevant. When you agree to be in a committed relationship, you are agreeing to be committed, in a relationship. It is not rocket science. There is nothing to be confused about or debate.

When agreeing to be in a committed relationship, you are saying that regardless of your views on monogamy or commitment, you agree to be faithful to this person. That is, quite literally by definition, what commitment means.

I know many men waiting to “settle down” because they are waiting until that fateful day when they are no longer attracted to more than one woman. When these type of men ask me for advice, I tell them that they will be waiting exactly one day past forever if that is the miracle they need to witness before they settle down with one woman.

To be clear, some men have no problem being faithful to women. Further, not all men will be unfaithful. However, I advise men who are likely to be unfaithful – and they usually know who they are if they are honest with themselves – not to settle down until they can resist their lesser impulses and poor-decision making. For most men, the opportunity to be unfaithful is not a question of if, it is a question of when?

Regardless of age or maturity, if you are a man who cannot resist sleeping with a woman every time the opportunity presents itself, regardless of your relationship status, then you have no business being in a relationship. This, however, is easier said than done.

Contrary to popular belief, men are not much different than women when it comes to commitment. Sure, statistically speaking, men take longer to settle down, but most men will commit to one woman within their lifetime, usually by marriage. Like women, most men do not want to die alone or never find true, meaningful love. Any man who says otherwise is either lying, jaded, or has likely never experienced or witnessed a truly happy relationship (Editor’s Note: This is separate from men’s views on marriage and divorce. For the context of today’s post, I am addressing men’s desire to eventually be with one woman, committed or legally married.)

While we can all agree that cheating is wrong, this is independent of the fact that a man can still love the woman he is cheating on. In fact, it is highly un-likely that he loves the other woman (or man, no judgment) he is cheating with. Unlike many women, many men view their sexual connections as separate from their emotional ones (again, a separate discussion/issue from today’s post). Instead, these types of men are failing to respect their relationship and their family, likely because they are too immature, too selfish or in very, very, very rare cases, addicted to cheating.

Given all that I’ve covered here today, I do believe that a man can love his wife and family but still be unfaithful. To me, loving someone and respecting the constraints of a committed relationship are related, but they are not dependent. Am I excusing cheating? No, please do not make that assumption, because that will only show me you lack reading comprehension. Let me state this plainly and forthright: cheating is wrong. Everyone knows that. But, do I believe a man can inflict heartache – in this instance, through cheating – while still loving his spouse and family?

Yes. Nevertheless, should you stay with an unfaithful man just because he still loves you? Well, that is a question you have to answer for yourself.

Do you believe a man can truly love his wife and family while being unfaithful? Can the promise of love without the promise of commitment ever be enough to sustain a meaningful relationship?

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. WIM is not a model, a model citizen, or a role model. See more of WIM on his weekly write-ups for SBM, on Twitter @WisdomIsMisery, and Instagram: WisdomIsMisery.

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