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Why do men engage in extramarital affairs? Love? Pure escapade?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Marriage problems, Three is a crowd<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (21 January 2008) 16 Answers - (Newest, 2 April 2008)
A female United States age , anonymous writes:

Is a man who engages in an extramarital affair usually in "love" with the person with whom he is having the affair, or does he "just want to have an affair", meaning there is no emotions or love at all?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 April 2008):

I am in love with a married man and he is in love with me, but we were in love, but just not together before he married. All that happened was that we were not able to fall out of love and that love has grown and matured over 30 or so years. The difference here is that I have never asked my lover to betray his wife, and he never has. I recognise that he loves her too, and that betraying their marriage would hurt him. Because I love him, I would not want to see him hurt, and neither would I be able to live with myself if I knew I had been the instrument of someone else's pain. Does this make my life difficult? Damn right it does, because there is nobody I want to be with more than him. It also makes his life difficult because although he loves me, he can't commit to me, and however much he wants to, he does not want to hurt his wife. You might say he is stringing me along, but for what? Men usually string the other woman along for sex. We are not involved in a sexual relationship, we don't "date", we only see one another occasionally. I take nothing from him or from their marriage because I do not have any right, even though I was there first. It was very difficult to get my head around for a long time, and it is the hardest thing in all the world to put your own emotional and physical needs on a back burner for someone else's benefit, but that is what true love is all about. It may be that one day our opportunity to be together will come and I pray that it does. If I am lucky enough for that to happen (and I must have faith that it will) then I will have the joy of my lover's companionship free of guilt or recriminations. This matters because you can't build your happiness on someone else's pain. If a man is willing to betray his wife, he will also be willing to betray his lover, and there is no comfort in having a man under those circumstances. That at least is my take on the Extra Marital thing from my own personal experience. I hope all others who read this site find the answers to their dilemmas.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (28 February 2008):

Simply put, many married men engage in affairs because they want, to put it bluntly, some "strange" pussy. That can be very exciting. A very simple fact of life. Nothing complicated about it at all. However, beyond that point, it can lead to certain complications such as emotional involvement, an unplanned pregnancy, STD's, etc.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 February 2008):

As someone who has had a couple of affairs with disastrous consequences, due to full disclosure, I just wanted to applaud Babyduck's words.

In my case a progressive diminuition of my married sex life over a decade, despite repeated heart-to-hearts with my wife about this, resulted in my seeking sex elsewhere. It's also unfortunate that I've always been very highly sexed - I've frequently thought how much easier my married life would have been if it weren't for that.

In the classic cake and eat it scenario I love my wife and I would never leave her because of our children who are my world. Yet I recognise that I've jeopardised their environment by straying. As much as I've hurt my wife by my actions, it's the thought of potentially giving my kids a broken home that's really put me on the rack. My wife knows this and every now and again mentions it to remind me of my obligations. It's bitter pill to swallow, but I created the situation.

The problem, in my experience, is that many women simply seem to discount the importance of sex to men. It's called a drive for a reason! A full relationship to me means engagement at every level. The marriage vow 'with my body, I thee worship' should not be overlooked. My wife has always said I'm an exceptional husband and father, which is why the revelation of my affairs was so hard for her, and I've tried never to adopt the easy get-out line 'but you drove me to it', but to me, a contented person does not stray. If you've articulated dissatisfaction with your partner, to your partner, it needs to be addressed by you both, together.Otherwise there may be consequences.

Anyway, I wouldn't seek to defend the indefensible. Affairs hurt people. I've often thought that if I could simply be allowed to have uncomplicated sex elsewhere with my wife's consent then that would be ideal. But it's a pipe dream. Instead, I've come to accept that as a sexual being I have no future. There are worse things, and it's hard as hell not to pursue gratification, but I continue to strive.

Find your own peace, but a lie is never a healthy place to live in.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (7 February 2008):

I had an affair, my wife was my first and only lover, but curiousity got the best of me, I as many cowardly men do went online and met some women, well I basically started talking to the first one that showed up her age really got me 11 years younger "kinkymom" wow the name....I became so into this ego trip that my wife who I Love with all my being, I started to sneak around to talk to this person, anyway I met her had an affair, she promised all these tricks of sex..I was only curious, but I never felt a thing for this person, she was disgusting, I would go to her apartment and she a single mom of three, would have her kids off somewhere for sex....I felt horrible what I was doing to these kids, I wanted to stop but became so scared, to leave her, she would tell me the thrill of showing up at my house and my wife answering the door, she was a witch, I played the charades of caring for her if I didn't have condoms with me, she would have a fit, saying I didnt care for her,,,it was a true nightmare i got into,,my beautiful wife found out, all I did for 2 nights was cry, I couldnt imagine being without my wife, my kids are teens they would be okay without me,,,but I couldnt believe what I did to my life....So ladies men engage in affairs it is the illusion of sex, when they actuallly get into the affair they wish the person could just drop off the face of the earth, she wasnt even a prettylady...I couldnt believe why I was doing what I was doing. THank God my baby took me back,

P.S.

I am on my wife's account here she loves this site, it is actually helping us out alot...Thanx to you folks...

and your right I do feel like a scumbag! that is actually a good name,,,,should of heard the REAL NAMES SHE CALLED ME.....

You all take care.....and Thanx

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (27 January 2008):

An affair will often start as a sexual relationship only. But from experience it is very easy for the people having the affiar to fall in love with each other.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 January 2008):

I think that pioriaman has gotten it right. The only time that I have watched porn very much is when my wife and I have misunderstood the others actions or words and did not talk about our feelings. It never caused our sex to stop, but the quality and quantity of sex did degrade. When we eventually talked and understood our feelings then the sex was great and the desire for porn stopped, except for occasional extra excitement for both of us.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 January 2008):

Maybe sometimes... people get married and realize that they weren't in love. I think with the cost of everything today and life being the way it is that people cohabit and or get married right away. The sad truth is that people change and communication breaks down or you realize your not in love all that stuff.

People have to be right for each other and with so many problems today and stuff going on we all get these fantasies in our heads about a person we are with, maybe get married have kids and well then its like WAIT! THIS person is controlling, doesn't care about me got lazy whatever.

I think people should definitely try to work on there marriages, sometimes you can't and get a divorce... We all need to try to become better people for ourselves so that we can be better to our lovers, husbands wives, girlfriends boyfriends whatever.

Personally I do not believe in marriage. I do believe that if you are honest and open with each other and someone cheats on you they are a dog or female dog; there are those too. It 's called immaturity, so there is that side too. If you don't see it coming and you give yourself to someone and the dog or bitch cheats on you. Get a divorce and leave them. Sad but true. BE picky about who you hook up with. If you are truly meant to be with someone. Why bother getting married you don't need proof.You can feel it. I know this will piss people off but thats only my opinon. I respect all yours opinions.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 January 2008):

My wife and I really like baby duck's answer, but my wife has some insight into one of her points:

"For women, though, whose needs are usually emotional, I don't understand why an affair is alluring: an affair is the antithesis of emotional intimacy. Obviously, that choice is rooted in their emotions but cannot be substantiated, rationally."

She totally agrees with this statement, however she relates this to the men who she slept with after her divorce 30 years ago. She slept with yet another man because she was always hoping for the love and affection that she seldom got with the last man or the ones before that. She wanted the affection much more than she wanted the sex. After a while, she finally realized that the men just wanted the sex. Not all, but most.

It is probably the same for women who want to have an affair. They are probably hoping for the love and affection that they aren't getting at home. And, as baby duck and my wife pointed out, probably won't find it.

I think that this is also the reason that some men seek an affair, although I do agree that most seek it for the sex that they are not getting at home.

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A female reader, Laura1318 Malaysia +, writes (23 January 2008):

Laura1318 agony auntOne hand clap , can make no sounds. It needs two hands to clap to make a sound.

Give a fish to a cat,will the cat refused it?

Just as a women comes to a man and lay herself down, do you think the man will just walk away?

Man are the playthings of women ,while women are the devil's.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 January 2008):

My husband had an affair and it was because I did not initiate sex all the time he liked that, but because of lack of communication on his part, he went looking for it online and yes found a skank who obliged to his needs he thinks all men cheat it is normal if only I knew that 90% of men he knew cheated he says..well..it doesnt matter. I forgave him but did not forget, men do it out of boredom, lack of sex, but mostly and this is for women and men who cheat selfishness, lack of communicating with partner/spouse when all is found out what seemed to be a great marriage is all destroyed for a cheap thrill so sad

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 January 2008):

As others have said, there are a virity of reasons why men, and women for that matter, have affairs.

If there is no love and sex in the marriage then it is because the person seeks those things from another person. They are not getting what they need at home and have to look elsewhere. The attraction to the person who they are having the affair with may be purely sexual or both sexual and emotional.

If the marriage is good, one or both partners may still have a desire for an affair. I see 2 main reasons (in my thinking) for this. The first is that they may just be looking for the excitement that comes with a new partner. Perhaps they remember what it was like earlier in their life and want to experience it again. Or perhaps they never experienced it and want to see what someone else is like in bed.

The second reason is that one of the partners has a lack of confidence in his or her sexual relationship with his/her partner and has this need to know that they are capable of satisfying someone else in bed. Perhaps they remember how good they felt with a previous partner or their current partner in the past and have a need to experience this feeling of being wanted again. This does not mean that they are not already wanted, but have this need for a confidence boost. I believe that both of these can happen even if the current relationship is going well, with good and exciting sex and a good relationship.

Although this may seem like suicide, if the relationship is good and one of the partners has one of the last 2 needs that I listed, then they should discuss it with their partner and try to resolve the issue behind the desire. My wife and I have had these kinds of discussions and they have been civil, with no arguing and no hard feelings.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 January 2008):

There are several reasons why a man might engage in extramarital affairs.

Some men, at an inner level, see nothing wrong with it or see it as the norm. Probably their father's and grandfather's were cheaters and their mother's and grandmother's put up with it or just closed their eyes to it. Which not acknowledging something is another way of accepting it. So at a certain level, they see it as acceptable. People learn ALOT about relationships from the interactions that they witnessed between their parents. In this case, they probably are looking for pure escapades.

On the other hand, some men have extra marital affairs because they are very unhappy in their marriage, but perhaps because of lack of communication, they are still with their wives. But since they don't love their wives, they look for outlets with other women. Or rather than "look for" they are intead just more accepting of advances from other women. In this case, they probably are looking for love. And in this case, divorce is more eminent because these types of men are not comfortable with the whole cheating arrangement and the affair only happened because they were so vulnerable and lonely and unhappy and not because they are seasoned cheaters.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (21 January 2008):

Why do men have affairs? Hmm, many reasons! It's usual to see it as a bad or unnatural thing (and, of course, it's painful for the other partner!)blaming the male ego, but in some ways it's quite natural. Some reasons for infidelity are I suspect purely biological or evolutionary - men are programmed to want to impregnate thousands of women! That isn't acceptable within a monogamous relationship, obviously, but that doesn't mean the drive disappears (simply gets channeled into the permitted sexual relationship, or expressed via pornography, fantasising etc). Opportunity is also a factor - being in a work environment where a man is surrounded by attractive women is risky. Hand on heart, I suspect many men (if they're being honest) would welcome the opportunity to sleep with many women if they were given permission to - and not have any emotional problem with this! Men don't always connect sex with love the way many women do - and can quite happily love their wives whilst seeing another woman. Other reasons might include boredom, loss of 'spark' in the relationship, feeling unappreciated, feeling trapped in a role, mid-life crisis, wanting to recapture the sexual thrill of a new relationship. Sometimes the extramarital relationship is less stressful, more exciting, and the man may love his mistress and feel more able to express himself. The irony is that the mistress often ultimately wants to become the wife, whilst the wife wants to be treated and indulged like the mistress!

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A male reader, eddie Canada +, writes (21 January 2008):

eddie agony auntPeople cheat because they are missing something in their relationship at home. I think men are more capable of casual sex than women, generally speaking, although happy men wouldn't usually cheat. When the spark of a marriage starts to die and things become routine, people are capable of anything. Hunters pick up on the signs of a bored person and move in. That is why I always recommend keeping things lively at home. IF you don't offer it at home, someone else will.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (21 January 2008):

Yeah, like its only men who cheat.

Stop being so damn sexist cause I could put women into those same three catagories.

If a man cheats, it is because he is selfish or and unhappy coward.

No good man will cheat, ever. He will be tempted, for sure, but he won't go through woth it.

So don't give up on us yet... we can surprise you when you least expect it.

Flynn 24

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A female reader, Laura1318 Malaysia +, writes (21 January 2008):

Laura1318 agony auntSome fall in love because they cannot get it from their marriage.

Some think they are in love but in actual fact it is their lust.

Some do not have any emotions or love but just opportunistic.

I think those are the three categories of men.

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