By: J. Marlando


When a husband or wife discovers that their spouse is cheating on them. There are few situations in marriage that are as painful. First of all, the one cheated feels betrayed, rejected and victimized. After all the intimacies of marriage are based on trust ever as much as they are based on passion. In fact, “trust” is an all-encompassing factor of marriage both inside and outside the bedroom. Nothing betrays that trust more than discovering that one’s mate is intimately involved with another person; the stomach knots, the tears flow and, if you will, the heart breaks. Indeed, very few marriages recover from the hurt that accompanies unfaithfulness in a committed relationship. Even in those cases where the infidelity is forgiven, it is never forgotten and the hurt remains in memory…forever. Few marriages even survive after marital infidelity has been discovered and, as far as those that do survive, the relationship is never to be the same as it once was.

There are exceptions of course but a great many married people who cheat do not do so because they no longer want to be with their spouses or because their spouses are no longer attractive to them. There are other deeply rooted causes that sometimes not even the “cheater” understands. This article sets out to give married folks insight into those reasons so that the reasons for a lot of adultery can simply be avoided.


When it comes to cheating in marriage a lot of married people do or have. These days women are nearly as apt to have extra marital affairs as men are. One statistic offers that up to 3% of children are products of infidelity. Another statistic reveals that between 30% and 55% of all married couples have (or will) cheat sometime during their married life. There is the obvious reason for this. It isn’t in our human nature to be monogamous. Monogamy is a cultural dictate for many practical reasons and an immorality by most standards. However, it also isn’t in our human nature to be promiscuous —unlike most other animals on the planet we have a choice in our mating and nesting conduct and anyway traditional marriage in and of itself is a pledging of oneself to another.

A most common reason most people think that marital affairs occur is because of boredom at home. There is some truth to this but, mostly, boredom is a mere symptom of other problems in the marriage. For example, we take our serious money problems to bed with us and since stress of any kind diminishes the sexual drive for a majority of couples it is simply difficult to be romantically free in the dark when the light is filled with all kinds enslaving anxieties. As a result sexual infidelity can evolve as an escape from the problems and not from one’s mate…directly.

However, in a great deal of marriages that are deeply in debt and have other extreme pressures to cope with, it is not unusual for married couples to start looking at each other as being the problems themselves. That is, an entanglement of thoughts unfolds for couples such as if it weren’t for Jack (or Jill) I wouldn’t be in this mess…if I wasn’t married I’d be free and unencumbered.

While the truth in most stressful situations is that both husband and wife have participated in causing the problems, the tendency is to blame the other for the problems and mirror the self as victim of the unhappy circumstances. As a result, the problems at home serve as the excuse for having a (romantic) relationship with someone else. The extramarital relation then becomes a flight away from the mate who represents the difficult challenges into the arms of a stranger who at least for a little while, makes the problems go away. We will be talking a lot more about this particular situation later but for now all that is vital to grasp is that it is the circumstances with the mate that is the root cause of the infidelity and seldom has anything directly to do with the mate who nevertheless has been made to feel unattractive and unwanted.

This is important for anyone to know that has discovered that their husband or wife has been cheating on them. This is especially true because of the agony and despair that clouds the psyche and emotions of the cheated spouse who has virtually been abandoned.

There are ways to avoid this situation.

1. Consciously avoid blaming your mate for problems in the home even if your mate is a primary cause of those problems. Blaming only escalates the troubles and causes distances between couples to widen. It is as *Kinder and Cowan tells us:

The truth is, it’s a whole lot easier to blame

Somebody else for something that’s not quite

right than it is to look inside and realize that

we are the only ones who ultimately can change

our experiences.

*Doctors Kinder and Cowan* Husbands and Wives*Signet

2.   Make it your devotion to support your mate in times of stress and challenges. Refuse to retreat into yourself to wallow in your fear but instead share your thoughts.  After all, your mate is enduring the same circumstances in his or her way so let him or her know that you are an ALLY.

3.    Never…never personalize your problematic challenges: LEARN TO FIGHT YOUR PROBLEMS and NOT EACH OTHER.


Many husbands cheat because of male egocentricity. It is part of the male mating process to exaggerate their value to a love interest. That is, they present their value as potential mates based on their stories of experiences, thoughts, feelings and ambitions as triumphs. The hills they have climbed become mountains, the knowledge they have becomes omnipotent and their abilities far reaching. Invariably once   

a woman marries her husband’s faults and frailties are revealed and his mythology is exposed; his shortcomings sooner or later become apparent. This is why women who have married the myth instead of the man will often feel that she’s married to a stranger—her husband simply does not live up to the image that he presented. In general, after marriage his abilities fall short and his ambitions typically wane. He is discovered to being ever as vulnerable and helpless in some situations as she is; ever as human as she is. Metaphorically, she cries out but I thought you were a bridge builder and you’re as stuck on the bank as I am. And so husband tends to feel inadequate; his persona has been seen through and his true self exposed. He can no longer make claim to his superior maleness because he has been denuded by the experiences of his marriage.

When this occurs after marriage, and it always does to one extent or another, husband feels that he has lost his most essential necessity: Respect! A man has an unconscious need to be respected by his wife else he is apt to surrender his will to hers; he becomes, in effect, passive and even subservient or simply runs from the relationship either through actual breakup or by cheating.

In this case, he cheats to regain his manhood; to feel whole and capable in his self again. After all, he can present himself ever as heroic as he wishes to a lady who knows nothing about him except…for what he tells her. And, when he is in the “wooing stance” and once again representing the hills he’s climbed as mountains, being the all-knowing and all capable male, his lady friend never tires of telling him how wonderful he is giving him the respect that he yearns for. He is, however, much like *Jung’s “Social strong man.”

                                    In his private life he is often a mere child where

                                    his own states of feelings are concerned his

                                    discipline in public (which he demands quite

                                    particularly of others) goes miserable to pieces

                                    in private. His “happiness in his work” assumes

                                    a woeful countenance at home; his “spotless”

                                    public morality looks strange indeed behind the



*Carl Jung* Translated by R.E.C, Hull*Aspects of the Masculine and Aspects of the Feminine*MJF Books.

What he fails to recognize at least in most instances is that at home he is often disrespectable. That is he whines about his difficulties, can’t get ahead at work because his employer is so condescending to him and he always has an excuse for failure. His wife becomes frustrated and fearful because, it is her basic nature to want a man (a husband) that she can lean on. She begins to feel as if she must take the lead, run the show so to speak. As a result, the relationship becomes estranged which only supplies the husband with more justification for his actions.

There are ways to avoid this problem.

 1    When husband cannot or does not live up to your expectations never respond by name calling or by belittling. This will only serve to defeat him all the more. We are all imperfect after all and, truth be told, you are probably not all you pretended to be during the dating process either. The key to helping as opposed to harming your relationship is encouragement. A man like thisis too aware of his own faults and failures matter how self-assured he pretends to be. And so, while it may appear that he is an egotist, the truth may be that he is in desperate need of ego-boosting; merely showing faith in him may be enough to stir positive change in his actions. Let him know that you need him give him the kind of respect that he CAN live up to. The chances are that he needs an ally and not a judge.

2   Refrain from pointing out his faults and point out his virtues; the more that he hears positive things about himself, the more positive he’ll become.

3    Let him know that you know all about him and love him anyway.


Most women cheat for reasons quite different than men. First of all, in most situation sex plays a minute roll in the yearning of a wife who is receptive to the affections of a stranger. Attention and communicating are very often the culprits here. Far too many husbands consider marriage as something to pigeon hole like graduating, opening a business, completing a report. Okay, they say, the wedding is over, we’re married…let’s settle in and get on with the rest of life. This makes the wife feel neglected and uncared for. Many wives in this situation begin to feel more like live-in housekeepers than loving partners especially when the only time their husbands are attentive to them is in bed.

So what happens?

By some accidental meeting she meets an interesting stranger who makes her feel feminine and desired again. He talks to her, compliments her and most importantly he talks to her sharing his thoughts and feelings. With one thing leading to another an extramarital affair unfolds.

There are ways to avoid this problem.

1    Spend time with your wife simply chatting and be empathetic of how she feels and thinks about things when you do. Especially do NOT sit in judgment of what   affects or interests her. First of all, you have no idea what a woman’s reality is and, in a term, it ain’t yours. Secondly, she was raised by different parents and in a different environment than you were; her values are based on different experiences,

 Understand that most women care more about expressing their feeling than men do.     Your interest is primarily how people think about issues and not how they feel. Well, there’s no right or wrong to either of your interests, it is just nature has endowed us as male and female. The ancient Chinese saw all phenomenal manifestations as tensions between the yin and yang (male and female) principles and so balance becomes the goal of marriage as opposed to sameness.

Take your time to let your wife know that you love her for being her.

2.    Compliment your wife and let her know that she is attractive to you. Do not make

her walk in your shadow of your maleness as if her job is to follow—realize that she is far more intuitive than you are and from intuition arrives a certain wisdom that you may not possess and only think that you do. And never forget to show interest in her individual interests. This gives her confidence in her independence as a valuable human being…and makes her happy.

3     The greatest of all secrets of maintaining a cohesive marriage with your wife is perhaps the easiest. Listen to her! Don’t just merely hear her but really listen to what she wants to tell you and to share.


The above reasons for cheating does not claim to give every reason or every solution for the dilemmas but rather to point out some less obvious motives of people who have extramarital affairs. Certainly there are purely sexual attractions that go too far. And there are some males who only feel valuable (and manly) when they have been successful in bedding ladies who respond favorably to him. There are some sad men who need to have sexual intimacies to give them validation for being a self. In this same way, there are women who never stop searching for Mr. Goodbar. That is, they once they win a man’s love, they have the compulsion to “make” another man love them and after him…another. And there are sad women who feel their only value is their sexuality. There are just so many reasons beyond sexual impulses that drive husbands and wives to cheat. Most of them need professional counseling as their drives keep both themselves and their mates from happiness and a contended life. Most married people at least in our culture desire a monogamous life style and a trusting, loving and lasting relationship with the one they’re with.