“But all men cheat”—a phrase I’ve heard so many times from women, in all age brackets, that I now feel compelled to write about it.
A phrase created by women for women.
Created to achieve this one goal: to justify their own personal reason for staying in a relationship with a cheating spouse/husband/boyfriend. Reasons that include, but are not limited to:
- Fear of loneliness
- Fear of the kids being affected in various ways
- Fear of what people and society will think
- Fear of being blamed for his cheating
- Fear of not being able to maintain or continue a certain socioeconomic status
- Fear of physical or verbal abuse by the cheating partner
- Fear of not finding anyone else to be with
- Fear, fear, fear…and more fear.
This moment you’re reading this blog now is the only moment you are promised. Tomorrow may never come. Is life really worth putting on hold and living in fear from day to day? Especially from the actions of someone else?
Perhaps the topic of this blog should have been “Fear, Sadness, Insecurity, Guilt, and Regret in Women.”
I really wonder, right? That may have been a more meaningful and truer topic for this discussion. Because it’s obvious the root of that statement—“But all men cheat”—stems from those five emotions that run rampant in many women’s souls.
A mash-up of emotions that leave us stagnant and rob us of our freedom to be totally fulfilled in life.
So, do they really all cheat?
Do ALL men really cheat on their wives, fiancées, and girlfriends?
ALL of them? What happened to the phrase “Never say never”? Is there an identical phrase for “All is not all”?
Let’s tackle some statistics:
Why do men cheat?
What percentage of men cheat?
Is cheating more prevalent in a particular ethnicity?
Is cheating more prevalent in a certain socioeconomic status?
Is there any correlation with a history of the father or grandfather cheating?
Cheating Spouse Statistics
- The percentage of affairs that begin at work: 60%.
- Up to 60% of all spouses will take part in some form of infidelity at least once during their marriage.
- 56% of men who have affairs claim to be happy in their marriages.
- Women and men cheat at the same rate within a marriage, although the reasons why women cheat are very different from the reasons that men cheat.
- The most common reason why a woman cheats on her spouse: emotional satisfaction. This is also the top reason why men cheat too–lack of emotional satisfaction. They felt “the other person was really there for them.” Close behind this was—“she was just too hot to resist.”
- Research consistently shows that 2–3% of all children are the product of infidelity.
- Infidelity is becoming more common among people under 30.
Cheating and Money & Technology
Men with money are clearly comfortable with deceit. Those earning over US $300,000 per annum, 32% are cheaters, with only 21% of men earning less than $35,000 per year being unfaithful.
Modern technology has perpetuated the art of infidelity, with the mobile phone being the preferred method of facilitating the deception, and interestingly, 33% of men remove their wedding rings when they go out in their wives absence.
Cheating and Genetics
Can cheating be passed down through generations? Yes!
The likelihood of a person cheating on his or her spouse is influenced by their genes, says a study in the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, October 2014.
The effect is stronger for men than for woman, according to the study.
Dr. Brendan Zietsch, research fellow at Queensland University’s school of psychology, who led the study, told the Telegraph: “Our research clearly shows that people’s genetic make-up influences how likely they are to have sex with someone outside their main partnership.”
Cheating and Ethnicity
Lots of statistics here compare ethnicity/age/gender/religious service attendance.
Conclusion: Studies show the highest rates of cheating occur in black men and Iberian men (men of Spanish and Portuguese descent).
But Celebrity Men Cheat Too!
And then there’s the celebrity justification excuse, which some women like to use. “Even [fill in the gap] cheated on his wife, and they are still together. It’s no big deal. They all do it.”
Does All of This Make It Acceptable?
Before we proceed, let me address this, as I know it will come up as a question.
Certainly, if you have both agreed on an “open relationship” and feel comfortable with being with other people, then that’s an entirely different topic. I personally do not believe in such arrangements, but I respect others’ decisions.
However, this is not the topic of discussion today.
Cheating on a partner is simply defined as this: breaking boundaries and expectations in a union.
“If it feels like cheating, infidelity, or adultery to you, then it is. Infidelity and cheating are a betrayal of the expectations you have of your partner. If you and your spouse have talked about this subject and you have openly expressed to him/her that you are uncomfortable with flirting, he/she should respect your feelings on the matter” (mydomaine.com).
This is a wonderful article that lays out what cheating means on a wide spectrum.
Cheating does not only mean having sexual intercourse with someone else. It could be flirtatious texts, phone sex, etc. Emotional infidelity is just as common as physical infidelity and could even be more harmful to a relationship. This is because studies have shown men will cheat because of feelings of emotional inadequacy in a relationship, rather than cheat because of lack of sex.
And then there are those who have been diagnosed with sexual addiction. I have my thoughts about this, but this is also a topic for another day!
So, women, not all men cheat. The studies have revealed that truth.
Steps to Take When You've Been Cheated On
If you have been betrayed by a partner, there are many ways to handle it.
- Seek counseling as a couple and individually.
- Discuss the issue openly with your partner.
- Express your feelings authentically. Let him know you’ve been hurt by the betrayal.
- You can choose to forgive and save your union.
- Don’t lose all hope. Some marriages have turned out to be even stronger after affairs and infidelity. Yours may turn out to be one of those.
- Never, ever blame yourself for his cheating.
- Never retaliate by cheating back.
If you decide to stay, you must be willing and ready to fully trust again. Snooping on his phone and watching every little move he makes won’t work. If you can’t trust him again, then you probably need to move on to a new life.
If you have tried counseling, and all the above, and your partner continues to cheat, then the ball is in your court. If you’re overwhelmed with continuing sadness, insecurity, and guilt because of a cheating partner, then the ball is in your court.
The power to make choices for yourself lies within you and not within your partner. Remember, as this quote states, “A mistake repeated is no longer a mistake. It’s a decision” (author unknown). If you decide to put up with a decision made by someone else to keep hurting you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually (and sometimes even physically—a percentage of men cheaters also physically abuse their partners), then you must be ready to live the consequences.
Please note: if you are being physically or sexually abused, you must seek help. Call the National Domestic Hotline: 1-800-799-7233.
The consequences of being in a cheating/abusive relationship: feeling like you’re trapped; inability to evolve into the full expression of who you are; inability to experience true happiness and joy; inability to fulfill your God-given purpose; physical illness; and to top it all, setting a negative example for the little girls coming behind you—telling them it is OK to be continuously hurt by a man and eventually losing the essence of who they are.
As this quote states, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 96% how I react to it” (Scipio Africanus).
Life is full of choices, and the power to make those choices lies within us.
So back to “But they all cheat.”
No, they do not all cheat. That statement is borne out of fear, sadness, insecurity, regret, and guilt. As studies have shown above, the majority of men who’ve cheated have stated they were happy in their marriages.
What does that tell us?
It means there’s a deep-rooted problem in men who cheat habitually. There’s a fear, insecurity, or inadequacy somewhere in their souls. The cheating is just a symptom of those mashed-up emotions.
So, women, it’s not about you. It’s not because you’re not pretty enough, not thin enough. It’s not because your boobs are sagging—there’s no breast augmentation that can prevent your guy from cheating. It’s not because you’re not wild enough in bed…
It’s not about you!
The problem is deep rooted—it’s a fear of some sort.
So if you then react to this with your own built-up fears of loneliness, insecurity, regret, guilt, then fear meets fear, and this leads to messy relationships.
Fear meets fear = disaster.
Women, may I ask that we refrain from the phrase “But they all cheat”?
It’s an untrue statement.
It facilitates cheating and justification of cheating in men.
If we continue to say that phrase as women, some men will continue to feel we’ve accepted it.
And above all, it is confusing the younger generation of women and teaching them to value themselves less and to condone the act of cheating from their partners.
Yes, I know—women cheat too. You’re right! I’m saying this to the men reading this saying, “But you women cheat too!”
That’s very true, but today’s writing is about men cheating. And absolutely, all the above applies to women too. No gender is exempt.
As we all know, cheating is a hot and complicated topic. I hope you found my perspective intriguing. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Until next time,
Much love and permanent happiness to you,