Today infidelity is the leading cause of divorce in most advanced societies. Some people may argue that infidelity is just a symptom of deeper problems which are actually responsible for unraveling a marriage. But whether couples separate or not, few dispute that infidelity is a rising and destabilizing trend in contemporary society. In fact statistics provided by Atwood & Schwartz in the 2002 Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy reveal that that 45-55% of married women and 50-60% of married men in United States engaged in extramarital sex at some time or another during their relationship. This means that more than half of married men are cheating on their wives.
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Married men signal their availability most often by lying about their
marital status and modern technology has made only made this easier.
The popularity of internet dating sites and online chat rooms is proof
of the vast number of men and women looking for partners in the virtual
world. Here the anonymity and ease of accessibility makes it convenient
for people to lie about themselves and in case of men, about the fact
that they are already married. According to a recent study conducted
jointly by researchers for the University of Chicago and MIT, while
women on dating sites lied mostly about heights, weights, and ages, the
number one lie that men told was about their marital status followed by
their jobs and educational qualification.
This is evident not only from the popularity of casual affair sites
but also from statistics provided by internet dating sites. The Online
Dating Newsletter for instance reports that as many as 30% of married
men disguise themselves as single guys and use online dating services
meant for their single counterparts.
However this is not to say that in real life men seldom lie about
their marital status. A woman may come across a smart, charming guy in a
coffee shop almost every day and notice that he does not have a wedding
band. It is only a matter of time before they start chatting and then a
couple of weeks later even begin dating each other. But all the while
she may be unaware that this attractive and interesting man actually has
a wife and kids tucked away in his suburban home. Psychologists say
that men lie to avoid a crisis. This probably means that married men lie
so that they can get to keep their extra-marital partners and continue
with their marriage at the same time. But why carry on this double life?
Here are some common reasons why married men date other women by lying
about their marital status.
Very often extra-marital affairs are perceived to be about great sex
and mistresses who are femme fatales. According to family counselor,
rabbi and best-selling author Gary Neuman, it is rarely about sex. In a
two-year study of 100 men who had sexual affairs and 100 men who were
faithful, Neuman found that only 8 percent of cheaters said that sexual
dissatisfaction was the main cause of their infidelity and only 12
percent said the mistress was better looking or in better shape than
their wives. On the other hand an overwhelming 48 percent said that they
cheated because they felt emotionally disconnected from their wives.
The number one reason causing this emotional disconnection is
under-appreciation, according to Neuman who has compiled the findings of
his two-year study in the book, The Truth About Cheating: Why Men Stray
and What You Can Do To Prevent It. When men feel that they are not
being valued in their marriage, they begin to seek the validation from
another relationship. This happens primarily because men are more
insecure as compared to women in a committed relationship like marriage.
It is as if they like to stay in the game as long as they are getting
to win and making a difference. As soon as they find that their gestures
are no longer appreciated or in other words, they are not winning, they
want to exit the game and look for another game to win. In all
probability, these men are doing things that make it difficult for their
wives to appreciate them but the very fact they are feeling undervalued
in their primary relationship will make them seek appreciation from
lovers and mistresses.
Many men cheat because miss the excitement of the early days of their
marriage and want to be experience the intensity of attraction again.
These men are not able to mature in a marriage and feel that a
successful relationship is one which always exists in a state of
heightened emotions or frenzied passions. Rather than explore the
reasons why their marriage does not satisfy them and address those
problems if any, they figure it is easier to find someone else to stand
in for their partners. Interestingly these men get tired of their lovers
soon enough and then move on to newer objects of desire.
Again there are some men who, married or not, are compulsive
cheaters. They will lie about their marital status and cheat just for
the sake of cheating. In his study, Neuman found that 12% of married men
will cheat on their wives, no matter what. For these men it is a game
and one they figure they might as well play as long as they can get away
While there may be as many reasons for cheating as there are married
men, the easiest way to go about this is by lying about their marital
status. In fact when confronted by their wives, the same men will also
lie about their affairs. In his study, Neuman found that a whopping 93%
of married men who cheated will not admit to having an affair when
confronted by their wives. According to psychologist Bella M. DePaulo of
the University of Virginia, men usually lie either to build themselves
up like claiming to have topped his class in college or to conceal
something, like the fact they are married when they are dating other
women. Lies of the second type are unfair to all three parties involved
and destructive not only of the primary relationship but ultimately also
of the relationship that the same lies are seeking to build.