What Makes a Man Cheat on His Wife?

Chai Steeves
3 min readApr 23

It’s not the sex… sex is, in fact, not even very high on their lists

Maybe it’s the age I am, or perhaps it’s a reflection on the people I spend time with, but a lot of guys have confided in me lately about having cheated on their partners or a desire to cheat on them. So what the Hell is up with that?

It started about a month ago; an old buddy told me that he was getting increasingly tempted by advances made upon him by younger women. This friend is not what I would call a sexual guy; in fact, he’s confided to me in the past that he thinks he may be quasi-asexual. When I asked him why he was so tempted, he really couldn’t describe why, aside from saying that he’s more or less decided that, at some point, he will succumb to one of the many opportunities that come his way.

Why? It sure isn’t the sex. He even said he wants to have sex with someone else, even though, in all honesty, he doesn’t like sex all that much. What is it, then? It’s the desire to be desired. He’s a guy — like many of us — who grew up having a hard time attracting girls. He was a kind of dorky brainiac kid and, as a result, was in his 20s when he had his first girlfriend. We came into his own in his 20s, had a ‘normal’ number of girlfriends, and married a wonderful sexy woman. But he’s never forgotten when women wouldn’t give him a second look.

Now, decades later, he is a very good-looking and very successful guy. His quirkiness has become charming, as opposed to alienating, and women are all over him. I’ve seen it when we go out. He flirts well, and women — especially younger women — respond well.

If he cheats — and I think he will — it will be one hundred percent because he lusts for the attention these young women give him. I suspect the sex will be highly anti-climatic for him, but it’s the ultimate confirmation of their desire for him that will push him over the edge. It’s not the sex; it’s the ability to get the sex.

And I must admit — I get it. As men, aging brings a different perspective. The things we thought were important — material and professional success — dim. Instead, we learn that attachment, love, and relationships are what matter most. For some, we lean into our friends and family. For others, perversely, this makes them think about the relationships they didn’t get to have and further attractions that are within range for them. So, when a pretty young thing shows an interest, it feels good. The guy feels vital in being able to attract someone new, and he feels challenged to act on it. And, just like that, he’s cheated. As I said, I wouldn’t say I like it, but I get it.

As Oscar Wilde said — everything is about sex, except for sex. Sex is about power.

Chai Steeves

eclectic guy - likes sexuality, politics, business, relationships, celebrity trivia...