Why Do Men Cheat on their Wives?


Thanks to Tiger Woods’ online statement, it is now clear that he has indeed been unfaithful to his wife of 5 years, Elin Nordegren. He joins the infamous list of famous men who have cheated on partners that are, by outward standards, quite beautiful  Kobe Bryant, Hugh Grant, Eric Benet (Halle Berry’s former hubby)  with women that are, well, of questionable repute.

Most men seem to think that if they can find a woman who is attractive enough, they will never stray. This is one of the many drivers of the male animal’s search for a very attractive mate, but clearly that idea has some problems.

The fact that famous and successful man after man is willing to burn down his marriage and career for the pleasures of an affair raises a variety of interesting questions about human behavior. Why do they do it, when they seem to have everything at home?

Here are some theories:

1.    A powerful man who has the opportunity is a good candidate to cheat. Their wife’s attractiveness has nothing to do with it.
2.    This just proves that trying to find the most attractive mate is a silly exercise. Once the marriage gets going, how attractive the people are has no bearing on how happy, sad, honest or faithful they will be.
3.     No woman can be beautiful enough to keep a man faithful. There has to be something else at play to have him remain fully committed to the relationship.
4.    As Chris Rock said, “Men are as faithful as their options. If they have no opportunity to cheat, they won’t.”

Discussing the “quality” of a human being is odd. We all know, for instance, that there is a difference in the grace and bearing of Nelson Mandela as opposed to Steve O. from the TV show Jackass. It also feels judgmental and strange to write about it. Clearly this isn’t some kind of endemic quality – Steve O. could begin to act like Nelson Mandela tomorrow if he wanted to, and vice versa. But the way each man chooses to act, dress and conduct his affairs allows us to draw some broad generalizations about the level of class he has.

When you compare the “quality” of the wives with that of the mistresses there is a noticeable gap. Is this because…

A.    The women who are willing to cheat with a married man are often less classy?
B.    Men want wives that are upstanding and wholesome, but mistresses that are down and dirty?
C.    The best place to find a mistress is in a place where less classy women hang out?

In the end, Tiger joins the club of shame — disappointing millions of fans, risking his family and likely losing tens of millions of dollars in endorsements. It’s worth wondering how a man who is hounded by the paparazzi would ever think that he could keep an extra-marital affair secret. Doesn’t he know the day it begins that it’s going to end up in USMagazine and The Drudge Report?


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