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Why Do Men Cheat

For the everyday man and woman, cheating has been around forever. At some point, both men and women would cheat or would have been victims of cheating. Cheating, just like telling lies is a human flaw and will continue to generate arguments and concerns for a variety of reasons. Ironically, despite all the haggling, we are far from discovering why men especially, cheat even when they love their women and are happily married or involved in a long-term relationship, their women are pretty, sexy or even have more money than they do. Every man knows that cheating is wrong, otherwise he would not hide it.

So, why do men cheat? The reasons are myriad and varied and may even be peculiar to the individual, besides the general assumption that men, no matter the race or colour, are polygamous by nature. Let us examine some of them.


He thinks it’s a status symbol:  A man will cheat on his wife/partner if he believes having more than one woman is a status symbol and sign of success. In traditional African setting, the wealth and success of a man is measured by the number of women and children he has. In the time past, a man with one wife was considered a weakling and unsuccessful in the society.

Onuka, Okonkwo’s father in the novel “Things Fall Apart”, by Chinua Achebe is a classic analogy. Typical scenarios abound all across our society today with our wealthy, famous or powerful men and their women). On the flip side of this is the theory that success and power are like magnets that draw women, even without them being attracted to the women at all. Every woman desires a man who can provide for and protect her. This has very little to do with love in most cases.

He can always get away with it:  If a guy cheats on you the first time and you let him get away with it, chances are that he will do it again knowing there is very little that you can or will do to him. This same theory often holds true for abuse and domestic violence. A very close friend recently walked out of her marriage after 17 years when she discovered by chance that her husband was living a double life, raising another family apart from the one they have.

She revealed that it was not his first time of cheating on her as he also had a child while they were still courting, with a woman he introduced to her as a friend. She said she forgave him the first time after much pleading and promises not to ever do that again. Unfortunately, he did, several years after and in a more damning and brazen manner.

The truth is that the typical African man believes from a young age that he is entitled to live a polygamous lifestyle should he choose to do so. The women are also raised to accept this, though unwillingly. Often, you will hear mothers chastising their daughters for complaining about their cheating husbands. You hear such things as “your father did worse things.

At least, he has not brought her home”. An aunt-in-law once told me how she would run bath water for her husband and a mistress he used to bring to their matrimonial home at some point. The whole family had concluded that the mistress would later become the second wife until she sprung a surprise on them and married a young man. She said to her shame, her husband practically sponsored the wedding ceremony and was even the chairman at the reception. Such is the general laxity allowed the typical African man. When a man is made to feel that he is not accountable for his actions, then he can easily cheat on his partner. In fact, in the African setting, a woman is encouraged to look the other way if her man (especially a rich one) is cheating as long as he is discreet about his affairs and does not embarrass his wife. Today, the farther from home an illicit affair is conducted, the more acceptable it ought to be for the partners, especially so as not to rock the marriage boat.

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