Why Married Men Have Affairs
Cheating is easy. Try something more challenging like being faithful.
Middle-aged married men are a special breed. We’ve all heard about them pretending to be single and available on Tinder and other dating applications. Why do they risk their family and career to fish for sex with random strangers?
Sex is just a symptom
The answer is that it’s never just about the sex. Our sexual self is simply a great indicator of whether we are being honest with ourselves. Sexual desire is tied to adventure, imagination and a sense of individual power. Rules, predictability, and powerlessness kill sexual desire.
When a married man looks for an affair, he is once more searching for the sense of adventure and thrill. He is once-again seeking validation that his life is meaningful. But of course, he is seeking it in a deceitful and delusional way. Why, what went wrong that led him to this state?
For many married men, the marriage has worn them down. Perhaps they no longer feel the affection from their spouse (and why the marriage reached that state is probably enough to fill another article). Perhaps they were the ones who don’t find their spouse attractive anymore.
Whatever the case, marriage feels more to them like something they are stuck in. They feel the weight of the obligation, and yet they’re not particularly excited or derive enough meaning from it.
Uninspiring job (and uninspiring life)
The problem might not just be about the marriage either. In our 20s, we still hold on to our dreams and aspirations. We haven’t started our jobs for long, and the future is bright. As time goes by, we may realise that the career that we have is not matching up with our initial aspirations. We might hate our jobs but stick with it because of the family and mortgage.
Such job situations are common with married men. When married men reach reach middle age, the fact of their own mortality hits them. They realise they’ve already lived half their lives. What have they accomplished? Have they lived life to the fullest? In their own interpretation of YOLO and as a response to their dissatisfaction, they find it justifiable to seek thrills outside of marriage. It is this drive to seek meaning in their lives that make them so reckless in risking their family and career.
It’s still his fault
Despite what is said above, he has to take responsibility for cheating. Affairs do not just happen. Stale marriages do not just happen. Uninspiring lives do not just happen. A married man who cheats is really trying to run away from his problems instead of facing up to them. He would rather cheat than try to find out what’s wrong with his marriage and his life. He should not be allowed to claim himself as a victim.
Is being faithful an impossible task?
In the opening quote, it is said that being faithful is more challenging than cheating. Cheating is indeed the “easier” option because it is running away from the problems. But it is not impossible to be faithful. It could even be fun!