Why Married Men Cheat – and How to Prevent It

Marriage counselor Gary Neuman explains why men cheat – and it’s not because the other woman is more attractive. The best way to prevent husbands from cheating in marriage is to know why they stray from their wives.

“[My boyfriend] had slept with a woman that weekend,” says Seattle-based life coach Sarah Cline in Brangelina proves you should never trust a cheater (an article in the New York Post about the most recent celebrity divorce). “I didn’t want to believe it. But I knew it was true. I just wish I had listened to my gut and hadn’t [stayed with] him when I first learned he was a cheater.” Sarah says she listened to the still small voice in her head, which told her to ask her boyfriend if he was cheating on her. She asked, and he admitted he’d been having affairs behind her back. Why do married men cheat on their wives, and how can you help prevent your husband or boyfriend from cheating on you? Here’s what marriage counselor Gary Neuman says…

If you suspect your husband is cheating, there are quiet ways to investigate, such as looking at cell phone records or computer histories, or try using an automobile GPS tracking device if necessary. But first, find out if GPS tracking is legal in your state or province. If you suspect your husband is cheating, read Is He Cheating? How to Be Your Own Private Investigator.

why men cheatIn The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent ItGary Neuman shares what he learned after interviewing dozens of men who cheated on their wives. It’s a fascinating look into why men cheat, and how to prevent an affair.

What’s the number one reason why married men cheat? Ninety-two percent of men said it wasn’t primarily about the sex.  According to Neuman, the majority of men who cheat say it’s because of emotional disconnection in their marriage. Specifically, husbands feel under-appreciated and under-valued.

“There is a lack of thoughtful gestures in the relationship, so married men are tempted to cheat on their wives,” Neuman says. “Men are very emotional beings. They just don’t look like they are. Or they don’t seem like they are. Or they don’t tell you they are.”

Below, this marriage counselor shares his surprising perspective of why men cheat. He shares both the husband’s and the wife’s perspective of infidelity in marriage, and answers Oprah’s question about him placing more blame on wives than husbands for cheating.

Neuman says married women have a great deal of power in their relationships. Here are two interesting statistics about affairs, directly from his book The Truth About Cheating:

  • 1 in 2.7 men will cheat, and most of their wives will never find about it.
  • 92% of men say that affairs aren’t primarily about sex.

Below is a summary of what he told Oprah Winfrey about why men cheat. This episode on why married men cheat (the truth about cheating) was aired a few years ago, but the insights are still relevant today.

Why Men Cheat – Insights From a Marriage Counselor

Neuman says men cheat because of:

  • Loneliness in their relationship or marriage.
  • Affirmation from “the other woman.”
  • Not enough attention at home.

The women men cheat with make them feel valued, secure, and appreciated. “Men love to win,” says Neuman. “If you want to make men feel secure, make them feel like they’re winning.” The husbands who had affairs said that they felt like they couldn’t win at home or in their marriage.

If you suspect your husband is being unfaithful, read 9 Signs Your Husband is Cheating and Lying About It. It’s one of my most popular articles about why married men cheat. If your husband is having an affair, know that you are not alone. More importantly, remember that it isn’t your fault that your husband is cheating. His choice isn’t a reflection of who you are, how attractive you are, or how smart you are. Your husband is cheating because he isn’t fulfilled emotionally. This doesn’t mean it’s your fault – it actually means you have more power than you think in your marriage!

Do you suspect your husband is having an affair? Neuman recommends simply saying, “I think you may be cheating. If you tell me you’re faithful I’ll trust you at your word. I’ve got no choice. But there’s something wrong with us, and I want us to be happy together.”

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In The Truth About Cheating, Neuman reports the results of a survey of marriage, marital affairs, and cheating spouses. He surveyed hundreds of husbands and wives to determine the real reasons men cheat. Neuman wrote the book because he saw the overwhelming devastation that happens in families, children, and relatives when men cheat on their wives.

The Controversy in The Truth about Cheating

Oprah points out the controversy in this book: a lot of the blame for affairs in marriage seems to be on the women.

why do married men cheat

The Truth About Why Married Men Cheat on Their Wives

“How come women have to be the ones to work it out or fix it?” she asks. Why do wives bear the responsibility of learning why married men cheat and how to prevent cheating in marriage?

Neuman stresses that it’s not the wives’ fault that men cheat, and it’s not a blame game. He claims The Truth About Cheating is a book is about empowering women.

“If you do certain things, you can lead your relationship to better place,” he says.

Women think if they appreciate their partners or husbands too much, the men will stop doing wonderful or helpful things around the house or in the relationship. It’s just the opposite, says Neuman.

You can help guide your marriage to a better place if you appreciate and support your husband. The more you learn about why married men cheat, the more power and influence you have in your marriage and in your future. Learning the truth about cheating is about building a mutually beneficial and fulfilling relationship.

“The more you appreciate your husband, the more he’ll want to please you,” says this marriage counselor. Use sincere praise to encourage and uplift your husband, and he’ll be less likely to cheat on you.

Remember that cheating isn’t necessarily a sign your marriage is over. In fact, some couples counselors believe that you should stay with a cheating husband because you’ve already hit rock bottom. You have nowhere to go but up – if both you and your husband are willing to save your marriage. It’ll be hard work, but it will be worth it.

How many men leave their wives for women who are more attractive? Almost none.

“I had a many mistresses, and none were prettier than my wife,” said one married man who constantly cheated on his wife and yet wanted to stay in his marriage.

According to Neuman, 88% of the men he interviewed said the other woman wasn’t better looking or more physically fit than their wives. The number one reason why married men cheat is NOT about sex. It’s about emotional connection and companionship. Many married men cheat because they’re lonely in their marriage, and they want to feel connected to a woman who loves them and wants to be with them physically and emotionally.

Why Men Cheat – and How to Prevent It

The number one reason why men cheat is that there’s an emotional disconnection in the relationship. Husbands or partners feel under-appreciated, and report a lack of thoughtful gestures. They’re lonely in their marriages.

Men who have affairs are cheating with women who make them feel alive, admired, and respected.

“Men are very emotional beings,” says Neuman. The stereotype is that men are unemotional beings, but Neuman says men are very emotional beings, they just express it differently.

Men want to feel like they’re pleasing their wives. If they get the message that they’re messing up, they feel insecure – and more likely to stray. Here’s Neuman’s marital advice to help you have a closer marriage: express how much you appreciate your spouse.

Most men find people to cheat with when they’re at work. A friendship or emotional relationship develops when they’re doing something they’re both passionate about or interested in.

Some Husbands Will Cheat on Their Wives No Matter What

Neuman says that 12% of men will cheat no matter what the wife does. Neuman says that you know those cheating spouses because they have a lack of remorse, if he’s cavalier about it, there’s no way to heal the marriage.

Do Men Confess Their Affairs?

Only 7% told their wives without being asked that they had an affair. Neuman said that 55% of the men in his study still hadn’t told their wives about their affairs.

When wives do find out that men are having a marital affair, they know who the partner was cheating with. Usually, people talk about their romantic interests.

Warning Signs That a Man May Cheat

Possible advance signs of an affair include:

  • Spend more time away from home
  • Less sex
  • Avoidance of contact (eg, he doesn’t answer his cell phone).
  • More critical of you

connect to love after men cheating on youThese signs of cheating in marriage are the same when he’s about to cheat, or when he’s already involved in a marital affair. Take Neuman’s marital advice if you want to achieve your relationship goals, and watch for these signs of cheating.

In Connect to Love: The Keys to Transforming Your RelationshipNeuman’s shares what he learned about love and marriage after interviewing more than five hundred women. The book is filled with surprising information about love, sex, and marriage – it has the power to change your relationship. When it comes to sexual intimacy, for instance, wives who are satisfied with their marriages have sex more than twice as frequently than those who are dissatisfied.

Why One Man Cheated on His Wife

On the Oprah show, married couple Brian and Anne said they never thought they’d be talking about why men cheat. They also didn’t know that it’s much easier than they thought for one spouse to have an affair in a marriage. Anne says Brian was never gone in the evenings, they were emotionally connected, and they had sex every night.

Yet, Brian was secretly having an affair on his lunch hour at work. Neuman says this isn’t surprising, since most men meet the person they have an affair at work or through a hobby.

Slipping into a secret affair is surprisingly easy

“I was always under the belief that affairs happened to people in either bad marriages or where there’s no sex going on,” said Brian. “And because we had both of those things, I was really unaware of how easily I could slip into an affair.”

Brian says he started having his affair with a person who at first was just a friend. This is why the lines between emotional affairs and innocent friendships often get blurred. You develop a connection with them through some sort of common interest. You don’t choose to have an affair; it just happens.

“It begins as an emotional relationship. There’s a friendship that develops. It’s not just looking for the sex,” says this marriage counselor. “We all have this picture of cheaters as the bad guys. They’re horrible, rotten, not nice. No, they can be nice people who get lost, who do the wrong thing. They can be your husband.”

Do You Think Your Husband is Cheating?

If you think he’s cheating, here are three ways to investigate: “One, go to cell phone records to find out whether he’s very involved with somebody,” says Neuman. “Two, put a GPS magnet on the bottom of his car, so you can see where his car has been. And three, if you think he’s cheating but don’t believe what he says, ask him to take a lie detector test.”

why married men cheat on their wivesFinding out that your husband is cheating is painful, but the betrayal may feel even worst. “Lying in a relationship can be more hurtful than the affair itself – and it takes a lot to move past the lies and deceptions,” said one woman whose husband cheated on her.

It took Sarah Cline – the life coach at the beginning of this article –  five years to rebuild her confidence and learn how to trust men again. Now married, Cline completely trusts her husband, but it took a lot of work to get to there. And he wasn’t even the man who cheated on her.

“When you’ve been with a cheater, you bring the cheater into all of your relationships,” she said. “Until you can make the decision to trust again.”

If you’ve caught your boyfriend cheating, read 5 Signs You Can Trust Your Boyfriend After He Cheated on You.

A bit of advice for married men who are cheating on their wives: “It’s best to come clean as early as possible,” says Neuman. “Be honest with your wife when you’re just beginning to get interested in someone else.”

An affair is a warning sign of an emotionally disconnected relationship, but it doesn’t mean your marriage is over. You can save your marriage, you can start over and rebuild on the connection and love you’ve felt in the past. It’s still there…it’ll just take some work to dig it up and bring it back to life.

I welcome your thoughts on why men cheat, but I can’t offer advice or counseling. Read through the comments left by other readers, and feel free to share your own experience. Show others they aren’t alone, and enjoy the feeling of freedom and release that comes from writing about why married men cheat and how it makes you feel.


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183 thoughts on “Why Married Men Cheat – and How to Prevent It

  • Sibella

    I agree with the article that it’s about an emotional disconnection most of all.A married man is in love with me and though I share his feelings I would never allow anything to happen and sincerely hope him and his wife find there way back to each other.His children deserve both their parents with them.Some ‘other women’ are also to blame because they cannot respect the sacredness of marriage.

    I have a feeling if he never met me they would have gone on perfectly happy for years.I sometimes think if she was more attentive to him,really cooked for him,nurtured him etc he would be so pleased and their marriage would really thrive because I feel this is what he seeks from me sometimes.I always remind myself that he was once in love with her enough to actually marry her there must be some remnant of that strong love still floating around waiting to be lit up.

  • angie

    I have been married for over 11 years now. Me and my husband met in the church many years before we started dating,
    we had a loving relationship until my husband started acting strange by getting very angry over little issues. He also started coming home very late and not spending time with me. I eventually found out he was cheating, and I don’t know why. It’s devastating to me and our family.

  • The Honest Truth

    Married men that Cheat are real Pathetic Losers in the first place since there are many of us Good men that would be very Happy with just One Good Woman to share our life with which many of us Would Really know how to be Faithful if we were that Lucky to meet the One.

    • Sincerely Honest

      I totally agree with your Statement
      Married Men that cheat…. are “Pathetic losers” for reals….
      Couldn’t have said it better then that….
      I’ve had it happen to me and its HEART BREAKING completely……..

  • Amy

    I am recently facing the infidelity of my husband. We had been separated when he went to another country, one we visited on mission trips frequently, and hooked up with a young woman we recently meet. He convinced our adult children that he was justified in what he did because of the way I treated him throughout our marriage. I have many friends who know better and that he is not justified in his actions. But the fact that my children believe him is extremely hurtful. He came back from his indiscretion expecting to be treated as if nothing happened and that no one in our small town should know about what he did. He always plays the victim and I am left abandoned. I am so anxious for the divorce to be over and for him to be out of my life. I know he will always be around because of our children and grandchildren but just to have him out of my sight will be a relief and I can move on.

    • kim

      I had NO idea he was cheating everything I thought was prefect. No arguments always smiling and having fun. lots of I love you’s (lmao). But his phone was constantly flashing and one day I just had to see who needed to speak with him at 2 am . He had fallen asleep downstairs and his phone was on the bed. Needless to say I got the shock of my life. I contacted one woman and advised her I had seen all of her pictures and videos she had sent him; We chatted for almost 5 hours and she spilled the beans and told me there had been 5 more before her . She even sent me all of the VERY graphic pictures of he and the other women. There was no doubt WHATSOEVER . if you know what I mean. he denies it to this day.. its not him lmao .. I just found out mid April 2016. We’ve been together almost 20 years

  • Carl

    It’s hard to read so many cheating stories. Thank you for sharing this. Interesting reading what the motives are for men who cheat.

  • Annette

    No spouse can drive their partner to cheat, cheating comes within the cheater. I have been married 24 years. When I met husband it did not seem to me he was interested in me, did not show his interest and I would ask him about his feelings. I was the one initiating sex which again I did not understand but he had a number of excuses. This never did change. I was the one always trying to pull him into the marriage. No hand holding, no “I love yous” but he claimed he was wounded and I thought I had what it took to help him regain trust.

    His passion was porn and seeking other women for attention. When he had his first emotional affair which was in the first year of marriage I was crushed. he said that I didn’t like his jokes and she did. Second emotional affair that might have been physical (he did not admit) was when I was pg with our child. he claimed it was a friendship but I could see it was more than that. he wanted nothing to do with anything at home, spent his time watching TV and doing crossword puzzles, watching porn after I went to bed.

    Third lady came along and this was at the height of his behavior. He was IMing women, watching porn, one of my daughters walked in on him viewing a strip show on the internet, went to a brothel in Holland to drink beer (?) which I found out about thru coworkers who thought it was funny, he was chatting up lady #3 and eating chocolates on her desk which he would have to replenish, took her to lunches. What was I, the person at home caring for the children, cooking the meals, trying to make a family life and trying to please him but he was caught up with his fantasy life. So I guess my marriage falls in that 12%

    We talked, we had marriage counseling but what he wanted from me was sex and he wanted me to accept him and that he felt this was just what men do and I was supposed to be okay with it. I have filed for divorce.

  • Seira

    This article is so right. Whether it is men cheating wife or women cheating men, the reasons are the same for most couples. This article has discussed in detail how we go wrong with our relationship.

    I’m now divorced after finding out my ex’s illicit relationship. I don’t blame him though. Six months after our marriage, we started talking less. But he took good care of my needs and the house. After a year, we were more like acquaintances. That’s when I realized there is something seriously wrong in our relation. I began to feel he was lying to me, to be out till late at night. I started suspecting him of any out of marriage relationship. Since I did’t want to ask him directly I consulted with a private detective agency.

    And they found that my ex was having an affair. They said He used a fake facebook id to chat with her. I understood why he stayed up late at night. That very night I told him this. He opened up to me. He said he loved me but he was not contented with our intimate life. He said he first used fake id to get help how to improve our physical relation, but later he fell in love with a girl, well, who satisfied his desires. I was shocked and broken. I left to my parents home next day. And now we are divorced. I don’t blame him though. I should have asked. I should have known before things got to that.

  • Beth

    Whether one believes in the institution of marriage or not, if you decided to get married, then you walked down the aisle or you traveled to a justice of the peace, or you found and hired a makeshift priest, shaman, or a sometimes preacher and cabinet maker, etc., or whoever, and said SOME TYPE OF VOWS.  You got married.  Usually, no one puts a gun to your head now a days, and you can run away from intimidation in today’s free world societies.  Point being that you weren’t FORCED by someone else to marry, not in America and not in 2016.  If you were forced into marriage under duress, the marriage is null and void.  

    So this basically means, if you chose to get married, it follows logically that when you cheat on your HUSBAND OR WIFE, you are breaking your promises or VOWS, which you said willingly and openly, usually in front of witnesses, to  your wife or husband.    

    Marriage is serious business; it is also a LEGAL contract in our society, which comes with certain rewards and responsibilities, including tax responsibilities, mortgages, and child support… and it comes with certain rewards such as joint land and other real property ownership, free and regular sex,  life insurance policies, joint bank accounts, children, etc.  It’s an institution which has been around for a long time.  Whether you accept marriage as valid in today’s world, OR NOT, is no longer a debatable issue AFTER  you have freely and willingly decided to marry another.  Here  are some  beliefs people have regarding marriage and whether or not they think it is valid or not in today’s world…like I said, not that this matters much AFTER you’ve decided to marry, but you might want to think about some of these BEFORE you decide to marry.     

    Bottom line is this:   if you’ve cheated on your wife or husband, you know—that person you said the marriage vows to—you broke those sacred vows, or at the very least ( if you were standing at the altar of marriage saying the words with no intent to honor those vows…with no belief in God, no belief in the universe, no belief in the importance of the the person you professed to love on your wedding day), you did SAY some type of vow(s) in front of your future partner, and again often in front of witnesses, who had every reason to believe you were sincere.  So if you CHOSE to cheat ( no one is forcing you), you’re a liar and a cheat…or you’re so immature as to believe that Vows don’t really mean anything….so you’re still “emotionally” 5 years old…which is also very bad.  Or you are a psychopath or a narcissist, also very bad.   We can rationalize it all we want, but if you’ve cheated, you “done wrong,” and you know it. You will justify your affair any way you can.  And “the hurt” you cause will have LOOONG- Term effects, even generational effects.   You may get away with it for a while, maybe for a long while, if you are a fairly intelligent and a polished narcissist or psychopath, but it will eventually catch up with you.  (Yes, some women, and men, are idiots and will believe anything their cheating spouse’s tell them, but it will all eventually be found out.  May take years, but it will eventually come out.) 

    Don’t feel badly and beat yourself up over this if you are the wife of a man who has maintained a long affair with a woman or two.   Society WANTS you to believe it is your fault. Society WANTS you to self-blame and to seek out help to change yourself…after all, you were such an “awful wife” that you drove your poor husband into her loving, waiting arms.  You should have done more, and more.  You should have done this or that.  You should have known.  “You idiot; you deserve this.  You are damaged and flawed.”  What a load of crap!  

    IMHO, you should have your own money….in your own account somewhere in your name.  (This is true for both men and women.) You can have a separate account for the household.  You should have an equal say in everything in your marriage, including decisions related to how the household money is spent.  

    Remember that all marriages will go through hard times.  Your marriage is not immune to life’s difficulties.  All a no-good human needs is a “reason” to run from the marriage and cheat when times get hard.  You want a person of good character by your side as you walk down the rough roads of life.   Running to sex outside the marriage solves nothing and creates so much more hurt and pain than the original problem.    We have enough hurt and pain in life as it is.  Remember, this type of person is a coward because he, or she, cannot be honest with his/her spouse or self….and he always has an accomplice.

    • Mel

      I married a man that cheated on me 3 times in 5 years and an addiction to porn. Last night he told me that he wants to stay married and he doesnt want a bombshell by his side because other men would want her but it doesnt have to worry about that with me. Im 10 years younger and average looking but with the lies, affairs, and addication how much more could he do to completely destroyed me? He blames me for all of his actions, and I have only turned down sex twice in 6 years, that was a good reason to step out. Im his 4th wife. I thought being with an older man he would be more mature and mindful of actions and reactions. But no. I told him he has been unable to perform in the bedroom when he doesnt leave women and fantasies alone. I think he rather make love to his hand than me. Doesnt men understand ecen watching porn make us feel in adequate as a women regardless of what we do, also they are getting off on not just the women or girl in the show but also on the males body parts. That is disgusting to think my husvand enjoys watch a couple having sex and he is getting an eye full of the man as well. He doesnt believe its part of a gay fantasy but i beg to differ. Tge way I see it if i cant satisfy your every need…get out of my life, there has to be someone that would love and respect me. He doesnt satisfy any of my needs as a husband but i dont step out in any way. My heart is broken and i feel so ugly i feel as though im not good enough for him or anyone else. I need advice on how to survive tge pain.

      • Cheatedagain

        Pray and find others. I am there too and am an at home mom with nowhere to go. It hurts so bad and all I can do is beg God for strength and a way…

    • Rose

      Beth,thank you for your insight. I am overwhelmed at how accurate your comments are and how relavent they are to me.
      You are right …..vows are meant to be respected no one put a gun to their head and yes there were many witnesses. Unfortunately once they cross that line either guilt sets in and they might show remorse or they are a psychopath or narcissist and continue to convince themselves they need to speak to woman…..emotional affairs are the cruelest because they seek to undermine everything that is pure, sincere and just.
      Thank you again I feel stronger to move on and deal with a new life.

      I am unsure of my future path but I deserve to be treated better than I have been in the last year.


  • Anonymous

    I saw this site as I searched for answers to my situation. I have been with my fiancee for over 2 years, living with him for over a year. I suspected infidelity…keep in mind this is a man who is straight, has always treated me well and our sex life is great! EVERY DAY! I found that he answered a craigslist ad to have sex with a married man! I am angry, hurt, distraught- and wondering how this could happen- when we have been so happy together from the very start. I have many gay male friends, so I am not a judgemental person- but this is the love of my life! Why would he cheat with what appears to be another straight man? I am unable to confront him- although we do not fight, I have seen his temper and I am afraid to say anything. I can not tell anyone, this is humiliating- and he has children from a 20 year marriage- this would destroy them and I can’t do that to his kids, I love them too. I feel so alone, trapped- I can’t breathe, I actually thought about killing myself as I am trying to act “normal” and it is tearing me to pieces inside. How could he do this to me? He’s always making jokes about gay and bi men…..he’s such a man’s man! How is this possible, what do I do? I’m afraid of STD’S, HIV…My trust is shattered, my heart is broken, yet I still love him with all my heart. I don’t know what to do. This is shameful for me, and if this were to get out- it would destroy his life, too. As angry and hurt as I am- I can not do that to him. I’d be upset if he were cheating on me with a woman- and would have been gone already. Why can’t I deal with this? What do I do? Someone please help me….I don’t know how much longer I can take this pain.

    • KeepGodFirst

      Do not get married to this man. Sit and talk to him. Trust God that he can direct your steps. He has already done this and he is just your fiancé. Now as far as cheating with a woman, he could be a man and apologize and realize what he has done wrong and learn to be a man to you. But being that this is a man he cheated with I would highly recommend you leave. Some things you cant change, he will have to change. He put you in grave danger by not telling you he was sleeping with a man and what other men may he have dealt with? Some habits are hard to break. Its not like he was away in jail or even you, to say the least. I can’t see why he hurt you like this. Read the Bible and become familiar with God’s love and STAY ALIVE. Don’t kill yourself. Surround yourself with everything that empowers you and you will find strength to go on, and to love again one day, but the right man. If it’s not for you then understand that this may be God’s way of telling you that. He may have someone more special, more kind, with a better temper and better love waiting for you, and you have to be strong enough to trust him. Lean not on your own understanding. Trust in God and he will direct your steps. Let me know how things are going for you. Love you girl. Stay strong..you have me routing for you. Weeping endures for a night but joy cometh in the morning.

  • ToThePoint

    BS on all of this article! Men cheat because they are covenant breakers, promise breakers, don’t value their wife or their children and worship their own dicks. Later in life they lose their mind to dementia because they lose their ability to have an and when you think with your p and lose it, the mind shortly follows.

  • Breathing the Fresh Air

    Victoria, take heart. I have been watching all the communications between my lying, pice of sh** husband for a year now, with his who** of a mistress, also married. The truth is, they ARE meant for eachother. Neither being willing to be accountable in a real relationship, both happier to lie to the affair partner to feel better, both thinking this is a real relationship because the emotional high is so strong. A “real” love is one in which both parties are willing to give and to work. I am waiting to leave for a bit longer to address some family issues in play. But the date I serve him papers is on the calendar. If your husband is cheating, they deserve eachother. Let her have him, grab a good seat, and watch the chaos ensue. She really thinks he is so amazing and telling her all true things when he is lying to his wife? Well of course, SHE is different; SHE is special, after all. So delusional. Karma always rolls full circle. Dump the idiot. There are good men out there; let her have your imposter. She deserves him :))

  • Ann

    Jolene (It’s an old, old story, isn’t it?)

    By: Dolly Parton. (I just love her.)

    “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
    I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
    Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
    Please don’t take him just because you can

    Your beauty is beyond compare
    With flaming locks of auburn hair
    With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green

    Your smile is like a breath of spring
    Your voice is soft like summer rain
    And I cannot compete with you, Jolene

    He talks about you in his sleep
    There’s nothing I can do to keep
    From crying when he calls your name, Jolene

    And I can easily understand
    How you could easily take my man
    But you don’t know what he means to me, Jolene

    Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
    I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
    Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
    Please don’t take him just because you can

    You could have your choice of men
    But I could never love again
    He’s the only one for me, Jolene

    I had to have this talk with you
    My happiness depends on you
    And whatever you decide to do, Jolene

    Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
    I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
    Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
    Please don’t take him even though you can

    Jolene, Jolene”.

  • unwritten

    Oh, and one last thing: if my married lover’s wife had ever really used her head she could have easily found out about us. We mostly communicated through his work email but we texted and talked on his cell phone often – when he drove home from work, late at night. All she ever had to do was diligently check his cell phone records. I’ve often wondered if she just didn’t want to know or didn’t care.

    • BeenThere

      You sound so proud of yourself. She TRUSTED her husband – exactly what a spouse should do. He exploited that trust. You are evil.

  • unwritten

    As someone who’s been the other woman in an affair that’s lasted a decade and is now finally ending, I can tell you – some affairs truly are love affairs. I will love this man for the rest of my life and I will never regret all of the times I’ve been with him, the hundreds of memories we made together, and the THOUSANDS of emails we’ve shared over the years that are, literally, our love story. I wish our relationship could have been different but our timing was always off. I was married when I met him, at a time when he and his then-fiancé had recently broken off their engagement… I wanted to be with him but I was young and scared to leave my husband with two small children. He decided to go back to his estranged fiancé from NJ (we’re both from little towns in southwestern PA, something the fiancé who became his wife could never really relate to). He and I stayed in touch occasionally at that point – I finally divorced and became involved in another relationship with a wonderful man and never saw my former lover during this time, from about 2004-06, even though he began to pursue me again, much harder. He was so unhappy in his marriage.
    And then my life changed overnight when my partner died in an accident at work. I was devastated and could barely function for a year… But then I reconnected with my former lover and he literally brought me back to life. He was still married and still struggling to accept a childless marriage that he didn’t sign up for with a wife who continued to beat him up for her problems and, because she is so insecure, refuse to talk about alternatives like adoption. He really is a good man – not ALL men who cheat are narcissistic monsters – and he did (and still does) love and care for his wife (who despite the bratiness and selfishness does sound like a good person overall – I almost feel like I know her because I know so much about her and her family). I understand that she has health problems and struggles emotionally with her infertility issues. And when she laid a guilt trip on him at that time, he stayed. I was devastated, he was devastated – we both cried and I know that he was so torn and hated hurting me but he also couldn’t bring himself to hurt her, especially considering her struggles. As it turned out, though, we ultimately couldn’t let go of each other and started seeing each other again about a year later and we continued to do so all the way until up now, 2016. Fortunately for him, after years of her dictating the terms of their life and marriage, she finally agreed to adoption a few years ago… they very unexpectedly were able to adopt a beautiful little baby boy and, for the past 3-4 years I’ve watched my lover finally find genuine happiness at home in becoming a father… I was with him at his house (she was with her family) two weeks or so before the chance to adopt suddenly came up and at that point he was still struggling with his decision to stay with her. Their little boy ultimately changed that because now he couldn’t imagine life without his son and, for the first time in almost ten years, he doesn’t need to lean on me as he did for a long time (and I did with him). My point is that affairs can be long and messy and filled with love and confusion – they surge and wane for many different reasons. I have long wondered if his wife, on some level, knows that he’s loved someone else for years.
    Infidelity definitely takes two, in this case my married lover and me, but he wouldn’t have strayed if she hadn’t been such a brat and just LISTENED to and LOVED that man. He and I are finally closing the book on our affair but it’s not because of her – it’s because of his son and because he now knows that he likely won’t ever divorce now and it hurts him to hurt me and not be able to give me the actual relationship that I deserve. I’m heartbroken, I admit, because I would have loved to have been with him forever and to have given him all the babies he ever dreamed of. But I genuinely love him and would never threaten his happiness and the amazing love he has for his son.


      I had read your article about why married men cheated on their wives ….and you gave your own reason that this married man lover of yours CHEATED ON HIS WIFE.. BECAUSE HIS WIFE WAS SUCH A BRAT !!! YOU CAME INTO HIS MARRIED LIFE WITH FULL CONSCIENCE THAT YOU HAD WILLINGLY AND INTENTIONALLY COMMITTED FULL ADULTERY WITH HIM !!!!


  • Laurie

    Hi Sara,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience with your marriage. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and that you feel stuck and helpless. I hear your pain, and I wish I had magic words to make things better!

    Giving advice isn’t my strength, so I can’t tell you what you should do. However, I have recently written about this type of problem. You might find this helpful:

    How to Win Him Back by Recreating Yourself

    And, here is a list of national resources and hotlines that provide anonymous, confidential information to callers. They can answer questions and perhaps even give you advice.

    If you’re not in the US, there might be resources in your country. I encourage you to reach out and talk to someone in person, so you can get the best possible help and support.

    Phone Number: 800-442-HOPE (4673)

    Mental Health America – For a referral to specific mental health service or support program in your community
    Phone Number: 800-969-NMHA (6642)

    National Alliance on Mental Illness – Provides support, information, and referrals
    Phone Number: 800-950-NAMI (6264)

    National Domestic Violence Hotline
    Phone Number: 800-799-SAFE (7233)

    National Sexual Assault Hotline
    Phone Number: 800-656-HOPE (4673)

    National Suicide Prevention Hotline
    Phone Number: 800-273-TALK (8255)

    Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
    Phone Number: 800-826-3632

    I hope one of these organizations is able to give you the help you’re looking for. May you find peace, courage, strength, and healing as you move forward.

    Please do come back anytime, and tell me how you are.


  • Sara

    I forgot to say in my last comment that the women I strong suspect lives in the flat above us. My husband works from home and she a full time mum and doesn’t work. Since I’ve confronted him he’s shown no guilt, remorse, willing to change, been more open. It feels like I’m making all the changes.

  • Sara

    My husband and I have never really had an easy relationship. He spent the first year avoiding commitment with me because he wasn’t ready to settle . He spent time with other women which I had to accept because he said from the start he didn’t want a relationship. I stayed with him because I loved him and thought it was worth the wait. It was worth the wait and a year later he said he was ready to commit. 6 months after that he proposed to me. So it all happened very quickly , it was intense but we both loved it. We were happy. Once engaged the problems started as my family were not happy with my choices. We ended up having a long engagement while I tried to make my family understand. They finally came around although a lot of damage and resentment was caused by waiting so long. We are now married , living together, no children both 36 years old.

    I was convinced my husband was having an affair. After 2.5 years of marriage I decided to get a bugging device in the house so I was able to hear who he was bringing into the house. I started to hear a women coming to the house everyday. I could hear them talking and her mocking me saying I was boring wife. I then confronted my husband about what I heard and he denied everything and said it was all in my head. The arguments got worse and we decided a divorce would be the only option . I quickly decided I didn’t want a divorce and begged my husband back. Since we’ve been back together the problems are still there. I still have the house bugged even though I have told him I’m not anymore. He’s still having the affair and I’m constantly in tears. I feel like I’m on the verge of a break down but I don’t know how to stop it or get my husband to tell me the truth so we can start working on our marriage. We’ve tried everything but nothing helps.

    I’ve tried to be the perfect wife to remind him of the good times. I’ve tried to be distant so he can miss me. Nothing gets an emotion out of him. All he seems concerned with is spending time with her. I have seen a picture of her and shes definitely not his type or that pretty. I’m sure he just wants something different. He said he wants our marriage to work and he’s happy with everything other than me constantly accusing him about affairs.

    I really need some advice as I don’t think this affair will stop, he won’t tell me the truth nor will he end the affair. This girl lives so close to us and it just hurts to know every time I leave for work she’s in my home. I want this marriage to work and I could continue not knowing the truth providing the affair stopped.

  • Anon E Mouse

    Geoff has it right. In some men, my husband of over three decades included, it happens just as he describes. As the wife of a man like Geoff, I can say that it is probable his wife knows what he does, she just looks the other way for whatever reason makes sense to her. Men like Geoff think they are fooling their wives, but instinctually, wives know. Even if you catch them in an affair, causing incredible pain and damage, and they admit it etc. they will return to cheating, they’ll just cover their tracks better. Women do stay with men like these, and not because they think they can’t do better, or because of lack of self esteem, but because they truly love the person despite their flaws and they accept his lack of fidelity in exchange for other things they view equally important. Everything in a marriage is not sex. Sex is only one part of a marriage. Women hate to hear things like this, they think it’s a doormat mentality. But staying with such a man is a conscious choice that is just as valid as leaving one. A woman who stayed with a man that cheats habitually is doing so after having weighed things very carefully and has decided there’s more on the side of staying than on the side of leaving. At least, for the time being.