Today infidelity is the leading cause of divorce in most advanced societies. Some people may argue that infidelity is just a symptom of deeper problems which are actually responsible for unraveling a marriage. But whether couples separate or not, few dispute that infidelity is a rising and destabilizing trend in contemporary society. In fact statistics provided by Atwood & Schwartz in the 2002 Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy reveal that that 45-55% of married women and 50-60% of married men in United States engaged in extramarital sex at some time or another during their relationship. This means that more than half of married men are cheating on their wives.
Married men signal their availability most often by lying about their marital status and modern technology has made only made this easier. The popularity of internet dating sites and online chat rooms is proof of the vast number of men and women looking for partners in the virtual world. Here the anonymity and ease of accessibility makes it convenient for people to lie about themselves and in case of men, about the fact that they are already married. According to a recent study conducted jointly by researchers for the University of Chicago and MIT, while women on dating sites lied mostly about heights, weights, and ages, the number one lie that men told was about their marital status followed by their jobs and educational qualification.
This is evident not only from the popularity of casual affair sites but also from statistics provided by internet dating sites. The Online Dating Newsletter for instance reports that as many as 30% of married men disguise themselves as single guys and use online dating services meant for their single counterparts.
However this is not to say that in real life men seldom lie about their marital status. A woman may come across a smart, charming guy in a coffee shop almost every day and notice that he does not have a wedding band. It is only a matter of time before they start chatting and then a couple of weeks later even begin dating each other. But all the while she may be unaware that this attractive and interesting man actually has a wife and kids tucked away in his suburban home. Psychologists say that men lie to avoid a crisis. This probably means that married men lie so that they can get to keep their extra-marital partners and continue with their marriage at the same time. But why carry on this double life? Here are some common reasons why married men date other women by lying about their marital status.
Very often extra-marital affairs are perceived to be about great sex and mistresses who are femme fatales. According to family counselor, rabbi and best-selling author Gary Neuman, it is rarely about sex. In a two-year study of 100 men who had sexual affairs and 100 men who were faithful, Neuman found that only 8 percent of cheaters said that sexual dissatisfaction was the main cause of their infidelity and only 12 percent said the mistress was better looking or in better shape than their wives. On the other hand an overwhelming 48 percent said that they cheated because they felt emotionally disconnected from their wives.
The number one reason causing this emotional disconnection is under-appreciation, according to Neuman who has compiled the findings of his two-year study in the book, The Truth About Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do To Prevent It. When men feel that they are not being valued in their marriage, they begin to seek the validation from another relationship. This happens primarily because men are more insecure as compared to women in a committed relationship like marriage. It is as if they like to stay in the game as long as they are getting to win and making a difference. As soon as they find that their gestures are no longer appreciated or in other words, they are not winning, they want to exit the game and look for another game to win. In all probability, these men are doing things that make it difficult for their wives to appreciate them but the very fact they are feeling undervalued in their primary relationship will make them seek appreciation from lovers and mistresses.
Many men cheat because miss the excitement of the early days of their marriage and want to be experience the intensity of attraction again. These men are not able to mature in a marriage and feel that a successful relationship is one which always exists in a state of heightened emotions or frenzied passions. Rather than explore the reasons why their marriage does not satisfy them and address those problems if any, they figure it is easier to find someone else to stand in for their partners. Interestingly these men get tired of their lovers soon enough and then move on to newer objects of desire.
Again there are some men who, married or not, are compulsive cheaters. They will lie about their marital status and cheat just for the sake of cheating. In his study, Neuman found that 12% of married men will cheat on their wives, no matter what. For these men it is a game and one they figure they might as well play as long as they can get away with it.
While there may be as many reasons for cheating as there are married men, the easiest way to go about this is by lying about their marital status. In fact when confronted by their wives, the same men will also lie about their affairs. In his study, Neuman found that a whopping 93% of married men who cheated will not admit to having an affair when confronted by their wives. According to psychologist Bella M. DePaulo of the University of Virginia, men usually lie either to build themselves up like claiming to have topped his class in college or to conceal something, like the fact they are married when they are dating other women. Lies of the second type are unfair to all three parties involved and destructive not only of the primary relationship but ultimately also of the relationship that the same lies are seeking to build.