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IT has long been established that if a man wants to cheat he will cheat, no matter how good is the woman he has at home. And there is nothing you can do to stop a man from cheating on you if he has made up his mind to do so. Even if you are loyal.

Forty-one-year-old Georgina S said after 13 years, her husband cheated, and nothing she said or did seemed to make a difference.

“I know for sure that no matter how loyal you are, if he wants to cheat he will cheat,” Georgina said. “I never once went outside my marriage. And one day he looked at me and told me that he wished I would cheat even once just so I would understand why he does it.”

“Very simply put, men cheat because they can,” clinical psychologist Ashlei McFarlane said. “Of course, not all men cheat, so I am speaking only of the subset that actually do.”

McFarlane said researchers have identified the following as some reasons why men cheat:

1. Gender. Men are more likely than women to commit infidelity, largely because men have more testosterone, which is one of the fuels for sex drive.

2. Relationship reasons. He may cheat because he feels dissatisfied with the relationship. This can be because of lack of sexual desires being fulfilled, spouse unavailability due to work, school or family commitments.

“A lot of men complain of feeling left out after the birth of a child, for example, and long to be the centre of attention again,” McFarlane said.

3. Situational reasons. “Others cheat because of the situation. A man might not have a personality prone to cheating, and might be in a perfectly happy relationship, but something about his environment puts him at risk for infidelity,” McFarlane said. “Alcohol is known to lower one’s inhibitions, so a few drinks coupled with being alone in an intimate setting, say, after work with a co-worker, can lead to cheating. An overabundance of women in the work or school setting, for instance in our tertiary institutions where the females outnumber the males by far in many programmes, is another reason. This can lead the man in a relationship to feel as though he is a kid in a candy store.”

4. Work environment. Work environments that involve close contact and touching between co-workers have been known to spark workplace romances even among those who are married or already in relationships.

5. The 80/20 rule. “A man will generally only get about 80 per cent of his needs satisfied by any one woman. Some men will accept this as the way it is, while others will decide to fill the last 20 per cent with someone else,” McFarlane said. “So a man in a committed relationship or marriage will have his gorgeous, classy, educated, loyal wife, the mother of his children, his arm candy at social and business functions, but she does not know how to fill his wildest sexual fantasies and some men even feel it would be out of order to request that their beautiful wife perform such acts. So he goes to the girl who is less inhibited but perhaps is not wife material, but she will go on her head top and whatever else he requests so that he can have a good time and go back home to his family a happy man,” she explained.

McFarlane explained that the whole socialisation that black men go through to say that this is the norm is also a contributing factor to cheating on loyal women.

“I believe that has been hammered so much into some men’s heads that it becomes a part of who they are even though they are married or in committed relationships,” she added. “Some also do it for the thrill of the chase, like it gives them a rush to see that they can get this one and that one.”

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