10. He’s a liar
He never intended to be monogamous, despite his commitment. He doesn’t understand that his vow of fidelity is a sacrifice made to and for his relationship and the person he professes to love. This man views monogamy as something to be worked around rather than embraced.
9. He lacks male bonding and a peer community
Having undervalued his healthy need to maintain solid, supportive friendships and community with other men, his reaction to a busy or distracted spouse is all the more injurious—as he expects all of his emotional and physical needs to be met by this one person (read: Mom).
8. He wants out
He is looking to end his current relationship and is using external sexual and romantic activities to give his wife or girlfriend “the message” without having to be direct. Or, if he is a man who doesn’t like being alone, period, then finding a new and “better” person before leaving a current relationship provides a safer and softer landing
7. He is addicted
Perhaps he has an ongoing, problematic relationship with alcohol ordrugs that affects his decision-making and disinhibits him. He may also have an issue with sexual compulsivity, meaning he uses sexual activity as a way to self-soothe, escape uncomfortable emotions, and dissociate from the pain of underlying psychological conditions.
6. He is confused about love
He mistakes limerence—the “rush” of early romance—with love. He does not understand that in truly loving relationships, the early, visceral attraction is gradually replaced by sweeter feelings of longer-term attachment, honesty, commitment, and emotional intimacy.
5. He is bored
overworked, or otherwise put-upon (in his mind), and feels deserving of something special that is just for him—hiring prostitutes, viewing porn, or having affairs. Or maybe he wants more attention from his mate and thinks a period of pulling away will cause her to comply.
4. He has unreasonable expectations
He believes that his spouse should meet his every sexual and emotional need, 24/7, without fail. In his narcissistic and self-focused way, he doesn’t understand that his spouse may be juggling multiple priorities (kids, work, home, finances) in addition to him and the relationship. When this spouse inevitably fails him (in his view), he feels entitled to seek intimate attention elsewhere.
3. He is damaged
Perhaps he is acting out early trauma experiences, such as physical abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse. His formative wounds have left him unable or unwilling to fully commit himself to another person. He may also seek sexual intensity outside his relationship as a way to self-medicate (escape from) his emotional and psychological pain.
2. He is immature
He thinks that as long as his partner doesn’t find out, he’s not hurting anybody. He doesn’t understand that significant others almost always know when something is up. He doesn’t “get” that his partner will eventually find out what’s been going on, and when that occurs, it won’t be pretty.
1. He is insecure
Deep down, he feels that he is too young, too old, too fat, too thin, too poor, too stupid, or too whatever to be desirable. He uses flirtation, porn, and extramarital sex as a way to feel better about himself, to reassure himself that he is still desirable, worthwhile, and “good enough.”