real life

Not all men cheat. And these are the reasons why.

David Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell


Everyone cheats.

Someone said this to me a few weeks ago and I have to admit the statement left me feeling  frankly, a little bit sick.

At 25, it’s always been my belief that it’s only the jerks who cheat.

So have I been wrong this whole time as some people would have me believe? They say it’s not only the jerks who cheat. It’s anyone with a penis. And apparently, I’ve been naive to think otherwise.

We were talking about the cheating scandal that’s rocking the US right now; that of former CIA director David Petraeus, who resigned from his position after the FBI exposed the extramarital affair he’d been having with his biographer.

In the time since Petraeus’ infidelities were exposed, there have been countless articles written about the reasons men cheat – particularly why powerful men cheat. There’s loneliness. Stress. Opportunity. The adrenalin rush. The “it’s just sex” justification or, better still, the “he’s just a man” defense. And then (drum roll, please) there’s the question of whether men are just incapable of monogamy altogether.

Did I mention I was feeling slightly ill?  But should I be? Is this all really true?

This next post comes via The Good Men Project. After reading all the talk about why men cheat in the wake of the Petreaus affair, they decided to write the reasons men DON’T cheat. “We know a lot of guys who don’t cheat—guys who are committed to being faithful to their partners,” they wrote on the site. “And knowing all these good guys, we certainly do not support the notion that masculinity=infidelity.”

Here are five reasons men don’t cheat – and it comes from their Marriage Editor, Gint Aras.

1.) My wife doesn’t give me any reason. I have no interest in cheating on her. Whatever problem I might have, I’m aware, would only become worse, as I grew up in a house of infidelity.

My wife is not sexually possessive of me in the least. I have told her many of my sex fantasies, even the most idiotic ones. If Eva Green or Scarlett Johanson seduced me, enamored simply because of my looks or charm, demanded a one night stand of no-strings-attached sex in some swank hotel, the first person I would tell afterwards would be my wife. She would almost certainly celebrate this crazy experience and demand to know all the details. It would probably make her horny, and we’d have the best sex of our marriage. She’d announce it on Facebook, “Gint laid Scarlett!” No one would believe her. Scarlett would deny it.

(Scarlett and/or Eva, if you happen across this article and get turned on, please e-mail me. Discretion guaranteed.)

Does everyone cheat?

2.) My father cheated on my mother and I don’t want to “become him”. I have children of my own now. I know what damage it does to a kid’s self-esteem. It’s an act of extreme selfishness and disregard for a child’s need for security and trust.

3.) Here’s a shocker. I love my wife enormously. I worry about her daily. My love for her as a whole human being is greater than my sexual needs. I want my wife to have time to develop her musical career, and I don’t want her to feel that her primary role in the marriage is to fuss and fret over my every need, whatever it is. She gave birth to my children, and she does an amazing job raising them. Our little boy is still an infant, and the late nights exhaust her. The best gift I can often give is time for her to rest, and I feel I never give her enough.

4.) Let’s pretend I got so horny that I couldn’t handle it anymore and, rejected for the thousandth time by my wife, I found myself wanting a sex partner. Where the hell would I find one? I have two children and work daily. During my free time, I scramble to get writing done. What should I do? Ask women at work if they’re interested in an affair? That’s an inevitable cycle of rejections, and I get enough of that from querying agents and editors.

Even if the solution were an AdultFriendFinder account, I’d have no time to meet with this Adult Friend. And if I did meet with her, I’d probably be too exhausted for anything besides a quickie. Also, I would demand a clean bill of health, very recent notes from at least two doctors. Quite frankly, a Fleshlight is more attractive than this.

5.) I don’t find it empowering. Unless you find a married woman who must also hide the affair from her husband, you give away enormous leverage. A single woman, as we see again and again, can blackmail a married man, and if she has anything to gain financially, she’d be a fool not to. Now…a married woman who wants an affair? Really? With me? What a wackjob.

This gallery of reasons men don’t cheat was created by the team at The Good Men Project using the tweets of men and those who love them.

So. Cheating. Have you ever cheated? Have you ever been cheated on? Do you believe the notion that men cheat just because they’re men? What about women?