Extramarital Affairs: Who Cheats More?! Men or Women

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Infidelity is one of the worst things that can happen to a relationship. In an instant, you lose trust in your partner, worry about your health, and reconsider your entire future. The age-old question of who cheats more men or women is more difficult to answer than you think, so let’s look at some of the most common reasons why men and women have extramarital affairs.

Cheating in a relationship should never be taken lightly. Still, you can salvage your relationship after infidelity and come out stronger on the other side if you’re willing to put in the work.

Who Cheats More Men or Women?

Every relationship is different, but statistically speaking, men are more likely to be caught cheating in a relationship. A recent General Social Survey reported on infidelity statistics, saying 20% of men and 13% of women had sex with a person other than their spouse while married. Some stats even say that men are twice as likely to cheat as a woman in a relationship.

However, there are a lot of different factors that can impact who cheats more men or women. For example, women between 18 and 29 are slightly more likely to cheat than men, and infidelity for both genders increases with age. Some data suggests that women are becoming more likely to cheat over time.

These are all based on self-reported stats, so it’s hard to know how accurate they are when trying to understand who cheats more men or women. In traditional gender roles where the men worked and the women stayed at home, women had more to lose if they were caught cheating, including their financial stability, reputation, and, potentially, even their children. As a result, they became better at hiding their affairs. Historically, male cheaters faced fewer consequences. Their infidelities were often written off as a moment of weakness. They were more casual and opportunistic, separate from their daily life.

The approach to cheating in a relationship – careful, well-thought-out vs. a spur-of-the-moment decision – usually plays a role in if and how people get caught cheating in extramarital relationships. It may be impossible to know who cheats more men or women.

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Why Do Men Cheat?

Unfortunately, the answer to who cheats more men or women has historically been men. They had more opportunities to cheat because they worked out of the home, making it easier to hide. While more and more women are in the workforce, men still report that they’re unfaithful at higher rates than women. So, why is that? Why is the answer to who cheats more, men or women, usually men?


The most common reason that men say they cheat is because of sex. Some report they’re in a sexless marriage, while others can’t resist the temptation of having sex with another person that they feel intensely attracted to. It could also be an issue of sexuality and sexual behavior. Your partner may not have been able to explore their sexuality when they were growing up, and now they want to understand that part of themselves. These are all common answers to who cheats more men or women.

Your partner isn’t entitled to your body or sex, so, while they may report they’re dissatisfied with the amount of sex in your relationship, that’s a personal issue. Never let a partner use a lack of sex to manipulate or coerce you into sexual relations that you don’t feel comfortable with or want. However, if your partner tries to communicate with you about your lack of intimacy, it’s important to listen.

Men will seek sex elsewhere if they don’t feel as if their concerns are being taken seriously, and a lack of sexual intimacy is one huge reason why the answer to who cheats more men or women is men. It’s his choice to cheat, but unless it’s cheating of opportunity, there’s likely an underlying lack of intimacy driving his behaviors, including an aversion to monogamy.


Men like to feel that they’re being valued, so if your conversations have turned into nothing but arguments, nagging, and silent treatments, it’ll start to drive them away and confirm the stats of who cheats more men or women. If there’s someone else who listens to them and lets them talk without judgment, cheating men may seek their counsel instead of yours.

This is the start of an emotional affair, which can be just as damaging or lead to physical cheating in a relationship. Real-life comes with its nuisances, but try not to let them dominate your conversation. Instead, talk about what’s going on at work, listen to his complaining without trying to fix it, and validate that what he’s feeling is legitimate. All of these can go very far to improve communication and reduce the chance of cheating in a relationship.

If your partner is behaving selfishly, they may start to seek validation from others for more shallow reasons. It may make them feel good that another person desires them or that they can interest someone much younger than them. This is very common when considering who cheats more men or women.

These have nothing to do with your relationship; instead, your partner displays narcissistic behaviors. They should seek the help of a professional to understand why they’re engaging in these self-destructive behaviors to feel validated, or they’ll continue cheating in a relationship.

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Mental Health

Men mature at a slower rate than women, so the answer to who cheats more men or women may play into that. Men can commit adultery because they’re immature. They may not be ready for a serious relationship or don’t appreciate what they have. They cheat because they’re delusional enough to think that they’ll never get caught or you’ll never leave.

Cheating in a relationship can also indicate other mental health issues outside of maturity. Your partner can have low self-esteem, mental illness, or sex addiction. Drugs and alcohol lower inhibitions, so they could cheat because they’re not in their right mind.

Who cheats more men or women is a complicated question with many layers, most of which are tied to mental health. Childhood trauma, sexual abuse, and emotional baggage can all play a role in male infidelity.

Missing Connection

Much like validation, if you’re drifting apart from your partner, they may start looking for the connection elsewhere, seeking out physical or emotional intimacy. It takes two to tango when considering who cheats more men or women, so if your partner’s missing your old connection, they, too, need to work on it to bring the spark back to life.

It’s easy to feel a connection with new people. It’s based on the thrill of the unknown and physical attraction, among other factors. People fail to realize that that thrill will fade over time, and you’ll be left in an endless cycle of seeking newness to feel fulfilled. So, when considering who cheats more men or women, think about if you want to be in a lasting relationship. If so, dig deep to understand what’s missing inside you, what leads you to lose connections in your relationships, and work to change it.

Easy Way Out

Cheating in a relationship is a dealbreaker for many, so if your partner is looking to break up without a confrontation, they may cheat. They may take the blame or shift it to you, but it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. They’ve found the easy out in a relationship.

If you think this may be the case, it’s easier to break up. Cheating is never the answer. The answer to who cheats more men or women may lean towards men because of this easy out. It’s a shortcut, so you don’t have to address any of your issues. You don’t have to give a real reason why you want to break up, and if you cheated while intoxicated, you could easily dismiss the behavior as out of character.

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Why Do Women Cheat?

While the answer to who cheats more men or women is men, that doesn’t mean a married woman won’t cheat and have extramarital sex. The statistics are entirely self-reported, so, while anonymous, women may be less likely to admit their sexual infidelity to preserve their reputations. Here are some of the most common reasons women cheat, and it may be surprising that they look similar to men’s reasons!


Women tend to seek out emotional connections in addition to physical connections, so if your intimacy is lacking, they may seek it outside the relationship. Who cheats more men or women doesn’t always have to mean physical cheating. It can also be emotional infidelity. Married couples should take time to touch each other, which will help your body produce the hormones that strengthen feelings of love. If she’s been at home with the kids, listen to what happened or offer to take the kids so she can take a bath or grab a coffee in peace.

Intimacy doesn’t always have to be sex. It’s also about the little moments that make her feel special. If she feels like you see her, then she likely won’t seek an intimate connection outside of the relationship.


The question of who cheats more men or women can lead back to unhappiness for both men and women. A partner may feel unhappy in their relationship. Something’s wrong, and instead of exploring what it is and how to fix it, your partner may, instead, seek a quick fix, which would be the rush of desirability during an affair.

Low self-esteem is another driving force for who cheats more men or women. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you’ll seek things that’ll make you feel good or reinforce your negative beliefs about yourself. If you think that you’re not good enough for your partner, you’ll do things that make you unworthy of him. Cheating, then, serves as a coping mechanism. You’re getting through something with the help of whoever is nearest, even if it’s not your partner.

No one can make you happy. No relationship will fix what’s broken in you, so it may be time to seek therapy if you’re engaging in self-destructive behaviors.

happy couple taking a selfie


Women are sexual beings too, and just like married men, they can be looking for sex. They want to feel sexual desire. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that when trying to answer who cheats more men or women. Women’s sexual drive doesn’t always match with men’s, so as women age, they may start to want sex more than their partner can keep up with.

They may also have sexual desires that their partner doesn’t feel comfortable fulfilling, or they haven’t brought up to them because they’re embarrassed. Sex is the most common answer to who cheats more men or women, and if you don’t feel satisfied in the bedroom, communicate with your partner.

Break Up

Cheating is a common reason that women break up with their partners, whether they’re being cheated on or doing the cheating in a relationship. Women, too, use cheating as an escape, so, who cheats more men or women can be a tough question to answer. It can be almost impossible to forgive infidelity, so it’s easier to lean on that than explore why you’re not happy or why you want out of the relationship.

Before cheating in a relationship, consider how it would feel to be cheated on. What emotional baggage would you develop as a result of those actions? The answer to who cheats more men or women doesn’t matter. Everyone loses when cheating is involved, so don’t use it as an easy out. Your partner will be discussing why they weren’t enough in therapy for years to come.

Will They Always Cheat?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Once a cheater, always a cheater,” but that’s not always the case. The answer to who cheats more men or women is complicated. A partner cheats for many reasons, so if those issues aren’t present, your partner may not be tempted to start cheating in a relationship.

Communication is Key

Have open and honest conversations about each other’s needs. This will help you identify if there are areas in your relationship that are lacking and address them before they become a bigger problem and someone, potentially, starts cheating in a relationship. You won’t have to wonder who cheats more men or women with clear communication, because the answer for you and your partner is neither.

Ultimately, we all want to feel appreciated, loved, and desired in our relationship. If you start to take your partner for granted, they may begin to seek those feelings elsewhere. If cheating isn’t in their nature, you may be headed for a break-up or divorce so they can find fulfillment elsewhere.

happy couple smiling at the camera

Check Their Motivations

If you’re worried about cheating in a relationship after one infidelity, their motivations can tell you if they’ll likely do it again. Were they defensive and blaming it on you? Were they not sorry? How did they describe the experience? Was it exhilarating, or did they feel sick afterward?

If your partner doesn’t regret their actions, chances are they’ll do it again. They felt younger, special, or more desirable after cheating in a relationship. Maybe that thrill carried over to their home life, and your sex life increased. The sad truth is that not everyone believes that cheating in a relationship is wrong. They feel justified in their choices, and if this is the case, the only thing they likely regret is that they got caught. Next time, they’ll work harder to keep it a secret.

Should You Stay Together after Cheating in a Relationship?

There’s no correct answer if you should stay together after infidelity, but only about 15% of relationships last after one partner was caught cheating. About 55% break up immediately, while 30% try to make a go of it but ultimately break up.

To work through cheating in a relationship, you have to be honest with each other and process the transgression. You need to work on what issues caused the infidelity and be open that your relationship may not be salvageable.

The answer to who cheats more men or women is irrelevant if you want to move forward. You can’t place blame or throw it in their face during an argument. Instead, you have to be willing to leave the past in the past. You have to move on or let the relationship go. You choose how you handle cheating in a relationship, and there’s no shame in fighting for your relationship or throwing in the towel.

So, Who Cheats More Men or Women?

The answer to who cheats more men or women is more complicated than you think. The simple answer is men cheat more. However, it depends on age, emotional or physical cheating, in-person or online, and many more factors. When you look at these different scenarios, the answer to who cheats more men or women may change.

Both men and women can cheat on their partners, but women will be more likely to seek emotional support while men lean towards physical affection. Both are still cheating in a relationship because they cross a line. Once you break your partner’s trust, it may be hard to get it back, so think twice before that momentary indiscretion because it can cost a lifetime of happiness.

Overall, if you’re looking to avoid cheating in your relationship, work on communication, staying financially stable, maintaining compatibility, staying connected, and respecting your partner. Once these risk factors begin to creep in, it’s more likely there will be cheating in a relationship.

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