Why do husbands cheat on their wives, and what can wives do about it?

Lindsay's Logic on sex and marriage
Lindsay’s Logic on sex and marriage

I saw an interesting article at the radically leftist New York Times, written by a woman who has had a lot of sex with married men. I thought it might be interesting to see what she reports is the reason for why men cheat on their wives.

She writes:

All told I communicated with maybe a dozen men during that time in my life, and had sex with fewer than half. Others I texted or talked with, which sometimes felt nearly as intimate.

Before I met each man I would ask: “Why are you doing this?” I wanted assurance that all he desired was sex.

What surprised me was that these husbands weren’t looking to have more sex. They were looking to have any sex.

I met one man whose wife had implicitly consented to her husband having a lover because she was no longer interested in sex, at all. They both, to some degree, got what they needed without having to give up what they wanted. But the other husbands I met would have preferred to be having sex with their wives. For whatever reason, that wasn’t happening.

[…]Maybe the reason some wives aren’t having sex with their husbands is because, as women age, we long for a different kind of sex. I know I did, which is what led me down this path of illicit encounters. After all, nearly as many women are initiating affairs as men.

If you read the work of Esther Perel, the author of the recently published book “State of Affairs,” you’ll learn that, for many wives, sex outside of marriage is their way of breaking free from being the responsible spouses and mothers they have to be at home. Married sex, for them, often feels obligatory. An affair is adventure.

Meanwhile, the husbands I spent time with would have been fine with obligatory sex. For them, adventure wasn’t the main reason for their adultery.

And in particular:

After our second night together, though, I could tell this was about more than sex for him; he was desperate for affection. He said he wanted to be close to his wife but couldn’t because they were unable to get past their fundamental disconnect: lack of sex, which led to a lack of closeness, which made sex even less likely and then turned into resentment and blame.

Interesting. Many wives get tired of sex or they want “adventure” and so they stop having sex with their husbands. They probably expect their husbands to man up and keep doing husband and father things, without any fuel. If they don’t feel like doing something, then they think they shouldn’t have to do it. And they think that everything else should go on as before, without them having to do anything they don’t feel like doing.

Here’s a related post from Lindsay’s Logic on sex and marriage. She has an opinion about how married women can get around this.

She writes:

Sexual refusal is a serious problem in many marriages. Even Christian marriages. In most cases, it’s the wife doing the refusing. So here’s my message to the ladies who are saying no to their husbands and denying him sex or those who are struggling with wondering why they are expected to have sex regularly with their husbands.

Ladies, if you’re married, your husband probably doesn’t have the gift of celibacy. And he got married, at least partially, in order to fulfill his God-given sex drive. That’s one of the legitimate purposes of marriage.

Not only that, but when a man is single, while it’s certainly difficult to abstain from sex, at least he doesn’t have a beautiful woman sharing his living quarters and tempting him every day.

A married man has both the legitimate expectation of getting sex and a woman he loves and is attracted to right there in his home all the time. To expect him to abstain for long periods when the object of his desire is right there in his bed every night is to ask too much. It’s like staring at a box of chocolates all day while on a diet. It’s torture.

So how does a man deal with a wife who refuses him all the time? The same way we deal with the chocolates when we are trying to diet. We put them away, don’t look at them, and try not to think about them.

This is why refusal hurts marriages. A man will withdraw from his wife if he is being constantly refused. And it will tear them apart. It’s too hurtful for a man to engage with a wife, spend time with her, and build up all that desire from being around her only to be constantly frustrated. So he’ll protect himself by avoiding her.

It might be a good idea to check on what the Bible says about this problem. It’s in 1 Corinthians 7.

1 Corinthians 7:1-5:

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.

For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

I have heard a lot of Christian women tell me even before marriage that sex is something that they will do when they feel like it. I ask them if work is only something that Christian husbands should do when they feel like it. They say no to that, of course. The rules are different for men.

It seems to me that part of the fun of having two sexes is learning the differences between the two, and taking care of the needs that the other person has. But I am seeing really widespread acceptance of sex-withholding among women, and even among married Christian women. And I see it being justified on the basis of feelings – feelings are the voice of God speaking to her, so that responsibilities and obligations fade away. Feelings of expecting “adventure” in order to make them feel like doing what they promised to do. Do a woman’s feelings overrule the plain meaning of Scripture? It seems to me that you could get into a lot of trouble by valuing feelings and intuitions over planning and prudence.

This sex-withholding problem makes me wonder what people think that marriage is when they get into the church and make vows that, ostensibly, will require self-sacrifice. What do women think that marriage is? What is the goal of it? What makes a marriage successful? Why do women think that men marry? What do men get out of marriage? What are the woman’s responsibilities to the man in a marriage? I think these are questions that men should ask women before they marry them. And look at their lives for red flags:  see if there is a frantic desire for “adventure”, or an immature desire to avoid relationship obligations to others. And men should not be satisfied with simple, spiritual-sounding answers.

A woman who makes important decisions by relying on her feelings cannot be trusted to be a good wife. She needs to inform her mind about how marriage really works, and then act wisely.

23 thoughts on “Why do husbands cheat on their wives, and what can wives do about it?”

  1. You hit the nail on the head Wintery. Christian women today believe their feelings are on equal par with the word of God or override it even when the meaning is clear and not taken out of context. The consequences of this reversal are God exists to merely further what a woman is willing to do based on her feelings. She is not bowed in her heart as it were to the Lordship of Jesus Christ

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  2. It’s like I have said before: The basics for Christian women (and for women in general, really) are considered optional, or, that a guy is lucky to get them if he meets all the prerequisites, while the basics for Christian men (work, maintaining the home, etc.) are all ignored because its “just what your supposed to be doing”. In order to generate feelings of love and attraction he has to be going FAR above and beyond basics otherwise his wife won’t feel she is loved. Why? Because she has been told that her husband only loves her if he lavishes her with gifts, trips, compliments and, well, STUFF. If he doesn’t provide enough stuff then she doesn’t feel loved which leads to resentment and that leads to less sex. I mean, its not the only reason for lack of sex, but it seems to be a common reason. I’ve been really shocked over the years at how many wives disdain their husbands. Oh they don’t come out and say it, but you can see it in how they behave.

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    1. This is part of the problem. However, I think women seek exactly the wrong things for them to be happy because of feminism. They think they want a man who caters to their every whim, worships the ground they walk on, and never expects them to do anything unpleasant or sacrificial. And that is what they pursue. They condition men to do these things more and more in order to get approval, and then they wonder why they aren’t satisfied, and the man can’t figure it out either. The husbands point out that they help with household chores, play with the kids, give her free time to go out and have fun, and so on, yet she rarely or never feels like having sex with him. What she says is that she wants even more of these things. Life is still too difficult for her. She’s stressed and tired. That may even be what she thinks is the problem, but it’s not. Husbands too often believe her and try giving even more in an attempt to make her happy, but it’s never enough, because they’ve misdiagnosed the problem.

      The real problem is that we women crave leadership and we are attracted to it. When the woman takes the lead in the relationship, she might think that’s what she wants, but she will have her attraction to her husband evaporate. Women will never feel properly loved until they are led by a man. They fight for control, then wonder why they never feel loved no matter how many acts of service or gifts they receive. What they need is to be led. They need the man to take control and put them in their place. That will make them feel loved and cherished when they embrace their proper role and have a man they look up to and admire for his strength and leadership.

      Acts of service are just a bandaid on a gaping wound when the marriage has the leadership backwards and the woman is in control. They might make things seem a little better for a short time, but they just cover up the real problem. The real need is for men and women to take on their proper roles in marriage. Only then will they both feel satisfied and feel loved.

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      1. Yes, and your comment is coming from a very, very strong woman. I think that in terms of education and prehmarriage career, you would be in the top 1% of women in terms of ability an strength.

        Marriage is it’s own thing, though. Men and wen have to adapt to what makes marriage work, just as you described.

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      2. Yes, this is part of what feminism has wrought, but it has infected the church as well so that even a majority of Western churches teach that men have to jump through hoops to get their wives sex and affection. Having gone through some Christian marriage counselling courses and “retreats”, I can say with 100% certainty that the church pushes the concept that husbands must be doing, saying and buying enough to meet a mysterious requirement.

        Women crave leadership, but they are told that leadership cannot come from their husbands unless it is “servant leadership”, or, subjugation. The church tells wives that if their husbands aren’t serving them by doing house chores and “lifting them up” then they aren’t being leaders they are being tyrants. Then, when women get a taste of real leadership, typically from a boss at work or from some other male in their lives, they chase after it because its what they crave! Their husbands are not allowed to “take control and put them in their place” because everyone, the church and society, says that if a husband takes control he is now an abuser!

        Men and women DO need to take on their proper roles, but as far as Christians go the first step is that the church needs to get back into promoting and reinforcing those proper roles. If the church continues to tell wives they are better, stronger, faster and more spiritual than their husbands they wont have any interest in being “subject to their own husbands”. Why subject yourself to someone who is dumber and less proficient that you are when you aren’t getting paid?

        Its a sad state.

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    2. “…I’ve been really shocked over the years at how many wives disdain their husbands. Oh they don’t come out and say it, but you can see it in how they behave.”

      An old Red Pill maxim that is worth its weight in platinum deserves to be carved in stone, set alongside the Ten Commandments, and memorized by every male when he reaches puberty: “MEN — IGNORE what women say. Instead, you will learn Truth when you WATCH what they do.”

      “Men have facts; women have words.” — Old Italian proverb.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree this is the key. I have personal experience with women who try to paint a picture of themselves with words as ambitious, serious, and competent. But when you ask to see their resume, it’s a gap-filled mess of minimum wage jobs. I am talking agricultural worker, bartender, missionary – everything fun, nothing serious. And look at their finances. Women can paint a picture of frugality and seriousness, but when they study English and find themselves 20-30 thousand in debt, you know the truth. On the one hand, they want to get married and have children, but the actions are all thrill-seeking and fear-of-missing-out travel. If she is talking about the future, it’s a red flag. She should be talking about the past, and demonstrating achievement.

        Don’t listen to the words. Watch what they sacrifice for. Look at the education (should be STEM), look at the career (full-time work in the private sector, no gaps), look at the finances (lives on her own, has her own car, two months expenses in the bank, and no wasteful spending on thrill-seeking and travel). Most important of all, her past boyfriends should all be serious marriage-minded people. Not hot guys she shacked up with because she wanted to delay marriage for fun and thrills. Marriage-ready women demonstrate that they are comfortable with obligations to others in relationships, and that they are good at keeping commitments even when it gets difficult.

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  3. Another aspect which I think should be mentioned here is that women want what other women want. For a man it means never letting yourself go to seed, that is be the man that your wife’s girlfriends would steal you away from her if they could.

    While I have never cheated on my wife, nor ever intend to, a bit of what is called soft dread is very helpful in keeping my marriage alive. Having your wife drag you to bed and ripping your clothes off is like nothing else in this world.

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  4. It boils down to being self centered vs putting one’s spouse first. If you truly and deeply love someone, you place their needs above your own. Thus, the wife makes the effort to learn and meet her husbands needs, and the husband does the same. Communication is critical in this area.

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  5. What are the woman’s responsibilities to the husband in a marriage you ask? In modern American marriage, absolutely nothing. The responsibilities go only one way.

    As an aside, there are ways for a wife to “withhold sex” without technically withholding sex: having begrudging sex.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. it’s unusual, but i’ve heard a few stories of wives being hurt by a husband’s disinterest… anyone have any thoughts on that?

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  7. I don’t understand women who marry but refuse sex. I mean, it’s one thing to say “honey not tonight” now and then, people can’t have the energy to do things all the time, but it’s another to refuse sex altogether in a married relationship! I think part of the whole “marital rape” thing is feminism trying to tell women having sex with one’s own husband is oppressive, yet hypocritically not every other guy on the planet in promiscuous hookups before marriage! Still, cheating is wrong as you committed to marry and made vows to your partner no matter what. I do believe, unlike radical feminists, that marriage is a consent to sex, and its ridiculous that each partner must ask the other a zillion times if they “like” it! If you aren’t ready to have sex, then don’t marry!
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

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    1. Nobody thinks that occasional refusal is a problem. The problem is months and years of sex withholding, and this seems to be quite common these days. I’m not sure what the answer is except that men ought to check their prospective mates to see if they are used to doing hard things, having to invest in relationships, having to honor obligations to others, getting performance from others by investing in them, etc. People skills.

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        1. Well, I just had a conversation with a Christian woman who divorced. She said that marriage was for women and children. I listened to her talk about her marriage and basically she wanted to get involved in millions of activities, including adopting children, lots of pets, real estate property management, etc. The guy left because he didn’t marry just to become someone’s slave.

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          1. So true too. A lot of women want slaves for husbands who are overly feminine and weak to “neutralize the threat” so to speak so they can push their radical feminism. A strong man is seen at oppressive and a threat to them.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. I have no idea on the cheating point.

    But I do think it is useful to remember that women that value kids and things like that first above the husband are going to be at odds with their husband.

    The percentage of men that need to have kids to feel fulfilled is lower than women.

    More guys will marry to be with a woman they love, or for some sexual desire that even Paul admits is an acceptable marriage reason.

    If a woman doesn’t understand that having kids and living a life around the kids sacrificially to the exclusion of your spouse is not the way men will think. But it is not an uncommon worldly thought among women

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  9. If I get married and am refused sex because of your feelings…what’s the point in getting married. I can stay single and keep my provisions from you because of my feelings.

    That’s the logic men have with MGTOW, ladies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s my logic. If I married, my job would be to understand my wife and to take care of her. I don’t expect an out from my responsibilities in a marriage because of feelings, and don’t see why so many women think that their feelings are more important than the people they promised to care for.

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      1. In the simplest form…at least my opinion

        Feminism is the widespread acceptance of female rebellion. Although men are still expected to hold up their end of the bargain. When we don’t there’s the ‘weak men are screwing feminism up’ argument.

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  10. Has anyone ever heard a church preach on wives submitting to their husbands and on 1 Corinthians 7:1-5? On how Eve sinned first then Adam? On how Eve was made out of Adam and for Adam? I never have. The church ignores these passages and tells men to “man up” which they define as going to work and doing more chores. Why would a Christian man want to “man up” nowadays? Women need men like fish need a bicycle. If the church continues to go in the direction of feminism, more young men should be counseled not to marry.

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