Surveys indicate that men are more likely to be unfaithful than women. Because of this unsettling statistic, it is helpful to explore the specific reasons why men -- more often than women -- may choose to have an affair.

There are many reasons why you might be unfaithful. The obvious is that you are unhappy and feel that your needs cannot be met by your partner. In the many years I've worked with couples, I have observed that gender-sensitive issues can be part of the affair puzzle.

If you become aware of these influences, you'll be in a better position to affair-proof your relationship.

Note: There are many reasons why someone might justify an affair (to themselves and their partner). The explanations that follow are meant to help you build a stronger union with your partner, not act as justification for a decision to be unfaithful. If you learn to become aware of your patterns or tendencies, you can offset any dangers that might exist and shape your behavior so that it benefits your marriage or relationship.

5 reasons why men cheat

1. Are you an escape artist?

The escape artist has trouble with feelings. If you fit this profile, you feel emotionally shut-down--you're not very good at expressing your feelings and desires. At times you might not even be attuned to your desires. It can feel like you go through life in an emotional straitjacket, stilted and never feeling fully alive or present. The escape artist needs to flee his own self-imposed prison of non-feeling.

You want to feel emotions more deeply, yet the inability to do so within your relationship leaves you vulnerable to having an affair. You might experience the energy and danger associated with an affair as a way to break through the emotional numbness you feel in your relationship. However, that energy is short-lived and destructive to both you and your partner.

2. Are you trying to recapture your past?

Maturity definitely has its benefits. You feel more settled and in control of your life, and your relationships are more stable and meaningful. But leaving the self-centered world of childhood and the invincibility of adolescence can also feel like you've lost an important part of yourself--the part of you that is full of dreams and aspirations. Under these conditions, a committed relationship can feel like a prison that holds you back. Do you reflect on your life and think, "Is this all life has in store for me?" It can feel like you're in an emotional crisis.

The excitement of an affair can mistakenly feel like the only opportunity to recapture the vitality of your youth. Rather than discover the real cause for your emotional crisis, you seek out the infatuation of a new relationship. Once this infatuation dwindles (which it will), you will again be face-to-face with the need to find the real cause of your despair.

3. Are you an avoider?

You feel uncomfortable with emotional closeness and with demands for greater intimacy. To help you deal with these feelings, you find yourself trying to avoid your partner (and intimacy). You might rely on the more benign forms of avoiding intimacy, such as keeping yourself busy with household projects or staying late at work. At the extreme end of the avoiding continuum, you might become involved in extramarital affair--erroneously believing that you've discovered a way to be in a relationship that does not place emotional demands on you.

If an affair continues for any length of time, you will begin to feel trapped by requests for deeper emotional closeness and the cycle of having to escape intimacy will start all over again.

4. Are you more likely to act-out buried feelings?

Unresolved emotional issues (whether from your childhood or your relationship) have a way of coming to the surface. Ideally, you will discover healthy ways to express these feelings. But when marital or relationship problems mount and remain unresolved, resentments can shatter intimacy. As the emotional distance continues to grow in your relationship, you will feel a deep sense of loneliness.

Many men report great discomfort dealing with these powerful, negative feelings that can surface in any relationship. Feelings of isolation and beliefs that you and your partner are no longer compatible can lead you to seek solace outside the relationship, therefore making you affair-prone.

5. Do you need to be a hero?

Men are often raised to be heroes. That might sound like a good thing on paper, but in reality it can prove problematic. Heroes don't feel, they act. Think about the male role models in your life. Did you view your father as brave and impervious to pain? Or was he someone who could be vulnerable and seek comfort from others when he needed it? Young boys are inundated with messages about the virtues of being brave and stoic. The hero sacrifices without complaining.

The demands of intimacy can be very confusing to the hero. Rather than feeling celebrated for your ability to get difficult, necessary jobs done, you may find yourself criticized and misunderstood by a partner who wants you to be more emotionally available and communicative. Feeling inept and unappreciated within the realm of intimacy, you might consider an affair as a way to get the attention and appreciation you feel you deserve.

If you see yourself (or your husband or partner) in any of these profiles, take the steps necessary to begin communicating more openly about the struggles your relationship faces. Information is your ally in working toward an affair-proof relationship.

To discover ways to build a more vibrant, affair-proof relationship, visit and sign up for Dr. Nicastro's FREE monthly newsletter. As a bonus, you'll receive two FREE reports that you can begin using immediately with your partner.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Nicastro, Ph.D. is a psychologist and relationship coach who is passionate about helping couples protect the sanctuary of their relationship. Rich and his wife Lucia founded LifeTalk Coaching, an internet-based coaching business that helps couples strengthen their relationships.