I’ve read a lot of relationship advice about why married men have affairs. Some will tell you that men will cheat because they are hard-wired to do so and that they have no control or responsibility over what choices they make. Others will tell you that all men will only cheat because of a specific set of reasons like: because he can, it’s thrilling, he’s having a midlife crisis, or any number of other things.

I don’t really like this kind of advice. Not only is it offensive because it ignores human free will and assumes that all men will behave the same way in any given circumstance, but it also lumps men together into one category.

You and I both know that all men aren’t the same. There are shy men and outgoing men. There are charming men and brash men. Men are human beings, just the same as you and I. They have their own unique motivations based on who they are and the experiences that they have been through.

It is incredibly ineffective to try to label the causes of affairs with some simple list of 4 reasons (or whatever).

But I will tell you what usually lies at the bottom of all of these external causes of an affair. It is unmet emotional needs.

When a man feels that he isn’t getting all of his emotional needs met in a relationship, he may start to experience things like a midlife crisis or a desire to connect with other women. Let’s face it, men who are happy with their lives and their relationships don’t cheat.

You see, if a man has a deep emotional need that is left unmet, he will be drawn to anyone and anything that may offer to meet that need.

For example, let’s say a guy has an unmet need to feel respected and let’s say that he isn’t getting that from his wife. He may not even know that he has this need inside of him. It could all be unconscious.

But as soon as the new secretary at the office starts to give him that respect that he feels is lacking in his personal life, he can’t help but feel a little bit infatuated by her. He may not even have the intention of cheating, but he’ll just feel drawn to her for some unknown reason.

From there it is a slippery slope from infatuation to flirting, emotional affairs, and a physical affair.

All of this because of a simple unmet emotional need.

So an affair really starts because of a problem in the relationship. If you focus on improving communication and developing honesty with what is working and what isn’t working you can stop an affair before it even starts or learn what caused one in the first place.

Have an honest talk with your husband and ask him how he feels about your relationship. If the two of you have been avoiding topics like this in the past, you may have to dig deeper before he really opens up. Be patient as well, since he may not know himself exactly what may be lacking in his life.

Author's Bio: 

To learn more about this and answer the question why do men have affairs, I suggest you check out Dr Gunzburg and his Marriage Sherpa program for a proven plan on saving your marriage from the pain of an affair.

Alex Haight is a relationship writer helping women with relationship problems and specializing in affairs and infidelity.