Why do men cheat?

Over the years I have heard several Christian teachers essentially tell women whose husbands had recently cheated on them that “men will be men” and “if a wife makes the home a wonderful place and/or is good in bed, a husband is far less likely to cheat.” Sadly, I was guilty of saying something close to that once as well (in a Song of Solomon class in Bible College, nonetheless).

It is never right to blame wives for husbands who wander. Let me say this loud and clear, if a husband commits adultery, it is his fault. He is to blame. While there may be contributing factors, there is no justifiable excuse for adultery.

Are men more prone to sexual temptation? Generally speaking, yes. In most marriages, the husband has a stronger sex drive and is more stimulated by the sight of the opposite gender—and therefore is more tempted by sexual sins (for more information, please read the GotQuestions.org article on sexual temptation). But a strong sex drive is no excuse. Adultery is always a sin. Sex outside of marriage is always a sin (Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7).

So, yes, men being men is a contributing factor for why men cheat on their wives, but that is not an excuse.

If a husband is not finding happiness and satisfaction at home, yes, it will increase the temptation to look for happiness and satisfaction elsewhere. Yes, if a wife is willing to make herself available sexually regularly, it will decrease her husband's temptation to stray. But, with that said, if a husband commits adultery, it is not the wife's fault. No matter how bad a marriage is, adultery is inexcusable. No matter how infrequent the sex within the marriage, it is still always a sin to engage in sex outside of the marriage.

An unhappy marriage and/or an unfulfilling marital sex life is cause for counseling, reconciliation, compromise, forgiveness, and restoration. It is not an excuse for adultery.

Men and women, if you commit adultery, you are sinning against God, your spouse, and yourself (1 Corinthians 6:18; Colossians 3:5). Yes, things in your life may have conspired against you to make the temptation more difficult to resist, but if you fail to take advantage of the way of escape God provides, you have no one to blame but yourself (1 Corinthians 10:13).

S. Michael Houdmann

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Why do men cheat?