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Why do men really cheat on their partners?

First there was the rom-com ’27 Dresses’ now, according to psychologist and relationship expert Martyn Stewart, there are ’27 types of men’ and the traits of each one will determine their relationship success.

Martyn Stewart

Martyn Stewart

In his new book, ‘Why Men Really Cheat’, he addresses the number one relationship killer that has tormented women for centuries, including ‘The Opportunist’, ‘The Charmer’ and ‘The Enigma’. We thought we’d ask the man himself some questions about his book, infidelity and if cheating is hardwired into the brain…

Q. How did you identify the 27 types men?
A: I identified the 27 different types of men via questionnaires and interviews. I wanted men to tell me ‘their truth’ as to what is going through their mind when the opportunity to cheat presents itself.

We tend to have a rough idea of what women think already. So I visited places where women rarely get to go, but I knew the truth would be found. Gathering information from gyms, barbershops, sports changing rooms and boys’ nights out. The male safe havens where they feel secure; where they are free to express their true perspectives and experiences regarding infidelity, without fear of retribution or identification.

All men are capable of cheating, just like all women are. Situation and circumstances can be a powerful stimulant. For some people, it’s as easy as a bottle of Prosecco and a handful of well-directed compliments. Out of the 27, there are about five or six types of men who – no matter what a woman does – are always more likely to cheat.

Q. Is there a single over-riding reason why men cheat?
A: Yes. To understand why men cheat today you have to understand why men cheated in the past. Today’s behaviour is just an updated blueprint of what came before it. I believe that there is a single psychological explanation as to why men REALLY cheat today. When you get past all the excuses that can be generated, there is a common thread that runs through every man that cheats.

Q. Is cheating in men’s genes?
A: Let me ask you a question. You see two people about to be fall off a cliff. One is a close family member; another is a strange man you have never met before. You would like to save them both, but you can only save one. Now it seems pretty obvious that most people would save their close family member. But why? Evolutionary psychologists argue that human beings will engage in ANY behaviour that enhances the survival of their genes. So millions of years ago, before we had technology, money, business, contraception, soaps, football and reality TV, the behaviour that we call cheating today may actually have aided human survival.

What I discovered is that the ‘desire for new’ (i.e. men wanting sexual variety with different partners), which aided survival millions of years ago, is still present in every man. However, we are no longer driven solely by our physical attributes and requirements. We have now evolved to a point where it is no longer necessary, so this desire can be overridden by our psychological thought processes, which now dictate our behaviour.

Q. Why do some men cheat and others don’t?
A: Some men cheat and others don’t because their ‘type’ can make them more prone to behave in such a way.
Most people (men and women alike) do not understand who they are ‘betting’ on when beginning a new relationship. This is why a large majority of relationships never really get off the ground. They rush into it, blinded by social pressure, insecurity and/or excitement; the desire for change, wanting to be Carrie and Mr Big from Sex and the City, whatever their wants are. This means that it is unlikely you were paying attention to the patterns of behaviour that your partner shows.

Most people are not themselves when they meet new people. We will show the best aspects of our character that we believe will portray us in the best light. But what we don’t realise is that as time passes, our true patterns of behaviour will betray us because humans are habitual creatures by nature.

Q. Is there anything women can do to prevent their man’s eyes from wandering?
A: Of course there is. You could remove their eyes! But bear in mind you are liable to be living out a jail sentence for a couple of years and we don’t want that do we?

Honestly, you have to be realistic. Just because a man has fallen in love with you DOES NOT mean that he will not SEE and find other women attractive. It does not mean that his imagination has suddenly stopped working because he is in love with you and the reverse Front cover 1applies to women in relationships too. It is all about being confident in yourself, respectful communication, continual relationship maintenance and realistic understanding.

Guys and girls, do you agree with Martyn? Tell us @lovestruck

Martyn Stewart is a relationship psychologist and author of ‘Why Men REALLY Cheat – The Psychological Secrets of Male Infidelity’ published by Matador, RRP. £8.99. www.whymenreallycheat.com Follow Martyn on
Twitter: @MartynPsych

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