According to evolutionary psychology, if you strip away the romance and the complicated societal rules and obligations, humanity’s purpose is very simple: We’re here to successfully pass on our genes. Full stop. Men want to ensure that their own genes are passed along while simultaneously trying to prevent other males from impregnating the same females, thus ensuring that they’re not raising someone else’s child. Women want men with superior genes, ones who can protect them from other males and provide for them and their future progeny. Occasionally those superior genes don’t necessarily pair up with the traits associated with a provider or one who will be able to raise the child… and as a result, women who are ovulating will find themselves attracted to coarser, more masculine men, then returning to more feminine men when they’re not ovulating.
All of this is a very long-winded way of saying that there’s a scientific basis for the fact that monogamy is hard.
So hard, in fact that it’s estimated that somewhere between 30% to 60% of all married individuals in the United States will cheat at least once during their relationships.
Let’s let that number sink in for a minute. Somewhere from between almost a third to over half of all married individuals. And don’t think this is exclusively men; the number of women who step outside of their otherwise monogamous relationships has been rising for the last 20 years.
If you want to prevent your girflriend or wife from straying, then you need to understand why she cheats… and what you can do about it.
Sperm Competition and Pair-Bonding
Before we get started, you should understand something about humans: we’re not designed for monogamy. Literally. Our physiology is predicated on the idea that, evolutionarily speaking, that we’re a promiscuous species. In order to help ensure that the child being raised within a pair-bonded, nominally monogamous, we’ve developed many techniques for maximizing our own reproductive chances while minimizing those of our competitors; this is known as sperm competition. When men spend time away from their mates, their sperm count – and libido – increase, the better to overpower any competitor’s own sperm in the case of any infidelity. The human penis is shaped to act as squeegee; the flared head of the glans and tapered shape of the shaft serve to help scrape out competitors’ sperm from one’s mate. Similarly, if a man has reason to suspect infidelity, not only will he thrust more vigorously (thus trying to remove as much unwelcome sperm as possible) but the resulting orgasm will be stronger1 and the ejaculation will be of much higher volume, in order to flush out any remainder of another male.
So, again, it must be understood: Monogamy is not our natural state. This isn’t a judgement on whether monogamy is good or bad, or whether it is desirable or not. It just needs to be stated: it doesn’t come naturally to us, and it can be incredibly difficult. So with that in mind, let’s look at why women cheat.
Reason #1: She’s Not Being Fulfilled Emotionally
As I’ve said many times before, the half-life of romantic love is six months to a year. After that point, the initial rush of excitement and passion fades, and relationships begin to settle into a calmer, more intimate level. Unfortunately, it’s extremely easy to fall into a rut; what was new has become common place, or even expected. You’re no longer on your best courting behavior, so you’re not as quick or effusive with the compliments as you used to be. You don’t notice her new hairstyle, or that new dress she’s wearing… one that she bought specifically for you. Now that you’re more relaxed and at ease with the relationship, you allow yourself to be more selfish. You don’t devote as much of your time and attention to her and her interests. You come home from a long day at work or class and all you want to do is play Call of Duty for a couple of hours as you decompress; the last thing you want to do is listen to your girlfriend complain about the office politics or the girl in class she feels is always trying to one-up her. Your days together start to blur; it’s a monotonous repetition of wake up, breakfast, work, dinner, sleep, and the only place you take her is for granted. Your conversations are short and superficial, because your attention is elsewhere… maybe even on that cute girl you always see at the Starbucks as you stop for your morning caffeine hit.
And before you know it, your girlfriend is cozying up with that guy from the office with the dreamy eyes. Why? Well, you weren’t meeting her emotional needs… so she went elsewhere to find them.
How To Stop It:
Women are emotional creatures; feeling not just loved but desired and appreciated is incredibly important, especially in a relationship. Sadly, our society has conditioned them to be deferential towards men, to avoid making men upset or being too demanding or burdensome. As a result, women are far less likely to be upfront about what they need, emotionally. In many cases, they may know they have a need, but be unable to verbalize it, leaving the man confused and the woman frustrated and annoyed.
You need to avoid ruts in the relationship. Routine and familiarity can be numbing, which will in turn leads to boredom… and boredom is the death of relationships. You need to add a certain level of impulsiveness and unpredictability to keep the relationship fresh and exciting.
In addition, you need to remember: communication is key. You need to be emotionally honest with her and be willing to engage her own emotional needs. If she feels that she can’t talk to you about what she needs, if she feels as though that her issues or wants will just be brushed aside or ignored, she’ll start looking for someone who will appreciate her.
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- In fact, many couples will deliberately invoke this aspect of human behavior; the stronger, more intense orgasms and heightened libido are part of the appeal for couples in open relationships and men with cuckolding fetishes. [↩]