When Tiger Woods’s voicemail to his mistress was leaked, any doubt that he had been unfaithful to his wife, Elin, was immediately erased. But even if Tiger grovels for forgiveness, you can’t blame Elin if she questions whether or not he can be faithful in the future. Will Tiger — and other cheaters — stray again? The answer may shock you…but makes total sense.
“A small number of men have an addiction to cheating — regardless of what their relationship is like,” says Don-David Lusterman, PhD, author of Infidelity: A Survival Guide. “But most men stray because something is lacking in their union, be it sex, attention, or even excitement.”
By the time a man cheats, his unhappiness has been building for a while. In fact, he may not even know how close he is to being tempted until presented with an opportunity. And whether he can be faithful after the fact really depends on how he and his partner deal with it together.
“If it’s your guy, you both need to address the root cause of the problem,” says Lusterman.
The key: Hit on what’s bugging him. “For many guys, the issue may be your sex life,” says Lusterman. “So learn to gauge each other’s contentedness.” Are you both satisfied? Are there any specific tensions? Are there issues you need to talk about? You can usually tell — if you look for it — whether he’s craving more. And if the issue is that he feels neglected, sticking by his side more often can help.
“Once he realizes that he no longer has to compete for your attention, he may be less likely to seek it from others,” says Douglas Weiss, PhD, author of Intimacy.
So here’s what we know: Some men are addicted to cheating. But mostly, men stray because something is wrong with their bond. Fix it and you significantly lower the odds of it happening again