Ask A Guy: Why Did He Cheat? post image

Ask A Guy: Why Did He Cheat?

My boyfriend of over 3 years recently confessed that he cheated on me at a party one night with some girl he barely knew. He was incredibly sorry and felt awful about it (which is why he confessed) but said something just “took over” him and he couldn’t resist the girl. We’ve been having some problems lately, but we were working through them and we’ve had such a solid relationship up until now. I just don’t get why he did it. I mean he’s been faithful all these years, why now? And why this girl? And why tell me about it? Do I forgive him? I just have so many questions and don’t really know where to go from here.

See our guy’s response after the jump!

OK, let’s look at the facts.

You’ve dated for 3 years and you felt your relationship has been solid. Maybe it has, maybe it hasn’t – I would need more information to really make a judgment.

But rather than guess, I can tell you how I would make the determination as to what happened.

Here’s the scenarios I think it possibly could have been:

Scenario #1: The relationship isn’t working for him, but he couldn’t admit it to himself and he couldn’t stomach having a long, drawn-out break-up with you.

Now, this is just a hypothetical scenario – I am not implying that this is the situation. BUT, if it were, here is how you could tell:

You mentioned that he was incredibly sorry. The question is, “If he’s sorry, how is he going to make things right? How is he going to make amends?”

Everyone makes mistakes. Things can happen and nobody is perfect… we’re all human.

If he really is completely sorry, you’ll see that he’s 100% invested in making things right.

On the other hand, if he’s been having doubts about the relationship, it will inevitably come out in conversations about it. Sooner or later, as he’s explaining himself, he’ll mention something about the relationship itself not being “right” or “the same as it used to be”. (You did mention you were having problems…)

If that happens, I would say getting out of the relationship is a good idea. My reasoning is this: If he mentions that he had a problem with the relationship prior to him cheating, then the cheating itself was his mind’s way of sabotauging the relationship.

It may have been subconscious, but it’s a hint that you’re only chipping the tip of the iceberg in terms of his issues with the relationship. This is my opinion (as is all the Ask a Guy posts), but I think bouncing in this scenario would save you a long, drawn-out break-up.

Scenario #2: The relationship is great, but the “romance” had cooled off and his innocent flirting turned into a massive accident.

OK, so in the last scenario I was painting a picture of the relationship, as a whole, being a problem for the guy.

In this scenario, I’m saying that maybe he thinks the relationship is great. Except for the sexual aspect of it.

The longer a couple stays together, the more susceptible they are to having their hot steamy love life become cold left-overs. I’m not saying it’s inevitable, but it certainly can happen.

And when it does, it’s a touchy subject. I mean, is it you or is it them? Is it the circumstances?

I’m not going into depth on the subject, but if that was the reason, I would look into ways to get things back to good in that department.

If that was the problem, that might be harder for him to bring up as a reason. Wouldn’t hurt for you to experiment and test the waters with him – might work out better in the long run regardless of whether or not it was a central problem.

Scenario #3: It was just pure bad luck.

I think that guys get a lot of flack from society, saying that we’re pigs and will drop all morals for sex.

Now I’m not saying that there haven’t been many high profile cheats historically, but to assume that all men are immoral pigs is overkill.

But we’re not perfect either. Our sexual nature is visually based (it’s how we’re built), so if you throw a sexy-looking girl into the equation you’ve already flipped a switch for a guy.

Then if she happens to be the forward-type and happens to find him particularly attractive, she’ll start flirting with him.

Now in a case like this, a dedicated boyfriend will put it out there that he has a girlfriend. But it doesn’t mean that she didn’t turn him on… he’s trying to do the right thing and be the good guy.

But if she keeps pushing the issue, that’s when things get sticky. It’s a situation where guys do their best to be good, but we don’t get to choose what turns us on.

Even though our heart and mind are dedicated to the relationship, this is a situation where our biology is strongly betraying us.

That is not to say that someone forced the alcohol down his throat (I have to assume that was part of it). And the whole idea that something just “took over” is BS as an argument for men as well as women. We all make decisions every step of the way.

All I’m saying is there is that possibility that a situation played out that he wasn’t prepared for and that was that. It wasn’t a matter of him not being satisfied with you – it was just a case of a girl who knew what she wanted and knew how to exploit male biology.

As I said, we’re all human.

Anyway, this is all food for thought. This is one of those things where you’re really going to have to list and make some tough choices.

I hope my answer helps.

– eric charles

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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I am a man and I cheated on my girlfriend because I loved cocaine and booze too much.. …..I eventually told her all my infidelities which I could remember. She has dumped me and put me on ignore on What’s App and I have decided to delete all of my social media accounts…….and we are on 45 days of no contact and counting. I have used the time to get clean and get psychotherapy. I feel ashamed that I was so dishonest and so disloyal with a girl I now realise I love.However I accept fully that human beings deserve the truth and respect at all times. I really hope that I don’t repeat this with anyone else in the future. I want to say sorry to her but I think it is better if I don’t try and contact her as I didn’t take too kindly to getting dumped……I got angry and swore as I was still high. But I have hopefully learned a lot by this experience.

Reply July 3, 2019, 2:36 pm


I am so sorry to hear and see how common place cheating seems to be, and this story. I feel your pain, I read he’s just not that into you by Greg Bherendt and Liz Tuccillo. What an eye opener…. I’m able to better read situations and understand. I still don’t have answers….. But I’m realizing that I really don’t need them. I discovered that I became codependent from being in a dysfunctional relationship for 19 years with a narcissist. Sometimes we need to just shut the door on all there shadiness….. And go no contact, and work on building you up again. It takes work and dedication, but worth it in the end. The pain will disappear leaving you open for the relationship you deserve. :)

Reply May 6, 2016, 12:47 am


I just found out that I guy I was in a casual relationship last year was actually in a committed relationship with a woman when we started. I knew nothing about it, I wasn’t ready for a committed relationship, so we made ground rules and said that if we wer going to be with someone else, we’d tell each other and back off. Our fling lasted for about 5 months, then of course, I started having feelings and told him, next thing I know….he disappears on me. He always made me feel like he liked me, and that we could be something more, there was always great chemistry, and things were comfortable. So, after his disappearing act, I went no contact. Eventually, I was feeling really good about my self, until after 5 months of no contact, he popped back into my life, completing a job across the road from me. I said hi….. Colossal mistake….. But he’s a roofer, and I needed my roof done. Anyway, I ignored his strong advances, he made a few comments about me dissappearing and vanishing…..and made it completely obvious that he wanted to bed me again. After a few weeks of texting, talking on the phone and flirting….the energy between us was almost visible… I made sure to ask him if he was available and unattached , to which he replied he wasn’t. There were no red flags, or warnings that he was already committed to someone else. So we had sex, I felt numb afterwards for some reason, refused to believe it even happened. Then, I didn’t hear from him again. I am not on social media at all, but my friend was, so after me telling her about what happened, she as well thought he really seemed to like me, but was holding back for some reason, so we checked out his Facebook site. Turns out he was in a committed relationship with a women that started two months before I even met him on the dating site. I was floored!!! He was texting me from Mexico…..about how he couldn’t wait to see me again, while he was there with her!!! I was the other woman and didn’t even know it. I’m so hurt and angry now…. I feel so betrayed. I feel foolish and very unattractive. Initially I thought…… Why is he with her and not me? But then I realized….I dodged a bullet big time… I’m still healing, but I’m better now. I know I wasn’t the only woman he cheated on her with. I’ve since gone no contact again, and this time it’ll be permanent.

Reply May 6, 2016, 12:35 am


I am very relieved to read that it is about HIS internal conflict, and not about my shortcomings. But I am having the toughest struggle about whether to continue with him or walk away.
We were involved years ago but broke up because the timing wasn’t right. Years later, he asked me to move back to our hometown ( I had been in Hawaii for many years ) and to consider marrying him.
I had agreed, but before I moved back, he flaked out. Two years ago, he initiated another reunion
And wanted me to move in with him. So I moved back from Hawaii and was thrilled that our timing finally seemed right.
Well, things went great, but then a few months in he starts pulling away emotionally and physically. I keep asking him what’s going on, we feel like roommates. He is aloof but says he doesn’t know. I continue to check in with him to see if he has had a change of heart, but he says no, I just need to work on it. I thought maybe it was because his father had just passed away. I believe he just needs time and space, so I am patient.
Before Christmas I find some raunchy pics of another girl on his phone, also pics of him that he sent to her. Then voicemails and texts.
I’m afraid to ask him about it right away. I think hel may tell me it’s over for us. So I play dumb, and just simply ask him again what going on for us, that I feel like a roommate. And he says, “it will be fine, it will be better. You’ll see. I flipped a switch”.
A week or so later I just had to ask him about the other girl. After denying everything, he realizes I am going to leave, and admits that he had seen her twice. He says he made a mistake, he wants me to stay, he calls her and tells her it’s over.
So I’ve been working on trying to forgive him his mistake until I find out (from phone records and the other girl’s story) he had actually been seeing her almost the whole time I’ve been back!
So it wasn’t just a mistake; its a whole year and a half of deceit. He still believes I don’t have hard evidence of anything more than the two times. He doesn’t know I talked with her about the duration of it and I am sure he will argue his word against hers. And he had been deceiving her all along? By telling her I wasn’t his girlfriend; I was just a friend who needed a place to stay.
Somedays i can’t believe why I didn’t just wslk away immediately. Other days, most of them, I really want to believe that he really just wasn’t ready to settle down, and realizes he doesn’t want to lose me wants to be with me.
If a man is so hard wired to feel like a “winner” then why is he willing to lose the “love of his life”?
Where is the winning in that???
Heartbroken and Mindboggled

Reply April 15, 2015, 3:49 pm


I am SO sorry to hear this happened to you. This sounds devastating. It sounds like this guy is really afraid to commit, and considering that he’s already deceived you so much, I wouldn’t stick around. You’re lucky that girl was honest with you though. I know it’s late, but I really hope everything worked out for you, Emily.

Reply October 31, 2015, 8:23 pm


Uhm… I do agree with #1 and #2. But you definitely see that this is a man’s POV in your #3.
Ofc alcohol isn’t an excuse, but compared to “It just happened”, it’s the one I could understand better.
In my opinion, when you’re not under the influence of alcohol, one should be able to resist. Even if it’s strictly physical attraction, it’s not okay (for me).
I would love to know what Sabrina thinks about this issue, as it obviously concerns men and women! Generally, I think it might be a fun idea to have articles written in your AND Sabrina’s POV.

Reply August 28, 2012, 4:37 pm


my mom and dad and friends say he is no good but i think its not all his falut cuz he was brought up in a bad life…so i just think its from what he learned. but at the same time i wanna give payback, but its been 3 months now and we still love eachother.
what do i do or say i want him back and i want my parents to love him agian

Reply September 3, 2011, 11:56 pm


me and my ex-boyfriend where dating for almost a year before he cheated on me in Febuary.
But i didnt understand why he cheated on me we where so happy toghter he told me he wanted to marry me and he loved me and everything. the girl that he cheated on with me was some girl from his chruch, and she liked him and he knew, he cheated while i was on a school field trip for 3 days i found out from messages from his phone so the only good thing was that he didnt kiss her or have any contact with her. But he said sorry and that he loved me and only me and it wont happen agina? i was so scared and paraniod and he still would flirt with other girls, i dont understand! i broke up with him but now he still wants me back and i love him still. i dont know what to do?

Reply September 3, 2011, 11:53 pm


I know my boyfriend has cheated alot but i have stayed with him every time because we have been together almost six years. I had give up family and work the first couple of years and went with him on the road while he drove trucks. But now that we are home everyday I do not see as much as I should because of work but we talk on the phone. I just seen his phone and he had two girls texting him one saying she missed him and the other just calling after one. He keep saying I do not understand and that I am looking for a way out and I can go if I want and he keeps saying he loves me and he does not care about them at all. Then why do they have his number? He say it should not matter because all his time with me and his plans is living with me. But what do I do because this is killing me. He say he do not need to explain because I do not listen but I feel as if he is not comforting me or apologizing to me. Like he is not showing his feelings so much like I want to see them from him. Please someone help me with understanding what to do or how to go about this.

Reply August 21, 2011, 1:34 pm


i think my husband is cheating on me, suddenly after this new job, he isn’t interested in sex and actually pushed me away two times already. how can i tell. i know he is sexual w/ no health problems. he used to want sex everyday. now we have had it 7 times in 1 yr. and that was because i fussed about it.

Reply June 4, 2010, 11:22 pm


I agree with Cat, 3 is BS and should be thrown out.
Break up with your BF, after you cheat on him, unless you want to be the bigger “man.” He’s a loser. “something took over”

Reply May 12, 2010, 12:05 pm


I think you should rename #3: It was the woman’s fault.
She starts flirting, she keeps pressing the issue, and resistance is futile? Oh please!

Reply March 8, 2010, 10:13 pm


These Are Excuses, There Is No Right Reason To Cheat. It’s Wrong Anyways. Be A Man Or Woman, Just End It.

Reply October 30, 2016, 7:52 am

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