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Love Isn’t Enough to Keep Some Men Faithful

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Q: Is it possible to love your spouse and family, but still constantly need an outside sexual outlet?

A question as old as time, do unfaithful men really love their spouses and family? As usual, it depends, but in most cases, I would say yes. Some would argue that if a man truly loves his wife, then it would be impossible for him to cheat. For a number of reasons, I disagree.

I think we can all agree that cheating, if caught, causes pain to the person you love. However, no one can honestly sit here today and claim they have never hurt someone they loved or that loved them. We hurt people we love all the time—through lying, cheating, or merely failing to live up to their expectations of us. To say you have never hurt someone you love, purposefully or accidently, is disingenuous. The difference between cheating and many other categories that might cause pain for our loved ones is that cheating is one of the few well within our control. Let me state this plainly, in 99.8% of cases, cheating is a conscious choice.

So, how can a man knowingly commit an act he knows will hurt the woman he claims to love?

That’s easy: he is selfish or lacks respect for the relationship. Many have argued on this very site and abroad whether monogamy is natural. I don’t know why this is such a frequent debate. Whether monogamy is natural or not is completely irrelevant. When you agree to be in a committed relationship, you are agreeing to be committed, in a relationship. It is not rocket science. There is nothing to be confused about or debate.

When agreeing to be in a committed relationship, you are saying that regardless of your views on monogamy or commitment, you agree to be faithful to this person. That is, quite literally by definition, what commitment means.

I know many men waiting to “settle down” because they are waiting until that fateful day when they are no longer attracted to more than one woman. When these type of men ask me for advice, I tell them…

Read more at [MadameNoire.com]

Can you honestly be in love if you’re unfaithful at the same time?

Comment(33)

  1. “love should’ve brought you home last night”

    yes and no, sex is a craving, you want it, you get it, you’re satisfied. Where love factors in is the aftermath, you are lying by omission, and stripping away her chance to make a decision whether to commit to you still, if its an ongoing fling you’re now premeditating infidelity, thats beyond a craving..

  2. Well a cheating man can love his children. That’s a different type of love . But his wife , he may love things about her, but to me cheating is disrespectful, and if your constantly disrespecting someone , do you really love them?

    Now there are people with open marriages , again theirs a respect factor and understanding their because both people are honest with each other and happy with the situation. So maybe for them the love is there.

    Personally if my husband is cheating on me, he might love me but he’s not in love with me. He may have love for me as the mother of his children, as a friend and someone who is their for him, but are you in love with me as a partner , that’s questionable .

    People make mistakes , but still something’s are just to much.

    1. This logic is only valid in the case of women, men do not equate sex with love in any fashion. It is nothing more than a physical release.

  3. It sounds all to sensible to say that you can't truly love your spouse if you cheat on them knowing how it would hurt them to find out. But truth is I know and have met too many people who truly do not directly connect sex with love. People who can truly love one person but give their body to another without any emotional attachment or even involvement. Instead it be purely for the momentary physical satisfaction. Not something I agree with but I do understand that people such as these exist.

  4. Absolutely. I think people think too much in the black and white. When you talk about love and sex there is a lot a gray area. I think most men and women who cheat still love their partners. Some of them may not be in love anymore, but I believe some of them are. I love my family, but I don't like them all of the time. I am allowed to have several different feelings and emotions in response to a person or an action.

    I think people get caught up in the fairytale of it all. People get on their "why did she/he do that to me" tip. I think it is easier for people to stomach the idea that if a person cheats they aren't in love with the partner anymore because the truth might be less cut and dried and a bit more complicated than that. If we had to sit and examine it, it might not be as easy to walk away.

  5. "Can you honestly be in love if you’re unfaithful at the same time?"

    For a Woman — speaking as a Woman I say "NO" a woman can't be in love with her man while being unfaithful at the same time — no need to go into depth explaining why – I'll just say we ain't built like that.

    For a Man — I say it's possible for him to still LOVE his woman because of the person she is and what she means to him; all they may have been through, etc. but to say he is still actually IN LOVE with her but yet he's unfaithful I have to say "I DOUBT IT". Cheating is a choice and a selfish one at that because often times the woman has no clue as to what is going on and you are putting her at risk for other things to transpire.

    I know that some men are just predisposed to cheat, I totally understand that – live your life no judgement here, but be grown with your ish and let the women you are dealing with know what's what so that she can make her choice whether to pass or play.

  6. No one is above mistakes,let agree sex is a feelings,it’s an emotion,i may cheat on you,and at the same time,i wil stil love you. If i caught my spouse cheating,i wil be mad at him,bt if truly i love him,i will have him back.

  7. I'll bite. I think it's totally possible to love someone but still cheat on that person. I've cheated on someone I loved. It was done purely out of a selfish, impulsive, instant gratification type of thing. I wasn't unhappy in my relationship, I didn't go out looking to cheat. It was really just one of those I ended up in a situation that provided the opportunity and I wanted to take it. I didn't even think of my SO in that moment. I think having a full on mistress or sidechick is a little bit different b/c you are actually building a relationship with someone (it's not just physical). I learned that I was one of those people that is only as faithful as my options. So in order to not cheat I literally have to avoid whole situations. For example I KNOW I can't go to homecoming when I am in a relationship because I will most likely end up cheating w/ some ex. Not meaning that I don't love my current – just means I am a bit of an opportunist.

    1. LOL At least you’re honest… Would you consider just being in an open relationship? I mean that way you could have the option to feel out your options without anyone getting hurt?

      1. Ahhh Smilez, that would require me to not be jealous and possessive of my SO's. lmao I tried the open relationship thing and I was just too jealous to have it in my face like that. I also wasn't unhappy w/ my SO where I wanted to be cheating on the regular. It was truly just a situational kinda thing. Like oh I ran into my ex at homecoming but it aint really cheating b/c i was sleeping w/ him before I even KNEW you and I probably wont speak to him for another 10yrs anyways…

        But I will say that I discuss this in the start of all my relationships and let it be known that for me cheating isn't a deal breaker. I'm not gonna leave my husband b/c he slept w/ someone. I am not giving him carte blanche to go sleep with whomever but a slip up in that department wont have me throwing my wedding ring at you and burning your clothes and I hope for the same in return. Cheating doesn't always mean disrespect and lying – sometimes sh!t just happens.

        1. Insonia,you already know that you’re a cheater. Why sit here and say that you can’t even be in certain situation because you’ll. Cheat? Do you not have controp? Its like you don’t care and youte using the “It’s just a flae,no person is perfect” line. You have no right to be jealous of an open relationship. Cheating IS disrespect. If you can’t give someone you,explore polyamory,but ten again you’ll probably cheat then too. Its all about communication. Smdh

  8. I agree w/ sierra – cheating is a major character flaw- it usually requires lying, manipulating & deceiving the person you're in relationship with. I'm sure anyone would agree lies, manipulation & deceit are not the top character traits of someone who "loves" you- but we question whether someone could cheat & still love you? The clear no bs answer is no.

    1. I don't think that's a fair assessment at all. While I've cheated in previous relationships I never lied, manipulated, or deceived my SO. I was always forthcoming with my transgressions and gave the SO the opportunity to make an informed decision on whether to stay in the relationship. That was the whole point of the post – not every cheating situation is a lying, manipulating, deceiving scenario. Some times ish just happens….

      1. I have to respectfully disagree with you. The very definition of cheating is to:

        "Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage"

        If you didn't call & notify your boo & get his approval prior to dipping out then that's being deceitful. If you enjoy sex w/ multiple partners why not just find a man who will agree to an open relationship that way at least there's honesty involved.

        1. @Sincere thanks for the respectful part – I really appreciate that. Often on the internets people get hella rude just b/c they disagree. As for why I'm not in an open relationship & my response to your comment see my response to Smilez above. LOL

          My point is not to convince someone else that they should deal with cheating. I only commented to say that I do believe someone can cheat and still love their SO. Having been someone who did just that. And nothing in any of my comments said that I just enjoy sex w/ multiple people all the time. My comments actually said the exact opposite.

          Maybe we just have to agree to disagree 🙂

  9. Cheating is the inevitable result of a society designed around monogamous relationships which offend our natural instincts. At least as far as men are concerned… nature is telling us to impregnate an earth-full of women if we can. It's given us the tools! Our bodies generate 2500 sperm per minute… so in 12 seconds, we make enough juice to fertilize every single egg any individual woman will ever ovulate.

    With such an investment in our reproductive biology, it should be no surprise that our subconscious brain frequently suggests that we go into beast mode.

    Now, some people might say, "Hey, what about the chilren!?"

    And to that I'd say, "Isn't that the point?"

    1. Can you support that many kids…no! If you wanna get P 24/7 with 5 women a day my brotha stay out of monogamous relatinships. Imma dude and that line is straigh up BS. That’s why females think all dudes cheat and for me tryna get my fiance to trust me as a male was hard(no pun intended). Women cheat too,but that’s another day.

      How can dudes bitch about single bw when y’all just wanna nut in some P with ions of broads? It sounds nice,but yiu need D control to get over it. PR0N got me through!

  10. Um…simply put, to me it sounds like another personality disorder if you cheat (especially constantly or more than once) on your lover and still feel some type of disconnect or not feeling guilt. Just like NARCISSISM and PSYCHOPATHY. If you try to hide it, you obviously know its wrong. If you try to rationalize it into how it serves YOU then it's a selfish act and most likely a personality disorder. I'm sure most men like this would do somersaults if they found out their woman was doing the same thing (again proving that it's a selfish act). If love isn't enough, then why be together? And if the guy has an issue with empathy, he shouldn't be in a relationship.

    If love isn't enough, there's nothing that you can give to satisfy that person. It will always be a one-sided relationship with them.

  11. I pass no judgement here. That being said, I agree with the post and the title. Love is wonderful, but a man can, and sometimes does separate the love for his family and his physical needs. Deeper still, there can be varying underlying reasons for a man (or woman) to be unfaithful. Simply saying “he’s a dog, trifling”, etc., negates the fact a man could be a good guy, and chose an admittedly unwise way to “self-medicate”.

  12. I like it when we think that our cute notions and distinctions have great infallible factors. But the ugly truth is,the rarity of couples not cheating is uncanny.It always has been that way. The difference is in the old days the divorced were considered almost a pariah to society. So couples were much more willing to patch it up and cover it up. in recent years,relationship's dynamic have changed. Because of the cultural progress,individualism takes a front row seat at almost everything. Making us a little more selfish than our parents and grandparents. We have been also questioning the previously unquestionable or ignored societal rules as of late.(The anti-bullying campaign taking more priority that education itself…,and having the gay marriage subject covered by the media twice as much than the fact that a large percentage of married Americans get divorced).
    but I'm getting lost here. The point is, priorities,perceptions are changing. I've previously read in this website that there is a difference in love and comfort in relationships. Informative,yes but something that in the old days would not have crossed people minds or mindsets.
    So to sum my somewhat "all-over the place" opinion, Being faithful has nothing to do with love. It has to do with commitment yes. But not Love. This notion of trying to bunch up different notions without taking a closer look at them is exactly why relationships are in this phase as of late.

  13. WIM what makes you so sure that most men that cheat still love their spouse?
    If you have cheated on an ex did you still love that person? Even the cheater still loves their spouse that's actually kind of irrelevant. The bigger question – is he still In Love with her. Thats the difference with friendships and romantic relationships.We love our family and friends yet we still do and say hurtful things and fight. Thats natural and pt of life. We don't always agree and like each other, but we love each other. However, u could say that most men that cheat on their wives may no longer be In Love with them. Which inevitably leads men to cheat again or repeatedly or just no longer want to be with their wives. The two people go from being romantic partners, to just friends who coparent.
    Kinda like The Game and his girl.

  14. Love and respect go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. Cheating is a conscious choice made on both parts. Who’s disrespecting and who’s gettung disrespected. That dynamic is not cut and dry when it comes to cheating. Let me explain:

    To a woman love is love, respect is respect.

    To a man, respect IS love, and vice versa. A woman can get disrespected and still love her man. A man can lose all love for a woman once he’s been disrespected.

    Disrespect comes in many forms to men. It could be lack of sex, it could be bitchy behavior, etc.. The common theme is that the man is emasculated on some level. A man is emasculated when he is disrespected. Every man has their own standards of respect. Some men, can be disrespected and stay faithful. That’s another issue all together dealing with self esteem. But MOST normal men, who are not chronic cheaters, will most likely cheat. Men don’t want to be rejected or disrespected by the woman they love. They deal with that all the time at work. I’m sure they don’t want to up and leave something they’ve invested in, even if it’s to the point of disrespect. I feel like these men just want to get caught and use that as an exit strategy.

    Flip it to the other side, and a woman will stay out of love. Most men won’t do that because they equate love with respect. So if a man is at the point of disrespect, it’s a losing battle.

    You can come up with examples of men “turning it around” for the woman they “love”. I don’t buy this sh*t. Those men had realized how hard it is out there and to take your mistress and go right into relationship because you have nowhere to go is not worth the effort. So men will “behave” for a minute and eventually they’ll get reminded about the point of disrespect they had for their spouse and go back at it again.

    To me, there is NO WAY a man would cheat on a woman he has absolute respect for. And if he has respect for her, that’s a sign that she is holding it down, inside and outside the bedroom.

  15. Can we stop with the notion that love and sex are two sides of the same coin?! They are two separate coins period!!! Is cheating wrong? YES!!! I love the piousness and self-righteousness that flows from the people who haven't committed a particular wrong. Okay you've never cheated, (pulls gold star from sticker paper) but what sin have you committed that you wouldn't want people to summarily dismiss you as not redeemable? As someone covered earlier, cheating is a respect/commitment issue not a matter of the heart one. Sex and Love are mutually exclusive entities, its ironic that women fail to recognize this concept because it's women who are more capable of having non-attachment sex, i.e. prostitutes, gold diggers, and all other ladies who use sex as a weapon. Men do it out of want/need, ladies can and will do it as a means to an end. So miss me with that most men cheat ethos, because in reality, women are better at it!

    1. Okay, you had me up until that "women are better at it, so men do it out of want." That's tomfoolery and here's why.

      Men cheat, because they can. Period. Women (not girls, not gold diggers, and not hoes), real women who cheat do so because there is something that man they're with, is not providing. Again, I have to distinguish women and girls who pretend to be women – because there is a difference.

      And I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about women being more capable of having non-committal relationships with men. As a married woman who has never cheated on her husband, but has had thoughts because my needs aren't being fulfilled, I can honestly say that if I ever decide to cheat, odds are it would be with someone that I plan on having a relationship with – hence – I'd be ending my marriage.

      What we really need to understand is that marriages, and relationships in general, are complex institutions that only two people can wholeheartedly understand. Well, two people and their Creator. Other than that, everything else is mere conjecture and fodder for the bloggers.

      1. " real women who cheat do so because there is something that man they're with, is not providing." That my dear, is just utter justification and BS!!! PEOPLE choose to cheat because they can period. There is no justification, there may be excuses, but no valid reasons. Good for you that you've never cheated, Even if you had, it wouldn't make you lower than life itself.

  16. Let me put it like this, and I'm not justifying it or making it okay, but it has to be said: If you can claim to love yourself, and make decisions that can harm yourself, whether it's short or long term, is it outside the realm of possibility that you can do it to someone else?
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