Exploring & Understanding the 3 Types of Men Who Have Affairs

In the intricate tapestry of human relationships, infidelity emerges as one of the most perplexing and emotionally charged threads. While often shrouded in betrayal and pain, the reasons behind extramarital affairs are as diverse as the individuals involved. 

The act, though universally recognised, is rarely understood in its entirety. Men, frequently portrayed as the primary culprits of such dalliances, aren’t motivated by a singular reason. 

A closer look reveals a spectrum of motivations that drive men to stray from their committed relationships

This article aimed to unravel and explore three distinct types of men who venture into affairs, so let’s dive straight in!

Who Are the 3 Types of Men Who Have Affairs?

When it comes to men who cheat, they can be divided into three different categories. These are — the opportunity seeker, the validation hunter, and the chronic dissatisfied. 

Now, some men who cheat may only fit into one of these categories, and some may fit into all three. It is important to note that all relationships are different, so it is impossible to 100% say for certain why people cheat

The Opportunity SeekerThe Validation HunterThe Chronic Dissatisfied
Doesn’t necessarily feel dissatisfied with his relationship.
May not struggle with personal insecurities.
Views affairs as opportunities rather than as betrayals
Often feels insecure about his worth.
Seeks validation from external sources, particularly from romantic or sexual partners.
May have experienced events that have led him to doubt his self-worth
Often feels unfulfilled in current relationship.
May feel that emotional or physical needs aren’t being met.
Sometimes, he feels more like a roommate than a partner

The Opportunity Seeker

The opportunity seeker doesn’t necessarily embark on affairs due to a lack of satisfaction or love in his primary relationship. Instead, he is driven by the allure of novelty and the thrill of a new experience. 

For him, affairs can be seen as fleeting moments of adventure, often divorced from deeper emotional entanglements. Temptations are not obstacles to be overcome but rather opportunities to be seized. 

While his actions might be spontaneous, they are often less about the person he’s involved with and more about the rush of the experience itself. 

The Validation Hunter

At the heart of the validation hunter lies an intricate web of insecurities and self-doubts. This man seeks external affirmation to reassure himself of his worth, desirability, and prowess. 

The validation hunter may feel overshadowed by past experiences, traumas, or feelings of inadequacy, and he perceives an affair as a means to recapture a sense of value

In this dynamic, the affair is less about the external partner and more about filling an internal void, with the outside validation acting as a temporary balm to deeper wounds. 

The Chronic Dissatisfied

For the chronically dissatisfied man, there’s always something amiss in his primary relationship. Whether it’s emotional connection, physical intimacy, or intellectual compatibility, something always seems to fall short of his expectations. 

Instead of addressing these concerns directly, he might look outwards, hoping to find what he believes is missing in an affair. Over time, even if one aspect is fulfilled, another area of dissatisfaction may emerge, perpetuating a cycle of infidelity as a misguided attempt to seek completeness. 


What Do These Types of Men Have in Common That Leads Them to Cheat?

Although these 3 types of men that have affairs are categorised into separate groups, there are some common themes…

  1. Lack of Effective Communication: Often, regardless of the type, men who engage in affairs might struggle with open and honest communication in their primary relationships. Whether it’s expressing dissatisfaction, seeking validation, or resisting temptations, these men might not voice their feelings or concerns effectively. 
  2. Emotional Immaturity: Infidelity can sometimes stem from an inability to handle complex emotions or relationship challenges maturely. Instead of navigating the highs and lows of a committed relationship, these men might resort to the immediate gratification an affair offers, reflecting a lack of emotional growth and understanding. 
  3. Underlying Personal Issues: Many men who cheat, irrespective of their type, may be dealing with personal traumas, insecurities, or unresolved issues from their past. An affair can sometimes be a misguided attempt to cope, escape, or self-medicate these issues. 
  4. Societal Pressures and Perceptions: The societal portrayal of masculinity, success, and relationships can influence some men’s perspectives on fidelity. Constant exposure to narratives that associate masculinity with multiple partners or that undervalue commitment can lead some men to view affairs as a status symbol or as an accepted norm rather than a breach of trust. 

Who Do Men Have Affairs if They Are Happily Married?

Even in the confines of a seemingly content marriage, some men might venture into affairs. A consistent, stable relationship, no matter how fulfilling, can sometimes be perceived as predictable. 

An affair introduced elements of excitement, risk, and unpredictability.

Why Do Men Have Emotional Affairs?

While emotional affairs are devoid of physical intimacy, they are extremely rich in emotional connection, which arises from a longing for deeper emotional bonds, which may be absent in the primary relationship

Some men tend to gravitate towards emotional affairs because they find a confidante, a listener, or simply someone who understands and appreciates them. 


What Are the Signs That He May Be Having an Affair?

Sometimes, you can take a guess at when a man is having an affair Although is doesn’t always mean this is what’s happening, these signs are pretty good indicators…

Signs He’s Having an AffairHow to Tell
Change in Communication PatternsOne of the most telling signs is a sudden change in communication. 
This could manifest as decreased communication, avoiding certain topics, or becoming defensively secretive about phone messages and social media activity. 
Altered Schedule and PrioritiesThey might start working late more frequently, taking unexpected trips, or being vague about their whereabouts. 
Decreased IntimacyThere might be a noticeable decrease in emotional and physical intimacy. 
They could become distant, less affectionate, or show diminished interest in sexual activities with their primary partner.
Overprotectiveness of Personal DevicesSuddenly setting passwords, not leaving their phone unattended, or getting startled when someone else picks it up are signs that they might be hiding something. 
Shifts in Behaviour and AppearanceThey may start paying more attention to their appearance, buying new clothes, getting a new hairstyle, or adopting a new fitness regimen. 
Financial AnomaliesDiscovering unexplained expenses, noticing receipts from places they didn’t mention, or finding gifts that weren’t for you can be red flags. 

Is It Ever Okay to Have an Affair?

Many people would argue that stepping out on your partner is never okay, but there may be some instances when infidelity is okay in a relationship. So, let’s explore some of those reasons.

Open or Polyamorous Relationships

According to a survey conducted by YouGov, 7% of UK adults said that they have been in a consensual, non-monogamous relationship at some point in their lives.[1]

Non-monogamy just means that you aren’t confined to just one partner. Polyamorous people will often have multiple relationships, which means that sleeping with someone else would be okay. 

The same applies to open relationships, and while there are still only two people in the relationship, both parties have the freedom to explore no-strings-attached connections with someone else.

Man flirting with two women

Emotional or Physical Neglect

In the realm of long-term relationships and marriages, prolonged emotional or physical neglect can be profoundly damaging. 

Over time, if these fundamental needs remain unmet, the neglected partner might gravitate towards another source of solace. 

Exiting a Harmful Relationship

Trapped in toxic or abusive relationships, some individuals might feel powerless or unsafe to leave directly. 

In such oppressive circumstances, an external relationship might offer an escape route, providing emotional support, physical safety, or the confidence to eventually break free. 

unhappy man on bed

The Bottom Line: 3 Types of Men Who Have Affairs

As we delve into the multifaceted reasons behind why men stray from committed relationships, it’s evident that the motivations are as varied as the individuals involved. 

Whether driven by neglect, validation, opportunity, or a desperate need to escape harmful confines, affairs are symptomatic of deeper human needs, desires, and situations. 


What are the 5 Common Personality Traits of Cheaters?

The five common personality traits of cheaters are: change in communication patterns, altered schedule and priorities, decreased desire for intimacy, being overprotective of personal devices, and shifts in behaviour and appearance. 

Of course, there may be other signs that someone is having an affair, but generally speaking, if you notice any of the above five traits, then it could be an indication of infidelity.

Why Do Men Choose to Have Affairs?

Men choose to have affairs for a number of reasons. Still, often, it is because they are either unfulfilled in a relationship, seeking validation from others, or they simply have the right opportunity. 

Can a Man Cheat and Still Love His Wife?

Absolutely. While it may seem paradoxical, men can still be very much in love with their partners even if they are having an affair. Sometimes, an affair is more about the individual in question and not their partner. 

Can Happily Married People Have Affairs?

Happily, married people can and do have affairs. Just because you are happy in your marriage does not mean you won’t seek validation from others. However, more often than not, infidelity happens because there are already issues present in the relationship.


[1] https://polyamoryuk.co.uk/how-common-is-polyamory-in-the-uk/

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