Other women are an inevitability. They’re going to always be there, and how you choose to deal with them is up to you. Men who are in committed relationships or marriages often have a difficult time navigating in this difficult terrain. Many fall victim to their desires, and end up chasing other women in some way or another. While some guys may stop short of out-and-out sexual infidelity, they do indulge in a number of behaviors that would make their partner bristle.
The Reasons Behind Pursuing Other Women
Not Getting Your Needs Met in Your Relationship
Often, men seek out the affections of other women when they’re not getting their needs met at home. They aren’t feeling appreciated, or validated, by their wife or girlfriend. Many guys don’t know how to identify those needs, and put words to them. They don’t know how to ask for what they need, and then end up cheating or withdrawing with leads to chasing other women.
Learning to identify and communicate the needs you’re not getting met in your primary relationship is so critical. She can’t read your mind, and if you’ve tried talking about it, to no avail, then couples or marriage counseling is essential. If that doesn’t work, you may want to think about what you want from a relationship, and consider if your marriage is for you or not. You owe it to your partner – and to yourself – to do these things, rather than seek out gratifying your needs outside of your primary relationship.
Fantasy vs. Reality
It can’t be just a sexual or physical attraction that pulls men to chase other women when they’re in a committed relationship. Superficially, some guys are bored in their current arraignment, and it’s the fantasy that they spin that keeps them engaged: being with another woman, being validated by someone else, having sex with other women. The problem is when the fantasy goes too far, and starts to manifest as problematic behaviors – in reality. That’s when you get into trouble.
The Pursuit and “Capture”
Many men like the chase of women. Pure and simple. And many women like the chase. Men like that women are outside of their reach, and it’s intoxicating to chase after women who aren’t available to them at the moment. But are we chasing the woman, or the fantasy?
Inferiority or Inadequacy Feelings
At heart, so many men that I talk with feel insecure or inferior when it comes to women, and it’s hard to admit that to oneself. We may have felt like losers growing up with women, and a lot of the chasing women as adults is the way to compensate for those inferior feelings.
Men feel strong, confident and desirable when they pursue other women, to the detriment of their primary relationship. This is emotional avoidance. Learning to deal directly with the strong, negative feelings of inferiority and inadequacy, we can learn to not need to pursue other women and solidify the relationships that we do have, that are working.
If we stay stuck in the need for emotional validation from other women, many times who are unavailable, too, we’re not ever going to deal with the emotional drivers that perpetuate that behavior. Deal with the inferiority, and you get closer to owning your own issues as a man.
Guilt as a Gauge
If you use guilt as a gauge, you’re probably doing something wrong. If you don’t feel guilty, you might have a bigger problem on your hands. I talk with men who say they feel guilty, yet keep pushing the envelop, succumbing to flirting or other inappropriate activities with women. If you use guilt as a gauge, and listen to it, you may find you’re getting into this inappropriate activity with women a little bit less.
Rationalizing your Behavior
If you choose to rationalize or justify your behavior, you’re living in denial. Just because your wife isn’t giving you the things you need, doesn’t mean it’s right to go outside of the marriage. You need to take a look within, at the reasons that drive you to pursue other women, and see how you rationalize them to fit right with you.
Using a Wide-Angle Lens
If you can see the big picture of your life, you might clarify what you truly value. If you value a committed relationship, you might get serious about working on the issues that drive you to chase other women. If you are clear on what you want for your life, you may shift your perspective and start new behaviors that are in alignment with that vision. If you’re seeing this from the short-term, through impulsive behaviors of chasing women, you’re not seeing the big picture for your life.
When What Goes Around….is Self-Sabotage
The behavior will continue, even if you end your primary relationship, because without addressing the issues on a root level (e.g. emotional or historical level), you’re committed to playing the same behavior out in future relationships. I talk with lots of men that get stuck in this loop, and end up chasing other women in every relationship they’ve had, thus ending the relationship. Self-sabotaging themselves, these guys can never have a fulfilling relationship or marriage because they’re too busy being distracted by other women, and can’t fully commit or develop trust in their primary relationship or marriage.
There are plenty more things to look at when talking about why men pursue other women. I’ve heard so many, but I tried to boil down the main ones into this post today. It’s natural and normal to be attracted to other women. We’re human. Acting on it is another matter. When the line between fantasy and reality gets crossed, you’re going to have problems.