Why Do Men Cheat With Less Attractive Women? Why Have An Affair With An Ugly Woman When A Pretty One Is At Home?

By: Katie Lersch:  I hear from a decent amount of wives who do not understand their husband’s choice of an affair partner.  There is a perception that the “other woman” is always going to be younger and prettier.  After all, if a man is going to risk his marriage or family to make a trade, isn’t he going to trade up?

This perception isn’t always correct though.  Some men seem to trade down.  What I mean by this is that some men have an affair with a woman that most will tell you is much less attractive than his wife.  At that point, there can be a question as to what, truly, is the point?  Why would a man risk all of this for a woman who isn’t even pretty?

A wife might put it into these types of words: “I am going to sound vain, but here goes.  I am attractive.  Every one tells me this.  Men still turn these heads to look at me several times per day.  I keep my body very toned.  I am careful about how I dress.  Since the day that we were married, people have said that my husband is very lucky to have me.  My husband says this also.  That is why it is so confusing to find out that my husband has been cheating on me with a chubby old woman with a face like a horse.  I am not kidding.  This woman is borderline hideous.  And I really do not get it.  How can he even stand to look at her, much less have sex with her?  How could he possibly rather have sex with her than with me?”

What I am about to list here are only my theories.  So please take them for what they are worth. These theories have been developed from my research and from the correspondence that I get on this blog.

The Pay Off Is Not Always The Sex: While it’s assumed that affairs are just about the sex that you aren’t getting at home, I’ve come to believe that this most certainly isn’t always the case.  Many people have affairs when their at-home sex life is pretty hot.  Why? Because the pay off is not the sex.

When I tell people this, I often get confused looks and blank stares.  If not sex, they seem to be saying, then what?  I find  most often, they are looking for a connection or a place to unburden themselves.  Sometimes when I explain this, the person that I am explaining it to assumes that this is true only for women who cheat.  After all, we’ve all known a wife who says her husband just doesn’t listen to her or doesn’t support her emotionally.  So when a man comes and listens to her and tells her she is special, well, we all know what happens next.

With more and more frequency, I see this happen with men. In a survey, 48 percent of men said that the primary reason that they cheated was emotional.  And get this: Only 12 percent of all of the men in the survey said that the other woman was more attractive than their wife.  I find these statistics so very telling.

It’s All About How She Makes Him Feel: It’s often not what the other woman looks like or what she does in the bedroom that allows her to get her claws into your husband. It’s the way that she makes him feel.  She often makes him feel important and heard.  She makes him feel worthwhile.  He may even know that she’s not that attractive – but her looks are not what is attracting him.  It is the way that he feels better about himself when he is with her.

He May Feel Unworthy Of You: Along those same lines, sometimes a man who knows that he’s not as attractive as his wife will actually feel a little more comfortable when he “trades down” so to speak.  He’s usually well aware that people say how lucky he is and this can create some insecurity on his part.  So when a less attractive woman makes him feel attractive by comparison, this can feel like a relief to him.  Because his self esteem has taken a hit before and now it has taken a boost.

By no means does having an affair with a less attractive woman make it hurt less.  It hurts just as much and it is just as damaging.  But it’s usually not that there is anything wrong with his eyes or his perceptions.  It’s just that he’s not evaluating the other woman on her looks.  He’s getting another pay off that has more to do with him than it has to do with her.

Since so many men are resistant to counseling or talking about their problems with their male friends, sometimes they find another woman who isn’t their wife (and who doesn’t seem to judge them or think less of them) appealing.  It may not even start out as an affair, but as he becomes more and more dependent on her emotionally, then it turns into something else.

I know that this is confusing and frustrating.  But don’t allow his mistake to change the way that you feel about yourself.  You are every bit as wonderful today as you were yesterday.  What you do regarding your marriage is up to you, but I found that keeping my self esteem intact was vital to making it through this. You can read about my journey on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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