Eric Anderson, author of ‘The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love and the Reality of Cheating’, goes even further.
He makes the extraordinary claim that men have affairs not despite the fact that they love their partners, but because they do.
Dr Anderson, Professor of Sociology at the University of Winchester, interviewed 120 men and discovered that those who cheated did so because they were sexually bored, and not because they weren’t in love.
He concludes that monogamy is an unrealistic expectation, arguing that men cheat, rather than walk out, because they love their wives and want to stay. If they didn’t, the obvious alternative would be to walk out and enjoy guilt-free sex with a new partner.
“Evidence suggests men who cheat are romantically fulfilled, but unsatisfied with having sex with one person,” a major newspaper quoted Anderson as saying.
“It’s a subversive interpretation, but I’d suggest these men cheat because they do love their partners — they are simply too afraid to take the chance of losing them by expressing a desire for recreational sex with others,” he said.
Paula Nicholson, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of London, dismisses Anderson’s theory outright that men cheat because they love their wives.
“I can’t see that it makes any sense at all. When men cheat — and let’s not forget that the majority in long-term relationships do not — they usually do so because they’ve had the opportunity,” Nicholson said.
“If a man goes on a business trip and has sex with someone he meets in a bar, he’s unlikely to be thinking: “I’m doing this because I love my wife”. He’s just hoping he doesn’t get found out,” she added.