Our Cheatin’ Hearts
Men and monogamy: Understanding the urge to have an extramarital affair
Marriage after adultery continued...
“I think one of the things that happens in marriages, and with boredom in
general, is that people lose sight of the benefits they are deriving from their
marriage,” says Nock. “Ask an unhappy man what his life will be like after his
marriage is over and he can’t answer. Men vastly overestimate their ability to
do well outside of marriage. Women seem to do much better outside of marriage
than men do,” he says, citing both the health and wealth advantages married men
have over bachelors.
Noting that the average age of marriage in the United States has moved to
the upper 20s, Nock figures that people 28 years old “have experienced an awful
lot of life” and probably aren’t in search of more sex when they’re unfaithful.
“The sexual component of marriage may not have that much to do with fidelity,”
Nock says. “Remaining faithful to my wife has very little to do with sexuality.
I think it has more to do with honoring her, or fulfilling her expectations
about me. What else is it that marriage demands of us?”