I was thinkingabout this and see a couple of problems. One is that they asked the men why they cheated. This right here is a biased report. The men (or women) look for a reason to justify their behavior and do you really think they are going to say "I just didn't have the self controll to keep my pants zipped up." No, they are going to come up with something that gets them "understanding and sympathy." They are going to come up with something that doesn't make them feel like smucks. Now, I am sure if this was a study of women done the same way, you would also get biased results. Everyone
rationalizes why they do things to keep their self esteem up. So, what you have here are not the REASONS for cheating, but the rationalizations for cheating.
The second problem is that there is something inherently flattering in a NEW relationship that doesn't exist in the old relationship. There is that hormonal joy ride of falling in love. Plus, he (or she) doesn't have to go the pain of actually losing the old relationship. So, he gets the joy ride without the pain of actually losing his old relationship. He gets all the good things his wife (or husband, because I think the same thing applies to women) does for him/her and they get that wonderful exciting feeling of "falling in love" with someone new. They get the ADDITIONAL flattery and ego boost from the addention the new person gives them, without losing the flattery and attention of the old partner. They get to have their cake and eat it too. If they would remember what they felt like when they first fell in love with their current partner, they probably had that same good feeling and so the problem isn't the old partner, but the fact that they have let the relationship go stale or that they think "real love" is that hormone joy ride. It comes with new relationships and wears off with time. It is mostly hormonal. The euphoria of falling in love is a good feeling, so the man looks back on his affair and says, "Well, this was missing in my marriage." Of COURSE the euphoria of falling in love is missing in an existing relationship.
The third problem is that if things are bad in the marriage, what is the difference between the cheeting spouse and the faithful spouse? If the man is feeling that his emotional needs are not met, the woman is probably feeling the same way, so what makes the difference in which one cheats? Because both men and women cheat, and if the marriage is bad, it is bad for both of them, you have to look at what makes the difference between the cheater and cheatee.
Well, there have been studies done on that and they have not used the person's report of his/her own reasons, but done a personality test to find out what is different in the cheater and the cheatee. Not just what is wrong in a marriage in which cheating occures, but what makes the cheater cheat compared to others or their own partner in bad marriages who do not cheat.
The difference is in the level of committment to the relationship. This can be measured with tests, personality type tests. And it is the person with a comparative low committment to the relationship
who cheats. I don't remember if this weak committment was more likely to be the man or the woman or if it was equal, but it could be either.
There was something in Science News recently that says there is one defective gene in some monogamous animals can cause a lack of a particular hormone, and lack of monogamous committment by the males. The males with this gene defect do not form monogamous pairs. This same gene defeciency appears in human males and causes a decrease in a specific hormone. The authors were speculating if this same defective gene in humans causes a lack of men's ability to commit.
So, what you really may have is that the men FEEL that they are not getting their emotional needs met because they lack a certain hormon that makes them bond to their wives. In may be more brain chemistry in the male than the wife's behavior toward him.
So, now science just needs to find the gene in women that causes them to cheat.