With the holidays upon us, has your to-do list become a mile long? From buying and wrapping presents to scheduling family festivities and travel, to finishing up those year-end projects at the office, it’s no wonder that romance falls off the radar! It’s also no surprise when you hear of a man cheating during the holiday season.
What causes this rise in infidelity? Is it libido, ego, or, gulp, is it us? The following are some of the most common reasons men cheat during the holidays. By understanding the reasons a man is likely to cheat, you’ll be better able to affair-proof your current or future relationship, and also find ways to build a deeper bond during the holiday season and beyond.
He Doesn’t like the Way he’s Being Treated
Oftentimes, a man cheats because he doesn’t like the dynamic in his current relationship. If he feels like his partner nags him, belittles him, disrespects him, and/or treats him like a child, meeting someone new who treats him with respect, admiration, and desire will feel incredibly appealing. So what does this have to do with the holidays? With the added stress of that long to-do list, some women may be unconsciously treating their men like they’re yet another thing they have to cross off their list, but they just don’t have time for. And honestly, who wants to be treated that way? No one!
To avoid driving your partner away, spend time every day nurturing your relationship. And not just during the holiday season. All year long, let your partner know how much you love and appreciate him. Ask for the same in return. By being treated the way you want to be treated and ultimately treating your partner with love and respect, you take an important step in affair-proofing your relationship.
He Feels Ignored/Unappreciated
Like it or not, men are wired differently than women. It’s that whole Mars/Venus thing. So when a woman’s attention is diverted by holiday shopping, decorating the home, and/or dealing with party planning and family visits, a man can feel completely ignored and unappreciated. Of course, his first response should be to talk to his partner about how he’s feeling. But again, men are wired differently. Asking to have his needs met can make a man feel weak. Instead, he may look outside the relationship. This is where problems may arise. Instead of summoning his inner strength and asking for love, attention, and/or validation from his partner, a man is much more comfortable seeking these things from another woman. At first, this new woman may only be an emotional confidante. However, over time, this female friend may stir up other needs. That’s when a man is likely to initiate physical intimacy. To avoid this danger zone, it’s important to maintain open lines of communication between you and your partner. If and when these feelings of dissatisfaction or hurt surface (during the holidays or any time of year), your man should feel free to discuss them with you, thus eliminating his need for outside emotional companionship.
He’s Unhappy and the Holidays Remind him of What’s Missing
The holidays are a time when everyone — both men and women — takes stock of their lives. If the year has been good, you’re likely to feel good about the holidays. However, if the year has been difficult, challenging, and/or unsatisfying in terms of career, health, family, finances, and/or relationships, the holiday season may bring on added stress or a deeper level of unhappiness. If he feels like he can’t talk to his partner about this dissatisfaction, a man may look elsewhere for solace. To avoid getting into the dangerous scenario of your partner seeking comfort from another female, it’s once again important to keep those lines of communication open. Even if your year has been stressful — from finance to romance — let your partner know it’s safe for him to express himself about any and all issues. Even if you disagree, give him a secure space to share how he’s feeling. And don’t argue or chastise him for what he says or how he feels. Instead, listen, validate, and let him know he’s been heard. Above all else, it’s important to realize that a difficult year doesn’t have to end in infidelity. Instead, these trying times can bring two people closer if you’re both willing to be vulnerable and honest, and work together rather than against one another.
Mistletoe, tree trimming, sipping hot cider or eggnog? Let’s face it. All those things that make the holidays fun and exciting for you may just bore your partner to tears. And while that’s no excuse for cheating, infidelity happens. However, this particular relationship rut can be easily remedied. Find out what floats your partner’s boat when it comes to the holiday season. See if he’s got any festive fantasies you can indulge in. By nurturing the novelty of the season together, finding traditions you can both get excited about, and making holiday plans you both enjoy, you’ll not only affair-proof your relationship, but find meaningful ways to deepen your bond during the holiday season and beyond.
Ultimately, the reasons a man cheats during the holidays are the same reasons he’ll cheat any time of year. By keeping a relationship healthy all year long, you remove the risk of your partner cheating and also enjoy the fruits of a successful partnership. If or when you see signs that your man might be straying, talk to him. See what’s going on. Together, work to affair-proof your relationship — during the holidays AND throughout the year.