It is the norm for most married men in Africa to cheat. And usually, the blame is pinned on the other woman in the equation… maybe rightfully so as no matter how good an excuse may seem, nothing can change the simple fact that when someone is cheating with a married man, they are deliberately hurting someone else. While this habit of cheating and staying married is not practiced by every married man in Africa, statistics show that the vast majority of cheating men end up staying with their wives and drop their mistresses once they are caught in the act.

Why? Why then do these married men cheat on their wives? Why not just leave them? Why insist on the struggle of keeping their marriage afloat despite the complications of having mistresses outside their home? Perhaps these men who chose to go outside their marriage, do so out of selfish needs or simply some adventure, and they just want to have their cakes and eat it too, or maybe they have no other choice?

There is no denying that questions around this phenomenon have haunted the minds of many wives, girlfriends and onlookers. We thought a little longer about it, talked to a few men, as well as women in our circles, and we came up with possible reasons why men will never leave their wives despite their philandering ways:

He just wants a short escape from marriage

Every marriage has a point where it becomes boring, more for the man than the woman. At this point, the man just wants to add a bit of passion and adventure back into their lives, so he explores the possibility of revitalizing the marriage or compensating with external pleasures and distractions. Most men go for the latter option as it is easier. They don’t cheat with the intention of leaving their wives. He is not looking for love, it is basically just him taking a simple vacation from his marriage, so no matter how much he gets entangled in extra marital affairs, he stays in his marriage. No matter how the mistress is affected, he feels justified as he never planned to leave in the first place.

The wife offers a safe and solid foundation

Like they say, the devil you know is better than the angel you do not really know. No matter how boring or annoying a man’s wife gets, the man clings to her while having another chick on the side because he knows it is better to have a safe and solid foundation than venture into the unknown with the mistress. What’s the guarantee that the mistress will not become even more boring than the man’s wife after he dumps his original wife to marry her? With the mistress, he gets the rush of the honeymoon stage, however, that is no assurance that the mistress will live up to his expectations when their relationship transitions into reality mode that comes with marriage. Also, with mistresses, they usually put up a façade or try to live out some kind of secret fantasy, so they are hardly themselves with the mistresses. With their wives, however, they are free to be themselves. With the wife, they can be their authentic self and comfortable.

They do not respect the mistress

When a man respects a woman, he commits himself to her in obvious ways and he makes her priority. They fail to do this with mistresses as they regard them as cheap, desperate seconds with little or no value. Of course, they do not communicate this directly to the women, but subtle actions they take reveal their perceptions. They do not make themselves available to these women until they have their own personal need of them and they do not celebrate these women and the woman has no influence over their personal lives. While the women might be deluded at first to assume that they will eventually upgrade to wife status, the man already knows its never happening. Think about it, if he truly respected or even loved the mistress, he would be willing to sacrifice his family and wife to be with her regardless of the consequences.

They value their children

Most men who are tired of marriage and ready to leave their wives, resort to cheating rather than divorce because they prefer to stay and give their children a stable family, especially if they did not have one growing up. They commit to the marriage for the sake of the kids. Usually, divorce entails custody battles and to avoid the potential risk of losing his kids to the wife, they stay. Also, there is the drama with divorce that could mess up the child’s mental stability. Why put them through that if he doesn’t have to?

The truth is most men who cheat lack empathy for their wives or for the mistress. They stay with their wives mostly because it is the easier option. And it comes with comfort and having the best of both worlds. If they can hide the affair from his wife continue parading as a good husband, and keep both his wife and the other woman happy… why would he leave his wife?

What are some other reasons you think makes the cheating men stay with his wife rather than leave her for the mistress? Let us know.

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