Why do men cheat on women during pregnancy? Is it part of their personality or is it a coping mechanism? Is it because of environmental stressers or due to changes that their partners are going through?
Days before Khloe Kardashian was going to give birth, news broke that her boyfriend, Tristan Thompson, cheated on her. It came as a shock to all her fans, since the two appeared a lot in love and excited for their baby to come.
It seems absolutely insensitive and unthinkable. However, being cheated on while pregnant is more common than one might think. According to the psychologist Robert Rodriguez, writer of the book, What’s Your Pregnant Man Thinking?, 10% of men cheat on their partners during pregnancy!
Other celebrities – like Heidi Klum, Lauren London, Kylee Cochran and many others – were also cheated on while they were pregnant.
So why do men cheat during pregnancy?
To find out exactly why men are more likely to cheat when their wives or girlfriends are pregnant, we interviewed a clinical psychologist, Dr. Farhat Zareen.
According to Zareen, cheating on a partner majorly depends on the personality traits of the man, his personal values, and how he sees his relationship.
1. The Charmer
Some men innately have the ‘Casanova Personality’; it is in their temperament to seduce and charm women. These kind of men are more likely to cheat on their partners in general, and thus might do it during pregnancy as well.
2. Lack of intimacy
According to his personality and preferences, a man might value his sexual desires more than the woman he is with. A woman goes through physical as well as hormonal changes during pregnancy, which might mean her sexual urges are diminished. A man who puts his sexual needs on top, in this case, is likely to find other ways to fulfill his desires.
As insensitive as it seems, Zareen says this really varies from person to person, and depends on how much empathy one has for their partner.
3. Lack of attraction
Another reason might be that the man is no longer attracted to his partner. Because of the changes in her body size, he might not find her as desirable as he used to before. This may cause him to search for other women who he does find attractive. Again, this depends on the mentality of the man and cannot be generalized to all men. If he is one to put physical appearance on top, this most likely is the reason for infidelity.
Pregnancy is a stressful period for the mother, and the stress is directly faced by the man as well – even if he doesn’t show it. A father-to-be might not get as much attention from his wife because she is mostly worried about the unborn baby. While this is not a justification, say experts, it does represent a specific mindset. A man who feel ignored during his wife’s pregnancy might cheat is to relieve stress and to get emotional attention. This can also be referred to as a way to escape from stress, due to the lack or proper coping mechanisms.
Signs that a man is cheating
According to Dr. Zareen, there are a few signs that women should be watchful for, during pregnancy and otherwise.
If a man is cheating, there would be definitely be sudden changes in his behavior. He might start coming home late or being going to ‘office meetings’ more than he used to before. A man who is cheating is also likely to ignore his partner and would spend more time on his phone or outside the house.
Cheating men also become more interested in their appearance, and start to make greater effort; they might shop more for themselves and invest more in self-grooming.
A man who is getting action from somewhere else would also be less interested in having sex with his own partner. He is more likely to start making excuses when it comes to physical intimacy with his pregnant partner.
Should you forgive a cheating partner?
This is the biggest dilemma, especially during pregnancy. Khloe Kardashian, for example, is reportedly trying to forgive her boyfriend because her newborn is ‘one half Tristan’. That is what it is: he is the father of your baby, and forgiving or leaving him will now affect more than just two people.
It is incredibly difficult for a woman to forgive her cheating partner. Between denial, anger and concern for the baby, she might feel like she just can’t do it anymore. It is very common at this stage to indulge in denial, since she might feel like she will break down if she accepts her emotions, and that she can’t afford to break down at the moment.
This is perhaps what Khloe Kardashian is going through, say experts. She has said she is ‘too happy’ about her new baby girl to worry about the cheating, which suggests she has chosen not to let herself feel what the infidelity really makes her feel. She is ‘putting it off’, which is a common mindset among cheating victims. Especially during or after pregnancy, there is a sense of responsibility to care for the baby, which makes the mother postpone taking care of herself.
A woman might initially pretend that nothing has changed, say experts, and continue her life as before. However, this means bottling up emotions and there is absolutely no way to live a happy life until she decides to accept what she really feels.
More often than not, cheating during pregnancy is followed by reconciliation, solely because of the sensitivity of the time. If you were cheated on, it is totally normal to not trust your partner after the incident. If you choose to forgive your partner, you must let things take their natural pace; trust building is a process which takes time and effort from both sides, though most of the burden lies on the infidel. The cheating husband must ensure he provides anything and everything his partner requires to feel secure, and be fully transparent.
Communication is essential; the woman must communicate to her partner how she really feels, and a partner who truly deserves to be forgiven must listen, understand, and be prepared for emotional ups and downs for several months – or perhaps years – to come.