Why Men Marry Up and Cheat Down

Celebrity cheaters may grab all the headlines, but they're not the only ones who marry "up” and then cheat with less-than-respectable ladies. A relationship expert deciphers this t
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Why Men Marry Up and Cheat Down

Celebrity cheaters may grab all the headlines, but they’re not the only ones who marry “up” and then cheat with less-than-respectable ladies. A relationship expert deciphers this troubling trend.

-Libby Keatinge

Cheating with low-brow women

If you have filet mignon heating up at home, why would you go out for a burger at McDonald’s? And if you’re a man who has a beautiful, loving, practically-perfect-in-every-way woman at home, why would you go off and cheat with someone who’s clearly at least a step down from what you already have right in the palm of your hand? Over the last year or so, the phenomenon of men “marrying up and cheating down” has become all too familiar, especially in celebrity news stories a la Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, Tiger and Elin Woods, and Eliot and Silda Spitzer. All of these men scored big by “marrying up,” with wives who are beautiful, accomplished and maybe even too good for them. But then they cheated “down” with women who were clearly less accomplished and educated, and who also had more tattoos, piercings and hours logged on the stripper pole than the ladies they left at home. So what is it with this trend of men cheating down the food chain?

Read 6 Signs Your Guy is Cheating

We spoke with relationship expert April Masini to help us shed some light on the situation. “Would you buy an apple to eat and expect it to taste like a tomato?” she asks. “So why is there such surprise when a woman marries a bad boy and expects him to act like a gentleman, but he fails? He’s not a gentleman and he may parade around as if he is one, but over time, a leopard shows its spots, and an apple tastes like an apple no matter how hard you try to imagine it’s a tomato,” April tells BettyConfidential. 

Just like women may have their favorite designer of shoes or preferred brand of chocolate to cheat on their diets with, men also know what they like. “I feel very strongly that most men have a type and that’s what they gravitate towards. Jesse James’ type was heavily tattooed low-lifes. Sandra Bullock was not his type and that should’ve raised a red flag for everyone in both her life and his when he married her. There was very little chance he was going to change who he was and is – even for love,” she explains.


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21 thoughts on “Why Men Marry Up and Cheat Down

  1. I’ve never understood why guys like Jesse and Tiger cheated this way – especially Tiger, who is incredibly disciplined and private. Yet he ran wild with women who would sell him out for a quick buck? So confusing…

  2. This makes a lot of sense, and if you think about it, in the beginning, we were all so shocked that Jesse James and Sandra Bullock were getting married. Like, wow, they’re so different! And now we find out he cheated with a woman who seems more like his type. So maybe opposites attract, but they don’t last.

  3. I kind of have to agree, but I don’t think that’s the whole picture. Sometimes the other woman is the one who is the opposite of what the guy normally goes for. I’ve also heard that men will cheat with women who are “bad” because they feel that they themselves have fallen from grace. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why men cheat with nasty women, but if my husband cheats on me I hope he has the decency to do it with someone whose face doesn’t look like a foot. Talk about adding insult to injury. (And the cheating thing was sarcasm BTW)

  4. “To thyne self be true” For both Men and women that is the case. You’re a political figure your supposed to have a “political wife” not too beautiful(women won’t vote for you)and no one knows how you are treated at home!! People assume everything’s great.
    She is beautiful: great arm candy at home not so nice!
    You are into wild passionate sex she is night gown, lights off, only to have kids!
    Just incompatible people
    We put too much on fantasy not enough on reality!

  5. Having gone through this exact scenario in a 17 year marriage, I have wracked my brain for the past 15 years trying to understand why my very successful husband cheated on me constantly with women whom he picked up in bars. All of his friends were envious of him because he had such a beautiful, intelligent, accomplished wife and wonderful mother to his son. But the worst part of it was that he was unable to perform with me! I was so young and naive when we married, I continuously sought counseling to find out what was wrong with ME. (He wouldn’t go – DUH).Finally, after the last 6 years of our marriage with no sex at all, I left him. He married a women who made him her 9th husband and they are blissfully happy. He is STILL cheating on her, but they are both in their 60’s now and she couldn’t care less because he is very wealthy and obviously, the best catch she ever got. (I have never found the courage to even DATE since our divorce 15 years ago.) Girls, take heed of this article! If your man is a cheater before he marries you, he will ALWAYS be one. It’s nothing wrong with YOU – it’s him who has the problem! DON’T MAKE IT YOURS!! (Even though you will be humiliated and heartbroken….)

  6. Having gone through this exact scenario in a 17 year marriage, I have wracked my brain for the past 15 years trying to understand why my very successful husband cheated on me constantly with women whom he picked up in bars. All of his friends were envious of him because he had such a beautiful, intelligent, accomplished wife and wonderful mother to his son. But the worst part of it was that he was unable to perform with me! I was so young and naive when we married, I continuously sought counseling to find out what was wrong with ME. (He wouldn't go – DUH).Finally, after the last 6 years of our marriage with no sex at all, I left him. He married a women who made him her 9th husband and they are blissfully happy. He is STILL cheating on her, but they are both in their 60's now and she couldn't care less because he is very wealthy and obviously, the best catch she ever got. (I have never found the courage to even DATE since our divorce 15 years ago.) Girls, take heed of this article! If your man is a cheater before he marries you, he will ALWAYS be one. It's nothing wrong with YOU – it's him who has the problem! DON'T MAKE IT YOURS!! (Even though you will be humiliated and heartbroken….)

  7. I also think that power and ego enter into the equation. If someone gets into a power trip about how wonderful they are and their partner isn’t supporting that, they go to someone who can build their ego up. They want or need to be built up, not have a mutual caring relationship. I don’t think it is all about the sex…

  8. Ok! Let’s not forget that these are people who have busy careers. Sandra made 2 movies back to back, and Tiger is the reason that golf has become so popular with us commoners, so when did they have time for family sex! It’s just sex not LOVE. We as Americans have put so much pressure on celebrities that we lose focus on integrity. Now what about the women cheaters? It just doesn’t sell magazines, or better yet, Men might look at cheating in a whole new light! Oh, What was the question? I lost focus on the subject, SORRY!

  9. It’s the virgin-whore complex, simple. And this article really buys into that with its ‘low-lifes’ and horrible value judgements of sex workers.

  10. Men marry up because they desire material wealth and the status that accompanies a high-class woman. This type of marriage increases the status of the male in the eyes of his peers.

    Men cheat down because they need to feel that they are dominant in the relationship. Cheating down gives them an opportunity to be “better” than the woman they are with. This raises their own ego, which gives them confidence.

    Men cheat in the first place because it gives their genetic material an evolutionary advantage to be passed on. They need to have status to compete with other males. Status is why women will have sex with a man in the first place. Ever notice how rich men are sooo much hotter than ghetto-ass bums?

  11. I respect and see the point of the article. I have dated bad boys. Let’s face it, the allure of the bad boy is there. They pretend to be gentlemen, maybe because they wish they were nice guys. They tell people “I just want to find a good girl for a change”.
    Truth is, that’s how they win us nice, classy, pretty, can bring home to mom girls home. The moms and those types of girls become fast friends, and the mom tells the son to marry us.
    Then you see the warning signs. Lying to others, consistant exaggeration, and little white lies come up. You hear about his past, either because of conversation when he is drunk or him talking to his friends when you are in earshot. You realize he has dated trashy, slutty, drug addicted women. Great, I’m different, he’s ready to move on to better!
    Well, I did move on to better- I married a nice guy I started dating shortly after the breakup. Ironically, my husband is a mutual aquaintance my sleazeball ex introduced me to while I was unfortunately dating him!
    The ex? now working at a factory, with an older white trash woman. Oh, and he cheated on her openly and one of the girls got preggo and his girlfriend still knows none of this! And he keeps telling his friends he’s bummed I am married and still asks about me!
    Point of this post is that these men are not cheating because of their wives, but because they have their own issues. I am no advocate of divorce, but these lovely ladies are deserving of men who will gravitate toward classy, intelligent, beautiful women like them. And know to take their marriage vows seriously and not cheat!

  12. I don’t know what is sadder to me, that you stuck with a man who humiliated you repeatedly for 6 years, or that you never dated again and he went on to be married to a woman who is happy to look the other way for financial security. It sounds like he killed your spirit, and you let him. See I would have slept with his boss to get him fired, his best friend to put a stake in his heart and either his dad or brother so he’d never enjoy another family gathering. Believe me I wouldn’t have rested a minute until I had driven him to ground and I also would have the best attorney that his money could buy and taken him to the cleaners for the final coup de etat. Free advice: Don’t ever let anyone man or woman steal your life and happiness, no one has that power but you to give that away.

    I hope you go on eharmony and make up for lost time, it’s never late to find love and happiness! You are right cheaters never stop cheating, it’s hopeless to think you will be different and be able to change a man’s character. Go forth and enjoy life, it’s all to brief be lonely and unhappy.

  13. Ive been cheated on. I am still with him too. Maybe im stupid. Who knows. He cheated more then once, with more then One female. And at times I wish I could have been strong and told him to go. But when you love someone sometimes you do dum things. And I guess I did.

  14. firecracker80 that is why in the good old days the wife was responsible for hiring the concubines. Beautiful,accomplished,respectful,and all that could be sexually.

  15. festivelady826: perhaps if women would see to it that they were “bad” women then it might be easier to get over the dysfunctional baggage of our society and perhaps both can see sexuality as something tobe embraced and celebrated

  16. With all due respect to the “expert,” she has no idea what she’s talking about. Is she saying that if a man marries “his type” that he will NOT cheat on her?

    Well I have some news for you Ladies – ANY man is capable of cheating. All that a “good” man (or any man for that matter) needs, to cheat, is a woman willing to cheat with him. That’s the truth. All men are susceptible to this type of temptation, and no man is immune.

    The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. who can know it? Men cannot trust themselves, nor can their wives trust them. Rather, both husband and wife must trust God to keep the marriage-bed pure. I have attempted to cheat on my wife in the past by propositioning another woman that I felt was making passes at me. Fortunately, she rebuked me.

    Most people see me as a “good” guy, but I am not. I constantly lust after other women, amongst other sins. Though, it is only by the grace of God that I have not ever physically cheated on my wife. I love my wife dearly, but I am a sinful person full of lust, and I must trust God to protect me and my family from myself. What I deal with in my heart, according to the Bible, is no different than what every other man deals with. I am aware of my sinful proclivities and I am prompted almost daily to pray to God and ask for help in my weakness.

    Ladies, if you want to help your husband and yourself, ask him to pray with you about these things. And you MUST understand that his desire to sleep with other women, if he’s a Christian, is a struggle that he knows he must overcome. You must let him know that you KNOW he is struggling with lust for other women and that you want to pray with him. This will bring unity and strength in your bond. Most women, if they knew their husbands were lusting after other women, would become offended and upset, and they would take it as a personal insult. This is because of their lack of understanding. The Bible is clear that no temptation has overtaken us save that which is common to man: Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

    Women tend to think that if they’re pretty enough, smart enough, interesting enough, etc.. their man will not want to cheat. WRONG! You could be the most pretty, smart, funny, easy going woman with the BEST BODY IN THE WORLD and your man would still want to cheat. It has nothing to do with you. It’s a spiritual battle and you need to help your husband fight this battle by understanding the issue from a Biblical perspective. Otherwise, he will try to hide his shameful lusts from you, avoiding your anger and ridicule. He will also be left to deal with his sin alone, which is not good.

    The same goes for issues that women struggle with.

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