Is it worse for men when women cheat?

I read an article in Grazia this week that made me mad.

It was written by an anonymous male journalist, who was claiming that being cheated on is basically much harder for a man than a woman. He was empathising with the recently wronged Robert Pattinson. “Believe me,” he said, “it’s so much worse when a woman cheats on a man.”

Of course it is.

Just like it’s always worse when a man gets a cold?

(Did you detect my oh-so-subtle sarcasm?)

He goes on about how much harder it is for men to be cheated on, because it leads them to doubt themselves and their sexual prowess and makes them wonder what they were lacking as a man that made their partner stray. “When women have their hearts broken,” he whines on, “they get endless counselling sessions from friends until they feel better.”

Seriously, does it get much more patronising than that?

Firstly, anonymous male journalist, I would like to point out that just because we don’t have penises, doesn’t mean we are immune to worrying about our sexual performance. Newsflash for you – women occasionally experience self-doubt! Gasp! We also like to think outside the bedroom too, so our trampled self-esteem will affect lots of other areas of our lives as well. (This is similar to multi-tasking. It’s that thing women do when they think about more than one thing at once*.)

Also, this sweeping statement about women finding comfort in their friends makes several very basic and not always correct assumptions. It assumes that all women have friends that they feel comfortable confiding in, and it assumes we want to bang on and on to them about our problems. Neither of these are necessarily true. Heartbreak is often a very personal and private thing, and although men may have this image of women gathering in packs, necking Chardonnay, proclaiming all men to be bastards and immediately ‘feeling better’, it’s simply not true.

The fact is that being deceived by someone you love and trust is gutting, whether you’re a man or a woman, 18 or 80. Just because women might be more inclined to vent their emotions with friends sometimes, doesn’t mean the pain cuts any less deep.

If anonymous male journalist is still wondering what it is that he lacks as a man, perhaps he should focus less on the contents of his trousers, and more on his understanding on how women think and feel.

*Said in an anonymous male writer style patronising tone



  1. 15 August, 2012 / 11:26 am

    I completely agree with you here, I have plenty of upsets within my relationship and I *rarely*, if ever, talk to friends or Mum about them. I find that it tarnishes peoples judgement of a partner when you moan about them and more often than not, they make a snap decision about how they feel about this person from there on.

    Also, often when you share things like this, it’s incredibly one sided and your partner never gets the opportunity to share their side of the story, which just warps things.

    I’ve been in the age old position, more than once, of helping a friend through relationship problems by banging the “what a bastard” or “you should leave him” drum, only for them to go on and stay together, which leaves all of the things you said out in the universe and unable to take them back, which can really ruin a friendship, especially if said-bloke gets wind of your opinions and puts the boot in.

  2. Padre Stew
    15 August, 2012 / 12:05 pm

    What a crock! Personally, I believe that if you want to cheat, get out of the relationship first, there is obviously something wrong. But to say it hurts a man more is quite possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I think the “man” who is hurt “more” may have some pre-existing confidence issues.

    And surely, drawing attention to this “hurt” is leaving yourself open to ridicule?

    Cheating is never a good thing, male or female. Making a deliberate decision to risk hurting someone like that speaks volumes about that person, because let’s face it, it is a risk. Risk of getting caught, risk of STDs, all sorts of risks. Why would you do that to someone you love???

    But all that aside, I have no idea how someone can categorise the pain caused by cheating as being worse for a particular person based on gender.

    Again I say…..What a crock!

  3. rinsimpson
    15 August, 2012 / 12:07 pm

    Oh my gosh, what a **** (him, not you, obv). If I heard any man spouting such rubbish I would probably deck him. As it is, I’m just having to not think too hard about his ridiculous views, because I’m in the office and my facial expressions might frighten people. Seriously, my heart rate has actually risen with frustration that there are people out there that actually believe that! Idiots. (Sorry, rant over. Gosh, didn’t realise I felt so strongly until I started typing!)

  4. Ericka Waller
    15 August, 2012 / 7:56 pm

    Best blogpost I’ve read in MONTHS.
    I laughed. I agreed. I LOVED it !! X

  5. 16 August, 2012 / 1:53 pm

    Love this! Thank you.

  6. 17 August, 2012 / 9:10 am

    The gender of the “victim” is irrelevant, different people will react to infidelity in different ways and at different levels regardless of their gender. I know 1 man who is cheating on his wife and he believes “‘er indoors” has no knowledge of this yet it seems not to bother her, presumably because she’s French and they have a very different attitude on adultery to the English.

  7. James
    30 September, 2012 / 8:07 am

    I agree with the guy who wrote that but wait before you strangle me HAHA heart break hurts everyone to love someone who betrays sucks I know but think about this we have to deal with this on top of dealing with the fact that you may have got something from a guy that your current guy can’t give you guys are not created equal if you know what I mean example: if you are a woman who is dating a guy with a 4incher kinda of small on the girth size but you go out and cheat with a nice 8 with some thickness that’s going to ruin your relationship because your current man can not provide the same stimulation you have just received that adds salt and lemon juice to the same mental cut women and men both feel when they are cheated on and a woman who is not stimulated will have an affair there is no such thing as a woman not being able to stimulate a man but I do agree mentally it’s all the same hurt but your not looking at the physical aspect of cheating and don’t ask if it’s smaller women don’t cheat with smaller men unless they are dating Mandingo hahahaha

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