to suspect that the % of men who cheat is way way higher than most of us realise

(53 Posts)
soontobedivorced Sun 25-Nov-12 11:01:23

I have a friend who works in a very male-dominated work environment and sometimes they forget she is there. Boys talk and last week she told me that out of 20 of them, all married, 18 have mistresses and they are quite open about it between themselves. She was warned about the men before she started the job - in her boss's words: "they'll love careful".

I'm (almost) divorced and been on dating sites for a year now and have been propositioned by many many men who openly admit they are married, and these are just the ones that admit it. Usually you can tell because they have no picture on their public profile.

I've been shocked by the amount of cheating that goes on, I must be so naive, I had no idea it was this bad, and its made me really pessimistic about finding a future partner. On the sites I just get messaged by guys who just want sex, guys who are married, guys who are odd, guys who are mentally ill. Internet dating just seems be be a massive hook-up site now and no-one seems to have a shred of moral fibre, its a nightmare.

OpheliaPayneAgain Sun 25-Nov-12 11:02:52

Male bravado? where are all these women your collegues are hooking up with?

I reckon the % is fairly high but some careers will attract more men who cheat than others. Plus they are cheating with someone and unless it's other men, the % of women who cheat must be fairly high too.

soontobedivorced Sun 25-Nov-12 11:06:30

many men on the site have told me women are up for it. a male friend who I've known for years and wouldn't lie to me tells me women beg him (his words) to sleep with them on first date, he feels they do it to "trap" him.

DownTheRabidHole Sun 25-Nov-12 11:06:32

I think it must be her industry, 90% across the board is not true.

mumsfretter Sun 25-Nov-12 11:06:39

What field do you work in?

SoupDragon Sun 25-Nov-12 11:07:50

I don't think cheating is limited to men. The percentage of women who cheat is probably far higher than most people realise.

some careers will attract more men who cheat than others

I think the truth is more likely to be that some careers make it easier for people to cheat than others.

Binkybix Sun 25-Nov-12 11:08:16

I think 18/20 seems very high, but then again, very few people think their husband is cheating and a fair number do. However, I bet women cheat just as much. Does anyone know of any stats on this?

mumsfretter Sun 25-Nov-12 11:09:19

I agree with Kiss

If more married men have affairs than women and if we are roughly 50/50 male female in this country then there has to be either a high level of partners with single women or married women are doing the same.

bondigidum Sun 25-Nov-12 11:11:03

I'd like not to think so but having said that DH works with three guys who have cheated on their partners/wives and come into work pretty much bragging about it. All have been found out now.. and the partners are still with them hmm.

I don't think the % is over 50. Well, one would hope..

soontobedivorced Sun 25-Nov-12 11:12:55

its a blue chip retail company

scaevola Sun 25-Nov-12 11:13:20

I've read various estimates that put it between 40-65% of men, and only slightly less for women (of course, what counts as cheating can vary).

So yes, I think is probably is higher than is generally realised as not all forms of cheating are full on affairs which are discovered.

TwoFacedCows Sun 25-Nov-12 11:13:25

I agree that it is very high. all you have to do is look on swingers sites to see the amount of men on there who are married but the wife doesn't play. eg, doesn't know!

it is bad, but i suppose i would prefer that to my DH having an affair!

SundaeGirl Sun 25-Nov-12 11:15:32

Wow, what industry is that, OP? Maybe a high percentage cheat over a long marriage but for 90% to be in affairs at the same time in the same office seems extreme.

SundaeGirl Sun 25-Nov-12 11:16:46


I worked in retail, it didn't seem that exciting.

scaevola Sun 25-Nov-12 11:17:17

Oh, and I think it is quite likely that you get clumps of infidels together especially if the social norm in a particular office is to admit affairs openly. It normalises the behaviour and thus makes it easier to give yourself "permission" to succumb to temptation, rather than see it as a passing fantasy and use it as a reminder to put your partner first.

WorraLiberty Sun 25-Nov-12 11:18:06

What does she mean by 'Sometimes they forget she's there'?

Should they not be talking about this when she's there or something? confused

I'm also struggling to believe that 18 out of 20 all have mistresses, that's extremely high imo.

soontobedivorced Sun 25-Nov-12 11:19:17

I was talking to my mum about this the other day. she said when she went to work in a local factory after my dad left when we were little she was shocked at all the goings on. she said that's just what men are like dear.

soontobedivorced Sun 25-Nov-12 11:20:27

scaevola, good point about normalisation. could be a company culture thing.

worra, they are all boys together, forget there is a woman amongst them

akaemmafrost Sun 25-Nov-12 11:21:22

I agree OP and have started threads about this is the past.

I do actually think, without trying to offend anyone on here, that there can sometimes be some unrealistic views of male fidelity on this site. By far the most threads in relationships are about affairs so it's logical that there are many more going on that aren't known about.

For those who say "well women cheat too" yes they do but by far I think that when a woman's heart is engaged she will not cheat. Men are much more able to compartmentalise.

I am not saying ALL men cheat but I think that it is MUCH more common than is realised on MN.

SundaeGirl Sun 25-Nov-12 11:23:37

I agree that if people start discussing mistresses then it normalises it. But this does still seem extreme.

Hijack sorry (Scaevola - are you a lawyer or policitian? I always notice your name)

soontobedivorced Sun 25-Nov-12 11:23:49

akaemmafrost I am inclined to agree. think I was pretty naive when I was married and had no idea people were like this, but we were also christians so perhaps that helped. now a cynical atheist!

and for the record I have never cheated on anyone, ever. when I'm attached to someone it doesn't even enter my head. maybe we are just wired differently.

WorraLiberty Sun 25-Nov-12 11:24:54

But I don't understand what you mean by forget?

Why shouldn't they discuss this in front of her just because she's a woman?

soontobedivorced Sun 25-Nov-12 11:26:10

worra because they are behaving badly and they know it. same reason why no man on here would ever own up to infidelity, he'd get lynched!

QuickLookBusy Sun 25-Nov-12 11:26:53

Don't believe this for a minute.

I imagine that out of the 18 with mistresses, 2 may have, the other 16 are making it up in order to fit into the "male environment" the boss seems to be condoning "they'll love you, be careful". I mean wtf does that actually mean?

Whatever the real situation, the men sound like dicks.

TwoFacedCows Sun 25-Nov-12 11:27:32

i have never cheated on a partner, but I have slept with married men. although I am married now, I still play with married men.

WorraLiberty Sun 25-Nov-12 11:28:58

worra because they are behaving badly and they know it. same reason why no man on here would ever own up to infidelity, he'd get lynched!

Have you just stepped out of the 1950's?

Sorry but I find that attitude really sexist.

Flip it on it's head for a minute.

When women behave badly and discuss it at work, they shouldn't do it in front of a male colleague in case it offends his little masculine ears?

soontobedivorced Sun 25-Nov-12 11:29:43

she's young, blonde and pretty and he knew they would be all over her.

interestingly, I had a job interview last week. waiting to hear. I did some background research on the company. every current employee and all past employees (admittedly its a SME so not many staff) are tall slim with long blonde hair. no men. male boss with a harem. I kid you not. I'm not saying he's having it off with any of them, but it goes to show there is an undercurrent of sex wherever you go.

scaevola Sun 25-Nov-12 11:30:16

No, neither (name is because whole family are southpaws).

soontobedivorced Sun 25-Nov-12 11:31:26

I've never heard women discuss any bad behaviour at work

maybenow Sun 25-Nov-12 11:31:35

I think they must all hang out together in small enclaves then. I know my DH wouldn't support or collude with any of his best mates cheating on their wives - he'd be desperately conflicted and although he probably wouldn't tell the wife he certainly wouldn't be laughing and joking about it. Even the one friend of his whose ex-wife was awful.

I have many male friends and hang out with a lot of them in male environments related to a sport I do and they all respect their wives, I am not saying they would never ever ever cheat but if they did it would be a big thing and not something to be laughing and joking casually about.

soontobedivorced Sun 25-Nov-12 11:31:51

or anybody for that matter.

SundaeGirl Sun 25-Nov-12 11:35:11

(Ah. Just google the flower! Thought you had named yourself after Cicero's tutor, which would be quite hard to live up to now I think about it...)

QuickLookBusy Sun 25-Nov-12 11:35:56

A blue chip retail company? Well I'd be advising your friend to make an appointment with the hear of HR.

No one should be working in an environment where the men "will be all over" you.

Sounds a horrible place to work and not at all typical.

SundaeGirl Sun 25-Nov-12 11:37:31

OTOH, it's a bit like those big gangs of men who all go off to Thailand together. YKWIM. I think it's weird to see so many of them going along with it in a pack - but it's pack mentality that makes it OK.

CrunchyFrog Sun 25-Nov-12 11:38:43

I work in an extremely male environment. I know it's true, but it is often opportunistic shags.

Long-term affairs are less common.

At the very least five of them are bullshitting. Probably more.

LadyWidmerpool Sun 25-Nov-12 11:40:44

Worra, no ones saying it's right, it's about how things usually are.

Viviennemary Sun 25-Nov-12 11:48:34

I think the percentage is higher in men and women than would normally be realised. And always has been. If a person finds out their partner is having an affair and they can hardly believe it as they were perfectly happy. Then it does make you wonder how many people are having affairs and manage to hide them from their partners.

Oblomov Sun 25-Nov-12 11:48:51

Well I suppose it depends on what circles you mix in.
I worked in a team of 14 at my last job. Equal split of men and women. I have never cheated on my dh. And I think that none of the others had. We did discuss these things on work days out and all said they had not.
I now work in a team of 7. Aagin equal split of men and women. I am not sure about 2 but I think 4 of us have not.
None of my close female friends have cheated. As far as I know and we have discussed this.

So statistically we go completely against the norm. But how is that possible?

LessMissAbs Sun 25-Nov-12 11:54:59

Yes I too think there is a big difference between "men talk" and the actual doing. Same as on the internet - isn't it full of men who think they are having an affair because they persuade a woman to send them sexy emails? So many men I know really struggled to find one woman, never mind a mistress as well.

I also suspect that groups of sleazy men clump together, theres safety (and perhaps some success) in numbers.

One thing I've noticed - never believe the stuff sleazy men come out with.

garlicbaguette Sun 25-Nov-12 12:02:07

YANBU but I'm fairly sure women are the same. Women keep it much quieter than men - I think this is why society believes women are more faithful; we're more careful!

Also agree that some working environments normalise it - my old industry certainly did - but I'm afraid I think this simply means it's more openly discussed at work, not that it somehow forces cheating on its members.

At my last job there was a handful of long-term couples - of 10, 20 years standing - who were married to other people.

NessunDorma Sun 25-Nov-12 12:04:42

I have a male friend who I would have bet my life would never cheat on his gf. Lovely bloke, very loyal.

After he and his gf split up after 5 years he came round for a cuppa and was all depressed. He said their sex life had gone down hill the past year or so, but it hadnt mattered as he was shagging a girl at work.

My face >>> shock

He looked hmm and said well obviously he would shag someone else if he wasn't getting any sex at home!?

Me >>> shock again.

He said nearly every bloke he knew had cheated on their gf at least once, and gave me examples.

So much more common than I ever thought....

garlicbaguette Sun 25-Nov-12 12:05:14

I should have added that the industry provided excellent circumstances for cheating. I think this 'helps' - cheating in nice bars, restaurants and hotels feels more valid that having to grab a knee-trembler in the store cupboard!

Meglet Sun 25-Nov-12 12:07:27

yes. From what I would hear from XP (telling me about his mates who shag around, drunk after nights out not full blown affairs) I suspect it is higher than some people realise.

Obviously XP dropped himself in it a bit as I'm pretty certain he was shagging around too.

strumpetpumpkin Sun 25-Nov-12 12:07:59

I think the percentage of people that cheat is higher than we would like to admit. Of course it is. I have known more women cheats than men tbh, probably just because its generally much easier for a woman to find a sexual partner than a guy in general

garlicbaguette Sun 25-Nov-12 12:11:11

EEeuuw, Nessun! The entitled penis, much?

I've got to say it's so common, ime, I don't consider the odd one-nighter a dealbreaker. I've come unstuck with this, though, so now I say I wouldn't tolerate it although I'm lying. (No, that's not a good basis for a relationship!)

TroublesomeEx Sun 25-Nov-12 12:17:49

I worked somewhere once and when Christmas approached they asked me which of the men I'd got my eye on for the Christmas party. I was a bit puzzled and said i had a boyfriend. To which they laughed and reminded me they were married. They also told me which of the men were off limits (i.e. already 'taken' by them).

It transpired that the women hooked up with the same men from the next office every year at the Christmas party. It was "nothing serious" but they all looked forward to the annual hook up and all did it.

Needless to say, I didn't go on the Christmas night out.

After finding out that my husband was capable of it, I would now caution anyone who says that their husband definitely wouldn't have an affair. I think the only reason people have believed me when I've told them about it is because it's such an outrageously ridiculous thing to say about him that no one would believe me so why would I say it, unless it was true...

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 25-Nov-12 14:19:06

The majority are probably lying to fit in. The same as men will lie about how many sexual partners they have had.

I actually think the % of women who cheat is far higher than thought.

FredFredGeorge Sun 25-Nov-12 14:54:37

The description about the number of men (as opposed to people) cheating, and the description of offices where Men "forget there's a woman present" and the description of offices of women who never discuss "bad behaviour" are all completely alien to me.

I'm male, I have male friends, very few of them cheat, just like few of the female friends I know cheat.
I'm male, I work in offices, the discussions don't change because there are women present - they may change because particular individuals are present, but they're as likely to be male as female.
I've worked with women who are as likely to discuss "bad behaviour" with me as men, I've seen no difference between the sexes in this, people chat with their friends about all sorts.

People in offices who boast about conquests etc. are pitied, not anything else. Perhaps I'm in the wrong industry, but that's my experience.

garlicbaguette Sun 25-Nov-12 15:05:58

Wrong industry? grin

I loved my job, actually. The fact that many other people loved it for different reasons doesn't affect my enjoyment. I agree some of the remarks above are unfairly sexist.

skaen Sun 25-Nov-12 15:18:39

I work in a very male dominated area and have never heard any discussion of mistresses or affairs. In fact, the only time anyone's sex life is even remotely discussed us after the single men have a night out and generally crash and burn.

Otoh, I know 2 women who've had affairs. One is now married to her lover, the other is still married.

My personal view is that it is very common in jobs where there are lots of evenings out/ away days etc, especially where there is also a lot of travel and not so common otherwise, partly because there aren't the easy oppprtunities.

lovebunny Sun 25-Nov-12 17:47:08

women are so stupid. even when told directly 'we are having/have had' affairs, they don't believe it.
why do men do it? because they can. because the same women who won't believe their husband could get a woman, think they can have sex with other men and that doesn't count.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now