Affairs are an unfortunate but all too common occurrence in marriages all across the world, and they are one of the leading causes of separation and divorce. There is usually no single reason that explains why a married man chooses to have an affair, but some of the more common catalysts can be boredom, a midlife crisis and a desire for exotic thrills.
After many years of marriage, some men simply become bored with their wives--and wives no doubt become bored with their husbands. This phenomenon is more likely if the pair doesn't have that much in common to begin with. To compensate, affair-having men seek the company of women outside the marriage. They're not looking for another girlfriend or wife-like figure, just a temporary outlet to have some carnal fun, free from the obligations of a serious relationship.
Feelings of Separation
Over the years, some husbands and wives drift apart. Very rarely is one side or the other solely at fault, and it usually takes more than a few circumstances to create the gulf of separation. Whatever the cause, once there is a barrier between a married couple, affairs on both sides are likely to be the result. If the feelings of apartness were caused by a temporary grudge in the wake of a brief fight, there's a greater chance of getting back together. But if husband and wife have been going in opposite ways for years, an affair is likely to serve as the final nail in the relationship's coffin.
Access to Other Women
Temptation can weaken even faithful men. Despite having a wife he loves, a great family and seemingly everything a man could want, the lust for flesh can be a very powerful driver, and the more opportunities a man has, the more likely he is to act on latent desires. High-powered businessmen, athletes and even world travelers have considerably greater access to women than regular guys working 9-to-5 jobs, and as such, face greater temptation to be unfaithful. This does not excuse adultery, but makes it more likely.
The male midlife crisis is a much-lamented phenomenon that can result in all kinds of unpredictable behavior. Erratic and expensive purchases of cars, boats or planes; sudden desires to quit or change work; and extramarital affairs have all been part and parcel of a midlife crisis for many men. This is tragic for a cheating man's wife, but does offer the hope that in time, once the crisis is past, he will return to normal and attempt to mend the marriage.
The Thrill of It
Sometimes a man has affairs solely because the excitement of conducting it serves as a turn on. He might love his wife, and not be particularly enamored of his mistress, but the elaborate process he needs to go through to rendezvous with the paramour, conduct the affair. Keeping it all a secret can provide a thrill that the blissful consistency of matrimony can't compare to. Men of a hedonistic, self-indulgent bent are particularly prone to this behavior.