When you’re dating a guy and he cheats on you, it’s shocking. No matter what he says are the reasons he became involved with other women, the emotional betrayal you feel when you find out he’s been cheating is devastating, to say the least, even if you’re 100 percent certain he truly is in love with you and does want you to be his girlfriend or wife.

That’s because, no matter why men cheat, cheating isn’t only about the severity of the actions — it’s about the lack of integrity you discover and the degree of disrespect you feel.

Before you confront him and start arguing about it, consider these three reasons why men cheat on women they love so you can decide what you want to do about it:

See Also: 4 Things you do when you’re dangerously close to cheating

1. She doesn’t know him as well as you do.

One of the reasons a guy cheats on you with a girl he doesn’t even know is for that very fact she doesn’t know him.

You know him. You know his faults and weaknesses. You know he’s not happy with his job or how his career is going or not. Men define themselves by how productive they are in the world. When they’re not productive they can look to other women for validation.

With a new girl, he can pretend to be whoever he wants to be with no responsibility. He’s looking for the validation that he’s not creating in his own life which, brings us to the second reason why he cheats on you.

2. He doesn’t have his life together.

When a new coaching client calls and tells me she’s been dating a man for over a year and he still doesn’t have his life together, I’m concerned. If after a year you, still have no plan, you’re losing momentum and the relationship is stagnating.

The reason this happens is a man has to have a plan for himself before he can have a plan for you.

Otherwise, he will engage you in endless fights about things he does that annoy you, but all you have is drama. The elephant in the room is not being addressed. It’s a smokescreen for the real issue which is reason number three.

See Also: I’m not a cheat, Serena insists, as she accuses tennis of sexism

3. He doesn’t have a plan.

Every relationship has to have a plan and a purpose. When a man doesn’t have a plan for your relationship, it’s easy for him to drift off into cheating on you.

This is where you come in. It’s up to you to require a plan from a man in order for him to be with you. For example: “I’ve really enjoyed our year plus of dating. However, I no longer feel comfortable dating without a long-term plan in mind. What do you think?”

His answer will tell you everything you need to know about the relationship. If he’s building a life with you (i.e. getting married, having a baby, getting a house), he won’t be so easily distracted by other women.

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