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Male depression and emotional affairs: explore the link between these two challenging issues in our latest blog post. Learn about the signs, effects, and ways to cope with this complex interplay affecting men’s mental health and relationships

Depression is a serious disease that can hurt all facets of your life, so it is not something to be taken lightly. People who have depression can testify to its negative effects on their relationships, careers, and inner feelings. Male depression and emotional affairs might even be related, based on Depression Open Talks research.


Depression in Men

Men are diagnosed with depression at much lower rates than women, which is not unexpected. According to estimates, women receive a diagnosis of depression 2-4 times more commonly than men in the United States. And only 3% of men in the United Kingdom receive a diagnosis of depression.

Men commit suicide 4-5 times more frequently than women, even though depression symptoms in males often go unnoticed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42,773 Americans committed suicide in 2014, with 79% of them being males. Teenage boys commit 90% of all suicides in their age group, and 10 men commit suicide for every 1.11 women. Most people are unaware that murder is the 17th top cause of death in the United States, while suicide is the 10th. However, until a prominent individual like Robin Williams passes away, suicide receives very little media attention.

Male depression has been dubbed “masked” by researchers as an effective way to explain both the outward behavior of depressed men and their concealed emotional anguish. When depressed, men will often turn to alcohol or drugs, engaging in reckless behavior, overworking, or putting themselves in danger rather than recognizing their emotions, asking for help, or seeking treatment.

Men’s depression symptoms can be explained by the fact that they carry out their emotional distress. The propensity of men for action and externalization encourages them to act out their melancholy emotions.

What is an emotional affair?

Most people picture a physical romance when they think of cheating. This occurs when someone engages in sexual activity with someone who is not in their main relationship. This kind of sexual immorality can be very harmful to a committed relationship.

An emotional affair is when a person engages in intimate talks and inappropriately close behavior with someone who is not their spouse or partner. The betrayer anticipates seeing the other person during an emotional affair more than they do their spouse. The partner who was betrayed by an emotional affair may feel just as hurt and betrayed as someone who learns their partner had a physical affair with another individual.

The severity of the issue is revealed by research from the American Association for Marriage and Family Counseling. About 45% of men claim to have at some time been sucked into an emotional affair.

The overwhelming majority of emotional affairs are never revealed unless they are acknowledged. Men are quick to use the excuse “I did not have sex with that lady” to defend themselves. Because there is no sexual intercourse, emotional infidelity does not count as cheating with males.

Surprisingly, 88% of women said they were more worried about their spouse being emotionally unfaithful than just having sex outside of the marriage in a recent poll.

That’s twice as many as men who were asked the same query. Therefore, it’s not just male defensiveness. This gender disparity is obvious. There is a difference between males and women when it comes to the problem of emotional cheating. Women are more concerned with the topic of men and emotional relationships.

What is the Tie between Emotional Affairs and Depression?

You may be wondering if there is any connection between male depression and emotional affairs when you are aware of both. The fact is, these two things might be related. When someone learns they’ve been cheated on, depression may result.

The effects of learning that a partner had an affair were examined in a small study with eight women and five males. According to the study, both sexes encountered some depression, with women being significantly more affected than men.

Similar results were found in a bigger study of 232 individuals who had been cheated on in the previous three months. As a consequence of being cheated on, many of the participants experienced depression and anxiety.

💥Related Reading: Loving someone with depression? Should I?

Can depression cause adultery?

It’s crucial to note right away that just because a man is depressed does not automatically indicate that he will cheat. However, it is also true that there may be a correlation between masculine depression and affairs.

People who are experiencing depression may feel as though they want to end their current lives or may act in ways that are out of character for them. Men who suffer from depression experience diminished joy and interest in life, as well as feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. The brain searches for methods to raise serotonin to counteract the impacts of low levels. Making an emotional connection with someone new is a surefire method to feel better and happier. A depressed individual may replace medication with an affair.

Some claim that having an emotional affair reveals a person’s absence of self-assurance or self-worth. Additionally, as was already stated, depressed individuals may feel worthless. Therefore, these feelings of worthlessness may lead someone to look for solace and engage in emotional intimacy with someone who is not their committed companion.

Again, a man’s depression does not guarantee that he will engage in an emotional affair, though it is conceivable.

If you’ve had an Emotional Affair, what should you do?

Even though there isn’t always a connection between male depression and emotional affairs, they can both have an impact on each other.

Even if you haven’t cheated on or been cheated on by your spouse, getting help for your depression is the best thing you can do if you’re suffering from its symptoms. Depression treatment can take many different forms, and depending on the counsel and direction of a mental health professional, it may be used separately or in combination.


According to research, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective in treating this mental disorder.  A mental health professional examines patterns and habits that contribute to your depression. A qualified therapist can work with you on behavioral therapies to equip you with the tools to deal with unresolved traumas and bad moods. Then, in therapy, you come up with methods to change these behaviors so that you feel better.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

You may want to pursue couples counseling if you and your partner are dealing with the fallout from an emotional affair. Through counseling together, you may also learn if you want to keep your partnership going after the emotional affair.


Antidepressants can help treat many depression symptoms by helping to regulate the levels of some neurotransmitters in your brain, specifically serotonin and dopamine. Although you might observe some symptoms lessen before then, antidepressants typically take four to eight weeks to start working.


Austin, P. (2022, August 22). How Are Male Depression and Emotional Affairs Connected? — Professional Therapy Atlanta — Sandy Springs, GA. Professional Therapy Atlanta. Retrieved November 16, 2023, from https://www.couplescounseling-atlanta.com/blog/how-are-male-depression-and-emotional-affairs-connected

Can A Marriage Survive Infidelity? (n.d.). Couples Therapy Inc. Retrieved November 16, 2023, from https://www.couplestherapyinc.com/men-and-emotional-affairs/

Hall, K. (2022, December 25). What’s The Connection Between Male Depression and Emotional Affairs? hims. Retrieved November 16, 2023, from https://www.forhims.com/blog/male-depression-and-affairs

Smith, K. (2016, November 16). What Depression Symptoms in Men Really Look Like. Guy Stuff Counseling. Retrieved November 16, 2023, from https://www.guystuffcounseling.com/counseling-men-blog/what-depression-symptoms-in-men-really-look-like

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