Both men and women cheat on their partners, and while it’s more commonly talked about in regards to men, women cheat as well, and they cheat for different reasons than men. Dr. Helen Fisher, who researches and writes about biology and anthropology, reports that when cheating happens men are more likely to cite sexual motivation with their lover. Women, on the other hand, develop an emotional connection with their lover, and the underlying reason they cheat is due to emotional and physical loneliness.
Seldom will you hear from a cheating woman that she was happy in her marriage. Whereas with men, more than 56% who cheated said they were very happy in their marriage. Below are reasons women report cheating.
- A friendship crosses over into an intimate emotional affair. The more a woman feels connected to her lover the more she will realize the disconnection she has at home, and this dissatisfaction fuels the affair.
- Married to a spouse that is controlling or treats her badly. When a woman feels disrespected or devalued she is looking for someone who can give that to her. If she finds someone who puts her first, treats her with respect and is attentive she is more likely to cheat.
- Boredom and lack of a future. When women feel trapped in their marriage or see no future they become disinterested in their spouse and seek adventure with someone else. These are the women who say they disconnected with their spouse long before the affair began.
- Revenge or anger with a spouse. This is the most common reason women cite for having an affair. Leftover feelings of resentment or anger at a spouse for cheating on them in the past or humiliating them. It’s a way for women to even the score.
- Infatuation and life transitions. Dealing with the ups and downs of everyday life and aging women seek affirmation that they are still desirable. This form is more common after a baby, kids leaving for college and retirement.
- Mental Illness. Couples who struggle with one partner having mental illness also have a higher risk of infidelity. Alcoholism, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bi-Polar Disease with Manic Episodes as well as many others distort perspectives, understanding, and commitment leading to marriage instability.
Cheating is one reason couples end up divorcing. However, two-thirds of couples affected do not divorce. There is a chance that working through infidelity can prove to strengthen the couple’s relationship if they are willing to commit fully. However, in the majority of cases involving women they are unhappy in their marriage prior to cheating and therefore committing 100% to work on their marriage is not as likely as it is for a man. If you are unhappy in your relationship get help and work on it. An affair may help you exit your marriage, but it is selfish and cruel because it tries to rationalize your hurt by hurting others.