Are women REALLY cheating more?

Once upon a time I had a friend who had an amazing husband and two beautiful kids--then one day she met a tall, dark stranger at work, fell in love, and got divorced. That fairy tale didn't end like you thought it would, did it?

She was close to me, so I saw exactly how everything went down. Including how bad she felt and how she decided to come clean with her husband and end their marriage. She didn't plan for this to happen, she never expected it, but she did fall in love with another man.

The question remains: Why? I had to ask her what was lacking in her marriage.They seemed so happy! What was it that she found that drove her to throw everything away?


Are women really incapable of just having a fling and getting it out of our system? Infidelity among women in committed relationships is on the rise and apparently we aren't scared to talk about it anymore. Though research shows that women are cheating more than ever before, I don't know if I necessarily believe it. 

Women, like men, have been cheating a lot for centuries, but we've been too afraid to let anyone know, because for thousands of years, women suffered horrific social punishments if caught being unfaithful.

Women's infidelity remained very secretive because society forced them to stay discreet, but now, more people happen to view infidelity as understandable, normal and sometimes even expected part of life. In a survey done by the AARP, only around 22% of respondents felt that infidelity was wrong, compared to 41% in 1999, when the same question was assessed. A 2011 study by Indiana University, the Kinsey Institute and the University of Guelph found quite a small divide between women and men who admitted they had cheated in their marriages: 23% of men fessed up while a pretty impressive 19% of women admitted they had been unfaithful.

I'm starting to believe that we are hearing more about infidelity, not because it's happening more, but because women feel safer to talk openly about it. In any case, I wanted to explore some of the major reasons why I believe female infidelity not only is rising, but has always existed.

Let's begin with what that happened to my friend:

1)  Falling in love: She later explained to me, "Women sometimes find their 'soul mate' after being married." I have difficulty understanding this concept, but I guess some people fail to realize that they've fallen out of love with their partners and that is why the can fall in love with someone else.

2)  Pure and simple revenge: If a man has an affair, sometimes the wife decides it's payback time. I totally support these women. Go get revenge and show him pictures!

3)  Not enough intimacy: When relationships lack intimacy, a woman may feel tempted to have an affair so that she can feel close to someone.  Men have got to understand that just providing material stuff (home, car, trips…) isn't enough to make anyone happy.

4)  Bad sex: Some people tend to believe that only men care about sex and that's totally wrong. Women like to have good sex and may seek it outside their marriage if they're not getting it from their partners.

5)  To feel desirable: Women need to feel wanted. There are situations--like when we gain weight after giving birth--when we need our men to make us feel good about ourselves. If a woman is not getting attention from her man or he's not making her feel desirable, she might go have an affair to feel sexier and loved. Sex can be the ultimate self-esteem booster, so men should be cautious.

6)  Boredom: If the relationship and sex has gotten boring, a woman may look for excitement in other ways, like having an affair.

7.)  Abusive partner: If a husband is abusive (physically or verbally) this may lead the woman to be unfaithful. Sometimes women fail to leave their abusive partners, but that doesn't mean they can't have an affair.

8.)  Finding romance: Women love being romanced. So when their husbands haven't done anything romantic in the last 5 years, they crave bringing some romance back into their lives. Hence, the affair.

For now, I can't think of any more reasons why women are unfaithful, but what I really want to offer is a piece of advice (please note it goes without any moral judgment). Women' whom are contemplating having affairs, should just answer themselves one question beforehand.

Are you still in love with your husband?

If the answer is yes, work it out. Sit him down with a glass of wine and tell him what you want from him.

If the answer is no, be honest and leave. End it.

I have many close friends who've had affairs, women that I love and respect and I never judge them because I find their "reasons," good enough for them. But when I put myself in their place, lying is the thing that I find more painful, even more so, than leaving a bad marriage.

Why do you think? Do you condemn women unfaithfulness in the same way you condemn men's? Why do you think women are more unfaithful nowadays?

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: affair  divorce  infidelity  marriage  sex


on Jul 6, 2012 at 4:36 PM

i think that women are better at hiding their infidelities than men are .

if i were to cheat on my husbnad i wouldnt come clean , why ? men dont come clean to their spouses , sometimes even when theres proof shown to back up the woman men still deny it . i think women who 'fess up are dumb and stupid to say the least .

i havent cheated on my husband but the reasons you gave on the article sounded really familiar to me . why ? because men seem to think that once they get married that romancing , caring and beign kind to their wives isnt important when we clearly arent just another piece of furniture in our house .

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on Jul 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM
It's funny, when men use those same excuses to cheat on their wives women are up in arms, but if a women does it then it's ok? WTF?
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on Oct 25, 2012 at 9:22 AM

If they are cheating more, is because of statements like this:

2)  Pure and simple revenge: If a man has an affair, sometimes the wife decides it's payback time. I totally support these women. Go get revenge and show him pictures!

Is like saying " you know what, your husband was stupid for cheating on you, so, you be stupid, go ahead and do the same!".

It wouldn't be easy to just get out of a relationship when you don't love your husband and are not happy anymore? because if you are happy you don't have any opportunity to fall in love with somebody else.

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