- Gender and Relationships
Why Women Cheat- Infidelity
Why Women Stray
When you hear the word affair you generally think about a man cheating on a woman . Recent studies suggest that around 40% of women in are involved in extramarital affairs. Women don't statistically cheat because they have a need for more sex. The #1 reason women have affairs is because they are craving an "emotional" connection. They need to feel wanted, they want to feel needed. Women are still considered the primary caregivers for their children, and are often juggling careers as well. Whether or not they work full-time or part-time most of the household responsibility falls on them. This leaves little time or energy to foster emotional bonds with their husbands, and men aren't typically going to take the lead to promote emotional intimacy; over time walls go up between them. And so the need for a man who can appreciate them and see them as more then a caretaker begins. Most of these women don't seek out affairs but more and more they find themselves stumbling into one. At first it doesn't feel like cheating because it is usually a "just friends" type of relationship. A sounding board, a man who makes her feel appreciated. However, as the emotional attachment forms, the woman begins to feel that "she has finally found a man who understands her." By the time this affair becomes sexual there is already such a strong emotional bond that the marriage is in extreme jeopardy. This helps explain why a woman's affair typically lasts much longer then a mans and also why women in affairs are more likely to divorce their spouses.
I've always been curious about a man who cheats with an attached woman.We don't often hear from men on how it feels to be the affair partner, because men are raised to be strong and not show emotion. It's still somewhat a mystery about what a man who becomes involved with an attached woman is thinking - whats he hoping to get from it? If he's single does he think she is going to leave her relationship or is he just thinking he is getting the best of both worlds, sex with no expectations? Is he able to separate sex and emotions, does he become emotionally attached or is he just really good at telling her what she needs to hear. Men are so territorial, how does he make peace with the fact that another man is going where he has been? Or is it an ego boost, a woman is choosing him over her own husband - he must be good. What about the man who becomes emotionally attached and asks his lover to leave her marriage? This can become a very sticky situation, especially if the woman wants to remain married. He is no longer just an affair partner, he is her husbands competitor, and men are extremely competitive. This type of situation can lead to a path of destruction that no one initially bargained for. Women's affairs are an extremely slippery slope because often the emotional connection formed over time is very difficult to break. If you find yourself seeking out or falling into an affair, it would be wise to consider first all the possible scenarios and ask yourself if you are ready to face the potential fallout.
Not just women's affairs but all affairs are devastating and very rarely do people who leave their relationships for their affair partners go on to have a lasting relationship with the new partner. Often, someone involved in an affair is lacking something within themselves and that needs to be addressed before the can commit fully to anyone. Whether you are the other man, the other women or the cheating spouse, you are all partly responsible for pain you have inflicted on the innocent spouse. It is my belief however, that no matter how much easier it is to blame the affair partner (because you don't want to believe that the person you love so much would intentionally inflict so much pain on you) that it is the spouses responsibility to uphold their vows and not allow affairs to begin in the first place. Yes, the affair partner is to blame as well, but they didn't make a commitment to you, your spouse did. Given all we know about affairs and they destruction they cause, are the even worth it?
My friend "Jill" is cheating on her husband and the reason she gives is that "he doesn't show her affection, appreciate her and that she is lonely" Jill tells me her affair partner makes her feel smart and beautiful and he hangs on her every word. Jill says she feels validated by her affair partner, but as much as she loves her time with him she has no intention of ever telling her husband or leaving him. She often tell me that she has worked to hard to build the life she has with her husband and the kids would be devastated. Her main reason for staying is the kids and I also think it's because her husband gives her a lifestyle that her affair partner could never maintain. I love my friend Jill and I try not to judge her but I tell her what she is doing is wrong and she's going to get caught (and possibly lose everything). It's sad because Jill swears she has talked to her husband many times to tell him she feels lonely and rejected but he doesn't do anything to change things. I am against cheating but it really makes me understand how it can happen when I hear stories like this. I'm not saying it's justified, Jill could do more. I think she needs to find a way to make her husband listen and understand and I think she has to walk, no run from the situation she is in as fast as she can. I know her husband, he is stubborn. If he finds out he will leave her and he will try and take everything from her (including the kids). What boggles my mind is that Jill knows this as well, yet she is so wrapped up in her affair that she is willing to take that gamble. Affairs have the ability to really mess with reality. I think people really need to think long and hard about what they stand to lose.
* Jill is a made up name, no friend was harmed in the writing of this hub.