This Is Who Most People Blame for an Affair — and the Answer May Surprise You
I once wrote an article about mistresses and how an affair felt from the perspective of one. I fully expected the piece to be utterly crucified. I assumed that absolutely NO ONE wanted to hear anything that related to the feelings of a woman who embarked on an affair with a married man. Nonetheless, I published the article.
And the response stunned me.
The outpouring of confessions and stories from those who had been involved in an affair at some point in their lives or were still involved in an affair absolutely floored me. There were so many.
... in an online survey I created in which 18,561 people have participated in so far, only 2% of people solely blame the mistress for an affair.
It wasn’t just women who were writing to me privately about being involved with a married man — it was men as well. It was also wives who had been destroyed by their husband’s love for another woman or by their serial cheating. Families were desecrated. People’s lives were shattered. All in all, the descriptions of how affairs affected people in the real world were deeply tragic.
The purpose of the original article was to bring attention to the fact that, quite often, it’s usually the “other woman” who gets blamed for an affair and to also point out that that there could be many other dynamics at play in the scenario of a woman deciding to be with a married man.
Usually, the scorned wife will immediately lay blame to the hussy who stole her man away — or so I thought. As times have changed, apparently so have people’s attitudes about who is responsible for an affair to begin with.
In fact, in an online survey I created in which 18,561 people have participated in so far, only 2% of people solely blame the mistress for an affair.
The highest percentage of the blame goes to the husband and the mistress together at 34%, with blame placed solely on the husband coming in — not far behind — at 31%.
Furthermore, 24% of people blame all three parties involved. This can only lead me to believe that many people think both a husband and a wife are responsible for keeping their marriage in good condition to begin with but that the mistress should definitely carry some of the blame as well.
Many people have commented that if the wife were doing “her part” in the relationship, an affair would never happen at all, while others maintain that a cheater will always be a cheater, no matter how good the marriage is.
The husband and wife as responsible parties together for an affair have taken 5% of the blame in the survey, while the wife as the sole responsible party for an affair has garnered 2% of the blame, to match the results of the mistress.
The thing that stands out most to me about the results of this survey is that contrary to what I had previously thought, a lot of women actually don’t solely blame the “other woman” for an affair. They do hold their husbands accountable for their actions. They do recognize that no matter how wrong a mistress may be in her actions, the husband was the one who took a vow to stay faithful within the marriage.
These "other women" are often so completely convinced that the men they’re sleeping with are going to leave their wives for them that they forsake everything else in their lives, such as their friends, families, and careers.
Time and time again, I hear from women who are involved with older, married men. These "other women" are often so completely convinced that the men they’re sleeping with are going to leave their wives for them that they forsake everything else in their lives, such as their friends, families, and careers.
A lot of the time, sex does play a huge role in keeping an affair alive. It’s the thrill, the secrecy, and the attention. A lot of the time within an affair, sex is interpreted as actual love, caring, and concern.
Ultimately and sadly, the stories I hear involving women getting involved with married men usually ends the same. The woman ends up alone, insecure and full of regret. Many times, depression becomes an issue and it can take years of therapy to get back on track — if that ever happens. The husband never leaves his wife and he goes on with his life and family. The debris of emotional damage gets left behind for someone else to clean up.
Though the results of my survey gave me hope that women solely blaming other women for their husband’s infidelities is not actually a thing anymore, it also opened up my eyes to how many people out there are struggling with the heartache of being lied to, cheated on, and broken by the pain of relationships that altered their lives forever.
My hope is that as we see the view from all sides of an affair and attempt to break down the walls of judgment, we can start learning how to build healthy relationships where there’s no need to create all of this chaos and pain just to feel truly loved by someone.
What do YOU think primarily drives people to have extramarital affairs? (If you have your own answer, leave it in the comments section!)
© 2018 Michelle Zunter