When people hear about a marriage breaking up over infidelity, generally people assume the husband is at fault. They are the ones who tend to stray, right? Actually women cheat, too, and the numbers and the reasons may surprise you.
According to several recent studies, men and women are actually pretty even when it comes to cheating on their spouse. So it would seem that men are getting a bad rap when it comes to not being able to stay faithful. Actually, it used to be true, but in recent years, according to Indiana University in Bloomington research study, 19 percent of women and 23 percent of men reported as having cheated during their marriage.
But maybe more interesting are the reasons why spouses cheat. More often than not, men were looking for more physical/sexual excitement outside the marriage. But women, while they do like to find that, aren’t necessarily looking only for that. More often they crave an emotional change. According to different studies, here are some reasons why women cheat:
General Unhappiness with the Marriage
It could be something big, or simply many little things. But these days, when a woman isn’t happy, she looks for happiness elsewhere. If a coworker or male friend is giving her attention, she may stray because that other person is filling their happiness bucket in ways their spouse isn’t.
Maddy knew her husband was a good guy, but she just felt frustrated day in and day out. “We just wanted different things. I think at first we had similar ideals, but over time we grew apart.” Her general unhappiness led her back into the arms of an old flame who was living more like she had envisioned. But as it turned out, her husband was cheating too, so they agreed to part ways.
More Opportunities to Cheat
Men and women generally don’t cheat if they know they are going to get caught; but when they think they won’t get caught, those statistics change. And these days, with more women in the workforce, families with busier schedules, out of town work trips, etc., there are more opportunities to veer off without a spouse suspecting anything.
When Kate told her husband of four years that she was going to start having weekly evening seminars for work, he didn’t bat an eye. That opened up every Thursday evening for her to spend with a coworker she had developed a relationship with. The affair went on for over a year before she finally told her husband and they divorced.
Developing Connections Online
Social media and online dating sites make it all too easy to have a little fling with an old boyfriend or someone new. Women generally aren’t as into one night stands with someone they don’t know. Rather, they are more likely to have an affair with someone who they have connected with. In this age where talking online with an old flame, or setting up a fake online dating account is all too easy, it’s no wonder women are being tempted.
Lacey knew she had married the wrong guy for her, but was unsure what to do to make things better, and she was too scared to leave him. She talked for hours with an old guy friend from high school, after searching for him on social media. It developed into much more than a friendship, and through that relationship she realized how different things could be. She soon left her husband for her high school friend.
She Feels Lonely or Unheard
Women need to feel a connection with their spouse in order to be fulfilled. If their spouse isn’t around physically (he works too much), or is emotionally unavailable or simply doesn’t “get” her, then she may look for someone who can and will. It could even be that a woman’s husband used to connect with her, but over time that spark has dimmed. The spark may light with someone else and she may be tempted to be unfaithful in order to feel like she is worthwhile.
Sarah was at a turning point with her career; she was just about to quit and start her own business. It had been a lifelong dream of hers. Only, her husband wasn’t supportive and didn’t even seem to care about her dreams. She felt so crushed, she could hardly look at him anymore. A client of Sarah’s was very excited about her ideas and soon they developed a connection that Sarah had been craving for years. They had an affair that lasted until her business got off the ground. She finally did quit the affair and stayed with her husband, since she felt guilty for what she did. She is feeling more fulfilled with her new business and her husband is more supportive of her dreams.