Counseling Men Blog
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Why Do Women Cheat? One Woman Explains

Posted by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Tue, Dec 18, 2012

why do women cheatAlthough there’s not one answer to the question, why do women cheat, there are some frequently repeated reasons. Surprising or not, the reasons why women cheat aren’t that much different from the reasons men do.

Do you think it's odd that I'm exploring the question why do women cheat on a blog for counseling men? After all, aren't men the ones who cheat? Actually, some studies have shown that women cheat more frequently than men. I regularly counsel men who've been cheated on. As we explore this question, I’ll share excerpts from the article, Confession: Why I Cheated On My Husband, by Marina Pearson.

"How could you have done this to me, to us? Who are you and who did I marry?”

So who does this sound like, a wife or husband? I’ve heard these words and others similar from both women and men dealing with a cheating spouse. These were actually said by Marina's husband.

With tears in his eyes, my ex-husband shouted and screamed these questions at me on the day he found out that I'd had an affair. All the while, I stood there shaking, in shock, not knowing what to say that would make what I had done right. I was a cheater.

According to the UK Adultery Survey 2012 by undercoverlovers.com, cheating women are more likely to stray as they are seeking emotional fulfillment, an improvement to their self-esteem and romance. When women cheat will depend on how fulfilled they feel in their marriages. But according to the survey, wives who cheat will do so five years into their marriages whereas men will do so seven years in.

The top reason for why do women cheat is happiness. Women who cheat are unhappy, for one reason or another, and are seeking happiness outside their relationship.

1. My Mindset. I was still living in the illusive notion that happiness was something that I could acquire from an external source, so I bought into a fantasy. It's a fantasy that I see a lot of my clients buy into, which is that there is a fairy tale, one-sided man that exists to bring happiness to them. This is just not true.

Back then, I bought into the notion that because I wasn't happy that someone else could dish happiness up on a silver platter. As my ex husband was not able to, someone else could surely, right? This of course wasn't true and to this day, still isn't. In fact, the whole ordeal stressed me out and exposed me to more confusion and unhappiness.

Another reason why women cheat that Marina's cites is guilt. She didn't find her husband sexually attractive anymore. I hear this a lot in counseling. A common mistake is to believe that this feeling means the relationship is dead.

2. The Guilt Factor. I honestly believed I was a bad person for thinking that I no longer fancied my ex husband, so as not to hurt him I kept quiet. I couldn't find the words to tell him that I no longer found him sexually attractive. I was scared that he would finally find out that I was that "bad person" I judged myself to be. Instead of being able to confront him with my feelings and thoughts that "only bad people" would have, I proved my own beliefs of being that "bad person" anyway hoping he wouldn't find out.

Not having the tools to fix the problems in the relationship is another reason why women cheat, and men too. Rather than learn how to fix the problems people just look for an easier solution like finding someone else where the problems don't exist (yet).

3. Lack of Maturity and Knowledge. Looking back, I realize now that I didn't have the maturity or the tools of how to live with the problems that my ex-husband and I were encountering at the time. We would argue, get upset and as a result, our communication broke down and so did our intimacy. I didn't know how to manage the dynamic nor manage my thoughts around them either. Any time we argued, I honestly believed that he didn't love me. So, I acted out to get my own back.

Why do women cheat? A passionless relationship is last reason Marina says contributed to her cheating. Add this to the unhappiness that results, and was already described, and you have the stage set for an affair.

4. The Passion Died. At the time, I remember feeling that the passion had died in our relationship. I wanted to feel that my ex husband longed for me, that he wanted me and that he would woo me. Our relationship fell into a day to day routine, taking all the excitement out of it and the passion died. I wanted to break free from this and thought that the best way was to do it through a selfish act. (from Confession: Why I Cheated On My Husband)

So why do women cheat? Unhappiness, wrong mindset, lack of sexual attraction, guilt, lack of honesty in relationship, immaturity, lack of knowledge and relationship tools, and being in a passionless relationship. How many of these do you have? And even more importantly, how many could your partner have?

As you can see, the reasons why do women cheat could describe men as well as women.  The solutions, as well as the prevention of an affair, are the same too. Start by dealing with problems, and if you don't know how, ask a professional for help.

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Tags: Cheating Spouse