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Why Do Women Cheat? - The Women Speak

Aug 17, 2007
Recently I requested responses from my newsletter list from women who have had the experience of cheating on their partner. These responses were very enlightening!

Some confirmed my assumptions, and others surprised me. All the responses came from women who cheated only one time, so no further conclusions can be drawn in this article regarding the repeat cheater.

In my first article on why women cheat I stated that the basic reason is that they hurt. They feel lonely, neglected, unwanted, unappreciated, and disappointed in what they had hoped for.

This may be a similar reason for men, but women rarely experience the trophy gathering experience of men, or the direct physical need to just satisfy sexual desire regardless of who it is with. Generally, the cheating is because of some kind of pain:

"My husband worked out of town three days a week, and I was feeling lonely and neglected, because when he was home, he was tired and had meetings to attend... I also started going to Gym and got hold of a good eating plan which helped considerably with my posture and outlook on life. I became physically strong and people said I glowed with health. Unfortunately my hubby did not see this."

"I was not in love. My partner wanted me, but I not him."

"My husband and I were having problems with him going out with his friends and leaving me alone at home with our child."

"It probably all comes down to insecurity."

There are various ways to interpret the brief words above. But the discomfort is very clear in each. Whether it is loneliness, a feeling of neglect, living with someone you don't love, or the insecurity that comes in relationships for many reasons, emotional pain can be the trigger for an indiscretion.

But why do women in this emotional pain have an affair, while other women feeling a similar pain do not? One of my observances over the years is that many women have found themselves in circumstances where they were "an accident waiting to happen."

This means that they are feeling bad about life or themselves or their marriage, and they are in circumstances where there is a man who gives them serious attention, listens to them, and shows them appreciation.

Rather than looking for such an affair the woman runs into it somewhat unknowingly.

"But he was friendly, charming, attentive, a good listener, and at work functions he stayed close. He does not over indulge and strangely enough we laugh at the same things, enjoy the same music."

You can hear all the elements in place: the attention, the listening, and the opportunity present in working together. Similar interests and charm help as well. Before you know it you can very easily become involved.

However, there can be another element involved. This was one of the surprises for me:

"The only reason why I did it was because I couldn't really trust him. I just didn't want to end up being the one who was cheated on. I would feel hurt and stupid so I had to do it first."

Here the woman actively sought out the affair. It was a competitive action of doing it first. It would appear that, at times, especially under some kind of perceived duress, women can actively pursue an affair, rather than just stumbling into one. Additionally:

"Women as men feel monotony, (desiring) some changes, some new passion."

So, what do we make of this kind of behavior? It is obviously common, although in my experience it is usually not about multiple partners or multiple affairs. I suppose the question for many of us, even those who have been involved in it, is could the women have avoided it? Could they have walked away and chosen differently?

Certainly, all women can choose differently. But, many times they don't.

"I had a day's leave due to me and with hubby out of town... I arranged a hotel room with the Champaine and satin nighty."

"...we went to walk and then we sat on a bank together watching the sun go down and he touched my hand. It was so beautiful! Then we went back to the pub and in front of the pub he pulled me gently and our mouths were very close to each other. He wanted to kiss me, and I let him kiss."

Let's face it. We are all very much human. And that means we have, and do, and will, taste "forbidden fruit" at times. Few of us are proud of our transgressions. Most of the women that wrote to me expressed regret.

"I live to forget it, I literally prayed him out of my life, I confessed and asked the Lord to help me forget about him in this way, I also asked the Lord to take the feelings I have for him away."

"...but it should never have happened and I am not proud of myself."

"Nevertheless, if you strongly believe in loyalty and can trust your partner, you still wouldn't do it."

As humans, we often makes mistakes, and being human we most often have regrets about those mistakes. That is what I have learned the most from these women. They may have just stumbled, or they may have walked into it fully aware, but they learned from it, and often learned painfully.

That does not excuse the hurt caused to partners. It does not remove the consequences of broken hearts and shattered relationships. However, it does speak to the brokenness of our human experience as we fall and get up again, hopefully becoming deeper, more mature people in the process.
About the Author
Steve Roberts, "The Couples Guy," is an experienced Marriage and Family Therapist
who shares tips and
real life relationship secrets
from over
20 years of practice.
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