Both men and women cheat. In about half of all committed relationships, one or both partners engage in sexual activity outside of the relationship. But overall, men and women often cheat for slightly different reasons. In this article, we'll talk about five common reasons why women cheat.
Infidelity is about keeping secrets. Often, the most challenging part about finding out that your partner has cheated is the sense of betrayal of safety and trust. It's distressing to sit in the “unknown” and the life. The immense hurt is often in not knowing the details.
Cheating can consist of either emotional or sexual affairs. Infidelity of any type can lead the other spouse to suffer from low self-esteem. If you've been cheated on, I'm sure you're wondering what you did to deserve this.
You may have a hand to play in why your spouse was unfaithful. Or maybe not. But first, let's examine some of the reasons why women cheat.
1. Women Feel Neglected or Taken For Granted
One of the main reasons why women may cheat is not feeling valued for who they are. When a woman is feeling unappreciated, she may be more susceptible to advances from others. Or she may go out and seek the attention. Either way, the connection with another person can feel very validating if she's not being valued in her relationship.
2. Women Crave Intimacy
Women are socialized very differently from men. They often grow up with a much larger capacity and need for connection via conversation and intimacy. A frequent complaint of women is that their spouse is disconnected and doesn't value intimacy as much as they do.
If a woman cannot get her needs for connection and intimacy met in eh relationship, she may seek it elsewhere. She may be trying to fill an emotional void created by a lack of closeness and connection in the relationship.
3. Overwhelmed By The Needs of Being a Caregiver
Women's jobs in the home often require that they sacrifice their own needs for the sake of caring for their kids, aging parents, their spouses. They are often responsible for cooking, cleaning, making the grocery list, and upholding the emotional labor of the home and relationship.
Even when both spouses work, the women often take on the housework, childcare, and more. This extra burden leads many women to feel overwhelmed. She may also start to feel extremely resentful of not receiving the help and support of the other partner.
When a woman is feeling unappreciated and undervalued, attention can feel good from someone else. An affair may boost her sense of self-worth because she feels seen and appreciated for the first in years.
4. She Feels Lonely
One primary reason why women cheat is that they feel lonely. Whether it's because their spouse is working a lot or travels for work, or because their spouse is emotionally unavailable, women often cheat to feel less lonely.
She may feel like she has no physical or emotional support in the relationship. Or that she doesn't have a consistent, meaningful connection with the spouse. Often, a woman has tried to communicate her loneliness but felt their spouse did not resolve them.
Sexual satisfaction can also be a factor in why women cheat. Often, it's a combination of dissatisfaction with the amount of connection and intimacy in the current relationship. In addition, the physical absence of the partner makes it easier to cheat in a practical sense.
5. Married or Committed to an Angry Man
Finally, one of the biggest reasons why women cheat is because they have an angry spouse. Men often underestimate the degree to which their rage and anger kill their partner's libido. It's hard to feel safe enough to be intimate with someone angry and destructive.
And if she doesn't feel safe to seek intimacy at home, she may start to look elsewhere. An affair may often be a “transitional” partner while she's in pursuit of something safer and more secure.
Risk Factors for Affairs and Cheating
Problems in any relationship are a common risk factor for affairs, including relationship issues such as:
- Domestic violence and emotional abuse
- Emotional/physical disconnection
- Financial stress
- Communication issues
- Lack of respect for one another
- Compatibility issues (being married for the wrong reasons / nonshared vision)
Individual issues can also lead to cheating, including unresolved childhood trauma and mental health issues, attachment style/intimacy disorders, and being modeled cheating by caregivers in childhood.
Overall, most affairs are not thought out. Most women do not get into experiences to hurt their spouses. It's often a symptom of a deeper issue.
Most people don't realize the effect that an affair will have on their relationship when they get into one. Recovery from infidelity requires that both partners get honest about their issues and the issues within the relationship. This honesty includes examining patterns in yourself and the relationship. Couples counseling and resources for recovery from infidelity are available.