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Why Do Women Cheat? Experts Explain Why Women Commit Infidelity In Relationships

Why Do Women Cheat? Experts Explain Why Women Commit Infidelity In Relationships

Why Do Women Cheat
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Why do women cheat? 

  • 55% of women said that cheating is usually about physical acts.
  • 68% of women said that they would be fine with having an affair if they did not get caught.
  • 65% of women said that they check for emotional fulfillment.

Cheating is pretty common in relationships, irrespective of whether you are having a full-blown affair or resorting to micro-cheating. Interestingly, while more men are prone to cheating in relationships, women are not falling far behind. 

In fact, a recent study shows that the infidelity gap becomes narrower with time. Nearly 20% of women and men said that they had committed infidelity in their present relationship. As a result, it is easy to point out that there are no major differences in the number of self-reported cheating cases. 

In this context, we will look at economic dependence, education levels, age, and other crucial factors that can impact whether or not anyone cheats. Moreover, we will also touch upon what encourages women to cheat and the subsequent consequences of doing so. 

By having an understanding of these statistics, we can actually go to the bottom of this morally grey issue, specifically figuring out why women cheat! And don’t worry, ladies – we are on your team here!

A Narrowing Gender Gap And Infidelity In Relationships: Why Do Women Cheat?

A Narrowing Gender Gap And Infidelity In Relationships Why Do Women Cheat

While Hollywood portrayals and social norms depict men as the gender that is most likely to cheat, research and stats blatantly reveal that we are truly moving toward equality. Even infidelity in relationships is currently experiencing a narrowing gender gap, specifically between young people. 

For example, a research study by Indiana University found that there was no major gender gap in terms of infidelity. While 23% of men said they have cheated in their present or past relationships, 19% of women agreed to the same. 

Then, the National Opinion Research Center did a survey in 2018 that indicated women in the age group of 18 to 29 were more likely to commit infidelity as compared to men in the same age group. 

Moreover, the same survey also portrayed how the rate of women’s adultery rose by approximately 40% between 1990 and 2010. Similarly, men’s adultery rate stayed steady at 21%.

Why Do Women Cheat? At A Glance

So, why do women cheat, or rather, why is the rate of adultery in women increasing over time? 

Some experts are saying that more and more women are resorting to adultery due to an increase in the responsibilities, needs, and wants of the modern 21st-century woman. 

Moreover, experts are also saying that financial freedom and feminist viewpoints have empowered women to compromise less, putting them in a better position to search for both sexual and emotional gratification that is lacking in their romantic lives. 

We don’t entirely disagree. In fact, we think that the gap shifted once women started working and making a living on their own. With financial freedom came the independence to make their own choices, and with personal choices came an easy rate of dissatisfaction. 

Moreover, women expect so much more from a marriage today. A decade ago, marriage was a kind of vehicle for raising your own family and letting someone take care of you financially. Things are so much different now – today, we expect sexual satisfaction, emotional support, happiness, and more out of a marriage. 

Today, we do expect a lot from a marriage – we put too much pressure on the idea of marriage. When you think about it, traditionally, society did not design the concept of marriage to meet the needs of women. 

So, Why Do Women Cheat? The Primary Factors That Drive Infidelity In Women

While the gender gap has narrowed, the question still remains – why do women cheat? Rather, what are the primary facts that drive infidelity in a relationship? 

So, we decided to talk to 100 women who have committed infidelity in romantic relationships and got in touch with relationship experts (*identity withheld on request*) to nail down all the major factors that motivate women to commit infidelity in a romantic relationship. 

1. Dissatisfaction In Present Relationship:

Dissatisfaction In Present Relationship

Dissatisfaction in a relationship is the underlying theme in most cases of infidelity. In fact, people (specifically women) justify infidelity by calling it a rough patch. 

When an opportunity rears its tempting neck during such rough patches, people tend to cross lines and cheat instead of stopping things even before they can start. Later, they just dismiss the whole thing with a casual, ‘he doesn’t even care – it’s innocent, really!’ 

Every time you cross a relationship boundary, you should first justify your behavior to yourself before compartmentalizing your actions. 

Moreover, if you fail to find satisfaction in your present relationship, it can trigger you to find it elsewhere. To make matters worse, cheating acts as a major catalyst – whether consciously or unconsciously – to end your present relationship. 

2. Low Self-Confidence:

Low Self-Confidence

When a woman struggles with a sense of low self-esteem and self-worth, it might spur them to seek outside their relationship for validation and attention that her partner is unable to express and sustain. 

A low sense of self-confidence looks like this:

  • Why would he, or anyone else for that matter, find me attractive?
  • Why would anyone fall for me?

Naturally, it feels very nice when someone starts to show them attention. A woman with low self-confidence who cheats typically depends on her affairs to obtain a sense of self-worth and desirability. 

Moreover, when one relationship ends, it might make them feel worthless, motivating them to pursue another romantic interest. 

3. Emotional Starvation:

Emotional Starvation

While research suggests that men who commit infidelity are motivated primarily by sex, women tend to do so for emotional satisfaction. In the case of an emotional affair, sex is not really part of the equation at all. 

Whether it’s an emotional or physical affair, women cheat because they crave support, adoration, devotion, respect, empathy, or even conversation. Moreover, it could be anything else that is missing in their present relationship.

Additionally, there are women who think it’s just another delusionship – for them, the emotional affair is not a real affair. 

In fact, as per relationship experts, it is very rare for anyone to have a full-fledged sexual affair without any emotion. This is because most affairs start casually with a friendship. That is how so many people cross relationship boundaries and confidently justify their actions.

4. Retribution Or Anger:

Some women enter romantic relationships with an idyllic image of how their partners should actually treat them. When their partner fails to meet those expectations, needs, and even desires, it creates a divide in the romance, offering the woman the opportunity to stray. 

Additionally, some women can also start resenting their partners for a different purpose, like the partner’s past infidelities. In such cases, infidelity on the woman’s part becomes a sort of retaliation. 

5. Lack Of Excitement:

You have heard about serial cheaters – people who commit infidelity for the sake of it. In fact, they might fall for their significant other but at the same time crave those initial endorphin-fueled interactions that make a new romance so much more exciting. 

It’s actually strange how we do not address how monotonous family and work life can get from time to time. Interestingly, committing infidelity in relationships is a lot like committing petty crimes – boredom! Of course, out of boredom, people are more tempted to cheat than commit crimes. But it is literally the same premise. 

In fact, a recent study revealed that 67% of married, heterosexual women who commit infidelity seek romantic passion. But 100% of women said that they wouldn’t leave their husbands.

Moreover, some women also talked about the amount of love they have for their husbands, painting them in a positive color. 

6. Sexual Deprivation:

Sexual Deprivation

No matter how hard we try to keep the spark breathing for a long time, the excitement that people experience in the initial days of a new romance only lasts for some time. 

Familiarity and predictability eventually overtake the frequency and quality of sex. As a result, it is not strange then that women who cheat might be missing those exciting hallmarks of an early relationship when intrigue and passion are yet to give way to normalcy and routine. 

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It is also possible that since sex wasn’t really an expectation at some point in the relationship. As a result, cheating was a sort of necessary evil.

7. Loneliness:

Loneliness

So, why do women cheat? Loneliness is a major reason. 

A woman who ends up cheating might have a partner who likes working for long hours, leaving them alone at home with the children all day. Perhaps they have found themselves in one stage when it becomes hard to make friends. Or they might have met a significant other who is fighting a chronic illness. 

Whatever the reason, feelings of disengagement and isolation or loneliness can offer the perfect ingredients needed to make an affair. When one partner starts feeling lonely, someone else begins to meet all the unmet needs.

8. Insecure Style Of Attachment:

The theory of attachment suggests that early relationships in childhood impact how we behave as well as perceive our intimate relationships as adults. Moreover, depending on the nurturing and care (or lack thereof) that one gets as a child, they will fall into either one of the three styles of attachments as adults:

  • Secure attachment style – to have well-adjusted approaches and expectations to relationships. 
  • Anxious attachment style – to exhibit a fear of abandonment.
  • Avoidant attachment style – to retain their autonomy from others. 

Keeping that in mind, women who identify with avoidant and anxious styles of attachment are more likely to show characteristics that typically interfere with a healthy relationship – such as dismissiveness and clinginess.

Moreover, they are more likely to commit infidelity as they search for reassurance from someone outside the relationship or even attempt to avoid the primary relationship’s intimacy. There is always a sense of what is there on the other side, and never entirely being secure or happy alone. As a result, such women typically struggle with happiness in most romantic relationships. 

9. Midlife Crisis:

While midlife crises typically impact women in the 35 to 60 age group, the event has so much less to do with age as compared to extenuating circumstances. 

For instance, a major life event like the death of a parent or even a milestone birthday might end up triggering a sort of midlife crisis in a woman. This, in turn, causes them to simply wrestle with the overall burden of life and its greatness, that is, the socio-cultural expectation of women having it all – adoring children, a loving partner, a successful career, and so on. 

Women tend to think that they have limited time on their hands, and as a result, it is important to seize the day. The idea of ‘what am I even doing with my life?’ is common and very natural. 

Moreover, a woman might just act differently, that is, out of character as she tries to realize her full potential, making up for all the lost time (and opportunities) in the process. 

10. Numbing Difficult Feelings:

Women can develop a whole range of coping mechanisms for dealing with difficult feelings and emotions, something even selecting strategies that have an emotionally numbing impact as an easy way out as compared to facing them head-on. 

Alcohol, drugs, sex, or even certain compulsive behaviors are pretty common examples. After all, an affair is nothing but a tempting escape from a mundane reality. 

When women struggle with honesty and about what they exactly want from their partners, they feel an adrenaline rush. Instead of dealing with issues head-on, these women tend to seek a fantasy world that not just numbs but gives their system an amazing jolt. 

And It’s A Wrap!

Now that you have a clear idea of why do women cheat, it is obvious that emotions play an integral role in infidelity and the narrowing gender gap. 

While cheating is almost never warranted in any relationship, it is best to end a relationship that isn’t working out. Before finding someone new, it is always a good idea to face problems in your present relationship head-on. It might not help you fix your relationship, and instead, you might end up breaking up, but it’s still better than keeping your partner in the dark.  

Considering all the reasons behind women committing infidelity, it is interesting to note that almost all the reasons link back to dissatisfaction in the current relationship. 

If there’s something missing in your relationship, it is vital to prioritize the existing connection. That way, the two of you can ensure that you guys are getting exactly what you desire from a partnership.

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