Most men are naive. The vast majority believe that infidelity is not much of a threat with women, that women are inherently monogamous. They really don’t even consider that women would cheat. But, current research has given us undeniable facts that put these assumptions to rest. Infidelity happens just as much with women as it does men. I have found that women who have cheated have a common, shared pattern to their relationships and I want to give you a little insight into what may be happening.
Infidelity in women seems to occur, often as a result of an inexplicable feeling of boredom, unhappiness, and a sense of loss of self. Some psychologists have compared it to a male mid life crisis. The irony is that most women admitting to infidelity also admit to pressuring their spouse for commitment.
Most women who have admitted to infidelity say that they never thought of themselves as the “type” of girl who would cheat. They thought of themselves as good girls. Even so, there was a need that had to be fulfilled and they couldn’t stop cheating even though they felt like they were doing the wrong thing.
The pattern of women’s relationships leading to infidelity usually starts with this overriding feeling of dissatisfaction. What usually happens next is the loss of interest in sex with her husband. An interesting thing for you to know is that she has not necessarily lost her interest in sex, but in sex with her husband. Part of this phenomenon is that women somehow see their husbands as part of the cause of their sudden feelings of unhappiness.
Some women do however shut down sexually which causes even more bitterness and animosity toward their husbands. Eventually though, women who follow this pattern of infidelity have an encounter, usually an emotional connection, with another man that sparks a renewed desire. Because the encounter was emotionally significant to the woman, she feels a great sense of guilt. Studies have shown that women feel guiltier about emotional connections than they do about sexual encounters.
As I already mentioned, women who cheat can’t really help themselves, even though they know it’s wrong. But the next phase starts with the decision to have an affair. This stage is often very confusing for women. The infidelity gives them a drug like high due to the endorphin release. They feel like they have finally found their “soul mate”, someone who really sees who they are. At the same time, women at this stage are fighting with guilt, fear, thoughts of divorce, and choosing between husband and lover.
This leads to the next stage where decisions have to be made. Some women decide to stay with their spouse and continue the affair. Some choose to end the marriage. Some end the affair and try to repair the marriage.
Women who stay in the marriage but keep the infidelity going are usually in marriages that present a great deal of autonomy. This usually happens when the husband is away from home for long periods of time. They feel like the affair can continue indefinitely without their spouse finding out. Another twist here is that women in this group have reported an improved sex life with their husbands while infidelity is happening behind his back.
Women in the other two groups are usually the ones who express a renewed feeling of normalcy. Whether they stay in the marriage or choose divorce, the fact that there is closure to such an emotional, confusing situation provides relief.
Obviously, it’s very complex but I wanted to give you a glimpse of infidelity from the perspective of women. My motivation is to open your eyes to the very complex problem so that you will be empowered, either man or woman, to make good decisions for your relationship and for your life.