Why Women Cheat

Why women cheat is a question that isn't asked as often as the opposite one of why men cheat. The Internet is always drowning in news about the infidelity of football players, golf stars and Hollywood actors. Almost everyone you talk to has got an opinion of why some men put their happy families in jeopardy and go out carelessly looking for quick flings. 

Of course, what these men do is painful and disrespectful to everyone involved, but they couldn't have done it without more than a little help from the fairer sex. These women they've been with must have partners too, partners they're also cheating on. It's time for the Relationship Blog to take some of the focus off unfaithful men and look at a few reasons (in no particular order) why women cheat. Note: The Relationship Blog does not condone cheating in any form. This is a factual and informative article based on research. 

Recommended reading: relationship help page

Why women cheat


Women cheat because they think they can get away with it

After years of answering questions on my '10 Sure Ways To Get Over Him' column, I've realised that some women are tempted to have affairs just because they think/know they can get away with it. This first point concerns mainly women who cheat in their 40s. Sometimes men become so grated down by constant professional, personal or medical knock-backs in their lives, they lose all their self-confidence and drive to succeed. This inevitably affects the way they view themselves and they lose the healthy amount of ego a person needs to feel attractive and wanted. 

A woman who's spent years with a man knows when this has happened. If she lacks the morality to respect her vows and responsibility as a spouse she will  take advantage of the fact that a man in that state of mind will overlook an affair. Even if he did find out about it, he will lack the motivation to leave the relationship and will prefer to 'forgive' her rather than lose her. He believes he cannot and will not be able to do any better than her. 

Women cheat because of boredom

After years of marriage when people get so settled into their lives, it's easy to start passing each other off as flesh furniture. Both parties may have their own careers, and the home and family have both fallen into secure, safe routines. 

The woman (again, this may be a woman who cheats in her 40s) feels that her husband isn't making efforts to woo her any more. However, she doesn't take the initiative to suggest they dig up their old spark again. Life has become comfortable, the kids are growing up and don't need her any more. The family has a good, secure life and lifestyle and both parties still love each other but have forgotten how to show it. This woman is in her late 30s - early 40s and feels that her youth is escaping from her with every breath she takes. Boredom with her situation sets in and she starts to think of ways to make her life more interesting and challenging in a crazed, Desperate Housewives dive for freedom. One of the ways she may choose to regain what she may think of as 'excitement' is to have an affair. She may think that a little fling won't hurt anyone, but of course we know this is far from the truth.

Women cheat when they're physically unsatisfied in marriage

Many women stand by their husbands when medical problems prevent him from satisfying her physically. A large amount of women decide to live in marriages without any physical contact whatsoever, and even after they realise their husbands are cheating on them. Other women think differently and decide that if they're not getting what they want inside the marriage, they'll look for it outside. Of course, there is no reason for a woman (or man) to be unfaithful to their spouse. Nevertheless, a sexless marriage is regularly cited by women to justify why they cheat. As it's difficult for most women to separate romance and physical attachments, this situation soon becomes impossible to keep under control.

Women cheat when they fall out of love with their husband 

People do fall out of love with each other. Some, after a few years, others, after many years and baggage in a relationship. Women who cheat because they've fallen out of love with their husbands usually stay in the marriage for various other reasons. Their romantic and physical interests are diverted elsewhere and while they can carry on playing the devoted mother and partner, their heart is being pulled in a different direction. 

Sometimes it's only after they've lost the security of their home and marriage that they realise love is not only about squishy feelings. It's also about being loyal, committed, and sacrificing sometimes things we want with all our hearts for the well-being of the other person. Many times love is misunderstood for the flutter in our stomach when we think about the object of our affections. That aspect of love only lasts for a short while. In order to maintain love in a true partnership, we have to focus on the other factors that brought us together in the first place because these are the very factors which will hold us together in the long run.

Women cheat because of ego

Sometimes it's years of being torn down by their husbands that makes a woman lose her charm and self-confidence. Sometimes it's just life, having kids, gaining weight, or growing older. Whatever the cause, some women get their 'Sex And The City' wiggle on, in a bid to prove they've still 'got it.'  

When the opportunity presents itself to a woman who thinks that she'll be elevated by having a younger, more successful man, she will take it and cheat. Vanity and unhealthy egos cause this woman to think that just because a fit, attractive man flirts with her, he wants her. She will grab every opportunity to 'prove' to herself that she's needed, wanted, young and attractive (regardless of if this is true or not) even if it means cheating on her husband to prove this to herself. A disturbed mind like this will never be content with her husband's efforts to make her happy. Her head will be turned by any one she thinks shows a bit of interest. 

Women chat because of lack of self-respect

In complete opposition to the woman above, a woman who's badly treated in her marriage may look for validation in the arms of another man. She may be the victim of the male version of the above woman, and may be so down-trodden, she falls into the trap of another man who shows her a measure of care and respect. She may not love him or even care for him, but the fact that he treats her well quenches her desire to feel special after years of emotional abuse.

Whatever the excuse for cheating, women know that being unfaithful can never be justified. When we talk of men cheating on their wives and bringing disgrace to their sport/life/family etc, we always have to remember that behind closed doors, there was a woman enabling him to cheat, and doing it of her own free will. 

Cheating - man or woman - is wrong and it hurts.  Do you think woman have been on easy street where cheating is concerned? If you liked 'Why Women Cheat' please share it on your social networking sites or send it to a friend who could use it. Thank you. 

Here's a great book you may like to read on this subject.


Ching Ya March 1, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

Marriage is no easy walk in the park, it requires so much dedication and commitment from both sides. What important is for the couple to care about one another, never stop caring and treasuring each other's presence in life. May we all continue to stand firm and never ever give room for temptations to shake our beliefs.

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Icy BC March 4, 2010 at 7:25 PM  

I agree that cheating women are on easier street than men because of the "poor lonely, miserable, desperate housewife" syndrome affect!

Self Sagacity March 6, 2010 at 4:56 AM  

Yup, yup, those reasons are very valid. I think we are all human and weakness is a common trait.

Anne Lyken-Garner March 6, 2010 at 8:48 AM  

Well said, Ching Ya.

Icy, definitely. We pay so much attention to cheating men that we forget there are also equally nasty cheating women too.

S.S no matter what the 'cause.' I think that marriage vows are NOT made to be broken. If people can't live together any more, it would be better to end it rather than live in depravity.

Unknown March 8, 2010 at 2:03 AM  

Unfortunately there are plenty out there who would not bat an eye at cheating. It is hard to trust someone after they have broken their vows.

Harleena Singh April 21, 2012 at 2:44 PM  

Wonderful topic of discussion Anne!

I would also like to know why men cheat, and because they do so, could also be a reason you can include as to why women cheat!

Sometimes it happens that when the men cheat and women come to know of it, they do the same things to teach the men a lesson. I guess men won't understand it any other way. :)

Yes, I totally agree with all your reasons that are valid and to the point. I think women check because they are not getting that love, attention, care, and understanding from their husbands or lovers that they were getting initially.

I personally feel there's always a reason for why we do the things we do. And where cheating is concerned also, there is always a reason why women cheat, and somewhere or the other the men are to be blamed directly or indirectly. Had they been more loving, giving, caring, and learnt about the needs and desires of the women, I don't think they would have cheated or strayed - isn't it?

Thanks for sharing. :)

Anne Lyken-Garner April 21, 2012 at 2:52 PM  

Thanks, Harleena. I think that all cheating is wrong, no matter if you do it as a payback or do it first. After all, if it was such a bad thing for your partner to do, doing it yourself makes you just as bad as they are.

I understand what you said about women trying to give men a taste of their own medicine, however, where do we stop? Does he cheat again to pay back. Then what?

Thanks again for the discussion. It made me think hard about the topic in hand.

Unknown April 22, 2012 at 4:17 AM  

I knew a woman once who bragged about making men cheat on their wives with her. She "won" a man away from his wife and he cheated on and beat her.

Anne Lyken-Garner April 22, 2012 at 8:46 AM  

What an awful woman! What goes around comes around, as they say.

ChopperPapa May 21, 2012 at 6:44 PM  

The question of why men cheat has always interested me, I've written about it several times. However what I always fail to see in these posts is exactly with whom are these men cheating?

There is only a few options.

1. prostitutes.
2. Single women who are simply desperate and naive.
3. Other married women.

The question shouldn't be why men or women cheat, the real question is why do people cheat.

Anne Lyken-Garner May 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM  

Well, I addressed the topic in detail in the article. I think women cheat for different reasons than men do. I think that in order to find SOME of the answers to the cheating phenomenon, we have to ask ourselves why it happens in the first place.

Since women and men cheat for different reasons, it's best to address them in different forums.

You're right in what you said about 'who they cheat with'. After all they can't cheat on their own. Someone is enabling them to do so.

Thanks for your input.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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