Asking why women cheat is a pretty good question, but perhaps an even better question is: Why are men usually the last to know? Many psychologists believe that it has something to do with the fact that he doesn’t want to believe his partner is capable of cheating, and that she is right there along with him. Some women are more likely to bottle up their emotions when there’s a serious problem in their relationship, and many men don’t know how to read between the lines.
One of the best ways for a guy to know if his relationship is on dangerous ground, is to know the reasons that women cheat in the first place. Keep in mind that these reasons are not meant to offer justification for what she may (or may not) be doing, but rather to help explain the motion of the cog wheels turning in her head. The best way to avoid a cheating spouse, is to understand where they’re coming from.
This one is obvious, but reminds us that we are all human. Some women have been known to justify an affair, out of the simple reason that her partner was unfaithful to her. Revenge does not always describe a situation of infidelity, however, as in some cases, the revenge is focused on his inability to make her happy. In a sense she’s getting revenge for his failure to uphold his promise to love, honor (admire), and obey her.
Studies suggest that over 50 percent of men who cheat, do so despite being in relatively happy relationships. For women, however, only 36 percent will cheat when they are happy. While some women are indeed attracted to the thrill of the catch, even more commonly, it is because they are unhappy with their partner.
We all feel some degree of entitlement in life. We feel entitled to respect, love, and a relatively happy life. When we assume these needs are being sabotaged by a partner, it may be natural to take action to overcome their negative influence. This is the belief of Shapiro Barash, a gender studies professor at Marymount Manhattan College, who believes women justify cheating when they believe their partner is the main source of their unhappiness.
In other words, women feel entitled to be happy, and if they must cheat to achieve this, then it’s his fault for not taking care of business. Out of 120 cheaters interviewed by Barash, 90 percent claimed that they were in the right, and felt little to no guilt for their actions. Some psychologists suggest that women rarely stumble upon affairs by accident, but rather give them careful thought, justify them, and then act upon them with carefully planned diligence.
This could be one factor why statistics indicate that female cheaters are less common than men. According to the University of Washington, 15 percent of women cheat, compared to 20 percent of men. Perhaps they are just better at avoiding being caught. Another possible factor is that cheating is much less socially acceptable for women, so during these types of surveys, women may not always tell the truth.
Researcher, Satoshi Kanazawa, suggests the idea of cheating may not be so much a contemplated action, but rather a root of evolutionary adaptation. He has outlined this belief among several interpretations of the biological development of human beings, such as the fact than men are larger than women, suggesting we lived within polygamous (one man, several wives/partners) societies at one time, similar to the gorilla.
In these primate societies, the women are often promiscuous, especially when the male species has developed larger testes and a sexual organ shaped like a scoop. The larger testes theoretically deposit a greater number of sperm to overcome competing suitors, while his scoop-shaped organ was adapted over time to remove competing sperm before depositing his own.
Kanazawa suggests that while men may have needed polygamous relationships to survive, that is no longer the case. Men prosper best in modern society within a single family, monogamous environment. They have slowly adapted to this. Women, on the other hand, continue to have the same partnership with one male, suggesting that her lineage has needed to adapt very little. Kanazawa uses this to suggest women may not value sexual exclusivity as much as man, and therefore continue to be promiscuous.
Another explanation for why women cheat is that they are at the end of their rope, and looking for a way out. Sometimes the thought of calling off a partnership can seem like a daunting step, especially if she is reliant on him in some way. In this case, some women choose to test the waters. If she finds a new source of support and security, she may become slightly more careless in expectation of getting caught, using the affair as a catalyst to quickly dissolve her current relationship.
Statistics show that over 50 percent of cheating wives conclude their marriages with divorce, which many psychologists speculate is exactly what they wanted. Psychologists also make the assumption that the other part of this equation is the inability of society (and the husband) to forgive a cheating wife. The old “boys will be boys” excuse does not work for women, although this is slowly changing.
In short, women cheat because they are emotional beings with needs, desires, temptations and faults. Any man who ignores these truths, is also capable of ignoring her cries for help, which if left unheard, can result in the demise of a perfectly salvageable relationship.
What do you think – what are the top reasons why women cheat?