5 Reasons Women Cheat

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.

1. Revenge

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.

2. Thrill

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.

3. Entitlement

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.

4. Biology

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.

5. Release

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?

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25 thoughts on “5 Reasons Women Cheat

  1. Cyberkenny1977

    There no real reason for for a man or a woman to ever cheat, period. Cheating never solves anything, it makes his or her the worst person to ever consider to date or married. CHEATERS NEVER WIN! People who are SO AFRAID to discuss what’s wrong within the relationship,i often wonder why?..instead,he or she seeks out another shoulder to cry on and establish an affair in order to fullfill his/her needs. You have to be honest with with your boyfriend,husband,girlfriend,wife about their problems, if it’s not working, JUST BREAK UP! (I know Im going to get a response like “easiler said than done” or some type of responce) Cheating is an IMMATURE act that’s committed for those people I label to be COWARDS whom doing this unforgivable act out of SELFISHNESS. It takes a real man/real woman to break up like mature adults rather just having your cake and eating it!

    One more thing…
    To those whom being cheated on, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT! people who cheat had some issues (especially when it comes to constantly bad relationships) chose to make this bad decision because he or she didn’t have courage to talk about problems like adults. I wouldn’t even put myself in that level if someone cheats on me. I rather just break up and move on, that’s the mature way.

    Reply
  2. morsomi

    Hello Eric,
    Very enlightening subject and I agree with most of it…And I’m good to say I have never cheated nor do I have the desire to do so…My advice to both women and men before you cheat ask WHY? and can it be stopped before it Happens! And if the answer is NO. Then walk away from the one you are about too HURT!
    And Eric could you humour me and tell my the 5 Reasons Men Cheat?

    Sincerely,
    Morso Mi
    Look Forward Too Your Reasons on the Subject
    Have a Blessed Day!

    Reply
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  4. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Imaginethat,

    Thank You for responding and I look forward to more comments from you and the other menfolk out there who wish to contribute to the discussions.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  5. imaginethat

    Sure, Gina Rose.

    Reading the last few posts… a woman can be too tired to have sex with her husband, but she can find time and energy to have an outside lover???

    Or, all he wants is sex …. well, goodness, what else does a lover want???

    Gina B., you are cold-hearted b*tch, and your husband is a … well, I don’t know what to call him, but the two of you don’t go together, and it really doesn’t matter whether he wants a divorce in most states. Divorce him, or admit you like the situation as it is and quit torturing yourself. In European the idea that a man will have outside lovers is pretty well accepted. You’re acting out the flip side of that tradition. Only, quit telling him, quit “getting caught.” Please? Quit torturing yourself AND him. You admit you have more orgasms with your husband than with your lovers, but you still cheat? Don’t you see? You don’t cheat for pleasure. You get pleasure from TORTURE. Damn.

    Sally, you exactly are withholding sex for the help you aren’t getting. I assume your husband is working, and is supporting you. Why on Earth can’t you see having a sex with him after your busy day as a nice escape from the hum-drum of everyday chores without thinking about all the stuff he doesn’t do? Why save your goodies for a lover, who obviously doesn’t help with the household chores? You say you’ve thought of leaving him, but you didn’t because you are “thinking of the kids.” You might believe otherwise, but your misery in your marriage, your feeling guilty about your lovers, will affect your children, and especially girls. You’ll pass your misery on to the next generation.

    Vanessa, I just can’t any sense out of what you wrote.

    But all told, each one of you are victims, wallowing in it, feeling sorry for yourselves, blaming your mate. I’ve watched this in women for decades, had two marriages to victims. Your mates could do everything you say they don’t do now, and you would then find something else to make you unhappy about him.

    Fix yourself. Quit choosing to be victims. It is a choice. And yes, one of the primary things men want from women is sex. A wise woman knows this.

    Reply
  6. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    I enjoy reading all of the posts….. but find it very encouraging to hear from the men out there.

    Please keep on posting your thoughts guys !!!! …..because I feel it gives the ladies out there a glimpse of how the menfolk really feel and think about these issues.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
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  8. Gina Balok

    Why woman cheat? Im a 42 year old woman, neitherless to say, I do cheat. Been married twice, but never cheated with my first husband of 4 years. The second husband were now in 14 years together and cheated since were engaged. Until he found out 5 years later, he forgiven me, did it again 2 years later, and again he forgiven me, then 1 year later, next after next.. I went for counceling twice and also both of us went as a couple but nothing changed.
    And my husband was feed up with me and for what Im doing but he can’t let me go. I asked for divorce ( to have piece of mind and to stop hurting him totally) but he dont want to do it. We just recently bought a house last year 8/09 and our son starting in school a kindengarden at christian school.
    Now Im seeking help thru Psychiatrist to see if really something with me why I can’t stop doing it. My husband does everything, the cooking, house work, for our son, he make sure he ate, bathe, play and do home work with him. All my son want from is put him to bed.
    Now we dont communicate enough if we do its end up to a fight. Instead of dicussing things calm and clear, we both shut each other down.
    My Psychiatrist findings.. Im normal,, its just Im a “Cold Hearted Bit*h” point blank.. And put me on medication, to calm me down.. that Im always looking for thrill…. which is true.. and Im doing it not for sex.. I can have more orgasasm with my husband rather than the guys I meet.
    And eventhough Im a cheater it doesnt cross my mind to leave my husband. Not because of financial, not because no one out there can compare with him.. just the lock of communications with him and understanding my selfish behaviour.. And eventhough we divorce a years or 2 years from now.. Im still propbably doing the same thing, I’ll make sure not to have attachment with someone. And hopefully have some cure for me out there.

    Reply
  9. Vanessa Ramos Marantes

    Sally I totally understand what you mean as I’m having the exact issues. Everything is sex and everything is fixed with sex. I mean I don’t mind the sex I’m ready all the time but it does gets to a time when you have to say enough. I would love to exchange stories with you as I have one of my self. Sometimes I feel like a bad person because of what I’m doing.

    Reply
  10. Yeng Lor

    Hi,
    The reasons women cheats its mostly because of her husband is not helping out much, like with her kids or help out with household chores and letting her do most of the things around the house. I am one of the housewife that cheats on my husband. I feel like i needed someone’s attention but i never got my husbands attention and mostly he doesn’t like to help me out with the kids like helping me change baby diapers if I’m not home, and leaving the baby diaper wet and soak for as long as it can just for me to get home and i’ll have to change it myself. All he cares is sex, not anything else at all. He also thinks that all the household chores is my job and also my kids are my job and not his, his job is only the sex part and work thats all. And it hurts when you married a man that doesn’t care much about famillies and about helping his spouse out… I love him with all my heart but I’m not getting what I wanted from him… And plus his mom is part of it too she does the same thing like yelling at my kids everyday that they are nasty and she is sick of my kids. It hurts to hear that everyday 24/7. So sometimes i just wanted to get away somewhere that i don’t see my husband or my mother in law. It makes me regret so much about my whole life being with this man that doesn’t care about anything but sex… If you gals were me what would you do? I try talking him out that sex is not my life, only helping eachother out around the house is my life and we both understanding eachother is the best thing that i ever wanted but he still doesn’t care.. He ignores me and it hurts… I almost divorce him but i was only thinking of my kids thats all that i didn’t leave him but if he continues maybe divorce may happen. I have alot more to say but its gonna be a long story so I’m just putting this much on here for now. I’m sorry i was only suppose to leave a comment only but I can’t help it. Everyone take care.

    Thank You for having this article up.

    Sally.

    Reply
  11. imaginethat

    As a “survivor” of the feminist movement, meaning, that I am a male who has lived with the change in women who now demand near-perfection from a man, which they never get, and thus they feel “emotionally unfulfilled……”

    Well, let me assure you, men feel emotionally unfulfilled as well. And why do women cheat? Why do men cheat? Sex has become a bargaining tool, a horrible distortion of one of life’s most sublime pleasures.

    Feminism had some good points to make, equal pay for equal work for instance. But, the overriding …. what shall I call it? The overriding aspect which I see is feminism turned women from enjoying being women, and has created a couple of generations of women who regard themselves as “victims.”

    Six months ago I met a woman from an eastern European culture. I have never in my long life met a woman to compare to her. In her life, her man comes first. Top of the list. I’ve never known this in my life. She is a woman who loves to be a woman. Women from her culture have known real hardship. What upsets an American woman wouldn’t faze her, for she has seen worse than most Western women have even imagined.

    Feminism was off-base from the beginning. No, woman, you cannot do anything a man can do as well as a man can do it. And, no, I cannot do anything a woman can do as well as a woman can do it. It starts with I cannot bear a child, nor can a woman father a child, but it goes a lot farther than that.

    The downside of feminism is that I always wondered just what was expected from me as a man. Open a door, or not for instance. What does it mean to be a man? As the years have gone by, I see also that women do not know what a man expects from a woman. Both sexes have be savaged. It’s truly sad.

    We are different animals, but, we go together so beautifully when we are what we are.

    Reply
  12. imaginethat

    As a “survivor” of the feminist movement, meaning, that I am a male who has lived with the change in women who now demand near-perfection from a man, which they never get, and thus they feel “emotionally unfulfilled……”

    Feminism had some good points to make, equal pay for equal work for instance. But, the overriding …. what shall I call it? The overriding aspect which I see is feminism turned women from enjoying being women, and has created a couple of generations of women who regard themselves as “victims.”

    Six months ago I met a woman from an eastern European culture. I have never in my long life met a woman to compare to her. In her life, her man comes first. Top of the list. I’ve never known this in my life. She is a woman who loves to be a woman. Women from her culture have known real hardship. What upsets an American woman wouldn’t faze her, for she has seen worse than most Western women have even imagined.

    Feminism was off-base from the beginning. No, woman, you cannot do anything a man can do as well as a man can do it. And, no, I cannot do anything a woman can do as well as a woman can do it. It starts with I cannot bear a child, nor can a woman father a child, but it goes a lot farther than that.

    The downside of feminism is that I always wondered just what was expected from me as a man. Open a door, or not for instance. What does it mean to be a man? As the years have gone by, I see also that women do not know what a man expects from a woman. Both sexes have be savaged. It’s truly sad.

    We are different animals, but, we go together so beautifully when we are what we are.

    Reply
  13. diva02903

    I agree with Misskrystal. This a great article and some revealing truths. Over the last year, I have learned that I am a thinker and I really do need a partner that fulfills that area of my life or else I lose interest. There’s more but the intellectual part keeps me stimulated.

    Reply
  14. 4urlove

    Dear Eric,
    I love this topic and your research is awesome! I grew up in South Texas where cheating was all around me growing up. I saw more than my share I might add. Witnessing at age 3 my mother cheat on the love of my life I was in pieces. I hated her for what she did to my dad! They divorced when I was 7 yrs old. I still blamed her and held a grudge towards her all my life till now. When I got married I swore I would never do that to my husband. I married for all the wrong reasons and that was to get away from my mother. I was very unhappy in my marriage. After 7 years in the marriage I cheated. A man that worked with me seduced me. I felt like it was the worst thing I ever did and that I was following my mothers footsteps. I didn’t want to do it again, but then I was recieveing attention, and friendship. It was hard to stop, but I did. My family is important to me and I was putting them first. Years later my husband was acting suspicious and I knew the signs and so then the problems started. What did I do? Fall into another man’s arms again. I was having an affair with this man out of spite, revenge, anger, lonelyness, attention, friendship, and the sexual exploration and experiece that could not stop me. I could not get enough of him. My husband and I gave eachother an opportunity to work things out. For 6 months I was faithful to the marriage I was giving it my all. My roof caved in. My husband was seeing another woman. I did not want a divorce. I felt that if he knew of my cheating we could forgive eachother and move on. It was to late for me. I again run to the arms of the man I was last with and he was still available and in love with me… I was in a loving relationship for 3 years. I could not stop cheating for the 1st year in the relationship. I guess it was because I needed to be single before I realized what I wanted. He helped me figure that out. So, I guess what I am saying is Karma! Don’t do to them what you don’t want done to you… When and If I get into a relationship I’m going to play my cards right this time around!

    Reply
  15. wordpress

    Lots of reasons and you’re right – it can be when a wife is perfectly happy – probably more so because she is feeling confident and secure in the current relationship and is simply seeking a little “frosting on the cake” particularly if long enough if a friends first opportunity presents itself (women don’t usually just jump into bed – they have to have some sort of real “head & body” interest in the man). The guy is most likely married/attached as well so as to make it a “safe” situation – no strings attached, but the benefits are there without the responsibilities. Then, there is the “how long will this last before: some one finds out/get suspicious-some one starts to “care’/get more possessive than they should-the situation “tires” for one or both or someone starts to feel guilty (not necessarily the woman either).
    Also, times have changed and the woman cheating is not as “scarlet letter” as it used to be because women have defined more independant roles for themselves both in an out of marriage – not just with relationships, but career-wise and monetarily. In some ways, it may seem sad, but in other ways it’s liberating and better balances the scales and most likely a mutuation for “self-preservation” since the shoe has been on the other foot for sooooo long!

    Reply
  16. thebadguy

    I would like to say that, women today cheat as much as me do….. I am not exaggerating here but it is for a fact. Women think that they can control their man and mold him in anyway they want or else he will not be getting any action tonight…. THats a common phrase most women use in the bedroom to get things the way they want.

    Many men are hen pricked people and will do anything for a pussy, and the women as despicable as they can be play the cards on these emotions.

    Women think they are always right but sadly to say that is not the case. SO if you ask me, women cheat as often as men do I would say definately yes and maybe put the percentage ratio as women to men like 55:45.

    Reply
  17. njackson

    I cheated because, I felt emotionally numb and I hated that feeling. I cheated because, I love being in love, I love passions and I feel alive. I always feel bad about it later and that experience always bring me closer to my husband whoom I love very much snd would not leave for a fling unless I was sure that is what I want.

    Reply
  18. misskrystalmisskrystal

    I would also like to add, that women who are highly intellectual, need to feel that “meeting of the minds” –
    If you are the intellectual type, you must have someone who can first get through to your mind-if not, you would and could be open to someone else who possibly could….For some women it first starts with exciting intellectual stimulation-So those women who are a big thinkers should make sure their partners can keep them thinking-if not, someone else could….Miss Krystal
    PS great article, please keep them coming…

    Reply
  19. everwilde

    I have to admit that it is a combination of two and five for me… I enjoyed the thrill of the chase. Flirting with someone other than my significant other. i never let it carry that far though, and I often tried to be a good girl. To be faithful to my boyfriend, but often at times I would develop a crush on another man. Often times the man that would flatter me. However, as I got older I calmed down significantly. I met a boy that I truly cared for. So much more than I had ever cared for any of the others. His name was Graham, but I often called him Puppy. Why did I saddle this man with such an outlandish name? Well allow me to put to rest any suspicious that he was my sub, for I am not even remotely interested in BDSM. No, the reason that I called him Puppy is because that he played Fenrir Grayback in a role playing game that we both belonged to. The name had started out as a way of my character, Celestial Riddle, teasing and belittling the werewolf. But as time went on, the name that was originally meant to cause him turmoil turned into one of affection. And I, myself, slowly grew to love the man behind the mask beyond all others. But he never saw me as I saw him… not until my friend, my sister, had officially decided to intervene. She introduced to me to a Frenchman, Jean-Frederic. I honestly hated him at first! I couldn’t stand him! Mostly because I knew what my sister was up to. I hate people trying to live my life for me! I am quite capable of making my own decisions and charting my own course. And after all I was deeply in love with Graham. Admittedly, I was bored and standing in front of a shop in Second Life. I had originally been participating in a grid wide hunt. I don’t even remember why I invited Jeff though, but I teleported him to my location and we talked. Slowly, I began to fall for him, this man that I had hated previously. Perhaps it was because my sister and he were about to get together. I had felt an instant twinge of jealousy when I had heard this. He was suppose to be mine. Whatever the reason, we started dating and everything was going well between us. Except for one thing, I still loved Puppy. I thought I always would, and I admittedly spent more time with Puppy than I did with Jeff. Puppy often took me dancing, horse back riding, role playing, and I took him to a karaoke bar once. I probably sounded like a sick frog. I love singing, but unfortunately I’m not as good at it as some. But he encouraged me many be the time. As time went by Puppy and I grew even closer, while Jeff and I drifted apart. I didn’t listen to what Jeff wanted or even cared that he knew what was happening behind his back. Finally, after months of waiting… what I thought would never come came. Puppy and I were on the dance floor, when one of my favorite songs from childhood started playing. Everything I Do, I Do For You by Byran Adams. He told me that he had requested for me, and that he meant it. That he… loved me. He finally told me that he loved me! But he said that he was no good for me, that we would always be friends. I didn’t care what he thought… all I wanted in that moment was to be with him. I loved him! I still love him.. But I was with Jeff. I couldn’t break it off. He loved me… and I, in my own selfish way, loved him. I knew that… he would always be there for me. There was one point that Jeff and I broke up and it lasted for months. We’re finally together again, but I know in my heart that I will never love him as much as I love Puppy.

    Reply
  20. Natalia

    Number one was the reason I cheated in a relationship. Revenge for “taking me for granted, for expecting me to be everything to him for “free” (or so I believed in my young inexperience head). Didn’t work though, I felt worse once it was over. Cheating is never the answer; indeed the only way to get through difficulties is to have an honest discussion with your partner about your needs, his needs, and the relationship’s needs. People are living breathing creatures as our the relationships we create. They need constant re-evaluation and constant WORK.

    Reply
  21. xenaprincesswarrior

    Good Morning – great article

    I can see validation in most of these reasons. It was Release for my personal reason. I was married for 40 years and the last 10 years was “love deficient”; actually lacking emotion of any type. I am still totally in love with my ex husband. I told him that I would always be married to him in my heart, but I had to leave for my own mental wellbeing. I didn’t have anyone lined up first. I’m not even interested in anyone now and its been 5 years since my divorce. I just couldn’t live my life being ignored anymore.

    Too bad it had to happen at all – – It can all be summed up with your words: “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.”

    Women are pretty easily satisfied – attention and appreciation can do it for most. And sexual intimacy is a tremendous bonding experience. So simple ! But 85% of men never catch on. I just wish we could reach more people with these kinds of articles – may be less divorces ??

    Have a great day !
    Xena

    Reply
  22. Jacqueline

    Hi Eric,
    I thoroughly enjoy your articles, I would love to add……. woman need to feel emotionally satisfied, if they don’t receive this from there partner, it leaves an emptiness inside, a longing for someone to listen to them, as well as know that someone thinks that what they have to say is important, this rule also applies when there isn’t any emotional stimulating conversations, sexual intimacy needs to fulfilled in all areas in order to have that deep, loving relationship, when they are not, it does leave the door open for other men to come in and allow them to feel stimulated in those areas, many times as emotional stimulation occurs, it allows a woman to feel important, which bring in sexual desires to grow.

    Blessings and Big Hugs!
    Jacqueline x9472

    Reply
  23. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    Another great article, Eric….well done !

    Here are a couple of differences I’ve noticed in reading for 45 years…..more men than women will leave a marriage for the right reasons and the right way.

    By the ” right way “, I mean he is leaving soley because the marriage in itself is dead and he is not leaving a marriage to go straight into the waiting arms of another woman.

    More men than women will date awhile first, or at least wait a bit even if he chooses not to date, before re-marrying as well.

    On the other hand, many women seem to want to have the new guy lined up first before she leaves the marriage , insuring financial security and an eagerness to fill their emotional needs.

    Just a couple of things I’ve noticed over the years.

    I try to encourage independence and empowerment in women for the above reason ,…as I feel that sometimes a woman will limit her choices in jumping from one pair of arms immediately to another pair of arms……while there may be a better man out there for her if she takes the time to wait and look around.

    I also see the number of women cheating on their spouses is equal to that of men cheating on their spouses. So, pointing the finger at the opposite sex is no longer is feasible and is an archaic notion at best.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply

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