This is why married women cheat on their husbands

Society has programmed us to see husbands as cheaters and wives as victims of infidelity.

Nobody says ‘I do‘ thinking that their marriage will end in infidelity. Everybody dreams and hopes for a happy marriage: a marriage that is filled with love, laughter, and joy. However, more often than not, these dreams tend to quickly come crashing down.

Through countless novels and films, society has programmed us to believe that the majority of marriages end in infidelity because of an adulterous husband. In fact, in every other film or novel, the man is portrayed as an evil monster who cheats on the perfect wife and mother with a woman who is about twenty years younger and is also probably his secretary. Classic, isn’t it?

In reality, women cheat just as often as men do – if not more.

Alicia M. Walker, an associate professor of sociology at Missouri State University, discusses female infidelity as she says, “We have this idea socially that men are cheaters, all men are susceptible to cheating, that men are dogs, right? […] But the data tells a very different story“. The reality is that women cheat as often as men do – in fact, depending on age groups and behavior, women can actually cheat more. Walker goes further as she explains that “Way more women are cheating than we think […] the reality is, you know a woman who’s cheating, you just don’t know that she is.”

There is no one specific reason why women cheat.

Infidelity is generally brought about when someone’s emotional or physical needs are not being met. Unfortunately, it is also true that sometimes people cheat solely because they have the opportunity to do so. Walker comments on this as she writes: “There’s a lot of data showing that a woman will have an affair with a coworker and are more likely to report that ‘My marriage is great and I’m super satisfied. I literally saw an opportunity and took advantage of it.’”

Often, husbands make their women feel ashamed.

Despite the aforementioned claim, one of the most common reasons why women cheat is because their husbands make them feel embarrassed or ashamed of their needs and desires. For this reason, it is advised that before getting married, couples should have an open and honest discussion regarding their sexual compatibility. Walker explains that the women who took part in her study admitted to having had these conversations when searching for their affair partners – but not with their husbands.

What is society’s perception of women and female sexuality?

When women are made to feel ashamed or embarrassed, they tend to turn to partners who will not make them feel this way; that is, they look for someone who is attentive, understanding, and compatible. Interestingly, Walker notes that some women in her study have said that adultery is their way of exercising power. Taking this idea further, the women in Walker’s study explained that they felt confined by the ‘chivalrous’ traditions and socially accepted norms where men ask you out, pay for your dinner and propose marriage. When they cheat, instead of being chosen, women get to choose.

Walker discusses how our society and culture has influenced our perception of women and sexuality as she writes:

We want to think of women as not particularly sexual unless they’re deeply in love or they’re married or in some monogamous relationship of some kind. We just don’t want to think that women are just as sexual and just as interested in having sex with multiple partners or a variety of partners or they get bored with marital sex.

Ultimately, she advises couples to discuss their compatibility before marriage and show greater understanding and attentiveness when married.

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