Before you accuse us of being misogynists who are spouting hate against women, I would like to tell you that the statement that women cheat more than men has a grounding in reality. A couple of studies conducted recently have found that the percentage of women who cheat is considerably larger than that of the men (1).
Back in 2015, the news of a hack on the “dating” website Ashley Madison made a lot of waves. Turns out it wasn’t a dating website after all, it was the conjugal society’s worst and best-kept secret! The website which had the slogan, “Life is short, have an affair” marketed itself as an escape route from the dull, and the usual monogamous fare. But before the leak, no one would have thought that 14 percent of its customer base would comprise of women (2).
However, the hack laid this truth for everyone to see – women cheat. And now, there are scientific reports that say that they do that more often than men, who usually get all the flak when it comes to infidelity.
But the big question is not who cheats more. Infidelity is the sad reality of modern-day relationships, whether you choose to accept it or prefer to look the other way is up to you (3).
The question is why do they cheat in the first place? We decided to take a peek behind the curtain and unearth these reasons for you, and here they are:
1. The Passion In Their Marriage Has Dwindled
The initial days of coupledom are those when the couple exists in a bubble of their own creation. Everything is viewed through rose-eyed glasses, and the passion that they experience is such that it can’t be contained, and then reality sets in. Marriage, kids, career, and loans that need to be paid. Rendezvous in secret locales are swapped for visits to the in-laws.
The longer the relationship has been going on for, the lesser will be the passion that the woman will feel for her partner (4). And in this scenario, cheating is a short-term but very appealing solution, and that is why a lot of women turn towards it.
2. They Seek A Lost Connection
It might seem like I am enforcing gender stereotypes when I say that men and women have different parameters for intimacy. While for most men, it ends at physical intimacy, women seek something more. For women, an emotional connection such as — having heart-to-heart chats with their partner, doing fun things together — matters more. More often than not, their infidelity stems from the lack of this connection (5). In the absence of this meaningful connection with their primary partner, they seize the opportunity to form a new one with another suitable partner.
3. They Are Fed Up Of Shouldering The Load Of The Responsibilities
Even the most well-intentioned of men often end up being recalcitrant when it comes to doing the house chores. The reason may be anything, it can be the gendered conditioning enforced upon them by the society, or that they have never been taught to give a hand with the housework. This often leads to arguments and fights in a couple and ends up creating a lot of distance between them.
In a recent survey, it has been found that women who were playing a greater role in shouldering the household responsibilities ended up looking for love outside their marriage after facing the indifferent approach of their partners (6). Moral of the story: maybe, lend your SO a hand with that laundry load every once in a while.
4. They Are Tired Of Looking Up To Their Partner For Financial Support
In a survey that was conducted recently, it was found that financial dependence can have a very disruptive effect on relationships. And, it works both ways too. In fact, it was found that men who were solely dependent on women for their survival were 15 percent more likely to cheat. Similarly, women too are more likely to cheat if they have to depend on their partner for survival (7). This has more to do with the fact that they feel that their self-worth is diminished in this case, and they seek to appropriate it by finding someone new, who doesn’t see them as a financial burden.
5. They Want To Save Their Marriage
It might seem incredulous, but it is true. It has been found that the 1 out of 5 unhappily married women are in marriages where their intimate needs are not being met (8). More than boredom, or anger, this is the leading cause of death of marriages. And in order to remedy this, a lot of women make a well-calculated decision to fulfill their needs from somewhere else. They take this decision proactively to save their marriage since on all the other fronts they are perfectly content with their partners (9).
So, if you fear that your partner is going astray, try to figure out if it is because of the reasons mentioned here. If you find it is so, then try to treat the root cause of the problem before reacting negatively to its symptom. After all, a relationship is far bigger than a momentary lapse of judgment.