There might never be a concrete explanation or answer to this question; it is a heart-breaking topic and shockingly something very common. The Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy found that nearly 50 precent of married women and 60 precent of married men will have an affair at some point in their marriage.
This is not to send spouses on a wild goose chase and make you as a couple paranoid about your relationship. Out of curiosity I wanted to find out for myself, and other curious women like me, what women say when faced with an ultimatum or when the big question stares them right in the face: “Why? Why did you decide to cheat?”
Is there a difference between men and women?
According to Helen Fisher author of “Why him, Why her, Why love” there is a difference.
Men are less likely to fall in love with the, let’s call it: “Secondary person”. Fisher says that they are looking for sexual motivation. Men can be extremely happy in their marriage and still cheat.
Women on the other hand tend to be unhappy in their relationships. Saying things like their spouses “stopped looking at them the way they used to”. An affair with another man in turn leads to an emotional connection with their lover. Women seek an alternative and usually stay because of children or because they still care about their marriage but feel emotionally detached from their husbands.
There has been a theory going around that adultery is natural for men but that seems highly unlikely and unfair. The fact however is, that society is more shocked by women cheating on their spouses than they are about men committing adultery. Experts say that women’s motivations to have affairs are typically more than sexual compared to men and that when a women cheats she’s more likely to jump ship. Marriage and family therapist Winifred Reilly says: “It is not really about sex per se as much as the experience of being with somebody.”
“Women tell me, ‘I was lonely, not connected, I didn’t feel close to my partner, and I was taken for granted.” Reilly says.
Women tend to leave their marriages emotionally long before they decide to have an affair. “You feel the loss of your dreams and hopes and how you thought things would turn out,” Diane says. “I was very lonely; I could never understand the concept of being lonely in a marriage until it happened.”
Dr Reilly explains that she’s seen women turning to affairs for different reasons. One being a life raft, the ship is sinking but just because they don’t want to be put out into the cold they cling on to something to keep the boat a float hoping it will fill the void. The second reason might be during a period of change or the third as a cry for help in their marriage – she says women have had affairs, ended them and then admitted it to their husbands in order to scare them into notacing that there is a problem.
Ashlymadison.com: Unbelievably this is a website that connects married people who want to have an affair; author Charles Orlando a married relationship expert, decided to join the site for some insight on the matter.
His hypothesis was the following: “Women who were looking for an extramarital affair with another married man were looking to connect in some way.” So he created a fake account and went out on the prowl (with his wife’s blessing of course).
Her husband was “passion and romance” when they dated, but after their marriage he had no more time for her “all work and no play.”
When Orlando asked why she didn’t just leave him, she answered without hesitation “I need passion. I need to feel something … almost anything at this point. He has great qualities, but …” and with that according to Orlando, she asked to change the subject. Guilt; women try to avoid it with all their heart.
A stay at home mom with two kids, her answers were simple “My husband is a great guy, but he talks to me like I’m stupid half of the time. And I have kids; I don’t want to leave.” She wants to live laugh and love but emotionally her husband didn’t give her that.
A 39 year old mom of two with a marriage cone cold, her relationship was good in many ways: “Financially stable, secure, friendly—but it lacked …” and she stopped. “Passion” She missed the effort her husband put in 10 year ago and didn’t know how to get it back.
So is it intentional?
Let’s be honest – women tend to be more rational than men (generally speaking) therefor they are less likely to have an “it-just-happened” affair. Experts say women think longer and harder about things – assessing the situation. However this is not to say women go out to have an affair. Marcella Weiner, adjunct professor at Marymount Manhattan College, says “Some women take time “to warm up to it. Going in and leaving quickly isn’t their thing. Men can walk away more easily because their emotions are just different”
Taking all of this into consideration is does it still make it okay? No it doesn’t but that’s just my opinion. Yes these women and more women like them are in need of passion, love and laughs but turning to an affair seems to be the easy way out and it’s not fair no matter which way you look at it.