The research is in, and it shows that women are cheating now more than ever.
While the percentage of men who cheat (20%) is still higher than the percentage of women (13%), the infidelity gap is closing fast.
As a dating coach and matchmaker for divorcés, I often have a front-row seat to the motivations behind this cheating, as well as the inevitable emotional fallout that takes so much time to heal.
Like men, women cheat for a multitude of reasons.
a) They’re insecure.
From Facebook to Instagram, our collective need for validation is front and center. The algorithms that drive these social media platforms are designed to leave us perpetually dissatisfied yet engaged. This carries with it serious consequences for our health and wellness.
It’s easier than ever to feel inadequate as a woman. We’re trained that our weight, age, appearance, and inability to “keep up with the Joneses” are all fixable problems. This leads to insecurity, which unavoidably seeps into relationships.
When it does happen, the basic need to feel validation outside of a relationship often overshadows any second thought of the repercussions. There’s also insecurity in regards to the relationship itself. A woman is more likely to commit adultery if she believes her husband to be unfaithful.
b) Lack of emotional intimacy.
There are so many women in relationships who are starved for attention. Why do you think book clubs exist? Females yearn to feel emotional and mental connections. Some express this to their significant others, while some wish men would just pick up on their signals. Women are well known for being intuitive creatures, while their male counterparts are not. There’s a chance that the men in these relationships are unaware that they aren’t meeting their partners’ need for intimacy, besides in the bedroom.
c) Lack of physical intimacy.
The sexual frequency between a couple of ebbs and flows. It is a common stereotype to believe that men are usually the ones with a higher sex drive. Yet, statistics show that women hit their sexual prime between their 30s and early 40s, while men are reported to hit theirs in their 20s. This misalignment can be a cause of friction within a relationship.
Sex is something we all think about but rarely talk about. Yes, we joke with our friends about previous sexual experiences, but when it comes to telling our partners about what we want, we are just…silent. We expect them to read our minds. We expect them to anticipate our wants and needs, but would we be able to do the same?
d) They’re bored.
Adulthood comes with a debilitating amount of stress. We’re paralyzed, exhausted, and at the end of a long day, rarely have anything left to give. Relationships take work, and with all the stressors, it is easy to stop trying.
We stop working out. We stop trying to make our partner new meals. We stop trying new things in the bedroom. We just stop.
Without consistent effort from both parties, sexual intercourse with the same partner can be, let’s say it together, “boring.” Having the same routine for a decade can become painstakingly monotonous. Some women seek to break the cycle of what they consider to be the same old same old.
e) They want to end it.
They want the relationship to end, but they don’t know how to do it. Growing up, we are rarely given positive models of healthy relationships. Regardless of intention, some relationships aren’t built on the best of foundations.
Some women see cheating as a means to an end. An end to a relationship, they longer wish to be tied to but do not have the capacity to be blamed for any longer.
I had a client who suffered from what we call “the indecision.” From the outside, her marriage appeared to be perfect. But she was unhappy. She felt she could not reach out to friends or family because she would inevitably feel or be made to feel like the rotten part of the fruit. And so, she cheated. She cheated to feel again. She cheated to know she was finally making a decision. What she didn’t expect is her partner to accept and eventually forgive her—leaving my client with the bitter decision she had from the very beginning to stay or go.
Being cheated on can cause feelings of self-doubt that, if not managed, will seep into a person’s core. Without addressing this problem, you run the possibility of emotionally bleeding on to your next partner. Humans are fallible creatures. So, at the end of the day, we must ask ourselves if we are the one who is cheated on, what will we do? Should we stay, or should we go?
To put it simply, if you don’t treat your partner like you are dating and vice versa, one of you may consider exploring greener pastures.