Women Explain Why They Cheated On Their Partners

Women Explain Why They Cheated On Their Partners

Research shows more women are cheating on their significant others than ever before. So, what’s behind it?
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I have a confession to make: I’ve been unfaithful to a partner before.

Toward the end of my marriage, rather than look inward to ways we could improve our flailing communication, I looked outwards, to the attention of another man, who’d been paying me compliments that had made me feel ‘seen’ again.

It’s not something I’m proud of. I pride myself on my honesty, and commitments to the people and things I care most about. So, why did I do it?

It would be easy to blame my ex-husband. To say he was neglectful, verbally abusive and unromantic, but he was the opposite of all of these things. The truth is, I cheated simply because, I could.

And I’m not alone. According to new US research laid out in controversial psychotherapist and relationship commentator Esther Perel’s new book, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, while the number of men committing infidelity has remained largely the same since the 90s, in women, it’s risen by a whopping 40 percent.

Or, has it? My theory is that women have always been unfaithful, it’s just that we now live in an age where there’s a hell of a lot less stigma involved in fessing up to it. We don’t view the institution of marriage the same way our parents’ generation did; divorce is not the shameful act it once was, and polyamorous, open marriages are becoming so popular, they’re spawning a new wave of poly pop culture; think Netflix’s You, Me Her and Sarah Dunn’s bestselling novel, The Arrangement, in which a New York couple decide to trial opening their relationship.

Additionally, we have access to technology that quite literally facilitates ordering up an affair at the touch of a fingertip. Affair-enabling sites like AshleyMadison.com, which goes by the tagline “Life is short. Have an affair” are not the controversy-producing machines they once were. In fact, type in “Have an affair” on Google, and you’re likely to find some 24 million-odd results, including hundreds of other pro-infidelity sites, like HeatedAffairs.com and VictoriaMilan.com, which actually goes as far as to promise “Neglected wives can find an affair in under six hours”.

It’s little wonder then, women are finally fessing up to being unfaithful on a similar scale to men. The truth is, we’re not as different as we may think. And love and sex are the ultimate levelers.

Here, 12 women anonymously confess via Reddit what drove them to cheat. Their reasons may surprise you…

1. ‘I was suffocating’

“I had a crazy boyfriend who attempted to control me from afar. If he didn’t know what I was doing or where I was 24/7, he would spam call me and “like” comments/photos/etc on facebook and message my friends… Basically, his controlling, psycho mind game attitude drove me to cheat on him.” –pewpton

2. ‘I felt seen’

“I wasn’t happy with my partner. He didn’t give me the attention – mentally, emotionally or physically, that I needed. I loved him, but I felt like he kept me around to pass the time. My best friend though, he gave me all the attention I needed and made me feel like the sexiest woman in the world.” –weekendoffender

3. ‘I needed multiple sexual partners’

“I was a chronic cheater. I was acting on my needs for multiple sexual partners, but I didn’t have a model of how to do it ethically until I was in my 30s. Once I discovered the polyamory model and began to live it, all of my cheating stopped.” –searedscallops

4. ‘I was bored’

“When I cheated, it had little to do with my partner. It wasn’t my partner’s actions or inactions that caused me to cheat. I cheated because I wanted variety.”

5. ‘I craved attention’

“I wasn’t getting enough attention (emotional or otherwise) and we weren’t having sex. The guy I cheated with wasn’t more attractive. I regret it a lot.” –Jerais

6. ‘I wanted to explore other options’

“I cheated on my ex because I was in a very serious relationship way too young and did not know. For me personally, I needed to go out and explore myself sexually and even in different relationship dynamics. I couldn’t find this in my partner and took the easy way out. I was unprepared to end that relationship because of how close he was to my family and vice versa. It was a confusing time in my adult life as he was my best friend and we had no real issues.” –idontwearsweatpants

7. ‘I was lonely’

“My husband hadn’t touched me in almost five years. There was no end in sight and I couldn’t take it anymore.” –grumpycateight

8. ‘I felt ignored’

“The honeymoon phase ended, he started working more, going out of town on business more, he moved further away from me, and I felt neglected. I met up with someone on Craigslist to buy furniture, we hit it off extremely well and got some beers, and before you know it… The thing is, even after that first time, I kept wanting to see him. He paid attention to me and even cooked me dinner and set up a candlelit bath for us. I tried to keep up the charade when my ex got back from business, but I’m a terrible actor and liar, so I took it upon myself to tell him.” –mygarbagetruck

9. ‘I kept wondering, “What if?”‘

“I was happy in my relationship, completely in love, but for some reason I had a nagging thought of “what if I had been with this other guy?” The other guy was a friend, and we had feelings back and forth for a while. The curiosity got to me in a weak moment, and we got together once. Frankly, the sex wasn’t that great, probably because the whole situation felt wrong to me. I regretted it immediately, and felt horribly guilty.” –tr33hugger20

10. ‘He never wanted to go out’

“He ignored me to play video games all day, but then he would get offended if I wanted to go out. Of course he was always welcome anywhere I went, but he always chose not to go anywhere, then he would whine about it. He became incredibly jealous when I started making more money than him… I ended up meeting my current SO at that job. We were friends for quite a while before things escalated. I felt guilty at first, but obviously not guilty enough to stop.” –SaphiraWings

11. ‘I’m impulsive’

“I did it because I really didn’t care about the person. It was a long relationship but I realized, the fact that I put myself in the situation where I was able to cheat, already proved that it wasn’t something I really wanted and he wasn’t someone I really “loved”. So I did it, and also cause I’m pretty impulsive and don’t think things through. I want what I want.” –erinikins13

12. ‘I fell in love’

“I got myself into a shady position and I didn’t know how to say no. I’m not vindicating my actions but its the truth. Then when I was 23 I fell in love and I learned to not put myself in those situations.” –Gwenji


This story originally appeared on SHE'SAID', a global women's lifestyle website, and was written by Nadi Bokody.

Hear Nadia talk more about why women cheat, and her own experiences with infidelity, on her segment on Australia’s The Morning Show, here.

Follow SHE'SAID' on Twitter and Facebook and check out these related stories:

I Had An Affair With A Married Man And I Don't Regret It
23 Horrifying Ways People Found Out Their Partner Was Cheating
The Politics Of Having A Sexual Affair While Travelling Abroad

Cover Image Credit: Garon Piceli
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As Much As You May Want To, You'll Never Get Over Your First Love

You never forget your first

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Your first love is just that: the first person you've ever truly loved (besides your family and friends). Maybe you've kissed a few people before, but with this person it's different. They mean something to you that no other person ever has before. Maybe you met this person when you were younger in high school or met them a little later in life as I did at the end of my first year of college. Meeting my first love transformed me, both for the good and the bad, and as much as I may want to, I'll never get over my first love and neither will you.

When we met, we didn't meet in some fantastical way, we met on Tinder right after a surprise breakup of mine. We had instant chemistry, and I didn't get to kiss him for weeks because I ended up getting mono right after the breakup (haha whoops). He was the first person I've ever kissed who I didn't want to stop kissing- ever. Yes, second semester freshman year me was super extra when it came to him, but being with him was so different than anyone else. Things progressed through the summer as we talked every single day, even though we never got to meet up because we were both busy, and at the beginning of my sophomore year, I lost my virginity to him. That was a big step for someone who thought she'd wait until she was married. He made sure I was fine and didn't push me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with. I'll treasure that forever.

He was someone I loved with all of my being, to the point where it was physically hurting me in the end because I knew what I felt wasn't going to ever be reciprocated the way I wanted it to be. That's when I had to end it, which was one of the hardest things I've ever done. To me, he was a boyfriend, but to him, I was a friend with benefits. I wanted something more and he wanted less, and I didn't want to accept that. I wasn't his first love but he was mine, which he doesn't know and probably never will. I have had moments where I thought I was over him, but then all the emotions flood right back. In hard moments of hurt is when I miss him the most, but also in moments of joy too. If I see a nice car I think of him, or of other little things, like a french bulldog or The Fast and The Furious.

Your first love leaves such a monumental effect on you as a person. They have seen parts of you others have not. You will always remember your firsts more than anything else, which is why your first love never leaves you. As roughly as things ended between he and I, he's always going to have a piece of me that no one else will ever have. The relationship we had wasn't what you'd expect from someone you call your first love, but his mark on me is what helped shape me into who I am today for better or for worse.

Don't let any negativity remain when it comes to your first love (if there is any). Let it go and remember the good. They will be a part of you forever, so you can never truly get over you.

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Why You Keep Falling In Love With People Who Don’t Love You Back In Your 20s

It's embedded in our human psychology to always desire deeper connections and meaningful relationships with the people we hold close to our heart, even if the feeling aren't necessarily mutual.

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Can love truly be both beautiful and heartbreaking?

It's a question I silently asked myself, sitting shotgun in a car next to someone I considered my friend.

A "friend" seemed to be the right label to define our relationship. To him, I was just a friend—who just happened to be a girl, a girl he texts regularly, jokes around, and can grab a drink with. And we loved each other as friends, because we both trusted each other, we had fun together and each had our own independent lives which would connect occasionally in a complete, non-questionable platonic way.

But slowly, for me, he was becoming everything I've ever wanted in a guy, standing right in front of me. But he wasn't mine to have.

And imagine being so close to someone you want except you can't have him because it might just ruin everything you've already shared together. Because what if you scare him away? What if he replies by telling you "No"?

That's the simple nature of falling in love with someone you can't be with.

In our early part of our lives—particularly in our 20s and during our college years, we all experience this type of heartbreak.

To name a few: A high school boyfriend who lives halfway across the country now. The hot guy you sit next to in lecture who already has a girlfriend. The casual hookup who you just can't manage to stop thinking about as you endlessly toss and turn at night. The platonic friend who doesn't quite see you as being something more.

We all at one point in our thoughts have imagined "coupling" or sharing a life with a guy who we can't seem to have for ourselves. We've always dreamt how things could actually work out if you actually shared your feelings with him except the closest we'll ever reach to it is in our dreams, not reality.

And to examine the logic behind why this happens, we have to first admit how we always want what we can't have.

Because it's embedded in our human psychology to always desire deeper connections and meaningful relationships with the people we hold close to our heart, even if the feeling aren't necessarily mutual.

So, it's not really this case of the whole Romeo and Juliet "star-crossed lovers" BS but rather, it's purely a one sided love which can most definitely be beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Beautiful because there's always a connection you feel which makes you all warm and bubbly inside but heartbreaking because you know this connection is merely flowing in a one way track.

So then, why do we tend to maintain our connections with these people who hurt us?

One reason is because you're afraid to lose him altogether. Perhaps you think he's going to go on full freak-out mode after you spill the beans to him. My piece of advice in this scenario would be to just suck it up and take the chance. Talk to him about how you feel because honestly, what's there to lose? Unless you're not reciting some sappy, over-the-top love story about how many kids you plan to have with him, you're fine.

But perhaps, the most common reason is because we assume he might eventually fall in love with us, too.

And if this pertains to you, gear up because I can write on for days about why this is a big no-no. Heck, I can probably teach a class or lecture to all of you about my elaborative theory of why you will definitely know whether a boy truly loves you or not. It's plain and simple—if he loves you, he'll make sure you know.

And you can't force someone to fall in love with you. Even if you pay them a million bucks, you can get them to pretend to love you or force them to be with you—but it's never going to be true love. Because true, unrequited love is effortless. It comes naturally. The fiery passion will be shared mutually and you won't ever have to question whether or not you belong with him.

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