According to some recent surveys, female infidelity is on the rise. For example:
- National Social Survey, sponsored by the National Science Foundation: Cheated at some point in the marriage – Men = 20-22%; Women = 15%
- Indiana University-Kinsey Institute study: Cheating in men = 23%; In women = 19%
Men have been most often been the main people cheating, but it seems either women are cheating more… or being caught more often. In fact even in these surveys the organizations found that men tended to inflate their sexual encounters and women would deflate the numbers.
A big problem for researchers – even those who sample with care – is that people lie; even to themselves. Rule of thumb: men will add; women will subtract. For both, there is always a question of why someone would be forthright to a stranger – or honest with a checklist – about a secret that could ruin their lives.
Some people believe that with the advent of internet, cheating has been on the rise. It is now easier for everyone, even housewives who wouldn’t otherwise venture out, to make friends and often the virtual relationship to come into reality. But the element of infidelity has been there from the females even otherwise, it is said, its just coming out more openly now. In today’s society, it is easier for men and women to be friends. And, usually friendship can lead to a relationship in bed if a woman has some grudges in her marriage already. The engagement with someone else – probably different or more desirable than the current partner – can become a motivational factor for a woman to transcend the level of friendship to sex.
Some psychologists now say that Emotional Infidelity is the precursor to Physical Infidelity. Emotional infidelity happens when a woman starts sharing her family issues with someone outside to get his “approval” and sympathy, and even advice. This emotional bond can further develop into deeper dependence and even physical intimacy. Some of the signs of emotional infidelity are, when women:
- Discuss your partner and relationships with your “friend.” You share your fears, hopes and dreams (this is emotional intimacy).
- Meet your “friend” for dinner or lunch without telling your partner, or even lying to him when asked
- Keep your computer, files and internet sites password-protected.
- Hide or are secretive about your life, relationships and activities.
- Keep your partner waiting while you spend time with your “friend.”
- Stay in regular, intimate contact with ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. Emotional cheating can spring from close relationships with past lovers.
The Why and the How
Why do women want to cheat or get involved in another relationship? Because of one of the following reasons
- A validation of her attractiveness, from someone other than her husband
- A desire to reclaim her sense of self, apart from her identity as wife or mother
- The emotional and chemical rush
- Not feeling appreciated and looking for intimacy and appreciation
And how does one know if his wife may be cheating? Here are some tell tale signs:
- She shows less general interest in her partner’s comings and goings
- She dresses up for work, but seems to care less about whether her partner finds her attractive
- She has less interest in sex with her partner
- She’s keeping an irregular schedule and spending more time at work
- She seems happy, except when she’s around her partner
- She shows less tolerance of her partner’s friends and family
- There are unresolved issues in the relationship that have either been ignored or not resolved in a way that’s satisfying to her
- She’s in a child-centric marriage that prioritizes parenting and neglects a couple’s relationship, with few opportunities for romance and alone time
Equal Opportunity Infidelity
As roles and the gender issues change, newer realities will come up. Women competing with men on infidelity may also be the “New Normal” as the studies suggest that the gender gap in this area is narrowing. In fact, if the tendencies of men to inflate and women to deflate the numbers is any true.
The structure and character of traditional relationships will be impacted going forward and there will be challenges on both the sides. The coming next few generations will have to find new ways to handle these challenges.