7 Reasons Why White Women Cheat x 10 Reasons Why Black Women Cheat
You’ve probably heard that men cheat for physical reasons, women for emotional reasons. Sure, there’s some truth to that, but when we asked real women around the country to share why they strayed from their boyfriends, we learned they had a whole host of explanations — from bad kissing to sheer revenge. Read on for the truth about why women have given in to temptation.
Reason #1: There’s no passion
“I had been with John for about three years — he was a really nice guy, and I enjoyed being with him, but there wasn’t a ton of passion. Most everyone we knew had gotten engaged, and though John would have proposed in a second, whenever he brought it up, I’d change the subject. I took a trip to Australia for work and while I was gone, I got together with a coworker to whom I’d always been insanely attracted. I had a fantastic trip, probably because for the first time in a long time I experienced that excitement I’d been missing. I broke up with John soon after I returned home and began dating the guy from the trip. Even though I’m not super-proud of my actions, things ended up for the best: after dating for a few years, the guy from the trip and I got married and we’re incredibly happy together.”
– Giselle, 30, Montvale, NJ
Reason #2: To delay a breakup
“Right before I was going to break up with my ex, Sean, he found out that he had to put his beloved dog to sleep. He was so broken up about it that I didn’t have the heart to end things, so I waited a month or so until he was in better shape. When things seemed to be better and I was ready, he lost his job, so I felt like I was back to square one! By that time I had met someone else that I really wanted to start seeing, so I went ahead and did it. I eventually ended things, never telling Sean about my extracurricular dating. I think I rationalized that I was trying to spare his feelings.”
– Stacy, 30, Lexington, KY
Reason #3: Because absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder
“My boyfriend Greg and I decided to do the long-distance thing after I was accepted to a graduate program 200 miles from where we lived. The first few months were fine, but I soon found myself becoming extremely attracted to my lab partner, Henry. What began as innocent flirting eventually wound up with us getting physical. After the program was over, I returned home to Greg. Being with him was really difficult, but I didn’t break up with him initially because I was still attracted to him, too. I visited Henry a few times and realized that he was really more of a fling, probably done out of boredom, and that Greg was the one for me. I eventually stopped communicating with Henry. I never told Greg about what happened, which occasionally makes me feel guilty, but I chalk my cheating up to being young and silly. He and I are still together, four years after my program ended.”
– Tamara, 33, Portland, OR
Reason #4: To avoid being left out in the cold
“I began dating Eric shortly after I had been dumped by Dave, my boyfriend of two years. I was devastated and Eric was definitely a rebound thing. After Eric and I had dated for five months, Dave came back and wanted to give things another shot. I still really missed him, so I began seeing him, but never ended things with Eric. I think I sort of kept Eric around for insurance purposes, just in case things didn’t end up well with Dave. Dave and I didn’t make it on round two, and after Eric discovered through mutual friends that I had been seeing him again, he ended things with me. I definitely learned my lesson about dating two guys at the same time, not to mention trying to rekindle a relationship that’s just plain over.”
– Jen, 28, Oak Park, IL
Reason #5: To make a break from a bad relationship
“When I was younger, I dated a guy named Ethan who was really critical of me. He constantly made little snide comments about my weight, how stupid I was and how clumsy I was. For whatever odd reason, I was into him, despite the fact that all of my friends and family hated him. One weekend when he was away, I met Will at a party and we completely hit it off. He was the complete opposite of Ethan — kind, sweet and generous, yet completely cool and fun, too. We hung out all weekend and it was like a light bulb went off in my head: This is how mature, relationship-worthy guys act. I kissed Will the night before he left and broke up with Ethan soon after. Will and I dated for three years and now we’re married.”
– Allison, 30, New York, NY
Reason #6: To find that missing piece
“I’m from Florida, so I adore going to the beach and boating, but my former boyfriend, Chris, a total city boy, hated it. We always argued about where we’d take trips, and he always won. About eight months into our relationship, I took a trip to Key West with my friends and we chartered a boat for the day. The captain of the boat was this totally hot, complete ‘beach guy for life’ type, and I spent the whole day flirting with him. We met him out that night and spent time alone together. I never told Chris about it after I got home and I never felt guilty; I think part of me felt like that’s what Chris got for being so stubborn! Chris and I didn’t make it, and after we broke up, I made sure any future boyfriends loved the beach!”
– Lizzie, 32, Chicago, IL
Reason #7: To give him a taste of his own medicine
“My last boyfriend was a total player before we got together. I thought I could change him but I was wrong. I always heard rumors that he was seeing other girls while we were dating, but he always denied it. One night, I got a call from a girl he had been secretly dating, and she detailed their three-month-long relationship to me and told me about another girl she had discovered he was seeing as well. I was so mad that I went out with my friends that night, dressed to kill, and spent time with the most attractive guy; I felt like it was the least he deserved! I loved seeing the look on his face when I told him about what I did and that I knew about the other girls. And then I dumped him!”
– Ashante, 25, College Park, GA
AND NOW ON TO BLACK WOMEN…
1. They Seek Revenge
“Men are not emotional so they usually can’t feel the same pain unless it is done back to them,” says Bonnie Weil, Ph.D. of DoctorBonnie.com, author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin. “Women feel cheating is a way to even the score.” That probably won’t help to heal the relationship. But once a man cheats, it’s a whole different ballgame, according to Alisa Bowman, author of Project: Happily Ever After: Saving Your Marriage When the Fairytale Falters: “It feels as if the rules a woman has been following are no longer relevant or valid.”
2. For the Thrill of It
“An affair is a stress-busting, thrill-seeking, self-medicating high,” says Weil. And, while a woman may cheat to see if she can get away with it, she often doesn’t really want to get caught, says Bowman: “She just wants the bird in her hand and the one in the bush — and she’s deluded into thinking that she really can have both.” But this reason is perhaps less common than others, says infidelity expert Ruth Houston, founder of InfidelityAdvice.com. “[A woman] will usually try to let her husband know that there is a problem first,” she explains. “If he fails to address them, ignores her, or takes her complaint lightly, she may then cheat because feels she has no other choice.”
3. For the Ego Boost
“When women cheat with other men, the other men usually compliment them and make them feel sexy in ways their current partner isn’t doing,” says Meyers. “Cheating often occurs in relationships where she isn’t feeling connected emotionally to her current partner.” So husbands beware if your wives feel unloved, underappreciated or even ignored. Houston says, “If a wife feels neglected or taken for granted by her husband, she becomes very vulnerable and can very easily succumb to having an affair, emotional or physical — with a man who makes her feel special, desired.” When the relationship is strained, with both partners “bruising one another’s egos left and right and criticism flying,” that can also open the door to double-timing, says Bowman.
4. To Find a Love Connection
Are you lovers or roommates? Over time, it can be tough to tell — and you long for the early stages of love. “That’s when you have this wonderful sense of being chosen,” says Bowman. “Long-term relationships are much different. Those lovely chemicals that had flooded your brain when you first met have now faded.” That downward slide isn’t inevitable, though, if you put the work in, says Weil. “Couples must rekindle the romance magic on a daily and weekly basis,” she says. “It is important to keep recreating the same chemicals as when they first fell in love, by using attachment skills, like the 30-second kiss and the 20-second hug, which raise the endorphin levels.” And here’s a surprise: A fight-free marriage isn’t always a stronger marriage. “Conflict creates passion. A polite marriage is higher in adultery than a marriage with arguments,” Weil says.
5. They Want to Get Caught
“Most women cheat as an escape hatch,” says Weil. And this is especially true of married mothers. “If the woman has children, she has a hard time leaving the husband without the feeling of guilt,” she says. But that subsides if she’s not the one who’s initiating the break-up. “The affair is a way to alleviate the feeling of stress and guilt, as the husband may leave her.” Houston calls it an “exit affair,” intended to terminate the marriage. “Men are much less tolerant than women when it comes to infidelity and are less likely to forgive a cheating wife,” she says. “A husband who has been cheated on is much more likely to end his marriage than to give his cheating wife a second chance.”
6. They’re Bored With Their Sex Life
Sex life? What sex life? Couples who’ve been together a long time often complain that their sex life has become staid or stale. (In iVillage’s 2010 married sex survey, 81 percent of wives said their sex lives had become predictable.) That may prompt some women to look elsewhere to satisfy their urges. “Sometimes women will cheat because they feel that there is no spontaneity in their relationship anymore,” says relationship expert Seth Meyers, Psy.D, Los Angeles Psychologist and author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription.. “Sexual boredom may be one manifestation of that.” A desire for more frequent or different types of sex may also lead to affairs among younger women. “Wives in their early 20s or younger may cheat for the same type of sexual reasons as men; they want more frequent sex, a different type of sex, or they are curious about what it would be like to have sex with a particular man or wonder what it would be like to have sex with someone other than their own husband.” Before stepping out, though, Bowman recommends trying to spice up your sex life with your partner. Try something new in the bedroom or get a little creative. “Really push your limits. A bikini wax and a strip tease worked wonders for my sex life.”
7. They Feel Lonely
Remember when you couldn’t believe you’d found someone who also owned the same rare record, shared your affinity for foosball and with whom you could always trade entrées? “If a woman feels that she and her husband no longer have anything in common, she may find herself drawn into an emotional affair with someone who shares similar interests,” Houston says. “However, an emotional affair can quickly progress to the next level and become a sexual affair.” Many women cheat to fill a void. “Cheating alleviates the feelings of loneliness and emptiness. It is a bio-chemical craving for connection,” says Weil.
8. They Want to Relive Their Past
“Sometimes going through one’s Little Black Book is an easy way to find a sex partner who will temporarily make them feel better,” says Meyers. But while ex-boyfriends may be familiar territory, they’re not necessarily repairmen. “This solution never, ever lasts,” she says. It’s often not really about that ex-boyfriend, but rather about who the woman was when she was with him. “Reverting to her youth makes her feel alive again,” says Weil. “It makes her feel younger, more carefree, sexier and more attractive.”
9. Because of a Near-Death Experience
“A near-death experience often causes women to rethink things,” says Meyers. “They look at their lives in greater depth, as they’ve been reminded of their own mortality.” It’s not only sudden accidents that qualify, but potentially deadly illnesses that progress over time, according to Bowman. “[Breast cancer, for example] can make women question every part of their lives; suddenly they are very aware of their own mortality,” she says. “To make matters worse, [they may feel] their spouses have let them down when they needed them most. Maybe he wasn’t supportive. Maybe he stopped initiating sex. Whatever it was, these women are wounded and they look outside of the marriage for an emotional Band-aid.” If they feel like their time is limited, they want to make the most of the time they have, she says, whether or not it’s with the man they married.
10. For Attention or Adventure
“Women can feel taken for granted, working 30 hours at home — doing the cleaning, taking care of children … on top of their own full-time day job,” says Weil. “They need to feel valued and crave validation.” And they also seek a little excitement now and then. “A woman in a boring or mundane marriage is easy prey for the ‘bad boy’ type,” says Houston. ”If you look at the top reasons why women cheat, most of them are situations that could easily be remedied by a loving, caring, attentive, and cooperative husband. A happily married woman, who has a good relationship with her husband, will not cheat.”
Do you agree with these reasons? Have you ever cheated? Did you have a reason or did it just happen?