What Lurks Beneath: Why More Women are Choosing Infidelity

Written by Saran Lawson

There is little to no argument that women have changed in the last several decades. We have become more health conscious and we are minding our mental health. We are dominating spaces and titles that men have once held. We are not only showing men we are capable of outperforming them in the boardroom but also in the cheating arena. More women are becoming unfaithful in their marriages, and the reasons aren’t new or surprising. It may be a little shocking that more women are taking up being unfaithful. The thing is, once I read the general consensus why it made perfect sense. I am still not a fan of cheating. I feel it does no good for either party involved in the cheating or the people they are in a relationship with. I have been invited into the psyche of women who chose to cheat. Sociologist and personal accounts made me understand the motive behind being unfaithful to a partner. Let’s throw out a few facts so it won’t seem like I’m exaggerating. According to  an article about cheating:“Esther Perel notes in her book, State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, that since 1990 the rate of married women who report they have been unfaithful has increased by 40 percent.”  

The article, The Changing Reasons Why Women Cheat on Their Husbands, explains, “these women were turning to infidelity not as a way to explode a marriage, but as a way to stay in it. These women have noticed the imbalance of workload in their relationships. Although their partner may be a competent adult at the workplace, at home he becomes another child they take care of. Women have become outstanding career women. Yet, they are often times still seen as the caretaker of the home. These women have no interest in leaving a marriage and family they worked hard to build; like some women before them. They realize the toll divorce can take on children, having been through it themselves. So they choose infidelity as a way of escape. Sociologist Alice Walker in her book, The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women’s Infidelity , explains, “These women conceive of an alternate solution to a marriage that is not wholly working, where their own needs are ignored, unmet, and not prioritized. Thus, the women in this study are engaging in secret defiance of the expectations of marriage and primary partnerships.”.

James Smith in his article, Why Do Women Cheat? Here are 7 Reasons, list general reasons why women cheat. Although some reasonings may not be total B.S., it lacks real depth. It doesn’t quite tap into the psyche of the women who choose infidelity over being faithful. It’s not scratching beyond the surface of “pay attention to me”. These articles and research materials have opened my mind to other thought patterns. There are alternative reasons for cheating that drive most people to separate and divorce. I still can’t agree with infidelity, but I can understand what lurks beneath the act itself.

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