My 10 year old daughter never ceases to amaze me. She informed me last week of why women cheat. Allow me to set the stage before I hit you with her unmatched wisdom. I was sitting in the pick-up line, waiting for my daughter to be dismissed from school. I know, lots of fun, right?! Anyway, to kill some time, I turn on Joshua Nichols and Erin Bellamy’s RecoveryTV segment on Why Women Cheat (which is a great video by the way, you should really watch it). Well, about three-fourths of the way in, the car line starts moving so I stop the video, put my phone down, and pull forward to let my daughter in. A couple of minutes go by before I hear, “why women cheat… hmm. I know why women cheat…” As a mother who is also a marriage counselor specializing in betrayal trauma, I just couldn’t wait to hear her reasonings. Upon first hearing them, I thought they were kind of silly; but, then I really began thinking about them. In all honesty, they have quite a bit of merit.
So, without further ado, here are the 4 Reason Why Women Cheat from the Mouth of My 10 Year-Old
BECAUSE THEY WANT TO. Maybe women do. However, in most cases, I don’t believe that most women set out to intentionally cheat on their partners. Infidelity by women is typically emotionally driven. They may feel unappreciated or neglected by their partner; or, they may feel disconnected and lonely. When an opportunity presents itself, these empty feelings can turn into excitement and comfort as the woman is now being seen, heard, and wanted. Often, the newness of these emotionally driven relationships result in furthered attention-seeking behaviors, validation by others, and connection that tend to fill these voids, even if for only a short period of time.
TO SCAM HIM. I’ve heard of this going in two different directions. The first being women who play on the emotions of others, “building the romance of a lifetime.” Once they have gained the affection and trust of the scammed individual, the women will slowly begin to ask and expect gifts, money, or even bank account/ credit card information. The second is blackmail, typically in attempt to keep an affair going or to keep the affair or some knowledge of the affair partner a secret. Exposure of the affair can be threatened with several gains in mind: money, continued emotional relationship, continued sexual relationship, or career advancement just to name a few. To my daughter’s credit, it was a clever answer. However, rarely, if ever, have I worked with a couple in my practice where the female partner was unfaithful to in effort to scam her affair partner, although I am sure it has and does happen on occasion.
THEY DON’T LIKE THE GUY THEY ARE WITH BUT DON’T WANT TO HURT HIS FEELING EITHER. Although, I’m not convinced that a typical woman just no longer likes her partner, I do believe a similar phenomenon is occurring. Have you heard the phrases, “We just aren’t in love anymore,” “I feel like we are just roommates,” or, “he no longer sees me?” A lack of love or lack of feeling loved can be a strong motivation for some women. Often, women who leave the marriage experiencing emotional longing before cheating begins. For some women, cheating is a means to transition out of a bad or affectionless marriage. For other women, cheating is a cry for help within the marriage.
TO BE MEAN TO THE GUY SHE IS WITH. Revenge sex is on the rise. Retaliation is too common of a response after finding out that a spouse has engaged in their own extramarital affairs. The desire for retribution can be intense for the injured partner. She may feel justified and even driven to hurt her partner with the intent of getting even. She is angry and may feel the need to teach the partner a lesson. To ensure the partner feels the same hurt and pain, some women will even go out of their way to make certain their partners find out.
I wrote this blog because I was amazed by the level of insight displayed by my 10 year old. I thought it would be interesting to share her answers to give the readers of glimpse into the mind of 10 year old girl when it comes to topic of betrayal trauma by females. I appreciate you reading, but I would also encourage you, once again, to watch the RecoveryTV segment on “Why Women Cheat,” as Erin and Josh outline 4 more common reasons for female unfaithfulness.
Although, these reasons only touch on why a woman might cheat, the principle of the matter is that a majority of people engage in infidelity because they are looking for something, whether it is love, affection, sex, money, connection, or revenge. Affairs are almost always the result of relational problems and/or emotional emptiness; however, affairs don’t fix marital issues, hurt, or emptiness. Instead, affairs also almost always result in feelings of violation, rejection, and mistrust. If you and your partner are experiencing conflict, lack of intimacy, disconnection, or any other issues, I would encourage you to seek a couples therapist specializing in betrayal trauma recovery. Thanks again for reading.