Research shows more women are cheating than ever before.
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 per cent.
Why happy couples cheat, according to Esther Perel. Post continues below.
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 decided 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 levellers.
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