By Tunde Ajaja
Other than disagreements arising from childlessness and the usual ‘irreconcilable differences’, there is hardly any other thing that has wrecked marriages than infidelity. Defined simply as the action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse, infidelity is an act that is engaged in by both men and women.
Even though it is widely believed that men are guiltier of this act, studies have shown that women are just as culpable as men, if not more.
A study by Dr. David Holmes, a psychologist at Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, shows that women, more than ever, now have more extra-marital affairs than men, noting however that women are better at hiding their infidelity, they are a lot more likely to lie about it and a lot less likely to get caught.
It has been established that men are more daring when it comes to infidelity, and it is even a status symbol in some cycles while it is somewhat forbidden for a woman to even think about it, not to talk of doing it.
Holmes, in his post on Mail Online, said, “If you look at the studies into paternity, even conservative figures show that between eight and 15 per cent of children haven’t been fathered by the man who thinks he’s the biological parent. So, the biggest difference is that women are much better at keeping their affairs secret.”
That men cheat is not the gist, and some people have even adduced several reasons for their infidelity, including the fact that men are moved by what they see, thus, they are more likely to cheat because of sex. But given that women are seen to be more reticent when it comes to their sexuality, it is therefore compelling to note the things that make women cheat on their husbands.
According to reports, whether such women do so because they are either not satisfied with their marriage entirely or they are not satisfied with it at all, the main reasons that have been found include unsatisfactory or lack of emotional care, arising from lack of attention and intimacy, revenge, feeling under-appreciated, boringness, low self esteem, peer pressure, financial independence, and of course sexual dissatisfaction or the more serious one, sexual addiction. These were the findings of Divorced Moms, which is an online community for divorced women and single mothers, where they share ideas and experiences.
Sex: This is one of the key reasons some women cheat on their husbands. Findings have shown that some women have extramarital sexual relationship because they are not getting enough of good sex, some do it because they are not getting any, maybe the refusal of the man to ‘touch them’ based on subsisting conflict and a lot of women do it out of emotional disconnection from their spouses.
Meanwhile, most women do not reach orgasm during sexual intercourse, which on its own creates some discomfort for them, hence, there is the possibility for some to look for that sexual satisfaction elsewhere and it is more likely if they have a waiting or willing ‘partner’ outside. It is equally not strange for some women to engage in extramarital affairs if their husbands have small manhood. This shows the importance of sex in marriage.
According to Dr. Janne Lomasky, a United States-based psychologist, women who do not experience real orgasm during sex may eventually lose interest in the relationship and look elsewhere for good sex. She noted, however, that such women should communicate their needs to the husband or, they could seek the help of a sex therapist instead of having another affair.
Revenge: It is interesting to note that some women engage in extramarital affairs to get back at their husbands, especially when such men had also cheated on them. Such women have been found to do it in style, pride and they see it as the best way to revenge the wrong done to them by the cheating husband. “Those who have been cheated before feel deceived, hurt, angry, sad and violated and it affects their relationship, mood, behaviour and the ability to trust the man, thus, they want to make such men feel the way they felt,” said Lomasky.
However, she advised that instead of cheating, they should resolve the issue and move on. “The biggest truth is that cheating never solves a problem; communication, assertiveness and increasing passion and romance in the relationship are a much better solution,” she added.
Lack of emotional connection or attention: It has been said that women are emotional beings who need constant attention and care from their spouses, thus, if their husbands do not show them the much needed intimacy and affection, some tend to look for it outside the marriage because it is in their genes to be cared for, and when they don’t get it, they look for it, which often compels them to fall into the waiting hands of other men. Lomasky notes, “Women deprived of attention, compliments and compassion usually have emotional affairs, which could lead to sex, even though it could start with craving for attention and compassion that has been absent from their marriage.”
And it is almost the same thing when women feel under-appreciated. A simple ‘thank you’ or complimentary remarks could make the difference, and when women do not hear such, they feel bitter, pained, underappreciated and it could breed low self-esteem. Whereas, if they have friends who make them feel loved, that could be the beginning of an extramarital affair.
Boredom: Findings have shown that women love varieties and they want to be happy in marriage, but when they feel their spouse is not creative, more so if he used to be, some tend to have affairs. According to some women, new relationships are exciting, and it is more so because such men tend to do everything possible to impress the woman, as against what they had been used to with their husbands. According to Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University in US, women are more likely to have an affair because of loneliness.
And as established earlier, women want care, physical touch and attention, but when they have spouses who rarely spent time with them, some tend to seek attention from other sources.
Peer pressure: This is a term that is mostly used when talking about children, but it is heartwarming to note that older persons feel it too. To avoid being abused or discriminated against in some cycles, some women take to extramarital affairs so as ‘to belong’ because they have friends who do same. In such cases, it is the friends who put them through, find them a lover and teach them how to keep it away from their husbands.
According to Lomasky, a woman who earns her own money, while the husband earns his, may consider leaving an unhappy relationship, unlike those who depend on the husband. When a woman has been abused or is being cheated on by her husband, a woman who cannot bear such but has the capacity to pay her bills could seek comfort, care and attention from other men.
A psychologist, Dr. Bonke Omoteso, could not agree less with some of the reasons above. She said if a woman has a cheating husband, she could also cheat on the man to get back at him.
She added that if a woman is not sexually fulfilled, she might also consider extramarital affair, mainly because some men are not patient with their wives when it comes to sexual intercourse. She said, “Some men just want to enjoy it and leave, which may not be pleasing to the woman. If it persists, such a woman could go outside the marriage to look for someone to satisfy her.
“Some women are nymphomaniacs, having abnormally excessive and uncontrollable sexual desire, in which case one man cannot satisfy them. Such a woman could cheat on the husband.”
She pointed out that a husband’s actions could also compel the woman to consider having extramarital affairs. “If the man does not adequately provide for her, she might want to look for a man that could satisfy her materially and sexually, she added.
According to Omoteso, even though it is not scientific, it is worthy of note that there could be spiritual influences that could make a woman to do such, perhaps in a bid to break the marriage.