Why women cheat: a guide for men
Like men, women cheat on their partners for all sorts of reasons, but you'd be advised to watch out for these five personality types, says Caroline Kent
Most of us cheat and are cheated on at some point, whether it gets revealed or not. Here's how to spot whether your woman has a bit on the side.
Men and women tend to two-time for different reasons: research suggests that the majority of men stray in search of get-the-job-done sex, whereas women want their sizzle with a side of emotional connection. A recent study by anthropologist Helen Fisher concluded that women tend to cheat when they are dissatisfied with their relationship as a whole and seek what is missing elsewhere. But when it came to male cheaters, Fisher found that 56% claimed to be “happily married.”
Is it, therefore, easier to spot when a woman is cheating simply by analysing her behaviour in your own relationship? Here are the types to watch out for:
1. The centre of the universe
Some women will go in a relationship with the expectation that you are equipped and willing to meet her every whim. Maybe she'll set you up to fail, maybe she's just pushing her luck, maybe she pins all her hopes and dreams on one person and feels justified in taking her wild expectations elsewhere when you inevitably fail to meet her demands.
2. The virgin/whore
Perhaps she hasn't even asked you for what she really wants because she's worried about what you'll think, or because she struggles to see you as the father of her kids and the guy who gets super dirty with her. Her primary partner cannot or will not satisfy her, so she goes somewhere else.
3. The endorphine junkie
This chronic honeymooner craves the emotional excitement that comes with discovering, desiring, and seducing a new partner.
4. The fragile ego
Women with a fickle sense of self-esteem can seek evidence of their worth in the romantic advances of other men, rather than gleaning validation in a meaningful way in their existing relationship. “Players” often lack self-esteem; the constant need to feel desired by another person reveals they are probably not very secure in themselves and instead place inflated value on the attention of the opposite sex.
5. The “good guy”
They want to break up but are too scared to be the bad guy, bite the bullet and dump you. Or maybe they are scared of being alone and want to audition your replacement beforehand.
“IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT”
But seriously, at some point you'll be ready to answer the question: what part did I play in it? Ninety per cent of people who cheat believe that they are justified in doing so. Are you stingy with emotional support? She may feel abandoned and isolated. Remember, intimacy is not just about sex, it's about non-physical connections, commitment and mutual emotional investment. Have you committed a betrayal that remains unresolved? She may seek revenge. Are you equal partners or does she feel exploited emotionally or practically? With our relationship “roles” becoming evermore flexible and fragmented, are you on the same page about what each of you expects from the other?
How do you know if she is cheating (besides the strange rash)?
Is she truly being distant, or have past experiences caused you to jump to the conclusion that people will inevitably hurt you? If she has cheated before, she may think it's OK to do again, and it would be naive to ignore past examples of a two-timing character. There are some pretty impressive surveillance techniques and body-language give-aways, but that's another article altogether so for now I'll suggest the obvious: ask the question. Bear in mind that if you even have to ask, trust has somehow already been eroded and this issue, whatever it turns out to be, needs confronting.
Now, you've discovered she has been unfaithful - do you want to take her back?
No relationship is perfect. What makes it pretty damn close to perfect, though, is if you still want to be together and try to work it out when things inevitably get difficult. In order to repair the relationship, you need to truly understand and be prepared to analyse why she did it. Taking someone back doesn't necessarily make you a fool; it takes a lot of strength, patience and self-assurance to see beyond that betrayal. Want to know whether you are a doormat? Ask yourself whether you believe this was just a one-time mistake, or just the first time she makes it.