Most people see women who cheat in a different light than their male counterparts. But are their reasons for cheating any different- or are there similarities?
Some experts think that the motivations of men and women differ when either of them cheats. They say that men cheat because they’re seeking attention, while women do so out of the need to fill an emotional void. But is this true?
According to a study by the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, a woman is 2.6 times more likely to cheat if she is unhappy with her current relationship. The data shows that a lack of happiness is the culprit, but the reason why a woman may be unhappy could be attributed to different factors.
The evidence is based on individual accounts of people who admitted their reasons for cheating to researchers. But that’s just a fraction of what a hundred million people are thinking. Are the reasons the same? Or is it based on small factors that revolve solely around a particular couple’s lives?
What exactly makes a woman cheat?
We scoured through Reddit and found different women’s perspectives on the matter. According to their answers, being unhappy is just one part of it. They opened up and told other readers what exactly happened and why they decided to cheat.
#1 Feeling stuck in an unhappy, unhealthy relationship. “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
#2 To serve as a catalyst to end the relationship. “I used to have a bad habit of letting relationships drag on far past their emotional end. I would fall out of love with these men, but I didn’t realize it until I had fallen for someone else.
“By that time, I was contemptuous and disillusioned enough with the relationship that I didn’t really care how it made the guy I was dating feel. I would end up kissing the new guy and breaking up with the old guy immediately after. Essentially, the cheating served as the catalyst for ending a relationship.” – Unknown
#3 Because there’s no other choice? “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.
“In addition, he was a loser who lived at home with his mom with no job, while I was working and going to school. I always had to drive to him *an hour+ drive* because he had no money and no car. I broke up with him several times, only to get suckered back in because he would threaten to kill himself. Basically, his controlling, psycho-mind-game attitude drove me to cheat on him. I have nightmares about him still.” – Pewpton
#4 Transference of unrelated emotions. “I was afraid. There was serious talk of him, my now ex, taking up a new job and moving to NYC. He wanted me to come with him. This meant I would have to leave my comfy and awesome job in a smallish town, to the unknown in a very large, busy city. I was only 20 at the time.
“For the two weeks he spent in NYC scoping out the place and working in his potential new position, I cheated. I really can’t come up with a better reason other than fear. There was no emotional attachment to the guy I saw. It was just physical. When my ex returned, I told him what happened and explained how I felt. He was pissed, of course, but we worked through it and he didn’t take the job in NYC. I’ve stopped dealing with fear in such a poor manner now.” – Megandharma
#5 What most men say. “I cheated on my ex because I was in a very serious relationship way too young and did not know how to act. For me, personally, I needed to go out and explore myself and even in different relationship dynamics. I couldn’t find this in my partner and took the easy way out. It was a confusing time in my adult life, as he was my best friend and we had no real issues. I was just not romantically in love with him.” – idontswearsweatpants
#6 Couldn’t fight the feeling. “In my case, my relationship was already over in my mind. I’d fallen in love with someone else and planned to break up with my boyfriend. I just wanted to wait until after the holidays—they were always hard for him and his family because his mother died around that time several years before. I didn’t want him to have to deal with all of that and a breakup.
“But things moved way faster than expected with the other guy. I still feel awful about it. I should have either waited or broken up with my boyfriend before anything happened. I broke up with him the very next day.” – DiMyDarling
#7 To stop feeling numb. “I did it because I was going through anxiety hell and was looking to feel anything, because I couldn’t feel a single thing. My husband was fine with going along with things the way they were. I never told him. I love him very much and once I realized what I had done, I vowed I’d never to do it again.” – Unknown
#8 Personal choices. “I was selfish and insecure and liked the male attention I was suddenly getting. Also, we were long-distance, and I had just started university and wanted to experiment with other people. He didn’t do anything to push me to cheat. To this day, I feel so guilty for having done it, but at the same time, I think it was a good learning experience for me.” – jack_hugeman
Any way you look at it, the reasons may be different for men and women, but the root of all cheating leads to one particular thing: lack of control. Why? Because if there was even an inkling of control in the hands of the cheater, none of the transgressions would have happened in the first place.