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The Facts of Infidelity
Part 4: Women and Cheating

That women generally cheat for different than men may be obvious, but keep reading to learn some things that may not be so obvious (at least if you’re a guy).

Why do women cheat?

Experts say that men and women usually have extramarital affairs for different reasons. While men may be searching for more sex or attention, women are generally seeking to fill an emotional void.

While research shows that many men do have emotional connections with their mistresses, women still do so more often, but the emotional needs are different. While men may be seeking attention, women are more likely to cheat because of loneliness.

56% percent of men who had affairs said they were happy in their marriages, according to a study by Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University and the author of Why Him? Why Her? and Why We Love. By contrast, only 34% of wives who had affairs were happy or very happy in their marriages.

While studies are showing that more men than we’d think are getting emotionally involved with their mistresses, the traditional ideas, according to Fisher, are still the norm. Men are more likely to cite sexual motivations for infidelity and less likely to actually fall in love with an extramarital partner, Fisher tells WebMD. ”Women are more interested in supplementing their marriage or jumping ship than men are. For men, it is a secondary strategy as opposed to an alternate.”

Women are cheating more

In the last 20 years, the percentage of cheating wives rose 40% to a total of 14.7% of wives admitting cheating in 2010. Men on the other hand have held constant at a 21% infidelity rate, according to the latest data from the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey.

More women are engaging in casual sex

Traditionally, men cheat purely as a result of physical lust, whereas women cheat to meet emotional needs. However, that rule is no longer as much of a rule as it used to be. More and more women are behaving like men when it comes to casual sex and no-strings-attached affairs.

More women in the workforce is leading to more affairs

With more women entering the work force, "office romances" are on the rise, and many times the participants are married, not single (and not married to each other). If you think about it, it is not unlikely for a husband or wife to actually spend more time in substantial conversation and activities with coworker than their own spouse. It is not hard to see how this can lead to extra-marital affairs.

Financially independent women lead to more female cheaters

Cheating wives are on the rise, likely due to women becoming more financially independent, thus viewing the fallout of a discovered affair less of a financial disaster than a woman completely depending on her husband to pay the bills.

Now that we’ve covered details on cheating men (Part 3) and cheating women, for Part 5, we’ll discuss why people are cheating.

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