What could lead an otherwise-faithful partner to cheat?

We’re trained by society to accept this behavior from men. They “have needs.” They’re impulsive and hedonistic. They’re just thinking with their…you get the idea. 

Here in the real world, though, both men and women end up looking elsewhere when their marriages aren’t up to snuff. Don’t take our word for it. Just ask the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 

According to their latest statistics, from 2016, 22 percent of men have “strayed at least once during their married lives.” Meanwhile, 14 percent of women have done the same thing. More than 50 percent of both men and women admit to “infidelity in any relationship they’ve had.” 

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Phew, those numbers are high. To find out what exactly makes women cheat, we’ll turn to licensed psychologist Dr. Janne Lomasky, who wrote a detailed guide to cheating women for the website Divorced Moms. Here are a few things she’s learned from the divorced women she has worked with: 

1. Many women cheat simply because they’re bored with the relationship.

In married life, it’s easy to slip into a routine. You eat the same things every day, go to the same old tired places, do the same old tired things. Eventually, one of you is going to snap. 

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Luckily, according to Lomasky, “there are many ways to spice up an old, tired relationship.” You just have to recognize the problem in time to act. Otherwise, cheating will get more and more tempting until one of you gives in. 

2. Women need love, attention, and physical contact.

When their husbands stop giving them those things, they create an incentive to find them somewhere else. Keep in mind that this need is not simply physical; many women have “emotional affairs,” which are entirely platonic. That doesn’t make them any less destructive to a marriage, though. 

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Both partners need to keep the lines of communication open. When you can say, “Are you getting enough love and attention?” and expect an honest answer, you’re that much closer to a cheating-free marriage. 

3. When the bedroom cools off, some women end up looking elsewhere.

Intimacy between married partners tends to ebb and flow. When the “ebb” starts becoming permanent, though, women may look elsewhere to fulfill their physical desires. 

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A total bedroom drought isn’t the only thing to watch out for. Unsatisfying experiences may also create an incentive for infidelity. As in so many things involving marriage, communication is the key. Don’t be afraid to talk about what’s working, and what isn’t.

4. A top reason that women who went on to get divorced decided to pull the trigger on an affair is simple: revenge.

When one spouse cheats on another, the marriage contract has been broken. You can’t break a broken contract, can you? Many hurt and angry women will use cheating simply to punish a cheating partner, and while this may feel good in the short-term, it pretty much dooms your chances of salvaging the marriage. 

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Just look at the statistics: Once one partner admits to having an affair, only 31 percent of marriages survive. Wouldn’t it be easier to avoid the conditions that make cheating attractive in the first place?