Here’s something people don’t like to talk about: cheating. Many of us have had some experience here, and whether you’ve cheated or been cheated on — we can agree the act is less than great because someone usually ends up hurt. However, it seems some women might actually be cheating on their husband for a good reason — depending on how you look at it.
Growing up, we’re conditioned to believe that cheating will almost always bring the end of a relationship. That’s understandable, because when you’ve made a commitment to being in an exclusive partnership with someone, nothing accomplishes the task of breaking trust and hurting feelings quite like cheating. However, as weird as it may sound, this isn’t always the case.
According to Esther Perel’s new book, State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, the rate of married women who have admitted to infidelity has gone up by 40% since the ’90s, but these women have no intention of leaving their spouses. Perel spends much of her book examining the psychological meaning, motivation, and impact of these affairs but offers little insight into the significance of the rise itself.
So, what’s the real reason behind this increase in lady cheaters?
It turns out, according to The Cut, that women who cheat often feel loved by their husbands, but they don’t necessarily feel that all their fundamental needs (sexual, emotional, psychological) are being met inside their marriages. Perhaps these women thought it unfair to expect one person (their husbands) to be and provide all the things they needed at all times, and so they went looking elsewhere.
Throughout the book, the women described cheating not as a transgression but as a creative act to “beat the system,” by having all their needs thoroughly met while still maintaining the marriages they’d spent years building. They were also unwilling to deal with the societal criticism that often comes with having an open marriage, and did not want to go through the process of negotiating such an arrangement.
At the end of the day, these women were not cheating with the intention of ruining their relationships or ending their marriages, but merely seeking a way to stay in without feeling suffocated by an outdated institution.
We’re definitely not here to judge.