When a spouse, friend or relative cheats it’s human nature to assign a reason for the cheating.
At dinner last night I heard several friends go round and round about why a colleague of ours is engaged in an extra-marital affair. The conversation was made even more interesting because it was a group of women and me. It would seem women NEED a reason for someone betraying them. Why do they cling to societal myths about cheating?
The conversation was rampant will all sorts of reasons/myths for this particular man’s cheating. “It must be a midlife crisis.” Or, “maybe there isn’t enough sex at home.” Then there was, “I bet she is young and sexy and looks good on his arm, men just LOVE a younger, prettier woman.” The best reason though, “what can you expect, he is a man, men cheat, and it’s in their DNA.”
Let’s take each one of these myths about cheating that women cling to and clear a few things up:
1. “Men Cheat, It’s In Their DNA”
I will venture to say that if the numbers were known, there are as many women having affairs as men. The ability to betray a spouse by cheating is not gender specific. According to the National Opinion Research Center’s General Social Survey, the percentage of wives having affairs rose to 14.7 percent in 2010, while the number of men admitting to extramarital affairs held constant at 21 percent.
Married women are slightly more faithful than men but, just slightly. We don’t hear about women cheating as often as we do men because women are more discreet. They are more cautious than men and therefore get away with infidelity at a higher rate than men.
2. “There Isn’t Enough Sex at Home”
Most men who cheat do so because the opportunity came up. Yes, that is right; some men cheat because they can, not because they aren’t getting sex at home. Some men cheat to prove to themselves they are still attractive to the other sex. There are many reasons men cheat, they grew up watching their father cheat, it is a covert way of punishing their wives or, they accidentally suffer a moment of weakness during a business trip.