So, you stopped at this page for a reason. Perhaps you are having an affair. Perhaps your partner is having an affair. Or maybe, you are just curious to know what makes someone cheat so you can possibly (but not always) prevent that 5-letter word from bursting your couple-bubble.
There are two sides to every story, right? His side and her side. That’s what you want to hear, and that’s exactly what you’re going to get! Below, you will read both men and women’s personalized and unfiltered reasons why they did the dirty. (Someone should go back and interview them to see if it was worth it – sounds like some of the stories were). Take a look at what I found!
Women Reveal What Drove Them To Cheat On Their Husbands
Writer Sara Cornell never intended to have an extramarital affair, but before she knew it, she was deep in the throes of one.
“It wasn’t a specific, conscious, considered act,” she told The Huffington Post. “I didn’t wake up one day and think, ‘Hey, I think I’d like to have an affair.’ It just happened — which is probably very hard to comprehend if you haven’t actually been in the situation.”
Below, Cornell and seven other women explain what led them to cheat on their spouses.
“I married the wrong man and made the ‘easier’ choice in life by being with him. It didn’t become clear to me how wrong he was for me until we had a child. I turned to the right man for comfort for many years and hid it because I wanted my family to remain under the same roof. The biggest reason I strayed was the complete lack of attention I was shown. No birthday or Christmas cards, no gifts. He stopped saying ‘I love you.’ We went from having sex once a week before the baby to every couple months after the baby, to eventually once a year. It’s really easy to fall out of love when you feel like your spouse is a roommate you co-parent with.” -Krista R.
“I cheated on my husband because he cheated on me. That’s the sad and simple truth. After spending six years with a man who couldn’t stop cheating on me I was emotionally exhausted, depleted and lingering at rock bottom. I cheated out of an overwhelming desire to have someone give me back some of the love and attention I’d been giving my husband with nothing in return. I cheated because I was desperate for someone to love me with the same ferocious first-love intensity that I’d given my husband. I cheated with my high school boyfriend because I was angry, hurt and wanted my husband to feel the same pain he’d introduced to me six years ago and had never tried to work on, despite knowing that it was breaking me down. I cheated because I no longer loved myself and hoped that someone, anyone could hand me some self-worth, a little bit of love and help me begin again.” -Lindsay T.
“I truly believe that most people who have affairs, or even zipless sex, are doing so because they are seeking something that is fundamentally lacking in their relationship. As for me, cheating on my spouse wasn’t a specific, conscious, considered act. I didn’t wake up one day and think, ‘Hey, I think I’d like to have an affair.’ It just happened — which is probably very hard to comprehend if you haven’t actually been in the situation. A professional relationship became a friendship, became a flirtation, became an infatuation, became an affair, became a demise. It’s much like drinking a great bottle of wine with dinner. You don’t set out to get drunk but the taste, combined with the other flavors on the plate, the sounds and smells of the room, the soothing, warm feeling of relaxing into the entire sensory environment, allows you to take a sip, then another, then another, then refill your glass, and then at some point you look around and realize that you have a buzz, but your senses are so ripe that you keep sipping, even though you know you should stop because you’re going to get drunk and be hungover the next day.” –Sara Cornell
“I think it’s important for people to realize that an affair can be the last thing on your mind but that it’s easy for harmless friendships to progress into something more when you’re unhappy at home. I was with my husband nearly 11 years. I had been primarily supporting us financially and emotionally for seven years and as the sole breadwinner of four. I met a man in one of my continuing education classes and what followed was eight months of conflicted feelings, marriage counseling, ultimatums and anything else I could think of to save our marriage before I gave into an affair. Three months later, I was so exhausted and torn I left my husband even though he had forgiven me for cheating. About a month later, I started exclusively dating the other man I was involved with and asked my husband for a divorce. I still feel terrible about it. The affair wasn’t the reason I left but I wonder if I would have had the strength to realize how unhappy I was without it happening. I still love my husband but I knew he’d never change so I had to walk away.” -Melissa C.
“Cheating on my ex-husband isn’t something I’m proud of and I would never do it again. The question I get asked a lot is why? Why did I cheat? Back then I would have given you a whole list of reasons: there was a communication breakdown, he had vices, he didn’t take care of himself. But in retrospect, the one reason that stands out is how confused I was about how life and relationships work. I thought once my husband changed, everything would be OK. I couldn’t see that my feelings of frustration over our relationship weren’t about his behavior, it was about me: I created the the negative mood through my negative thoughts. Then I allowed myself to become infatuated with another man. Things would have been very different if I had adjusted my way of thinking.” –Marina Pearson
“I didn’t have an affair like most people do. There was no sneaking around or lying to my husband. Actually, it was all in plain sight right until the very end. I was best friends with a guy for 17 years. He was the person I confided in when I was sad, when something amazing happened, honestly, anytime anything of note happened. The surprising thing is my husband encouraged it. If I came to my spouse with some big problem, he would tell me to go have lunch with my friend and tell him about it. So I did. At first I thought I was doing what was best for my husband because he worked so much and didn’t need my problems. But after a while, I pulled further away from him. On our five year anniversary I told him he had one year to get his act together and become the man our children and I needed him to be. Ten months later, I was in marriage counseling with my soon-to-be ex-husband, begging for a divorce, sleeping with my best friend and watching my whole world fall apart.” -Corrina S.
“After telling my husband I was lonely and unhappy for years, he continued to travel for months at a time until I finally found someone else. Having that fling forced me to admit I wanted a divorce and to tell him in no uncertain terms that I was done.” -Andrea H.
“After eight years, it was a relationship that had lost all romantic love. I wanted to travel, he wanted to stay at home. I wanted children, he did not. I wanted someone who would sleep with me, he seemed disinterested. I wanted to take on opportunities and be challenged, he wanted to be comfortable. I went to work in the West Bank for three months, he stayed at home. While I knew I was not happy in my relationship, I thought that maybe that was just how it was going to be. One night while in the West Bank I went out to a bar with friends and across the room I saw the most beautiful man I have ever laid eyes on. We met, we danced, we talked, we swapped phone numbers. It was the beginning of the most intense and wild romantic relationship I have ever been in. When I returned home, I told my ex-husband I wanted to separate but I never told him about the other man, who I continued to see for a year before we ended things. Today I’m engaged to a man who wants to travel, be challenged, have children and sleep with me. While I will always feel terrible that I was unfaithful, it showed me what I wanted and needed and forced me to get out of a relationship that was not right for me.” -Rose M.
“My marriage lasted over 10 years. I couldn’t make him happy and he couldn’t make me happy. Sex had become like showing up for an army physical. I just did it and told him it was great. Did I make a mistake in not telling him my desires? Of course, but you have to trust your partner to do that. That was one of the core issues with us. He seemed to have a distrust of women in general that seemed almost pathological. If I took too long running errands I got quizzed on my whereabouts. It felt like I was being accused of an affair. I would joke with my girlfriends that I should be allowed a free pass to cheat since I had been accused so many times. Eventually I just wanted more: more positive communication, more kindness, more desire, just more. So I cheated. I actively looked for a man to fit the bill of what I wanted. I found one and the sex was spectacular. It had been years since I had that kind of desire for someone. It was a foreign feeling. I realized I wasn’t dead inside like I was afraid I had become. That’s when I knew I needed to get a divorce. I finally gathered the courage to get one. There are never good reasons for why people cheat but I learned a while back not to throw stones at people for their decisions because ultimately, you’re only responsible for your life, not theirs.” -Susan M.
9 Common Reasons Husbands Cheat on Their Wives
Why are men unfaithful? Believe it or not, it’s not always about sex. In a study of cheating husbands, about half said they did the deed because they felt neglected by their wives. Only 7% did it out of sexual desire for someone else. So how can you keep your partner from straying? We went to the source—the husbands!—to find out exactly why men cheat and how you can keep it from happening.
1. He doesn’t feel sexy anymore. “It felt like my wife stopped thinking I was attractive. She kept telling me how gross my gut was and pining over George Clooney lookalikes,” says *Jeff. Think about how you would react if your guy compared you to movie stars and made you feel unattractive. So always treat your man like he’s a hunka, hunka burning love,and he’ll want to stay solely your hunk.
2. He thinks he can get away with it. For some men, the lack of consequences is all they need to be unfaithful. “My wife never made a big deal when I had to work late or even when I spent her birthday watching football. I knew she’d be hurt if she discovered my affair, but I had no idea that that would be it!” says Ed. The takeaway: Even though he should know you’re forgiving, set boundaries so both of you know where the line is.
3. His ego is bruised. Sometimes a difficult experience can cause your man to doubt himself enough that he looks for an ego boost outside the marital bed. Rick confesses, “My wife is amazing, but after a six-month bout of unemployment while watching her go to work every morning, I needed to escape from how bad I felt about myself. It was either drinking or another woman. In my case, it was an affair.”
4. He doesn’t make your feelings a priority. Ron admits, “I was greedy. One great woman wasn’t enough.” This kid-in-a-candy-store approach continued for years until his wife told him how bad his behavior made her feel. “My self-centeredness was hurting the person I loved most in the world,” says Ron. His wife made him realize that if he focused his efforts on caring about her feelings, his actions would change. She was right. He stopped cheating, and she forgave him.
5. He stops feeling important to you. Constant hectic schedules can make it easy for you to forget how much he means to you. Don’t let that happen. “When we started our lives together we were always thinking of each other’s feelings. I knew that intensity wouldn’t last, but just after a few years I started feeling taken for granted, as if I was tenth on her list of priorities,” says Andy. His cheating wasn’t motivated as much by sexual attraction for someone else as it was feeling “important to another human being.”
6. He’s angry but won’t talk about it. A husband who stews instead of shares what’s bothering him is vulnerable to committing a passive-aggressive cheat. “My wife backed out of my company’s Christmas party for the second year in a row. She could tell I was hurt, but she still didn’t change her mind,” says David. He ended up drinking too much and slept with a married co-worker, who was also solo for the night. “It never happened again and I didn’t tell my wife, but I will always feel like a jerk!” Since neither of you are mind readers, it’s essential to keep lines of communication open. Make sure your husband knows that if you do something to upset him, both of you need talk about it.
7. He feels underappreciated. Even if your sex life is strong, singing his praises will only make it stronger. Jim admits, “I had a six-month affair with a woman who made me feel like I walked on air.” Even though he stopped the affair, he still wishes his wife could show that she appreciates him every now and then. Remember to give your hubby at least one compliment a day—no matter how small—to remind him how much he still means to you.
8. You constantly accuse him of cheating. Norm was a faithful husband until he wasn’t. “From our honeymoon on, my wife voiced her suspicions that I was cheating. I knew this was because her father had an affair, but what did that have to do with me?” Since nothing seemed to make her feel better, he felt it would not have mattered if he cheated, so he did. If you’re suspicious of your husband, make sure you ask yourself why. Has his spending habits or working hours suddenly changed dramatically, or are you feeling insecure? Talk about what’s bothering you, and ask him his needs. Don’t deliver an endless harangue.
9. He wants you to know he’s unhappy. “I’d told her for months things weren’t going well. I even suggested marriage counseling, but she refused,” recalls Tim. His one-night stand was a last, desperate attempt to make his wife take his unhappiness seriously. Miraculously, it worked. The two went into therapy and eventually emerged with a stronger union. Paying attention and being a good listener to your partner could save time, money and possibly your relationship. A good marriage is a partnership, and both people need to work hard for each other.
*Names have been changed