Women's Reasons for an Affair

Reasons Women Have Affairs

Women are partners in affairs. For those who believe women are intrinsically more faithful than men, current research shows that women engage in intercourse with multiple partners as readily as men when they have the freedom and opportunity.

A woman's sexuality has often been more feared than celebrated. In many cultures only women, not men, can be adulterers. Despite all the constraints and punishments, women have affairs.

Women are usually insightful about their affairs, knowing exactly why they wan a lover. Contemporary women areas sexually active outside their marriages as their foremothers, probably more so.

Surveys indicate that the percentage of women who have extramarital sex has increased during the last three decades. Not only has the number of women who have affairs increased, the age at which they have their first affair has decreased. In the 1950'sand 1960's, women had their first affair during their 30's and 40's. During the 1970's and 1980's, the highest rate of infidelity was among women between ages 26 and 30. Now, in the 1990's, women start affairs in their early 20's.

Why do women have affairs

Women have affairs for their own emotional gratification. They say their affairs enhance their self-esteem by giving them positive feedback, both physically and emotionally.

The women survey described their affairs as "fun," "casual," "a chance to know someone," or "just an affair." About 20% became involved in affairs just for sex. Dr. Ralph Meyering, Professor Emeritus at Illinois State University, notes "Married women seem to see extramarital sex as something quite different from sex with their husbands. In sex outside their marriages, women appear to feel freer to repudiate their repressions and explore their preferences."

Other reasons women have affairs include loneliness, the desire for adventure or experience, looking for a new husband or because their friends have affairs. Only 7% are retaliatory.

Top 7 Reasons Women Have Affairs

1. Improves self-esteem She enjoys the attention and compliments about her abilities as well as her body.
2. New and varied sexual experience She feels freer to experiment and explore with a lover than with her husband
3. Emotional connection she desires emotional closeness and intimacy
4. Loneliness she needs someone to talk with who will listen to her
5. Deeper understanding of self she learns from exploring her feelings and thoughts with someone who cares for her
6. Feel younger and sexier her lover's desire for her sexually makes her feel playful and free
7. fear of aging she is afraid getting older will eliminate her attractiveness to men

Women are not swept off their feet

Contrary to the romantic notion, women are not "swept off their feet" when they become involved in an affair. In fact women are thoughtful. A 1982 study by Lynn Atwater, Ph.D., indicates that half the women she surveyed knew their affair partner for several months before beginning the affair; the other half knew them for a year or more. On average, they considered having an affair for at least a month before it began and usually discussed the possibility with a friend.

When asked who initiated their affair, one-fourth of the women said they initiated it and half said it was mutual. Men unilaterally initiated fewer than one-fourth of the affairs.

Women are not consumed by romantic love

Women consider romance to be important in both marriage and affairs. However, over 80% say they care for their lover or consider him a friend but are not "in love" with him. Women seek emotional involvement in their affairs, but also limit the level of their feelings.

While sex occurs in most affairs, communication is a feature women value highly. Women want someone to talk to and confide in. Men are more verbally expressive with their lovers than with their wives.

Married Women Prefer Married Men

Married women tend to have affairs with married men - rather than with single men - for several reasons. Married women and married men have a similar amount of discretionary time available. While much of their time may be committed to their families, both can secretly take a few hours to be together during the day, in the evening or on the weekend. Married women believe married men will not become overly dependent on them, that they won't tell and that they are less likely to have a sexually transmitted disease.

Wives believe this type of relationship adds to the stability of their marriage. They also believe their married lovers will be faithful to them.

Working Women

Women who are employed full-time outside the home are more likely to have an affair than full-time homemakers. Travis and Sadd reported that 47% of wives who were employed full-time and 27% of full-time homemakers had been involved in an affair before they were 40 years old.

New Woman magazine found that 57% of employed wives who had an affair met their lover at work. The idea that women can subsidize an ailing marriage with an affair seldom works out. The contrast with a more caring relationship, in fact, makes the marriage unbearable.

Women are more likely to have sex during ovulation, but....

Women are more likely to have intercourse during ovulation with their lover but not with their husband. Bellis and Baker found that there was no pattern to women having sex with their steady partners, but that sex on the side peaked at the height of the women's monthly fertility cycles. Several evolutionary psychologists suggest that this willingness of a woman to mate with and bear children with a man other than her husband is a primitive biological drive to keep her gene pool diverse and healthier and to ensure the woman additional resources should her primary mate disappear.

The sexual drives women feel while they are ovulating can easily lead to unwanted pregnancy. U.S. News & World Report states, "Studies of blood typing show that as many as 1 out of every 10 babies born in North America is not the offspring of the mother's husband."

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Women's Reasons for an Affair