I got a divorce not because I wanted to have sex with somebody else or because I wasn’t having sex with my own husband but because I wasn’t happy. These reasons are a frequent impetus for many an affair. However, research is honing in on other, more powerful reasons that women in increasing numbers are stepping outside of their marriage and not for labels but for love. Sexual love.

The new take on infidelity by women has surfaced. Women don’t necessarily step outside the marital bond because they want a divorce or are beginning the leaving process. The antithesis embraced is that women cheat to stay within the confines of their loving not always perfect marital union.

Cheating to stay married, really?

Statistics say that there is a 40% increase in women who cheat on their husband since 1990. Defined, that translates to 40 of 100 women who step outside of the marriage. Whereas, the numbers on men remained the same.

These women aren’t cheating because they are dreadfully unhappy in their marriages. There is speculation that they cheat because there is some need… whether it be stimulation, adoration, passion, that is not being met. Yet for some,  there is no one else to whom they wish to be married and while there are good times, and times that are mediocre, there is no desire to permanently cut out. So, it’s a compromise of sorts. For some, there is a resentment that, despite both parties participating in the financial end (as in, both working) there is still a disproportionate amount of tasks done by the woman. While I too can relate to that it didn’t send me outside. Perhaps I’m just a masochist?

This neurotic compromise, however, is not new. I have talked for some time, particularly as it relates to the men, about a marriage or relationship of three. That having the third party in the room and/or bed can help keep things together. The difference was that it was not so much initiated by the woman, or at least not at the rate of 40% as it is now.

But why now? According to Kim Brooks from CNN, and her take on the recent release of Esther Perel’s, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, more women than ever are cheating, she tells us, or are willing to admit that they are cheating — and while Perel spends much of her book examining the psychological meaning, motivation, and impact of these affairs, she offers little insight into the significance of the rise itself. What do you speculate?

I say the division of labor is weighted towards women and while women may indeed be the stronger sex, who’s to say that merits the requirement of doing more? On the other hand, Brooks softly speculates that with the next generation, children of divorce, rising in significance, there is the move to NOT take that stance but find another plan B.

I am in no way advocating for infidelity, although I have heard of worse choices.

A harsh and not so politically correct conclusion, is to think of just how painful it may feel to be on the receiving end, that is, having your spouse have an affair. Would they see it as your doing them a favor? Perhaps not.

For more information on infidelity and how I help couples navigate through this crisis, please visit my webpage here.

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