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January 14th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Married Women Who Stray

woman1We’ve aired a couple of shows this season about married men who get involved in affairs, and they’ve received a lot of attention. On Tuesday’s show, we talked about it again. I had a very emotional conversation with a young wife who’s trying to decide whether to salvage her marriage after learning her husband has been unfaithful to her. I also talked to the husband, and I think you’ll be fascinated by what he has to say about his own behavior.

But it occurred to me that we haven’t talked as much about married women who stray. Although 2009 definitely seemed to be a banner year for high-profile men to get caught catting around on their wives, the facts are clear that some wives are also crossing the line. Maybe more than ever before. One fairly reliable national survey recently found that 18 percent of married women have cheated, compared to 28 percent of married men. I even read a couple of studies that claimed women might be genetically predisposed, just like men, to cheating on their partners.

Well, I don’t know about that — some of these studies are skewed just to get headlines — but I would be interested to know why you think some married women are drawn to other men. Perhaps you know someone who has had an affair. Or perhaps, you yourself have had one — or been tempted to have one. I’d like to hear from you. (And please, feel free to be completely anonymous.) Do married women cheat because they, like men, want more satisfying sex or more sexual variety? Do they cheat because they are bored or lonely? Do they feel a need to reaffirm their desirability and once again feel “special”?

Or do they cheat because they simply are dissatisfied with their husbands and unhappy with the state of their marriages? Do they look for sexual intimacy with someone new because they don’t know how to repair the lack of intimacy with their own spouses?

Maybe more women cheat because they can — because they have more independence and more financial freedom.

And by the way, I’d also like to hear what your definition of cheating is. Nearly everybody considers sexual intercourse or oral sex to be cheating, but what about romantically kissing someone else? What about online sex chats? And here’s a big question: what if you are having intimate conversations with a man that you don’t have with your husband? Is that any different than having sex with the man? Is it perhaps just as dangerous?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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255 Responses to “Married Women Who Stray”

  1. Repeat Offender says:

    I have been married 15 years and have had 2 affairs. My husband has had one as well (actually a one-night stand). I have 2 sisters who are also repeat cheaters.

    My first was when I felt ignored emotionally by my husband. I had a personal trainer who I spent a lot of alone time with. It happened a couple times and I got caught. I spent the next 6 years doing everything I could to gain back trust and be the perfect wife. My husband treated me poorly for those 6 years, always throwing it in my face and making me feel bad. Only after he had his affair did he stop treated me that way. (For the record, I forgave my husband after only 3 days, and never used it against him)

    My second affair happened just last year. We had a man move into our home, he was going through a painful and bitter divorce and we tried to help rescue him. I got involved in helping him with his children, getting him off prescription meds that he was abusing and trying to sort out his legal mess. He was owed a LARGE multi-million inheritance and he was going to turn over to my husband to invest in his company so his wife could not get it somehow. After stalling for weeks and weeks, my husband started getting desperate for the money, we caught this man in several lies, and my way of getting the money sorted out was to sleep with him. I knew he had feelings for me. I thought that he would follow through if I had “feelings” for him too.

    You guessed it, the whole money thing was a lie. Turns out, he is a pathological liar. He caused us so many financial problems that I don’t know how we will get out of it. My husband bitterly hates this man and for that reason, I felt I could never tell him about the sexual affair. A couple weeks ago, I was called into church and told that this man confessed his sins and that I needed to now confess to my husband. I felt it was the absolute WRONG thing to do, but did it anyway. My husband is absolutely devastated. He wishes I had never told him. He would have rather never known. He wants to stay married, has promised to not punish me for years like he did last time. He wants to get over it, but 3 weeks later, he still can’t look at me the same way. I am trying everything I can to help him through it. But, I don’t know how to ease his pain.

  2. Mrs. Cooley says:

    Cheating whether a Man or Woman is not something U can just EXPLAIN or blanket with a single reason Environmental or Genetic. It Varies as much as Life experience from person to person because thats what shapes our Choices and path in life..

    I am a Woman who Waited till she was sure her Marriage would be stable.. Real and Perfectly Flawed… If I was asked that question.. “What would make you stray in a Marriage?” Id have to say “I dunno!” My Prerequisite for a Mate is simply Honesty.. If HE Cheated.. I would be so broken there would be no one who could get into my life again at that Level, Someone who I believed would take me as I am Wholly without expecting me to be what I cannot be. Inhuman… perfect… So Instead of throwing out the one person who got close enough for that to Ruin me for anyone else… I’d have to Try to keep what I HAD from Dieing.. Tried and True, for better or worse.. Sickness or Health.. Vows mean Nothing anymore.. Because we can sign a paper saying in Essence, “oopse”

    People Get married to SOON! And they Do so with only HEART to guide them. You have got to temper your heart with your Mind and Visa versa.

    Women, being the more Emotional of the Sexes, Are less likely to be able to resist someone who offers them what they are starving for… Emotionally. That i think would be the Gender related reason.

    Men, Being the more Physical of the Sexes, are less likely to resist the Physical requirements they have…. And Sex for men or at least the Release that sex gives is a PHYSICAL need… Biologically, Men need this, hence the Wet Dream.

    Women Cry….

    So what would make a woman cheat? The same thing that would cause a man to cheat.. Lacking in the current relationship what is needed to sustain them in all the ways Promised in your wedding Vows… Love cherish hold Loyal.

    (Sorry if I went off on that one!)

    Mrs Cooley

  3. cindy says:

    i have had several affairs. my reason being several reasons. one is because my husband stopped showing me attention. two- when he found out out , he forgave me in some ways it was like permission that i can do it again and he will still be by my side. stupid i know. but in a crazy way thats how i felt. 6 years after my first affai, i relaized that i liked the attention i was getting from others than my husband. i fell out of love somewhere down our path of being married. this year will 14 years that we have been married. today im ready to leave. what ever i lost i cant get back. i dont want it back.

  4. Devastated says:

    I cheated on my husband after almost 24 years of marriage and 4 children. In my case I felt unimportant an unappreciated. When someone came along who was 14 years younger and told me I was beautiful, I believed him. I guess it was my way of finally being able to do what I wanted after a controlling relationship. It tore my family apart and is a tragedy. I believe that Dr. Phil refers to those few moments in life that define who you are. I am sad that this is one that is a part of me.

  5. Me says:

    Cheating to me is simply something you wouldn’t do in front of your partner or husband/wife. If you are trying to hid what you are doing from your partner then you are cheating. (whether that be flirting, watching porn, kissing etc.)
    My partner and I have been together 9 years and although I have never cheated (and never will) I can completely understand why some women do. My partner is great in bed and I love him but he is very, very emotional distant. I often fell like I have lost being a women and am just a mother and house cleaner. I never feel sexy or wanted or beautiful anymore like how I use to – so if someone made me feel those things again I could see how easily you could fall into that trap.

  6. Renae says:

    I feel that low self esteem as a child growing up and being pretty has contributed to me cheating on every boyfriend i ever had.(cheated once on each boyfriend). I was married only once when i was 18, had a baby and divorced after 2 years. I always settled for the first man that come along and showed me attention. If i had sex with them, they would want to live happily ever after. I’ve had 9 serious relationships 7 of which lasted two years. Two of those relationships were physical/emotionally abusive. One of the men i had a relationship with i continue to have some sort of contact today even though we live in different states (we’ve known each other and have stayed in contact for 10 years and yes this was one of the abusers. The first two years were abusive. We split for two years while he found God. We got together for 2 years non-abusive and have stayed in touch. He is now successful and doing well in his life). This particular one i can’t let go due to my physical attraction to him and for the fact he still sends my daughter b-day cards, x-mas presents etc. Her own father abandoned her after the divorce. None of these 9 men i dated had money and most of them were around my age. Now I’m in a relationship with a man 25 years older, have zero financial issues to worry about—i do own my own house (pay mortgage) and pay my own bills, but get very spoiled with gifts; jewlery, vacations etc. and i do have a full time job. I’m not physically attracted to him, we have no friends together, he’s not romantic, basically we have nothing in common and lead a boring life of eating out and watching tv every day (except when we travel a few times a year). We’ve been together just over two years now. I love the security if something were to happen, he would “fix it” or tell me I don’t have to worry. I’ve cheated on him 3 times, 3 different men one of which i’ve known for ten years…yup same guy. Two of them knew i have a boyfriend, the one i’ve known for ten years thinks i’m single. The man I’m with now will never marry me and told me early on in the relationship when he first told me about his wealth. That still hurts today, i always envisioned myself being married. It’s been 15 years since my first marriage. The boyfriend i’ve known for 10 yrs will marry me tomorrow. He has only dated a few times since we were together. I swore to myself that i wouldn’t cheat in this current relationship and that I would change my ways. Obviously I have a problem and have no business being married nor being in a serious relationship. I’m scared to end my relationship at this point of time. I know its going to end, and yes i’ve discussed with my boyfriend my concerns–and he is going to try and change. For now I burden myself living with this secret of cheating. I don’t have the courage to tell him what i have done. I do love him and don’t want to hurt him ; Crazy, i know, because in reality i already have. Any time there’s a void in a relationship/marriage that’s why and when women cheat. Thanks for reading this.

  7. Burned says:

    I’m 26, have been married for 8 years, and have children with my husband. Cheating to me is defined as having either a physical or emotional relationship outside of a marriage. I’ve cheated, physically, 4 times on my husband. I’ve took a long look at why. I don’t connect LOVE with sex. I did at one time in my life but after being cheated on and hurt so bad in 2 relationships, I guess my brain severed that tie….to avoid being hurt in that way ever again maybe. Both of those relationships were monogomous and each lasted 2+ years.

  8. Bobbi says:

    I was married at a young age 18 to be exact, I have been married for 8 years. I feel like I have given my life for this marriage and have made so many sacrifices and I don’t feel that my husband realizes it. I made a decision to do something to enhance my life and in the process my husband offered me little to no support. That hurt me to no end. I had an affair with a man that was attentive and supportive. He treated me like gold and he made me laugh and smile like I hadn’t in so long. I feel my affair was due to a lack of emotional support. I think it’s sad to say but a lot of men do not appreciate what their wives do until there is an outside threat or until they are gone.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I believe social networking has made cheating a much easier task. Much easier to ‘feel out ‘ the situation in a much more discreet manner.

  10. Lee says:

    I am married to a workaholic. That said a few years ago my my lonliness got the best of me. Sadly, my workaholic husband was so out of touch with me that he never picked up on any of the changes in me. If I had wanted him to become jealous, angry or anything else he was too busy to see what was happening. In the meantime, I became an exercise addict in part to fill the time but also because the workouts seemed to help my mental health. I really toned up. Because of this my husband was forced to take notice of me as I didn’t have much trouble attracting other men. It has been a real journey of both acceptance and denial, accepting my husband for what he is and denying myself of the companionship of another man. I wish I could say I was sorry for cheating on him, but the fact is I am not. His love affair has often been with his work and where I may be his trophy wife he still has trouble balancing work and wife. I have been able to accept him more because he is a good man but there are times when I wish things were different.

  11. Whitney S says:

    I am 26 and have been married for barely a year to a man that I dated for almost 6 years. While dating, my husband cheated on me twice that I know about. We worked through it and he never seemed to be the same but I kept on loving him. Not even a week after our honeymoon our marriage fizzled into a “roommate” type relationship. I begged for affection and tried almost everything to make a happy marriage.

    It was not quite 8 months after our wedding that I began to confide in a male friend. I was devestated about the lack of romance and emotion in my new marriage. I felt rejected, unloved and ignored. Several attempts to discuss this with my husband went ignored and ended with him telling me that I was just “crazy” and that i expect to much out of him. For months I cried all the time and slept on the couch… all the while my husband never even noticed. Was this supposed to be my happily ever after???

    My relationship with my male friend became co-dependent and resulted in an affair for both of us (he is married too). It wasn’t until I began to confide in this friend that I realized that my husbands behavior is not normal and I shouldn’t just accept it. My new friend provides everything I have been longing for that my husband refuses to even acknowledge (and NO this is not about sex!!) My spouse feels that compliments are unnecessary and public displays of affection are embarassing. For the last 6 years, I have not noticed this through my “love fuzzy” eyes. We live in a very small town within 15 miles of my husbands entire family… who absolutely worship him. In a small southern town this kind of husband behavior is deemed perfectly acceptable. Recently he has revealed that he does not want children (a crushing blow that almost pushed me to depression).

    I LOVE my husband, but it is my male friend that keeps me going every day. We encourage each other daily and support each other’s life decisions (all I ever wanted and have never received from the man i married). I am fully aware that what I have done from the very first phone call is considered cheating but the truth is…this new found relationship has been the only thing that has kept me from filing for divorce (wierd huh).

    Without the support of my male friend – I am afraid that I would completely disappear…and would my husband even notice. I feel extreme guilt about cheating…but honestly the guilt doesn’t hurt as bad as they way I felt before.

  12. Kelly says:

    I just turn 44 and iI have been married for almost 9 yrs, 4 of the last year my husband sleeps on the couch,no intimacy at all,i have to beg and get madto have sex .Came close to a divorce ,went to counseling,she told me I had to lose weight,it was all on me to change..we never went back to her.After 7 yrs of being married,he told me he was no longer interested in having sex with me,and that it always happen in relationships he had in the past,HA ! Find time to tell me this after having two beautiful children with him !! I felt so lonely,not wanted ,not desire by the man I LOVE. At one point he told me to go outside the marriage,which really threw me for a loop.A Bandaid was put on ..having sex….then those’s feeling went away…for awhile.Year after year ,it comes back up.I just want to be touch,desired,wanted..I can say We only had sex maybe 7 or 8 times last year.As i write this,I’m going threw all these feelings now again ,and really need your help or validation. He is a great man,does the cooking,cleaning,laundry..takes kids for walks..he said that is his way of making it up to me for the lack in the bedroom,and he said that he wants me happy,thats why he suggested for me to go outside the marriage.I ask him why he doesn’t sleep with me,he told me bunch of excuses,first it was the waterbed,was pregnant at the time,that when i laid down the wave on the bed would wake him,so i got rid of that,got a new bed,then he said,his back hurt him…on and on the excuses.I didn’t get married to play with a toy for the rest of my life..could of stay single for that,along with going outside the marriage.So do i stay for the children sake,o leave for The GREENER SIDE.I love this man,The only problem i see is sex and intamency,he works sometimes 6 or 7 days in the summer,great provider,btw he is 57.Today i sitting here depressed wondering if i made a mistake,I shared my feelings again this past Friday,I’m confused that this keeps happening over and over between us,I told him he was not being fair to himself or me in not knowing why he doesn’t sleep with me.I have gain nearly 40 lbs since we got married,4 years ago when this started happening,i turned to alcohol which really got out of hand,i needed help to stop.I seem to punish myself,cause i don’t feel desired by the man i love and that hurts,i don’t know..I’m trying to lose weight,trying to quit smoking to me make me feel better.I sit and fanasty about what if i married someone my own age..I could go on and on,he did try viagra too

  13. Kelly says:

    I been working 3rd shifht for couple of years now and that made things even harder because i sleep during the half of the day and half night to go to work.I suggested for him to sleep with me just two days when i’m home..it hasn’t happen.Is he cheating?Like to say no…but i think he is,i ask him and he tells me no..or course he say that.I don’t know.He gets mad too,cause i don’t believe him.So do i leave my home,security,family,for the ske of ME being happy?My kids ,my son is really close to his dad..My self esteem is very low now how can i take charge,or take back my happiness to me?? Need your help PLease…Thank you…Just said last night to a co-worker that i was going to write you,here i am..i follow you on twitter,my id is shotgun1955…Have a bless day and i pray you will respond.thanks again

  14. kim says:

    I have been having an affair for about a year now and it’s really added alot to my life. I understand some people might not undertand “how” but for me it is working. My husband is a wonderful provider and father but is emotionally detached from alot of people. Our intimate life really no longer exists and he just doesnt take the time to show me any affection. I tried for many, many years to make things work and I never wanted to go outside my marriage. He has refused counseling and to even discuss this topic just provokes a fight i dont want to have anymore. He says he is happy the way things are.

    Once i made the decision to do this i realized that once I was able to have my needs met I was able to be better person. Yes, I know some may not understand, but for me I no longer feel those voids i once felt. Yes, I understand they are being met by someone else but everyone says no marriage is perfect etc. That is right. Mine isnt but it is also no reason to divorce and upset an entire household. We have a loving family, beautiful home and the enviroment for our children is peaceful. Just because “mommy’s” unhappy in the bedroom really is no reason to file for divorce.

    I am not going to judge anyone by their actions, noone really knows what led them down the path they chose fully. Yes, it is still being unfaithful but to be able to find happiness for myself lets me be able to enjoy my life more so now than sitting there stewing over what i’m missing. im only 37. i don’t want to miss out on more than I already have.

  15. Staccia24 says:

    I have been married for almost 5 years, I love my husband with all my heart and I dont think I could ever cheat on him. If things get that bad that I have to cheat then I will end our marriage, I stood before God, our families and my husband and confessed my love for him and I sure would not do anything to break up the great marriage that we have.I wish people would think before they act out on something they may later regret.

  16. marlene says:

    I believe that lusting is the same as cheating whether its through a glance, touch, email or porn. As Dr. Phil said, if you wouldn’t do it in front of your spouse, then it’s cheating.

    I think cheating, as far as my life has gone, depends on on the point of life I was in, my age and maturity level. In my teens, I cheated because it was a challenge. During my marriage (20s), I cheated because my husband spent more time with his buddies than me–basically I felt neglected. In my 30s, I cheated because I felt I was in my prime-I felt sexy and beautiful and in tune with my body. I am now 48 and for the last 12 years, I have not cheated on either of the long term relationships I have been in, including the present one. Mainly because I decided that it was time to get serious if I wanted to find the right one! However, my present “friend” of 3.5 years cheated on me a year ago; although he won’t admit to it. In the past, the old me would have cheated back, rubbed it in his face and walked away. The new me, for some reason, has chosen to stick in it for now–at least until I find out the truth. I guess in his defense I could say that we were split for 2 weeks when it happened, BUT, I caught him conversing with her, then lying about the conversations, a week prior to it happening (we were still together) so I feel I have some justification for knowing the truth.

  17. SANDY says:

    I WAS MARRIED FOR 3 YEARS AND I HAD AN AFAIR FOR 2 YEARS WITH A MAN THAT WAS ALSO MARRIED I AM NOW SEPERATED AND I THINK IT WAS BECAUSE I DIDN´T LIKE THE WAY MY MARREGE WAS GOING I HAVE SEPERATED FROM MY HUSBAND BUT NOT FROM MY LOVER , THAT SAYS SOMETHING DOSENT IT ? AT FRIST I WAS LIKE HE GIVES ME FLOWERS ,CHOCLATES , EVERYTHING AND THE THING WAS NIETHER OF US WAS GONNA SPILL IT COUSE WE ARE BOTH MARRIED WE UNDERSTAND NO T CALL AT SERTIN TIMES AND O EVEN WHEN WE SAW EACH OHTER IT WAS FAST AND WE BOTH UNDERSTUD WHEN I SEPERATED HE WAS THE ONE WHO HELP ME MOVE OUT AND FIND A PLACE AND WE ARE STILL TOGETHER … I WONDER PEOPLE MIGHT THINK I AM A SLUT BUT …. I FEEL GOOD

  18. lynn says:

    Why women cheat you ask?…….I dont think women cheat for the thrill or for the chase like a man does. If a women is going to cheat I think (as in my case) its after she has been severly scorn and/or tried everything she can in her power to save her marriage and she isn’t getting a response from her spouse. A woman can only take being ignored, walked on, unappreciated, unwanted and lied to for so long before she hits her point to where she’s had enough and she’s done with him.
    I am not legally divorced from my husband but I don’t feel like I am married any longer. Yes, there is a paper that says we are but you need more in a marriage than paper.
    My husband has cheated on me three times in the last six years we’ve been together. Each time I’ve been stupid, listened to his lies and took him back. Each time he has cheated he has devastated me tremendously. The latest affair was thanksgiving ‘08 and i thought i accepted it and we moved on. Theres nothing a woman can do to keep her man from cheating. They are going to cheat if they want, no matter what they have at home.
    The one thing that my husband has taken away from me is my trust in men. Recently I spent the night (there wasn’t any intercourse-lots of fooling around) with a very nice gentleman and we were talking about relationships and what we expect out of the person we date. I told him that whoever I date is not allowed to go to the bar with out me. Did not know the significance of that statement until I thought about it a day or so later. I used to have no problem with who I was dating going out w/o me. I would do the same. After my husband cheated I dont trust men at the bar alone. I’m scared of what could happen and thats not fair to mistrust them because of him.
    Recently I have started to have what most of america would call an “affair”. I dont feel that im having an affair because I dont want to be married to my husband. I have continually asked him for a divorce, tell him I dont want to be with him any longer, ask him to move out constantly, and he isnt listening. I have turned outside of our marriage because we dont have a marriage. Up until the last couple months i never thought about going outside of the marriage but i am at my point and im moving on with my life with out him. Obviously i wont be getting into any relationships anytime soon. (Just have some fun.) To much bad stuff to get over before i think about something serious; but there you have my opinion on why women cheat. We will stay faithful and love you til the end until you start to ignore, unappreciate, walk on, lie, cheat, and make us feel unwanted.

  19. mimosa says:

    Dr. Phil,

    “Or do they cheat because they simply are dissatisfied with their husbands and unhappy with the state of their marriages? Do they look for sexual intimacy with someone new because they don’t know how to repair the lack of intimacy with their own spouses?”

    The above paragraph speaks volumes for me. I entered into matrimony with love in my heart and much hope for a successful future with my husband. Seven years into the marriage and having had enough of feeling insignificant to my husband something within me died. Marriage counseling for over 10 months came and went with no change for me emotionally. I ended up straying. I am not proud of this behavior and have had to deal with my own personal demons because of it, but I was desperate to feel loved, important and significant to someone. I wanted to love someone I didn’t have to fear emotionally and spiritually. I ended the affair after two years and devoted the next seven years of my life to weekly psycho therapy to try to save my marriage for my children. It was just not meant to be. After 24 years we separated and shortly divorced.

    There are people I’m sure who do not know me that would say I am just a slut, a home wrecker, selfish and anything else that goes along with being an adulteress. I can only say to them that they have never felt the cold empty loneliness I felt each day in my marriage. There was this constant feeling of despair hanging over my heart like a dark cloud that just wouldn’t go away. The profound sadness over having lost a part of myself that I gave freely to someone that I trusted and loved. Trusted to protect me, (not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually) trusted to treat me lovingly, only to be the person I needed protection from.
    I am not sorry about having had the affair for I learned a great deal about myself during that time of my life, just not proud of my choice to have done so. Had I been better educated back then my world would have been opened up to additional options. I might have felt confident enough to have walked away from the marriage with my kids in tow and not have seeked the affair. But that’s water under the bridge.

  20. Hopeless says:

    As I sat in on the 3 tapings of the Dr. Phil show in which you did the Valentine Day shows I thought I could be on that stage. I have been married 15 years and I had never had known what loneliness was until I got married. Yes, sad to say. As the Canadian Tenors sang i thought they were talking to me with the song ‘The Prayer’. As I sat there and inside cried through the performance I thought what am I going to do. I have been having 2 affairs at the same time. I never thought in all my life I would be doing this. My husband has emotionally and physically ignored me the last 4 years and the pain is more than I can bear. So I cheated…with 2 men at the same time. I have requested to go to counseling but he will not go. The thought that my marriage could be like this forever just brings me to tears. He has had 2 one-night stands on me in the past and I have forgiven him. I just don’t know what to do. Dr. Phil I cannot tell you that God put me in that show audience for a reason if at all to get the CD. I also watched the taping of the husband that cheats and the wife cannot trust him at all. He stated he would take a polygraph test and then refused. That is one of my lovers. He is also married and his wife always accuses him of cheating. He stated that if she always accuses him he might as well do it. So he is doing it with me. Boy, could I relate to that situation to. I have much, much more I could say. So please ask me any questions that you would like to ask me.

  21. Stuck in the past says:

    So I’m not exactly married yet, but I’m well on my way. I’m only 22 years old and I have made a commitment to my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years. I love him to death. There is one person that I have always been stuck on, however. I dated a guy online when I was 18. We dated online for approximately 8 months and we were friends for well over a year.I never met him in person but I fell head over heals for this guy. We had everything in common! The only issue is that every other girl online fell for him too and he wasn’t one to give up his female friends because of my jealousy issues. My self esteem was at an all time low and I was put on depression meds when I was 17. Later on (19yrs old), I got doctors put me on PMDD meds. No one really knows for sure if I have PMDD, but the medicine has been an improvemnt in my life. While with my online lover, I had major outbursts of depression and anger. I had cutting fits and would cry for hours and wished that I would die and I had no idea why. This was before I was on the PMDD medication. Besides having very few friends and being an outcast, I was having these mental breakdowns. My only friends were the ones that I played with online (I’m a major gamer) and My online boyfriend became my best friend before he was my boyfriend. Anyway, he helped me through a lot of my issues and I got really close to him. When he couldn’t take my jealous outbursts anymore, he said he wanted to take a break. During that break he had a “thing” with another girl. I was heartbroken and he suggested I go out and have fun and not stay on the computer all day. I did and thats how I ended up with my current boyfriend who knows every online bf I’ve had and everything I’ve done and still stuck with me. He got me on the PMDD meds and off the depression meds that were doing absolutely nothing for me. He changed my life and made me happy. 2 1/2 years later, however, I’m still talking to my online lover. I still have feelings for him and he still has feelings for me. We’ve both made it clear to each other that we don’t want to ruin my current relationship. Still when we talk as friends we give each other hints and flirt a lot and I feel like I’m going down a road I shouldn’t and I can’t stop myself. He doesn’t want to lose me as a friend, but respects my wishes if I want us to stop talking. I’m already cheating because I can’t tell my boyfriend about it. He doesn’t like my online lover (for obvious reasons) and forbidden me from talking to him. I’ve been hiding this secret for about two years and it’s making me fall out of love with my future husband. Whats even more difficult is that now that I’m older, I could easily make the trip to see my online lover or he could make the trip to see me. I know I’m blinding myself by falling in love with my ex, but my brain just can’t stop my heart. Logically, my current boyfriend is perfect for me, takes great care of me, and would do absolutely anything for me. But my heart still longs for what I lost in the past and has never recovered from that heartbreak. How to do I break the line between friends and lovers? And how do I tell my current boyfriend about this? Women make mistakes too.

  22. Mo says:

    I don’t cheat on my husband and he doesn’t cheat on me. We have been married well over 30 years and we never spend our anniversary together. We got married 2 days after opening gun season for deer. I married a hunter. I didn’t know this at the time since he was in the military but found out pretty quick when we left.
    It used to irritate me but truly after 30 years I am very used to it.

    We tried very hard to set the example for our kids. We didn’t take into account what my family might be doing to set examples. So, I have an adult daughter who met a lady, then her husband, decided she liked the husband better and now lives with him. They had a child this past year and we don’t have much to do with our daughter anymore.
    She pushes us to have dinner with them but we have no interest in her married boyfriend. Our oldest grandson asked us recently if we knew that the man was married and not to his mom. We told him yes because we do. We don’t like it but it isn’t our business anymore. She is 30 years old and we just don’t want anything to do with her friend.

    Her new baby is kept away from us and that is fine too. Our family has told us that the baby is our grandson but since we don’t see him, it really doesn’t feel like it.

    My husband and I are happy with the empty nest syndrome which has lasted ( this time) for 7 months.
    We are ready to live our own lives and figure everyone else has that right too.

  23. Anonymous female says:

    I am married to a very negative man. At times I contemplate divorce. The sad thing is, I only stick it out because of the church I attend practically demands this.

    The times I’ve “cheated”, I didn’t realize it was actually cheating. The first time in my life was when I was 21 and I had an affair with a married man. I was single at that time, so I was the other woman. We never had sexual intercourse, we never had oral sex, but pretty much everything else we did. We had some talks that showed this was also an emotional affair with us. I’m certain that he would have left his wife for me. But I’m the one that ended the relationship

    A year after that, I got married to “Mr Negative”. Seven years later we separated (he physically attacked me twice, I wasn’t sticking around for more). During our separation, we were still technically married and I got involved with online sex. My thoughts were, “This is completely anonymous, it’s for fun, I’m not hurting anybody, they don’t even know who I am.” I eventually realized it was taking over my life like some kind of addiction and I stopped it cold turkey and haven’t went back in about 5 years.

    Anyway, three years after hubby and I separate, we get back together (after he went through counseling and anger management). He knows not to lay a finger on me (restraining order for 12 months and threat to be thrown in jail helps!), but I go through day to day with him treating me like a child. I stay depressed and it’s tempting to find someone else. But I won’t, not until I actually file for divorce and it’s final. I’ve learned my lessons from my past

    My husband has a very critical spirit and it is draining me dry. Nothing satisfies him and he always has something to complain about. I never seem to do anything right and I’m thinking in my mind, “Life is TOO short, why am I still here??” Again, because the church I attend expects no less. The only reason I am there is because of religious beliefs. Sad isn’t it?

    I can see where I can be tempted to stray. A couple of opportunities have even presented themselves, but I’m not giving in. I won’t do it.

    Now my husband, going to men straying, he’s never had sex with another woman while married to me (even during our separation). But I do believe he had an emotional affair. He became friends with a female co-worker that began calling him late at night, talking for two to three hours each time. I kept copies of the phone records (cell phone) that showed this. Every time she’d call, my husband jumped and ran for her. Anything she asked for, she got from MY husband. I finally pitched a fit about this and he dropped the girl’s friendship and rarely talks to her

    Anyway, I’m dealing. That’s my two cents worth on why women cheat. Bottom line, you get something from the other person that you’re not getting at home. And for women, it’s not usually sex. It’s validation of themselves as attractive women, and it’s emotional support. To all the married men out there, give your wives the emotional support they need, or else someone else will!

  24. NY_Man says:

    Other than the obvious, I feel it’s also considered cheating when you engage in a conversation you wouldn’t have in front of your partner with the possibility it could develop into more than just that….a conversation. There is a proverbial line people in a relationship should not cross. They are well aware of it and i don’t buy it when it’s said it was too late and i couldn’t stop. It takes 2 people to have a relationship and both parties are just as guilty, assuming there is honesty amongst both of them….which most of the time there isn’t when cheating is involved. With that in mind, i had friendship with a girl that lived in another state, not close enough to drive to, soon after i got divorced. I was single at the time and she was in a bad marriage and had young children. Neither one of us made any advancements towards the other and it didn’t matter what the distance was. We both knew our place and never crossed that proverbial line. We developed a close friendship over time. She even came to NY once in a while because she had family here and we ended up meeting at a public place and she even brought a family member so she was not alone. We hit it off good and stayed friends for a long time. I ended up getting involved in a relationship shortly after i met her, about 2 years later, while she was married and we shared our ups and downs with each other. We were always honest with each other but we never told our partners. I wanted to say something to my girlfriend, 2 years into my relationship, which was about 4 years into our friendship and i never did. I felt if i did, it would cause a problem and possibly risk losing my girlfriend. My friend told me several times to tell her and said she would explain things to make sure it was just a friendship and nothing sexual. I refused and about 6 years into my relationship if finally came out and all hell broke lose. I felt so relieved because it felt like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. When the dust cleared, my friend ended up telling everything and then some. I broke off the friendship immediately, not because she told my girlfriend, but it was due to the things she said that never happened. With my GF being very hurt and angry, the lies were said in a way to make them believable due to the embellishment of the facts. An example of this is my friend saying i would have persued a relationship with her if she gave me the chance. This could not been further from the truth because i loved my GF very much. It bothered me to no end and that was because i hurt the woman i love very much. I let this carry on way too long and should have said something right away. I blame myself for this and it took a while to gain her trust back. She considered this cheating and at the time i didn’t. I’m still on the fence about the cheating part right now, but i do know if i had to do it all over again, i would tell her immediately. The fact that i hid something like this from her is something that possibly made her feel this way. I agree with her and would have felt the same if the roles were reversed. Fast foward to the future, we are very happily married and this incident does not come up any more. We have moved past it and concentrate on current issues. If you have a loving, trusting and understanding partner, there is not much a relationship can’t work on and get past.

  25. Tammy says:

    I do think that cheating is more than just actually having SEX. I think that it starts with the intimate chatting and texting/ emailing, and moves from their. But if your are doing any of them, then you certainly don’t have your spouses best interest in mind. I unfortunately have had an affair on my husband, and am sick that I did it. And as much as I love my husband and think that he is the best thing for me, I often think about doing it again. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I personally think that it is the newness of the relationship that turns me on. I love to watch movies or TV shows that show the people falling in love and kissing and being intimate for the first time. But the shows that show the same people being in love and having been together for along time doesn’t do a thing for me. So you wanted my opinion and their it is. I pray daily that I wouldn’t have the feeling that I have.. but I do, I always do. Also though I know that I would never ever stray again because I never want to hurt my husband again or my kids. They are my biggest priority. Those are my thoughts, in a nut shell.

  26. suzy says:

    My husband’s twin brothers’ wife just was caught in affair number two. This to me is a weak a spineless thing to do. There is no excuse!! If she wasn’t happy then get out. They have problems I get it, My husband and myself have similar problems we fight and try to move on. I could respect her to get out of it but why ruin him. It’s crazy!! And he still wants to work it out with her. Cheaters, cheat everyone!!!

  27. considering says:

    I think there are many reasons to cheat, though I don’t think cheating is the right thing to do. I have been with my spouse for many years, and have been unhappy most of them, but I have never physically cheated on him. I promised him a long time ago that I never would, however, I have emotionally cheated on him…another man has never touched my body since I’ve been with him, but one has touched my heart and left a longing that will never go away. Honestly I think the emotional cheating is worse than the physical! But the other guy gives me so much emotional strength that my husband is unable to give. I know it’s unfair to him, but I don’t know how to stop, but I know that I won’t cross the sexual line, I wouldn’t want to cause him that pain, because to him, that is worse! I can’t speak for other women, but thought I would share my experience.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hello..cheating means sexual intercourse or oral sex to me. Well I’m a happily married woman. My husband and I are great together he understands me completely and I do the same for him. He is one hell of a guy and no matter where life takes us I always wish the best for both of us. I can say that I am content and actually HAPPY in my marriage. With all that said I cheated! Why, well that is a good questions because I am getting everything I need at home and the guy that I had relations with isn’t anyone I want to spend a lifelong relationship with. When I told one of my very trusted friends the first question she asked me was “are you happy” I said yes. I’m not sure why I’m sharing this but felt that I need to and I do know that cheating on my husband is wrong! It won’t happen again and I will never tell him. If he cheated on me I would not want to know. But everything you do has a consequence. If the day comes when I do have to face my consequences then I will have to look him in the eyes and say sorry and lose the love of my life. Thank you for listing!

  29. John says:

    I was married for over 27 years to what I think was the greatest girl ever. Like any relationship, we had our ups and downs, but overall I thought it was a marraige that would endure anything, and last a life time. What went wrong? I ask myself that question daily. We have been divorced for a year now, and I still don’t have any concrete reason for why she felt the need to have mutiple affairs in our marraige, and ultimately get divorced. I know that I will be chastized for my next comment, but here goes anyway. I still love this woman very much. Even with the amount of pain that I have endured with what she did to me, and the pain that I feel for my adult daughters for what she does to them on a regular basis, I still love her. I have tried moving on, but I am not able to have a relationship with another woman. When I do try, I am the one that feels like I am cheating on her. I never once cheated on my wife during our marraige. The first time that she had an affair on me, I tried to be understanding and thought that we had worked through it. Because of that, I thought that our marraige was even stronger than before, but I guess I was just kidding myself. Would I take her back if I had the opportunity? I would like to answer that with a resounding ” NO! “, but the truth of the matter is, I probably would in a heartbeat. Call me old fashioned, I still believe in my vows, ” Till death do you part! “

  30. Katrina says:

    I have had an affair, it was because of I was bored, Lonely, and sexually frustrated.
    The bad part was it did not make me feel any better, in fact it made me feel worse.

    On the plus side I did learn from that mistake. I wont be repeating it again. But I am in the process of filing for divorce.

  31. Gillian says:

    I am in South Africa, I am divorced, never had an extra marital affair, but I was in a marriage where I was simply the personal assistant, our daughter a irritation. What I found so amusing when I said I was leaving was his response which was ” who is going to do my banking and my tax returns”. Why didn’t I have an affair ? I was married to a sociopath and I had a daughter to protect, but I also had interests outside of the home, which filled the extreme lonliness. Why would woman cheat I think because you are trying to fill an emotional need, and I think it might go back further than the marriage, some people have a religious need to marry and then marry the wrong man and spend a life time trying to justify the bad decision, and some girls marry the wedding ceremony and not the living breathing man and then do not have the courage to admit they made the bad decision or the courage to break his heart by being straightforward and tell him, or the courage to face the collective family. Instead they fulfil the needs elsewhere and make matters worse.

  32. suenosdeuomi says:

    I loath the idea that we own each other and that one relationship can define us, just as I loath dishonesty and pretense.

    I was married to a good man with whom I shared some values and a life style. The years I struggled with what I perceived the lack of passion in me for this good man that should have stayed a friend, rather then have become my husband! What a surprise when years after that marriage I found myself as a middle aged woman attracted to a man in all ways possible, with a freedom I had never known.

    While I had promised myself as a teen not to love ‘blindly’ but go in to relationships with open eyes, I was naive and unprepared. I lacked good role models as so many others do, and making up our own rules did not always work. In my marriage, after both of us cheated openly and experienced each others pain, at least we refrained from doing so again and rode out our relationship in it’s ups and downs to the end, which was at least not bitter.

    I never believed that one other could fulfill all different aspects of one person, we are so multi-faceted. So, marriage to my mind truncates most in order to fit in to a functioning whole. Unguarded, true intimacy affirms our connectedness and spiritual substance and is what I believe we crave, and seek to regain, be it through affairs, secret day-dreaming and various ways of acting out. Intimacy with our true needs and wants should come first and be acted upon, rather then delayed and displaced with ‘acting out’ of all sorts of shameful behavior. Affairs are a poor attempt to right something that is wrong. I applaud any exploration of these often held secret issues that hold so much pain for so many.

    Sincerely,

    from one single, but whole woman.

  33. Natalie says:

    Instead of talking to there spouse about what there feelings women and men stray…. All that time your spending with this other person you could be with your mate and family…
    If your feeling neglected or that your spouse is working too much tell them..
    I feel people get divorced or give up to easy..

  34. Michelle says:

    I have been with my husband for almost 16 years. We just celebrated our 13year anniversary. I never thought we would make it.
    My husband walked out on me and our 5 children 2 1/2 years ago. In the time we were separated, he slept with a married woman (while living under her and her husbands roof). Called me, said he wanted a divorce. I said fine, started the paper work.
    I met a guy online long before any of this happened, we were like best friends. When he found out I was getting a divorce, he told me he loved me. 6 weeks later he flew out here, and it was like we had known each other for years.
    I didn’t consider it cheating because I had been separated for almost a year now and was getting divorced.
    My husband decided he wanted to come home, after a long rollercoaster ride, we moved back in together. Then I found out a mont later he was cheating with another married women. Sigh…..I told him to get out of the house, that I was done with him.
    He bent over backwards to make things right. I wanted to hurt him as much as he had me, so I slept with the other guy (he moved here to be near me).
    Then I went one step further and moved the guy into our house. Yes, me, my husband and this other guy!
    Both of them put up with it, why, I don’t know.
    I dated guy number two for about three months before I finally made up my mind to stay with my husband.
    I realized the hard way, that things can be fixed if you are dedicated, and cheating, affairs, whatever you want to call it, just hurts everyone, including the kids, friends, and family. Its not worth it.

  35. taffy says:

    i have been married for 14 yrs. and have had two affairs. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. My husband didn’t pay attention to me and show me the love and affection i needed so i found it somewhere else. The second one i packed up and moved out and moved in with the other guy-didn’t think about the problems it was going to cause or the impact is was going to have on me and everybody else. The other guy has 4 kids and is divorced but still has emotional strings to the ex wife. Her and I got along at first and so did me and the kids. When she knew we (me and the kids) were getting along she would say a lot of things to turn the kids against me and it caused a lot of problems and we fought about it all the time. He never stuck up for me or defended me and she was always right and i was always wrong and i was always the bad person no matter what. He would make me move out then after two or three wks. he would decide he was sorry and he would want to work things out. I was dumb and kept going back to him. This went on for the two yrs. we were together. The last time he done it to me was the last time he done it to me cause i will never take him back. I done everything for him and he always jumped and put the ex before me. I know there had to be contact because of the kids but not every day. There isn’t that much that goes on that there has to be contact every day unless there is something more going on. I moved out and went back to my husband and hopefully we will be able to work on our marriage. I learned that there are very selfish people out there and you don’t know what you have until it isn’t there and sometimes it takes moving on for awhile to make the other one wake up and see how bad things really are. My husband doesn’t know about the affairs and i don’t think i’d ever tell him to keep from hurting him. The other guy is a shrink and like they say most of them are crazy and i believe it.

  36. Ellen says:

    I cheated 10 years ago because I was bored or lonely? I had lost a lot of weight and my husband never once told me how good I looked. So, part of my cheating had to do with the need to reaffirm desirability and once again feel “special”.

    I was also dissatisfied with my husband and unhappy with the state of my marriage. He drank a lot and never helped with the kids unless I told him to. I was never “allowed” to work in the yard, but could only wash clothes, clean house and take care of the kids. I went to the grocery with the kids..he never went, it was “my” job. There was also a lack of intimacy. It was all about him. By saying that I mean that he was only in it for his satisfaction. He didn’t care if I felt good too. Once he was “done”, “it” was over. So, I cheated with someone that would be sure I was satisfied and happy.

    I felt horrible hurting him, because he let me hang out with my friends whenever I wanted. I did have a lot of freedom, yet I was so alone.

  37. cherrytart27 says:

    I myself seem to think women, just like men are prone to trying to find something better or trying to have their ckae and eat it to. some women dont understand that you can not have it all untill they are in their late 50’s and relize that their life has passed them by and they are going to grow old alone.
    I have been engaged for over a year now and i couldnt even imagin myself ever wanting to stray from him. but i also think under different circumstances such as… if they feel trapped and have no where to go if they left their current spouse or lover, try to find financial and emotional security in the arms of another before they make the decision to leave the one their with. there are a number of reasons for cheating, some may be justified and some may not. But, the point here is that no science can tell us exactly why we would cheat because the people doing the studies dont know alot of the percentages personally.

  38. Tinamay says:

    Cheting is evil. where is the honesty? I’ve never been in an relationship so I have no clue. But it is terrible. I’m finshing up my last year of University and have never had a boyfriend. I’m really miss out. That what sad for me it is. I hate the Idea of cheting. You should treat poeple how you want people to treat you. Respect I think is important

  39. Nicky says:

    dr phil i need your help my marriage is on the rocks.i am 26 yrs and have 2 kids my husband is a womanniser and has cheated on me before i forgave him, i had left him once and messed around he does not forgive me but we are carring on.but now he does not show me love at all anytime i mention time alone together he refuses.we dont hold hands nomore i feel like i am in a loveless marriage.

    i dont want a divorce what can i do i feel all alone.pls help me
    thank you

  40. Renna says:

    I agree with Jennifer. The social sites have made it really easy to reconnect with old flames and cheat. Dr. Phil you could make a whole show out of Facebook. I can not tell you how many of my old school mates are cheating and are in unhappy marriages. I never thought I would cheat. Married for 16 years. Got married really young to an older man. That would be a good idea for a show as well. After a certain age you just do not get along. Well, I reconnected with old flames on Facebook and found myself cheating on my husband. I don’t think anyone sets out to intentionally cheat. You make the decision in the moment. This was the what I thought “Love of my life” I had never gotten over this person. Well, he talked the talk and I feel for it. Before I knew it I was cheating. He is also married. We have since stopped talking and he stayed w/his wife (what normally happens). I think I enjoyed the danger side of it. I did fall for him again, but it did not work out. We are both still w/our spouses. These things can end very badly.

  41. Wanda Allen says:

    I think once we all realize that “people” cheat, not just men and not just women we can stop asking why we can agree it is a choice. I also think that the definition of cheating, whatever that might be to each of us, needs to be made clear to our partners. I also think it is important for both women and men to realize that we fall in love in very different ways. I think for women it is through our ears and for men through their eyes. We each have to realize that if something isn’t working in our relationship we owe it to our partner and ourselves to fix it or move on, but bringing a third party into an already broken relationship isn’t going to fix the problem.

  42. Keith Wheaton says:

    There was a show a couple of years ago on a cheating wife that was having a African-American baby. Did she stay faithful or keep cheating?

  43. Anonymous says:

    After reading several comments, it’s amazing to me that I was like several of the women that are judgmental and say they would never cheat. Life is just not that simple. I, too, used to say I would never cheat. If I was unhappy, I’d let him know first. Well, I let him know for over 10 years that I wasn’t happy. I pleaded for us to get marriage counseling. He wouldn’t go, said he knew what the issue was and would fix it himself. Never happened.

    I believe most women cheat primarily because they’ve taken all they can and are emotionally done with the marriage. I did everything but wipe his butt for him, and it still wasn’t enough. Someone 15 years younger told me how beautiful and special I was and made me feel desirable. Yes, for a second I thought I loved him, but now realize it was only the moment I was in. The affair was very short lived – a few months, and although I regret it, it can’t be changed. Life gives you an opportunity to make choices and you need to make them and grow from them -whatever the choice is. I would like to think that I will not allow myself to be placed in that situation again and I am working on me.

    Although I am divorcing my husband, it had absolutely nothing to do with the affair. I just know I deserve better and I’ve beat myself up enough. I am still a good woman and deserve to be happy with someone who respects me and appreciates me for who I am, not who they want me to be.
    Women – stop being so judgmental because unless you’re in it, you cannot possibly know. No one is perfect – including you.

  44. Samantha says:

    I was in a 4 year relationship and cheated on my boyfriend. He found out a couple of days before he was going to ask me to marry him. I know that it seems like I’m a bad person. And I feel like it, but I had my reasons and I tried like mad to get him to understand that I was over the edge with some of the issues and lack of conversation in our lives. It just so happened that a male friend of mine became very close to me and we had an emotional affair.

    We got back together. Now things are so much better between us. It wasn’t the affair that made it better, but the split. I will never forgive myself for what I have done to the one person I love most. I hurt not only him, but my children and family. It was the worst feeling ever. Learn from your mistakes and try to talk and don’t stop. Turning to another man is only a temporary fix to whatever you are feeling. And if it’s so bad that you want to be with another man, then be with another man. Don’t make things more painfull for people because you actions run deeper than just you and your partner.

  45. Louise says:

    i haven’t cheated but i’m tempted. Why? my needs do not matter to my husband and it would be nice to matter to someone for once, even just for a few hours.
    All i am to my husband is another person bringing in a paycheck and a maid.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Hello Dr.Phil,

    I had two affairs while with my ex husband in 18 yrs of marriage. I have to admit the first time I was involved with someone else I really thought there was something wrong with me because I did not feel guilty, I went to a therapist and was told I was angry and holding resentment and it was my way of hurting him (my husband) back. Made sense to me and hubby and I worked on things for six years, had some good family times but things were never the same and I did it again.

    The second time around I knew I no longer was in love with my husband. He was not giving me the kind of attention and love I need. It actually took me awhile to figure that out! He was incapable of it, after the first affair he tried to change and I tried to change too (I found out about things he wasn’t happy with me either about) but for me, it was too late. The first affair he knew about but the second one I kept to myself and it was over as soon as it had begun but after that I knew I had to do something because I couldn’t keep living a lie, we were fighting all the time, name calling etc and having two young daughters witnessing it….it was not good at all.

    He wasn’t a bad man but I married him when I was 19 and had been with him since I was 17 so I really didn’t know what I needed and wanted at that age – I thought I did, but I was wrong. I didn’t know enough about myself then to make the commitment to him that I did and I changed. I realised I need love and affection, not trinkets or toys, I realised money wasn’t a priority….he gave more attention to his work, to his friends, his sports etc….I was lonely…our ideas of moving ahead in life were different, my values had changed and we moved ahead but apart…I lived the single life for a little while.

    I am now engaged to the love of my life, he knows all about my past and he actually knew my ex (long story) and says he always wondered what I saw in the guy that he didn’t treat me like I should have been treated and that I am not at total fault for what happened and it takes two. While my fiance was courting me, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, I now know what it means to be loved and to give love truly and deeply with your whole being….he didn’t bring me diamonds and pearls, he gave me his time, his affection, his understanding, he took care of me when I was so sick, we bonded. My ex wouldn’t leave work when his daughter was being born, I could go on and on but you get the picture…when my mother died of cancer 3 yrs ago he left the funeral and went to work! We weren’t so close – not as close as you should be to the person you are married too! He never really cared, he thought marrying me was proof enough I guess.

  47. me says:

    my wife cheated on me and i took her back. and now its starting again. can anyone tell me why. this hurts so bad. i love her and our 3 kids. how can i keep her from doing it again.

  48. Rachael says:

    I am from Australia. I have read quite a few of the comments posted. I am surprised at how prevalent cheating seems to be in America.

    I believe if you are with the right person you have no desire to cheat and you won’t. I love my husband dearly and wouldn’t ever consider cheating. Don’t people have morals?

  49. Kharma says:

    First let me just say that I’m glad to finally see female infidelity being discussed on the Dr Phil Show. (Actually on daytime tv at all for that matter) With the core daytime tv audience being mostly female I’ve noticed that it’s not something that is often discussed. It’s almost considered “taboo” in our society to talk about women who cheat and as a man I’m often viewed as a “women hater” when I bring up the subject for debate.

    Let me first say that I’ve been married twice. After 10 years of dating and 5 years of marriage I was unfaithful to my first wife. It’s not something that I’m proud of obviously and I’ve done my best to make amends with her and be a good father to my children from that marriage. I’m happy to say that we are still friends and we always put our children first. I still feel a lot of guilt and regret about hurting her the way I did. She knows this and we have found a way to move forward and be the best parents we can be for our kids.

    After a few years of dating I remarried. My 2nd wife was 12 years younger than me. We dated for 3 years before I asked her to marry me. If it had been up to her she would have wanted us married a lot sooner but I wanted to wait and make sure it was true. Especially for the sake of my children. We were engaged for about a year and then married for about 10 months when she left. (Almost 5 years total) Looking back there were a lot of red flags that I should have seen but did not unfortunately. She was actually great to my kids and they grew to love her very much. They were fairly young when she came into their lives (2 and 6) so it was very hard for them when she left. When she left she refused to say goodbye to them. No letters, phone calls, cards… nothing. Once I knew she was actually serious about not coming back I begged her not to leave without saying goodbye in some form but she refused. It was almost as if she knew that this would crush me so she did it to hurt me even more. Later on I found out that she had been having an affair with a younger guy that she worked with. It was devastating (and kharmic as you can see) I was definitely reaping what I sowed and I know that.

    As for why she left… she would probably tell you that she made a mistake (I’m guessing) That she should have never married me in the first place. Looking back I think she just wanted to “be married.” Feeling that pressure from family and friends to settle down and have a baby. Feeling jealous of friends who were already married and having kids while she was not. She was always a fairly jealous and insecure person. She knew about my first marriage so she would always look through my personal things and accuse me of cheating. What makes it all worse though for me and my kids is the way she left. Rather than just come clean and say “this isn’t working” she started going out all the time, drinking with her younger, single friends, acting irresponsibly, purposely starting fights with me. (and when I say fights I mean getting up in my face, screaming, swearing, shoving and even spitting (literally) spitting in my face. Twice as a matter of fact.) On the evening that she left my kids were sleeping in the next room when she got home 4 hours late from a happy hour. She was drunk AGAIN and started ranting about how I never let her do anything, etc… which was entirely untrue. I was a good husband and provider to her. She could do whatever she wanted. I trusted her completely. I never dictated what she could and couldn’t do, ever. I just think she was angry that she even had to come home at all and was purposely trying to goat me into a fight so that she could tell everyone I was some kind of monster… when in reality SHE was the one who wanted out but knew that all her friends and family would think she was crazy for leaving me. This is something that I believes happens in our society ALL THE TIME but is never discussed. She created a big story about me being this abusive person (which I am not) and that was it. End of story. In my opinion, when a vindictive woman sets that kinda trap, you’re done. Who is gonna believe the guy? I mean it’s all over tv and movies, right? Men are abusive jerks. We never talk about women who physically, verbally and mentally abuse men. That night my wife (now my ex) would not calm down. I told her to stop screaming because the kids were in the next room but she wouldn’t. I told her we would talk about it in the morning but she refused. She just kept screaming and swearing over and over…. She then snatched the tv remote from me and when I snatched it back it hit her in the leg and THAT was her out. She told everyone that I hit her and they all believed it. She was free of having to be responsible for our failed marriage (which I blindly thought all along was actually pretty good.) Humiliating… but again… Kharmic… right ladies? lol Yup… I know.

    Unfortunately I think she struggles with a Bi-Polar disorder. (history in her family) Emotionally up and down alllllll the time. Really happy then really sad or upset. She always seemed to need a fix. When we started dating she was happy (then after awhile sad and bored) then I asked her to move in and she was happy again. Then after that wore off she was miserable again. Then we got a dog (happy again, for awhile until she realized how much responsibility comes with a puppy) then bummed out again. Then I asked her to marry me. VERY happy again. Then 10 months after the wedding she disappears from our lives. Abusive phone calls and text msgs the whole time. It was a nightmare. Finally after she had threatened to file for divorce over and over again I told her fine… go ahead and file. I couldn’t take it anymore. The way she was treating me and especially my kids… I didn’t want someone like that in my life so… she filed and I signed. I let her go… It broke my heart and the hearts of my kids but… there wasn’t anything else I could do.

    It happens to us too ladies. Women seem to become easily bored these days. Expecting life to be like it is on TV and in romance novels. Strutting around with this sense of entitlement. “Always about the better offer” as one of my female friends likes to say. I’m sorry… I’m not a Cruise Director or your Daddy. I don’t want to live in fear that if I don’t treat you like a Princess 24/7 and buy you things and take you here and there all the time that you’re going to leave me. That’s not what’s most important in life. I was affectionate and caring but it was just never enough. She was a bottomless pit of insecurity, jealousy and need and there was nothing I could do to keep her happy. I hope she’s figured out a way to love herself. I haven’t seen or heard from her in almost 4 years now.

    I was faithful to my second wife. I wanted to do it right this time. I did my best but it didn’t work out. Yes… Kharma is a bitch… I know. But she didn’t have to hurt my kids the way she did. It’s something they still struggle with to this day. I have forgiven her for everything but that. Try as I might to let that anger go… it’s still very difficult. Thanks for listening everyone and Goodluck! :)

  50. Rose says:

    Cheating has so many emotions behind it, yet how quick others are ready to judge and make it a dirty thing. You cant brush every situation with the one judging brush. I am a cheater, I am not proud of it. I cheated on my husband of 14 years once. I had been with him for 18 years and married 14 of those years. I came from a very strict Italian upbringing and was a judging person because I didn’t understand about cheaters, I put them all in the one category until I found myself in the place myself.
    My ex-husband was and is a voyeur/pervert. I first knew about this before we got married, as he had been repetitively looking in the window of a friends 11 year old sister. But he convinced me that he hadn’t done anything wrong, and lied his way around it and I lacked confidence to break it up. So I married him. We had two children and when our youngest was 6 months old, I caught him looking in our bathroom window as my 15 year old cousin was showering. We had a full on argument, but he was right I was wrong. I didn’t want anyone to know about it as I felt embarrassed and also thought I was doing something wrong as a wife that he was doing such a thing. I put up with porn movies on our computer, and if he was slack and didn’t delete it, I would find pictures and movies of teenage girls in sex acts, some of which were very aggressive. I didn’t know what to do. I was told by my parents that it was a mistake marrying him but I didnt want to admit that I was wrong and I feared where I would go and what I would do, what would I say to others, would he kill me if I said somthing. I lived in fear and confusion. So I stayed. 14 years I stayed. I left 4 years before but he promised to change and get help but he never did.
    I came across my ex boyfriend, which was my first love. We talked on the internet, as I lived on the other side of the state. It wasnt a physical affair at first, it was emotional. I felt like I had been dead for most of my marriage and I felt alive as we were in love when we were teenagers but he was in the navy and it took him away, so we went out own way.
    I came to visit him on a trip, and apart from sharing a kiss, it was all that happened as I knew in my heart that it was wrong. When I returned from the trip, my ex husband had been having a fling with the work girl and porn was all over his computer, and locked so I couldnt see it. I was miserable, as for the first time I knew that I couldnt deny myself happiness anymore.
    I went back on another trip and had my once affair. I came back home to feel totally disconnected to my exhusband. When I found that he had joined a teen website on our computer, I asked him to leave, which he did in half hour.
    I became the cheater, the scarlet woman. I had family turn against me and had to restablish myself all over again. My ex happily exposed my affair, but threatened that if I said anything about his addictions, he would take everything away from me. In fear, I let everyone hate me, but never exposed him.
    My daughter took the seperation the worst and ridiculed me but I couldnt tell her. I told my ex to make sure the kids never find anyting. She one day was as her fathers, and went on his computer to find him downloading a file called “Teen being raped whilst drugged*, she opened the file and was horrified. She called me to get her and her brother.
    Its still affecting my life. Whilst my teen girl is going through a horrible part of being a teenager, its her trump card.. Me cheating… it never goes away… I live it daily.
    So before anyone criticises cheaters, remember some are hurting… its not fun.
    That was 7 years ago that I was divorced. I married my 1st boyfriend 1.5 years ago. I have such a beautiful man that loves me so much and looks after me. He helped me deal with the divorce and stuck by me through thick and thin. We both live with our affair, but we wouldnt be where we are now without it. I would have never left my ex if it was anyone else.
    Thanks for listening :)

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