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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. Anonymous says:

    The story behind my infidelity is pretty unique. My boyfriend and I met, fell in love, and had a great sexual chemistry. I hinted that I would be interested in a “group” experience. He then unveiled his past, which involves swingers’ parties, being the usual “third wheel” in a couple’s sexual encounters, etc. I was interested in learning the lifestyle. In no way did I feel pressured. I was excited, and eager to learn.
    Our “swinging” lifestyle is great. We’ve met other couples who enjoy the same activities, both in and out of the bedroom.

    My boyfriend was out of town for about 1.5yr due to business (although he would fly home to visit). In this time with him away, I grew increasingly attached to an old friend. At first this friend was just good company, someone to talk to, dinners/concerts/movies/exercising… Before I knew it, we were having an affair, actually, a full-blown relationship. When it came time for my boyfriend to move back, I ended the side relationship. I think about him often, curious as to what he’s doing now, but am happy with my boyfriend. He’s such a caring man. He is always doing things to make me smile-a post it note on the mirror, making my coffee before work, throwing a flower in my lunch bag, sending greeting cards in the mail…

    Then, I took a girls’ trip…met a stranger in a nightclub and he came back to our hotel. He was a one night stand. I feel horrible about this. I do not plan to tell my boyfriend. I think the novelty of men giving women attention drives women to cheat. The first was my boyfriend’s absence, the second was lots of alcohol and attention.

    I feel like swinging made our relationship stronger-we talked and shared this connection I’d never experienced. I think our lack of “swinging” for the 1.5 yr he was gone, hurt our relationship. Sounds backwards, huh?

  2. Lucy says:

    I am almost 30, have been married for a long while, and recently just had my first (and only) affair. I reconnected with an old flame, the man I had always considered to be “the love of my life”. Yea…I know, this should be my husband right? Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, more than you could ever know…and I’m sure I’m getting the eye rolling, the if you loved him then you wouldn’t have done it, and maybe you are right. But maybe you don’t know as much as you think you do, because having the affair, and reconnecting with someone whom I also love so dearly didn’t mean I loved my husband any less…it just was. Of course I hate myself for allowing it to happen, for encouraging the relationship, because it wasn’t just sex, it was a full blown relationship. But in the book of my life, I could not have imagined my life any more without my “affair relationship” than I could without my husband. I love them both.
    So I don’t know why women cheat, I only know why I did. I cheated because I was in love with someone else. Right/Wrong, Good/Bad…I cannot control my emotions anymore than I can control the weather, but I can control my actions, and now my actions and my affections are only given to the man I married. Because I had to ask myself, “love of my life” or not, if I wasn’t willing to leave my husband for him, then obviously that speaks volumes, maybe he isn’t the “love of my life” maybe my husband is. So for now, I’m working on me.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I belive women are having affairs becaus they may not feel as loved as they ones did by their loved ones, or maby because their partner don’t show enouth atention to them or their family.
    I, myself must admit I’ve been attemted sometimes because my partner don’t help around the house nor with our child. He never even whants to talk about him when hi’s coming home from work and our son is asleep.
    His brother though, is always happy around our son and plays with him all the time. That’s when I started thinking about it. I haven’t done anything about my search for mor attention or help because of my son. He needs his father and I understand he wouldn’t be here if I did anything bad.
    But as I was saying: I believe women are cheating ’cause of attention. They don’t get enough attention.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I feel that cheating can be defined on many different levels, it can be sexual intercourse, romantic kisses, or purely emotional (intimate conversations/feelings towards someone else). No matter which one of these ways an individual cheats, they are straying from their significant other and betraying them in some way.

    I think people cheat for a variety of reasons. I have personally never cheated on anyone, but I know a few people that have cheated on their boyfriends/spouses. Some of these women cheated because they had very low self esteem, and wanted to feel loved/wanted by a man other than their significant other. Some of them were just lonely and wanted attention, and others were just unhappy with their current relationship in general. No matter what the reason, it seems that all women I have come accross who have cheated were very unhappy and/or insecure with themselves and their relationship in some way.

  5. Tammy says:

    I am a 32 year old mother of two, and have been married to a wonderful, sensitive, loving husband for almost nine years. I have often caught myself wondering what it would be like to be in the arms of another….what it would be like to start “over” with someone new. Am I unhappy in my marriage? I would lean towards a “yes”. Am I unhappy with my spouse? I would lean towards a “no”. Am I unhappy with myself? The answer would be a definate yes. And this is what I recognize. The problem does not lie entirely within the marriage alone, but when something or someone grows, then the “foundation” needs to grow with it. So, I think the answer to the question, “why women cheat” would be they are unhappy with themselves. Have I ever cheated? A proud, definate NO. Would I ever cheat – absolutely not. Why? Because I am one of the few people who actually take their wedding vows seriously. I stood at an alter before God, and vowed to love this man till the end….

  6. Sara says:

    Building a marriage is a lot more satisfying than moving from one relationship to another with no real substance. Once there is infidelity, the walls are disturbed, and the marriage collapses.
    Too many people just give up and aren’t willing to work at the vows they made.
    Expectations also come into it too.
    There is NO PERFECT partner out there!!!!!

  7. anonymous says:

    I am in my late 20’s and have been married for 5 years. My husband and I did not have a “perfect” marriage. We had problems communicating. After our child was born things got worse, we stopped talking and intimacy was lost. When our child was 2 I had to travel for work. After being away from home for 5 months I met a man who I could talk to and showed me sympathy. He was very kind and made it easy to talk about anything. He too was married and I believe that made it easy to feel comfortable with him. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would cheat. I had always been very judgmental about people who cheat and never understood how someone could do that to a person they loved. I wasn’t looking for sex, I wasn’t looking for sexual intimacy, I just wanted a friend at that point.
    I had started to compare my husband to other husbands. I began to get angry that he wasn’t what I believed he should have been. Yet, I never told him because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. While I was getting angry at my husband I allowed this other man to seduce me. After we had sex I was so ashamed of myself but, instead of taking responsibility for my actions I blamed my husband. I became more and more angry with him and convinced myself I was falling in love. I believed if it was love it wasn’t as wrong and could be justified. The affair continued on for several months.
    My husband and I are working through the aftermath of my actions. He says he can forgive the affair but is struggling with the unnecessary hurtful and mean way I treated him. I can understand how he feels but find it hard to be patient and give him time and space to heal.
    My purpose of telling my story is to say I don’t believe women cheat for sex or physical reasons. Don’t get me wrong there may be women out there who do. I believe women who cheat are looking for emotional intimacy. They want someone to make them feel important, special in that they are worth spending time with and talking to. They may be looking for sympathy or compassion. I think too many men get married and comfortable and forget to show their wives these things. They fall into lives routines and overlook the little things that mean so much to women. I’m not putting the blame on men. I was at fault for never expressing my feelings to my husband. I didn’t give him the opportunity to change. And now I’m waiting to see if he wants to…

  8. isabell says:

    To lucy, 2nd articel.

    You say that you can not controll your feelings more than the weather. Let me update you.
    1. our values influences how we look on things/situations/life
    2. that view, decides what kind of expectations we have
    3. the kind of expectations we have result in our feelings from the situations/life

    So to a certain level you can decide over your feelings. You have to go all the way back to your values and view on life and what is wrong and not. Their you make your view, from that on the proces goes to from you, to life/situation and back to you and result in your feelings.

    I needed to do that to survive. I needed to find a way to not be a boat on the sea in a storm, not being abel to controll my feelings witch controls so extremly much in us and around us.

    Cheating is not something that just happens. It is something that you, in your mind have allowed to think about, and allowed to fantasice about.
    Controll your thinking. Stop those thoughts!

    I have never cheated, but if my partner cheat on me, witch i never think will happend. I am prepared to work on that and forgive that and build an even stronger relationship out of a bad thing.

    I think women cheat because (as it as mentiont earlier) they have a bad selfimage, they don’t love themselfes before they get married. So when the love from their husbands is a regular thing, they want something new something more, to help on their low selfesteem and wrong/negative self view.

  9. JW says:

    I believe women cheat due to lack of love, interest, an intimacy at home. I have been married almost 15 years to a wonderful man who is a great father, provider, etc. But we have no connection together. I have had several emotional affairs. I will not allow myself to get in a situation where I could cheat physically, b/c I know I would. I have begged and pleaded for years with him, I even went to counseling on 3 different occasions. He will not go. I recently told him I want a divorce, but here we are again, trying it again. I am only here b/c I do not want to hurt our kids. And I guess there is always that little bit of hope that he will get it this time. But I have so much resentment towards him.
    My definition of an affair is phone, txting converstaions, physical contact of course, etc. I believe turning to anyone other than your spouse is cheating. But it is so sad living with someone and feeling like your all alone.

  10. Helen Mealing says:

    In answer to your first question, why do married women cheat? I believe it is one or a mixture of all the reasons you have listed depending on the individual however I think the most common reason is they crave some excitement. I think life gets so ho hum and having an affair is exciting, secretive and mysterious… that is until the day of reckoning arrives! lol

    In answer to your second question, what constitutes cheating?
    This also depends on the individual because for some it is having intimate conversations with a man that you don’t have with your husband and for others it is only considered cheating if there is some form of sex involved.
    The best way to avoid any misunderstandings is to have an open discussion about it with your wife/husband, preferably early in the relationship but it’s never too late, so today if you haven’t already.
    I let my (now) fiancée know 2 weeks into our relationship that if he intended to be a permanent fixture in my world then anything other than casual, passing flirting would be considered ‘unfaithful’ by me and subsequently he would find himself with a lot of free time to pursue other women if he ever breached this unwritten contract of fidelity. Needless to say there has never been a need for doubt and uncertainty around this topic in our house and we never needed to discuss it again.
    Furthermore, I was given some good advice years ago by a very wise woman who told me ‘Never trust anyone who cheats on their partner’. She said if they are capable of doing the dirty on someone who is supposed to be their mate in this world, they won’t think twice about doing a number on you!
    As time told, she was totally correct. It is amazing how many times over the years I have come across people who are unfaithful to their partners and I find out later that they have let others around them down as well. Now when I know someone is a cheater I give them a wide berth because I believe what that wise woman was really telling me is that unfaithfulness is a huge red flag for a major character flaw.

  11. anonymous4 says:

    Jw i agree wiht you, nothing worse that to be with someone ald feel all alone. my situation is very similar to yours,15 yrs married 3 kids,hard working husband,gentle and caring,but imposible to talk to, he has terrible temper, i always overlooked at it as i wanted to accept him as he was, big mistake… he shouts at me,once even denied me access to money for a month,i am stay home mum. i empowered him… but he has no right to shout at me,does he? few yrs back met someone, have been friends for long long time,enjoy things together,coffee,chats… he is deivorced,but we dont want to get emotionaly involved as we know it wll only hurt all of us. but i think did the opportunity arise,i’d take it. its hard to feel unloved,alone. like youre the one who compromised most for the future. my big problem is there is no way to comunicate with my husband wihtout arguments and he screaming and shouting at me. i cant take more of it. i’ve gone to counseling,he never wants to go,so there is no succes really. he is always saying he wants to leave,he will leave me,so after 5 yrs of listening to it, i said, fine,maybe thats what you shoud do… now he says i am the one throwing him out… but yes,now i want a dirvorce… looking back,a realise i’ve always been the one apologising for everth even if not my fault. all for the sake of the family.i am tired,exhausted.i did spoil him that way.all he does is shout and walk away.4 months ago i stoped having sex with him cos i didn understand how you make love to someone who does not talk to you for days weeks and even months, looks for you to have sex and nex day or few days later,there we go again,no talkin policies. now i am upgrading mi skills so can get back to work. i dont feel i love him anymore, i have gone through all my feelings and have no anger or ressentment. i just want to take control fo my life. often feel taken for granted.unloved,not cared about. we both have put a lot into this, but there is no cominication at all so yes,like you, have felt so alone beside someone for the last 8 or 9 yrs of my life. i dont waant to cheat. but if i do is probalbly not looking for sex neither cos i dont love myself, i do. but just cos going along through the day feeling alone or just like your are the housekeeper has got the best of me. i want to start a different kind of life. i have never had lack of economic means but dont feel loved,althouhg he says he does love me. but i dont want to stay just for the sake of pretending we are a family. the kids feel all the tention. we dont enjoy anything as a family as there are always arguments or just eternal silence….i think we are all better off being a happily separated family than living in a broken home…. why do we cheat??? cos there is no comunication.wihout communication,how can i express my needs of affection? that for me is the biggest part of it.

  12. I had several affairs since the short time i started doing it. It is out of revenge that i am doing it. The two affairs that i had were people that my husband knew. What is most unusual about me now, when i come to think about it, is that i do not feel any remorse. I know that is not right and i am a case for psych. treatment.
    i am married for 9 nine yrs. But prior to that we have been together for more than 3 yrs. Before i got pregnant with our first child, i caught my then boyfriend cheating on me. He had another girlfriend. But i soon realized that during that time he had others from other towns. We were like 4 at one time. How he managed his time, i do not know. But it was too late to back out because i got pregnant. My family is conservative and raising a child without a father is out of the question..We got separated after our baby turned 1yr old due to further studies he has to make. That time i discovered that during his stay to that other city he immediately take on an affair and the whole time he was there they were together. During this whole time, i never thought that he would make another affair.When i learned about it, i made a decision to be separated from him, but then again, i was 3 months pregnant and he sweet talked me into not doing it again.It was during this time that his parents asked us to get married, that they thought maybe that is the solution for us to stop him from straying.
    i never dreamed nor witnessed a broken family in our clan. And i dont want to be the first one. I tried everything i could to still make it work. I have taken care of him the best way that i could and even prioritized him on top of my kids, pampered him, etc, etc, etc..But then again i felt that nothing is enough for him to make him the husband that i wish he is. Maybe people would say that i am expecting too much. In truth is i am a very simple woman and very easy to please. I had these thoughts that maybe i am not the right woman for him. I have for so many times, asked him that we end our relationship because it is not going anywhere. He wouldn’t think of it and even threatened me at one point that i will not see our children again if i insist.
    That is when my affairs started. I thought to myself, if i cant beat him, join him.
    My first affair was with his co-worker. This co-worker of his got hold of my number when i went to their office to process a few papers for my husband. It started with texting, then phone calls, then short meetings, then it ended in sexual intercourse. In motels, in his car, or anywhere convenient. We saw each other often that my husband never ever hinted about it. Because he is also busy with his own affairs. The affair ended because maybe this other guy felt that i am already demanding his time. it was okay with me because i found another guy who pursued me. This time my husband never learned about it. I realized that i dont feel guilt. This affair was followed by another.
    Whenever my husband hurts me(it came to the point that i was hurt not only emotionally, mentally, but also physically) the hurt lessened and lessened to the point that i dont care anymore. Because of the affairs, how i feel towards all the abuse was not that hurtful anymore. it became my defense. I dont hurt nor cry as much. I do not feel helpless and insecure of all the things that he is doing to me.
    I maybe partly to blame for all that has happened to us. That i have made life too easy for him. That even if he was wrong, i always tried to understand and make cover up for him that he will change and make up for it. But unfortunately it never happened.
    I realized in my affairs, that i can be the one satisfied in the love making not my partner i do satisfy all the time. I realized that i am not pitiful and can be needed by somebody else. These people that i had an affair with would still pursue me even after i tell them that i dont want to see them anymore, because i know that i am very good in bed. I do research and i do trial and error for satisfactions’ sake.
    i guess that makes me a cheater.
    For the record, all my affairs are professionals, working individuals.
    Now i am finding a way to escape my husband. I now accept that we can never become okay with our marriage because i myself destroyed the bond of trust even if he doesnt know.And i accept the fact that i can never trust him again regardless of what he do.

  13. Anonymous68 says:

    I’m 42 years old and married to a wonderful husband for 18th years now but when my old flame came back to me, I’m nuts about him. We are in love again, mind you he is also married! My case is more or less like Lucy (2nd article). I’m still working on myself. Just thinking how to get over him once more!

  14. Bethany Jones says:

    One year ago I cheated on my husband. It was not a one night stand and there was not any alcohol involved or anything like that. The guy I dated in high school had broken up with his girlfriend (she left him for his best friend). They had three kids, he felt his life slipping away. At that point in time, I had just discovered codependency and realized that my life was not the greatest. I had pushed my parents away (LONG STORY) and my marriage felt like it was dull. I hated who I was, hated being a wife, disliked being a mother, I was working part time and we were sinking faster than the Titanic in money problems.

    The old boyfriend from high school and I had been friends since high school in 2001. We all hung out together and he was my husband’s best friend for the past few years. I knew he was struggling with his issues and I had mine and so we started hanging out. Just driving around, talking about the old days. And then it was brought up about his feelings for me and I said I still felt something, though unsure exactly what. We ended up back at his place and things got a little heated. We did not have sexual intercourse, as I stopped it before it happened. But I still consider it full blown cheating. 2 days later we stopped talking and didn’t for a few months. My husband found out 2 weeks before Christmas of 2009 and it has been HELL trying to fix things since then. I have lost all trust from him and it has been an emotional roller coaster.

    Though it happened last year, I am glad that it did happen. Mainly because it opened my eyes last February to the fact that even if I did run from my problems, they will still all be there. I can’t hide from my issues, I need to work through them and get past it instead of running. While it has been extremely hard to deal with the past 6 weeks, I am glad it came out instead of having to constantly hide the guilt and shame I felt from it. I am so sorry that I hurt my husband through my selfish acts. Cheating is never the answer because no matter how happy you are with the other person, you are killing someone else who loves you.

  15. donna says:

    i also have cheated,i had a great husband and a beautiful life.he had a demanding job and was not home alot.that was not the problem because the time he was home he always spent it with me and keeping me happy no matter how tired he was.we lived very comfortable and i didnt want for anything.i put my self first and wanted more attetion not caring about his work or needs well the cheating started and continued.atn one point he found out and changed his job to be with me more and also forgave me.i honestly dont know how.well after taking so much for granted and getting away with everything i have done do a beautiful loving man,i had went to wake him one morning and he had passed away in his sleep,i still am so sick with myself wondering if he had died of a broken heart,this was totally unexcpected my life has changed and i have been alone ever sice now its been 4 years and the quilt hurts everyday if i was lucky enough to ever have a man like that i would never do what i have done again,i have ruined 2 lifes and i will never know why,so was cheating worth it just for fun no never would i hurt another person that way vows should mean something and i learned in a very hard way. dont do it work threw your problems your life can all be changed in a day.

  16. Ken e Hall says:

    Wow looking for a Dr phil book and ended here and so so many of partners go astray,
    you all have to learn on both sides …you eat together, sleep together, live together,love together….be happy together! I am 75 married to a 71 chick since she was 16, we walk together, go to the gym together, do yoga together, dance together, have the odd row together and boy do we love each other……..you only get one chance in this life.
    This is what I think of my love Gloria
    If I was a painter
    a master of repute,
    A genius of deft strokes
    to sketch the charcoal base.
    One thousand years of learning
    need I,
    indeed,
    to reproduce the beauty
    that dwells within her soul,
    and reflects upon her face.

  17. Kiwi says:

    I am a 31 year old (married 8 years)mother of three whose husband works in a whole other country. I am a very sexually intense personality and months away by my husband left a large void in my world, but instead of jumping in the sack with whomever was there my husband and I sat down and talked about it openly and honestly and decided that creating an honest situation would help both of us so we decided to talk to a friend of his (that is my ex of 15 years) whom agreed to be my buddy. My husband was O.K. with it in verbal terms but when the reality kicked in he didn’t deal with it well at all. So it was knocked on the head and there has been no damage between our friendships. But my husband then decided that what he didn’t “know” wouldn’t bother him so was able to pick up buddy again(same 1), Rules being if a question is asked it is answered honestly, No one night stands or strangers, safety first but kids foremost. We have made this situation work for over a year. He is able to do the same thing but doesn’t want to but option is there if he chooses to. I think that if you can be honest about how you feel and you know your spouse and feel that it could be done honestly why be dishonest.

  18. anon says:

    Women who have had affairs that have ended and who are honest will usually state that they were “in love” (infatuated and in the grip of a very sexual relationship). Those that haven’t will usually infer that there was some deficiency in the woman’s marriage (husband). There are 2 books available in pdf online by Michelle Lanley: “Women’s Infidelity” 1 & 2 that I think describe exactly how and why women start affairs and why they are unable to see the affair for what it is (basically their belief that they are “good girls”).

    Men are attracted to someone other than their wife and think it is a normal part of life and they need to work at being faithful. Women are attracted to someone other than their husband and reason that it must be because they are with the wrong guy, because society has led them to believe that one they have found “the one” they will not be attracted to anyone else sexually. This is why women’s affairs are so much more destructive to the family unit than men’s. When a man is busted, he will usually want to be forgiven by his wife and do everything to make it up to her because he knows he is the one who has done the wrong thing and it is not his wife that is the problem. When a woman’s affair is brought out into the open (often despite her husbands attempts not to see it) she is often unrepentant and has no problem in breaking apart the family unit to be with her boyfriend whom she believes is “the one” for her. She fails to see she is just getting a sexual high from her new partner, mistaking this hormone high for love.

    I would be really interested to see you get Michelle Langley on your show. I think her thoughts on women’s sexuality are honest and factual. Any woman who is having an affair who reads her book is often astounded that the books seem to have been written about their life. It’s so typical its alarming. Women need to be aware that they are just as likely to have an affair as a man. We need to know so we can make informed choices when we marry, and not just assume it will be plain sailing to remain faithful for the rest of our lives. Also informed choices to divorce, instead of blindly believing they simply married the wrong man, owning the responsibility for the affair and going about a divorce in a way that minimises the impact on the children and husband (if this is even possible).

    “I’m having an emotional affair” is a flat lie. If the woman hasn’t had sex with her affair partner yet it is only because it hasn’t happened yet, or the woman hasn’t quite allowed herself enough time to allow her desire to overcome her guilt, it doesn’t mean there is no sexual element to the affair.

    I believe 18% is far lower than the reality. Women get away with more because their husbands think they are “good girls” and often think they are not even interested in sex because their marriages have become all but sexless.

    My $0.02.

  19. mysamma says:

    I am a very impressionable person. When I heard my friend argued with her husband , I did the same. That was how I first started squabbling with my husband and found out how to make things unhappy from a perfectly happy place.Then I hear about a friend’s divorce and out of thin air I manufactured a situation that almost took me to divorce in my own life. I read all these stories of infidelity and it seems like vistas are opening up, situations I hadnt known exist and I am sorely tempted ize about what might be.

  20. Eileen says:

    I fell upon this site today while looking up how to properly date someone divorced but living with their ex for the sake of the children.

    I thought my situation was a bit convoluted until I began to read these stories of infidelity.

    Infectious.

    So why fill your heads with more ideas, drama, pain and suffering?

    Read it once, maybe.

    Turn the television off, stop the soccer mom crap, clean another day and start making an effort!

    Pathetic to read about the “ripple effect” (spouse, children, friends, family etc.) because your self esteem was a little low due to your not taking responsibility for your weight, employment, ambitions, health…..and so on.

    Organize your life, meaning Prioritize. NOT plastic organizational containers or label makers.

    You are first.

    Delegate. If you have the guts.

    Anyone can drive the mini-van, pack a lunch, grocery shop, clean.

    DELEGATE. So that you have self-worth and time to DO something enriching.

    Off your butt now and save yourself and those you love.

  21. Laura says:

    Fifteen years ago, I was married to the love of my life. We had been married for 15 years at that point. Unfortunately, I do not think that I was the love of his life.

    Our marriage consisted of him having no time for me or our daughter and telling me all the things that I did wrong.

    I had a long time aquaintance with a man who had always come on to me. I had turned him down many times. Finally, I thought we shouldn’t I do this because life at home was just terrible. I thought that I might feel better.

    We had sex four or five times and each time I felt worse that the time before. It was just a terrible idea for me to do this. But the worse mistake was that I told my husband. Now, all the problems in our marriage were all related to fact that I had done this and nothing was being said about why I did it and that there were other things involved here.

    I ended with us getting and divorce.

    I have since married again but the fact that I cheated and went through all the things that happened there are still in my head. They effect my current marriage and I wish that I could stop feeling so bad.

  22. Tim Atkinson says:

    As a man, my experience of this was painful. The day I found my wife was cheating on me, was also the day she left me, after 9 years of marriage.

    Even more painful was the realization why she left. If I’m really honest with myself, it was because I had emotionally distanced myself from her, for all sorts of reasons which were nothing to do with her, and just my own insecurity and search. I think this kind of distancing happens long before an affair – at least in most cases. When people feel good in a relationship, really excited and in love, they don’t stray.

    I’ve had the opportunity to start all over again. We’re at 11 years and going stronger than ever. We’ve learned some things about how to keep the relationship really fresh – one of the fringe-benefits of working for Imago Relationships, which has a great approach to love.

  23. GIRL NEXT DOOR says:

    I THINK CHEATING START’S THE MINUTE THAT YOU START THINKING ABOUT DOING IT. I CHEATED BECAUSE I GOT BORED WITH MY HUSBAND. (LACK OF PASSION) I DID NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT DOING IT, NOT EVEN FOR A MINUTE. (OR AM I CONFUSING GUILT WITH REGRET?) MY AFFAIR LASTED FOR ABOUT TWO MONTH’S. THE OTHER MAN ENDED WITH ME, BECAUSE HE WAS GETTING TO CLOSE. I AM CURRENTLY WORKING ON MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY HUSBAND. I HAVE LEARNED THAT IT IS EASIER TO FIX A PROBLEM THAN IT IS TO COMPLICATE IT. (THANKS TO THE OTHER MAN)

    SO YOU CAN HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO, IF YOU DON’T INCREASE THE SIZE OF THE PARTY!

  24. Vikki says:

    Hello. I am 36 years old woman from Sweden. Here are some of my thoughts.

    I dont consider conversation to another person that is more open and honest than with your spouse to be cheating. But perhaps that is because my spouse dont want to or is able to talk about certain issues and listen to some of my thoughts and ideas. That doesnt mean that I dont love him, or that he doesnt love me, but in some respects we are different from each other. Those types of conversations in my case takes place with some of my closest friends; two women and one man. If you would consider conversations to be cheating then would you be cheating also when you are talking to a female friend?

    My definition of cheating would include anything from flirting and so forward. And to that respect I have never cheated on my current spouse or any of my former boyfriends.

    My thoughts about why women cheat… I would agree with many of the replys above. Women cheat because they feel alone and not loved. More for emotional validation than the sex itself. Therefore I also beleive that women have a harder time getting fulfilled and satisfied from having an affair. Atleast in the long run. It is not sex they primarily are looking for.

    Also I believe there is a huge factor of fear involved. Fear and anxiety for separation. Fear and anxiety for being alone. Fear and anxiety for having failed. For not being able to sustain a healthy relationship. For being a failure, unloveable. Or fear for disappointing, hurting or leaving someone. Even if this is not rational thinking, since an affair would hurt and disappoint ones partner much more. Cheating to me would be a way to run from or try to avoid the problems that one is to afraid to adress.

  25. JillSnowday says:

    I think it comes down to sex for some of my women friends. Somebody might be depressed, not sexual, or not capable of intimacy with women for a variety of reasons, and you may not want to hurt that person, who might be a good individual otherwise. Some women are also married to men who are overly controlling and critical, or drama types – that generally can drive most folks away. Also, some guys are just married to work.

  26. JillSnowday says:

    I also think that the stresses on modern marriage are huge. It isn’t right but, around here people might be working several jobs with kids, or some kind of situation where you don’t get to spend romantic time with your spouse anymore, hardly ever, then the situation might stretch on for years and years…just marriage can get lonely, and it isn’t like the magazines. I think women get fed more hype about marriage and take it more personally, as well.

  27. ya know, it pretty simple to me, if you want to live the single lifestyle, then DO IT, and quit breaking hearts…if you need to look for it somewhere else then, you need to man or woman up and move on, so that they may also move on…i think this is common sense…
    kelly beasley
    hesperia mi

  28. Flofromme says:

    The best way for me to open my comments on cheating wives is to say I have never been happy with what the Women’s Lib movement supposedly has done for us, by making us equals and having “equal rights”. This equality was the start of our family values breaking down. At one time a women’s goal was to find a good man (not perfect), get married, become a homemaker & housekeeper, have children to raise, be proud of them, and have them carry on their name & etc. The parents worked side by side to achieve their goals of making a house a home. With the Women’s Lib movement all those values went by the wayside. Now women want what they want, when they want it. I had one say to me, I’m not about to be a bitch to any man”. Yet, at the same time this same women bragged about being a “bitch” and was proud to call herself one. It’s time to get your dictonary out to see what the definition says a bitch is.

    Now, women don’t even have to have a man to have a child, they can go to a sperm bank to get what they want. On the flip side of that, is there an egg donor bank that a man can go to should he want a child. I doubt it, so therefore equality doesn’t play a role here.

    If women don’t want to have children she’s in charge of that too with all the means of birth control that are available to her. It doesn’t matter if her spouse wants a child or not, she’s within her rights not to have children. Once again, there’s no equality here either.

    Which brings me to Women Care. Why isn’t there a Man Care for the women to be equal to? When things go wrong in a marriage there is no place where a man can go to get help like the women do. These guys get frustratred first, then angry when they can’t get the help they need. Should they get vocal and raise their voice then they are labled verbally abussive. If they raise their hands up in the air out of frustation then they labeled as being threatening. They don’t stand a chance with the court system we have today. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are a lot of bums out there today, but there’s also a lot of good guys too who have been worked over by the females in their lives.

    Some of you may remember the old saying “Behind every successfull man there’s a good women”. Now, it’s the other way around, she wants him to stay home and be the homemaker, housekeeper, and raise the children while she’s out there doing “her thing” whether it be climbing the corporate ladder or not.

    I don’t blame the men for running scared and being afraid to commit to a women. No matter what you say or do the cave man instinct will always be there, that’s never going to change no matter how women try to change it. Man provided the shelter for women, man impregnanted women, she gave birth. He protected women & children from preys, hunted for the food to feed them, that she cooked. Yeah, some of you are thinking they were brutal in the way they did these things. The point I’m trying to make is even back then we all had a role in life and “everyone knew their place”. Not only is this true in the humane race but in the wild kingdom also.

    Getting back to cheating…cheating isn’t right for either sex. Not only are these people cheating on their spouses but their children and other family members as well. There use to be another old saying, “Treat others the way you would like to be treated”. Women today forget man have feelings too… Women should know this, we brought them into the world and cared for them until they branched off on their own. If a man was raised by a loving caring mother it stands to reason why he would want the same from his wife. Iif a man or women feels loved and cared for they won’t want to stray. People have forgotten how to be kind and respectful of each other. We now live in a “Me First” or “I’m Entitled” to this or that. If this continues and people don’t change their ways we’re headed for a disaster. I’m just so glad I’m at an age where my lights are starting to dim so I won’t have to see what’s ahead in the next generation.

    If you will, please promote a Man Care so these guys will have some place to go for help when it’s needed. If there were a place available to them, chances are their frustration wouldn’t turn into anger. Men are a part of our society and have feelings too.

  29. tj5to1 says:

    I think that for me, who didn’t physically cheat, but belives I emotionally cheated some; I believe that having an old boyfriend pay me a compliment about my picture he saw on classmates was a big deal to me. Although I would never question my husband’s love for me, it would be nice if he would say I looked nice when I put the time and effort into it. The old boyfriend (whom I hadn’t seen in 12 years) then asked how I was doing, how many kids I had, and stuff like that. He found out that I’d lived in a few areas he’d been to, and shared his experiences about them. When I saw the pictures of him on his profile, I was struck with amazement at how handsome and buff he was. He had been a sort of stick when I knew him, and I was attracted to him then; so imagine what I thought of him now. I remembered very clearly of how much ‘in love’ with me he had been 12 years before. So I was very careful with what I would type to him, just in case. Instead of saying, “Wow, check out those muscles!” I said, “You’ve changed. You look very healthy.” We only communicated through e-mail. The thing that made me squirm was that I knew his wife didn’t know he was in contact with me; he said she had a jealous tendancy, which made me wonder if he had anything to do with her tendancy (but that didn’t sound like the man I knew 12 years ago). My husband knew about me writing to old boyfriend, and I gave my husband the priviledge to read our e-mails if and when he wanted to. Old boyfriend and I just talked about politics, past events, our children, and our jobs. But I now know that emotional affair was a threat, if not actually there. After six months, he decided to stop writing to me, and he explained why (let me down gently) so there was closure, and I wrote one last time to him to reassure him that I wasn’t mad. I felt so relieved. But over the next several months- I was okay at first, then I got a little caught up with being lonely, and a little obsessed. He did pervade my thoughts, more than I wanted or cared for. I hated that he and I just couldn’t be friends, but I know we can’t. I gained ten pounds. He changed his e-mail address and closed his profile on classmates within a month after ‘dumping’ me, so I couldn’t see his pictures anymore, and I’m glad about that. I know he’s on facebook, but I’ve put a block on him so that he can’t see my profile, and I can’t see his unless I take away the block, and I won’t do that.
    So, the reason for my “cheating” was getting the feeling that I was still attractive, getting complements on a weekly basis, old boyfriend remembering things that my own husband wouldn’t have remembered if they’d been his experiences, and old boyfriend even said, “Thanks for writing. I remember why I enjoyed dating you.” My husband isn’t that specific. I have since talked to my husband about how strong my feelings had gotten with old boyfriend, but our marriage is on track. When I would start to think of old boyfriend, I would immediately say a prayer for him and his wife and kids. It helped to put things into perspective.

  30. Jill Simzer says:

    Hey Dr.Phil
    I just lost my love partner ,He passed away a month ago.
    We did everything together ,Can you tell me canlive without him
    Hewas only 47 Years old.Your friend Jill Simzer

  31. Luna says:

    I honestly don’t understand how two people who are supposed to be in a committed relationship can justify cheating in ANY way! Cheating is cheating no matter how you slice it… Intercourse, oral sex, cyber sex, emotional relationships with the opposite sex… It doesn’t matter. The betrayl is the same no matter how you go about your affair, the outcome just as devastating.

  32. Janie says:

    Hi, I am a 28 year old mom of 2 who is still trying to figure this one out. A year and a half later and still not sure why I done it cause I very dearly loved and still love my my ex husband. All I know is that it wasn’t worth losing everything I cared about and hurting all those around us, especially my children. I truely regret having done it and think about the affair and my ex husband everyday. I encourage anyone who is thinking about having an affair to really think twice before you do it, cause you don’t, and end up doing it, you’ll difinately think twice and then some about it then!!!

  33. Cara says:

    Cheating is anything you would not do with your spouse sitting right next to you. Definitely anything that involves physical touch, but just as often (and sometimes even as dangerous) is intimate conversation. I think it’s just as dangerous because you can fool yourself into thinking it’s just a friendship but you are compromising the sanctity of your marriage…and the intimacy can grow and grow until you find yourself in hot water. In a “relationship” (often physical) that you have a hard time extricating yourself from.
    I think that men who are “available” for cheating know that this emotional connection is a MUST to get the woman where he wants her. I’m not saying the woman is not responsible…both are 100 percent responsible for their actions-that is why women shouldn’t allow this to happen. Talk to your girlfriends! That is much more appropriate!

  34. WTH says:

    What the hell !!!! Women cheat then rationalize it to some shortcoming of their husbands/boyfriends, even some woman said she cheated because the husband doesn’t help around the house ?? how come this makes you stuff some man’s **** in your ****? why not just be honest and say cheat for sex?? Women are proving more stupid than ever

  35. JReibold says:

    WTH I am with you, women are just rationalizing excuse-making machines, aren’t they? Gotta preserve their false-virtue, their Victimhood. Men have their shortcomings but I’ll give them this, they may or may not be sorry but they take responsibility. That’s inculcated from way back there, as kids, don’t say the ball took a bad hop or that your dog ate your homework. If you screw up at least don’t make like it is your victim’s fault.

  36. florida says:

    wow! i am glad that i stumbled onto this site. I am a male that believes In if your not happy..get out. I believe that you should work through your problems and speak what you feel. If you cannot, children or not…get out. heres the flip side. I slipped and had a five year close friendship and afair with someone who worked for me. I had known her for over two years. from the time that I had met her she was calling me her boyfriend. she was a very friendly and flirtateous person. that was a turn off because I believed in what I had stated at the beginning. as we got to know each other I had broke down and gave into temptation. she always smiled and seemed to be very happy at home. Andat the same time she could not stop chasing me. we did become really close friends, but i always felt that she had done this before. of course she said no. about a year ago we had along talk that we had to be just friends and how we where to important to each other. then she started hanging out with her friends that cheat on there husbands. I tried to be a friend and stear her away from that situation. of course she never could stop showing her emotions for me and I believe at the same time she was looking for attention from others. this is a woman who does not tell anyone what she really feels. if there is a problem she will never face it. so, about six months ago her husband confronted her and if she was having an affair with me. of course there was denial and I stuck up for her so that there would be no problems at home. I have since told her that I am not going to deal with her lying to me and called it off completly. friendship and all. she still tries to get a hold of me but never has anything to say about what has happened. she just seems to be very happy and inquires to how i am. I know that there was no stability in her childhood,she was pushed into marriage,and she was raped as a child. I know the best thing is to stay away. I feel like i should feel after going against my beliefs. that is something i will deal with. I would love to her what people actually think about what i have said. I am someone who is a fixer and i just need closure for myself.thanks

  37. mysteryforever says:

    I would never cheat on my husband physically, but I have had an encounter with a guy from a dating on line service. it was totally uncalled for, I was trying to set up an account for my sister so she would meet new guys and hopefully get somewhere with one of them, then I saw a guy that I liked and knew my sister would never look at him for religious reasons anyways I ended up creating a fake account with fake information to get to talk to him and sure enough he replied me back and gave me his e-mail address and we started talking via enternet. I couldn’t lie to him so I told that I was married and i have lied thinking that he will stop talking to me, but he didn’t care…. I think he liked it because he knew i was searching for something that apparently missing in my life with my husband. we started talking sex on internet then he gave his number and told me to call him… i was very scared at the begining and skeptical, but I did it and i wish i never did… I call him and then he called me one afternoon when my husband was at work and started talking sex to me, i starting having an orgasam I actually faked an orgasam…. I don’t know why!!…. …. I felt like shit… it was the only, the first, and the last conversation we had on the phone…… we continued to talk on line for 2 days afterthat….our last conversation was late night when he told me to go F.. my husband and told me what to with him to turn him on!!!! i was feeling like shit after every conversation…..I lost a lot of wieght from thinking and feeling guilty and so many other emotions… I couldn’t sleep or eat or do anything for that matter…. that night i went to bed and looked at my husband and burst in tears waking him up…… I conffessed to him and told him everything….. he was really really hurt, I think i saw tears in his eyes, it was dark…. i knew at the moment that it was over….. I was a new mother of a beautiful girl and I ruined it…. I told him that I was feeling lonely most of the time and he didn’t really pay much attention to me or my sex desires…..so at the end we worked it out…. he didn’t leave me and promised that he will work on the things that I mentioned……

    I still feel so guilty about it everytime I remember it eventhough he forgave me and doesn’t talk about it anymore……sometimes I feel that I don’t deserve him…..I know for a fact that I will never do this again

    I have learned that my husband loves me in his own way and I have to accept that he is workoholic until now, and he does everything to be the best he can be to provide for us…. now we are a family of 4….

    phone sex….or internet sex… is cheating to me….. I don’t know about the actually phyiscal kiss…. does it consider cheating… i mean i have never done it, I am sure it’s the same… because it will lead to something wrong…so it’s the early stage of cheating phyiscally!… dont’ do it

  38. Lonely in Virginia says:

    I am 39 years old and had an affair with a 24 yr old whom I had met online about a year and a half ago. We saw each other for about 5 months. I have been married for 20 years and just happened to be playing an online game. I knew I was suddenly attracted to this man but knew it was wrong. I took a good look at my marriage and decided that the sex and intimacy between myself and my husband died off as a result of me “letting myself go”. I knew I was still in love with my husband but it wasn’t enough anymore. I tried buying sexy lingerie, tried initiating sex in the shower in the morning, tried asking if I could just lay my head on his chest, I even joined a pole dancing exercise class to learn sexier moves. I also tried talking. My husband didn’t see or hear any of it over a period of 4 months. Each time I put myself out there – it made the emptiness and hole even bigger when he wouldn’t respond. I finally made the decision to see the man I had been talking to online.

    I think women cheat because we want to feel special again. The affair made me feel sexy, alive, and special – something I had lost in my relationship with my husband. In answering “what is an affair” I think it is anything and everything that you would never share with your spouse that you did…if that’s intercourse, conversations, texting, emails, pictures, meetings, touches, kisses – then YES…you are cheating on your marriage. If you have to hide it…it’s not right!

  39. I think Stephanie would be much better off to stay with her husband. The fact that this new love of her life connected with her knowing she was married is a huge RED flag. As you say, if he’ll do it with you, he’ll do it to you. I am not the only woman who wishes she had tried to work things out with her first husband. All we do is take our problems with us to a different location and a different man. I have gone throught two divorces and wish I had NEVER married for the third time…I’m giving it up. Not worth all the family drama. I need peace of mind and I can’t live with a man telling me what to think and what to do 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I have to be me.

  40. Marguerite says:

    I had an affair over 15 yrs ago to blow up my marriage – this I know because I could have had an affair with someone down the street but instead chose someone on a communist island who could not escape to come into my life. I committed what was agreed upon by us both would be the showstopper to a marriage and I did it to escape – because when he was angry at me and hated me it was easy to leave – it would have been a lot harder to leave someone who begged me to stay. Unconsciously I knew all this and acted it out to make it real.

    After leaving I made a personal deal with myself – no relationship of a romantical nature for 1 yr – no sex – completely single and celibate – it was one of the most incredible years of my life – I focused on me and started to fix me – without succumbing to the easy route of male attention to mask what I needed to resolve – which was me.

    It’s been 15 yrs – a bit more – I’ve dated – some more seriously than others – but none have approached a place where I would consider marriage again – not because I am burned on the concept – not at all – it is because I much better understand how marriage works and I know the committment and meaning it has.

    I must say that I have never felt more ready for a good relationship than I do now – I’ve made a lot of sense of myself – the kids are grown as is their mom and taking the time to invest in ourselves and why we are who we are is the most incredible and wonderous gift we can give ourselves.

  41. T. Rainey says:

    Hi am in my late 30’s, married a man in my twenties and divorced after 10 years of marriage.

    We both had affairs.

    My reason started out as an emotional affair, after several months it turned physical, it’s never right, I gave GOD my word that I would be faithful to this man, who is also the father of my children!

    To have another male tell you how beautiful you are inside and out, talking for hours, wining, dining, the whole shabang…it was great and here I have this man at home, that doesn’t check me out anymore, never calls just to say hello, flowers sent??! ONCE….it truly is the little things that keep woman happy (most)

    I have alot of girlfriends and quite honestly it’s the woman that cheat more than the men!!!

  42. L.I.S. says:

    Jee wizz… Wow! I am a single male that after watching this past Tuesday’s show 5-25-2010 wandered upon this to rewatch the show & instead came across all thease responses. To all you women who have elobrated as to why you get involved and stray has given me some understanding of reasons as to why you do what you do, yet it leaves me even further confused. I am involved with a married woman for quite a while now, hummm, & she once promised me love…half a decade later she is still married, living with her husband and promising me things she is incapable of doing for reasons that I now somewhat understand after reading many if thease replys. I have come to realize that I am a fool being played by a fool. Which is the greater fool, the one who follows, or the one who is? If I can say anything it is this: God, Family, Friends, Patience, Communication & trust. If you do not have thease you have nothing but a whisper of a dream. Thank you Ladies for saying the truth despite what mark it has left you with, I understand so much more than I did prior to reading many of them. Yes I too desire with all my heart to be loved and to love in return, to be everything to one woman, yet I now know it’s an impossiable dream with the lack of values & morals in this day & age of self satisfaction runs rampid.

  43. Confused Woman says:

    I am on my second marriage, getting ready to celebrate our 7th anniversary. I am currently involved with another man and have been for over 7 months. I was recently “caught” by my husband who was totally devastated. In both of our previous marriages, our respective spouses cheated and married their affaired partners. He figured if it had happened to us, we would never cheat/stray. But I have had numerous affairs throughout our 10 years together and I don’t know why. Attention? My friends think so. Low self esteem? I think so. Sometimes I feel like it’s a game … can I catch another one? But this time I’ve let it go too far and don’t quite know how to stop. Everyone that knew thinks it’s over, but it’s not. I love the excitement, but feel like Tiger Woods or Jessie James … just a female version.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I am a 43 year old woman who is living with my fiance of six years now. In the past year, I’ve learned he has had an ongoing affair with a woman in our same town. She recently has been divorced herself because of her infidelity, not only to my fiance, but she got pregnant by another man as well. She gave that baby up for adoption. I love my fiance dearly, and even after learning of his affair with this woman, I continue to stay. This is not the only affair I’ve learned about with him. According to others, he has had others. Why am I still with this man?? What makes me continue to stay with him?? We have gotten in numerous arguments and fights over his affair with this woman, and I told him one more time he talks to her, sees her, etc.. It’s OVER. Well, just yesterday he called her as I saw it on his cell phone bill. I told myself I was not going to put up with this no more and I’m worth so much more then this. My fiance is a great person, but obviously can’t stay away from this woman for some reason. Not in a million years would I have thought he would have an affair, none less with a woman like this, with a no good reputation herself. I want to pack my things and go. But I have to go quietly as if I say anything to him, it escalades into a huge physical fight. For six years now, I’ve put up with the affairs and by staying, it’s telling him it’s ok because I stick around. I’m ashamed of myself for doing this, but I know for myself and for my adult children, I have to leave him no matter how much it hurts. And it hurts alot! He denies everything, even when there is solid proof otherwise.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Phil-

    I have cheated twice in my marriage (i have been married 9 years) The first time I cheated was on a business trip 6 months after getting married adn the second time was a year long affair with an older man that i worked with 2 years in to our marriage. The first affair I have tried to figure out in my head so many times and a few of the reasons I have come up with are that my husband would constantly accuse me, even before we got married that I was cheating. I never had any thoughts of cheating on my husband until he continued to accuse me, he would actually get mad at me bc he had dreams that I was cheating. When I went out of town he was callingme constantly to find out where I was and if i was in a meeting he would tell me i was lieing. there was a guy in one of my classes that was the ultimate flirt and just knew how to toun on the charm, but not too much. My curiosity got th ebest of me and for 2 days I continuoulsy put myself in questionable situations. (dinner, pool etc…) he invited me to his room and I went knowing full well what woudl happen, iin some ridiculous way it was like a punishment fo rmy husband. Like if you are going to keep accusing me I might as well do it. i kept that secret hidden for years. The second affair was an older man that i worked with that for some reason I just felt this connection with, I had a “crush” on him for alomost a year before i said anything to him. When i told him he was dumbfounded of course but had felt the same way about me. again i was going on a business trip and was driving with him and we spent 8 days out of town together. We had sex a handful of times while we were away and continued when we came home. I was watching Erin’s clip about why she cheated and when she said it was so nice to sit down and have a conversation with someone and feel respected and listened to I realized that was a lot of it for me as well. My husband is a very intense person and is always trying to prove himself to everyone so of course he always has to be right. A lot of it stems from his relationshiop with his mother. but anyway I felt like my husband wasn’t looking at me the same anymore, he didn’t adore me and want to spend time with me over others anymore. I felt lonely and irrelevant to him and it felt so good to have someone want to talk to me and be around me, someone who thought i was special. After I ended my affair with him I cut off all communication and am so happy I did. My husband I seperated for a year and when we got back together we both laid our cards out on the table and i also found out that while we were in a transition time moving from one state to another while I was pregnant with our son he cheated on me as well as while we were seperated. I absolutely love my husband and want our marriage to work, he just seems so detached from me emotionally and is just living day to day and trying not to deal with me on an emotional level. we have been so close to divorce so many times and I don’t know what to do. I listen to Dr. Phils advice and try to see myself thru my husbands eyes and fix me before i look at him. i tell him what i want and most of the time he tells me he cant give it to me, however other times he surprised the hell out of me and I just want to melt because of his love and the things that he does. I know he loves me and that it is in him to want to make me happy but it is so inconsistent. Please help Dr. Phil

  46. Anonymous says:

    There is so much more that I want to say on this topic. I feel like the most horrible person in the world for being capable of doing what i did, especially knowing that one day my daughter may find out about it. I want and yearn to be the best rolemodel for her. I don’t know if my husband has really forgiven me or if he just doesnt want to deal with the subject. I have a lot of thinking to do and decisions to make. I have forgiven him for his cheating and just want to move forward. I love nd adore him. It is funny that I just read the post regarding mens and womens roled and Womens lib, my husband and I were just talking about that the other day. I am really going to try to just be the way God intended women to be, the weaker vessel and let my husband take care of me- I know that a lot of the frustration for men must come from the fact that they know women do not NEED them today. My husband calls me his sugar mama all the time bc i make more money than he does, he laughs and jokes about it but i know he really feels that way. financially for us it is about 70-30. I will probably continue to post on this conversation, i hope to read more about other womens experiences. oh and to the idiot who said “just admit it’s about sex” needs to shove a sock in it!!! Women need to feel that they are loved and protected and when you have someone who is always threatening to leave- you step up and take charge. you dont’ feel protected when you never know if your husband will be there 6 months down the road.

  47. Dawn says:

    There is such a thing as Emotional cheating (with an “office husband,” a chat room lover, or a newly appealing ex) steers clear of physical intimacy, but it does involve secrecy, deception, and therefore betrayal. People enmeshed in nonsexual affairs preserve their “deniability,” convincing themselves they don’t have to change anything. That’s where they’re wrong. If you think about it, it’s the breach of trust, more than the sex, that’s the most painful aspect of an affair and can be the most difficult to recover from.

  48. GBb says:

    I’ll keep this short. Married women cheat in MUCH greater numbers than society can fathom. I believe when a married woman believes her marriage is damaged beyond repair for whatever reason, real or imagined, she begins to pull away from her husband. She says to herself it is not cheating or infidelity. This is warped logic kicks in when a woman does not want to be seen as the main reason for the marriage failure, and her desire to remain a good girl to her family and friends. I beleive due to this self-justification complex many women do not feel they are involved in an affair and there actions are completely justified. Very few of these women acknowledge infidelity.

  49. DONNA says:

    I think I cheated because I had lost over 150-160 lbs.. I had a little work done to lift my spirits. I have always been told that I had a beautiful face, hair and striking blue eyes. I was suddenly being notice by men who were sweet and nice looking. I am with my ex-husband again. I quit drinking. He has slowed down. But he talks down to people and makes me feel awful about my self. l love him. I would never intentionally hurt him. The booze had a big effect after my gastric by-pass. I am truley sorry for what I did.

  50. Loveless and Sexless Marriage says:

    I am strongly considering cheating with 2 different men, one of whom is married. I am in a marriage that was over before it started and don’t love my husband, even though he says loves me. In fact, I never loved him that way and this marriage never should have taken place. I didn’t want to be alone for the rest of my life so I got married because he asked. We do have one child together and we both realize, that for financial reasons, we cannot get a divorce. We haven’t had any type of physical contact for a number of years now, more than half of our 15 year marriage. I even told him that if he ever felt tempted, that it was ok to go outside the marriage to fulfill his needs. If the opportunity to cheat ever came up, I would do it without hesitation. I know that sounds cruel and heartless to a lot of you, but the thought of going the rest of my life without any physical contact with a man is frightening and the person I am with cannot fulfill my needs. At the moment we are just “roommates” who share a house and a child together and are both stuck in a situation neither of us wants to be in.

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