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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:

    I have been in a relationship for 8 years now and I’m so dissatisfied I ask myself daily why I’m still here. Children are involved so I guess that has something to do with it. People say you shouldn’t stay because of the children and I get that. I would be lying if I said I didn’t love him and want this marriage to work, but it seems he just doesn’t care to please me anymore. I don’t want to cheat, but I’m unfufilled and find myself wanting to see what else is out there. I’m convinced that all men are the same. I’ve been lied to and cheated on numerous times, so maybe it’s that I’m scorned. I’ve tried communicating how I feel to him but it falls upon deaf ears. Now I feel like if I can’t beat em why not join em…

  2. Sandy says:

    Dr. PHIL,

    Please get this point across. When someone is involved in an affair with a married partner with children. IT IS EMOTIONAL WIFE AND CHILD ABUSE!!!! I have lived through this and the pain my children and I had to go through was no less than abuse for both myself and my four children. Affair is too nice of a word. IT should be wife and child abuse by adultery.

  3. Ruby Lancelin says:

    My definition of cheating is anything that takes you away from the marital vows that were express before God,family, and friends. Whether that person is looking for intimacy, not just sexually, but emotionally, which is worse to me.
    As a people, we are generally motivated by our feelings, whether they’re right or wrong, we feel what we feel. Being married, and having affair is cruel, yet, we as a people, some of us try to tell our partners what we feel is lacking in their marriage, yet, the other person isn’t listening to their needs. They began to feel depressed, confused, and desperate for the intimacy that is now lacking in their marriage. Everybody needs love, companionship, understanding. Yet, either through our childreden, jobs, etc., some couples tend to focus on those things rather than to focus on the vows that they made before God, family, and friends. Audultery is not good, no matter what the situation in your marriage is, but, if as a people, one should look at what they brought to the marriage, if anything (emotion) other than children, job, or whatever to make the other person stray. We, as a people must acknowledge within ourselves what part of this discretion are “we” responsible for.

    wEand m ct endou hd

  4. Dianna says:

    When i was previously married, my husband became impotent the last five years of marriage and his life. I made a mistake and got involved with another man for a couple of weeks. But I realized what I was doing was wrong and asked God to forgive me and then I asked my husband to forgive me, he did. This all happen 6 months before he died of a massive stroke but those last 6 months after my affair renewed our love and we became closer.

    A few months after he died i met another man, and started to have real feelings for him. We dated for about a month and then I found out he was married and I dropped him, because I remembered how hurt my husband was and I never wanted any spouse to have to go thorough that pain and me be the cause of it again.

  5. Reality Check says:

    Dr. Phil,
    First and foremost, because infidelity is the cause of many divorces and broken families leading to emotional distress/social issues, both parties of a cheating relationship should be held highly accountable. Men or women who deliberately decide to become the mistress [or boy toy] should be subject to civil action. In this case, how many of these women would get themselves into these relationships if the possibility of being sued in a court of law and humiliation amongst their family and friends existed? Just as domestic violence is punishable, infidelity should be as well – it is a form of abuse! It is a deliberate act to inflict pain to spouses and when children are involved, they inevitably get caught in the crossfire. Many states need to impose such laws rather than allowing for divorces to be processed under the umbrella of “Irreconcilable Differences”. Under the law, it is just too easy to cheat, cause havoc, and walk away.

    Both cheating parties need to stop making excuses as to why they are in a relationship of infidelity. There are no justifiable reasons – just pure selfishness. So for all you cheaters out there…Is it worth it to stay in a miserable marriage because of possessions? And don’t use the excuse of staying in it for the children; afterall, what favors are you doing them when they see two miserable people just coexisting. Is subjecting them to an unhealthy environment good for them? If your spouse is not fulfilling your needs, either get counseling or get out of the marriage before emotional wounds are inflicted. We live in a country where people are free to get divorced if they are not happy in their marriages just as they were free to get married when they were in love. Every person with half of a brain knows that people who cheat eventually get caught.

    For these particular women on this Mistress show, I have this to say: You are pathetic. Do you have any self-respect? For all of the couples who end in divorce because of your actions, you deserve to pay dearly. You set out to be an integral part of their marriage by having an affair with their spouse, you should become an integral part of their divorces by being raked over the coals. Their wives should set out to destroy you just as you have them. And at the end of the day, how many of those men are willing to leave their wives for you…..?

  6. Connie says:

    No where did I hear anything about these mistresses’ faith. Are they not aware that they are not only wrecking families but most importantly, they are committing a sin – many times over? Heaven won’t take them. So sad.

  7. Sandra says:

    So many times I hear what is considered cheating. In my opinion if it is something that you can’t share with your spouse it is cheating.

  8. Gloria says:

    As far as I’m concerned, both man and woman are responsible for their behavior.
    If you know a person is married, that means hands off! The same goes for the
    married person. You are committed to another person. Rather then stray why don’t you try and fix what you think is wrong with your marriage. If you can’t, then get divorced. I see this as an ego trip on both parties with no concerned for anyone who can be destroyed by their actions.

  9. Kim says:

    Having been cheated on, then remarrying and being the cheater, I absolutely know that cheating is wrong! I also know that there is more than one surface reason affairs happen, but deep down inside, it is an issue of being selfish and feeling sorry for oneself, coupled with a lack of self control. The reason I know this is because after I cheated, I couldn’t stand myself, so not only did I divorce my husband, I thought I could repair the damage and after 5 years, begged him to take me back. It’s been 20 years now since we remarried. There is very little about our “new” relationship that is different from what it was when I cheated. One of the few things that has changed somewhat, though, is that I am different. Although I have been as unhappy since the remarriage as I was when I cheated, I have grown and changed as a person and have not cheated. In reality, I am held captive by my guilt and shame, not only over the affair, but also on the decision I made to go back into the marriage. I guess I feel I deserve this unhappiness, and maybe I’m testing myself to see if I have changed and how I handle the loneliness and emptiness I feel. I was devastated when I was cheated on, then when I became the one cheating, I became very understanding of how affairs “happen” but still felt guilty. I realized that affairs are what murders are made of, and I was very frightened that not only was I choosing to bring other people (his wife and child) into my pain, (let alone my own family), but I was jeopardizing all of our lives if someone were to snap and lose all control of their emotions. I absolutely knew that I could not continue to be a part of any of that any longer, so after about a year, I ended the relationship and have had no contact with “the married man” for over 20 years. Now I’m a grandmother and although I’m still lonely for healthy adult, male companionship, I have learned how to find healthy outlets for my need for love and affection.

  10. chanty says:

    Dr.Phil, these mistresses are fooling themselves….these men are not with them because they are missing someting at home, they are using them, they’re on a power trip and your are the tickets ladies. Are you kidding me, if they left their wifes for you they would do the same ting to you, they are dirty pigs…I was cheated on, after being married for 19 years and 4 children, I have kept myself physically, you cant even tell I had 1 child never mind 4….I took great care of my husband, cared for the kids, cooked, cleaned the house, we had sex everyday, what I considered great sex that is. Still he went and had an affair, with someone ugly inside and out, I knew her very well, she was after money, he was after someone who would greet him at the door in panties and bra….thats all you mistresses are a thrill nothing more, wake up and get yourselves a real man…..get Dr.Phil to get you some therapy cause you need help finding yourselves. I feel sorry for you, and the families your are distroying.

  11. molly vang says:

    yes.. had my share of mistress… She had sent a beautiful bouquet of roses and a big brown envelope filled with their conversations, phone calls, and innappropriate pictures of herself to my spouse, but I guess it was really meant for me.. to get mad at my spouse… it is interesting that these mistresses come up with all these excuses to validate themselves. Well, I want to ask… “when it comes down to it, who are they really hurting?”

  12. anonymous says:

    I have been happily married to my husband for 20 yrs. I absolutely NEVER even entertained the thought of having an affair. If you asked anyone who knows me, I would be the last person on their list of who would have an affair. Well, I have been having an affair with a man who also says he is happily married, for the last 18 mos. We met through work. It started out with casual conversation that quickly grew more intimate. This went on for about 6 months and became physical about 1 yr. ago. I still can’t believe this is happening in my life. I do love my husband. I am just so physically and emotionally attracted to this other man and can’t imagine my life without him. We both admit that it is a lack of self control and extremely selfish on our part, but we are not ready to put an end to it. Right now, I can’t imagine my life without him. Its just so crazy. It is so painful, yet so wonderful at the same time. Sometimes I feel like I am losing my mind!

  13. Relena says:

    After watching the first show, I find it difficult to slow down all subcategories
    that may apply flashing in my mind. Issues starting with self respect. As a psychologist, these are not new to you. Question of why women / people allow themselves to be put in such a situation or go willingly .
    Not to mention, (what are you thinking, if anything) of the total circle they are effecting.
    We all know that a marriage needs constant work. But to disrupt a family unit is despicable. I was at one time, told a story that “ Oh, we are no longer married, we live apart, blah blah. Come to find out that this was all untrue. What does that say about what he was thinking about me. This really made me stand up, find his wife and apologize for my actions. As it turned out, the wife hugged me and gave her forgiveness. I think all in all, women do want that special relationship, but if that is to come true, they need to see themselves as special. It is better in my book, to hold out for the honest relationship or go through life celebrating who they are. Stand your ground, be proud of the person you become every day. God’s gift.
    Another topic would be sexual addiction and that is another show all together.
    How about spreading diseases to those that are not involved. Once again, what are you thinking? Is the endorphin high so important as to risk all of the above.
    There are so many more issues to be addressed regarding this matter. Future show material.

  14. Fred Mac says:

    Iam a 49 year old father of 3 teenage boys. My 29th wedding anniversary was May 1. My wife and the mother of my sons left us 3 months ago. She was my childhood sweet heart, my soulmate and the love of my life. Her attitude and actions had changed sence our 25th anniversary. Not only had our marriage crumbled but also, our finances and family life. Our sons are the 3 most beautiful creations I,ve ever seen. I,ve seen them suffer so. Why? My wife said she was not in love with me any longer 3 years ago while we were seeing a marriage counselor. I died some that day. I,d kept hope thru the past few years even as she was not at home or with us less and less having ever excuse possible to be gone.Sometimes even overnite. I kept hope with rumors thru our small community of her seeing someone 18 years her jr. Someone at 32 yrs. old still living with his parents, has one child out of wedlock and wants to quit his job in this economy. I kept hope on the day she moved out wanting to believe she only needed some space and time to think. In the past few weeks my hope has died as she has openly confirmed her new found freedom and affair. All that keeps me going are my sons. I often think of Clarance in “It a Wonderful Life” and his words saying would’nt it be ashame to throw it all away? Theres so much more, but I send this as I prepare to see my attorney in the morning to file for divorce. I never dreamed I,d be here and yet I still dream of her every nite. What happened and why ?

  15. daisy1955 says:

    I saw the show on mistresses. I am a mistress. I am married with college age children. My husband and I have an “open” marriage. This is my 2nd marriage. My lover is married and has no children. I too met him on a website specifically catering to not just men but women who want to have an affair. I joined this website in response to him telling me while we were having sex that he “had met someone”. It was during Superbowl Sunday. I vowed to get even and I did. I have been dating my boyfriend for over two years. He is loving, kind, treats me with respect. He recently left his wife who has mental problems when she found a text I had sent him. I actually have no regrets at all on this affair. I regret having an open marriage and being married to a man who is a brute. I do not regret being a mistress at all. It is the only positive interaction I receive on a daily basis.

  16. Alexandra says:

    I was in a physically and mentally abusive marriage from the age of 19. My self esteem was so low, I thought I couldn’t make it through life on my own. 23 years later, there was a man telling me how attractive he found me, how he liked talking to me, spending time with me. We were both married and we had a long term affair. For me, it is pain and pleasure…more pain as time goes on, longing for more with him that he is not giving me. I want to be with him every day; I am in love with him.

    To the person who says “heaven will not accept them”, you are a hypocrite, because we all have struggles in life and we all have committed sins and the Bible says that if we ask for forgiveness, it will be given. You don’t have the right to judge others. We are all capable of every act of wrongdoing that humans can commit and should not judge others. I would never have believed I would do such a thing.

  17. Nancy says:

    I have been married for going on 27 yrs. I did have an affair 5 years ago for about 5 months with a man that was NOT married. I ended the affair. When I look back on this, my feelings at that time were more lonely and unappreciated. My husband is a wonderful hard working man and it took a crazy evening out with the man I was having the affair with to make me wake up. I thought what in the world am I doing. I told my husband the truth and even though he could have ended our marriage, instead he listened to me, understood my frustration and told me he loved me. I believe personnally, that married folks should try to converse regularly with one another about each other, their feelings about the day the week, etc.. We need to embrace each other and remember why we fell in love in the first place. My husband and I have been inseparable ever since the truth came out! I love him and feel closer to him than I ever have before! Life is too short to give up on love!

  18. sandra says:

    A person that pretended to be a family friend of mine and my three daughters has had an affair with my husband of 35 for 20 years. I had NO IDEA! I found them out by reading text on his cell phone one night two years ago. Via my inquiry and determination in truth seeking I’ve discovered that it went on this long instead of the two years my husband had told me, upon my discovery. Their premeditated deep deception was so good few people had any idea. They would meet in houses he would build, in parking lots, having sex in vehicles, her home, and ours on occasion. I have been totally devastated since learning this. It has consumed me for the last 2.5 years. I am doing better but it is going to take a long time to get over this severe emotional assassination by two people that I gave my trust and loyalty to.

  19. anonymous102 says:

    I never thought I would cheat on my husband, married seven years at the time. I took a wrong turn at google and ended up on a singles dating site. There was an option for “intimate encounter” and the next thing I knew I was in the back seat of a car having mind blowing sex with a stranger. Three years later I left my husband, he never found, out but I had to try to get my dignity back. Of course, many other issues with the marriage. Nonetheless, I continued having mind blowing sex with the same man whom I eventually fell in love with. When I tried to move the “friends with benefits” to the next level, he finally told me he could never be in a relationship with me because I cheated on my husband. Now I feel like I’m a broken person for cheating and not worthy of anyone’s love. I could write a book on this one Dr. Phil.

  20. Jr says:

    It really hurts to be cheated on, lied to, decieved, and basically been taken a big crap on. Am i an idiot for wanting to stay with someone for being so selfish?

  21. Devil in Church says:

    Dr. Phil….My husband wanted to be a Minister and I supported him. The church he picked for us to attend I didn’t agree with because I never felt the presence of the Lord in that church. I knew something just wasn’t right. I sat back and asked and waited on God to show me what was wrong. My husband started getting up and dressed early on a Saturday morning and said he was going to the church to help out. He wouldn’t return home until after 6pm. I started finding receipts from women clothing stores in the vehicle. So, months go by and I overhear him having a conversation with his mother that the lady he was having an affair with was our Bishop daughter. Now she was married also. She filed for her divorce right after I found the receipt in July. He took her to a stage play and had my kids with him and his mistress. I have found him at her house after 11 o’clock at night, at hotels, at his family house, and at the church. These two individuals are sicker than sick. Everytime I caught him he would just lie time after time. I put him out the house, so he went to stay with his mom, so he would talk to the mistress until he came back to my house. Now I had a chance to speak with her and she denied any type of sexual relationship prior to me catching them at the hotel on Feb the 11th (their valentine’s day celebration). Now she is very happy that she has destroyed a marriage. Not knowing that he has a motive. He knows that her father is old and he has to pass his torch down to somebody so he wants her fathers church. He thinks that she is loaded with money because of the house she lives in, but if it wasn’t for her husband she would still be living in the ghetto.Trust me its not about love because if he truly loved her he would not want her to turn her back on God for him. And not only that, he would have divorced me first then pursued a meaningful relationship with her. This whole time he was still with me. Other members let her drive their vehicles just to sneak around with him. Now that would be a good show topic to see how much dirty laundry is in the church. FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME BACK I WILL BE WILLING TO COME ON YOUR SHOW.

  22. taken for a fool says:

    My husband and I were married for 11 years. Together we had two beautiful children. On October 1st, 2009, my husband was arrested for conspiracy to traffic cocaine in the U.S.A. and had been sentenced to 70 months in a federal prison. As a result of his actions, my two young children and I were forced to leave our family home, claim bankruptcy and now live on social assistance.

    Soon after my husbands arrest, I discovered that he was having an affair with a woman in another city. Not only was he living with her 3 days/week (when I thought he was working) he had also promised marriage to her. My children and I were left devastated, bankrupt, betrayed, and alone.

    Although this situation has caused much anguish and grief to my children and I, I have found an inner strength that has empowered me to become a survivor.

  23. rio says:

    Just watched the show about women seeing married men. Yes it’s cheating, but it seems to me that you should do a show on if men are cheating when they are satisfying themselves with internet porn or imagening themselves with people in thier community or people in regular magazines and ignoring thier wives or girlfriends. The woman on the show said that her husband ignored her and that was the reason that she cheated. What about the women who are being ignored by the husband or boyfriend because they are busy satisfying themselves with these images? Cheating or not?

  24. Lisa O says:

    I am a married woman who has been seeing a married man for 5 months now. It really was meant to be a “FWB” (friends with benefits) situation because we both do not get the satisfying sex at home that we give each other. But, we talk a lot, and have bonded more than we were supposed to. I do not want him to leave his wife, and even though I know I will leave my husband eventually, I have no plans on doing it now. I have to admit that the sex is amazing, beyond amazing. The times we talk, text, and email for hours at a time prior to meeting each time is addicting. We do not make false promises to each other by saying we are going to have a life together, or that we will leave our spouses. I know he cares for me a great deal, and I am discovering that I am caring more and more about him as time goes on. I am torn between the guilt of what this could do to his family and mine, and the fun, pleasure, and high of being with him. I know this is purely selfish, and will probably end is disaster, but I don’t want to stop right now. How this situation would be ideal is exactly how it is now, but, with us much closer. I want him to love me like how he used to love his wife, and more. I want to love him and be with him when hes not with her. But, I do not want to be with him as a real couple. We both know what we are capable of in the area of lies, cheating and deception, and I know it will never work. But I do know that I can love him more, and treat him how he deserves to be treated and wants to be treated where his wife doesn’t. And I know that he can and will fill the voids that I have in my marriage. We don’t demand anything from each other, we don’t have the stress of bills, house payments, and other responsibilities. We are just free to be, and so far its working out perfect.

  25. Happy4Now says:

    Dr.Phil,
    Glad we can be honest here.Why do women cheat??I agreed with some of your reasons.However….some have it in their blood.
    Does the fact that we’re both married make me a “Mistress”?What would be a nice degrading name for him?We both have children.He’s been married for 8yrs,me 15.I have been ignored for 12 of those yrs.Which is not the reason for my affair.In fact,I can’t put my finger on it.My children keep me here mostly.Actually,my marriage is like a Mexican stand off…he ain’t leaving,neither am I.
    I met ‘Married Man” when going out with the girls….one being his wife.She is not my friend.He approached me about 5 months later…on FB.Yes,he says what I need to hear.Yes,he makes me feel special.Yes,he says I understand him.Yes,he calls me his secret lover.On the other hand…Yes,I wait for his call.Yes,I know it’s all BS.Yes,I care for him probably more than he does me.
    Will either of us leave our spouses and take this further….NO.We will more than likely continue until we’re caught.Do I want to be “busted”? I don’t know.
    This is not my first affair.My mother says I am my father.I will never be “Truely Happy” with my life.Why can’t i just be “happy for now”?

    If you can get answer out of that….please forward it to me.

  26. Carolyn says:

    Dr. Phil, getting the message through to married men and women about the pain and anxiety they cause the person to whom they promissed to love, charish, and be faithful when they commit adultry is great to those of us whose spouses are cheaters. My husband has been involved with several women. One or two I knew about, recent conversations have revealed several more. All were co-workers, and of course, very good (?) ladies. (first Ladies do not mess around with a married man.). Each time it was my fault. Apparently neither one of us was sure we wanted to be married after 6 years, he just forgot to tell me that. Next, it was because I was pregnant. He’s not a stupid man, just lost my trust. I thought he was a man of integrity. He always lived that way. Apparently this is a family trait. His father was unfaithful. (confessions from his mother to me). His parents knew about one of his affairs and told a concerned friend that his father would talk to him. Yes, that never happened. His father was proud on him I guess. A lifetime later I have learned that it happened even more that I knew. The last one was a co-worker also. Not attractive, but available and very willing. I’m not sure whether her husband and children know. When I discovered the last one, I put a quick stop to it. They had already been embarassed by a little publicity, but did not stop. Just more careful. My husband was working out of state, so I moved there and left my responsibilities. His mistress headed to the nearest bar to “hook up”. Complained to co-workers that she was only approached by old men. (when she started affair with my husband, he fit that catagory. Thinking about sending your dvds of the show to her. What do you thing about that?

  27. Michael says:

    I’m 55, never married, and still a virgin. As a male I can only say this culture promotes sexuality and promiscuity to a terrifying degree. Twice I’ve been approached by married women for sexual encounters. I liked both, and I rejected their offers. Am I a saint? No–I just made a pledge to myself I’d never do anything to break up someone’s marriage. I probably missed out on my last chance at ever having sex, but I am sure I did the right thing. I’ve handled over 500 divorces as a paralegal, and the main reason I saw for divorce was incompatibility. People don’t pick the right partners at the right time for marriage.
    The end result is a bad marriage, or a marriage which is ripe for cheating or other
    destructive paths. A happy and fulfilling marriage is very tough in America today given all the temptations we face on the Net, cable, or other media forum.

  28. Michael says:

    A final word: it would help a lot if everyone could at least agree on what marriage is. My best definition is: it’s a relationship with two people trying to build a life together. Marriage is truly a calling, and love is a service. You service the needs of each other in the relationship. Ideally if you have children, the partners work to serve their needs as well. As a Catholic I was taught marriage is for life, and it’s a
    relationship ordained by God to bring children into the world. At one time most people would accept this view of marriage. However, Americans have warped and twisted this basic and time tested marriage model into something which can be
    adapted to suit all situations of those involved. Sorry it doesn’t work. We’re seeing the results of no fault divorce, single parenting and multiple marriages daily in our courts, on our streets, in the prisons, jails, and homeless shelters all over the nation. It’s tragic, and at some point we must get back to basics. Either
    that or we will see even more social disruption and chaos until the marriage and ultimately the family unit are restored to a place of honor and dignity. Marriage has enormous value in keeping our nation healthy and intact. We’ve betrayed ourselves here, and anyone who can rationalize or justify cheating is doing serious
    MORAL and SOCIAL damage to this society. We can only go so low, and if we’re not at the bottom, we soon will be. Remember most serial killers and death row inmates came from broken homes. Those are homes where marriages didn’t succeed for all kinds of reasons. Being unfaithful in marriage and pretending you only hurt a few people is insane. The price is generational, and the social costs are incalculable.

  29. Teresa L. Aaron says:

    Hi Dr. Phil,
    I enjoyed your show called Inside The Mind of a Mistress. I also agree with everything you say. It is bad all the way around. Women who get involved with married men are being used; plain and simple. I have been sleeping with married men since I was 14. I kept with it for almost 20 years. Sad to say but until I fell really hard for one of them I never thought about his wife or his kids or what I might be doing to them. I only thought about how convenient it was for me.I would still be doing it had it not been for all that awful, gut wrenching suffering and heartache I went through. Then I couldn’t stay away from him. It was like a drug and if he didn’t call me or want to see me I was devastated. My life revolved around him and I would have done nearly anything to see him. I nearly threw my life down the toilet for him. He promised me he would leave her and he did. He left and moved in with me for 3 days and then went back to her. I came home form work and he left a note saying he had gone back to her and left me key and said he needed space. A month of two went by and we got back together. Then his wife caught us again and he said he needed space. I was determined to give it to him. I had a very good friend who finally helped me to see that I was so much better than that. I seen over the next several years as he kept coming around to see me and try to get me back that he didn’t really care. It hurt still so bad because I had thought he really loved me and would eventually leave. But by seeing all that and hurting the way I did I realized I was strong enough and good enough to not be the piece on the side. I would never go back to that, not ever!!! the sex was good, but so not worth the suffering I went through. I am alone now and lonely, but still I woulld rather be this way than too go abck and relive all that by being with another married man. I relish the peace I have and I relish all the things I can enjoy now because I’m no longer living in pain and having anxiety attacks about what he is doing. Thanks again for all you said about this, it made me feel so happy that I will never lower myself to do that again!

  30. abagail says:

    I was friends with this guy for years, i was close with his whole family. spend holidays with them…..took trips with them. after some time me and this guy ill call cowboy started hanging out more, just me and him. soon it turned into a fling. His on and off girlfriend was my ex-bestfriend. she was jealous that i was smaller and i guess more fit she cut me off when she started her relationship with him. cowboy and i were on and off for years also. when he felt guily he would cut me off when he felt like it he would call me up or hack into my email.
    i fell in love with him over the years but we both decided it was just a fling with a friend we care about and trusted so i didnt say anything.
    he ended up getting married to his on and off girlfriend whom i never thought he really love but only committed bc he was a up and coming minister at the church we attented, and it was the proper thing to do.
    its amazing but out of all those years we never actually had “sex” until after he was married. it has carried on for 2 years now, although i never considered my self the “other woman” till i watched this show. it opened my eyes. i always had in my head that if she was enough for him he wouldnt be with me. and all though we have both ended things several different times we both keep opening the door for more. how do i end it completely without hurting anyone. how do i stop thinking about him and move on. he is the only one i have always ever wanted. im friends with everyone that is in his life including his family and even hers. how do you learn to control your emotions till it just becomes normal not to think about him?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Having been a married woman in an affair with a married man, it would seem that I could say, “This is why it happened”. It’s not that simple. Was I bored in my marriage? Probably. Was I flattered by the attention? Sure. Did I know what I was doing was wrong? Absolutely! Did I feel guilty? Of course! Apparently not enough to choose to stop before I ruined my marriage, hurt my children (emotionally), and damaged my career. It was completely selfish, immature, and just plain ridiculous! I take full responsibility for my actions and mis-actions. My advice to anyone who is contemplating an affair is, “For God’s sake, have the courage to get out of one relationship before starting another. It’s NOT worth it!”

  32. An Other Woman says:

    Why did I cheat as a married woman…

    First I just want to say that for those who have been cheated on, I can hear how raw the pain is. But I think the pain of what you experienced, and your disgust for the woman who helped inflict it on you, is causing you to block your ears to her viewpoint which might have some value.

    I think for me, it was a combination of factors. It started with a void in my marriage. I married at 20, to a man 15 years my senior, and while my husband is a good man, that was not a great decision. I didn’t know myself well enough to know what would work for me in a mate, and he didn’t process what it would mean to spend the next ten years of his life married to a woman in her 20s, going through the self-discovery and development that happens during those years.

    When I met my first affair partner, my husband and I were having many serious, honest discussions about our relationship and where it was going. Our first daughter was a year old. I was unhappy, wanted more sex, more investment from him in our relationship, less criticism over little things (like leaving the lights on) and more appreciation for the effort I was putting in as a mom with a demanding full-time job, and still trying to do things as a wife to show him he was first in my life. I was honest and clear about what I needed, he said he would work on it, nothing changed… and finally he asked me to stop bringing it up because I was “harping.”

    Somewhere in this time period, I met my first affair partner. We had many long conversations, we were long distance so the opportunity to see each other in person was minimal. Our emotional relationship was built in phone calls. I initially drew tight limits around our physical relationship. After my husband told me to stop bringing up our problems, and as my affection for my affair partner grew, I let go of the physical boundaries and was in a full-fledged affair.

    I think it also had something to do with the man I fell in love with. He was a person that as I got to know him, I developed a great respect and admiration for. His insight into people, his professional success, his ability to inform and expand my own thinking, were incredibly attractive. He was also patient with our relationship, building it over time, not trying to rush me into sexual activity.

    I never thought I would have an affair, I would have objected strenuously, morally and religiously. I did not have sex (or anything approaching it) with my husband until we were married. I think for me, it was a combination of where I was at in my marriage, not ready to make the decision to get out, but certainly vulnerable – and a man who was able to capture and keep my attention.

  33. Day Chavez says:

    my best friend has been dumping on me and venting to me for about a year and she says her husband is cheating and might be using drugs he works with the police department , i really felt bad for her . BUT then i found out she is sleeping with a younger man herv daughters age and he is a known drug dealer . this is so crazy cuz i always had respect and love for her but now i just look at both her and her husband and think he is the less of the two evils , but i never say anything i guess iam just disappointed in my friend , how and why do people cheat this is so hard for me to understand is it revenge?? or anger? please help me understand .. Thank ou very much

  34. Day Chavez says:

    Love and lust are two different things , love and sharing your body is scared only with your husband , it isnt scared with everyone else , its just lust

  35. Brandy says:

    One word. Insecure!

  36. catherine harazi says:

    first of all im muslem marrige well its a sacred bond between a woman and a man
    in a marrige you have to have communication people dont remain the same as the first time you meet them personalities change,
    understanding of eachother needs
    marrige is team work
    and yea have to remain that physical atraction that yea first saw in eachother if you lose that attraction then then youre partner may lose physical interest you making the man or woman to look else where. you have to remain that attraction for youre self.
    the biggest mistake when they are children involved, is that parents start to treat eachother like children where are you going ect.
    if you are stressed in youre relationship use i statments instead of saying why you dont do this ect

  37. Shawna says:

    I CAN NOT BELIEVE THESE PEOPLE!! I’M COMMENTING ON TODAYS SHOW.. THIS JUST MAY BE ME BUT THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT I WOULD LET MY HUSBAND OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER KEEP CHEATIN ON ME… I DO NOT SHARE MY HUSBAND/SIGNIFICANT OTHER.. FIRST TIME YOU CHEAT IS THE LAST TIME AND YOU ARE DONE.. THESE PEOPLE NEED A SLAP IN THE FACE BY REALITY!!

  38. Marta says:

    I have been in the same situation for 3 years. I left my husband to be with his mistress.
    I end up mentally and physically abused by my ex husband and his mistress.He got us pregnant both at the same time.. He kicked me out as wife from our home and placed his mistress to live with him.We were rich.She smooched all the money till we end up in bankruptcy.So i LEFT. It was years off hell. ..Greatest chose i made … I am alive and healthy.

  39. michelle says:

    I wish that these women would stop acting as if men are Gods! Get a damn life love yourself!

  40. Anna says:

    Interesting comments… At fifteen years old I had a date arranged by a friend. Between that date and the second date I found out the fellow was married and had a sweet little baby boy, and a pregnant wife. When he called I told him that I wouldn’t date married men. He persisted to call until I explained to him that one more call and I would go to visit his wife and explain everything…That of course earned a fast goodbye. I was not worldly or wise….I had moral values, and a mother who abandoned us to go through a number of affairs, broken marriages,and half a dozen confused and messed up kids. That was not the path I could choose.
    At sixteen I got pregnant and married the 22 yr old father who turned out to be mentally and pysically abusive. He also cheated constantly, which was always my fault because I wasn’t a good wife. Five years and two kids later I left, and let his latest love have him. He would not let me have my children, so I went alone, got a job and saved everything I could because my day would come. He immediately moved away so that I couldn’t find the kids. A year later he phoned me on our anniversary to tell me how much he missed me and hated his girlfriend.
    I had a detective trace the source of the call, travelled there and stole my kids back. I stopped at the police station to inform them of what I was doing and headed home with their blessings. I notified my lawyer upon arriving home, and he prepared for delivery of divorce documents upon his arrival. (I knew he would follow.) The Sheriff came upon him a mile from town with his broken down car and served him after identifying who he was. There of course was more to the following three years before my divorce was final that I won’t tell as it would be too involved. I still hurt everytime I see a woman or man caught in a mentally and physically abusive relationship because I know how it robs a person of their self worth, and leaves you struggling for the rest of your days to find something resembling peace and normal. Ten Years later,he beat his girlfriend (the same one) to death. He was charged with murder, released on bail, phoned our son to have him ask me to testify that he was really a nice guy and that she had driven him to violence. I only offered that if I were to testify it would be for the prosecution. He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. It took twenty years for my son and I to mend bridges, and my daughter won’t talk to me. I still stand by my belief in honesty and do unto others as you wish them to do unto you..
    Forty years ago I met a kind man,we dated and married. We are still married, have a daughter who is close to us and three grandchildren who are very loved and doing well with life. We had difficult times, we had good times, and in the end we held onto eachother. When we fell out of love, we became the best friends we started out being. We talked and learned what it was that wasn’t working, fell in love again and just kept going.

  41. Anna says:

    On todays show I saw one scared stiff wife who doesn’t know how she can manage on her own waiting for a pathetic man to choose between her and his mistress. She needs to grab control and kick his butt to the curb. Lots of the time the cheated on spouse only sees the marriage vows that the other person has broken. They don’t see that they have, and need to make choices, or recognize that they do have the courage to make their own choice for them and their children. It is easier said than done.
    The husband….well that tom cat should just stay away from women until he learns to really think and feel for someone other than himself.
    The girlfriend … well if she can possibly be that dumb, and sit around waiting for his decision she does deserve to win that prize,

  42. Don says:

    last June I reconnected with my High-School Sweet Heart on FaceBook, we exchanged phone numbers and met a short time later, things were great, we truly felt connected again after 30 years or at least I did, she showed love like I have never expeirenced not sex I mean true compassion and compatibilty.

    After six months we decided it best I move in with her, so we did and it was great, just as if we were married, I love her and wanted to marry her, proposed Christams Eve and she excepted and it made me feel wonderful, she and my son from a previous marriage hit it off nad he even wanted to refer to her as “Mom” he is 15 and he knows who is real mother is no confusion there.

    Things started to seem awful strange, phone calls at odd hours, text messaging all of the time, business trips out of no where, I questioned but again was told nothing, I worked three hours round trip and she would go to the gym during my drive in but we were always on the phone, never once did I think what was going to happen did.

    We went to church on Easter Sunday, again great time no issues no arguments, no disagreements.

    That Thursday night following I received a lot of private calls on my cell phone as I was on the couch looking over our budget, she said she had to go over to her sisters house, I thought it may have been my son calling to let me know he was back from his cruise with the church.

    When I answered a man asked if I knew my fiance, I said of course why, he said he had been dating her off and on for over a year, when I told him he needed to speak to her abou that he hung up, he didn’t block his call at that time, I researched and learned it was his brother calling for him, next morning after a lot of praying I responded to the first number, the boyfriend called back and said that they were just friends that he would never contact us again, i was frustrated and went to a hotel, I texted my fiance to see how she was doing and gopt a reply that said to never contact her again she was now with him, devasted, this next morning I got a call from her stating my clothes were in garbage bags in the garage and I had 45 minutes to get them, I had no place to go, to live, things were crazy.

    The brother is studying to becaome a minister of all things, I moved back and settled in and received an e-mail from her family member that suggested that it had been going on the entire time that we were together that I was an intentional decoy so his wife would think that they were done with this affair.

    Again another conversation with the boyfreind who again lied, said he was with his wife on his boat but we know he was with the woman I love or so that is what I was told.

    After a solid year of love and Fairytale re-connections and dreams for the future, destroyed, family members upset children upset,.

    I am not sure if he is still living with his wife or not but watching the show tells me this can happen and no one has control.

    It’s been a month now and I have moved on but one thing that is tearing at me, is he with his wife, does she know the truth or is he going to get by with this with the woman I loved for another five years or until he uses her up and she broken down to nothing.

    I am not sure if I should contact the wife and set the record straight even for her two small daughters, this is all just wrong, I have been to counsleing and have my support system in place but she doesn’t should I still care?

  43. ginna says:

    I got on here to see WHY I would have an affair! Been married 20 years 2 kids and married to the best man I know! This recession has ruined us, we’ve lost everything, and I lost respect for my husband. I needed that “financial Security”. I contacted a boyfriend from 24 years ago. Started out talking friendly conversation, then he said, he had loved making love to me. I rush went over my whole body!!! I was like, whoa, you dont need to be saying that to me. I was blushin in my own living room! We continued texting talked on the phone some, then it started, an emotional affair that I SWORE would never happen. I AM THE LAST PERSON ANYONE WOULD SUSPECT!!! TRUST ME! I started working out, because he actually made me feel like a woman. Something my husband didn’t do for me. This went on for 7 months. We were supposed to meet after video chatting and sexting. He pulled out. Hes single, but didnt want to come between our marriage. I understood and thought it was true, I needed to back away. I did for 2 months. I still hurt, so at 1am I texted a simple :-) He responded i love you. I have always loved you. I had felt the same way, but never expressed it. MY SKIN wants to leave it all to “be fulfilled”. I just feel like it’s a total lie and am trying so hard to not leave!!! My heart says go, but my commitment says stay. He actually apologized for saying that. He said he felt it, but couldn’t act on it. I have been a wreck for a week now. I can tell my husband can tell something is up, but he doesn’t know what. This other “man” lives 1,000+ miles away, THANK GOD, or it would be a done deal. Whenever I think of “him” out of the blue, I start smiling and catch myself and stop myself from smiling and say IL OVE MY HUSBAND over and over. Ive been doing this for 3 months now. IT’S NOT WORKING. Im heratbroken, but committed. Any suggestions???? Im desperatly looking to see WHY I EVEN WENT INTO THIS MODE! It’s SO NOT who I THOUGHT I WAS!!! I never even cheated on a BOYFRIEND! I have an amazing man of great integrity. We are alos church leaders. I’m at a loss. I got on more medication to try and numb the pain, but Im still hurting. I STILL LONG to see “him”.

  44. m. Tanguay says:

    Dr. Phil I am seeking advice on marrige counseling. We have been married for 31 years and it seems these days my husband needs to drink and use recreational drugs to get through the day. Our home is getting ignored and I feel I am second in the or sometimes third in the list of priorities in our life. I have had many incidents where i have confronted him with this and still he does not change is ways he use to drink once maybe twice a week but now its a three probably four days. My kids who are now adults have formed this opinion or should I say see him for what it is I still make excuses. I stil love him but want him to see Me. See what we have or could loose if this continues. I am always sad these days, our youngest is strugling with an addiction of his own and with all of this combined I am feeling a great sense of despair. I am looking for help. Is there a site out there that you reccomend. It would mean so much to me to seek help or hear from others so I don’t feel so alone. I will check my email for your response. Thaks so much.

    mdtang@yahoo.com

  45. tim says:

    If a wife ignores her husband or vice versa, the marriage vow to love and cherish has already been broken. Therefore, having an emotional affair etc after is ok since the circle has already been broken open.

    No one person can satisfy your needs. There is nothing wrong with finding satisfaction in someone other than your spouse if your spouse can’t fullfill your needs.

  46. william says:

    hi my name is williami been with my wife for 21 years we have two kids 21 and 15 just recent my wife told me to change some numbers in her phone i found a message saying hi lance if your wife ant satifying you then who is you know i had feeling for you then she send it . she been knowing this guy for 4 years i didnt know nothing about it. when i told her about it her face drop . she kept lying to me more more . i love her alot but im i felt sick inside that she did this to me i dont know she slept with guy but she ignore me for years i told her that i felted like her room mate not her husband she cry when say that to her im confuse about all this because im hate her more and more everyday because she betray me i dont trust her no more

  47. Lynne says:

    I am 23 my ex husband cheated on me with multiple women over our 3 year marriage. With over 20 women that I know of. I finally left him. The man I am with now for over 3years is a good man but I have never been with someone who will not give or receive oral. There was a man at work who would flirt with me. And would tell me how I deserve to be happy sexually especially being so young. I wanted to cheat but I never want anyone to feel the pain I did so I never went passed the flirting. The part that is so hard is I want the intimacy with my man I have communicated so many times all he can reply is I just don’t like it. And I tell him but this is something I enjoy even more then intercourse. And he leaves the conversation any way he can. I don’t want to leave but I’m tired of only doing what he wants how he want and only when he wants sex. I want to feel like he wants to make me feel good sexually.

  48. Russell says:

    Hello Dr. Phil
    I’ve watched you’re show for many years and I understand women are the main driver of your issues. My question is why are men with cheating wives told to step up as hero’s in they’re families. While the wife of a cheating husband is told she deserves better. Are you not saying to men that they don’t deserve better and should settle for less. I for one don’t believe that trust can be repaired. If tried you will only be lying to yourself. Why are you giving such different advice for men and women? Men and women both hurt the same and deserve the same.

  49. Viria says:

    I stated having problem with my husband when I found I was pregnant with my third child in April. I was torn, because I found out in the Fall of last year, my husband is having an affair, and the other woman is pregnant, due this summer. I was devasted, shocked and saddened. He promised he would stop seeing her and devote his life to me and our kids. Well it didn’t happen, and I didn’t think it was fair to bring another child into such an unstable environment. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I think I made the right decision for me and my kids because i met a woman who do spell with email, she assured me of having my husband back in full and he would stop seeing the other woman, I could not bear the pain i allowed her to work for me and in 2days after she has done the spell, the other lady was then history it was shocking any way, she had miscarriage and hence forth never had anything to do with my husband,. This is something I will carry in my heart forever and be thankful for bringing happiness back to my family!!!

  50. DumbWife says:

    Well, I am telling you that when your spouse decides that sex is no longer needed in your marriage, you can look for the trouble around some corner in the future. I never considered cheating. Thought that was for weak people who did not really love their spouse. Long story short, I got my head turned just long enough to find out I did not want another man. Twenty years later, I feel the total fool. Husband was impotent then and did not explain that to me. Over the years, it has become quite apparent. Here I am all these years with no sex. I love my husband, but this is ridiculous. Young hearts, run free. You might be totally in love with somebody, but none of us know what the future holds. For better or worse. Well, I’ve learned to take the bad with the good. Cheating is not the way to go though. If it does not work anymore, get out. A cheater cheats themselves. And just for the record, I do not believe my husband was totally faithful early in our marriage. You only have one life, don’t tie yourself down to the great unknown.

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