Married Women Who Stray
We’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.