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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 day I decided I was going to break up with my boyfriend, was the same day I found out I was pregnant. I couldn’t bring myself to have an abortion and thank God everyday for our beautiful son, he is an amazing human being.

    My boyfriend had a child with another woman, they were never married and when I met him, they both had other relationships, but were civil to each other for the sake of their daughter. The strange thing is, the mother of his child, who was in a relationship at the time with another man, gave me hell! She didn’t want my boyfriend, and she didn’t want anyone else to have him. I endured this behavior for 3 years, until I had enough, when I finally came to the decision to leave him, I was emotionally drained, I couldn’t take the strain on our relationship. He allowed this other woman to manipulate him and she used her daughter against him. Why? I didn’t break up their relationship! Anyway …

    So there I was pregnant, no job, no degree, I was studying couldn’t finish for obvious reasons. I have always been a person in total control of my life and boy did I get a shock. I was always the one to look at life black or white, I realized that I never had control of my life, and it’s very easy to judge others, not until you experience the twist and turns yourself.

    We decided to get married, I convinced myself that I would learn to love him more and was determined that my son would not grow up without a father. He has been an excellent father to both his children and he’s been a wonderful man to me.
    As time went on and his daughter got older there were new challenges, I was never able to have a parental roll in her life, he allowed her to walk all over me, we always argued. I have always suspected that he cheated on me, but he denies it every time. We grew distant, but stayed together, we went to counseling once a month. The sex was an issue, he has premature ejaculation every time, still can’t control it, our counsellor gave us techniques to try, but it hasn’t worked.

    In the end, I have had affairs, I’ve told him, and he still loves me, he’s very kind, and caring, which makes me feel so very guilty. I should never have married him some might say, but I wanted to give it a try, at least for my son.

    We’ve been together for 20 years now, and in the last 5 years I’ve been totally faithful. I have been minding my own business, until a couple of months ago, I met a married man with 4 children. I mean really? Whose sense of humor is this?
    This man does things to me that I have never felt before, my ears go warm whenever he’s next to me, and can hardly breath, I don’t feel to eat, he makes me feel so happy. We get along so well together that someone thought he was my husband, we have never had sex of any kind and have been in touch with each other throughout the entire holidays texting and emailing, I am dying to see him again, but fare that he has had a reality
    sandwich served up to him and has had a change of heart, and now my heart is breaking. Never thought I would be in this position again, I do not want to be responsible for destroying anyone’s family and I’m trying to work through the pain I’m feeling right now, yet still I want to see him again. He as awoken feelings in me that I forgot I had, but the ears going warm is a new one, lol, but that’s life isn’t it? To feel, from overflowing with love, to the dark hole of emptiness.
    I long to feel my heart overflowing with love again.

  2. Hinsarmu says:

    some really mean and huftrul things to my girlfriend. I even accused her of cheating and told her I wanted to get a DNA test on the baby. My girl is not the kind to cheat either, she is a great and good girl. Very responsible, serious, respectful, beautiful, the perfect package. Anyways we had a long talk about why I didn’t trust her. I really did trust her, its just that I was mad about other stuff and for some reason I don’t know how to express how I am feeling so I just get mad about other stuff. I took my anger out on her. I know how wrong and despicable I am because I needed to be more considerate of her because she is pregnant and very sensitive at this time. Treating her this way can be very dangerous.Anyways on the day after, she told me about how she cried all night and the she didn’t want to be with me anymore. I begged her to take me back like a pathetic fool and she kept saying no. I told her to tell me that she doesn’t love me anymore and I would leave her alone and she said no because she still does love me and she can’t tell me a lie about how she feels. She said that she would take me back if we kept our relationship a secret and I said no because that made me feel like she was ashamed of me. She then told me that she needed time. I called her that night and she told the same things. Anyways I sent her a week of teddy bears with roses and very nice chocolates and apologetic love letters. On about the third day she got online and I talked to her and she said that everything was very nice and that she liked but she can’t take me back because she would feel like a dumbass and that her family would talk sh*t about her because they found out about the situation. I kept begging her and she kept saying no and she said she is never going to forgive and never going to take me back. I told her that I had changed for real and that my eyes were open and things would be different but she won’t beleive me because I have made this promise before. I kept pleading with her and she told me that I was driving her nuts, that she made her myspace again (she deleted it before because we would get mad about each others myspace, this will have significance later)to leave her alone, and to never speak to her again.On the fifth and final day of gifts, which was a plush sad sam puppy stuffed animal with roses and a sad note, I told her brother (who has been helping me out the whole time) to tell his sister to get online so I could tell her something important and real short and that it would not make her mad. She got on and I told her that I agreed with her decision to end our relationship. She asked me why and I told her that I understood that this is what she wanted and I have to respect that. I apologized to her for bothering her and acting so crazy after the break up. I told her that I didn’t wanted to be friends with her and that to not worry about the kid that I am going to support it no matter what and that if she ever needed help with anything that I would have her back no matter what. She said thank you that is what I want. She said that she doesn’t know if we going to be in the future together and I was like ok that’s cool not really showing interest and I told her goodbye and take care and signed off right away. After I signed off she said goodbye take care like two minutes after I signed off, meaning I think she kept looking at the screen thinking about it. Anyways, I prayed to God after that and i asked him to help me out with this problem with my girl.The strangest thing happened later that night. She called me really late at night and when my mom gave me the phone I said hey how are you? she said good and I said good and immediately she said Jayson I love you I still love you alot. I couldn’t hold my feelings for her and I told her that I love her too. She thanked me for all the gifts she had been recieving and said she really loved the sad sam puppy that she received. I couldn’t hold back and told her that I still wanted to be with her and that I wanted to have a family with her. I told her I wanted to take care of her and our child. I apologized and I said that I really am cI apologized and I said that I really am changed and that if she gave me another chance that I could make her happy. She told me she wants to be with me and that she doesn’t want anyone else. I kept apologizing and I told her that what really hurt me the most was not that she left but that I hurt her and that the one thing in the world that makes me feel good is when I know that she is smiling and feeling good because of something that I did to or for her. I told her that it wasn’t that I needed her but that I wanted her. We talked for like an hour and I know this is a mistake but I love her and she has my child I can’t play these break up games with this girl because the stakes are so much higher. Well we talked on the phone for like an hour and we just kept telling each other about how wemiss each other and love each other and want to be with each other and telling each other about what has been happening in our lives this week. I asked her if her myspace said she was single and she said no that she didn’t want to change it. That the only reason why she put it back up was to check for messages from friends and family. She asked me why I deleted mine and I told her that I did so because it was distracting me from doing what I need to be doing and from my training by the way I forgot to mention that I am going to marines bootcamp in like three weeks. She said that she would really think about getting back with me this time and that she was really considering it, but she doesn’t want what has already happened to happen again. She just doesn’t want to get hurt again. I am really hoping we get back together.Do you think that we are going to get back together? What should I do in the meantime? Do I call her and leave her messages telling her how much I love her or do I leave her alone and give her time to think and some space? Did I give in too easy when she called me? I’m so confused right now and I’m scared of losing her. Please, any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you ladies.

  3. Nina says:

    Yes I got my lover back through Dr. Abu. My wife left me six months ago. The longer she’s gone, the more I see what a jerk I was. At first, I blamed her for leaving. I told her she was ‘wrong’. In fact, I slapped Scripture on her, trying to guilt-induce her any way I could. My anger only pushed her farther away. I can’t believe the way I acted. My wife gave me chance after chance, and I ignored her. I contacted Dr. Abu and within a few minutes of speaking with him, I realized that Dr. Abu was the one person whom I could completely trust. Within 48 hours, My wife is back in my life. I can’t thank him enough and I will use Dr. Abu again for further work in the future.

  4. not to be known says:

    I wanna know why my husband likes me to give him Orel sex but want give it back an I stay clean an shaved. An never had this problem with ex’s. So my question is do married women cheat cause of a longing for Orel sex?

  5. Calyx says:

    After some years of marriage, I thought my husband and I had a great sex life. Then one morning, I left our bedroom to watch the Olympics on tv and didn’t want to disturb him. Upon returning to our bedroom, I found that he had masterbated to porn. I was completely shocked. His reaction was very difficult for me to deal with. He went on justifying that he did it so that he could sleep but clearly, it was the morning. Then he went on angrily questioning if it’s really such a big deal. He showed me no compassion nor empathy. I think it would have been nice if he could give me a hug and understand that I was shocked and needed consolation.

    A few days later, my husband told me that he’d always “done it”. I’ve told him in the past that I’ve always substituted what I could not find in one relationship, with another. In other words, I would run to another man to fulfill what my main man wasn’t able to satisfy. The silly thing is that my husband, up until that time, satisfied me. I didn’t even think of seeking satisfaction elsewhere. So, I brought him to the beach one day and he told me that he would not do it ever again (I think he meant masterbate) and I said that would be good because I use to cheat on all of my relationships in the past and I don’t want to do that again either. I thought we had a pact. Apparently not.

    Logically, I should have known that he would not be able to keep his end of the bargain. Not long afterwards, I caught him masterbating. He always says that I’m the love of his life, that he waited all his life for me, blah blah blah. Then why would he rather masterbate than have sex with his own wife?

    So here’s my million dollar question. . .he can satisfy himself solo, but I’m not the solo type of girl. I need human interaction. Since he’s broken the pact and made the rules, am I justified to play within those boundaries? I think it would strengthen our marriage if we were both happy. My feeling inadequate is really upsetting and he gets angry at me when I’m emotional about it. I mean, sexual satisfaction doesn’t have to have anything to do with love. My marriage is the most important thing to me and if I could preserve my beautiful marriage by being happy because I am being satisfied elsewhere, where’s the harm?

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