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When Thea and her husband moved to Los Angeles a few years ago, she had no friends close by and was alone frequently while her husband worked long hours. Though Thea says her husband was the "best friend someone could have," the spark and sex were gone. Seeking company and a little romanceThea became a member of AshleyMadison. Thea began an ongoing affair after a few dates with a man. There are many reasons for infidelity such as revenge, boredom, the thrill of sexual novelty, sexual addiction.
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But experts say that a large majority of the time, motivations differ by gender, with men searching for more sex or attention and women looking to fill an emotional void. Why Her? Women, she says, tend to have an emotional connection with their lover and are more likely to have an affair because of loneliness.
Women are more interested in supplementing their marriage or jumping ship than men are -- for men, it is a secondary strategy as opposed to an alternate. The theory that adultery is "natural" for men, fulfilling their Darwinian need to spread their seed, has been around a long time.
But the connection women look for when having affairs may have evolutionary roots as well. The theory, Fisher says, is that from the earliest days, women paired with a primary mate to have children. But as women went out to gather food, they slept with other men, creating an insurance policy to have someone who would help rear children and provide resources should their mate die.
But experts say that women's motivations to have affairs are typically more than sexual. That's not to say that some women don't have affairs just for the sex or that sex wasn't important. But in general, women's motivations aren't just about sex.
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But I don't think they mind if they get it," Reilly says. Diane left her marriage emotionally long before she had an affair. She says she was living with a lot of disillusionment in a disappointing, sexless marriage.
Diane began to flirt with other men to get attention, but she never considered having an affair. After a business trip with a friend turned romantic, she began a long-term affair, a path she admits she was likely on anyway as her marriage dissolved.
Using another partner to transition out of a bad marriage is one of the common reasons women have affairs. She also sees some women have affairs during periods of vulnerability or life change, like when goes off to college or after a job loss. They may see it as a form of comfort during upheaval. Another common reason is a cry for help in the marriage.
Why women cheat
Reilly says her clinical experience has shown that affairs are almost always caused by problems in the marriage. Therapy may be helpful to avoid going down that path. Although she sees a of couples grappling with infidelity"more people come to me [before it happens] because they want to save their marriage. Women are also less likely than men to have an affair that "just happens," because they tend to think longer and harder about the situation, experts say.
Women are also less likely than men to have an affair that "just happens" because they tend to think longer and harder about the situation, experts say. Some women take time "to warm up to it," Marcella Weiner, adjunct professor at Marymount Manhattan College, says. Men can walk away more easily because their emotions are just different and it is unusual for a woman to want to have sex and forget about it. It may be an old notion that women are the ones who get attached in a relationship, Reilly says.
But she sees that women do connect with their partners in affairs and think more about taking part in one. Continued "They are on a sinking ship and use it as a life raft because they don't want to just jump into the cold water," Reilly says. Could I have CAD? Missing Teeth?