It happens to the best of us: we're in a committed relationship for years, then we realize, "meh," the passion just isn't what it used to be. It might not be an easy thing to admit, but if you've ever felt that way, you're not alone. As Eric Anderson, a professor of masculinity, sexuality, and sport at the University of Winchester explains, "The most predictable thing about a relationship is that, the longer it progresses, the quality and the frequency of sex between the couple will fade. This is because we get used to and bored of the same body." It seems like a very human response to monotony, if you ask me.
Anderson also happens to be the "chief science officer" at AshleyMadison.com. If you've yet to hear of this site, then allow me to explain: it's a dating website for married people who are looking to have affairs. Depending on where you stand on morals, you may either think this is the worst thing in the world or it's a brilliant concept. Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle.
As with any dating site, AshleyMadison definitely does their research. Anderson and his fellow scientists, looked into 100 straight, married, women between the ages of 25 and 45 to see why it is that women cheat. I mean, why not just get a divorce? What they found was that 67 percent of the women just want some passion (and sex) back in their lives again. They want t be wined and dined, and made to feel like they're appreciated and attractive again.
What the study also found is that of those 100 women, ZERO of them wanted to get a divorced. In fact, as Anderson noted, "they were adamant that they were not looking for a new husband. Many even stated their overt love for their husbands, painting them in a positive light."
YourTango expert and writer, Charles J. Orlando went undercover on AshleyMadison to see, if he posed as a married guy looking to have a fling with a married woman, he could come to some understanding as to why women cheat. As he pointed out, "According to The Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, nearly 50 percent of married women and 60 percent of married men will have an extramarital affair at some point in their marriage." And since those percentages have doubled in the last 10 years, it only makes sense that we get to the heart of the matter and figure out why.
Orlando went on date with three women whom he referenced in his article. Not only did the three women share the same complaints like "lack of passion," and "lack of attention," it also seemed to be a constant theme with most of the women in their AshleyMadison profiles. At one point he asked one date why she stayed with her husband and she said quite frankly, "I love him."
"When a man begins dating a woman, he puts in tons of effort; he woos her. Once she's 'his,' he stops putting in that effort, but she still longs for it. She wants to be desired, seduced, and connected with on a regular basis. So many men seem to be missing the boat. They start strong, having a decent sense of how to capture a woman at the beginning, but upon entering a relationship they are unprepared for the long haul and investment a successful relationship demands past the dating phase. The situation starts to reek of complacency and satisfaction in mediocrity," says Orlando.
I've been married for less than six months. I may not be at the stage where I'm searching for passion from another man, but even this early on in my relationship, I can say that marriage takes work. As Orlando put it more eloquently than me, "Marriage doesn't take 'work' per se, but it does require concerted effort and investment in each other, and in you." I couldn't agree more.
Anyone will tell you there's a difference between love and sex, and the same goes for love and passion. Just because you love your partner, it doesn't mean you're giving them everything they need. If you want to be "in it to win it," you need to step up your game. I don't condone cheating, but I don't condemn it either. I also don't think we should fault a woman whose husband hasn't paid attention to her in years, sexually or otherwise, for cheating. We're sexual beings and having desires and wanting to be desired is just how we're made.
If anything, AshleyMadison appears to be doing a great service to these women whose husbands appear to have forgotten them. And, honestly, that's something I never thought I'd say.
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