Many changes happen throughout a woman’s life time that affects self worth. She may be vulnerable to an affair if her sexuality was repressed during the years when she had young children. As women age, they become more comfortable with themselves and have a more positive body image. Some women at midlife will seek an outside partner who makes them feel alive and desired to reaffirm their attractiveness. Women in their fifties and sixties may experience menopause and have an affair to boost their self esteem if they worry that aging will affect their attractiveness and their future desirability.
The third reason that women cheat is purely for satisfaction. If a woman finds a man (or another woman) that can give her either emotional or sexual satisfaction, she may cheat on her spouse or committed partner for the pleasure of an intimate connection, even at the risk of losing what she has at home. Humans have a natural proclivity to move toward what feels good.
In fact, some studies show that 80% of affairs happen because of opportunity. If the opportunity comes along, it can be hard to turn down an affair that promises to bring pleasure or intrigue. An affair can be even harder to refuse if a woman is unhappy in her marriage, depressed or stressed in her own personal life or career. Finding satisfaction in an affair is usually short lived, however, and rarely provides long term fulfillment. Actually, most affairs last less than three years, and ten percent last no longer than 24 hours.
If you are a woman who is cheating and find you want to stop but don’t know how, talk it over with a trusted friend or therapist and get help if you need it. If you feel unhappy in your marriage, try talking to your partner about your feelings. And if you are feeling unsafe and anxious, get help right away.
Dr Tammy Nelson is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of The New Monogamy; Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity and Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together.