People cheat on each other. This much is true.
How common is it to have a cheating wife?
Whether it’s through long, drawn-out emotional affairs or drunken aberrations not to be repeated, the most recent statistics on cheating available from the Institute for Family Studies suggest that 20% of men and 13% of women have cheated on their spouse while married.
While those numbers aren’t wildly scientific — people typically don’t love to admit that they’ve betrayed their partner or spouse, so reliable statistics on cheating are notoriously difficult to come by — they do suggest, at the very least, that cheating is not exactly uncommon.
The reasons why people cheat are varied: some people are bored, others are trying to escape emotional abuse, and still others are fall into an affair without fully realising it as it’s happening.
Relationship and love coach Dona Murphy tells YourTango, “Even in the best and most loving marriages, the realities of everyday life can cause couples to lose their ‘spark.’ For women, this can manifest as feelings of loneliness, a lack of appreciation by her partner, and loss of intimacy. And all of these may contribute to a woman’s desire to seek love, connection and attention outside her marriage.”
But of all the reasons why some wives cheat, they have something in common, too: spouses who are looking for something different.
We talked to five cheating wives who went; looking for something different themselves to find out what they say are the reasons why women cheat.
*Note that names have been changed to protect individuals’ privacy.
Here are five real cheating wife stories that explain why they cheated.
1. “My husband was like my roommate.”
The first affair partner I ever had, it wasn’t intentional. I was not searching to have an affair. That was not my intention at all. It just kind of happened, spontaneously.
He was living in another country at the time, we had never met face to face. It was just like, a cyber friendship that turned into something that was a lot more. We eventually made plans to meet each other after eight months.
I still keep in contact with him. I still text him almost every day.
My husband remains a good friend, but it’s essentially like living with a roommate. It’s not really a marriage anymore. So, that’s really what I’m seeking with other affair partners. Just a physical relationship.
I’ve considered getting a divorce. It’s just a long process. My home life isn’t bad. It’s not like a combative or argumentative relationship with my husband. It’s just not intimate anymore. — Anna*, 36, Illinois
2. “My husband was in deep denial for two years and became emotionally abusive.”
I never intended to cheat on my husband. But things happen. We are parents to three, one who has autism and ADHD. My husband was in deep denial for two years and became emotionally abusive. I didn’t feel guilty at all about having the affair because it saved me.
It ended when my affair partner died by suicide. I was completely shattered. My husband found out by going through my phone not long after things began in 2013.
He didn’t know everything until I was in therapy following his death and my therapist recommended that I tell my husband everything to help both of us move on. It was a hard discussion.
I was a week from filing for a divorce when he’d died. He wasn’t a reason for the divorce. I had plenty of other reasons. But I stopped the proceedings, went into therapy, and decided to stay in the marriage and give it a chance.
Three years later, things are okay. My husband trusts me again. We worked through a lot. — Wanda*, 50, Kentucky.
3. “He became so controlling.”
After we got married, he became so controlling and jealous. I put up with it. I wasn’t fooling around — he just didn’t want me to talk to any men or even go out to lunch with girlfriends. Our marriage was really falling apart.
Then I fell in love with a guy I was working with, about eight years into the marriage. The affair made me feel more loved and more confident. I didn’t feel good about it at the time, but in retrospect, I don’t have any regrets.
I never dated the man I had the affair with after the marriage ended. My ex-husband asked me after the divorce if I had an affair and I said yes, but I didn’t tell him who with.
I’m single now and I’m fine with that. I’m happy to be out of the marriage. I don’t think I would have done anything differently. Maybe I would have ended my marriage sooner. But I was concerned about my children.— Tegan*, 48, Nevada
4. “My husband was pulling away and dumping all of the problems on me.”
I was just looking in the mirror and realising I was getting older and older every day. I had settled into a routine.
At the time, my husband was having some difficulties with work and mental illness. He was pulling away and dumping all the problems on me. It got to the point where I felt I could handle everything: the bills, the investment accounts. I could handle all that. I’m well-educated and I have a college degree.
He didn’t want to get help. I just looked at him one day and thought, he doesn’t get to have my entire life.
I thought there had to be someone out there who could have a conversation with me, who found me attractive, who was missing what I was. I started going on dates.
My husband and I got a divorce. We could not solve our problems. I talked to him, before, about an open marriage. But he wasn’t okay with that, so we got a divorce.
I’m fine with what happened. I don’t have any regrets — at least not about that part.— Tami*, 61, California
5. “My husband got sick and became a different person.”
My husband has Alzheimer’s. He became a totally different person. The person I lived with was not the person I got married to. I became severely depressed. There was no one but me to do anything and everything.
I decided there had to be some outlet for me. I don’t really even know why or when I decided, but I did at some point. I went on Ashley Madison. I started just going on simple dates; it was fun. But then I met someone. We’ve been in a relationship for over a year now. I’m not dating anyone else but him now. It’s helped me a lot.
Now, I’m able to take care of my husband in a much better frame of mind. He’s no longer living with me, because it came to the point where I couldn’t do that, but he’s in town and I visit him all the time, check in on him, and do things with him. He has no memory at all. I tell him something and five minutes later he’s not going to remember it.
So I’m happier now. I grieved the loss of my marriage. The loss of my husband. The loss of the life that I had. The life that I thought I was going to have as I got older. I just got to the point where I knew it was gone, it wasn’t coming back, and he wasn’t going to get better. It took me quite a while to accept that. — Jean*, 58, Kentucky
Signs of a cheating wife
If you’re beginning to feel like your wife is being unfaithful, there are a few signs to look for that might suggest she’s cheating.
1. There is no intimacy.
When someone is cheating, the intimacy you have will seem to fade. They probably are rejecting you in the bedroom and you feel like there is no longer a sexual connection between you. You have no sex life at all. If this becomes a prominent problem, then it may mean that your partner is cheating.
2. Your marriage is suddenly the best it has ever been.
When your marriage is too great out of nowhere, after you have been struggling or you’ve been having a bad marriage experience, can indicate that your partner is cheating on you because they are overcompensating to make things better than they actually are.
3. They are very secretive with their phone.
Technology has intensified the cheating scheme. Even though spouses shouldn’t be looking at each other’s phones because there is that unyielding trust between spouses.
When someone is cheating, they are often overly protective of their phone. They are trying to hide something. You may even catch them making mysterious phone calls. And sometimes, you can be caught, especially when you have access to so much social media.
4. They accuse you of cheating.
When someone is cheating, they quickly turn the conversation around onto their partner by accusing them of cheating. This gas lighting technique is used to take the focus off of them and their behavior.
5. They try to avoid any conversation about their possible cheating.
When you bring up their cheating behavior, they immediately get defensive, angry, and start gas lighting. You may even notice that they stop talking to you and seem distanced emotionally.
6. They have cheated before.
It’s true, once a person is a cheater, they will always be a cheater.
7. You find birth control.
If you find condoms or other forms of birth control that you do not use, then it could indicate that your partner is cheating. Or, they could be secretly keeping themselves from getting pregnant, if they don’t want to try to get pregnant with you, especially if you decided to start trying.
What to do if you think your wife is cheating
If you suspect your partner is cheating, there are a few things you can do to find out for sure.
1. Find their hidden social media accounts, dating apps, and their recent locations
Something you should know is that cheaters usually have more than one social media or dating account that you have no clue that they have. According to a study, 67% of all cheaters who used social media to cheat used Facebook.
Also, be aware that there are specific sites that are designated to helping wives cheat. Ashley Madison is one of the biggest sites that women use to cheat on their husbands.
2. Hire a private investigator
This is the most expensive option that you have to catch your partner cheating. Private investigators are really good about getting the information you want without getting caught. But their fees range from at least $40-$100 per hour plus their travel expenses.
3. Show up unannounced
Drop by unannounced sometime when she is at work or go home early. Surprise her. If your partner is hiding something, they will appear surprised and can be angry instead of welcoming you home with a big smile and hug. And if she is doing something behind your back, then you can very well catch her in the act.
Can a cheating wife be trusted?
It may be a while before you are able to trust your partner again after they have cheated on you, but it’s something that could be redeemed after a while with the right actions. All hope doesn’t have to be lost, you can learn to trust your wife again.
How do you treat a cheating wife?
Firstly, you don’t want to act out of your emotions, so take a little while to get yourself under control. You don’t want to make any irrational decisions and make sure you do what you can to try and save your marriage before you walk away.
Next, if you have children, you have to carefully approach the situation. Remember, she is their mother. You don’t have to tell your children what happened and do not make them choose sides. It’s a hard enough situation to have parents that are fighting, even worse if you decide on divorce as your only option. Don’t try to turn your kids against her either, it’s just not right.
Above all else, make sure your kids know that you love them, that you will do everything in your power to be there for them, and spend time with them. Don’t let your relationship with their mother keep you from paying attention to your children.
If you both want to try and save your marriage, go to couples counseling or a support group. This is a way to work through your feelings of disdain and hatred from her cheating. This may give you a chance to heal and reconcile your marriage.
And lastly, you must forgive her, even though it’s the hardest thing you could possibly do. You have to forgive her for yourself. You will not benefit from being angry at her. It will only hurt you in the long run. You have to let go of the anger, bitterness, and any grudges you may have for her.
This will either give you a chance to file for divorce and move on to another relationship or fix your marriage if you want to stay because she is the love of your life.
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