More Women are Having Affairs than Ever Before
Survey reports more women are having extramarital affairs today than ever before.
Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) March 25, 2005
For years the focus of infidelity has been on the habits of men. The popular Janus Report on Sexual Behavior (John Wiley and Sons, 1993) estimated more than one-third of men admitted to having had at least one extramarital sexual experience. But a new survey reveals women are cheating more today than ever before. One in five married women has had a fling -- the highest number ever recorded. And, according to a recent study by Tom W. Smith with the National Opinion Research Center, the numbers of cheating wives now equal the statistics on cheating husbands.
Why are more women having affairs than ever before? One could argue more women are in the workforce today and have social lives beyond the confines of home. The job, gym, business meetings, work-related travel, and the Internet are all breeding grounds for infidelity in a marriage in trouble. Also, infidelity carries a lesser risk financially than it did years ago. Many women make just as much or more than their spouses and donÂt depend on them for survival. And, many women today are choosing to have children later, or not at all, and donÂt have little ones to consider if they opt to test the waters outside of an unfulfilling marriage.
Further, perhaps more women are actually being polled about the subject of infidelity than ever before. With successful movies such as The Bridges of Madison County (directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Meryl Streep) and Unfaithful (starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane), itÂs clear the hush is becoming a whisper, and the whisper is popping up in the form of movie scripts in Hollywood. Women seem to be more forthcoming about indeed having had sexual affairs outside of marriage. Cassandra Black, an Atlanta-based writer is working on a novel (SamanthaÂs Cravings) about infidelity in a traditional, southern African-American marriage.
Surprisingly, many studies have shown sex is often "not" the driving factor behind infidelity. Many women seek to fill emotional voids rather than sexual voids when it comes to having affairs.
ÂAn inattentive husband is indeed the biggest problem," Dr. Nadine Kaslow, PhD, a family counselor and psychologist at Emory University School of Medicine, told WebMD in a recent interview. "His 'affair' with his work or some other passion, like sports, may turn her into a cheating wife." Dr. Kaslow explains if a wife doesn't feel valued, respected, or feels taken for granted, she may find someone who helps her feel good about herself. She may find someone who says all the right things. "It's very seductive, very appealing," Kaslow explains.
Many researchers argue long-term emotional infidelity, so called Âaffairs of the heart,Â ruin more marriages than one night stands. Often it's because women do more than just share their bodies in an affair; they share their hearts.
At the other end of the spectrum, sex may not be involved in some affairs at all. The relationship may be merely an emotional liaison in its entirety. Counselor Bonnie Weil warns these types of affairs can be even more treacherous than the purely physical kind. ÂWomen, particularly, are inclined to leave their husbands when they feel a strong emotional bond with another man,Â Weil says.
Dr. Willard Harley, the author of the book "His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage" found marriages that fail to meet a spouse's needs are more vulnerable to an extramarital affair. Dr. Harley believes women have five basic needs that, when not met, can be the catalyst for an affair:
Â1) Affection. To most women, affection symbolizes security, protection, comfort, and approval. When a husband shows his wife affection, heÂs saying, ÂI'll take care of you and protect you; (2) I'm concerned about the problems you face, and I am with you; (3) I think you've done a good job, and I'm so proud of you.Â Dr. Harley says, from a woman's point of view, affection is the essential cement of her relationship with a man.
2) Conversation. Wives need their husbands to talk to them and to listen to them; they need lots of two-way conversation. The man who takes time to talk to a woman will have an inside track to her heart.
3) The third need is honesty. A wife needs to trust her husband totally. A sense of security is the common thread woven through all of a woman's five basic needs. If a husband does not keep up honest and open communication with his wife, he undermines her trust and eventually destroys her security. To feel secure, a wife must trust her husband to give her accurate information about his past, the present, and the future. If she can't trust the signals he sends, she has no foundation on which to build a solid relationship. Instead of adjusting to him, she always feels off balance; instead of growing toward him, she grows away from him.
4) Financial Commitment. No matter how successful a career a woman might have, she usually wants her husband to earn enough money to allow her to ÂfeelÂ supported and to ÂfeelÂ cared for.
5) Family commitment. A wife needs her husband to be a good father and have a family commitment. Wives want their husbands to take a leadership role in the family and to commit themselves to the moral and educational development of their children.Â
The failure of men and women to meet each other's needs has been attributed primarily to a lack of knowledge rather than an unwillingness to be considerate. So communication remains one of the primary keys to a successful marriage.
Only about 35 percent of couples remain together after the discovery of an adulterous affair; the other 65 percent end in divorce. Since men are documented to be less forgiving of affairs than women, one wonders how that will impact the already staggering divorce rates as more and more women are having extramarital affairs.
Cassandra Black is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is working on a novel entitled "Samantha's Cravings" due out this summer. Visit http://www. SamanthasCravings. com (http://www. SamanthasCravings. com) for more info. Send an email to info@SamanthasCravings. com to subscribe to the bookÂs mailing list.
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