Is Cheating Different For Men Than Women

Is Cheating Different For Men Than Women.  Is it worse when a man or a woman cheats on their partner?  Men and women are socialized in different ways.  Some may think if a woman cheats she has damaged her primary relationship beyond repair.  Others think if a man cheats his partner is more willing to forgive and forget as Society places less of a stigma on males cheating than on females cheating.  Remember the 1850 novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Scarlett Letter?”  The woman who committed adultery had to wear a scarlet “A ” on her dress to publicly announce her shame and guilt.  As a gender, we are raised and socialized to think and feel differently about sex, roles, and relationships.  For men are generally more likely than women to be able to compartmentalize sex and emotional connections.   Making affairs mostly about sex and a physical connection.  Women, on the other hand, tend to develop an emotional connection with sex and intimacy.  With this relational intimacy, sexual attraction is misconstrued as being in love so having affairs make them more vulnerable to being criticized.

As a Marriage Counselor and Affair Recovery Specialist, I see this affecting  Primary Relationships between both men and women in different ways.  With men who have affairs, I hear rationale that state it was “nothing more than sex.”  As a well-known study indicates http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00750.x men are driven by physiological rather than psychological factors so that statement can very well be true.  Not so for women.  She needs the romance and emotional intimacy, especially in committed relationships.  When contemplating sex women consider the long-term factors which generate from years of evolution in that women need safety and security from their men.  So for a woman to engage in an affair, there is much more at stake than for a man, as a man will sometimes cheat just for sex even when they are perfectly happy with their primary relationship, whereas a woman who cheats has probably checked out of her primary relationship and has developed emotional feelings for her to have engaged in the physical.  This is why a relationship damaged by a man’s infidelity might be more likely to be salvaged, as opposed to when a woman has cheated.

Men cheat on good relationships and good relationships are worth saving.  Women are more likely to cheat when the relationship is not going well and relationships that aren’t going well might not be worth the pain and effort required to move forward.  Rebuilding trust and emotional intimacy are challenging when you’ve given it to someone else.  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Hurt Partners say they would rather it have been a physical affair and not have any emotions associated with it.

For more information about affairs and affair recovery please contact me (858) 735-1139.

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