Why We Cheat: Real Women Disclose Their Reasons For Their Infidelity

I’ve already discussed the reasons why men cheat on their partners. I interviewed friends, coworkers, and strangers to find real-life answers from men as to why they’ve been unfaithful. Now, I’m exploring the other side of the coin. Hearing both sides of things, I was able to find some major differences as well as some similarities behind why people tend to cheat. Here are some answers from real women on their reasons for infidelity.

  1. “I was trying to make something work that just wasn’t.” I was trying to force my relationship to work when in reality, it had been over for quite some time. Neither of us was happy anymore, but we felt that we had dated for so long that we needed to stick together and wait for things to get better. I was feeling fed up, tired, and most of all, unloved. I started seeing someone else behind my boyfriend’s back. I was trying to see if I could be happy with another person, and the affection I was getting from said person was hard to turn down when I had struggled feeling loved and appreciated in my own relationship for so long. I was wrong for seeing somebody else preemptively, but I wanted to make sure it was what I wanted before I decided to move on. Things got messy and complicated. It would have been easier on all parties if my partner and I were just more honest and communicative with each other and with our uncertainty about our future together.”
  2. “I wanted revenge.” “To make this an easy answer – I simply cheated because my boyfriend did first. I couldn’t bring myself to leave him, so I felt that I needed to cheat too in order to even the ‘score.’ It was also just plain spiteful, but I felt like I couldn’t fully forgive him unless I had gotten this payback. All in all, it ended up making things worse rather than better. Our relationship was pretty toxic for the remainder of the time it persisted after that.”
  3. “I hadn’t realized yet that monogamy wasn’t for me.” “I’m now more into polyamory and open relationships, but at the time that I cheated, I hadn’t explored that idea yet. I’m very free-spirited and feel that I hold the capacity to have romantic love for more than one person at a time. When I cheated, though, I was in a monogamous relationship because I thought that was the only way to go. I definitely had a wandering eye and would grow feelings for other people outside of my relationship. It didn’t mean that I didn’t still like my partner, I just couldn’t help it. In retrospect, monogamy is simply just not my thing.”
  4. “I was just young and mindless.” “At the time, I was young. I just didn’t think about the consequences of my actions nor their impact on the people in my life. I was inconsiderate, and felt like I could do whatever I wanted without any real consideration of the implications of the things I chose to do.”
  5. “I was angry at my partner and acted out of impulse.” “My S.O. had lied to me about something pretty huge, and I was livid. I have some issues with acting irrationally when I’m angry, and I ended up hooking up with his friend impulsively. I regretted it immediately, but my relationship ended as a result of my poor judgment and snide actions.”
  6. “I used cheating as a way out.” “I had been unhappy with my relationship and my situation in life for quite some time, so I cheated as a cop-out. I still loved my partner and wasn’t sure how I could leave him. So when the opportunity presented itself, I decided to take it. It gave me a reason to get out and start fresh. I think I struggled with making a firm decision on my own. I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye, and hoped that my mistake would put an end to things without having to break up with him and talk about what it was that was making me unhappy.”
  7. “I was dealing with alcohol/substance abuse.” “It goes without saying that I made some pretty bad choices while I was struggling with my substance abuse issues. I was a repeat offender when it came to cheating. For a good portion of my life, I was an active alcoholic – which definitely had something to do with my lack of inhibition and willingness to cheat. When it came to drugs, I would often hook up with men to get something that I wanted to support my habit. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I imagine it’s something that’s not too uncommon in the addiction world.”
  8. “I didn’t have the voice to say no.” “As a woman, I think many of us can (unfortunately) say that we’ve been in a position where it’s been difficult to deny romantic or sexual advances – whether that be because we’re feeling unsafe, feeling pressured, or being taken advantage of. I didn’t want to cheat on my partner. I was drunk, and the guy I was with wasn’t taking no for an answer. I felt like I was in a situation I couldn’t escape, and I went along with what was happening even though I didn’t want to. I knew it wasn’t my fault, but I still felt ashamed. Thankfully, I had a partner who was understanding that I was stuck in an extremely unfortunate position, and we were able to stay together after the fact.”
  9. “I felt trapped in my relationship.” “Mentally, I had already moved on. Physically, I felt trapped. We lived together, we were comfortable (but not happy), and we were so involved in each other’s lives that it seemed unrealistic to break up. Regardless, I no longer had feelings for my partner and wished that there was an easier way out. I was mentally checked out of the relationship, and eventually, that manifested physically (sexually) too.”
I am a 29 year old writer from Milwaukee, WI. Currently living a life of freedom in Tucson, AZ. Virgo, wine-drinker, lover of bad dancing. Insanity and getting into trouble are my fortes. Writing is my medium.