Dr. Drew, a great-looking sex therapist and Teen Mom whisperer, broached a difficult subject on his HLN talk show last night. The topic was why married women cheat, and the answers, well, were not that simple. Dr. Drew explained that women who experienced trauma were more likely to cheat than women who hadn't, because "humans have this crazy way of re-creating and re-traumatizing themselves." Then Tucker Max, author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, weighed in with his two cents. He says that women only cheat for two reasons.
Either they have "deep-seated" emotional issues or they're "deeply unhappy with the relationship they're in."
I don't know if I can really get behind the idea that women only cheat on their husbands if they've got "issues" or if they're unhappy. Painting the reasons people cheat with a broad brush never really made that much sense to me.
The decision to be unfaithful, to break a promise, to lie, is extremely individual. Yes, I'm sure there are studies that show that women who were sexually abused are more likely to cheat on their husbands, but that sect aside, I don't know if you can really narrow it down and say there are only two reasons women sleep with men who aren't their husbands.
For some women, it could be an easy, spur of the moment decision that isn't the culmination of years of unhappiness; instead, it's the presence of an opportunity. Someone might jump a co-worker in the heat of the moment, someone might agonize whether to jump the co-worker for years before actually going in for the kiss.
Point is, women, and men, cheat for all kinds of reasons. And I don't think you even have to classify yourself as "unhappy" in your marriage to decide to sleep around. There are a lot of people out there who are excellent at compartmentalizing their lives. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying I think you can be just as content at home as you are banging a stranger in a Motel 8 ... in the same day.
The one thing I will say, though, is that communication is, like, the key to everything. (How's that for painting with broad brushes?) If I were going to put a label on women who are more likely to cheat than others, it'd be those who aren't that great at sharing their feelings, talking about problems, or who don't know how to say what they want. Sometimes the mere thought of having an intimate conversation is scarier than the thought of having anonymous sex with a stranger.
Dr. Drew's advice? Talk with your spouse, and listen to your spouse. Sounds so easy.
Why do you think women cheat?
Photo via cubanrefugee/Flickr