Why would a wife or girlfriend cheat and betray their guy?

Whether you are married or not, wondering if your wife or girlfriend is cheating or has cheated on you in the past is something you might reflect on at times.

Hopefully, you are not dwelling on this matter of betrayal unless there is good cause.  Later, we will get into some of the signs to look for if your significant other is possibly cheating on you.

Has Your Wife (or Girlfriend) Caught the Cheating Bug?

There are probably some men out there who spend far too much time obsessing over such things.  In most cases, you need not worry.  Your wife or girlfriend is very likely completely faithful. This issue of faithfulness should not be something you find yourself all tied up in knots about?   Something has to happen to trigger such a reaction.  Nevertheless, it does not hurt to get a bit educated on the topic.

I do want to call your attention to a related a post I wrote about how to put your marriage back together again if something shocking, such as an affair, is plaguing your relationship.


But in the back of you mind you might be wondering, how would I know if my wife is cheating.  Or let’s say you have a girlfriend, how could you be sure that she is not out there two timing you?

how do you know your wife is cheating

You might think, “only if there was a way that I could know for sure“.  Can you know such a thing for sure?  Well….No….we cannot be 100% certain that our lover is not engaged in an affair.  In fact, you can cause more harm to your relationship if you let your mind runaway with thoughts that your wife is unfaithful.

I have seen some couples’ marriages disintegrate before their eyes because one or both of them accused the other of being involved in an affair.  Unsupported suspicions or outright accusations can blow up many a good marriage.

I have seen marriages disintegrate because one spouse thinks the other hates them.  One guy reached out to me and told me that his wife hated him so much that she had what he called a revenge affair.

If hateful feelings is something you think that is driving the discord in the marriage, you should read my post….


So what can you do if you have informed suspicions that your lover is cheating on you?  Let’s start with the premise of what is natural versus unnatural.

A natural and healthy suspicion would be one in which you have seen actual evidence or clear cut behaviors that could support the notion that a love affair could be in progress.  But beware.  Accusing your wife of something for which you have no definitive proof or becoming so highly suspicious that you begin trying to control her movements and freedoms….such acts can backfire.

What is usually a wiser course of action is to get educated on what might be some of the telltale signs to look for.  It is also useful to understand why your girlfriend or wife may choose to stray.  Knowing such things can help you better gauge your individual relationship situation.

So, should you be worried about your wife or girlfriend?  Should you take steps to keep an eye on her movements?  What would you look for?  How would you know?

It is not easy to know the mind of another.   So the way I think about it is if you can get ahead of the curve and become a bit more knowledgeable on why people cheat on their spouse (or girlfriend) and what kind of things to look for…..you will be better prepared to sort through what might actually be happening.

Now, I am not suggesting you should stay up all night reflecting on whether your wife or girlfriend has been faithful.  Obsession is a slippery and dangerous slope. Such thoughts should not even enter your mind unless a clear pattern of observed behaviors is emerging.

So we are going to shine some light on the topic of how one might know if their wife is cheating on them.  But let’s first get into this discussion of why a woman might choose to break her vows.

what causes your spouse to betray you

Why Might Your Wife or Girlfriend Be Cheating on You?

First of all we must ask ourselves are women different than guys when it comes to why they cheat?

What do social scientists and psychologists tell us about whether our gender plays a role in why we may choose to stray.

Let’s start with what we think we  know about the topic.  I like to qualify what is a fact versus what is a belief.  Statistics show that men and women both cheat and do so at about the same rate.

I believe the first part of this statement is a fact, specifically, men and women both cheat.  But we cannot be certain of the numbers of men and women who cheat on their partner because I personally think it is under-reported.

A survey by Indiana University suggested that about 20% of both men and women cheat.  They contend that the percentage rate of infidelity (or unfaithfulness) is about the same between men and women.  I do believe the occurrence of cheating is about the same for the sexes.  But I also think the the participation rate is likely somewhat higher than 20%.  Maybe closer to 25%.

So, let’s focus on women’s reasons for exploring a relationship outside of their marriage. But before doing so, let’s discuss what cheating really means.

Why is that important?  Well, the fact is that “cheating” means different things to different people.   If your wife cheats on you, it could mean that she is having an affair with another man (or possibly another woman), but the relationship may involve only an emotional connection and not sex.

Is it possible to fall in love with someone else, without having sex?

Of course it is. In some relationship circles it is referred to as an emotional affair which is a relationship in which the feelings between the two are as close as two people could ever be, but for various reasons, the relationship may not have been consummated.

Another way of looking at cheating is the mirror image of a emotional affair.  In other words, the two components are reversed. These kind of relationships are sometimes referred to as a sexual fling or liaison.  This is can be a relationship in which there is a sexual component….sometimes a very strong sexual component…but neither of the two individuals involved in the affair are necessarily “in love” or strongly emotionally connected.

Then we can have forms of cheating that resemble the merging of the two types of affairs I described above. This is where the two individuals involved in the illicit relationship are very much in love and enjoy making love and usually discuss or plan on a longer term commitment.

Now, those three descriptions are admittedly broad generalizations for what cheating is all about.  I think it would be fair to say that there are many different forms and types of relationships that involve various degrees of commitment, affection, attraction, and love.  Just as there are many relationships that involve various degrees of sexual intimacy.

So, now that we can sort of agree on what cheating consists of, let’s turn the page and discuss why your wife or girlfriend might choose to get involved with another guy.

Let’s discuss how curiosity can come close to killing the marriage.

is curiosity causing your wife to cheat

Does Curiosity Play a Role in Betrayal?

I once had a client who told me that his wife got involved with this other guy and it almost destroyed their marriage.  To this day, he told me, she swears that the affair did not involve sex.  Nevertheless when he pressed her about why she was attracted to this other man, she finally admitted that it was because she was curious about what it would feel like to be wooed and pursued.  Now she didn’t just blurt that out.  It took a great deal of discussion and denials before this “truth” to be revealed.

That was her go to explanation. She was  curious and now regrets it tremendously. Personally, I thought there was some other things going on.  I don’t mean on the sexual front, though I wouldn’t discount that possibility.  But rather I told him that it seemed her explanation sounded a bit empty.  I suspected that she was either very bored or dissatisfied in the relationship which points to larger core problem  or there were some significance issues around her sense of ego and worthiness.

Usually, when curiosity drives a wife into the arms of another man, it results in some form of sex.  Whether a wife is exploring emotional intimacy and is curious whether what she has now with her husband is really all there is or she is exploring what it would be like, sexually, with this other man…..curiosity’s connection to an affair is usually related to realizing intimacy.

is the betrayal a form of payback

An Affair Driven By Payback

It should not be too surprising to most men that sometimes your girlfriend or wife may be driven to cheat because she is angry at you for breaking your vow of commitment.

It is the age ole notion of “what is good for the goose is good for the gander“.  So if your wife is very unhappy with you because of your own cheating ways, she just might hook it up with another guy.

Perhaps there is this dream guy she knows at work and she has fantasized about having an affair with him.  But of course she never did or really didn’t seriously contemplate betraying you.  You know what I mean, right?  Our fantasies can be active streams of thoughts and women, probably more so then men, often fantasize about such things.

That is one of the reasons why romance novels are such popular fare for woman in general.  So let’s say that you get caught having sex with the babysitter.  All hell beaks loose between you and your wife.  Things are no longer right between the two of you.  Your wife’s sense of her own sexuality and attractiveness is now challenged.  She may be second guessing whether men find her attractive.  So partly because she is angry with you and partly because she may need some confirmation of her sexual attractiveness, your wife or girlfriend may be tempted to have a sexual rendezvous.

Now while we see this kind of thing happening in movies all of the time, in real life it is an uncommon occurrence. So if you are getting yourself worked up over the prospect of your girlfriend or wife cheating on you because she wants payback, think again.  It might exist in her mind, but it is exceptionally unlikely to happen in the real world.

People seldom go against the grain of what they normally would do in matters of love, trust, and marriage.  Even if they feel if they have the moral high ground, a well adjusted, mature woman rarely runs straight into the fire of trying to achieve “payback” by having sex outside of their relationship.

is your wife bored with you

Does a Wife Seek Sex Due to Boredom?

“I am bored honey, so I think I will go out have have sex with my best friend’s husband.”  Do you really think this sort of thing happens frequently?

If you do, I am sorry.  I won’t be able to help you much because you have lost part of your mind!

So perhaps you are thinking…..”hold on Chris, what I am referring to is my wife is bored with our sex life and might just go seeking another guy to spice things up”.

Well, my retort to that is pretty much the same.  I just have not had any of my clients report to me that their wive decided to enter into an affair because of sheer boredom in the bed.   Could it happen?  Well, just about anything can happen.  But that is the wrong question isn’t it.  It is better to ask, how likely is it for such a thing to occur?  My answer is unchanged.  Exceptionally, unlikely.  What is more likely is that the couple would work together to find ways to spice things up.  Sometimes that are successful.  Sometimes one or both of the partners fall short of meeting their internal expectations of what they desire in their sex life.  But that seldom (by itself) is a trigger event for infidelity.

As  I alluded to earlier, women (as do men) will occasionally fantasize about such things.  And this is normal.  But to make the jump from the world of  the mental images of the mind straight into an actual love affair because one is bored…..that is something, in my view, rarely happens.  I would look to some of the other things that trigger spousal betrayal.

does our wife want attention

Is Your Wife Cheating on You Due to Get Attention or Improve Self Image?

Sometimes a woman may feel like their husband or boyfriend no long considers them exciting.  I once had a client who told me that she was hurt when her husband complained about the poor quality of their lovemaking.

She explained that he rarely paid much attention to her and when they had sex, it often ended with a sense that neither party enjoyed the act very much.  Part of those feelings also originated from what she described as her husband’s criticisms and over direction.

It seemed to her, no matter what she did between the sheets, was almost always wrong and hence the pleasure she derived from making love was muted.  This effected the way she looked at herself….her image of herself.

She wondered if she really could be attractive to another man.  Prior to being married, her limited sex life was enjoyable and it never occurred to her that she would not be able to please a man.

So to test whether she could be found to be attractive, she eventually ventured into a short term affair.  Now I do not wish to oversimplify her case because quite frankly, there were other things going on in the marriage that I believe contributed to her decision to cheat.  But clearly, rebuilding her own self image played a meaningful role.

is your wife being seduced

Is It Possible For Your Wife To Be Seduced?

The short answer to whether you wife can be seduced is yes.

Now does it happen all the time or as much as you may be thinking right now?


But it is part of our experience in human bonding and happens far more often in the form of what I would characterize as the “long seduction“.  Cases in which your wife is swept off her feet and suddenly finds herself in another man’s bed is more of a fictional account.

What is more realistic is when an impressionability wife becomes acquainted with a particular kind of guy who understands how to lay on the charm and make a women feel like she is amazing and beautiful.

In a way, it is an art form….the act of seduction.  It starts off as a slow burn with subtle flirtations.  A women who may be somewhat vulnerable, for any number of reasons, could find certain kinds of attention pleasurable and fulfilling and fall prey to the charms of the seducer.

Sometimes alcohol is involved as that can reduce inhibitions and alter one’s better judgement.   So if all these things come together, you can get the perfect storm.

sexual disorder causing an affair

Is Your Wife Cheating Because of a Sexual Disorder

There are all types of disorders of the mind.  Sexual disorders such as nymphomania is a form of behavior in which the woman feels obsessively compelled to engage in sexual acts.

Now while, a guy will typically have fantasies of being in the presence of a nympho, such notions much more often lives in the mind of men than it really occurs in society.  But it does happen in reality.  There are women who are afflicted with a self destructive desire to quench an over the top desire to have sex.

It is a painful and disquieting disorder and in no way should it be romanticized. So what are the possibilities that our wife will suddenly come under the spell of constantly needing to have sex and therefor be compelled to have sex with almost every man they cross paths with?  I would say such an occurrence is very rare. This type of behavior, which is really a sexual dysfunction, just does not spring upon a person.

a confused sexual identity

Confused Sexual Identity

Is it possible that your wife for all these years suddenly decides that she is not sure if she wants to have sex with men, but would rather have an intimate experience with another woman?

I believe the answer is Yes and No.

Let me explain.  First of all, yes, your wife or girlfriend may be uncertain (or quite certain) of her real sexual identity.  So as a result, she may explore the sexual fulfillment she can find in the arms of another woman.  This is seldom something that just springs upon her.  If your wife or girlfriend harbors sexual feelings for another women, it is not something that came upon her suddenly.  It is very typically something she has felt about herself for her entire adult life.

These feelings can range from being quite certain about what she prefers in a sexual partner to being unsure as to her sexual preference.  Now,  I might get some argument here with some of my readers but I am of the school of thought that one’s sexual preference is a perfectly natural thing.  I am not in the camp that a homosexual or lesbian are acting on unnatural impulses.  While their sexual behavior runs counter to the propagation of our species, it is clear to me that the way we come into this world is essentially pre-programmed.

Ok, so let’s get back on track as we are not here to debate such things.  Let me just end with saying that while it is possible your wife or girlfriend could be confused about their sexual identify,  the odds of that being the reason why your wife is cheating on you is very low.

your wife in love with another guy

Is Your Girlfriend (or Wife) Cheating For love

So we are now talking about your lover taking on another guy for the reason of seeking and securing an emotional connection.  It happens.  In my view, this is probably the biggest force that can compel a woman to cheat on her husband.

If a wife or girlfriend has spent years in a loveless marriage or in a relationship that has been struck down by conflict and periods of unhappiness, such an environment is ripe for an affair to take root.

When women (and men too) do not feel appreciated, the temptation of seeking it elsewhere can be a constant force.  How we end up falling in love with another is not easily understood.  Part of that reason is due to the differences in peoples needs and desires.  While it is not typical for a person to pull up their emotional stakes in the current relationship, even when facing hardship, it does happen. And when it does, it is usually a sign that there is dysfunction in the marriage.

signs that your wife is cheating on you

What Are the Signs That Your Wife or Girlfriend Might Be Unfaithful

You cannot take any one sign as surefire proof that your wife or girlfriend is cheating on you. But if you take a look at the whole of someone’s behaviors, it can help you decipher if your wife or girlfriend has taken up with another guy.

So let’s explore some of the tell tale signs that might give you some insight as to what is going on in your wife’s or girlfriend’s mind.  Again, I cannot emphasis enough that just because you are seeing some of these behaviors I describe below, it does not mean your girlfriend (or wife) is engaged in a secret love affair.  There could be multiple reasons for these behaviors.

My advise is to look at the whole of the picture that is unfolding.  Open up and talk with your wife (or girlfriend) about what is going on in her life, but do it in a way that is non accusatory.

So here we go.  Here is a list of things that sometimes is correlated to a woman who is experiencing an affair.

  1. Your wife seems to be more absent that normal on evenings and weekends.  Her explanations for her whereabouts may seem rushed or defensive.
  2. Your girlfriend or wife is working late a lot which is out of character for the type of work she performs.
  3. There is reduced sexual intimacy in the relationship.  When you ask or encourage your wife to make love, she seems hesitatant or lackluster or more frequently rejects you.
  4. Your wife seems to be less affectionate.  The kisses and hugs are occuring with much less frequency.  And when they do, it feels tenatative and non genuine.
  5. You pick up on a feeling that your girlfriend or wife is avoiding you and it seems to happen often, even thought there does not seem to be any particular reason to cause her to shy away from you.
  6. You notice that you wife or girlfriend is paying greater attention to her appearance.  She may be doing more with her make up or has changed her perfume, dress and hairstyle.
  7. You may sense tension in the “air” when you are alone with your wife.  Her reactions to you may feel less natural and a bit on edge.
  8.  You may feel that that tight bond and connection you have always had with your wife seems to be dissipating.  She may seldom initiate dialogue.  She may have gone from being a touchy and feely type of partner to one who seems distant and non motivated to be around you.
  9. Your girlfriend or wife may be more argumentative.  There seems to be more conflict in the relationship than in the past over the smallest of things.
  10. You may notice that your wife or girlfirend is more emotional.  She may tear up or even cry with greater frequency.  You may sense that something is bothering her but she may appear to be unwilling to share.
  11. Your wife may have set up a new email accouont or downloaded a new application that allows for her text messages to be erased shortly after submission.
  12. Guilt may set in and as a result your girlfriend or significant other may behave in a way that seems irrational or impulsive as she deals with her conflicted feelings.
  13. In the past your wife may have demonstrated needy behaviors more often than not.  She may have consistently sought out your assurances that you “love her”.  But now the environment has changed and she seems meaningfully more independent and seldom looks to your for reassurances.
  14. Your wife’s overall behavior may seem secretive.  You may catch her in little lies and hurried answers to questions about her activities.
  15.  Your girlfriend or wife may act in the opposite way you would expect.  She may go a bit overboard in showering you with attention and saying very nice things about you as a means to keep you at bay and off track.

How likely is your marriage to succeed?

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