Why Do Women Cheat?

Over the course of the last, oh, two years, we’ve watched a number of high-profile cheating scandals unfold. Tiger Woods, Al Gore, John Edwards, Jesse James, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Weiner, to name a few. The media and public response to each of these cases seemed to bring up the same two (somewhat hysterical) questions: “Why are so many men cheating!?” and “Why don’t we see women doing the same thing!?”

Here’s the thing: women cheat too. A recent study revealed that, duh, infidelity is on the rise, but that women are actually closing the gap on what has largely been thought of as bad behavior for men — apparently, nearly as many women are cheating on their partners and spouses. (Maybe we’re just better at not getting caught?) So, why do women cheat? What are the circumstances that led to their infidelity? And how did they feel about it in the aftermath? After the jump, 13 anonymous confessions from women who have cheated.

“I’ve cheated. A lot. I’ve cheated on boyfriends, screwed married men, and slept with the husbands of my friends. Now, not so much. Karma is, in fact, a bitch.”

“Have I cheated? The answer is YES. I was nearing the two-year mark in a relationship and was contemplating how to end it; so I hooked up with a friend and then broke up with the boyfriend the next day.”

“I’ve definitely cheated on boyfriends before. I cheat when the relationship is going down the tubes. I don’t cheat when I’m happy and fulfilled. Either it’s a way to wreak vengeance on a crappy boyfriend, or a way to mentally end a relationship. My last serious boyfriend was a sweetheart that I just didn’t have chemistry with and I was having trouble working up the nerve/justifying breaking up with him. I cheated, and in my mind that was the point of no return — I had to end it after that.”

“I’ve cheated on boyfriends before, but I’ve also been the ‘other woman.’ Most times I am not aware of my role as such until after the deed is done, and for the most part it makes me feel bad for the girlfriend. That said, if I’m not the one in the committed relationship, it’s not my obligation to make sure a dude isn’t cheating. Some might say that’s enabling, but acting like dudes can’t be held responsible for keeping their dick in their drawers is ridiculous. A few times I’ve knowingly gone into a situation where I was the other woman — in one case with an ex-boyfriend. Part of my rationale is that I dated the guy first and therefore he’s just as much mine as — or more so than — his current girlfriend’s. In summation, men are dogs. And so am I.”

“I have kissed people I wasn’t dating in two relationships. In both cases, I was too much of a wimp to end the relationship and wanted out. I thought that if I was bad, the guy would dump me or it would be a reason to end the relationship — because not being interested in them anymore apparently wasn’t enough? In the second case, the guy was actually going to forgive me and wanted to work through it! So, in the end, I had to break up with him anyway. I have since wised up.”

“I was seeing this guy I now refer to as the Sociopathic Closet Case. He was deeply in denial about loving the ween and wouldn’t have sex with me because he found female genitalia ‘repulsive.’ I was obviously out of my mind to keep seeing him, but he had certain appealing characteristics as well. Unfortunately, they were quickly overshadowed by his escalating cruelty. I was never good enough for him—not pretty enough, not skinny enough—and, looking back, obviously not man enough.

So one night I picked up a guy who I’d had my eye on and we were in my apartment making out when SCC called, wanting to chat. By this point I hated him so much that I laughed and talked to him like nothing was the matter, all the while, feeling good about having a naked man in my bed. I dumped SCC shortly after that. I never told him that I’d cheated, but if I ran into him today, I certainly would.

That was the only time I ever cheated and I don’t feel guilty about it. I feel stupid for ever having gone out on more than one date with him, but no guilt whatsoever for banging another guy.”

“I’ve cheated twice. First I cheated on my high school boyfriend after he cheated on me. He made out with some female soccer player from another town and lied to me and told me the hickeys were bruises! A few weeks later, I made out with a guy friend and then fell asleep cuddling with him in his bedroom. We had a flirtation going on, talking on the phone and emailing, for a few weeks afterwards. I ‘fessed up to my boyfriend, and he made me delete all the emails from the new guy.

The second time I cheated, it was my senior year of college, at the very beginning of a relationship with my ex. There was this hot guy I knew, who suddenly realized that he had — almost — missed his chance with me. Even though I was in a new relationship with some other guy, the hottie and I hooked up. I never told my ex about it until after we broke up….ironically, while he was cheating on his new girlfriend with me.”

“When I was in college I cheated on my boyfriend. We were kind of on a break. But if I’m being honest, we weren’t, really. As the cliche goes, ultimately I cheated because there were huge problems in our relationship. But I also had a much stronger and very real connection with the guy I cheated with. We basically conducted an entire relationship on the side, while I still had a relationship with my BF — it continued through my mine and my BF’s various breakups and reunions over 2-3 years. I felt guilty for all the lying, but honestly, not that guilty. My BF had lied to me about all kinds of things throughout our relationship — his drug addiction, cheating, etc. That, of course, didn’t entitle me to cheat on him, but it apparently entitled me to not feel too terrible about it!

The stress of it sucked, though — sneaking around and lying is more trouble than it’s worth. It only feels exciting the first time out of the gate. To maintain a lie like that is exhausting.”

“I cheated on a boyfriend because I knew he was cheating on me, but wasn’t ready to break up. We were both young. Since we’re both Sagittariuses, I knew when he was lying. I had further proof he was cheating when after a tryst in his car, I found a long black hair in my butt crack. It was the summer and I wanted to have fun. So I whenever my BF wasn’t available, which was often, I called up the other guy, who usually wanted to spend time with me.”

“I have cheated once and only once. I’d been with my boyfriend for four years, two of them long distance, and I was starting to realize that I just wasn’t that into him anymore. Rather than deal with that, I decided to sleep with my smarmiest friend. I never told my ex or got busted. But I do wish I handled the situation better. I obviously did it to force myself to make get out of the relationship, you know?”

“A few years ago I was living with my then boyfriend. He used to cheat a lot before we moved in, but didn’t know I knew. He said he wanted to live together, stop messing around and get married. I was young, naive and thought I should get married and live a family life. Soon after, I got knocked up (we weren’t married) and kept the baby. When I was pregnant, I was alone a lot, because my boyfriend was out playing sports. I always felt like I was fighting for attention and after I gave birth, it was the same. I would be at home and he wouldn’t even kiss me hello because he was busy playing Xbox. I also didn’t feel very sexual anymore. I thought I lost my drive.

A year had passed and I reconnected with a friend from college who I used to have a crush on. One day the guy and I kissed. For the first time in such a long time I felt alive. It was like a sexual awakening. I didn’t sleep with him that time, but after a few dates it happened. I wasn’t intending to sleep with him, because I’m usually against cheating. Sex was so different and it was so sensual, like something I never experienced before. How did I get away with cheating on my BF? Every game my he used on me, I used on him.

Needless to say, he and I are no longer together. Things ended soon after, for many reasons. Till this day, he doesn’t know I cheated. I’m not proud but you know… s**t happens.”

“Oh yeah, I’ve cheated a couple times. If drunken kissing counts, I guess I’ve cheated a little bit on every boyfriend I’ve ever had. That sounds bad. Why? Because I’m still attracted to other guys, especially if we start a little flirtation and he makes me feel cute and sexy. It turns me on and I start fantasizing about having sex with him. I usually limit it to kissing though. Well, twice I’ve f**ked other dudes. A few times I’ve left my boyfriend for someone I’d cheated with just because the old relationship was getting boring and I was in the mood for some new excitement, and cheating counts as new and exciting.

Mainly, though, it has to do with another dude making me feel hot and sexy and good about myself. I guess it’s an ego boost. I’ve also done it as insurance in case the guy is cheating on me, in a bit of a power play move. Like, you can’t really f**k me over…I’m f**ing you over! Although that is twisted and I should probably see a shrink about trust issues or something.

But right now I’m in love and I really don’t want to cheat at all just because I honestly only want him. I still enjoy a little email/text flirtation from time to time though, just to remind myself other hot guys think I’m doable.”

“Depending on one’s definition of a cheating, I may or may not have cheated on my ex-boyfriend about a year and a half into our four year relationship. One night while he was working as he always did because he was a workaholic, I went to a party where I spent the night flirting and connecting with a cute boy. We spent hours talking about our childhoods, our dreams for the future — all the stuff you discuss after a few drinks with an attractive person on a beautiful night. Eventually, one thing led to another and we ended up making out on the back porch for a couple of hours. All clothing stayed on, body parts stayed covered and mostly untouched, but I felt incredibly guilty the next morning. I ended up crashing on a couch at the party and driving the cute guy home after we both woke up. Two years later, after things got progressively more strained between the boyfriend and me, he confessed that he’d always known about that night at the party and how I made out with someone else. I didn’t ask how he found out, but my guess was he got suspicious and snooped through my email. We broke up shortly after.”

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