Phoenix, AZ- The common wisdom is that men cheat on their spouse purely for passion or sex, while women cheat for emotional reasons or because they are lonely. A new study by the American Sociological Association, however, sheds new light on why middle-aged women cheat and it’s not because they want a divorce or want the emotional connection. No, women, like men, cheat because they are looking for passion and sex.
For the study, American researchers interviewed 100 heterosexual men and women between 35 and 44, using Ashley Madison, a British website that facilitates hook-ups for married couples. Researcher analyzed interactions between the study participants and conducted interviews to come up with their findings, which were presented Monday at the annual ASA conference in San Francisco.
Sixty-seven percent of the women surveyed said they were looking to have an affair to spice up their sex life. The women weren’t unhappy with their marriages, they were just looking for passion, according to Psych.org. Researchers said women, who were seeking an affair, weren’t ready to head to the divorce attorney, and “painted their partners in a positive light.” They still have love for their partner but their sexual needs are not being fulfilled so they seek out a new partner,
Women are different than men in one respect. Whereas men having a middle-age crisis may seek to have affairs with multiple partners, forty-seven percent of women said they were looking for one partner.
Eric Anderson, a professor of masculinity, sexuality, and sport at the University of Winchester in England and the chief science officer for Ashley Madison, said that the study doesn’t reflect “marital disharmony,” instead it reflects that women, like their husbands, suffer from “sexual monotony.”
“It is very clear that our model of having sex and love with just one other person for life has failed—and it has failed massively,” Anderson explained to the Psych.org. “Hopefully, this study will help unravel the stranglehold that our culture has on sex and love—showing that just because one cheats, it does not mean that one has failed to love his or her partner.”
While Anderson may be right about the fact that affair doesn’t mean a husband or wife doesn’t love their spouse, affairs destroy the majority of marriages. Even if the affair was about lust and a spouse had only one extra-marital partner.
According to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, only 31 percent of marriages survive infidelity. But the research is murky, other studies have shown that 50 percent of marriages can be salvaged after an affair, Fox News reported.
After an affair, a couple can work on repairing their relationship and saving their marriage. It won’t be easy and it will take an emotional toll, but it can be done, at least for some couples. When a couple can’t get over the affair or forgive their spouse, then it may be time to consult with a divorce attorney and begin the process of dissolving their marriage.