I often wonder why women think cheating in all situation is wrong. One too many fairy tales? A steady diet of Lifetime movies? Research by scientists at the University of Texas seems to indicate we’re not even monogamous to begin with. In an article aptly titled Women Are Genetically Programmed To Have Affairs the point is, well, you just read the point. For our counterparts in antiquity, affairs were meant to be back up plans if a relationship failed. The piece from The Independent goes on to say, “For our distant ancestors-when disease, poor diet and minimal healthcare meant that few people lived past 30-looking for a more suitable partner was necessary…ancestral women lacking a back-up mate would have suffered a lapse in protection, and resources.” If you closely examine the details of any fling, you’ll find it’s still true today. Women have affairs for a variety of reasons – from feeling neglected at home to outright spousal abuse. Even hooking up with a man on the side because he’s hotter than what you have at home can be considered a instinctual survival mechanism.
I get it, though. While I can’t point to anything specific, I admit the rule of “no cheating ever” was somehow ingrained in my psyche. I was sure it was totally beneath me and something I would never tolerate. An instant deal breaker. Right up until the very moment I initiated an affair with a guy not my boyfriend. My new motto? Sometimes you need to just go ahead and cheat.
I’ve known my share of “those that stray”. There’s the serial cheater who is part of the circles I run in and makes it his way of life in spite of his long-term lady. I once spent a lovely afternoon at a pool alongside him and Ms. NotHisWife. Honestly, it was like spending time with any other couple. They held hands, canoodled a bit in the water and were all around pretty sweet with each other – like two humans totally into each other. And my best girlfriend is of the belief that some men deserve to be cheated on and herself has had a few dalliances. She’s met Serial Cheater and in her words “I would be like ‘hell yeah’ if I found out his woman was cheating on him!” She’s all about karma.
It may sound totally cliche but I didn’t plan for it to happen. My relationship of several years was at an unbelievable low. Sex, communication, emotion, and attention? Wasn’t happening. I was painfully lonely, sad, bored and a numbness had set in. I know what you’re thinking. Well, why didn’t you just say how you felt? Why not sit down and be open with your partner? Yes, why didn’t I ask my boyfriend to tea so we could make it all better! Because life isn’t always that simple and sometimes, in spite of what everyone says, a heart to heart just doesn’t work. Either promises are made to make changes that are quickly forgotten or you’re made to feel like the issues are all in your mind.
What did I find that unexpectedly seemed to work? The guy who worked security for my building. Call it intuition or my female senses, but the first time I was introduced to him by my building manager, I knew he was attracted to me. What started as harmless flirtation turned into excuses to talk to him. Since I was new to the property it was pretty easy. Numbers were exchanged, because you know, in case I needed anything. And that is how my emotional affair began. Which, of course, turned physical.
Why You’d Cheat
1. Searching for an emotional connection: You want your relationship to work, but he’s shutting you out.
2. Affairs may be instinctual for women: Science has increasingly found women are genetically inclinded to have multiple lovers
3. Revenge for his affair: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
4. Bad sex at home: He’s just not doing it for you in the bedroom.
5. You’ve gained financial independence: You’re no longer dependent on him to pay the bills.
So where was my guy in all this? You’d be surprised to know that all three of us were friendly with each other as face time occurred daily. It was routine where we lived. But the secret spots in the building were for rendezvous when my man was out and about. The one thing about your boyfriend not paying any attention to you is he doesn’t notice if you’re texting or living your life. Any off-site meet ups were explained as having plans with friends. I don’t think he ever suspected and if he did, he never said anything. Of course I also just tried to be really careful.
I eventually ended things, which brings me to the reason I think sometimes a girl needs to cheat-all I ever really wanted was my relationship. For a while it didn’t seem there was any way to achieve this. I’m not sure what changed but eventually my partner became more engaged and we began to fix things. We found our way back to each other and continued on our journey. Health Research Funding states 68% of cheaters never dreamed they’d be unfaithful and almost all of them wished they hadn’t done it. I can agree with the first part but not the latter. I don’t regret what I did. Sometimes, as bad as it can be, we aren’t ready to walk away from our partners. We desperately want things to be different, to be better, to be happy but it takes both people making that happen. My fling sustained me in my darkest hours, helping me to weather my storm, so that I was able to reemerge. If you find yourself in a compromised position, I say go for it. You may find your needs temporarily met and that cheating saved your relationship.