Why Women Cheat (And How To Stop It)

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According to evolutionary psychology, if you strip away the romance and the complicated societal rules and obligations, humanity’s purpose is very simple: We’re here to successfully pass on our genes. Full stop. Men want to ensure that their own genes are passed along while simultaneously trying to prevent other males from impregnating the same females, thus ensuring that they’re not raising someone else’s child.  Women want men with superior genes, ones who can protect them from other males and provide for them and their future progeny. Occasionally those superior genes don’t necessarily pair up with the traits associated with a provider or one who will be able to raise the child… and as a result, women who are ovulating will find themselves attracted to coarser, more masculine men, then returning to more feminine men when they’re not ovulating.

All of this is a very long-winded way of saying that there’s a scientific basis for the fact that monogamy is hard.

So hard, in fact that it’s estimated that somewhere between 30% to 60% of all married individuals in the United States will cheat at least once during their relationships.

Let’s let that number sink in for a minute. Somewhere from between almost a third to over half of all married individuals. And don’t think this is exclusively men; the number of women who step outside of their otherwise monogamous relationships has been rising for the last 20 years.

If you want to prevent your girflriend or wife from straying, then you need to understand why she cheats… and what you can do about it.

Sperm Competition and Pair-Bonding

Before we get started, you should understand something about humans: we’re not designed for monogamy. Literally. Our physiology is predicated on the idea that, evolutionarily speaking, that we’re a promiscuous species. In order to help ensure that the child being raised within a pair-bonded, nominally monogamous, we’ve developed many techniques for maximizing our own reproductive chances while minimizing those of our competitors; this is known as sperm competition. When men spend time away from their mates, their sperm count – and libido – increase, the better to overpower any competitor’s own sperm in the case of any infidelity. The human penis is shaped to act as squeegee; the flared head of the glans and tapered shape of the shaft serve to help scrape out competitors’ sperm from one’s mate. Similarly, if a man has reason to suspect infidelity, not only will he thrust more vigorously (thus trying to remove as much unwelcome sperm as possible) but the resulting orgasm will be stronger1 and the ejaculation will be of much higher volume, in order to flush out any remainder of another male.

So, again, it must be understood: Monogamy is not our natural state. This isn’t a judgement on whether monogamy is good or bad, or whether it is desirable or not. It just needs to be stated: it doesn’t come naturally to us, and it can be incredibly difficult. So with that in mind, let’s look at why women cheat.

Reason #1: She’s Not Being Fulfilled Emotionally

As I’ve said many times before, the half-life of romantic love is six months to a year. After that point, the initial rush of excitement and passion fades, and relationships begin to settle into a calmer, more intimate level. Unfortunately, it’s extremely easy to fall into a rut; what was new has become common place, or even expected. You’re no longer on your best courting behavior, so you’re not as quick or effusive with the compliments as you used to be. You don’t notice her new hairstyle, or that new dress she’s wearing… one that she bought specifically for you. Now that you’re more relaxed and at ease with the relationship, you allow yourself to be more selfish. You don’t devote as much of your time and attention to her and her interests. You come home from a long day at work or class and all you want to do is play Call of Duty for a couple of hours as you decompress; the last thing you want to do is listen to your girlfriend complain about the office politics or the girl in class she feels is always trying to one-up her. Your days together start to blur; it’s a monotonous repetition of wake up, breakfast, work, dinner, sleep, and the only place you take her is for granted. Your conversations are short and superficial, because your attention is elsewhere… maybe even on that cute girl you always see at the Starbucks as you stop for your morning caffeine hit.

And before you know it, your girlfriend is cozying up with that guy from the office with the dreamy eyes. Why? Well, you weren’t meeting her emotional needs… so she went elsewhere to find them.

Most affairs start at the office, you know

“You noticed my new lip gloss? TAKE ME NOW!”

 How To Stop It:

Women are emotional creatures; feeling not just loved but desired and appreciated is incredibly important, especially in a relationship. Sadly, our society has conditioned them to be deferential towards men, to avoid making men upset or being too demanding or burdensome. As a result, women are far less likely to be upfront about what they need, emotionally. In many cases, they may know they have a need, but be unable to verbalize it, leaving the man confused and the woman frustrated and annoyed.

You need to avoid ruts in the relationship. Routine and familiarity can be numbing, which will in turn leads to boredom… and boredom is the death of relationships. You need to add a certain level of impulsiveness and unpredictability to keep the relationship fresh and exciting.

In addition, you need to remember: communication is key. You need to be emotionally honest with her and be willing to engage her own emotional needs. If she feels that she can’t talk to you about what she needs, if she feels as though that her issues or wants will just be brushed aside or ignored, she’ll start looking for someone who will appreciate her.

  1. In fact, many couples will deliberately invoke this aspect of human behavior; the stronger, more intense orgasms and heightened libido are part of the appeal for couples in open relationships and men with cuckolding fetishes. []

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  1. Well, now I'm just trying to work out the logistics of nailing Jello to a tree. Thanks, Doctor Nerdlove! :P

  2. Because_Excuse says:

    Genius. ABSOLUTELY GENIUS. I mean, I've never actually cheating on anyone, but there were definitely times where I felt all of these things and -wanted- to cheat on my significant other. There were also times where I just wanted to have sex for the sheer thought that:

    "Hey, I've been treated like a sex object… SO I can treat this poor bastard the same way, right?"

    Wrong. But it's happened. I felt like that. (As you can see, I FEEL a lot). I once did a report on: Rise of the Nasty Girl. Yes, it was on violence, but this cheating business is the same things. Women who cheat are on the rise and there ARE things to stop it as you, Dr. Nerdlove, had pointed out. If men did this more, women like me wouldn't feel like cheating…Or actually cheat (you "courageous" idiots).

  3. Very cool to see the non-monogamy science and open-relationship communication thrown in the mix. Thanks for sharing!

  4. How about Reason #7: You Treat Her Badly. I knew a woman whose husband thought she should sit down, shut up, need little, demand less, and when an ongoing family tragedy made her attempt to lean on him, he was angry, withdrawn, and resentful over an extended period of time. She ended up cheating, and he just figured she was a crazy whore. I'm not sure he ever realized that she was just lonely and desperate for someone to treat her like she mattered.

  5. Confused! says:

    Ok..but what if I want to be monogamous. I hate being unfaithful and the drama it causes. I hate hurting people, but according to this I’m just not wired to be monogamous…and every so often I just feel like I need to do something selfish and cheat on my partner. He’s perfect and has never stepped a toe out of line..I just want to be happy and satisfied with what I’ve got but occassionally I just want something different. Am I just being mean? How do I stop?

    • If it’s just someTHING new and not someONE new that you occasionally desire then there are plenty of ways to have something new sexually with your current partner. Just talk about it.

    • StarChild says:

      I'm exactly the same, I love my other half, he is an angel. But every once in a while I just NEED someone else. We have a great sex life and try hard to keep it new and exciting but there's just nothing that compares to the excitement of an unplanned encounter with a handsome stranger. I so badly want to WANT to be monogamous, but honestly I feel suffocated if I think about never having that excitement again. I have been hoping that I would grow out of it but I don't know if I will. I would love an open relationship but we could not deal with the jealousy. We actually met by being unfaithful to our previous partners, it was supposed to be casual but we fell in love. So this is also a huge concern with playing around. I don't know what I can do…

      • u is a ho.
        Lucky for you that your other half is just as promiscuous, because any man worth his salt would know at once when you've cheated on him and would ditch your ass. He is not busting his ass for you all day at work to have to tolerate this one second. It's likely that you know that your man will not leave if he found out, because if he did, and your relationship is worth fighting for, you would be a big loser when he left. My point is if your intimate life is great, then you won't get much greater satisfaction by spreading for someone else. you will end up losing what you now have.

        • StarChild says:

          some good advice there, except for the 'he is not busting his ass for you all day at work..' BS. I earn twice his salary, I busted MY ass to get where I am, he is a well kept guy. The fact that you jump to the conclusion of me being an ungrateful and promiscuous housewife tells me that you're pretty old fashioned and your views on sex probably are too. I know cheating is uncool, but c'mon, it's not the end of the world

          • Honestly, I feel for you. I have a hard time staying faithful myself. I don't have much advice, just good luck and I hope things work out.

  6. wow super intense and very confusing I recently cheated at work and his wife found out and was blowing up my phone after I asked her to stop I heard rumors about him and I. I’m def uncomfortable to see him . I’m also married and feel like I do it cuz he’s not here emotionally

    • Your story is hitting very close to home. Around this time last year I caught my husband cheating on me with his married coworker. I also confronted her and texted back and forth with her til she begged me to leave her alone. We still stayed together because I also found out I was pregnant with our third child the same time I discovered the cheating. Now I’m here with three kids and I feel my heart break everytime I look at my husband. I really hope that you’re not her with a different name. It’s homewreckers like you that ruin other peoples’ lives because you’re unhappy. How about go get some marriage counseling or a divorce instead of hurting innocent people because of your selfishness. It’s whores like you that give women a bad name.

    • love u

  7. Why is it the man's job to keep the woman from cheating, or the woman's job to keep the man from cheating? if they are in a consensual monogamous relationship, isn't it both parties responsibility to keep from straying?

    • Kristine says:

      Agreed. It's both parties' responsibility to be faithful. Communication is vital to this. Part of good communication is being aware of your partner's needs, especially if they're telling you what they are, and actually attempting to fulfill them. I don't think he's trying to justify cheating (and I certainly am not as, having been on the receiving end of it, I can attest it's hideously painful and cruel), merely explaining why it's happening in the first place. The important thing to glean from this article is mostly just 'don't take your partner for granted.'

  8. Whats up! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the nice information you’ve right here on this post. I might be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  9. Simple truth is: if you cheat, then you have accepted that you will leave your lover. If you don't leave because you don't have the guts to, then don't cheat, because you will be causing extraordinary pain and suffering to someone whom you supposedly love. It's better to break up than cheat and stay because partnership and family life are not only about fucking in exciting places and hot new positions, but about building and maintaining a united life. Fate has a funny way of mocking your cheap schemes. Ask someone like me, who's cheated and been cheated on. A sexual betrayal is a betrayal by any other name and you can't live happily ever after with someone you've betrayed or someone who has betrayed you. Needless to say, dr. nerdlove's philosophy on sex-centric life choices is very simplistic and crude and does not stand up to nor describe reality well.

    • Bull shit. That is a super simplistic view of the world, and totally false. You can love someone and cheat, you can cheat on your spouse emotionally and not physically and it is still cheating. Cheating isn't black and white, attempting to paint it that way will only lead to more cheating. Understanding is our best weapon against the world, and you aren't trying to understand.

    • I cheated on my partner who is the most beautiful thing in the world. I love him with all my heart and we are planning on getting married. I just couldn’t stand the thought of never sleeping with anyone else. My Partner takes anti depressants so he has a very low sex drive, we have sex about once a fortnight if I’m lucky.
      I love sex, I always have. It’s empowering And exciting, especially with a fresh face. I feel horrible, but it keeps me happy in my own relationship because if I don’t have sex I get really agitated and fight with him. I’ll never leave him for any of the others I just need to fool around.

      • Simple just leave him. You committed a treacherous act between two bonds. You care less about your significant other and chose to throw it away because of your lustful needs. Stay single, leave the poor man alone.

      • Dudebrah says:

        I know that if I ever saw that my girl said something like this. It would fucking devistate me and I would immediately grow a huge beard and start drinking and just be a damn loner.. and probably eventually kill my self. Ive invested and continue to invest my whole entire life into my family. Reading your comment made my cringe.

      • Far Cry says:

        I hope you get everything that is coming to you.

      • Gentleman Horndog says:

        If this is a real comment ("Shammy"?), either have an honest discussion with him about opening the relationship, or just walk the fuck away. You're ill-suited for monogamy. That's fine. What's not fine is refusing to own it, and setting somebody up to be BADLY hurt in the process.

  10. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I’m

    hoping to provide one thing again and aid others such as

    you aided me.

  11. So again, all guys' fault. What a load of crap. According to dr NerdLove men are supposed to jump through millions of hoops to appease a bored woman who will threaten to cheat on you on the first jump you fail and will most likely go with it should it happen.

    Screw that entitlement…

  12. Interesting stuff …. I have never cheated on my husband and hopefully he has been faithful too. It would certainly suck if he has !!!

    Anyway I have always been curious about having a go with someone else for all the reasons you've listed here; loneliness, lack of moral support, bored! But it takes love and guts to remain faithful especially when he has pissed you off. May be I am old fashioned, but I think we have lost touch with family values and what it means to be a married couple. Vows are sacred and are meant to be honoured.. I try to think of those vows every time I feel like cheating. Stop staying around persons who cheat and talk about how great it was or how much you are missing out… Lets lead by example and stop being narrow minded and selfish. We do have kids to think about… I can't imagine passing on the street and seeing 5, 6, 7 different men that I have fucked.. that should be embarrassing.

    • You did the right thing. Staying faithful is important and you got that. Kudos.

    • I've been Married four 13 years, have two children. Staying true to the course I have done. It is totally possible to stay true to another person, it takes two to do that. I believe the answer is will power. Sounds like you have it.

  13. Bert Staers says:

    Why is the man’s responsibility to take care of all those women problems? You should rewrite the article giving women suggestions on what THEY should do if they start having these problems to improve their relationship instead of cheating. These problems occur naturally in relationships, but it takes a scumbag to cheat because of these problems.

    • Exactly.

      And if there are problems, best solution is…

      drum roll…

      to talk to your partner about it first and see what they have to say about the issue. If they deny or don't put any effort to rectify it, by all means, leave.

      But if someone decides "screw all that, I have issues in relationship, so I am entitled to a screw with another guy", they can go to hell as far as I am concerned.

  14. But it's happened. I felt like that. (As you can see, I FEEL a lot). I once did a report on: Rise of the Nasty Girl. Yes, it was on violence, but this cheating business is the same things. Women who cheat are on the rise and there ARE things to stop it as you, Dr. Nerdlove, had pointed out.

  15. Prince Chidambo says:

    Thisw is a great place

  16. Prince Chidambo says:

    My woman cheated on me we breakup,but now I’m back with her again.is. It a good idia?pls help

    • Very bad. My now fiance….I found out in June of this year she was cheating on me all of last year. Live chats with random guys. Sending pics to ex boyfriends. Sex with ex boyfriend. And sex with one of her employees. Truthfully I thought after a while I would forget and move on. It’s been over six months and I still can’t think of anything but it and the pain never lessens. I feel letting go would be too hard which is why I’m still with her….But I personally think it’s impossible to have a happy relationship with her ever. I’m very sorry it happened. But I can promise you will never be happy again in your life if you stay with her. I know I never will.

      • LEAVE HER. You're torturing yourself and it's going to destroy you. LEAVE HER NOW. Be single, get over it, meet new people and over time meet a woman who respects you.

        I'm very sorry for you. I hope you do the right thing and live a happy life with someone who loves you.

    • Joe Smith says:

      Leave her ASAP… both these guys know whats up.. I tried to make it work and she hasn't cheated on me again BUT it still is horrible

  17. Oh what a sad thing , being cheated on

  18. To hear that cheating has somehow become a favorite hobby or past time is extremely saddening. As crazy as it is I have to say HONESTY is the best policy. If two people in a relationship can sit down communicate what their wants and needs emotionally, spiritually, and physically are, then they don't have to be the same. If you don't open your mouth and speak up then you can't get offended or angry when they do what they say. If you got problems and character defects speak on them to your partner. If your partner truly loves you, although still polyamorous, then they will reach out a hand of love, compassion, and respect, not a hand out, increasing the loss of self worth, self respect, and dignity. If exploited for there shortcomings and character defects, I FEEL that's abuse and you might as well as pick up baseball bats and beat on each other. If accepting of your partner despite your own beliefs then you can't cry about it later. Super crazy situation here, "Uhhh… Babe I need to tell you, I wanna fuck other people" Super adult way to deal with it, Option 1: that makes me uncomfortable I can't do this and we need to go separate ways before we destroy one another. Option 2: Ok I can honestly handle that. By being honest you may not get the response you hoped for but you respected your partner by giving them a choice and letting their voice be heard on the subject at hand, instead of assuming you already know the answer. If you part ways yes it will hurt, but that's love because you know the insanity that would have entailed May have possibly destroyed you both. If they are accepting and believe me no matter what you think they probably will make peace with it, DO NOT, DO NOT, come fresh off of a sexual encounter of any kind and try to be physically intimate with your significant other!!! It's disrespectful, rude, and just NASTY!! Stay hygienically clean and let your partner do the same. The other half needs to respect that too, so no yelling about their lack of sexual clean time in the grocery store or at all. Respect and Communication are Key, Our Hearts are the locked boxes, Sex is like Dynamite to open them, Never going to get all the goods because we're missing something when we only rely on physical intimacy…………….LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So for all those out there….. Keep It Real, For Real!!!!!

  19. I cheated for all the reasons stated in the article.. I fell in love too and after a year and a half am trying to get out of my affair. I am afraid to leave my marriage and afraid to continue the affair. I never imagined my life would go down this path. I feel trapped and confused. I love all parties involved but my actions are selfish and unloving.

  20. Joe Smith says:

    Honesty is the best policy. If you feel like cheating you should talk about it. Getting cheated on f*cks with you…lemme tell ya

  21. To the men who think they should not be jumping through hoops and what not., this is the Bottom line… If you cater to your woman and her needs, by listening, changing up tour game , complimenting and paying attention to her, otherwise ,make her feel important , the chances of her going somewhere else are almost none. Talk to her , surprise her , sing to her ,notice her. If you really love her and you want the same from her , then you have to be selfless , understanding and honest with her…. suck it up or just suck.

  22. What I have experienced from both sides of cheating (learned the hard way… I mean stupid way) is the true seed of cheating stems from you telling yourself, “I need to get what I deserve and I’m afraid I am stuck forever.” And this thought always revolves around looking for ways to make yourself feel good right now.

    This is obviously a HUGE THREAT and PROBLEM to many relationships. First, your relationship hits a rut (boredom, several disagreements, too much time apart due to work, -there are many other scenarios-.). After going through this for a while you begin to think, “I don’t like what’s happening and I’m afraid this is as good as it gets. It will always be like this.” So rather than realize these LULLS IN THE RELATIONSHIP ARE NORMAL and actively seek ways to get things back on track, you panic and look for other alternatives.

    That’s when “Mr. or Ms My Angel Has Arrived to Save Me” (speaking sarcastically of course) comes into your life and you start to justify why you should spend more time with them based on the “It’s my life and I deserve to feel good,” reasoning combined with the thought, “Maybe my current husband or wife is just not the right one for me.” So as long as you focus on your own emotional needs at that moment and don’t recognize that ruts in relationships are NORMAL you will be susceptible to cheating.

  23. I was recently cheated on, and learned some things about what to do and what not to do and pass them on to you if you have or suspect your girlfriend has cheated. First don't let her know what you know (I will explain why later) most of us just feel pain and anger and say "you did this, and that, and how could you, and you betrayed me, and I know about this and that etc…) when you do this you are setting yourself up, you have just played all of your cards and you have two choices 1. leave and don't look back or two, stay….If you stay then she knows exactly how you found out, that you were in her e-mail, a friend told you etc a and of course they always promise I will never do it again, he did not mean anything to me, I love you not him etc….But she lied to you and betrayed you so that means she is a lier and unfaithful you can take her back but don't do it without a way to find out, and let her know next time it is over no matter what and stick to it, then use all the things you did not tell her, like you know the password to her e-mail account, you know his phone number and can view her call records and text messages on her cell phone. And then wait because usually they will not re-offend immediately they know you are activly watching their every move, give them room to hang themselves, give them space, freedom act and tell them that you forgive them even though it hurts and then as soon as possible act like everything is as it once was try to put them in a comfort zone. after a few weeks start doing your home work, don't jump to conclusions but be clear and concise about what you do. If you find nothing periodically check up once a month for a year. If you catch them again then be gone my friend trust me it is better to be alone then it is with someone like this. After a year every 3 months or so check up on them and so on…..DO NOT DEPEND ON THEM TO KEEP THEIR WORD I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN remember we have already established they are a lier.

  24. John Holmes says:

    When I was living in the city and had an active social life, I hung out with a lot of ultra handsome guys. We hung around a large social crowd. More that one type of crowd as well. Young professionals as well as music scene types. I can't tell you how often a girl who had a boyfriend made advances toward myself or my friends. There is no fucking way I would trust 2/3rds of the WHORES that live on this planet. That's why I'm still single. They're mostly just wild animals manipulating and living in the now, void of principle or respect.

    • I can't tell you how often I've seen a guy who had a girlfriend make advances on a beautiful girl. Should I conclude that 2/3 of men are vicious assholes who are wild animals manipulating and living in the now, void of principle or respect? Please advise.

  25. den rey says:

    I know my wife cheated. Lots of times. Only denial comes out her mouth. I justcameout of jail and i know she did what she had to do. Wtf should i do if I wanna do good with her.?

  26. WynneL80 says:

    "she used to smack your ass like a pissed off nun"

    Dammit, Doc, now I'm all flushed. I'll have to remember that phrase for future use, whispered in his ear: "Tonight I'm going to smack your ass like a pissed off nun…" ;)

  27. You will understand that people LITERALLY mean "DESTROY" YOU if you stay and try work it out with her.
    Its like some business models, ok so you overlooked somethings and its drowing, its to know when to cut your losses. Its called SUNK COST in the business parlance.

    I stayed long enough to know how worse it can get.
    Move out and make sure you move to an area in the city where there are lots and lots and lots of single women in your age-group around. I am not saying that you will find solace in getting any of those women, I am saying you will find solace in constantly being reminded that they are around and there is life ahead.

    Its a deep cut. Just know you are not alone and that you can't see the future ahead for you because you are on the other side of the hill. Start walking up it, keep walking up it, you will get to the top finally and then see the vision ahead of you – Thats the problem right now for you. When we dont have hope, a future vision, it is a desolate empty abbys, like dying and knowing you are dying.
    Could you ever trust again? Well leave it to any woman who wants to win you to trust her to see if that can be done. You know you won't be volunteering again for it.

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