If you’ve ever had your heart broken due to infidelity, you know that it’s a special kind of gut punch that takes a surprising amount of effort to overcome. You may never again be able to fully trust your partner after they have cheated. According to Today, cheating (including emotional affairs) is one of the main causes of divorce.
Although the Institute for Family Studies reports that more husbands than wives admit to being unfaithful, according to The Cut, psychoanalyst and writer Esther Perel cites an increase of 40% in unfaithful women since 1990, while men’s statistics have stayed about the same.
We went to Reddit to find out why more women than ever are cheating.
“I wasn’t quite ready to leave him because of the kids”
“I desired an emotional attachment”
“I have cheated, yes, but on my husband before we were married. It wasn’t physical, but more of an emotional attachment that my husband (then boyfriend) believed was cheating. Which, after settling down my pride, I agree with. It was unnecessary, and it’s something I still have to deal with today. There was a lot of trauma in between the time that I did it, and while it’s no excuse, it’s the sole reason I desired an emotional attachment.”My husband had left, out of the blue, for nearly a year, and when he came back I was unsure of whether or not I wanted to be with someone who could so easily leave after developing such a strong relationship with me. During that year, I developed a relationship with another man, which I cut off once my husband and I started dating again. However, there were still problems between him and I, so I reverted back to the other man.” – Redditor pleindesprit
“It was not really a satisfying and healthy relationship”
“(He) got back together with me once he had his fun”
“I would cheat on my current boyfriend because he dumped me to date someone else, then got back together with me once he had his fun. I’m just biding my time until the right opportunity presents itself.” – AnonymousRedditor
“He pushed me over the edge one night”
“I did cheat on one person in my life … He wasn’t a great guy and he was always accusing me of sleeping with other men when I wasn’t. He pushed me over the edge one night when he told me I was going to f— the guy taking my pictures for a photoshoot, and in my rage, I just decided ‘screw it all.’ It was immature as hell, but in my defence, I dumped him the next day rather than lying to him and continuing the relationship. I don’t plan on cheating again.’ –AnonymousRedditor
“I was afraid of being alone”
“There was something missing”
“(I was) with someone for several years. There was something missing and I by chance met someone and after a year of knowing them, I knew I couldn’t hold back what I felt. I cheated emotionally for months, then once physically and then I ended the relationship to be with the other person.” –AnonymousRedditor
“The relationship wasn’t right”
“Over six years together, and the relationship wasn’t right, but all the memories, experiences and TIME together made it hard to admit. I emotionally cheated, got caught, went through hell, and then somehow was forgiven and we tried to work it out. We broke up a few months later, which was awfully tough. Still is.” – Redditor throwawaycheat
“I cheated on my abuser”
“(My husband) would throw things. Hit things. Break things. He would curse at me. Yell at me. He would raise his hands to me. And I couldn’t stop him.I wasn’t in love with the man I cheated with. But he treated me how I wanted to be treated. If I wanted to take it slow, he moved slow … My wants mattered. I would do anything he wanted me to. Even things I wasn’t into. I’d do anything because I knew he would respect my wishes if I decided I wanted to stop.
“Our relationship was purely sexual. We didn’t even cuddle … But he respected me more than my husband did. So yes, I cheated on my husband. But I never cheated on the man that I married. I cheated on my abuser. I cheated on my tormenter.” – Redditor finallyxfree
“My isolation turned to selfish physical need”
“Yesterday I cheated on my husband. It wasn’t planned, it wasn’t thought out, it just happened. He’s been overseas with his military contracting company for nine months now. I’ve missed him horribly. I’m in a town basically on my own without any family or any close friends I can really connect with. It’s been alienating and isolating and has been torture at times.”A few days ago, I met a guy about my age in a coffee shop. He noticed a sticker on my laptop that was of a band I was sure no one had ever heard of. Turned out he had, and after a whirlwind of a few hours, I found myself at his house that evening where I did it. I thought at first this guy would just be a friend I could share music recommendations from, but in an instant of a moment my isolation turned to selfish physical need.” – Redditor mtwife88
“I just went along with it”
“I was on a girls’ night out on Friday, it had been a while since all the gals got together, so we really let loose. I bumped into a former work colleague who was out with her fella and some of their friends. We chatted and after a while, they invited me back to their hotel room. I knew what was going to happen but I went along with it anyway.
“We ended up back at their hotel room where she seduced me. I ended up having sex with both of them. It was mind-blowing at the time but I felt ashamed and disgusted with myself afterward. I don’t know why I did it, I just went along with it. I love my husband. I cannot believe what I’ve done.” – Redditor Billie_Jean_is_not
“I met a guy who enjoyed talking to me and hanging out with me”
“We were in a long-distance relationship. Dated in high school and I went to college. He always complained about coming to see me every other month when I would come back to see him every weekend. He also didn’t like texting or calling as much as I wanted him to.”Then I met a guy who enjoyed talking to me and hanging out with me. I didn’t make many friends so I took what I could get, even if he had a girlfriend while he was constantly hitting on me. I was lonely and weak. He was very manipulative. Me and my SO eventually broke up but I didn’t tell him about the affair until after we got back together and dated for two more years. He was hurt, but understood I regretted it and felt disgusted with myself.” – Redditor thatsmychairb—-
“I thought he had cheated on me”
“I was scared of commitment”
“I was scared of commitment, he wanted us to be ‘exclusive’ and I wasn’t ready so I got super drunk and yeah slept with another guy and told him the next day.” – Redditor CarolineManihot
“He always played the victim”
“Cheating on him (a festival ‘romance’ of two days) made me realise that the relationship with my SO was complete s—. He always played the victim, made me feel bad even about the smallest disagreements, hinted at killing himself if I ever left him, etc. … I don’t think that what I did was/is the right thing to do at all, but sometimes things like these make you realise that ‘Oh. This is what it’s supposed to be like.'” – Redditor -feelingblue-
“He refused to leave me”
“Because we both knew the relationship was over but didn’t want to admit it. I didn’t have the guts to dump him and he refused to leave me. I took the easy/cowardly way out and I cheated.” – Redditor notnowfetz
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more
- Read more:
- 11 things we learned about cheating in 2018
- 7 traits most cheaters have in common
- Here’s what to do after you’ve been cheated on – or caught cheating
- It’s possible to forgive your partner for cheating on you. Here’s what a therapist says needs to happen.
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