When I heard this was coming up on the news the other night, my first thought wasn’t “who cheats more, men or women“, but more likely, who would admit to it?
I mean can you imagine a man with a news crew and microphone taping you and then asking you if you cheated on your spouse and it was going to be on the news???? Really you guys! Who would admit to that unless they’d already blown their marriage out of the water and no longer had one?
I know I don’t have a real wide circle of friends and keep pretty much to myself a lot of the time, but for me, in my life, I’ve known more women than men that told me they were having an affair. Just the opposite of what people on the news story said. People on the news just flippantly said “men.” Which then leads me to think, “who are they cheating with?”
Is this because I’m a woman and women talk to each other differently? I’ve been close to a lot of men in my life too but really don’t know of almost any of them cheating and I know a lot more women doing it than them. Or are women just more honest than men? I don’t really feel that’s the case either because I’m not that black and white and don’t think honesty has anything to do with what sex you are.
What do you think? Out of the cheaters you know or have known, were more men or women? Do you feel there’s a correlation in what sex you are as to who you will admit this to?
Also, I don’t know ONE person who would admit this for the upcoming news.
I’m with you, Joy. It takes two to tango.
I do think that women confide in women more than men confide in women. Maybe if you’re a woman, you feel another woman won’t expose you, but if you’re a man, maybe you don’t have that much trust. Or, do you think women sometimes want to let each other know that men are finding them attractive? Do men do the same blabbing with other men?
I remember a moment when I was a young girl and some factoid came up, saying males do X more than females. My mom got this knowing look and said, females are just smarter about hiding it. I think that goes for a lot of “scandalous” behavior.
I recall pulling a (married male) colleague aside to tell him that his behavior with a younger and junior colleague could look like an affair to observers. This was a surprise to him (of course he denied it). To me it looked blatant, to him it looked innocent. On the other hand, I’ve been surprised to hear of affairs that female colleagues were having. Maybe it’s true about females being smarter about hiding it.
Then too, maybe there is a difference between men and women in their ability to enjoy imagining a romance without actually doing or saying anything. I’ll go into confession mode and tell you that I’ve admired men from afar and built whole fantasies around this, without ever crossing any lines of propriety. Do men do this too? Or are they more likely to “try something” if the thought keeps nagging them?
This is a kind of scary topic, because I know plenty of women AND men who have crossed the line. Who knows how widespread it really is?
I have to agree with a lot of what SKL is speculating about… And I wanted to add that the real problem with answering a question like this is that we really can’t know, because it all depends on the level of honesty that people show when answering these questions, just like you said.
I mean, if a study was done about it, and I’m sure some have been, we might still not get accurate results because it’s such a touchy subject to people – obviously – that they might lie even to researchers.
Don’t know any Jerry Springers either but I have known some to brag, brother included, about sleeping around and cheating on their partners… funny thing though… they seem really upset when their partners leave them *shrug*
From my experience being military, the women were much more unfaithful than their husbands – but they didn’t brag about it the way the men might. Many female significant others would act faithful up to a point, and then go out with a bang – I have seen and heard stories of bridges being burned while faithful husbands were deployed (videos of the wife with her lover having sex, semen-filled cookies, the husband coming home to an empty house & bank account).
I wouldn’t say any sex does it more than the other, but I think women are both more secretive and bitchy about it. Based on my observations only here.
Another question is, what do men vs. women consider cheating? If it stops before a certain line, does it “not count” as cheating, and which gender is more forgiving of themselves in this regard?
I know more men but that may be because I don’t have many girlfriends and the ones I do, most of them haven’t cheated…well so they say. I bet you 7 out of 10 guys I know have cheated on they’re wifes or girlfriends. I partly know this because A. I’ve seen it first hand or B. they are friends with Jason too so if they haven’t told me, there’s a good chance they’ve told him or another one of my friends and in turn have told me. And in more cases than not, alcohol was abused. The women I do know that have cheated are more like year long affairs that involve feeling. NONE of which I could see announcing on the news!!!! Who does that????
It reminds me of the show that was on Fox with the lie detector. There was more than one person that “confessed” of having an affair on national television. Do you really think those spouses’ didn’t know ahead of time??? TV is too staged for surprises like that. Anyway, of the people I know that had cheated, it is equal between men and women. As stated above, it take 2 to tango!
BTW, Nikki I like your picture!
Thanks Sue I like your’s too!!!
I think what SKL pointed out is a very good point. Who considers “what” as cheating? I think with women, feelings are taken into consideration more than with men. I think any level of intimacy would be cheating in my book. To me, it wouldn’t just have to be the “act” itself.
The whole “admitting” it part. Do you think men are more willing to admit it because men are proud for some reason? That the way it’s been in the past about the whole “notch” on the belt thing? Do you think maybe women feel ashamed and that’s why they won’t?
I also think what Nikki said is right. That she knows more men. I know more women and don’t you feel you’d really have to trust someone you told this to? I’m just wondering how this kind of survey can be trusted. Can you imagine that your having an affair and someone calls you on the phone and is taking a survey and you’d admit that to a stranger on the phone? That person could be anyone.
Another good question, do you ever feel cheating is justified?
Nikki and Sue, I like your pics. Sue, why is your old one in some and not others??? I’ve never seen that happen before.
Do you like my little “Joy” thingy?
I do like it, obviously not a well as your face but it is cute!!
On what counts as cheating – I think anything physical is cheating (sex, kissing, etc). I won’t go so far as to say emotional “affairs” are cheating, because I cannot dictate what goes on in another’s mind.
I think a one-time offence is much easier to forgive than an extended affair – once is a mistake, several times (especially with the same person) is deliberate. Whether it’s justified or not, well, I don’t know about that. I’ll admit this, in order to explain things – I have cheated, one time, on my husband. He knows, and has long since forgiven me (even though I have never forgiven myself). We have spent over half of our lives together separated by the military – and this took place towards the beginning of the first major separation. I was drunk, and things went too far with an ex. I never thought it was justified, but my husband did… he will never forgive himself for taking orders that took him so far away from his family, and he regrets leaving me alone for so long at such a bad time in my life (I’ve suffered depression for years).
It’s a bit funny that I can admit this to people I don’t really know, but that’s mostly because Tim and I have moved on, and we’ve got a stronger marriage for it. But I also don’t think the majority of cheaters are in the same boat that I am in. I’m not proud of it, but I learned my lesson, and I’m not sure how many more people who cheat can say the same thing (see my post above).
Off that subject – I like the picture avatars, and yours too Joy. I like mine though, reminds me of an Amish quilt square.
I admire your honesty Anna. I defiantly feel a drunken mistake is just that, a mistake. I’m so happy that Tim saw it for what it was. I also agree that an ongoing affair, to me, would be the end of things. To much would have to be shared and I’m not sure I could get over it. Even something as innocent as a “look” or a “shared feeling,” would always bother me. To me that would be a continuing mistake that you knew in your head was wrong.
I agree, with an affair there are feeling shared I’m sure. Not to say one night stands are better, it would be easier to get over though. I too appreciate your honesty Anna, sometimes disasters are what brings 2 people closer. 😉
I do think cheating can be forgiveable. Justifiable? Only in very unusual situations – certainly not in the typical cases we know about.
In my mind, if your heart needs to wander, you need to tell your spouse / significant other and deal with the fallout. And then it’s not cheating. If it’s just a matter of unchecked physical lust, I think it’s a no-brainer that that’s not “justified.” OK, maybe if you were unintentionally drugged out of your mind. People make choices with knowledge of right and wrong. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong, regardless of whatever urges a person is feeling.
I feel there’s no point justifying a mistake. I’m not sure the human conscience would actually allow this anyhow. Might as well own up to it (internally at least), learn from it, and move on.
My husband and I were both cheated on by our former spouses–numerous times. One thing I noticed is that my ex cheated with married women who KNEW he was married. My husband’s ex cheated with men who were rich, and some did NOT know she was married. For us here, the women far outweigh the men in the cheating department. And something else I have experienced–The women who get caught are far nastier to the spouse of the one they were cheating with than men are to the spouse of the woman they were cheating with. Did that make sense?
Cheating is never justified, and causes a lot of pain to an entire family, not just the spouse.
Okay… now don’t beat me up here.
But, speaking as a former “dirt bag” who has worked very hard to redeam myself keep in mind one thing.
MEN ARE FLAT OUT LIARS!!!
There are exceptions but they are just that… the exceptions. And of course everyone reading this comment… your husband is one of the few exceptions. 🙂
I know both men and women pretty well. We hang out as a group and most of us have known each other our whole lives. Given that said, most woman I know think they know men who are cheating who aren’t. We’ve been with some of these guys when they were accused of being with someone else. The women I know who have cheated, have told me. By and far, I know more women than men that have cheated.
I also highly agree with Kweenmama. When the women get caught, things suddenly get very nasty and they all blame the husband.
I truly believe that women get more “lonely” and are “misunderstood” and always have a “reason” for doing it and have the “the grass is greener” on the brain.
mssc- you are too funny, bluntly honest, I love it.
For the majority…Women do talk differently to woman than they do with men, and vise versa. Men like to talk lightly about superficial things more than the emotional. Men like to talk about sports, bullshit about nothing. Woman like to talk about emotions, feelings, and worries. We are born this way-God’s gift for us to be opposites.
From my perspective, it is equal in this day and age on men and women cheating and from what I see on TV and in real life, it happens WAY too much.
Men and woman cheat because they are not getting what they need from their significant other–either physically or emotionally not satisfied. And sometimes it is because the man or woman is not giving to themselves enough. If you do not love yourself? How can you love or feel love from another? Your spouse may be giving you his/her all, but you are not capable of noticing because you do not love yourself enough.
Eric and I have both been there and done that. Forgiveness always makes you stronger and closer. It has for us. Our friends have been there done that. It’s not right of coarse, but it’s natural to make mistakes.
I think it’s not your mistakes that matter most, but the lessons you learn and the growth you make from them.
Anna, I hear you there about the military, but I think it is equal with the men and women…I am not sure…but I know of one woman and a few men. Eric would say many guys who are military are unfaithful that he met, but there also are more men than woman in the military. I don’t know enough spouses to say. I think more men in the military probably cheat than men in the real world due to the circumstances and people in the military tend to marry quickly without knowing each other enough….same for spouses of military. It gets very lonely as a spouse as you said, and if your marriage is not strong, or you are not, then military life isn’t for you. Sadly, one friend of ours came back from deployment with Eric and found out not only that his wife cheated, but she was packing up to leave him and left their military house in ruins to clean up.
I think we may have had a similar discussion once on this blog a long, long time ago… (If it wasn’t this blog then I wonder who I spilled my guts to? LOL!)
I think women are more open about HOW they ended up cheating. I think men are more likely to tell a buddy or let themselves be seen around with ‘the other lover’
SKL brought up excellent points. Your personal beliefs of what constitutes ‘cheating’ may not be the same as someone else. Personally, I consider the LYING attached to the sexual actions to be cheating. It’s the lies that bother me, not the sex. I don’t consider a kiss to be cheating, or even a date. But if my spouse LIED to me about a sexual relationship with someone post marriage, that’s what I’d have a problem with. I figure that sex is just that….and has way too much emphasis placed on it in this society anyway (this is where every man reading this right now rolls his eyes and says “Glad I’m not married to THAT woman”) But if I feel I can’t trust my partner then I really have a problem. How can I trust them as a partner in our marriage and as a fellow parent to our children? How do you run a household without trust?
You can, by the way run a household without sex…ours often goes for weeks at a time and seems to run just fine…