I watched a programme on CNN recently which noted some research carried out by relationship experts in the United States about rates of infidelity (bun) among married couples. It showed infidelity ranging from 30-60 percent of women compared to 50-70 percent of men. The researchers also noted that the gap is closing. Sadly, I don’t know what the statistics are among Jamaican couples, but I’m willing to bet that the figures won’t vary much
Since most people resign to taking the apathetic view of men – all men are dogs and therefore will cheat – the new questions is why then do so many women take secret lovers?
Women’s choice to cheat is, in some cases, daring or desperate; in other cases it’s both. A desperate plea for help and a daring means for change in their marriage or their own selves. The extramarital affair is serious stuff and not just fun.
I’ve noticed this infidelity as an increasing trend among my married female friends. Since I’m still waiting my turn to walk the aisle I thought it would be wise to note what their reasons are so I can avoid givng my wife-to-be any reason to ‘share’ herself with anyone but me.
My discussions proved 1 basic, simple truth – that women have secret lovers primarily because they’re not getting their needs and desires met in their marriages. Try as they may, wives are often unable to reach their husbands.
Feeling stifled, unfulfilled, frustrated, and helpless in their marriages, they step outside of their marriages. Taking the step is in itself empowering. The affair is a daring active choice, not the usual passive response. It brazenly screams out loudly “Enough is enough! Something’s got to give, either the marriage or me.” That’s only the first step to independence and power.
Not all wives in unfulfilling marriages go the route of infidelity; some take the honourable decision to seek counseling with the hubby to get things addressed (hopefully solved). It takes a daring wife to have an affair but an even more daring wife to recommend (and attend) therapy to repair the marriage or repair themselves.
Oh Lord, the children…
What about the children? People often stay in unsatisfactory marriages for the sake of the children. It is a huge mistake. Parents in miserable marriages only make for miserable children. The legacies for these children are flawed concepts/models of marital relationships, and unfulfilled, powerless mothers. The affair, while not necessarily the most sensible choice, is nevertheless an act of empowerment. Instead of a weak, dependent or resentful mother, the children now have a stronger, more independent, and fulfilled female role model.
What’s the affair about?
A common belief is that the affair is about sex. It is not. For the most part, sex was better at home before romance eroded. Screaming fights or silent seething hostility depletes romance and extinguishes the ‘flames of passion’. In chatting with my female friends I discovered that problems in their sex life were not about the quality, but the quantity. Fighting to the death or suffering in silence kills sexual desire for most wives. And there’s less and less sex in the marriage.
It therefore left me wondering – If insufficient sex is the result of unsatisfactory marriages and affairs the result of unhappy marriages, what are the causes? What do wives want? Not only do they want emotional commitment, sexual passion, safety, protection and independence; all wives want mutuality, equal power relationships, and recognition from their husbands. Devotion, love, and commitment without passionate sex, fun, and excitement is the “steak without the sizzle”. For wives to feel sexy they need the sizzle.