The reasons why men and women cheat on their partners are very different.
As CBS 2’s Susan Carlson reports, studies show that men are more likely to become involved in an affair because of insecurity, often because they feel they’re failing as a provider. They can be perfectly happy in their relationship and still seek a mistress.
Women, on the other hand, are a whole other story.
WLS-890 AM talk show host Cisco Cotto is happily married now. But he’s no stranger to heartbreak. In point of fact, he has had more than one long-term relationship come to a crashing halt because his girlfriend was unfaithful.
“It happened to me three or four times in college, to a point where honestly, I was wondering if I had ‘cheat on me’ written across my forehead,” Cotto said.
Each time, they told Cotto the same thing.
“They were done with the relationship, but I was so nice to them that they felt bad hurting me by breaking up with me,” Cotto said.
Therapists told CBS 2 that up to 20 percent of women cheat on their husbands or boyfriends. That compares to 50 to 60 percent of men.
The reason women stray is often, because they are emotionally done with a relationship, but have a hard time calling it quits. That makes them vulnerable to bond with someone else.
“In the vast majority of affairs, the partner is somebody that the individual knows, either from work, or a social acquaintance, or a friend,” said Dr. Jeff Sieracki of the Northwestern Family Institute.
Sieracki says the number of women cheaters is rising. Why? He says for one thing, women are getting married later, and having dated more, they are more aware of their options out there.
Secondly, many of these “options” are suddenly more accessible because they’re popping up on Facebook.
“Social media relates to the emotional connection that women often search for, and one of the reasons why they have affairs is for emotional reasons,” Sieracki said.
Divorce attorney Corri Fetman says while women tend to forgive a cheating partner, the reverse does not apply.
“If a man is cheated on, the relationship is over. It’s done,” Fetman said.
So what is Cotto’s advice for other nice guys who get cheated on?
“Find yourself a woman who values your relationship enough to put up boundaries to protect that relationship,” Cotto said. “That woman’s a keeper.”
Cotto is right. Therapists say cheating usually results after a series of boundary violations. So for a relationship to overcome temptation, couples should set up rules when it comes to contact and friendships with the opposite sex.
Therapists also advise you shouldn’t do or say anything you wouldn’t if your partner was right in front of you.