Unfaithfulness in a relationship has been a hot topic discussed in many settings, probably since the beginning of time. The basketball court, the beauty salon, and the barber shop, are some of the likely places in which people have been compelled to put their two cents in. We’ve all huddled up in a group or at least witnessed people gather to debate over the roles men and women play in their unfaithfulness. Some debates are heated, and some are even humorous, while others allow women and men to learn more about each other in the process of exchanging ideas, feelings, and attitudes about the impact of cheating and being cheated on. Yet the age-old question still remains: Who cheats more, women or men?
Some men seem to follow a common route when developing an answer to this question. Their initial thoughts are somewhat obscured by their resistance to admit their own unfaithfulness in their relationships. But when probed further into discussion, they’re more willing to confess it as long as they’re given the chance to explain why. When asked if women or men cheat the most, transportation manager Lee Greene replied: “I believe men cheat the most because we can. For me, it was easy. Being away from home a lot made it easy and my cockiness made it easy. But I got a conscience about hurting the woman I was with. I felt like a snake, so I stopped.”
“Women do cheat, but men cheat the most. Women have to think about certain risks if the man decides to walk away, like pregnancy, emotional attachment, and STDs,” said salon owner Alta Haralson. “Men don’t seem to consider all the same risks as much as women do, which would make women less inclined to cheat.” She went on to say that the reason a man goes outside of his relationship to have an affair is due to ego and selfishness. “If he feels he’s not sexually fulfilled by his partner, he goes elsewhere. Sometimes it’s just about being bored with one person.”
Unfaithfulness in relationships can result from numerous issues such as lack of intimacy, feeling neglected or ignored, and emotional withdrawal. Unfaithfulness can also lead to irreversible distrust, revenge, divorce and, in some extreme cases, murder. As vehement as we may be about our opinions on this subject, we must be as diligent in remembering the outcome of some of the most infamous cases of unfaithfulness. To name a few: Joey Buttafuoco and his under-aged sidepiece, Amy Fisher, who shot Mrs. Buttafuoco in the face in the heat of a jealous rage; Basketball star Kobe Bryant, who stepped out on his wife, Vanessa, when he had a sexual encounter with a woman in a Colorado hotel room, after which he was charged with rape; and let’s not forget about one of our nation’s most revered presidents, Bill Clinton, who faced impeachment after lying about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. The media had a field day with these cases, crowning men the kings of unfaithfulness.
However, according to Michelle Langley, author of Women’s Infidelity, women are cheating just as much as men and the media have just begun to acknowledge, to a limited extent, the pervasive crisis associated with female unfaithfulness. On her website, Womensinfidelity.com, she asserts that after researching women’s sexuality for more than ten years, she concluded that most of society’s beliefs about females are extremely distorted and invalid. She further claims that after an average of four years of marriage, women in their twenties and thirties experience a pre-midlife crisis similar to the male midlife crisis, which makes women more likely to cheat. She also states that women – under this profile at Stage 3 – have lost interest in sex with their husbands who often have no knowledge of their wives’ affairs.
Finding the answer to the battle of the sexes in the cheating department may go down in history books as having more complex questions and no finite solution. At the end of the day, we’ll never establish the absolute winner of this never-ending contest. And maybe it would help if the question were posed differently by asking “Who gets hurt the most from unfaithfulness in a relationship?” Then we’d all agree – hands down –that nobody ever wins.