Surviving Infidelity Differs for Men and Women

Infidelity crushes many relationships.  Is it really cheating if a woman cheats on a guy with another girl? Cheating is cheating, right?  According to a recent study there might be a little leeway regarding people’s definition of infidelity. The study found that men were more tolerant of affairs if their partner was fooling around with other women, while women were less tolerant of homosexual affairs. Why the difference?

The study surveyed undergraduates and asked them hypothetical questions about fictional partners and affair scenarios.  Heterosexual affairs of partners gave more anguish to men than homosexual affairs, possibly due to competition and losing to another man being more painful that realizing your partner is gay. Women were less tolerant of homosexual affairs and in general were more crushed by their partner’s betrayal and failure to commit, destroying the intimacy she felt with her spouse.

Some facts about infidelity:

  • Thirty to 60 percent of married people have extramarital affairs
  • Men are more likely to cheat but women are starting to narrow the gap
  • Internet, email and social networking make affairs easier
  • Two to 3 percent of children are the result of extracurricular activities

While men were more likely to end a relationship due to infidelity, both men and women were quick to extricate themselves if there were multiple occurrences of playing around. There are different “types” of infidelity. There have been numerous studies which claim sexual affairs are harder for men to forgive. Whereas affairs of the heart are harder for women to forgive. Bottom line? Cheating, no matter what form, will destroy the foundation of trust between to people. It will, indeed, hurt a relationship.



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