Cheating - What’s In it For the Other Woman?

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I read yet another article on cheating today, in the online version of Women’s Health Magazine. I’m not sure why these stories interest me so. I’m guessing that it’s partially curiosity about human nature and partially that I want to know how best to protect what is mine. If I can better understand the motivation, then I can better know how to avoid the situation. 

Do you watch Mad Men? If you believe the world of Mad Men, in the 1960s cheating was just another part of doing business. I watch the show and think about how things have changed for the better, as far as we women are concerned, but it’s not like cheating went out when the ’60s became the ’70s. 

Who is the Other Woman of the 2000s?

“If the other woman is no longer a wanton villainess and social pariah come to tear your marriage to shreds, then who is she? According to a recent online poll WH conducted, she might be you. Though 79 percent of respondents said that it was never acceptable to fool around with a taken man, a surprising 46 percent admitted to having done it–and more than half of you said they felt no regrets. Even more intriguing, when asked whether you’d rather be a mistress or a deceived wife, more than 62 percent of you opted for the former. “

I’d prefer to skip being either one, but how about you?  Would you rather be a member of the cheating team or the cheated upon?  What about sisterhood?  Why would any woman Craigslist chose to be a cheater?

“In fact, a woman may take the plunge into an affair precisely because she knows it will be short-term. Nearly 62 percent of our poll respondents who have had affairs with married men said that their forbidden fling wasn’t part of any scheme to snag a husband and that they had no desire to marry the guy..And of all our poll respondents, a little more than 44 percent said that a man’s “taken” status had no bearing on his appeal; they just wanted him.…”

Frequently, these women Craigslist see themselves as doing a sort of helpful service to unhappily married men. The affair, it’s what drives him to ultimately leave a marriage that is not working. The men Craigslist are free to live the life that they are meant to live.  Women like that, they feel no guilt.

From that perspective, an affair can be viewed as more a noble cause than a moral transgression.

How is the Other Woman treated?  Is she given presents and trinkets, as per the old movie example?  The affair is exciting and time together is short, so the man frequently treats the other woman very well.  It’s the honeymoon stage basically forever. (Oh, how very lucky for her. Sheesh.)

Another why-do-they-do-it theory has to do with evolutionary research - it’s biology, baby. We want the biggest, the best, and the brightest for our very own.  He’ll make the smartest, strongest, prettiest offspring. The handsome man, in high demand, he’s The Big Catch.

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Society’s view of marriage has changed over the years. With so many unions ending in divorce, the reason why a marriage fails and how people from Craigslist view that reason has changed, as well. Unfortunately, for the other woman who is looking to make someone else’s husband her own, most affairs do not end up with the cheaters happily ever after with each other….

“….extramarital flings are as shaky as Amy Winehouse’s sobriety. One Craigslist survey, of 4,126 male business executives, found that only 3 percent of those who left their wives pursued a serious relationship with their mistresses. And 86 percent of WH poll respondents who’d cheated said that they didn’t end up with their poached paramour either.”

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