Women are increasingly likely to turn to an affair when their marriage hits problems.
It’s been suggested there will soon be more wives involved in extra-marital sex than there are husbands.
Women today don’t just have far more opportunity to be unfaithful. They have the financial wherewithal to conduct an affair and a much more ‘male’ attitude towards infidelity, says Relate counselor Denise Knowles.
“I think the change in the make-up of families has affected the way some women behave in relationships,” she says. “As we are seeing more single mothers, more step families, more families being defined in very different ways, there is a general loosening up of the boundaries that confine our behavior.
- Predatory “So many people are now getting divorced and having multiple partners, that we see this as the norm. As a result, women are becoming more predatory and instigating affairs. It’s not just that many have less dependence financially on their husbands – I believe it’s also something of a backlash. Men have had affairs since time immemorial; now many women are thinking: ‘It’s my turn.'”Affairs may now be far more common currency, but the fact remains that they’re no answer to relationship dissatisfaction. Says Denise: “Women are being told: ‘You can have it all – you don’t have to settle for second best and if you’re not happy with it, you can just leave.’ What they’re not being encouraged to do is find happiness within their existing relationship.”So if you’re feeling the urge to stray, is an affair inevitable? No, says Denise – and you should realize that your relationship may be the wrong place to lay the blame if you feel unfulfilled.”You may have anxieties outside of the relationship and these could be taking your energies away from what’s happening between you and your partner,” she says. “If you find yourself blaming your relationship for other things that are wrong, then it’s worth trying to fix the problem before you want to think about an affair.”
Common ‘scapegoat’ triggers for an affair include:
Financial problems; Bereavement; Moving home; Losing/gaining a job; New baby; Reaching mid-life. So how do you avoid an affair?