Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with a woman about cheating. She wasn't the "cheatee" but *the cheater* and yet, she was finding a way to justify her actions due to the fact that her husband hasn't been treating her well (not "abusively" per se, but the way that she wants him to). Honestly, in a lot of the counseling sessions that I do, I find this to be a trend: That if a man cheats, a woman is totally devastated, but if she does it, in her mind, it can be explained away. I'm not sure where in the Bible that adultery is gender specific. If someone finds that verse, be sure to let me know.
Anyway, since I've been hearing about women cheating more and more (and these are "church women" that I've been speaking to, so let's not act like it's simply a "worldly issue"), I decided to do a bit of research to see if the statistics are supporting the conclusion that I'm coming to: that woman are cheating just about as much as men. (Note: These are posted stats that speak to women and infidelity specifically. You can go here to read more info on adultery in general.)
14 percent of married women have had affairs at least once during their married lives.
Younger people are more likely candidates; in fact, younger women are as likely as younger men to be unfaithful.
22 percent of men and 14 percent of women admitted to having sexual relations outside their marriage sometime in their past.
90 percent of Americans believe adultery is morally wrong.
Up to 37% of men and 22% of women admit to having affairs. Researchers think the vast majority of the millions of people who visit chat rooms, have multiple "special friends”.
About 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an affair at some point in some marriage.
Ten percent of extramarital affairs last one day, 10 percent last more than one day but less than a month, 50 percent last more than a month but less than a year, but 40 percent last two or more years. Few extramarital affairs last more than four years.
A lesser known fact is that those who divorce rarely marry the person with whom they are having the affair.
Frank Pittman has found that the divorce rate among those who married their lovers was 75 percent.
One-third of divorce litigation is caused by online affairs.
Approximately 70% of time on-line is spent in chat rooms or sending e-mail; of these interactions, the vast majority are romantic in nature.
31% of people have had an online conversation that has led to real-time sex.
It is estimated that 53% of all people will have one or more affairs during their lifetime.
2 out of 3 women and 3 out of 4 men admit they have sexual thoughts about co-workers.
-86% of men and 81% of women admit they routinely flirt with the opposite sex.
-75% of men and 65% of women admit to having sex with people they work with.
Adultery statistics state that 85% of woman who feel their lover is cheating are correct. 50% of men who feel their lover is cheating are right. The first clue is seldom obvious. Typically, it's a "feeling" that something is different.
And then, I decided to do a bit of research into the reasons why women cheat. I found this particular article to be interesting:
They Seek Revenge
For the Thrill of It
For the Ego Boost
To Find a Love Connection
They Want to Get Caught
They're Bored With Their Sex Life
They Feel Lonely
They Want to Relive Their Past
Because of a Near-Death Experience
For Attention or Adventure
And you see, here's the thing. I'm a big believer in the fact that since the divorce rate is as high within the Church as it is outside of it, these reasons can't be totally off of the mark as it relates to infidelity. Plus, a part of me wonders that since the Word tells us that in *confession* there is *healing* (James 5:16) that adultery is so rampant because people are more concerned (or is it consumed?) with how things will look if they get caught that they are basically putting a Band-Aid on a festering wound; acting like they are in a healthy marriage on Sabbath and Sunday, when they are in any and everything but.
So, after exploring these stats and reasons, what do you think about them?
And what do you think can be done to prevent more women from taking the cheating plunge? 'Cause the thing about a thrill ride is that is usually over pretty quickly and it tends to be bigger in your mind than the experience itself. Plus, it usually comes with a bunch of risks. Some that are bigger than you're *ever* prepared to deal with (John 10:10, Proverbs 5, Hebrews 13:4). Sometimes the wages of sin is the death...of your marriage (Romans 6:23).